By Princess Gabbara
At first glance, a Charisma Home Décor creation may seem like any other pillow or picture frame that you’d pick up at your local home decorating store, but that’s where you’re wrong. You won’t find Charisma’s creations anywhere else because every single one of their products is custom-made–and therefore, cannot be duplicated.
Charisma is a Chester, Pa. based online home décor company that specializes in creating handcrafted products that are affordable yet elegant and poise. Mr. and Mrs. Whitaker, a loving couple married for 36 years, launched the small, family-owned business last December.
Growing up, neither Mr. or Mrs. Whitaker ever imagined that they’d one day be able to own a business. Born four months early and weighing in at one pound and 15 ounces, Mr. Whitaker wasn’t expected to live and became known as “the miracle baby” due to his “miraculous delivery and birth story.” Mrs. Whitaker was born with several birth impediments, including a clef lip and clubfoot. During her childhood, she was often teased by her peers and felt lonely at times.
But with the help and support of their nine children, the Whitakers were able to overcome their obstacles, and find the encouragement needed to create their own business after all these years.
Mary, the Whitakers’ youngest daughter and CEO of Charisma, who has asked that her real name not be used, says she can’t remember a time when her parents didn’t share a passion for arts and crafts.
“Starting a business was always their dream. They both were always into arts and crafts. Ironically they met in high school in art class,” she recalls. “They had given up on their dreams a long time ago.”
Mrs. Whitaker used to make gorgeous and of course, handcrafted pillows, while Mr. Whitaker practiced his painting techniques, including the crackle finish effect, which can be seen here, on items just lying around the house.
“As I got older and saw they still had their passion for arts and crafts, [I], along with my brothers and sisters, encouraged them to start [their own] business,” Mary says.
Since launching late last year, Charisma has gained a modest fan base and following that continues to grow. Some of their items include beautiful, unique and decorative pillows, vases and jewelry, ranging from around $7-$46:
Elegant vase and frame set, $39.69
Still not convinced? Here’s a little food for thought: “Our items are delicately handcrafted with elegance and character,” Mary says. “The home should represent love, warmth and memories. What better way to materialize that vision than to design it with [one-of-a-kind] accents that tell a story and possess a life of their own?”