The Hero Challenge 005 – Staci Greenberg
Welcome to another episode of The HERO Show. I am your host Richard Matthews, (@AKATheAlchemist) and you are listening to a special episode, Hero Challenge #05 with Staci Greenberg – Creating a Space Through Interior Design that Works for You.
Staci is an IHG certified INTERIOR DESIGNER with extensive experience in the field of design & project management. She makes space function to meet the unique needs of its occupants through INTERIOR DESIGN!
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
- Everything around you has had a design decision applied to it.
- Not everyone needs an interior designer but at least consult with one.
- You have the right to create a space that works for you.
- Discovering interior design by fate.
- There are a lot of people who have good taste but that does not make them interior designers.
- Hearing people: a lot of times, what people say they want isn’t exactly how they imagined it.
- Inform and educate the clients so that everybody is on the same page.
- Going past your thought process.
- Interior design is about your stuff and space.
- A lot of designers have trouble prioritizing.
- Letting go at some point. Do the best that you can, accept however your work will come out, and move on.
- Remember that one can be sensitive but still have thick skin.
- The word “budget” is avoided. Instead, “investment” goes hand in hand with value.
- How to help people understand the value of design.
- Every client is different. There is always something for everyone.
- If you work digitally, you don’t have to live where you work.
- Respecting people who live with their integrity.
The HERO Challenge
Today on the show, Staci Greenberg challenged Joe Pardo to be a guest on The HERO Show. Staci thinks that Joe is a fantastic interview because he is ENERGY all rolled up in one person. He is a podcaster and runs businesses. He runs MAPCON–a podcasting conference. He’s about the entrepreneurial spirit and perfect for The HERO Show.
How To Stay Connected With Staci Greenberg
Want to stay connected with Staci? Please check out her social profiles below.
- Website: InteriorAndDesignLLC.com
Call To Adventure
Don’t forget you can stay connected to me and the show by subscribing now. Just text ALCHEMY to 444999. Or you put your email address in the box at the bottom of this page. You’ll get all sorts of cool gifts, be updated about our contests and polls, and get notified when we publish new episodes. With that… let’s get to listen to the episode…
The Webinar Alchemy Workshop: https://richardmatthews.me/fs/waw-slf/
Hello, and welcome to The HERO Show.
My name is Richard Matthews, of course
And I’m on the line with Staci Greenberg.
Staci, are you there?
I’m here. Hi, everybody.
Awesome, glad. Glad to have you here.
Let me do a quick introduction for Staci.
And we’ll get into the storytelling part of our show, here.
So Staci, you are an interior designer,
You got extensive experience in the field
Of design and project management.
You make spaces functional to meet the unique needs
Of its documents through interior design. And your IHG certified,
You said there was an Intercontinental Hotel Group.
So you do interior design for big hotel groups and stuff like that.
So let me start off with this. What is it that you’re known for today?
What’s your business like, now?
What do people come to you for? What do they hire you for?
Why do people call up Stacey Greenberg and ask for your help?
It’s multifaceted. So yes, I do hotels, I really love doing hotels.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t love doing other types of projects.
I do residential. I do corporate, which means office buildings,
Small little offices, big offices,
I have health care and education in my background,
Although I don’t really do a lot of that now.
It’s just who comes out after you calls you up and says,
“Hey, I have a project.” And it’s usually referrals.
It’s mostly referrals. But my heart is really in hotels and residential.
I don’t know if it’s good time now,
But I’m kind of pushing the residential little bit more.
I’m going to be creating this workshop. It’s a DIY workshop.
And I guess we can get into that.
So for people who really want to do one room and do it themselves,
But have to access to a professional like, sort of guidance
And fun. It’s a fun way of doing a room,
And you have access to my pricing.
My vendors. I’m excited about it.
So we’re going to be watching that very shortly.
That’s really cool. Well, one of the things that just fascinates me about
Having guests on the show and talking to people like you
And you get people from all sorts of different industries,
And you realize that behind everything you see
There’s an entrepreneur somewhere who made that happen.
Well, I listen, I always say this, that when people –
We, a lot of designers struggle or constantly having to use
The word prove their value or show their value.
Why should someone need or want to work with an interior designer?
Here’s what I say. Look around your world.
Look around your room right now. Okay, look up and down.
You look anywhere. There is not one thing you eat, see, use,
Think about that has not had a design decision applied to it.
Anything, your eyeglasses, the wall behind you, your ceiling,
It’s not only interior design and food,
There are chefs that make design decisions on how to present the plate.
