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Inside the Design Tank
A Conversation with Design Tank's Joseph Haecker
Before diving into the world of Design Tank, my journey began in the design space as a custom lighting designer for high-end residential, commercial, and hospitality projects globally. I honed my skills by working in-house for two companies, Triton Chandelier and Alger Lighting, before branching out to consult for 28 of the top custom lighting companies. In 2014, I took a leap of faith and launched my second tech startup, Dezignwall. This venture marked a pivotal moment in my career, as it propelled me into the world of technology while still maintaining a strong connection to the design industry. Since then, I've worn many hats - from hosting podcasts and producing shows to organizing virtual events and even hosting an HGTV Reunion. Along the way, I've authored over 25 books, founded several dozen more tech startups, and served as an advisor to countless others. Throughout this journey, I've always had "one foot in tech, and the other firmly planted in the design industry." And it's this unique blend of experiences that inspired me to create Design Tank - a platform where design professionals can come together to innovate, collaborate, and thrive.
Colorado Native Gives Back Through Massage Clinic
From a small side-gig to an impactful space
So I've been practicing massage therapy professionally my entire adult life. I've never really had any other careers, and besides that, only weird odd jobs, to make ends meet! My passion has always been in massage therapy, and now, I am enjoying managing the clinic, and expanding how we help people. I knew I wanted to become a massage therapist when I was in my junior year of high school, and as an advertisement for a massage school on TV, and I felt this visceral pole towards that. It was undeniable, and incredibly strong.
Transforming Spaces for Wellness: The Power of Interior Design in Enhancing Health
One Designers Journey of Challenges That Inspired Wellness-Inspired Interiors
In my early career, I managed a bed and breakfast out of a Victorian home and worked for the historic Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire. It was at Mount Washington that it dawned on me that classic architecture and decor was my passion, so I went back to school for design, opening a part time interior design business shortly after graduation and then a home furnishings consignment shop in Clinton CT in 2011 and then ultimately founding Timeless Living Designs in 2017. However, it took a chronic autoimmune diagnosis for me to fully realize that great design goes beyond beauty and that it has the power to heal and support us.
Yes, I think you should Play at Work
Unleashing Creativity and Joy in the Modern Workplace
I was a speech language pathologist for a decade and a teacher of the deaf before that; I literally played for a living - on the floors with little kids. About five years ago, I experienced severe burnout as a result of the play being only client-directed -- I wasn't playing enough in my own work. I decided to take control and create a professional life for myself that allowed for my personal play identity (intellectual/whimsical) to shine in ways it never had before and it's been absolutely glorious.
The new world is here - pass your lessons and realize your destiny!
How reducing the gap between what is desired and what is found can open a channel of direct communication with your soul - it's medical!
My journey in the spirit world started by mistake. I was an 11-year-old girl when my parents watched the news and said that the situation in the State of Israel was difficult. I innocently asked my mother: if the situation is difficult, then why is no one doing anything to change it? After all, everyone agrees that it is difficult. She said a sentence that opened the world to me. My mother told me: You can do it! I started researching the government structure of the State of Israel and realized that the missing part of it is self-awareness and personal development. I wrote a proposal for a new governance system for 4 years. At the age of 15, I started working on the relationship between changing the laws and personal development and on a new structure of law that reflects our life lessons through an objective worldview that does not perceive a particular agenda. I then established an initial parliament of people going through their life lessons and so the community continued.
A Kid that became a Pro
Thriving
MBSB got started by me being powerfully influenced by my best friend. We thought about how important the Mind, Body and Spirit is to attract business. Before I started my business I was physically educating disadvantaged kids through sports. So when I started to run my business I felt like I was taking my passion and experience to really help the next generation.
