Story by Liesel Schmidt
Five years ago, Claire Schwab’s life changed when her ten-year-old son Teddy was in a car accident that was nearly fatal. Now, she sees the many ways that the past five years have truly been a miraculous gift.
An interior designer for 32 years, Schwab graduated from Vanderbilt, following in her father’s footsteps to his alma mater, and went on to take extra design courses at Northern Virginia College. Now the owner of her own business, she has learned the challenges as well as the advantages of small business ownership. “The challenges of wearing all the hats—design, client and vendor relations, project management, deliveries, installation, deadlines, you name it—are constant, but the benefits are incredible,” says Schwab. “It gives me flexibility, I’m always meeting new clients—many of whom become new friends—and every day is different. I also love seeing a project from start to finish, with a beautiful room or house a client loves!”
“The challenges of wearing all the hats—design, client and vendor relations, project management, deliveries, installation, deadlines, you name it—are constant, but the benefits are incredible.'
- Claire Schwab
The flexibility of her work has also afforded her something else: time with her son. “Teddy is a miracle,” says Schwab, who also has two older children. “Now 15 and a rising tenth grader at Commonwealth Academy, he shows gratitude and faith every day that ‘it wasn’t his time’ when he almost died five years ago. The car accident on I-95 in South Carolina was life-changing for us, and he has rebounded in such a positive way and wants to heal and be the ‘best version of himself,’” she goes on, her deep admiration of her son evident in her words. “He has worked the recovery plan set out by his team of doctors and therapists and wants to prove that all the prayers and healing of the last five years have been for a reason. Incredibly enough, he keeps me going when times get hard. He is so loving and positive and thankful for all the prayers and support of our friends and family have shown us. He never resists the tutoring, hyperbaric chamber dives, or doctors’ appointments. He makes me better in every way, and he’s taught me to never give up.”
Naturally, the whole ordeal was something that had a great effect on Claire. “Almost losing a child and being brought to your knees will change you,” she admits. “Circumstances, details, situations and quirky nuisances no longer bother me like they used to, and I have a ‘new normal’ of what is important to me and my children. I have also learned to always say ‘yes’ when someone offers help. I could never have weathered through without the support of friends, neighbors and family.”
To learn more about Claire Schwab Interior Design, please visit www.claireschwab.com NOMINATE A VIP SUPERMOM VIP Alexandria Magazine's newest mainstay, VIP SUPERMOM, is a feature dedicated to celebrating the resilient, courageous and selfless women who are raising Alexandria's next generation of movers and shakers! If you would like to nominate a local mother for this feature, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org