That’s a little extreme. But it’s true.
Think about it in all of everybody’s world.
Everything we do has a design decision attached to it,
You just don’t think about it, or you just don’t realize it.
So not everybody needs an interior designer,
But you should at least consult with one if you’re doing a project.
Why? Because we know things you don’t know.
And we have access to things that you don’t have.
That’s why. I don’t know …
And I would imagine, especially if the space requires s
Some sort of function. Whatever the function for the space is,
You probably have a lot more knowledge about
How to make a space functional than someone
Who doesn’t have those same, the same skill set that you do.
Well, the function is the big will do air quotes,
The big question mark, what do you need?
That’s what that unique occupant use of space means.
I use this as an example. When I do say networking.
I network a lot, and all you have to stand up
Into your 30-second commercial. I don’t, you know what that is, right?
Okay. Well, for your viewers who don’t know,
Maybe a lot of people don’t network,
You go to these networking groups,
And you really talk about what you do.
And you really have to keep it into 30 seconds,
Because usually is a lot of people. Alright, so I’ll stand up.
And this is the example I get,
Say I have a client who’s a six-foot-five,
Seven-foot high basketball player,
And he buys a home and
He wants to put a basketball court in his living room.
Okay, that’s an extreme visual,
You could you’re thinking about it right now,
Most living rooms, even with the huge mansions
Are not big enough for a basketball court.
So already, the instinct is to say, “No, you can’t do that.”
But because I’m an interior designer,
Or even an architect people say this to,
“Well look at the structure.
If we could blow out the second floor and make a half court,
We might be able to do that.”
“Do I want that? Do you want that?”
No, I’m not a basketball player, you don’t desire for that.
But maybe he does. Maybe that’s important to him.
It’s his space. He’s not killing anyone.
He’s not hurting anyone by doing it. He has a right.
And and that’s his need. He wants a, let’s say,
A half court basketball court in his living room.
So if I can structurally make that happen.
And with an architect, of course, because I don’t just structure.
Why not? He’s not hurting anyone. It’s his unique need.
It is his unique use. So that’s an extreme visual, but you got it right?
You could see it in your head. We’re not doing that.
That’s not what I want my living room for.
Most people don’t, but you have a right to do your space,
The way, have it work for you.
When you either rent or buy a new space,
It could be a business too, by the way, people do this.
They they buy a new office space. And they lovingly walk around
And they look around, they go out,
What are we going to do with this,
And they’re moving their own office.
They’re already in their mind thinking
“How is all my furniture now that I have going to fit in this space?”
You do it in your, when you rent a home or move or buy a home.
You’re moving and you’re thinking how is my sofa
Going to fit into the space, you really shouldn’t be doing that
What you should be looking at in that space
Is how to make that space work for you.
That old sofa may be in great condition.
But it may not work here, it’s a different space.
Maybe it doesn’t fit right, maybe it’s too big,
Maybe it’s too small, that could happen too.
So the real correct way of doing it is to take your view
Of your space and look and see your needs,
And how things will work.
If you can make that sofa working great.
But that’s not what you start out with, you know?
How often do you work with spaces that are going to be
Customer facing for businesses where you have to think about
What is this space, say to my consumer, right or to my client?
And is it going to be functional for them?
And it’s going to present my brand well?
Do you do a lot of that type of design, as well?
For commercial, absolutely. Commercial is always about
I’ve created a brand wall for as part of the graphics
As part of the artwork for a client.
But if you thinking if you’re doing a corporate space,
And I’ll just say an office space, and they have a brand.
I’m not – In their brand colors are orange, and blue and white.
Okay, I’m not going to suddenly start picking flaming green,
Or, a neon green.
I’m not going to do that because it doesn’t work with their brand colors.
You know what I mean?
So I’m well aware and very cognizant of what should be-
I should be working with what materials that will work with.
For instance, people –
Texture if we’re really kind of talking about texture to
So if you’re taking a color that’s navy blue, you know there’s a navy blue,
That’s sort of a winter cold dark, like a like a warm fabric.
And then there’s the navy blue, that really works more with
The summer spring, it’s a lighter fabric,
I’m not going to use that summery, light, texture, linen, navy blue
In a space that calls for more of a winter warmer color,
Because the texture will adjust will influence how it reads.
And I get that that’s getting a little technical.
But the point is, I know what material I should be using. I know what textures will work. And it’s the same thing with branding. You don’t pick colors or textures or materials that won’t work and support the brand of the clients brand.
I know what textures will work.
And it’s the same thing with branding.