An Iterative Path to Becoming an Artist
How Passion and Failure Breed Success
My grandmother was a painter and many of my family members are "crafty" and engineering savvy. I have both of those "genes" and have always been entrepreneurial in spirit. In elementary school I would paint ladybugs on rocks and walk around my neighborhood trying to sell them to moms with houseplants as cute additions to the pots. In junior high school I painted small images on beans, mounted them onto earring posts and sold them from my locker. I have always been crafty and artistically interested in bigger projects but my primary interest in the sciences prevented me from taking art in high school and college. Once I finished my masters program in Cell Biology and had a little free time, I bought an inexpensive set of watercolors at Spags in Shrewsbury and set up some glass bottles and plants on my windowsill as a study. I painted them, they LOOKED like bottles and plants, and then I was hooked! I have been a student of art via research and watching with a few lessons in between ever since. Because I started to pursue my art career later, as an adult, I have never been constrained by grades and judgement by others, so this freed me to explore and create a style based on my interests and the way I see the world- not someone else's. I'm willing to try and fail and then want to try again, whereas a younger student might be put off by initial failures- I see them as opportunities to grow and learn.
You are your own designer in your storybook of life!
Design your story
Before launching Parker Mason Designs, I worked as a buyer for a major retailer and later transitioned into a role as a designer for new construction production homebuilders in Southern California. Unfortunately, due to the volatility of the housing market, I was laid off. Around the same time, my personal life underwent significant changel as I fought for full custody of my children following a traumatic incident involving their father. During this challenging period, friends and acquaintances began seeking my assistance with interior design projects. What started as a few design favors quickly became a few design clients which turned into many. I quickly recognized the potential of this opportunity by the need for flexibility to prioritize my family, I decided to establish Parker Mason Designs. It was a leap of faith, but one that ultimately led to the fulfillment of both personal and professional "work life balance"
The chair and the passion that sits on it!
How buying a chair on marketplace created a path to following a passion
Working in the corporation world for 40 years, one day, I met someone to purchase an accent chair off marketplace for the new home we just bought. She was a home stager. I didn't know this was a thing other than on TV. She was moving from the area and over a few months of shadowing, researching and studying for certification, we (my husband and I) were all in! While we bought her inventory, we also learned over time that our style was constantly evolving and have over the last five years, invested heavily in creating our own style.
Private Jets Don't Have Elevators
Vin Lee, Luxury Mogul After The Fall
I got my start as an artist in high school that created a treatment for what would become a Saturday morning cartoon in the 80s. Then I went on to design merchandising for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. While studying business at University of Michigan one of my patents became integral to the $6 billion/year mechanical billboard industry leading me to invest in Grand Traverse Resort and my first jewelry company.
Real Estate Elegance & Design
Just the Right Touch in everything
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
It's never too late to reinvent yourself!
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!
How a woman turns her love for cheese into a dream.
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
Stuck? Where to start? You are in the right place...
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!
How a lad who set out to dream wild things found himself in the enchanted forest
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
so much more than just furniture
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
A Glimpse into the Inspirational Journey of a Home Staging Pro
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
How sitting at home unable to travel made a dream a reality !
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!
How a quick question turned into a rant about my Why!
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
Cameo’s for the design industry
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
The Homeowner's Guide to Beautiful Rooms
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.
Marketing with a Why: The Secret Sauce of PSP Compass
Marketing Beyond the Transaction: Building Relationships That Last
That's a great question! Before PSP Compass, my business partner and I worked at another marketing agency. While there were definitely talented marketers there, we witnessed a recurring trend: a gap in understanding between clients and the value marketing brings to their businesses. Businesses often lacked guidance on the "why" behind marketing strategies and tactics. It wasn't necessarily about bad marketing; plenty of skilled companies were out there. But we felt a more personal touch was missing, a true partnership where clients weren't left in the dark about the "how" and "why" of their marketing efforts. This observation became a turning point for us. We saw a need for a marketing agency that not only delivered results but also empowered clients through education. Businesses, especially small and large business owners making significant investments, deserve a partner who helps them understand the industry. We wanted to bridge that gap by demystifying the "why" behind marketing strategies. Digital marketing can be a world of ambiguity, especially concerning online advertising. Our vision was to bridge the gap between theoretical strategy discussions and the practical realities of online implementation. We believe in the crucial role of data analysis—it's often a process of elimination to understand what works and what doesn't. However, clients are paying for that valuable data, and it's our responsibility to keep them informed and involved in the decision-making process. This desire to educate and empower clients became the driving force behind PSP Compass. We want to be the compass that guides businesses to their marketing destination and the journey of understanding how they got there.
