By Mark Ambrogi
After regaining her health from a serious battle with an autoimmune condition, Dana Dunn started designing arrangements, wreaths and trees for all seasons as a way of giving back and raising money to help two families.
“It has become a successful business in a year-and-a-half,” she said. “The response across the country has been tremendous to the unique designs. I didn’t have the training. I have a degree in business and an MBA so I hadn’t done this kind of stuff. So it turned out so well it astonishes me, but it’s the power or prayer.”
Her business, which she officially launched in July 2015, is called Designs by HEart Works.
“It’s taken off in a way I could never believe,” Dunn said. “I’ve had over 50,000 hits on my website. This year’s sales we’ve shipped from New York to California and all points in between. My poor husband (Tom), who has a real job, is my shipping department. He’s almost working full time to package all this stuff up. My husband has been my biggest fan and biggest supporter.”
Dunn has designs for each season and special themes for trees and wreaths.
“My designs are unique in that they are very detailed,” Dunn said. “Thematic trees you really can’t find anything else like them in the world. That’s appealing to people across the country that they have something no one else has. My most popular category are the woodland creatures.”’
There are sports trees with Indiana University, Purdue University and Indianapolis Colts designs. There are “Frozen” and Christmas at the beach trees.
“I’m always enhancing things,” Dunn said. “I might buy a base ornament and then I’ll enhance it.”
Dunn’s daughter, Darian, a Carmel High School senior, helps by tying some small bows.
Dunn said she works 20-hour days to complete her orders.
“The response has been tremendous,” she said. “We’ve been building the designs all year but the last six weeks has been pretty much around the clock. It’s been crazy.”
Dunn has more than 175 designs for sale on her Etsy online shop.
“I’ve sold at least that many this year so it’s been a busy year — a crazy year,” she said.
To view Dunn’s designs, visit etsy.com/shop/DesignsbyHEartWorks.