Meet The Face Behind Fresh Life Design

Fresh Life Design |

Meet The Face Behind Fresh Life Design

I’m Shelley Gartside, proud owner of Fresh Life Design.

I look forward to sharing my story. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know me better.

I started Fresh Life Design so I can do what I love most. I have spent my life so far working hard to support my family and although I enjoyed my job, I have come to realize that design and decorating are my passions.

Searching for the right piece of furniture, a lamp, a chair to fit a space and finding it is a “Ta Da” moment that thrills me. Seeing the room or house complete with a new look and the feeling of accomplishment is wonderful. I am always on the hunt for products in decor and design. I can see a piece of fabric and imagine a room, or a piece of art or a sofa. Sometimes I think I'm a chair-a-holic. I love chairs!

Before starting my own business, I was, and still am involved in the financial services industry, and for the last sixteen years, I worked as a stockbroker. During that time my husband and I built houses and renovated homes. I have been taking courses during this time in interior design to prepare myself for the next stage of my life which is to be involved in helping others with their design dilemmas.

The most important skills I have as an interior designer is listening and communicating. Listening to the homeowner to find their needs and wants, and communicating back to them to ensure they will be satisfied with the end product. I am also an agile thinker and a creative person, so I can often come up with ideas while the homeowner contemplates.

I believe success comes in different areas of life, and as long as you are a person who is kind to people, reliable, honest, and compassionate you are successful. In my business life, I feel successful in my sense of design. I know this may sound self-promoting, but I have found really happy moments when I have completed a project successfully, and everyone was happy with it.

In my personal life, I've found satisfaction at the end of a day when I'm home after working and going to the gym, and I'm making dinner to enjoy with my family. In my business life, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I've spent time helping/coaching/mentoring someone and they've achieved their goal, or when I've been involved in a community group to bring a project to fruition.

While I am really proud of what I do, I admire my daughter's business, Mackenzie Gartside and Associates. She's one of the top mortgage brokers in Canada and truly works 24x7. Another local company I like is Design Therapy. Jenny Deters has changed the direction of the business and turned it into one of Comox Valley's most interesting furniture and decor stores. The reason I find both of these businesses so admirable is their dedication to their clients. First and foremost they want to ensure a high quality of service to their clientele and are open and honest in their business relationships.

When I am not at work, I go to the gym, work on my home, and travel. We are always looking for a ‘project’ at our home. Inside or outside. About three years ago we decided we wanted a bit more land and purchased a small acreage with a double car garage on it. We turned the garage into a house! Initially, it was twenty-four by twenty-four, but since we first bought it we have added seventy-two square feet in the front, and two hundred and eighty-eight square feet in the back. In between that work, we have renovated and sold a rental property we owned. In non-work time, we are always planning the next project. It's where our interests lie!

As an individual, I am dedicated, determined and dependable in things that I do. I make a commitment and I complete it to the best of my ability. I am imaginative, therefore I respond well to change while being patient and persevering to reach the final goal.

As for my charitable side, I support a child through the Christian Children’s Fund, and I volunteer for various community projects. One of them is called the Perseverance Trail Run which is to save the forest in our area from logging to provide habitat for wildlife and also keep an area available for recreational activities.

I have enjoyed sharing my story about the things which matter to me and how they influence the way I do business.

If you or someone you know could benefit from our expertise in interior decorating and design services, I invite you to get in touch. Please visit our website at


Shelley Gartside