Being a freelance or self employed interior designer, or any creative profession for that matter, is not for the faint at heart. Nor is it for the person not built for constant turmoil. Add the stress of everyday business costs, building overhead & industry issues and you have the recipe for a perfect storm, unless you properly prepare.
My problem was I wasn't properly prepared. I had the vision, the gift and at the time, plenty of money, to make everything look good. However, I lacked the business savvy to make sure my company was successful from the very beginning. Don't get me wrong, I learned what to do and not to do in the thick of things but as they say, hindsight is 20/20. If I executed many of my policies and procedures from the onset, most of my struggles, wouldn't have been struggles.
Nevertheless, I kept going and going until I was completely burnt out. My mistakes weighed on me. The clients I worked with who weren't happy was devastating to me. And then there were the clients who took advantage of me or the contractors who were dishonest and left me with mess after mess. I quit Interior Design because no matter how I tried to pivot or recover, nothing seemed to work. I felt like such a failure; such a fraud. Excitement of each project quickly turned to dread. I began to dread going to work. I began to dread going to job sites. I began to dread having to deal with people and it all became just too much. I crashed.
I quit Interior Design because I lost sight of the good. I forgot about the clients who loved what I was able to do for them. I forgot about the promise of God. I lost me, the vision and the passion to stick with it. Improving people's mental health through interior design is my passion. Yet I was unable to maintain, let alone improve, my own during this time. So I decided to end on a high note. My very last client was an absolute joy. I should've looked at her as a positive turning point in my business. Instead I chose to get out while I was on top. I'm literally shaking my head typing that last sentence because now it seems so foolish. All the hard lessons I learned over the years paid off with her project. I had so many good things going on, Good things that outweighed the inevitable hiccups that come with any project. But the most important part was the gratitude, spirit and confidence of my client. She didn't agree with everything I suggested, but she trusted me. She trusted my expertise. She trusted my ability.
And in return, she got a beautifully rejuvenated, purpose filled home for her and her husband.
This is just one room of her home. The video doesn't do it justice. It's absolutely stunning in person!
I'll never again forget what that experience gave to me.
Another bright spot was my staff. My girls were great. Letting them go was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, especially because I knew they wanted to be with me. We made an awesome team. They were more like friends (family) and I miss them terribly. I just didn't have it in me to figure it out any longer. I pray that they learned from me, even in my faults, and that they know how much I appreciated them.
So what's next? It's nearly a year later and the Lord smacked me out of my pity party. He helped me to see that I was successful, despite the problems. He helped rejuvenate my outlook on the vision that He gave to me. I am capable of starting again....and I have. I am capable of changing lives.....which I have and will continue to do. I am capable of anything I dream up so it's time to turn those dreams into reality.....again.
My goals are a little different this time. My processes are a bit changed as well but my passion is still the same.
Creating Soulful Interiors that Rejuvenate Lifestyles.