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Palavela Home - Scottsdale Living March/April 2011

Former Olympic Skater Finds Success With Palavela Home

Palavela Home, an interior design business run by the mother-and-son team of Ryan and Sue O’Meara, has become a “must-see” along the art walk in Old Town Scottsdale.

A former Olympian, Ryan O’Meara had always wanted to pursue a career in interior design, but succeeding in ice dancing came first.

He describes competing in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, as a “whirlwind” and an “overwhelming experience.” O’Meara and his partner, Jamie Silverstein, placed 16th at the Games.

“If there weren’t pictures, I don’t think I’d remember it because it went by so quickly,” he jokes.

O’Meara’s Olympic experience has deeply influenced his interior design business. In fact, the name of the firm — Palavela — is also the name of the venue where he competed in Torino.

And this past winter, Palavela Home built its own ice rink, called Winter Enchantment, in its front patio. During the month of December, 15 percent of the skate rental profits and 15 percent of the store profits were split between four charities: Homeward Bound, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Ryan House and the ALS Association Arizona Chapter.

O’Meara, who is the principal designer at Palavela, says business is booming now, but that wasn’t always the case.

“My mom and I started a business at the worst possible time,” he says. “Beginning in the recession was tough, but we’ve been going strong for five years now.”

O’Meara believes Palavela Home’s success is the result of the great team he and his mother make.

“She handles the majority of the office and showroom work and I handle our clientele and going out to work on jobs,” O’Meara says. “We really balance each other out.”

The arrangement is good for O’Meara, because his favorite part of the business is working with the customer.

Palavela Home also sells furniture, lighting, accessories, gifts and fabrics. If by chance Palavela doesn’t have exactly what a customer wants, special orders are available from more than 300 sources.

For more information about Palavela Home, visit www.palavelahome.com.