ProSource | 11/16/2016 | Expert Advice
I believe you only get one chance to make a good first impression. I help my clients create “rooms with impact” that maximize their greatest asset: their home or real estate listing.
Why do homeowners choose you? What sets your business apart?
Usually they make a connection with some of my designs. Then there’s the interview process … you have to make sure you connect with your customers. I make sure to make a connection with them.
What are the greatest challenges you face in your work?
Sometimes it’s finding the right piece of furniture to go in a room. At other times it’s coordinating with my clients and their needs. Or having a married couple agree to create a mixture that reflects both of their personalities and likes.
Sometimes I need to be a mind reader. It’s important to get a feel for what will make your customer happy. For a model home, that depends on the demographic for potential buyers.
What trends do you see in home design and remodeling?
Right now gold is making a comeback. I’m seeing a lot of metals in decor, such as gold chandeliers and gold knobs. Usually fashion trends come into design trends – and right now gold is coming back into fashion, design and decorating.
I’m also seeing black stainless steel for appliances. It’s a darker color that doesn’t show fingerprint as much, so it’s not so high maintenance.
How did you get started in business?
I officially started my own business in 2010, but before that I was staging for other companies. I’ve always loved decorating, and always had a passion for it.
What brings you the most satisfaction in your work?
It’s the compliments from the customers - there’s big satisfaction in that. Also, it’s about seeing how projects turn out. I consider myself an artist and the rooms are my canvas. I incorporate what the owners already have whenever possible.
Staging is always a blank canvas. I bring in things to make the rooms colorful and pleasing for the eye. The first year one of my builder clients used me for staging, he went from selling 16 to 24 homes per year. During the last two years I’ve staged for him, he has sold about 30 homes each year. I’ve also worked on two Dream Homes and one Artisan Home.
Describe a recent project you’re particularly proud of. What made it so satisfying?
My latest project was staging a $1.7 million Dream Home. The style of the home was modern rustic and it’s beautiful. It was really fun to add in the furniture and accessories. I never think I’m going to have another favorite house, and then I top it.
Another project started as a yellow spare bedroom that I transformed into a guest bedroom. I incorporated a fabric headboard and chandelier. Seeing the “after” project, I felt like an artist who started with a blank canvas, then pulled it all together.
What’s the most valuable benefit of being a ProSource Wholesale Member?
Their showroom gives my customers access to a variety of different brands. ProSource Wholesale is located in three areas around Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as in other states, so they’re also easier for customers to get to. For example, if I’m working for customers who have a home in Florida, I can send them to a ProSource Showroom there. I don’t even have to be with them. I can refer a customer to ProSource, and they will take care of them.
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