CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A local commercial designer who is now gaining national recognition for her work has furnished some of Charlotte’s top restaurants and corporate office spaces.

Monika Nessbach is the owner and founder of DesignBar. She started the business back in 2009 after 20 years of a corporate career.

You can find the DesignBar offices at the AvidXchange Music Factory. The office space is relaxing, with a conference room designed more like a living space and the number of dogs allowed in the office almost outnumber employees.

“I didn’t want to come in here and have the feeling like it’s a corporate office. I wanted everyone in here to have fun,” said Nessbach.

DesignBar opened in 2009 and has helped renovate or design some of the Carolinas’ top restaurants and corporate offices including Continental Tire, Crave Dessert Bar and Cantina 1511.

“Living in spreadsheets for such a long time I think it was just natural for me to go into commercial instead of residential,” said Nessbach.

In the DesignBar office, you’ll find all women.

“In commercial, it is a little bit of a male-dominated industry,” said Nessbach

Monika is being recognized for her work in the High Point Market Style Spotters. Think of it as an all-star game for designers.

“The style spotters are basically the people who kind of point out new trends where the industry is going,” said Nessbach.

8 designers are picked every year. This year Monika is the first-ever commercial designer to be featured.

“I love what I do. I love coming here every day. I have an amazing team I work with and also dogs, as you can see, that I could not have in a corporate job,” said Nessbach.

Designers that are featured in the publication come from all across the world, so DesignBar being chosen also helps put the Queen City on the map as a place for designers to thrive.