Dede has a background in interior design. She majored in interior design and merchandising at Bauder College in Atlanta, GA. To help pay her way through school, Sweet did illustrations for fashion design students, and she ended up becoming an illustrator before landing in fashion design. She modeled for 12 years and did local theater here in southwest Florida.
Dede remembers: “One day I was unloading my own personal art during a move and an interior designer liked what she saw. She asked me to do a painting for one of her projects, and then I started doing art out of the garage where I was living in Naples.”
Dede got so many designers interested in what she was introducing as faux finishing and started getting so much work that she needed a workshop so she opened the first faux finishing studio on J&C Blvd. The studio grew into 11 full time artists and faux finishers. Seven years ago, she moved to Trade Center Way to be in the Design District. When Hurricane Wilma blew through in 2005, Sweet Art & Design sustained massive structural damage and flooding. When Sweet rebuilt, she adopted the mantra of “nothing on the floor,” which inevitably led to the decision to create a full-fledged art gallery. She raised the ceilings and installed art lighting, and Sweet Art Gallery was born.