Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?
I’m a WWE wanna be, mother of 2, 2 step sons and a gam-gam (grandmother) but I refuse in my 40s to be called a “grand”ma! I’m a serial entrepreneur I could write a book about my Gypsy entrepreneur journeys that have led me to my most successful business to date. My business has fused lighting with tile, my niche… “lit niches”. I’ve help pave the tile industry ways to bring light to their installs. I also manage multiple commercial tile installs throughout the US.
A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?
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.
Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?
I love love this question! I remember in 3rd grade, I dressed up in all black, a black hat, black wristlet gloves, bright red lip stick and a black little brief case, I was an “interior designer” for the day… Today I still wear all black, and have a tube of red lipstick tattooed on my right arm-so I never forget it, I’m a lighting influencer, not a designer but a visionary through remodel expertise, my lighting background and lighting the tile trade.
Have you fully let go of that childhood dream? And where do you see yourself going in the next ten years?
No way! I’m
Embracing that little girl, living out every dream possible as a “designer I can frame”…
The next ten years-growing my LED line, building a dream team, of other designers, installers,educators and building luxury residential and commercial construction. I want to be on the cover of Forbes 500 by the time I’m
55…2033 watch for me!
Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?
Women that have lead the way through male dominant fields, in construction, lighting, and the tile industry. I’ve had several mentors at different levels in my entrepreneurial cycles…one mentor that comes to mind was my SCORE mentor she was retired at 42 she sold her chain of franchises. She always gave me straight forward advice- would tell me, things I didn’t want to hear but needed to hear. She was financially smart and made good investments.
What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?
I turned $100 into close to 1M in sales after less than 4 years of business. I work towards reaching the billions in revenue.
When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?
Why- I LOVE creating a space that other humans work hard for and get a dopamine hit from putting lighting under that shower bench. I bring life to spaces and that brings enrichment to that place. Light truly does bring life to a space if done correctly, it opens the door to increase revenue for the designer, the installer, it creates a luxury and allows me to work with a higher end customer. It allows me to charge for my expertise not by the Sq foot. I grew up very poor, in a toxic household there was always enough to survive but sometimes there wasn’t. I buildt my business around, keeping my niche positive, paying people their value and offering my family a lifestyle I never had growing up. I want my grandson to have a company he take over. My why is my family and humans around me that impact my day to day.
Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?
My products enrich their service or labor. The designer specs a cool design in a let’s say “luxury master bath”, with the LED ordinary just became extra ordinary. For the installer, it take him or her out of the ordinary basic install and smokes his competitors by putting LED in a grout joint!
Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?
I think the part about fusing industries lighting and tile…it art ontop of art!
Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?
Most of my customers have discovered my company through online platforms, working in the industry, I’m in tile mastermind groups and I’m a mentor for women in lighting. Insta had gotten some traction, a few podcasts I’ve interviewed on and trade shows are my jam for networking. So far installers love working with me and the brand speaks for itself.
Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?
The first customer to install my designer LED in his $60,000 master bath marble stone from Ann Sax, he wanted (2)two niches with LED and all the other lights to match. It looked like an Italian cathedral straight outta Palermo Italy when it was complete. He was so proud, there’s that dopamine hit for that client. His luxury spa/shower was his sanctuary.
Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know?
I’m training to try out for the WWE in 5 months to keep my body in shape to stay healthy for my company and energy to run my business. I gotta reach that Forbes cover!
Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?
Listened to, they got exactly what they wanted but I brought them light and dopamine hits when they walk into their space after working with me!
Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?
Right now the business is getting a new face we are morphing into Cameo Studios-designer LED affiliates of Palermo Design so our new website launches in Mid April right now on Instagram-cameostudiodesigner_led. Or LinkedIn at Cameron Metheney. Or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call me 314-305-0266 or visit us at www.cameostudiodesigns.com
Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.
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