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Real Estate Elegance & Design
December 3, 2023 at 5:02:35 PM
I actually have been an accountant for over 25 years, still that was transforming numbers in to something, either balancing them out or putting them into a report for people to understand. So I have been transforming things all my life. So how my business got started was I bought a new construction home and I sat with a designer. Picking out all the fixtures in the home. And I told her I would love to do this job and asked her how she got started. She told me she went to school for interior design and got Certificate or degree in interior design and what I should do. So I saw that going to interior design school was quite lenghly. So I had decided after much. After much Research in interior design I decided that it was to best to get certified as a home stager. Because this is something I was doing transforming my homes. Also helping my friends with their homes. To get certification. So I got certified with Home Staging Resources (HSR). Which through out the process you set up your own business. So once I got my certification. My business was all put together and all I had to do was get out and start staging home. Keep in mind this 2010 before HGTV.
Coming Full Circle Later in Life
November 21, 2023 at 10:23:53 PM
For a little over twenty five years, I worked as a professional photographer. I had a large studio in downtown Boston and my specialty was shooting commercial head shots for actors, models, and public figures. Then two things happened somewhat simultaneously. The first thing is that after twenty five plus years of lugging around heavy camera equipment, I suffered from severe chronic neck pain. After visiting multiple pain and spinal specialists, I was given a career ending diagnosis that if I didn't put down the heavy cameras, lens, and equipment for good, I would be facing spinal fusion surgery. At around that same time, the recession of 2008 hit. My photography business came to a slow grind and my studio overhead became more stress than I could handle. So, the recession, along with my diagnosis was the moment when I decided I was done with photography. I packed up all my equipment, gave up my beautiful Boston studio and enrolled in local community college to pursue my second life long passion which was interior design. I opened my design studio, Linda Holt Creative, in 2011 and I offered full service interior design. I was happily chugging along and then Covid hit. It was during lock down that I pivoted once again. After being asked by my designer friends, more times than I can count, I created a smartphone photography class just for interior designers, stagers and home professionals. I found I actually loved teaching and thus was born my online business as a smartphone photography course creator!
It's All About the Love... and the Cheese!
November 8, 2023 at 3:17:39 AM
The first time I started my business was in 2021. I made a charcuterie board for a friend and it was so beautiful and everyone loved it so much that I started making them for every event that I attended. Soon, I started getting requests for them and so I decided to get licensed and permitted in a local kitchen. My little hobby turned passion quickly turned into a legitimate business over just several months! The problem at the time though was that I was also burning myself out in a full time corporate job and I couldn't keep up with both. Since the corporate job was paying the bills so well, I let my passion fall to the side. It felt like the right thing to do at the time, but I'll also admit that fear got in my way and I couldn't clearly see a successful path at the time. However, it was less than a year later that the corporate job fell apart and in August of this year, I decided to go ALL in on myself and my business.
In the business of making dreams happen
October 14, 2023 at 7:22:59 PM
I was a hairstylist for 20 years. I had a very successful career and loved what I did. But it was taking a toll on my body and I knew it would not be sustainable forever. I had always had an interest in real estate. When we went through the process in 2010 of selling our home my agent really inspired me. It was a tough time in the market to sell. The inventory was high and we were competing with foreclosures too. It was not abnormal for a home to be on the market for 6 months. We had several contracts fall through but our agent was always there supporting and guiding us through the process. She really inspired me and I started thinking this is something I would like to do too. I knew it would be a good fit for me. I had learned a lot through my own experience which has helped me relate to my clients journeys. People move for lots of different reasons. It can be an exciting time but also very emotional. Fast forward 7 years I met with my agent to discuss making the career change. She encouraged me to go for it. So with support of my family, friends and clients I made the leap. I started out part time but it quickly grew to full time. I love what I do and so glad I didn't let fear of making a change detour my path.
A filmmaker who designs spaces!
