Yesterday I saw a segment on a morning show about turning a hobby into a business. One woman said she enjoyed helping her friends decorate their homes and also loved decorating her own home. Her husband said, "You are so good at decorating, why don't you start a business?" I must say that is frequently how some women embark on their decorating career.
Whether you are a man or woman this is a business that springs from a passion. But I had to laugh. After being in the profession for over 30 years it is not a simple matter to just become a decorator.....for profit. It is in deed a business and it comes with it's share of stress as well as joy. Oh sure there are days of hanging out in beautiful showrooms, wrapping ourselves is luxurious fabrics, running our hands over incredible furniture, and digging around in antique shops. We sketch and visualize and root out the best resources to help make our ideas come to life. But there is also alot of lifting, lugging, climbing, and moving. There are days I feel like a "bag lady", toting bags of fabrics and samples to and fro. I honestly do not know how my dear shoulders can bear up. There are tedious scheduling, coordinating duties, supervising and micro-managing. And let's not forget the nailbiting and indigestion, and my personal favorite...bookkeeping. Sometimes I can be found cleaning, vacuuming, ironing and polishing so that everything looks perfect when my client arrives for the big reveal.
The reward, however, is totally worth it. We decorators can literally make dreams come true. We get to create a home that a real live person or family will enjoy coming home to for years to come. If we design a commercial space it may have a profound effect on large numbers of people too. One of my favorite experiences is returning to the home of a client years after the project is completed and seeing how wonderful everything looks. The memory of all the time and energy we....my team, my client and myself and partners spent to achieve our goal comes flooding back. How many designers spend as much or more time in their clients home than their own? How many hours do we spend with our clients and their families? We become friends. It is quite an incredible business. So to anyone looking to turn their passion for design into a business, welcome to our crazy-amazing world.