Six years ago, I blogged about the renovation of the house where I currently live.
A personal remodel can certainly provide the need to wind down by documenting the process. A recording of the miniscule details, which are surely forgotten once moved in. They live on WordPress for as long as anyone is interested in reading them.
My original blog can be seen here and I encourage you to start from the beginning and work to the end.
Fast forward from 2012 to 2018. It has been a full six years. I am overwhelmed when I think about the lessons I have learned, the people I have met, the projects I have influenced and the personal growth that has happened as I have cultivated my brand.
I could not help but think of the family Curio Cabinet that my husband inherited and we keep in a prominent spot in our Living Room. This cabinet holds decades of history. Most are sentimental items, but some rest in the Curio just as a reminder, rather than a statement or celebration. Many generations and genres are represented and the collections continue to grow over the years. I am always touched when visitors notice this or that. The special ceramic piece my son made in first grade. The many Marine Corps medals my father in law earned. The trinket box from Japan that my mom brought to me after she visited there. They have special meaning or serve as a remembrance.
As I thought of the name for my design blog, of course I wanted it to be meaningful and emotion triggering. The name needed to represent something which lent itself to many facets of life and living a good life. So The CURIO was born out of that inspiration. A place I can reflect, teach, inspire or sometimes just report on this crazy, stirring and beautiful design business I have built.
Recently I took a good hard look at where I started and how far Jenni Egger Designs has come. I reminisced that this livelihood had come about because being a “stay at home” mom did not agree with me when I left my corporate job in 2004. You see, I never said “I think I will be a designer. I will start a business and do “this” or “that”.” Rather, I practiced what I had preached in my days as a Talent Analyst/Master Trainer for the Estee Lauder Companies. I would instruct that if you want to know where your talents lie, pay attention to what your friends and family ask of you. I was constantly being asked to design spaces and source beautiful and useful things for my friends, family and neighbors. In the first few years of trying the “stay at home” option, I found that more and more, full blown decorating projects were calling my name. Then a personal home remodel in 2007 and feeling brave enough after that to offer remodeling services to clients, which naturally piggy backed on the already growing decorating business.
This bravery has led me to the place I have landed. At the helm of a brand where the mission is :
To create something greater than beauty
by using our resources, power and gifts to expand our reach.
Recently I have enlisted help and currently have a team of ten talented and focused individuals who keep the machine moving and growing and continually improving. My relationships with local designers, general contractors, vendors, sub-contractors and business owners have grown and these elements have not only helped me take on more work, but exemplify what I mean by “something greater than beauty” in the mission I have set out to live.
After all……isn’t beautiful the baseline? When one goes to a fine dining restaurant, don’t you assume before you sit down that the food will taste good if not great? It is when you are greeted warmly, taken care of by knowledgeable attentive staff, presented with good food in an appealing and maybe unexpected way, pushed to step out of your comfort zone, surrounded by a captivating environment, encouraged to enjoy the restaurant at your own pace and made to feel important that gauges the true experience. Well………. I wish all of the design projects we do were as enjoyable as a nice dinner out.
Remodeling, building, and even decorating projects can be grueling and trying on everyone involved. Of course the minimum expectation is that the result will be beautiful, but the vision I have for my brand is that it is GREATER THAN BEAUTY. That is to say, creating an environment where clients feel empowered and informed and in a true partnership with the team at Jenni Egger Designs. A work schedule where vendors deliver on their promises for supplies and sub contractors not only show up for the job but are happy to be working on yet another beautiful project.
Greater than beauty is asking the client a lot of questions and curating the pieces that reflect their best life while encompassing all their hopes and dreams. All while being functional and useful.
Greater than beauty is not checking off boxes for the sake of achieving a completed selection list, but rather letting the project evolve and working at a pace that everyone can handle and be most effective and thoughtful. Many times, clients and other people ask me “what is your design style?” I can say…..I have only done one project that looks like my personal design style, and that is my personal home. All the other projects I have done are rooted in the answers to the many questions I ask my clients and the information they give me to create a spaces that reflect their highest aspirations. Many times they aspire to have comfortable fashionable surroundings. Other times achieving the correct scale is the goal. Color choice is a popular aspiration, and often it is a tear sheet or Pinterest board that they are drawn to and want to emulate.
I take all that into consideration so I guess you can say that my style is helping you realize your dreams.
Regardless of what is beautiful to you……it is our job to bring it home. To the place you call home.