Pasadena’s No 1 Pest Control Company
How a 23 year old started into the pest control world
Before this, I was working in the family business and became the best sales person with that, but since I saw no upward potential, I took it upon myself to go off on my own, and try my hand at building a company on my own. Thank God I did as it opened up new experiences and has given myself and others a better quality of life.
An interview with Tim Stump
Investment Banker to the global furniture industry
I was working in the leverage buyout business in New York and Atlanta, and having fun. But i always was close with my dad, and he had a growing business with market share and upside. I decided it would be a great move for me and my family. And we wanted to be in Charlotte, where we are based.
BE GREAT EVERY DAY
Create a better version of yourself in body, mind and spirit
I am a retired reading and writing teacher. When several family members became ill at the same time, I knew I would need to retire from my position in order to assist my family. Transitions of any kind are always challenging and this particular transition was especially challenging for me. At this point in time, my own children were grown and living on their own. I was missing my students and I missed being in the classroom. I was feeling lost and unsure about my purpose in life. In order to find myself and my new purpose in life, I had to first reconnect with my authentic self. I decided then and there that I needed a new routine; one that was positive, motivating and inspiring. The next morning, I started the day with a simple intention; this intention became my focus for the day. I then added meditation and gratitude to my routine along with some inspirational reading. The daily intention, meditation, gratitude and readings were making a positive impact on my life; so much so that I was inspired to add more to my routine. I began doing simple stretches (yoga) and made walking a part of my daily routine. Walking in itself is a form of meditation and I was enjoying the peace I found from these walks. It was right about this same time that I started learning more about the power of positive affirmations and self-care and so I added affirmations and self-care activities to my routine as well. I was seeing so much growth in myself as a result of this routine. In order to stay focused on my routine and my progress, I began tracking everything I was doing. I kept a separate journal for each activity I was doing. After several weeks, I knew the routine was working, but tracking everything in a separate journal was not. If I wanted to succeed, I had to find an easier way to track my progress. If I wanted to be successful, I needed to find one journal that would fit all of my writing needs. Not finding exactly what I need ed in any of the available journals, I decided to write my own journal. Being a writing teacher for so many years, I knew I had the skills to do so, plus I was so excited about the success of this routine that I wanted to share it with the world. If this routine could work for me, it could work for others as well. Within a few months, the rough draft of the book was completed. When it came time to title the work, I wanted to somehow include every aspect of my routine into my title. Grabbing a sheet of paper, I wrote a list of all the activities I was now doing on a day basis: Intention, Meditation, Gratitude, Reading, Exercise, Affirmations and Time for Self-care. When I looked at this list, I saw that the first letter of each activity spelled out the words I'M GREAT. I knew that if I continued to do this routine EVERY DAY. I would create a better version of myself in body, mind and spirit. And that, my friends is how I'M GREAT EVERY DAY; A Guided Journal for Creating a Better Self was born.
Abdullah Al Mamun: A Journey from Freelancer to E-commerce Pathfinder
Unveiling the Vision Behind Business Globalizer and Empowering Global Entrepreneurs
I began as an internet marketer in 2010. However, it was between 2013 and 2014 that I encountered significant challenges in receiving payments from international customers. This issue wasn't unique to me; many of my colleagues in similar industries faced the same hurdles. The lack of accessible payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, coupled with not having an international company, led me to lose an estimated $25,000 to $30,000. Determined to find a solution, I delved into extensive research and eventually solved this problem on my own. Realizing the value of the solution I had uncovered, I started assisting my colleagues and peers who encountered similar issues. Their encouragement and advice sparked the idea to professionalize this service. Partnering with a colleague, who is now my business partner, we founded Business Globalizer. That moment when we launched was transformative; I felt a profound sense of purpose. It was as if I had not only solved a problem for myself but had also unlocked a way to ease the entrepreneurial journey for many others. It was a meaningful step, and I realized the potential impact we could make.