September 5, 2023 at 3:16:29 PM
I started out as a multimedia designer at a time when multimedia was new here, in the early 90s. Then I shifted to cinematography and went off to Mumbai and began to work for MTV. You see, there used to be an existential bug that was hiding inside my brain which wanted answers and so, my brother Santosh and I (he was a successful photographer in Mumbai) packed our bags and returned to our hometown, looking for answers to satisfy disturbed minds. After some 15 years of groping for answers in the dark, we decided to make our first feature film. We’ve made 9 arthouse movies afterwards. Production design of feature films slowly spread out to interior design and when I fixed a water seepage problem in the courtyard of my family home (the city corporation wasn’t helping much), it turned out to be a bit of a zen-like enterprise. Soon I was asked by friends and neighbours to redo their houses. One thing led to another and soon we launched The Pebble Drop and moved into a pretty studio right in the heart of town.
Not Your Average Home Stager
August 31, 2023 at 5:10:19 AM
Previously, I worked as an International Operations Manager for North Americas largest public forensic consulting firm. It is definitely a career that I miss, but not one conducive to family life. On a staycation with my kids when they were very young, I saw a commercial for a career in Home Staging and the market for this was tiny at the time, so I didn’t know much about it. I took a course, decided to start with the idea of a part-time business, within my first year it grew so quickly that I was busy full-time and it has only grown since.
Design, Desire, and Dedication
August 30, 2023 at 4:08:41 PM
I get this question often because home staging is such a unique industry and everyone finds themselves here by way of different paths. For me, I was in college studying Sociology and International Development when my professor asked the class "What would you be doing if money wasn't a factor?" Assuming the class full of seniors ready to start their careers in Sociology were going to choose something along the lines of social work, non-profit work or criminal justice, my immediate response was "something in design". My heart sank with the realization that I had spent the last few years of my life giving my all to study something that I now knew wasn't going to be my full-time passion. However, I successfully worked in the International Development field for a few years, but I couldn't stop thinking about my answer to that question. It was ringing in my ears and every day the ringing got louder. Finally I decided to leave the career path I was on, drop everything I had worked for, move to the Jersey Shore and start a Home Staging business. Family and friends thought I was nuts, but here I am, 7 years later, happier than ever and in a career that fulfills me. I get to help my clients move onto their next chapter in life, whether that's a big move, selling a flip, downsizing or any other reason behind their real estate transactions.
How Covid restrictions pushed a plan into action
June 4, 2023 at 5:34:46 PM
I was fully employed up to and including day one of Covid, when overnight all five of my consultancy agreements literally blew up ! Living in Europe and traveling monthly to the USA and Canada in this role, I was grounded to my one bedroom apartment in Nice wondering what on earth I was going to do next ! Wasn't ready for the "retirement" phase of life, way too much energy for that, so took a hard look at my small fashion business that was about 10% of my annual income and decided to put my heart and soul into making this my full time business and using my contacts and love of fashion into growing it to the next level
Why I'm really in Real-estate, the reason you never knew!
May 16, 2023 at 2:34:40 PM
The moment I realized I had to provide a lot more I come being a single parent of 4 I knew I had to lean into being a business owner as I had been since I was 27. You see I had taken a sabbatical after 2009--I really found a passion for teaching yoga at the time and helping others get through their stresses. The moment I knew I had to get my Real-estate license was when I recognized that my background as a yoga teacher and and life coach could really be optimized while selling Real-estate. So many people find buying and selling houses extremely stressful! I use my empathy and mindfulness to guide people through this nerve wracking process.
Dopamine for the design industry
April 8, 2023 at 11:01:14 PM
A crossroads, I was at a crossroads. Living in Chicago I was offered my dream job working exclusively with designers in the merchandise mart. It was the first time I heard the word social distance. The pandemic was just getting traction, I had been looking for a job for 6 months dually debating if I start a new job and suppress that innate entrepreneurial spirit- so I turned down the Chicago designer dream job, moved to a boat in SW Michigan and launched Palermo Design with $100 in the bank and a 10”x10” white board that READ: $10,000 weeks and 10 builders, 5 designers…here is where the magic began.
How to Get A "Pinterest Worthy" Home And End Room Makeover Disappointment So You Can Create The Home And Life You Want In 8 Weeks or Less
March 27, 2023 at 5:50:14 PM
I started to realize there are common questions people ask when it comes to design and decorating,. So I've boiled down my system I've used in my firm into bite-sized lessons that anyone can learn and that are key to a successful room.
