15 REFLECTIONS TO CELEBRATE 15 YEARS: #6-10
This month marks the 15th anniversary of Affordable Interior Design. And I’ve been looking back over the years. In a series of posts this month, I am going to be sharing stories of the company’s journey.
Here, I share reflections 6-10. Check back in two weeks for reflections 11-15.
I hope you enjoy the journey.
#6: THE CLIENTS
Over our 15 years, we have had 5,000+ clients. To think we have touched so many lives is truly humbling.
Design is a very personal business. You listen to your clients’ needs, you empathize with their concerns, you make their dreams for their homes come true—sometimes you even become friends.
AID exists to make the world a more beautiful and functional place for our clients. We have worked throughout the USA, Canada, India, England, Argentina, and more.
We’ve had clients who hired us as bachelors, called us again when they moved in with their partners, needed help when they had families, and more.
Being a part of our clients’ milestones is truly momentous for us. And we are grateful for each one of them.
#7: THE PODCAST
In 2015, we had a team of designers, a person to answer phones, and I was looking for a new challenge. On my commute to our office in Dumbo, Brooklyn, I would listen to podcasts. And people were asking me to be a guest on podcasts. After I did an episode of Keith and the Girl (one of my faves), I decided I wanted to host a podcast as well.
I hired an amazing producer who was also a podcast mentor of mine (and a friend from college), Katharine Heller. She encouraged me to take the plunge, not worry about the sound of my voice, and JUST DO IT!
And so we did. 5 years and 250+ episodes later, we are still working together on Affordable Interior Design: The Podcast. Katharine makes me sound good, and I get to talk about my favorite subject interior design!
#8: THE BOOKS
Our repeat clients often become friends and supporters at AID. One such friend was Christina Daignault. We had worked together on a couple of design projects, she’d referred AID to her friends/family, and she’d come to my classes.
Christina believed in our company and our “design rulebook.” She suggested that I make it into a real book. Good idea, but how would I find a publisher? I had no clue how to get the ball rolling.
She encouraged me to write a treatment, she pitched it to publishers, and a year later the book, Big Design, Small Budget, was in print. It was terrifying, thrilling, and a success! The publisher had us launch the paperback version, Affordable Interior Design, just a couple years later. It is now a calling card and one of the achievements I am most proud of.
#9: THE FAMILY
I started this business at age 25. I was single, living in a 225 sq. ft. studio, and not sure what AID would become.
5 years later, I would meet my husband. With his encouragement, I would hire my first team member, rent office space in Brooklyn, train more designers, expand to other cities, and grow–grow–GROW!
Family is the foundation of our success at AID. We know that the support of loved ones is what makes the journey so much more sweet.
At AID, designers are able to make their own schedules so they can attend every soccer game, every school event, every family vacation. That kind of flexibility is important to me as a mom and as a business owner.
#10: THE DESIGNERS
AID started with just 1 designer: me. And now we are a whole team!
Paulina is a bright light and wonderfully talented. She trains our new designers as well as working on our AID Academy Program.
Jeanie heads our Long Island division. I started out as her Facebook fan. I drooled over the lovely images she took of her own spaces and was so excited to welcome her aboard at AID.
Stephanie’s energy and passion for design are inspiring. She grew up in the world of design so her talent is innate. We are fortunate to have her at the helm for our NYC clients.
Angela works out of the D.C. area. Her soothing presence, love of art, and positive attitude are inspirations to our clients and team alike.
Sasha just joined AID as our new Westchester designer, and we are so thrilled to have her. Her background in graphic and interior designer have helped her fold seamlessly into the team.
Our awesome crew of designers is what makes AID so wonderful. I am grateful for the expertise, caring, and dedication that each one of them brings to our women-run company.