Mosaic Magic
Unveiling the Artistic Journey of Allison Eden
I was a student in college at The Fashion Institute of Design in NYC, studying as a fashion design student. I had been interning with Nautica until I found my passion for mosaics and took my life in an entrepreneurial direction, starting my own company while still in college.
Major Medical Coverage Outside of the ACA Marketplace for Entrepreneurs and the Self Employed
How One Woman Is Positively Disrupting the Individual Health Insurance Space
I actually sort of stumbled onto this niche sector. I was fed up with working for corporations that were making a killing over my efforts yet didnt care about my well being. I wanted to work for myself. But I knew my employer health plan would be going away and so I was looking for a solution. I wasn't enthralled with what I was seeing on the marketplace/exchange. When I saw the option of private health care with major medical providers outside of the ACA, I realized it could also be my livelihood, and a way to support the small business community. Boom. Here I am.
Making global HR look easy
How problems in good times create solutions for bad times.
During my work there in 2023 we've faced some difficulties with our HR processes and had to restructure some of our operations. Some of our clients required a more hands-on approach with the teams we've been staffing for them. Out of those needs we decided to build an HRIS platform that would be more aligned with the particular needs of staffing and/or outsourcing business model. Nothing on the market was up to our standards, so we said to ourselves - let's build one! So the idea of Juggl was born out of our internal problems. Problems that I know many companies face today. Running an ever-expanding international business and managing every aspect of it (payments, recruiting, performance, leadership, etc.) is a gruelling task and it looks hard. It doesn't have to be that way.
Making the difficult and expensive easy and affordable
Import your dreams
Sorry if a little redundant but I was asked for advise based on my experience and found a world that would allow custom and standard items to be imported, import direct with no distribution network to reduce costs and offer excellent craftsmanship.
Getting immersive with A.C. Meyer
The crazy journey of a disabled veteran who never gave up.
Thank you for allowing me a space to tell my story, I hope it can help or motivate someone, who might need it. For the last 12 years, I have been on the path to healing my PTSD from the Iraq war. I was a heavy gunner in the Army and was part of the first wave, in 2003. I used these ideas to help redirect my thoughts and energies while in the process of healing, and as I grew, so did this business idea. I participated in the Bunker Labs Veterans in Residence program (Cohorts 22B and 23A), which has helped me tremendously to see how to move all this forward. I then went on to become the Captain of the 23B Cohort. I also was accepted into the Texas A&M Renolds and Renolds Entrepreneur Boot Camp for Veterans program, where I took everything to the next level. I have an interesting story and want to bring more awareness to the complications resulting from serving our country, mental health, and acquiring new skills to rejoin the economy. I also would like to share this journey with other vets who may be struggling, to show you can get through it, and realize new goals and dreams. We need to break down this mental health stigma surrounding asking for help. I truly love what I do, and I see the value in not only the entertainment, but the jobs it can bring, as well as resources to give back to the community and just being a great story to entertain, inspire, and be proud of.
From Poverty to a Top Producer
After being labeled permanently disabled, she was blessed with a miracle
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
Because the design industry has so much more to say.
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
How to ignite your self-worth and start attracting the life and clients of your dreams
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:
A Home Stager's Origin Story
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
African American Feng Shui Expert Shares her story
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
25 years of serving others ~ doing your best ~ living with integrity and dignity
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
Creating Stunning Spaces That Inspire and Engage
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
How one boutique staging company got started
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
When the Art of Curating is rooted in a European Design Sensibility
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?
National Solutions to Payroll, HR and a whole lot more, since 1998
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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