From Poverty to a Top Producer
November 27, 2023 at 2:19:37 PM
Originally, I wanted to be an Architect, so I went to night school for two years during high school to study Architecture and Interior Design. The week I graduated high school I started college, and I was blessed with my first Freelance Design client in 1998. I acquired my Associates of Arts degree in Interior Design then veered towards Kitchen and Bath Design specifically. During College I worked two jobs as a restaurant server and did Freelance Design work with my company Sperry Homes, LLC. Over the years I partnered with different Construction Companies as I gained valuable experience ranging from Custom Cabinetry Ordering Director to Branch Manager including training and managing over 60 employees. In 2017, I partnered with DFW Improved where I was blessed in breaking the company record in sales, surpassed my personal record, became the Top Producer, became a Trainer for new Sales Consultants who joined my Sales Team and was also offered an opportunity to expand my services out of state.
Design Talk LIVE Reloaded: Unleashing a New Era of Design Dialogues
November 10, 2023 at 8:26:18 PM
Certainly! Before diving into the world of podcasting with Design Talk LIVE, my journey has been a tapestry of experiences. The genesis of Design Talk LIVE occurred during a layover in Houston. Observing colleagues discussing trends rather than the impactful products they'd witnessed, I posted a Facebook event titled "Fuck the Trends" and went live the next day. The response was overwhelming, leading to the birth of Design Talk LIVE with co-host Donna Moss. This venture marked a paradigm shift. Weekly Facebook LIVE talk shows garnered over 3.2 million views and featured influential guests like The Property Brothers and Kelli Ellis. This success laid the groundwork for "The Live Broadcast Network," disrupting traditional broadcasting norms. Adapting to challenges, I delved into virtual events, podcasting, and even pioneered "In-Home Shopping" on Facebook amid the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join inCrowd, a Digital Business Card platform, and other startups followed, showcasing my commitment to innovation. The decision to start this new journey was fueled by a deep-seated passion for unfiltered conversations and a drive to push the boundaries of traditional media. It's been a thrilling ride, filled with challenges, triumphs, and a commitment to fostering meaningful dialogue in the design community. This journey is a testament to the belief that, in every design, there's a story waiting to be told, and I'm excited to continue uncovering those stories on Design Talk LIVE.
Stop lighting yourself on fire to keep others warm
November 5, 2023 at 1:02:37 AM
I got started knowing I wanted to impact the world in a deeper way. The moment I decided to pivot and begin this new journey was terrifying but also felt incredible knowing it was in complete alignment with my gifts and purpose. I am able to give 1000's of women the exact guidance, tools and hold space for them the way I wish I would have myself on my own personal journey to success, self-love and freedom.
Poet With a Painterly Touch:
September 12, 2023 at 9:06:44 PM
I come from a background in marketing communications and graphic design. In fact, before starting our home staging company, I had already spent over 30 years in advertising, PR and marketing. I've always been drawn personally to art, architecture and decorative objects. But I'd considered it just a hobby and a relaxing pursuit -- haunting thrift shops for treasures was a fun pastime. Never did I imagine I'd ditch my former career for a new one with such artistic and entrepreneurial potential! In 2008, I got into reselling vintage art and decor on eBay and considered whether I should be an art dealer. At about that same time, Rachel was exploring a transition from graphic design to interior design. I said to her, "Hey let's redecorate your sister's room while she's away at college and do one of those HGTV reveals when she comes home for Thanksgiving." A passion was born that day. We scoured Craigslist, thrift shops and curbsides for potential furniture and decor, my husband Jerry repainted an existing IKEA bed, and we transformed this simple bedroom into a Hollywood Regency style escape, complete with Mid Century modern touches and a bold color palette. That was it. We had officially caught the design bug. It's like from that moment on, we were hooked! Simultaneously, we started to hear about house flippers like Better Shelter who were doing fascinating curated home stagings as part of their process. We saw vintage surfboards standing up in corners, cool vintage oil paintings and high personality rooms. It looked like a lot of fun and certainly satisfied our creative instincts. Fast forward a few years later and I was finally ready to quit my day job as a marketing manager. We'd had a few staging jobs we found through friends of friends and a presence on Thumbtack. The die was officially cast -- I was now a home stager, so the pressure was on to get clients and make money. I had $13,000 in unused vacation pay from my job (I know, I never took enough vacay time!), but that seed money really came in handy because it kept me afloat while I got to work building the business. I set up a website, put up our Houzz profile and got really active online (my marketing background proved super helpful here). Our investment in an online presence right off the bat helped secure us and I never regret those early days when we often wondered if it was all worth it!
