Susan Yeley, creative director & Owner
SYI launched in 2005 in Bloomington, Indiana, but truly originated in 2001 in a cold-in-the-winter and hot-in-the-summer rental apartment in Hyde Park, Chicago. Susan was a struggling graduate student in Religion and Philosophy when she swapped Kant for Dwell and took an unpaid internship at Thomas Job, a terrific but now defunct furniture and fabric showroom in the Merchandise Mart. Soon enough, she enrolled at the Harrington College of Design and then took a job in high-end residential design at a firm in River North. She and her husband returned to their Hoosier roots a few weeks before their first daughter was born in 2005, moving into the same house in Bloomington where SYI still operates. Susan initially dubbed the little design business she did on the side "Gravity and Grace: Design that Grounds and Uplifts"—after a Simone Weil book she read in Divinity School. It was a nod to the place that led her to this happy career in which she is privileged to be invited into people's homes, relationships and lifestyles, to help them make their spaces warm and inviting, or cool and calm, or cozy and lovingly cluttered. The SYI motto remains: designing spaces that ground, and uplift too.
Things Susan loves (a non-exhaustive list): markets (farm, craft, flea, you name it), beautiful paper, mobiles, colorful trim, vintage fabric, local art, mixing and matching, East-meets-West, meeting new people, gently used, etsy, turquoise, wallpaper, concrete, the Farnsworth House, farmhouses. Susan has traveled extensively (but not nearly as much as she'd like), and her most favorite tourist activities are wandering, market-going, eavesdropping and breakfasting.
Leslie Noggle, Architectural consultant
Leslie Noggle, of LNoggle Architectural Designs, joined SYI as a consulting architectural designer and drafter in the fall of 2015. With 15 years of experience designing custom homes, residential renovations and additions, she commands a portfolio of projects in the Bloomington area, Ohio, New Mexico, California and Idaho. The daughter of a builder / woodworker and granddaughter of an architect, Leslie fell naturally into architecture and design. After earning a bachelor's degree in Architecture from Arizona State, she headed back east to work in firms in New York and Indiana, passing through Mexico City for a time, where the colorful city built around sun and shade stole her heart. Though she has dallied in both commercial and residential design, Leslie's true passion is residential. She relishes its intimacy and loves the challenge of translating a unique lifestyle into living space, whether within an existing structure or on an empty site. When she's not working on homes (other people's or her own) you can likely find Leslie on her bike somewhere between the B-Line, the Bishop and the IU Cinema. She and her boyfriend cook a lot, and eat a lot, and hang out with family and friends together: it's all pretty idyllic, really. For a full sense of Leslie, you should know that one of her two cats is named Mobius Strip for the shape she makes when chasing her tail.
keri jean miksza, operations manager
New Jersey born and raised, Keri appreciates sarcasm and is horribly critical of pizza. In terms of design, she loves how good design can positively affect people's lives and psyches. Her employment background is eclectic. Eons ago she was briefly a drafter for an architect, drawing up McMansion plans. Later she worked with the National Park Service documenting and preserving/rehabing/restoring old park structures. Since graduating from The College of New Jersey, Keri has been building textbooks, which she still does for a few amazing marketing experts. Her role? The nitty gritty details, from content development and manuscript prep to image research and licensing. What unites all of this experience is the importance of being organized for others, listening, and making sure the details support a great end product. This is what Keri brings to SYI. She can create a marketing plan, balance the books, change a breaker, climb a 14er and make an awesome gluten-free pizza from scratch.
Caitlin Hughes-Whittaker, Office Assistant
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Caitlin moved to Bloomington in 2014 after stints in Kentucky and Georgia. She is a Hoosier by blood (both parents born and raised in Indiana) and immediately fell in love with her newly adopted city. Growing up in a creative family, Caitlin always knew she would land in something artsy herself. She created her own degree at U. Toledo, combining Marketing, Communications and Graphic Design. Since then, she’s worked in interior design, but also played and coached soccer, worked in real estate and law, and written newspaper obits of all things. Caitlin is one of those people who takes pride and finds comfort in efficiency and order, and we love her for it. She digs Coca-Cola from a fountain and has dabbled in roller derby, and she is backed up on the home front by a husband who cooks, which means (thank goodness) that Caitlin and two young children get to eat something other than breakfast morning, noon and night.