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Many women approaching their 40s write to me wondering whether they should go to Interior Design School. It’s an issue I struggled with myself many times over a 20 year period.
I interviewed a number of interior design schools at various points in my past career but never followed through on actually applying. I already had a BA, an MBA and years of experience. The thought of being a full time student for 2 to 4 years, with a bunch of kids 20 years younger than myself was not that appealing. And the cost was huge considering the significant income I’d be giving up over that period.
Now that I’ve staged hundreds of homes I’m so happy I went with my instincts and stayed out of Interior Design School!
You wouldn’t believe the number of interior design graduates that have approached me during the past four years to hire them for Six Elements Inc., my home staging company! Most seem to be working as sales people in furniture stores and looking for a way out.
One woman called me this week who was working on 100% commission! Imagine working retail hours for a furniture store after studying interior design for 4 years and not even earning a salary! I was shocked. If you’re going to be on 100% commission, you should absolutely be in your own business. At least then all the sales come to you instead of a hefty percentage going to your employer.
Here’s what I’ve learned being a Professional Home Stager instead of being an “interior designer” over the past four years:
• Being a home stager you get lots more projects to work on because they are shorter term in nature. So, lots more variety.
• Being a home stager your clients give you creative control because they know they don’t really have to live with what you do to their homes. So, you get to be creative and make the decisions.
• Being a home stager you get interior redesign and color projects because your staging clients love what you do with the house they’re selling and ask you to work on the one they’re moving into.
• Being a home stager you get to work with the kinds of people who wouldn’t normally hire an interior designer or decorator, in other words a much larger target market.
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