Lake Highlands played a pivotal role in several facets of Diane Cozart’s life — from bringing up six children to finding success with her window treatment business, Delightful Designs.
“I’m definitely a Lake Highlands girl. I was born a few blocks from here,” Cozart says from her Lakemere Drive home.
Cozart grew up on Leaside Drive and attended Lake Highlands Elementary, junior high and high schools. She met her husband while attending Texas Tech University, and the two lived in Southern California for six years before moving back.
The L Streets proved ideal for raising children, Cozart says, especially when they were tasked with coming up with their own small businesses by their parents.
A few of Cozart’s daughters found success with a specialty bread business called “Cozart Kitchen,” which they later sold to a Lake Highlands caterer. Her two sons learned how to bake bread as well for income, and they also mowed lawns in the neighborhood. One daughter kept a chicken coop in the backyard and sold eggs to neighbors.
“All of that had to do with community,” Cozart says. “We sold to neighbors and had a neighborhood business. We’ve loved our neighbors.”
Community in Cozart’s neighborhood also propelled the success of her own small business Delightful Designs — one she started more than 30 years ago with a little push from her husband, who noticed she had an eye for design and beauty.
“I married somebody who just has entrepreneurship in his blood. He was a risk taker,” she says.
Cozart offers manual and motorized shades, blinds, plantation shutters and other custom treatments. In the beginning, she had to navigate the pressure of being a working mom.
“I can remember taking my third born, who was 4 years old, with me to a fabric showroom looking for drapery fabric for a client,” she says. “I would bring a little tape recorder and he would listen to something while I was flipping through fabrics.”
Between working on window treatments and homeschooling her children, Cozart was forced to take an abrupt pause in 2005 in light of a breast cancer diagnosis.
“For the first time in my long season as a mom with children, I had time to rest,” she says.
While navigating breast cancer and treatments was difficult, Cozart says the forced pause in her typically overextended life was beneficial. Others took on homeschooling and a friend organized her meals for seven weeks.
“It was a great journey. One of those really hard, but good things,” she says. “It was something that God allowed that kind of restored me to friendships and gave me some time to myself.”
Since treatment, Cozart has gone 15 years with no cancer recurrence.
Delightful Designs has blossomed in the last few years, Cozart says, and she attributes it to the everchanging L Streets community. She is an avid power walker, which gives her an idea of where homes are being built and when new neighbors move in.
“I have to go back and say, oh Lord, thank you so much for guiding my parents into this neighborhood. I’m only here because I grew up here,” she says. “I now just knock on doors and say ‘Welcome to the neighborhood.’ I love getting to know my neighbors.”
Her business picked up during the pandemic as families spent more time in homes and backyards, and wanted to switch up scenery.
“A new look in your home is satisfying when you’re having a hard time,” Cozart says.
Updating your home’s window treatments can make it feel more current, she says. Many of her clients have opted to motorize roller shades through a remote or a WiFi bridge that connects to smartphones.
Clients are also intrigued by their motorized interior shades for hard-to-reach places or tall windows. Manual and motorized exterior shades can extend patio season and help clients enjoy the outdoors year-round.
Cozart says her experiences as a parent, wife and breast cancer survivor push her to make a difference in other people’s lives through her business.
“I really pray for opportunities to be a blessing to other people, and know that as a small business person, I have knowledge in an area that others don’t,” she says.