Saturday, March 1, 2008

Inspiring Men

After I retired from working in a surgery office for 20 something years, I really wanted to do something I had always loved . I thought of it more as "rewiring" not retiring myself. I really wanted to start my own business in interior decorating but it was a scary thought.

I knew I had the business skills needed to start and run a business because I was in on the ground floor of the oral surgery office. And I have always had a sense for decorating and a desire to do it. Throughout the years I have helped many people with different projects and found it very exhilarating and satisfying.

I always envied people who got paid for doing what they loved doing! I was 56 years old and it all seemed a little daunting and yet I was so intrigued by it. I had done some design work back before Laura started school in a large antique collective. I loved creating the vignettes throughout out the huge showroom, but not the sales. In those days interior design in the suburbs equated to selling draperies to make your money and that was not my thing. Since that was not anything I was even remotely interested in, I was led towards the medical field when the money would be helpful and the opportunity arose.

Speeding ahead many years, one day Jim and I went on a day trip to San Simeon and visited Hearst Castle. What a magnificent Castle, so opulent and gorgeous in every detail. As we were listening to the guide we learned that William Randall Hearst did not even conceptualize Hearst Castle until he was 56!

Something clicked for me at that moment and I realized it is never too late to start something you really want to do. So I went back to school and received my training and that is how Interiors by Design was born. So William Randall Hearst inspired me to move forward with my dream.

The next man to profoundly influence me in this endeavor was my husband, Jim. He has always been supportive of anything I wanted to do in my career and he was so enthusiastic about the business. I knew I could depend on him to be my partner and advisor and helper in what ever way was needed. I also knew he had faith in my talents and would cheer me on, which he totally has. As it all began to take flight I knew I was not flying solo and that was a great source of strength. We have always worked well together and enjoy the synergy created with two pulling as one. We both believe that desire+handwork=success. In fact the business has been a family business in many ways. My brother Gary chose the name of the business after we had a contest, we thought his name was best although not as entertaining as my brother Steve's choices! Robert and Laura and the boys assembled and organized the gallery for us. Spencer and Ross have been on many jobs with us and have done some work in the design field themselves much to their father's chagrin! I knew it had gone too far when four year old Ross would not go to bed one night until he finished decorating his room with books and blankets! Laura designed all the marketing materials and worked with us while in CA and now my sister-in-law Emily helps out. Here is one of the items Laura designed. I love it! This is also what my business card looks like.

Now I realize that even comparing Hearst Castle's creator in the same post with my cottage home business is a bit of a stretch. But it truly was that aha moment in the castle that made me go forward with my plans. So I call that unexpected inspiration while on a beautiful day trip. Who has influenced you in what you have achieved or want to master at some point? Who is your mentor?


The Christensons said...

i've always been rearanging my room! there are pictures of me decorating with stuffed animals when i was like 6 or so, when i went to college is when i realized i love to decorate my own little space so much it was more exciting than school. i should of listened then, but it didn't. since i've been married i've helped a few ladies here and there, but not gotten paid, i just love to do it! i did start getting paid for organizing though, but i really like to decorate for someone more than organize, my dream is to what you do, someday...*dreaming* sigh...i've been told that i have talent, now if i can only get paid for it! my aunt has always had a beatiful house, she inspires me, and of course many wonderful friends who's houses i love to gaze at (your daughter is one of them!)

The Christensons said...

growing up in the same house as my grandmother, i grew up with lladros and oil painting from france. she loved european style and she loved to have it nicely decorated, i never paid attention to it till i was older when i realized how very elegant my grandmother's house was, i think she was my first inspiration, i do remeber always decorating as young as 6 or 7! so it was in me since forever, as time went on and i moved to college it was just something i did and i loved it, it wasnt till i was married that i really realized that this was my passion. i've been paid to organize people's homes, but my dream is to be paid to decorate homes! someday i hope to make this a reality!
friends' houses inspire me! i love to see all different ideas, but of course i always feel most in aww when it's closer to my tastes.

laura.elizabeth said...

You have been an inspiration to me mom in a million ways. Your resent change in "jobs" will forever remain in my mind the decision of a very inspired, courageous woman. I still don't know what I want to do with my life (and that scares me a little because I getting a little two old for that kind of uncertainty) but I love the example you have set for me when I finally do figure it out. I must say that I agree with Vanessa- decorating and organizing are two things I am very passionate about.