When Designers Unlimited first formed, it was simply a place where women who own their own businesses could network and learn from each other.
Today, the group of seven local business women is putting its efforts into a very worthy cause.
A couple of years ago, the group redesigned a waiting room in the critical care unit at Timmins and District Hospital. Wanting to recreate that effort, the group poured its expertise in home design and art into the room of one special little girl.
Last year, seven-year-old Kendall Fountain's life changed forever when she was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, a slow-growing benign tumour in the central part of her brain.
After contacting the Canadian Cancer Society, Designers Unlimited was informed of the little Timmins girl who was spending a lot of her time in a hospital being tested and treated for her illness.
Knowing that Kendall will be going through difficult times as she battles her illness, the group decided to try and brighten up a small portion of her life -- her bedroom.
After meeting with Kendall and learning her likes and dislikes, group member Heather Cote of Stylish Solutions put her skills to task and already has a design in mind.
"I know her favourite colour is pink and that she wants an area to do crafts and puzzles without the cat walking all over it," Cote said. "We want this to be a special place for her in which to recuperate and relax."
Kendall's mother, Carmen Fountain, said her daughter will soon be going into treatment. Carmen is looking forward to her daughter being able to enjoy her new room.
"It'll be nice for her to come home to the new room," Fountain said.
But Kendall will be just the first to receive a room makeover.
Cote said the group hopes to renovate a room every year for a child in Timmins with a serious illness.
At no cost to the parents, the group will come up with a design and do the work, while depending on local businesses to donate the needed items, such as paint, fabrics and bed clothing.
"We can't fix what's wrong, but we can do something to make them feel better while they are going through their ordeal," Cote said. "These kids are sick and we want to treat them to a nice place to play that's their own outside the hospital."
The children will be able to talk to the designers to ensure that the room truly becomes the dream room they've always wanted.
Cote started Designers Unlimited when she first moved back to Timmins and was working to start up her own business. Since then, graphic designer Denise DeForge, portrait artist Elaine McCurdie, photographer Julie Regimbal, window treatment and bedding creator Renee Bellavance, professional home cleaner Tina Green and Lisa Bryce, who specializes in event stationary and giftware and digital scrapbooking and genealogy, have joined.
"It started out with those in home decor, but we've expanded to include any woman in business," Cote said. "Still, everything pretty much compliments each other."
While work on Kendall's room is currently underway, the actual makeover is set to take place in September.