The Staging Studio & Design Co. proudly serves the Central Valley and SF East Bay Area. Specialising in colour consultation, art placement, space planning and home staging. The Staging Studio works with countless top producing realtors and homeowners to help them earn top dollar once their listing hits the MLS. In-person and E-consultations are available, and can help turn a house into a dream home.
Thank you for joining us Michelle, can you tell us a little bit about your background and your journey?
Growing up I planned to become an entrepreneur. I greatly admired the women in my life who were entrepreneurs and wanted to be like them someday. I worked in sales for many years until I realised that I could do better. I could grow my own skill set and have more freedom and flexibility to live a better life. The real estate industry is undergoing constant change and is rapidly growing.
The new brokerage I am aligned with is doing something incredible, by offering their agents 100% commission. It’s revolutionary and I wanted to become part of this new culture that is inevitably changing the face of home buying. I wanted to come at it from a different angle and decided that home staging and interior design would be my own way of owning my own company while being part of this movement. I have the flexibility of hiring my own team, and the freedom to design and create. I enjoy working with home buyers, home sellers and real estate agents. For me, it’s been a perfect fit!
When preparing to launch The Staging Studio, what courses, workshops and extensive research did you study to gain market knowledge?
My home has been my personal project for MANY years. In 2013 we purchased a house which had good bones but needed some design love. Throughout the years we’ve worked on it from the ground up to make it what it is. I used our house as my inspiration to build a business and to do something that I truly love.
How you are balancing the work/life strife?
Thankfully being a business owner comes with perks. It has allowed me to have scheduling flexibility while working my other jobs as wife and mom. I have 3 children (8-year-old identical twins, and a 5-year-old… all boys), and a husband who works full time as well. I’m just like other folks… I work, cook, do laundry, clean, volunteer to teach in an art program at our local elementary school. With all of that, I’m grateful to balance home life with operating a successful business. My husband steps up, steps in and helps and I also have a tribe of wonderful girlfriends who are there on a whim when needed. It truly does take a village.
Who are the team behind you and do you currently have any mentors?
I have an extraordinary team of women. Each of them brings unique skill sets, design talents, counsel and thought leadership to every one of my design projects. I was blessed to be mentored early on by Mary Naleway, the owner of Project Decor. She’s believed in me from day one and has always shown me how to improve. Our conversations and time spent together are priceless.
What platforms are you using as marketing tools for The Staging Studio?
Marketing has always been word of mouth for me. I have been fortunate enough to align myself with the top real estate brokerage in the Central Valley of California at Realty One Group Zoom – owned by Josh and Treasure Anderson. They have a talented team of real estate agents and their business keeps growing. Luckily as they’ve grown, I’ve been able to grow with them.
Do you currently use any apps or tools to help the functionality of your business practice?
I use my website and social media platforms to share projects. I also blog periodically about staging, real estate, cooking and anything else of a design nature.
If you could tell your 18-year old self a solid piece of advice, what would it be?
Go out and travel. See the world, don’t limit yourself. Be more confident. Once that’s all taken care of then start a family!
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Be your own boss. Control your own destiny. Be true to yourself and those you work with.
What does 2020 look like for you and how are you planning to expand The Staging Studio?
The Staging Studio will finally move into our own warehouse. We will expand our inventory, as we’re always acquiring new pieces. We also would like to grow our transportation fleet by adding new box trucks.
Image taken by Gina Guthrie Photograph
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