• Tracy

Not Your Average HomeGirl

Updated: Jul 7


Shawn Owens, Owner: Home Girl Knoxville

When we worked with Smoke Signal Media, Rachel and I shared projects back and forth - I would send Rachel a photography recommendation, then she would send website work my way. That still happens, and I am grateful for a world where women can share business without feeling competitive. Enter Shawn Owens. Shawn and Rachel met through photography, and Rachel’s recent shots showcase the work that Shawn does. NOTE: ALL THE SHOTS in this blog are Rachel's work.

Meet HomeGirl Knoxville. While Shawn doesn’t call herself an interior designer, she does create and design within interior spaces, but she is much more involved than design. Shawn not only designs, but also rolls up her sleeves, swings the hammer, and gathers contractors from the best that Knoxville, Tennessee, has to offer. All of this she does within her business.


How it All Started for HomeGirl Knoxville In 2011, Shawn and her family moved to Knoxville from Sugar Land, TX into the 1935 Craftsman bungalow in Sequoyah Hills. After the move, Shawn went to work remodeling her family’s space. From before that moment, she worked as a designer of spaces. Her family moved to a 1950s rancher on Cherokee Boulevard in 2020, which overlooks the Tennessee River, and the work continued in her home there. Shawn has a gift she loves to share, and share she does! She has worked on a plethora of homes, in styles from a downtown loft to a cabin in the woods, and most recently expanding into the commercial world with a design and build-out project at Treetop Coffee Shop.


Why ‘HomeGirl Knoxville’? When Shawn and her family moved to Knoxville, 10+ years ago, Shawn fell in love with all things scruffy. From supporting the Vols to shopping at the local Nourish Markets, Shawn fell in love with the city. The name HomeGirl hails from her sister-in-law, who has given her the nickname “homegirl'' for decades. It became such a nickname that members of the community got involved. Her friends have been known to pass by the house, by bike or car, and yell “Hey, HomeGirl!” her! As you most likely know, the term homegirl implies a friend, an acquaintance, someone you know and love. And most of all, it implies someone that you can reach out to in times of need. Shawn is that person.

Design For Any One In Mind One of the most impressive things you will notice about Shawn is her welcoming personality. She immediately feels like a friend, refer back to the term: homegirl. When we met, she welcomed us into her spectacular dining room, offered me water, while her two dogs nestled around me. We talked dogs for awhile, where Shawn discussed her rescue of Billie, from Young-Williams, which she termed a purebred mutt and Georgia, a well-loved golden retriever who came with the Owens family from Texas. Both dogs instantly warmed my heart. We quickly got to work refreshing her website, which was the scope of the project Van Why CoOp was hired to complete. One thing that has stuck with us most from the website refresh, is Shawn’s ability to help anyone, work on projects that range from simple to increasingly complex and that include any budget in mind. She once said, “a remodeling project does not have to be a gutting of a room or a home, but it can be updating light fixtures”. Shawn calls her company a ‘boutique’ remodeling company, “...where clients get the white-glove, red-carpet treatment during what can be one of the most stressful events in the life of a home or business.”


What’s Next for Shawn Owens Early in January, 2022, Shawn’s husband, David passed the General Contractor License exam for the state of Tennessee. Passing this exam means that David is now one hundred percent on board with HomeGirl Knoxville as the holder of the company’s GC license. We spoke about work alongside our spouses, which has become commonplace for us at VanWhy CoOp, and how our company started. Shawn says of working with David, “We balance each other well, and we make each other laugh. Successfully partnering in business has been an unexpected gift that came after more than 35 years of marriage.”



Why We Call HomeGirl Knoxville A Partner Shawn Owens will remain a friend long after the website is live, and the branding work is refreshed. She is an open book, helping, and curating a remodeling experience for anyone. She does every tiny thing with her clients in mind. From choosing paint colors to setting up the perfect team to come and replace your kitchen or bathroom. We are grateful to be a part of the hometown vibe and feel that Shawn brought to our meetings - making a crazy pandemic world feel a little more down-to-earth, a little more like having coffee with a homegirl. We thank Shawn and David for working with us, and we cannot wait to see what is in store for both of them as they dive into the next projects as a mighty team.