After years in a high-end executive position, Donna Mock made the decision to leave retail and start her own decorative company, Classic Wall Finishes. Based out of Saratoga Springs, New York, a majority of her work consists of residential. Her clients predominately reside anywhere from the Adirondacks to Albany, New York.
With a strong business sense, Donna knows the importance of staying current in the ever-changing industry. At least twice a year she makes time in her busy schedule to attend conferences and classes. Approximately six years ago she met Kathy Carroll at an IDAL convention and has taken several classes at her studio since then. “Amazing teacher. She’s such a great person to work with. As is Sue [Scott], I love working with her too,” says Mock.
She thrives in the fast paced industry with the different materials and combinations. “That’s what I find so interesting, being able to create something cool with all the amazing products on the market. That’s what I love with Kathy. She carries so many that you can mix and match to your hearts content.”
Mostly known for her creativity on walls and Venetian plaster, it’s no wonder Donna has been featured in magazines and won several awards. She won the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHD), best in building award, for a movie theater she worked on. To her, there is no question this is what she’s meant to do. “I work at it full time, every day. I love really creative Venetian plaster and stenciling. It’s what I’m known the most for. Walls are my favorite.” She’s often hired to create glass bead finishes with a slight variation modeled after high-end glass bead wallpaper.
There are so many interesting jobs Donna has done over the years it’s difficult to choose a few to highlight. One that stands out is an old style movie theater she collaborated on. “I’ve never done so much gold leaf in my life. There were eight different trim molding finishes ranging from crackle, to wax, sprays, plaster medallions, and big domes in the ceilings.” The job took six months to complete and seats twelve to fifteen people. “There was a crazy amount of detail.”
Of the many showcase homes Donna has worked on that won awards, one in particular still stands out in her mind. “It was a really fun project with interesting patterns and products.” When she is working on the showcase homes she collaborates with several interior designers. “We get to come up with new and different designs. And it’s fun when 5000 people get to see what we’ve done. I’m there every hour to open and get to talk to everyone and explain it’s not wallpaper and challenge them to find a seam.” She is called the “wallpaper queen” and loves to stencil. “I get in my zone and just go. It’s very satisfying when it comes out looking spectacular. There are so many ways to create with it,” says Mock.
Showcase homes and custom finishes are not the only thing Donna is known for. She also creates Lazy Susans. “Each one is individual. I’m thinking one of these years I’ll stop climbing ladders and do that. You can be very creative in a very small space. They make a great gift.”
The creative license is what drives Donna. “No two jobs are ever the same. It’s never boring; every day is a different day. I would be bored to tears without doing this and will work until I can’t.”
Donna Mock can be reached at 518.944.0331 or for more information visit her website at www.classic-wall-finishes.com