Swank Designs and Swoon Home are the twin brainchildren of RaeLena Vasquez.
These complementary businesses are on Citrus Avenue in the former Coin Broker shop. Those familiar with the Coin Broker business will immediately notice the upscale design changes RaeLena has made to this space. Her goal is to bring a designer feel to Redlands.
When RaeLena was growing up, her parents owned bridal shops in Fontana and Alta Loma. They encouraged her to discover her creativity while instilling in her the importance of good customer service. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles (FIDM-LA), then apprenticed under fashion designer Trina Turk. She decided she would rather be an interior designer than a fashion designer and so attended UCR extension, where she learned how to make blueprints and interior architectural designs. She got a job in LA, which she loved, but tired of the commute.
Fourteen years ago, she moved to Redlands and began Swank Design, working out of her home. She drew out her ideas, then created photoshoots to depict various concepts to the client. RaeLena realized she needed a space to stage room designs and enable patrons to view items up close. She opened Swoon Home not only for her clients, but for anyone interested in fine interior design pieces.
Some Swank Design clients like to browse Swoon Home for additional pieces to make seasonal changes to their décor. Some Swoon Home browsers are smitten by what they see and engage RaeLena to redesign their home, office or business site. Some clients want a new look. Others request some renovation. All want their spaces to stand out and be classy.
Swoon Home specializes in contemporary/modern furnishing from designers such as CR Laine, Palecek, Arteriors and Hudson Valley Lighting, to name a few. One can purchase an entire room setting or individual items. Swoon Home carries large furniture — beds, sofas, dining tables/chairs, and kitchen tables/chairs — as well as smaller items such as place settings, serving boards, cookware, aprons, table linens, home décor, rugs, custom draperies, and wallpaper. Reupholstery services are also available.
Since RaeLena cannot be in two places at the same time, she hired three employees. Two of them, her sister Jacleen and her friend Sandra, work in the store. Her assistant, Amanda, also a graduate of FIDM-LA, mostly collaborates with RaeLena for Swank Design, but can occasionally be found at the store. All provide a fun environment, which I encountered in my forays into Swoon Home. RaeLena enjoys nurturing customers’ creative and entertaining skills by hosting several events throughout the year.
She recently held a Pick a Pot event where attendees purchased one of the many planters sold at Swoon Home along with succulents and created individual mini arrangements for their house or garden.
Upcoming events for the holidays include: Creating a Charcuterie Board demonstration at which attendees also receive an idea book, BarCrafting/Mixology event that includes a cocktail recipe book, Holiday Pop-Ups with various of her vendors, and the annual Uptown Girls Event.
Customers can sign-up for emails, check her website, or follow her on Instagram for details.
Swank Design/Swoon Home was featured in Inland Empire magazine in July 2018. Most recently, the businesses were promoted on the This is LA television show.
RaeLena’s intention is “to bring unusual decorator items to Redlands, enticing people to come in and come back”.