Susan Bay — Founder and President
Founder and President of Bay Design Store, Susan Bay, successfully owned and operated the Bay Design Store in Ann Arbor, Michigan for over 25 years in addition to the Naples, Florida store. She is recognized and respected in both states as one of the leading designer and specialty furniture store entrepreneurs.
In southeastern Michigan, Susan is noted as a premier designer for her award-winning classic design style that is original as well as timeless. Her work there encompasses residential, new construction and renovations, model homes and award-winning hotels. In Naples, where she has concentrated on residential projects and her unique Bay Design Store design and concept. Susan is considered to be one of Florida's leading designers.
Since opening the Naples store in 2003, Susan has concentrated on establishing the Bay Design Store as one of the most unique, beautiful and successful retail stores in Southwest Florida as well as one of its leading interior design firms. Since establishing the Bay Design Interior Design Studio, managed by Design Director, James V. Kunstel, ASID, the store and studio have expanded 3 times in the past 9 years, twice in the past two years.
Susan’s superb eye for color and style can be seen in the rotating collection of beguiling, sophisticated accessories, original oil paintings of gallery quality, prints of all price ranges, stunning furniture and upholstery. Located just two blocks off the beach, Susan refers to her relaxed but elegant style as the "New Traditional". "Inspired by colors of the waves, beach, sky and shells surrounding us, it is my desire to have the store be a reflection of our location and its remarkable environment. "The colors and themes from the sea can be found in most all our settings throughout the store," says Susan.
"The Naples store was created for the full-time and seasonal residents as well as for visitors, to fall in love with and to enjoy. That’s what makes me the very happiest," says Susan.
Jim Kunstel — Director of Interior Design, Florida Licensed Interior Designer
Fl. License #IB26000776
A Bay Design Store Interior Design Partner since 1981. Jim is a Florida Licensed Interior Designer and a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Jim has earned numerous awards and recognition and has established himself as one of the area’s leading interior designers.
Jim grew up in the Midwest, spending his childhood in St. Louis, Missouri and then attending college at Eastern Michigan University where he earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design. As a Naples resident for the past 10 years, his work encompasses residential new construction and renovations for clients in Southwest Florida and in other parts of the country.
A New Traditionalist, Jim brings a fresh approach to classic, updated design, creating personality-appropriate rooms that are both invigorating and elegant, and above all, completely livable. His expertise extends from intimate residences to large-scale hotels. His eye for proportion and fresh approach to color enable him to transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary places to live, work in and visit.
"I consider the Bay Design Store to be a "gem" and am thrilled that I can share my experience with the staff and with our clientele. Visitors have found Bay Design Store in Old Naples to be one of the best destinations in experiencing true southern hospitality. The showrooms are constantly changing and new products arriving daily, the Bay Design Store is truly a unique resource for design inspiration!" says Jim.
Christie Heeb — Interior Designer, Florida Licensed Interior Designer
Fl. License #ID0002690
Christie has been practicing interior design on the Florida Gulf Coast for more than 25 years and is a Florida Licensed Interior Designer. She is a graduate cum laude from William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design.
Christie’s success as an interior designer is the combined result of her artistic aptitude, her attention to detail, and most importantly, her ability to listen to her clients. She engages her clients in a partnership and successfully creates functional, comfortable interiors that tastefully reflect their vision of ambience as well as their Florida lifestyle.
Christie’s goal for every project she embraces is to exceed her client’s expectations—and to their delight—she does this time after time. Her enthusiasm for many different styles and her talent for combining fresh colors and textures enable her to create interiors that embrace her clients’ lifestyles, and reflect their personal interests and tastes.
Christie’s design work has been featured in Gulfshore Life, Gulf Coast Living, and Home and Condo Magazine and other publications as well as at the Bay Design Store.
Stacey Bartels — Interior Design Associate
Stacey brings nearly 20 years of expertise in new construction and renovation to Bay Design. Her extensive knowledge in these fields enables her to assist other designers and their clients with the functional aspects of the design process. She attributes her success to her ability to listen to her clients and making sure that their expectations are always met. She also values the longstanding relationships she has built with local contractors, workrooms and other vendors, ensuring that every project is a successful project.
Stacey lives in Naples with her husband and their two daughters and loves traveling with them whenever possible.
Kirsten Workinger — Interior Design Associate
Kirsten graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Fine Art and received her Masters of Interior Design from Florida International University. She joined Bay Design two years ago, and calls on her art background as a resource for inspiration, design concepts and color schemes. She believes that creating a bond with her clients sets the stage for a working relationship which allows her to transform their spaces in ways that are fresh, yet comfortable.
Kirsten comes from a long line of interior designers and architects, with a grandfather who, settled in Naples in 1955 and was the second architect to practice our community. Her family recently celebrated her remarkable grandmother’s retirement from practicing interior design in Naples for over 50 years, spending her early years working with noted builder, Junkie Fleischmann in developing the Third Street South area. Kirsten, too, has lived in Naples most of her life, and, as she puts it, “Just loves Naples living.”
Althea Mason — Assistant Display Manager and Interior Design Consultant
Althea (Thea) received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Detroit. She relocated to Naples in 2006 where she immediately immersed herself in the local design scene, before ultimately joining the Bay Design staff. Her eye for design and display and her ability to work well with other designers and store customers is a real asset for our store and clientele.
She is motivated by remembering to always be herself and to remain inspired—a mantra that is reflected in her work and in her friendly relationships with peers and clientele.
Katie Lawrence — Interior Design Assistant
Katie has recently relocated to the Naples area from Kansas City and has already become a valuable member of the Bay Design’s interior design department. She graduated from the University of Kansas and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.
After graduating, she began her career in residential design and subsequently joined a private interior design firm specializing in hospitality where she spent five years designing public space and guest rooms primarily for Hilton and Marriott hotels.
Katie’s creative talents are evident in her innovative design concepts and that are fresh and aesthetically pleasing as well as practical and functional. She is thrilled to have joined the talented Bay Design Store team and is always open to new concepts and influences. Her most recent inspiration comes from the gulf beaches with their motion, balance, and sense of timelessness.