by LINDA FRABL

Charitable Designer

Susan Wintersteen may be a mother to five daughters, but she is also a savvy business owner – quite literally – as the founder of Savvy Interiors, an interior design firm. As a way to give back to others, Susan has managed to successfully combine her love of interior design with her love of helping children through her nonprofit organization, Savvy Giving by Design (SGBD). “This nonprofit was conceived as a way to make over the rooms of children facing a medical crisis, at no cost to the family,” Susan explained.

The idea of SGBD had formed after Susan was introduced to a local resident, then-14-year-old Kasey Harvey, who was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma. After executing a pro bono makeover of the bedrooms of Kasey and her sibling, Susan was introduced to many more families in similar situations, and her nonprofit was born. Now SGBD gathers together vendors that can donate many of the materials, and the nonprofit’s goal is to build up a coalition of designers dedicated to this cause. “We wanted to contribute our talents in design and marry it with compassionate contractors with the goal of making life a little easier for our youngest fighters, mostly children facing long term treatments,” Susan clarified.


Name: Susan Wintersteen
Community: Ivy Gate
Volunteer Affilation: Savvy Giving by Design
Profession: Designer/General Contractor Savvy Interiors
Family: Married, 5 daughters, 2 dogs
Hobbies: Boating, designing, ziplining, and spa days with my girls


Name of Group: Savvy Giving by Design
Group’s Purpose: Savvy Giving By Design is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide comfort, support, and healing to families with a child facing a medical crisis by transforming the interior spaces of their homes at no cost to them.
Group’s Website: www.savvygivingbydesign.org


If interested in helping out, you may check out the SGBD’s Facebook page, “Savvy Steals,” which offers up local bargains and requires a $50 donation to join the group. Susan also suggests that everyone spread the word about the nonprofit, thus increasing awareness of SGBD’s mission. That can be done by sharing the Facebook group page, and contacting local vendors and businesses who may be interested in sponsoring items or donating their furniture. SGBD will also accept donations of special décor items, and volunteers can assist with various fundraisers (bake sales, etc.).

Describing her gratification with SGBD, Susan commented, “Seeing the smiles and the joy in the children’s faces who’ve seen their room reveal for the first time is my biggest accomplishment, and it makes me cry every time. If I were a bajillionaire, I would do this full time! The reactions of these kids seeing their rooms made over, and witnessing the increase in their function for day-to-day recovery, is the best gift ever.”