Successful Feng Shui Expert And Designer Turning on A 'light' For Clients
August 31, 2023 at 3:26:03 PM
As an previously licensed realtor my career was short lived when I started to show newly built homes. I was more intrigued in how they were decorated than in selling the home. Ha. Now I design and decorate and get the home to the closing table with realtors, investors, home owners and brokers.
The Right Way To Conduct / Start / Thrive in your business
August 30, 2023 at 9:28:46 PM
I was blessed with being born into a "privileged" surrounding with family business and connections in our federal and state governments and even met Jackie Kennedy as a child, who with my grandfathers permission, started the fox hunt season at Carter Hall, featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine. So I had the advantage of living in places as I came into adulthood that were communities of both wealthy and highly educated citizens. At around my early 30's I decided, having had the opportunity of working with and for some exceptional bosses, to start my own design business which struggled income wise for the first few years. It was both scarry and exhilarating at the same time. Having been raised to be honest, transparent, respectful, and to be "service" orientated, once I had a few significant jobs finished, even though making minimal profit, but with happy clients, referrals started coming in, a true blessing and anyone starting their own business needs to follow these personal and business directives. After fully understanding the "dress-for-success" moto and marketing myself for the first five or so years most all my business from that point forward was from past clients or exclusively by referrals.
Stage & Style: The Dynamic Duo of Staging and Interior Styling
August 19, 2023 at 9:50:01 PM
Previously, I worked in the medical field with my most recent position as a practice advisor for a hospital system. My main responsibility was assisting physicians with their quality measures. Although I enjoyed my job, I felt like something was missing. It wasn’t my true passion. Then, a realtor approached me and asked if I would be interested in staging homes. I realized that design had always been a strength of mine, and since I already had potential clients reaching out to me, I decided to give it a try. Starting my journey as a home stager was incredibly exciting because design is truly where my heart lies. Initially, I ran my business part time while working full time and I won’t deny that it was a bit challenging. However, even without marketing myself, I have received numerous recognitions and awards which is very empowering!
Stellhous , Creating beautiful interiors
June 1, 2023 at 2:02:14 AM
Working with the government, I was managing a busy government agency office and in that office worked people. People that had real lives that needed leadership and real job roles that needed managing . The federal agency I worked for is one of the bigger agencies serving the American public. I've worked for over 30 years on a full time basis because as a single mother I had to so it was very daunting to leave something so secure that paid me so well. It came to a point that nothing mattered though, I knew I couldn't start another year doing the same thing and depriving myself of my dream.
Passion, Purpose, and Perseverance: The Galerie Sommerlath Way
April 16, 2023 at 10:42:01 PM
I started my journey in France after having my two children. While being a mom was fulfilling, I realized that I wanted to do something more with my career. I began specializing in 18th and 19th-century European design, which sparked my interest in antiquing. At first, it was just a hobby, but it quickly grew into a full-time business. It all started with a simple ad in a local newspaper and before I knew it, I had found my calling in the world of art and furniture design. For me, the decision to pursue this new journey was exciting and invigorating, and it allowed me to pursue my passion for design and art in a more professional capacity.
What is a PEO?
March 28, 2023 at 7:22:46 PM
After many years in the insurance industry, I saw first-hand that there was a need for a bundle of services for small business owners. The natural transition then was to the Professional Employer Organization space whereby they offer these much-needed bundle of services, but like everything else, one size does not fit all. This is why and when PEO Brokers Group was born.

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