You don’t pick colors or textures or materials that won’t work
And support the brand of the client’s brand.
That’s really interesting.
So what I want to talk about a little bit is how you
Got into this, your origin story?
Every hero has an origin story where did you start
To realize that you were different?
That maybe you had superpowers?
Maybe you can use them to help people.
Where did you start to develop the value you bring to this world?
I this is a really true story. I promise you it really is.
Okay. So back in-
Right after college, I was a little –
I started out in theater. Theater and communications,
Went to Emerson. And I loved it. Very obviously,
I’m very energetic. Let’s use that word. But I changed gears.
I got to New York, and I realized that it’s not what I wanted to do.
And I was kind of lost.
My sister who was at Parsons at the time for textile design said
“Why don’t you take a class?”
Get juice up a little bit. Get the juices going? Okay, great.
So she said that pick out a design class of some kind at Parsons.
I’m like what? What should I do?
So when we were kids, we loved the movie.
Dr. Doolittle, the original one with Rex Harrison.
Do you remember that one?
I do not. But I’ve heard of it.
Go look it up. It’s very cool.
It’s way better than, I like Eddie Murphy
But it’s a different movie. Okay, so the original Dr. Doolittle,
They were searching for the great sea snail.
And this, I think her name is Emma, the woman here, heroin.
When she stows away on the boat.
They’re on this boat looking for the great sea snail.
And she goes away and they catch her.
So they try and decide where they’re going to go
To find the great sea snail. And they blindfolded her.
And they had a big hat pin, as they do in those days.
And this huge globe, which is another reason why I love globes.
I love them. And they hit the globe,
So it turn and she hit this the hat, pin and the globe
And where it landed. That’s where they were going to go find
The great sea snail encapsulating this, you know, so for brevity.
So we used to play a game, my sister and I,
And we would close our eyes and if we want to do something
And make a decision, so she’s let’s play Dr. Doolittle.
I know exactly what she meant.
So she took the Parsons class book,
With classes they offer and close my eyes. We had wine.
So this definitely was happy a moment.
And she put the book … down, and the open to interior design.
And that is exactly how I got into interior design.
That’s great. That’s a good choice for you.
Everybody was asked you to help them.
We were at the time where people were moving
To apartments and things like that.
People always asked me to help them out.
It was creative. I liked drawing, I was good
With colors. I took a class and took to it
I loved it.
Like a duck to water. I just never looked back.
That’s it. That’s a fun origin story.
Where you just sort of let fate decide.
I didn’t know what to do. I was lost.
I didn’t know what to do. With anybody in their life,
If you talk to anybody, there’s always a decision.
What to do, which way to go, crossroads. I just didn’t know
What to do. Maybe it wouldn’t have worked out.
Maybe it just could have been a bad experience.
It wasn’t from the minute I’d gotten there.
Took my first drafting class, I knew I found home.
I loved it. It was a it allowed me to be expressive;
Creative. I got to use my knowledge that I’ve learned
From the classes, but also apply my creativity
And my eye, if you will. An interior design is not all about
Eye or having a good eye. There are a lot of people
That have a very good eye, and they have good taste,
That doesn’t make them an interior designer. There’s a lot
Of behind the scenes kind of things. A lot of technical stuff.
There’s principles of design. There’s an understanding
Of what to do with spaces, especially corporate and
Commercial spaces. You’ve got to know laws and
Building codes, and understand materials,
Building materials. It’s not as easy as just picking
One fabric and putting it together with another one.
That’s the fun stuff. I always call that the crayons
To the coloring book. That’s the fun stuff.
But there’s a lot of work to it.
How did you get into being an entrepreneur
In this space? Instead of taking a job
As a staff designer for a big company?
How did you decide that you wanted to be
Your own entrepreneur
And take clients, and do the work that way?
I think every interior designer that starts out,
You apprentice with another designer,
Or an architectural firm, you get to a point,
It’s like any creative. I can do it better,
Or I want to do what I want to do,
And they won’t let me because they’re the boss.
I apprenticed for a few designers back in the day
When it first started out. You take the leap,
You just take the leap. But I have to tell you
Throughout the years, I have occasionally worked
For other people, it worked out slow. Or, for instance,
I worked for CareOne, which is a very big healthcare
company. I was the director of design
For a very brief time, it wasn’t a good fit.
But I did it because I didn’t have any healthcare
In my background, and they were hiring. And I thought,
Okay, so I took it, and I learned a lot and got my feet wet
Into healthcare. So I was able to do other jobs.
