A LITTLE PERSONAL BACKGROUND
After completing a B.A. degree in Communicative Disorders I worked as a speech therapist at the elementary school level. I loved the children and I loved working with them to overcome their communication challenges. My personality and sense of humor were real assets in relating with the kids. Seeing a child make progress was very rewarding. But I have always been a creative person and the administrative “paper work load” and other non-student contact requirements ultimately burdened me. I felt stifled.
HUGE LIFE AND CAREER DECISION!
Even though I was married and expecting our son at the time, I went back to school and earned an interior design degree.
I worked in sales for a high-end, full-line home furnishings store. Also, I regularly visited, as a customer, an amazing home/life style boutique in Pittsford, New York. The atmosphere created by Karen, the owner, was so welcoming. The selection of décor items was always changing. The whole place reeked of inspiration and creative energy. I decided that was a place I wanted to work and I pursued the owner for a period of time. My persistence paid off. Eventually she interviewed me and hired me.
It smelled delicious the second you walked in to our store. No matter what the weather outside it was “sunny” and fun inside. Women came to our store to cry or to laugh. They could always find an amazing unique “something” for the home or a gift. Men came to buy for their special ladies (because their special ladies loved our store!) and they knew we would help.
My responsibilities ran the gamut from working the retail counter, to making in-home visits to consult and deliver our interior design services(designing for wonderful clients and their homes!) and co-presenting monthly seminars. Our seminar topics covered design trends and demonstrated practical “how-to“ ideas in a lively, informative and entertaining format.
Our customers loved seminar night. I loved seminar night. It gave me a chance to apply my formal design education, share my innovative ideas and display my sense of humor. I learned how important it was to interact with our customers in a way that wasn’t based solely on a “buyer-seller” basis. For women, home design is much more than just buying the right item and placing it in your home. The instructional part of the seminars showed we were willing to give our customers information they could use. The social dimension of the seminar sessions allowed us to develop our personal relationships with our customers. That’s why my live and video seminar sessions are important elements of Shades Of Ooh & Ah today!