Savvy Giving by Design


Introducing SGBD Ozarks Chapter: Julie Durand of eLan Creative

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In an ongoing effort to build a coalition of designers committed to giving back to children with their talents, we are honored to announce our second chapter affiliate in the Ozarks.

Give a warm, savvy welcome to Chapter President, Julie Durand of éLAN Creative. Here's a little more about Julie and her passion for joining us here.

Julie's Story:

"My name is Julie Durand Rodriguez and I’m a 42 year old designer based in Bentonville, Arkansas where I grew up. As the Founder and Principal Designer of éLAN Creative, I’ve been blessed to work nationally on premier residential and commercial projects. I have nearly two decades of experience in the design industry.

My portfolio includes a wide range of projects from residential new construction luxury homes and budget-friendly remodels to tranquil vacation retreats as well as commercial projects and professional office spaces. Using my gift of intuition, I approach projects with the understanding that each client is unique and I love being personally involved in each design. Using field attained knowledge of the technical aspects of design, my goal is to take clients beyond current trends to find textiles, window coverings, and furnishings that are suitable and sustainable for their individual style. I feel that my creative ability to mix textures, patterns, and color creates an interior space that is inviting and timeless.

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As a mother of 5 beautiful children, 4 girls and 1 boy ranging from almost 22 years old to 12, I have experienced times that felt overwhelming and hopeless. Two of my children live with Type 1 Insulin Dependent Diabetes, my other children have experienced short-term health crisis, and I spent more than 5 years as a single mother. During the many struggles our journey has had we have been blessed beyond measure with caring people that came into our path to offer support, love, and hope. I knew that somehow I wanted to be able to give back in whatever way I could to pay it forward.

 Julie and her 5 children

Julie and her 5 children


So, I had been looking for a way to use my design experience and gifts in design to do just this. In the summer of 2017 I met a young girl named Savannah and began a fun bath remodel for her as a gift from her father. She was charming and unique and the relationship between her and her father struck a chord in me. Towards the end of that remodel she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and I felt heartbroken watching what her and her family were going through while feeling like I couldn’t do anything to help them.

As fate would have it, I had become “virtual friends” with Susan Wintersteen during this same time period and was in awe of what she was doing with Savvy Giving by Design in San Diego. So, when it was announced that chapters could be started around the country to do the same thing, it was a no-brainer. I HAD to bring a chapter to the Ozarks! After making that decision, everything fell into place in such a way that made it clear this “plan” was not my own but really something much bigger. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the privilege of launching the Ozarks chapter of Savvy Giving by Design! Everyone involved, including myself, are so excited to see all the hope and love we can share with the children and families whose lives we will touch through this amazing foundation!

Send this link along to your Ozarks friends and encourage them to join the local Facebook group to meet more deserving families, supply more fund-a-needs, and make a difference in their community. 

To support even more SGBD Affiliate chapters, please consider making a donation!