Q&A with Ryan and Kalina Smith

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Ryan and Kalina Smith, Running a Boutique Upholstery Business, Raising a Family

by Casey York

Introduce me to your family.

I’m Ryan Smith and our family includes my wife, Kalina, and our two daughters, Mary Grace (13), and Sofia (18 months).

Why did you move to the Market Common?

We decided to move from Surfside Beach to an apartment in the Market Common. When we discovered we were expecting Sofia, we bought a larger home in Sweetgrass, and have loved our neighborhood ever since.

Where are all the places you came from?

I was born in Myrtle Beach, grew up in Florence, and completed school in Conway. Kalina is from Sofia, Bulgaria.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the Market Common?

A sense of community and the city atmosphere. It’s nice to see smiling, familiar faces and the new tourists scouting out our city.

What new activities have you taken up since moving here?

We like to take after dinner walks and bicycle rides around the neighborhood and lakes.

Tell me about your upholstery business.

I began my upholstery apprenticeship 24 years ago with a quality custom upholsterer. This September, I celebrated my company’s 15th year in business. After Kalina graduated with an interior design degree, she joined me by opening a workshop that specializes in window treatments, throw pillows, bedding, and outdoor cushions. Now we have a fabric boutique showroom, RK Interiors, which is only 2.5 miles from Market Common. We specialize in custom, commercial, and residential projects.

Is there anything that you miss or would like to see in Market Common?

We’d like to see more quality restaurants that think outside the tourist box, and also a grocery story like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

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