Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Credentials

For years my children have asked me why I don't frame my respective write ups from various publications?  Why I don't have framed magazine covers, and rooms framed and decorating my office of my credentials.  Those highlights of my past. They are proud of my accomplishments and believe that in order for me to have credibility, I must submit my credits.  Would it help if I gave those now?  Understanding that when I had my first design job I had no credibility whatsoever and landed my first design job in a  home that would be featured in the Street of Dreams.

She walked into my little design shop. It was not set up for anything more than a side hobby.  My thought was if I could pay all my bills on time, send my kids to private school, and provide music lessons, while still maintaining a stay home mommy status then the shop was worth keeping open.  I was young and had NO design experience, but she asked one question..."do you make house calls?"  I did not hesitate and boldly said, "yes". I had no idea what house-calls meant, but she did and I was about to find out with her next question.  "How much do you charge an hour?"  I gave her an hourly rate that just popped out of my head and she accepted.  We set up a "house-call" which I now call a "design consultation" and I took her address.  Being farely new to the area and no GPS or cell phones I managed to find her home. Her home and all the other around were all under construction. What on earth had I gotten myself into?

She showed me around her unfinished home and then asked, "Could you have this project done within 4 months?" My inexperience had no limitations and four months was a long time so I said, "yes"  She then went on to tell me that her home and the entire block would be featured in the 1994 Street of Dreams, and I had no idea what that was but again my inexperience, or lack of credibility did not hinder the idea of this larger than life project. In August of 1993 a shop owner who loved color and design was born.  In December of 1993  she walked into my shop and had the confidence in what I had to show her, a designer was born.

Credentials are very important and I am certain I will take some time down memory lane and share some of those moments.  Credentials are the highlights of our past.  I want to high light today and the future.  Today when I step into your home, your project will be like the first one to me.  I still have that enthusiasm, excitement and joy to come alongside and help your dreams to become a reality. I enjoy watching you, the client, the friend  tell me your heart on the matter and we find what your heart looks like in design.

In my first design job it was not my credentials that got me hired. It was my ability to get into my clients head and learn what it was this family wanted. Asking the right kinds of questions. I did not know what those questions were to be, but being nosy worked to my advantage.  On a side I had made window treatments in one of the rooms, using an old Singer Lightweight Sewing Machine. Those window treatments landed on the cover of a Window Treatment magazine.  When I was handed the magazine it went into a drawer. I was to embarrassed to let anyone know that I was not very good at sewing, but with beautiful fabrics how could you go wrong with a design. I wish I had that magazine today.

As the summer months have now passed and I have started a bathroom remodel I am thankful for those who come alongside and trust my instincts in getting that room laid out just right for you.

Truly A Design Fanatic,
Elizabeth Traub

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