10 Milestone Moments over 10 Years / by Sarah Vaile

#5: Meg

September, 2011: Chicago

When the stars align, they just align. One of the best gifts of the fortuitous fall of 2011 was Meg.

We had first met years before when I worked as the Sunday girl in her shop. The Design Shoppe was my first peak inside the profession of interior design and I had loved everything about it. Enough that I dragged myself there bright and early Sunday after Sunday dreaming about a world outside of my current career in advertising.


Meg’s demeanor was contagious. She was the definition of fun. Every conversation was better had over a drink and no conversation was out of bounds. You spent an hour with Meg and felt like you had just tapped into the depths of your soul. And happened to hatch a brilliant design or business plan while you were at it. Everything about her embodied the world I wanted to be in.

I didn’t confess until years later but it was my short stint at The Design Shoppe that gave me the courage to pick up and move to New York City to pursue my dream career.

Fast forward 3 years and I found myself back in Chicago with a promising business in tow but no prospects of work on the horizon after completing my friends’ Lincoln Park home.

Then one day I got a call from Meg.

“Sarah, you can’t tell anyone but you’re about to find out that I won Design Star and am getting my very own HGTV show.”

“Holy &%$@ Meg, that’s incredible.”

“Right? I need your help. I have a million design projects that I don’t know what to do with. I am booked filming for the next 6 months and need your help!”

And that is how Chicago took off for us.