2013: A Look Back

When I was young, I loved to play with my grandmother’s fabrics in her sewing room. Some of my fondest memories involve my grandmother; pretty golden blonde hair, perfect shade of pink lipstick and pearls. She was a stylish woman, always wore pearls and constantly reminding me to be a proper young lady. Her name, fittingly, was Georgianne (so southern). You have to go back dear reader a generation or two to see the influence of a parent and for me that was my grandmother.

A little over a year and half ago, while reading about design, snuggled up on my down sofa on a clear and warm June morning; a wave of happiness filled me. Memories were stirred up and with them came an awareness that I had been ignoring – my awareness that my heart has always belonged to all things beautiful. Even as a child playing in my grandmother’s fabrics I would only choose the ones I thought were the prettiest. On that June morning; I let myself for the first time imagine the possibility of being a designer. I have always been a creative but deciding to start my own interior design business off of a feeling felt impractical considering my Economics background, logic was always my safe route.  But, with my family and faith supporting me along the way I leapt at the opportunity, abandoning all logic and fear of failure. Although I can’t see the whole picture; I thought I should reflect upon my 2013 journey and share my thanksgivings along the way.

Thank you to all of you that have subscribed to my blog; sincerely appreciate you walking along side me in this journey. I especially love the comments, reading each one with appreciation. To know that you see value in what you read here means more than you know.

To begin; there is nothing more important than the most beautiful gifts in my life…God and my family, everything I do is centered around my faith and family.

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Initially; I have taken baby steps to help me in my business starting with attending Tobi Fairley’s Designer MBA program, with at the time an acquaintance but now a dear friend and fellow designer Kim Armstrong.

Thank you, Tobi Fairley for helping me develop my understanding of running a design business and the tools to attract my ideal client.

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Tobi’s program and the intelligent women I met while at Designer MBA inspired me to reach for more and so here are the few highlights of taking baby steps,

1. Completed 12 design projects, 1 of which was a complete home renovation down to the studs. The photography has been scheduled for the first part of this year, can hardly wait to show you the before and after images.

2. Being interviewed by Horchow and asked to create a Pinterest board in honor of Interior Decorating Month; highlighting me as one of their “Designers We Love.”  Horchow has beautiful furnishings and accessories for the home, carrying brands like John Richard and Arteriors.  Readers, I highly encourage you to browse their website; I am certain you will find something you can’t live without for your home.  Also, please feel free to check out my Pinterest page you may find something inspiring in the collection.

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3. Being asked, twice, to be a host of the Dallas Market Center’s SNEAK PEEK blogger’s events in January and July. Thank you Meredith Hite for the honor of asking me to host again in January, which I’ve accepted. It was exciting to win a chair during the July SNEAK PEEK event, of which now sits in my office. Thank you to Aidan Gray Home  showroom for hosting us and for the opportunity to win one of your pretty chairs. I hope designers who haven’t been to the Dallas Market, will attend the January 15 – 21 Total Home & Gift Market if possible…learn more here.

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(below is the chair that I won)

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4. Being asked to be a part of the prestigious Institute of Classical Architecture & Art committee, this was especially exciting for me. Joining hands with an organization that preserves and dedicates their mission to advancing education of classical tradition in architecture, urbanism and their allied arts is an expression and extension of who I am as a designer. So, naturally it was a perfect opportunity to say yes to.  If you are a classicist and even if you aren’t, please take a moment and learn about ICAA; it is a wonderful community of highly evolved architects and designers who are skillfully brilliant in their craft.  There are also a wide array of programs that include travel, conferences, continuing education, etc. for those who want to advanced their studies in the classical tradition. I am looking forward to sharing with all of you the wonderful events we will be planning for 2014. ICAA

5. Attending the 2013 Design Bloggers Conference and meeting Barbara Barry, as you may know reader, she is one of my favorite designers. Her tailored but highly sophisticated approach to design is what I appreciate most about her.  You can read my post here about my experience of meeting her. I met many great bloggers and learned more than expected about social media. Thank you Adam Japko for making it possible for us to meet Barbara Barry and many other amazing designers, all whom inspire us to be better designers.  If you are interested in attending the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta from March 2 – 4, click here to register.

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6. Winning a $500 gift card from Gabby Home for my blog post about their company and their line of beautiful furnishings.  I did not even expect my blog post to win and couldn’t have been more excited to have won!  Click here to read my post. So, thank you Gabby Home for making it possible; can’t wait for my Ingrid chests to arrive.

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Today, as I continue to embark on this journey of building my business I can see how the influence of my grandmother’s classic style, her barking etiquette dos and don’ts and letting me play with her beautiful fabrics as a child has found a home in me; aware that my creativity was born years ago. When you have someone supporting you, for me it was my grandmother as a child and now my family, you have the confidence and courage to do things you might not have done on your own. Although I am ending 2013; I want to thank you, my readers, for subscribing to my blog https://ellecoleinteriors.com/blog. I am looking forward to sharing more with you as we enter 2014.

I hope each of you find the inspiration in the fabrics of your lives to launch your dreams. Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014.

Warmly,

Elle

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