When Deitra Kenoly was just a kid growing up in Stockton she dreamed of owning her own business. “Once the opportunity presented itself, I set out to pursue my passion,” she says. With the goal of not only fulfilling her own destiny but also serving her community, Deitra settled on a home décor store specializing in lighting fixtures named Inside Out Lighting & Decor (a decision she came to easily after realizing a lack of local options, and prior knowledge of the inventory from a previous part-time job). A Stockton native herself, Deitra chose to open the shop—on February 24—in her hometown and serve the same community of individuals she has grown to love during her 39-year career—that she retired from in 2020—as the president and publisher of the Stockton Record.
“I’ve always had an eye for design so I knew home décor was where I wanted to be,” Deitra says. “And since Stockton hasn’t had a lighting store in several years, lighting would be my primary product.” The shop sets itself apart from other home décor stores in the area by focusing on lighting (although furniture, small décor items, mirrors, and more are available for sale, too). It is also important for Deitra to keep her inventory both distinct and of high quality so customers can trust what they purchase from Inside Out. In addition to items sourced from trade shows, which Deitra frequents with her husband Quincy, she also carries sculptures from Zimbabwe and South Africa that offer a cultural component to the store not found just anywhere.
“My aesthetic is more modern, which is different than what is currently being offered in our market,” Deitra says. But the goal isn’t to set herself apart from other stores so much as to focus on her niche and give the community more variety when it comes to lighting and home décor needs. “I believe there’s room in this market to satisfy various design styles and in doing so we keep more of our tax dollars in our community.”
Ultimately, the choice is yours on what to purchase, but if you’re asking Deitra for her advice: go bold. “Lighting can make or break a space,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to go big… if your area allows.” Choose between a crystal chandelier in the foyer, a large metal pendant illuminating the bathtub, or a linear design above the dining room table. “Whatever your style, allow your lighting to bring the right type of drama to your room.”
Inside Out Lighting & Decor
6231 Pacific Ave. # 4, Stockton