You recently moved back to Seattle after stints in New York and San Francisco. What pulled you back?
There comes a point in life where all the success in the world can’t replace being close to family. My mom is 86 years young, and I decided that I wanted to come home to Seattle to spend time with her. I also realized, through many sacrifices, that there is truly no place like home. You can always travel, which I will continue to do, but home will always be Seattle.
What business lesson took you the longest to learn?
It goes back to branding. For a long time as I started my business I was focused on being like the people I saw as successful in my field, I mirrored them. I was so focused on their success, that I lost sight of what defined me and ultimately made me stand out from the pack. It took a mentor of mine to refocus my energy, and once I did that I began to land expert spots on television and the rest is history.
Finish the sentence: Success is…
…sharing a life with who you love while doing what you love for a living, with the ability to give back to the world around you making it a better place because you are in it.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
My proudest professional achievement is transforming my career from a social worker to an on-air expert doing something that I am passionate about – entertaining and decorating. I have always loved to entertain and make spaces more beautiful, but there are thousands of experts that would love to land on television on a regular basis and even more people that dream of doing what they love. I am so grateful I was able to call it my career for 14 years, and to create something from nothing.
What currently inspires you the most?
The friends that I am surrounded by, their success, and creativity and inginuity in their pursuit to do what they love.
What’s something every space should have?
Fabulous lighting. I am absolutely obsessed with light fixtures and ways to illuminate a space. My friends used to tease me because I had a chandelier in every room, in my new house I have a mix of chandeliers and flush mounts but they all sparkle and each one has its own personality. Oh, and dimmers! Everything should be on dimmers, it sets the mood.
Creating an inspiring work environment is important. What did you love most about this space?
I loved being able to bring glamorous pieces into a warehouse/industrial environment. The high ceilings, the rafters, and the amazing windows with natural light. It was really the perfect creative space.
What’s something people would be surprised to find out about you?
I’m a addicted to So You Think You Can Dance, and have fantasy’s of being able to dance like they do. My upcoming Salsa class will have to do.
What’s the #1 branding mistake people make?
In my opinion, the biggest branding mistake that people make is not clearly understanding their niche and then being able to translate that into a short compelling story. Know what makes you different than another interior designer, or another expert. You have to be able to engage people immediately, and leave them wanting more. The only way to do that is to be passionate about your story, and quickly share it with others. As Seth Godin said, a good elevator pitch is one that is so compelling they want to hear more even after the elevator ride is over.
What’s next for you?
I have created a workshop called “And We’re Live” that focuses on helping people define and refine their brand, participants have the chance to do a live pitch (to television producers, brands, editors), they get on camera training, then into hair and makeup and to a video shoot where they tell their brand story. A few weeks later they receive a beautifully edited video to use to promote their brand. I can’t stop decorating though, so between workshops I started a company called “Revive Your Space” where I help people re-style their house with things they already own. In the end, people get to see their things in a new way, and it is photo shoot ready.
To see the full office tour and original story, click here!