Give a brief description of your background and what led you to this industry?
You could say I’m a homebody. I say I’m just somebody who loves surrounding herself with all things ‘home.’ I am a wife and mother of two who appreciates the nuances in life –whether it’s watching my kids paint their favorite picture, or choosing a paint color to give a tired room new life.
I graduated college with a degree in Business Administration and immediately started my career as a buyer for The TJX Companies. I loved the opportunity to buy home products, women’s clothing and footwear for our stores and keep my customers in mind. I also became involved in the visual presentations in the stores. While my career was starting, we built our first home. A few years after that, we built our next home. Our most recent project is renovating our current 1960’s home. While my children were small I took a break from the corporate world and started a career in real estate that continued for 9 years.
It wasn’t obvious at the time, but in looking back, everything I’ve done in my career has led me to this path of Interior Design.
Describe Paper White Homes. How did it all begin?
It all started during a car-ride with my husband. I had just left my job as a Buyer because we relocated and was picking up the real estate gig, but not totally loving it. We also were discussing our ever mounting design plans for our renovation when he suggested, “why don’t you get into home design since everything you love about your buying job and real estate has to do with putting colors and products together for people?” Then he followed up with, “you clearly have a knack for it.” I was sort of stunned but quickly got really excited! I had never thought of doing what I truly LOVE as my job? What??? Could that be possible??? And so…..the seed for Paper White Homes was planted.
In speaking with friends and family, I saw a need for a la carte design. Meaning, not everyone has the financial means or the desire to hire a designer full-time. There are a lot of people who just need some direction, or help sourcing materials. Paper White Homes gives clients the ability to pick and choose the elements of design they need help with, whether it’s a paint color, a room or the whole house. Paper White covers the spectrum of design needs for today’s savvy clients.
What sets you apart from other designers?
Design has always been a sixth sense for me. It’s something I feel. I know when a color feels right, or when a piece of furniture completes a room – or doesn’t. I can’t rest until a room feels “settled”. Because I’m a researcher by nature, I am constantly keeping up with the latest trends in home design. I find inspiration in lots of places – fashion, art, architecture, textiles and even the outdoors. I also spend a lot of time visualizing the “whole house” and not just one room. I am a firm believer in keeping to the home’s period and original architecture if possible. My preference is clean, simple design. Not a lot of fuss, but lots of comfort.
Why should someone choose a designer versus doing it themselves?
I understand that client’s wants and needs are as varied and numerous as the paint chip section of Home Depot. People want what they want, unless of course they don’t know what they want. That’s where I come in. Renovating a kitchen, or even just painting a living room can be costly, and you want to do it right the first time.
Think of FSBO (For Sale By Owner). Sure you can, and a lot of people do sell their home themselves, but that doesn’t mean you should. People choose to use a real estate agent for the same reason they choose a designer – peace of mind, someone to manage all of the moving parts, and getting the best possible return on your investment.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A satisfied customer is the #1 the most rewarding part of my job. When a client falls in love with their new space it is the absolutely the best! I also love that interior design is an art and there are really no rules these days. The possibilities are, in fact, endless! It’s so much fun to curate beautiful spaces.
Simply put, I work hard for my clients, and it is satisfying when that hard work pays off.
Where do you see yourself one year from now? How about five?
Honestly, goals are great! I can get behind the need to have them. BUT I am definitely more of a day-by-day kind of gal. I really do cherish everyday and feel lucky to be able to share my gift and make this my career. With that said, my vision for Paper White Homes has always been for it to be a family business that I can involve my kids in someday if they are interested. I plan on helping loads of folks with their spaces and want to expand the business when it’s time. I see a team, a headquarters, and someday possibly an online store and brick and mortar home store with very special favorite products. I have so many passions, that I would love to someday merge them all into one big company!