My Why – I Don’t Do It For The Money, I Do It For This

Darlene from SuitsHeelsCurves inspired this post.  She’s one of my clients (I’m currently working on her home office for the BloggerHouseCurvyCloset which will double as a dinning room).

She recently shared on IG how she never felt that she would be able to work with an Interior Designer because she grew up poor and just never felt that it was within her reach.  Her words really warmed my heart.  Love you girl!my why

Look, I started this business to help people, but I never realized that it would turn into what it has.  That it would allow me to be able to work with people like me: who look like me, who come from the same experiences as me and who’ve struggled like me.  When I was pricing my decorating services, I struggled a bit because every biz coach out there tells you to check out your competition or similar businesses and I did that.  So when I first started out about 8 years ago, I priced my services pretty much in the middle range, but what I quickly realized was that it didn’t feel right.  The number didn’t make me feel good and most importantly I was pricing my services based on the market and not my ideal client (someone like me).

So I scratched my prices and started over, this time around I really low balled myself.  I started to get clients, but I quickly burnet out and was starting to resent my business (crazy I know!).  I didn’t feel good anymore and that was a problem.  So with the help of Jackie Perez of JackiePerez.biz we worked together to figure out a number that felt good to me and also kept my ideal clients in mind.  Now I honestly feel good about my prices and my biz.  I’m busy, but not feeling burnt out and most importantly, I’m changing lives.

Decorating is fun, it’s my passion, but little did I realize that I would be impacting lives, people’s mental well being and that I’m forever grateful for.  Because ya’ll know how much our space impacts our mental health.  Our space is a direct reflection of our state of mind.  I talk more about that here.

I know that I could be charging so much more for my decorating services.  Shit, my competitors are charging up to 3x more than me and only providing 1/4 of what I provide with my services!  I know this because I’ve done the research, but I didn’t get into this for the money.  I created this business to give people a space that they love to spend time in, that’s clutter free, that makes them smile and makes them feel productive, relaxed, sexy or whatever feeling they want to feel when they’re in their room.  I wanted to give them, what I didn’t have when I was little.  A space to call home.

I didn’t grow up with money, in fact we were poor on welfare and food stamps.  Me, my mother and two sisters lived in a studio apartment in Jamaica, Queens for most of our lives and later on moved around more times that I could count.  In fact, our friends always joked around asking if we were running from the cops.  As we got older, my mother worked 3-4 jobs at a time knowing very little English ( I get my hustle from her) and dodged the landlord more times that I could remember.  We stayed with friends, rented rooms, all because my mom struggled to keep a roof over our heads.  This made me really appreciate a space because for so many years, it was something that I craved when I was younger.  I never had my own room.  In fact, my mom created a bedroom for me and my older sister in the kitchen of our studio apartment.  It was so embarrassing and I remember hating having friends over especially since my friends all lived in houses.

Let me let you in on a little something…..

At the moment, I’m working as a contractor with an e-design company that allows me to work virtually with clients throughout the US, but what I realized is that it’s not fulfilling me.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity because it’s a well known company, but I don’t get that feeling that I get when I work with someone that I can see myself in.  Someone that looks like me and has walked a similar path as me.  The clients that I’ve worked with on this platform are not poor at all.  In fact they have way too much house if you ask me, but I’m not knocking them for their abundance.  In fact, I respect it, but their why, for having a beautiful room is not the same why as a recently single mom living in the Bronx and starting a new life with her child.  They’re two different animals.  The person with the 8 bedroom, 5 bath, 2 car garage house has a slew of designers that they can find to work with at their fingertips, but that single mom in the Bronx doesn’t.  She’s the one that never in a million years thought that she could afford to hire a designer to come decorate her room.  I’m making that possible for her and anyone else that thinks decorating is out of their reach.  That is my why!

All of this has had me thinking of ways to continue to help my people transform their rooms.  I’ve been listening to Mimi G’s podcast, BusinessShet and boy does she inspire the shit out of me!  She has a Sew It Academy, an online membership site, where she helps people to do just that, learn to sew through tutorials andI thought of creating something similar, but for decorating.  I realize that not everyone is at a place where hiring me to come and decorate their space is an option for them at the moment and so I wanted to create something for anyone in that situation or someone who just rather DIY their room.  So I wanted to throw that out there to get your feedback on the idea.  Would this be something that you would be interested in seeing?  It would be a site where you could go to learn everything about decorating a room.  So I want to know from you, what would be some things that you would like to learn about decorating?  What would you like to learn?  What should I teach you guys?

Let me know in the comments below.

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