Khrissa Purkey, 27, has been a part of the fabric of Pawleys Island for two years. Originally from Gastonia, N.C., she moved to the Grand Strand from Lake Wiley to pursue a career in interior design. A graduate of the Art Institute of Charlotte, Purkey made the Dean’s list and was awarded Most Outstanding Portfolio in Interior Design.
“I have always loved the beach, and wanted to make my way down here one day,” she says. “Luckily things just fell into place a few years after college and I was able to pursue my career in interior design here.”
Indeed, Purkey worked with high-end residential clients in DeBordieu and around Pawleys Island. She is now an interior designer with Clark+Jordan Interiors [ www.clarkjordaninteriors.com] in Myrtle Beach, concentrating on residential and commercial projects.
Looking to broaden her expertise and expand into the commercial realm, she put herself out there via word-of-mouth and networking. In short order a friend in the design profession provided her information to CJI partner Brad Jordan and architect Chris Clark, putting her on track for an interview.
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Purkey says she has always had an interest in art and loved watching the shows on HGTV. “My mom has a background in design, and I guess just growing up and seeing how she would coordinate things and decorate our house kind of sparked my imagination. I have always been a creative person and loved to draw, and that got me into interior design – following my dream into something that I love.”
She has been with Clark+Jordan for three weeks. “This all happened so fast,” she says. “I feel like this is where I can stay. It’s a good position and I am excited to learn more about all aspects of design.”
Hitting the ground running, she is working with CJI partner Tim Clark on design of the interiors for the company’s new offices at the Market Common on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. “Construction is almost finished there. We’ve got a wonderful spot behind Tommy Bahama. We are going to have architects and engineers and Clark+Jordan all in one building.” She adds that the new building will include a showroom open to the public.
Purkey’s scope of duties includes working in collaboration with clients in the selection of fabrics and furnishings for commercial and residential projects. “Clark+Jordan is a full scale interior design service ranging from drapery specifications to furniture customization.” She is involved with a project at Frances Marion University and worked with businessman David Cottingham and his wife at their Dunes Club residence. “We are working with the Coastal Club Apartments Amenity Center [Coastal Carolina University]. I have been working with them to specify their artwork, so we have done a lot of research on that to make sure the artwork fits each location for the Amenity Center.”
Decompression time for Purkey includes going to the beach, but not as much as she expected at first. “When I first moved down I thought I would be at the beach every day after work, but that hasn’t happened – so on the weekends I enjoy spending some time on the beach at Pawleys.”
She and her boyfriend, landscape architect Patrick Williams, are Carolina Shag enthusiasts. They take lessons in Murrells Inlet and hit up the OD section of North Myrtle Beach, especially when SOS events are taking place. They frequent the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet and can sometimes be spotted at the Pawleys Island Tavern.
Does she ever play tourist in Myrtle Beach?
“I think so – especially when friends come into town,” she says. “We will come to Myrtle Beach and go to the SkyWheel and play putt-putt – local things that are fun for summertime.”
Purkey says she is grateful for the opportunity to work with Clark+Jordan Interiors because of the variety of work she will be doing. “I feel like with commercial and residential, that is going to broaden my aspects of all things in interior design – so hopefully I will get to experience a lot of different projects.”