Again, it wasn’t a good fit. So I didn’t stay there.
But I’ve done that in the past where I’ve taken
Other jobs and work for other companies,
When OA hit when everything was blowing up
In the world or at least in the United States. I took a job
With a small procurement company,
But they only did hospitality. And I hadn’t done hospitality
In a number of years. It was a great way to number one,
Keep money coming in, get a job, but to get back into the swing,
Because there’s definitely a rhythm.
It happens when you work in particular industries.
Okay, so you, again, carpet is carpet. I would say this.
If I specify this carpet for that healthcare project,
I probably can also use it for, say, a corporate building
Or even in education, but their marketing is different.
Maybe there are things in anti bacterial, or things like that.
But especially in fabrics.
But you can use a lot of the same materials.
It’s just how they market it. Okay, but once you’ve done one,
You don’t have to be the chicken to recognize the egg.
As long as you’re a good designer,
And you’re willing to do the research.
If I don’t know something I research it.
And what all good entrepreneurs need to do anyway.
So let’s talk a little bit about your superpower.
If you could say, nail down like one thing
You do for your clients that is –
that really helps solve problems for them.
The things you use to like slay their villains.
What would you say your superpower is?
I know everybody probably says this, but I really mean it.
I really hear people. I hear what they want.
And a lot of times what they say they want,
Is not actually what they want.
Okay, I have a client use this as an example who –
She’s a kind of a throwback. She’s a lovely girl in her early 30s.
And she’s married. She loves … she said Victorian
And she loves all the curlicues. And I said, “Really?”
It’s been years since I – Anybody say they want that.
It’s a residential project. So great.
Can you send me some pictures of what you mean?
Because, again, what people say, they don’t always –
It’s not the same thing. It’s not the right thing or
They don’t always know what the words mean.
And I’m not going to correct her until I know what she’s saying.
Okay. So, sure enough, she sent me a bunch of pictures.
She was, “Oh, I love this. Oh my god, I love this. I love this.”
Point, everything she loved and went,
“Oh my god, I’m so glad I asked her to do this.”
It’s not Victorian, it’s Baroque and Rococo.
She loves that ornate, carve, deeply carved.
It’s different than Victorian. But I, you have to find a way
To politically correctly correct her. You have to say,
“Look, this is not exactly Victorian,
What you’re showing me is more of a Baroque or Rococo.
And I love it. It’s one of my favorite areas
In terms of fabrics and design, I just love it.
But nobody wants that anymor.
A lot of people call that your grandmother’s furniture and stuff.
It’s the grandma time. But there’s some beautiful pieces
Still being made. And now, these days we tend to use
A lot of those elements. In a furniture in a very contemporary piece.
Like you’ll see a lot of those really –
Those beautiful architectural elements
Apply to a commercial piece of contemporary piece.
So we call that a transitional. Okay, but that she loves it,
I was able to show her so one of my superpowers
As you like to call it, I like to educate the clients to
And so that they understand what they’re saying.
And we’re on the same page. But also it informs them.
So they know the value what they’re getting.
I had a similar thing with a –
I do a little bit of web design for clients.
And I had a client telling me they wanted to,
They wanted their site to be modern and edgy.
Whatever the thing was, and like I had put together
A design for them then hit all those cues.
And showed it to him. And he was like,
“Oh, it’s just it’s just not edgy enough.”
And I was using –
He said he wanted modern right and so it was like Sans Sarif fonts,
And like tall, thin kind of stuff for the headlines.
It looked very modern, very, very chic.
Like it would have gone with a high end brand.
He’s like, “But it’s not edgy enough.”
And I went back and I made a couple of changes.
And I just changed – All I changed was one thing.
I changed the headline font from being tall, thin, sans serif
To a like a paintbrush style script. And it was a masculine looking script.
For him and he’s like, “That’s it. That’s what I wanted.”
“I wanted that feel for it.” I was like, it’s not exactly the –
It’s not modern. It just changed the words a little bit and able to,
Okay, so it’s word, but we’re saying right now is it’s really just sales.
Take your client or your customers words and use them back.
So they relate, and you understand what you’re saying.
You’re not trying to get anything over on them.
You’re just trying to speak their language. So I understand that.
And bring it back to what you were saying, my superpower.
Because I think that’s hilarious. I really do here and recognize
That what people are saying or is not always exactly
What they mean, or and not that they’re lying.
And I believe that everybody lies. I really do. And I laugh about it.
But the fact is that they’re not really lying. They just don’t know.
And they’re trying to communicate is best.
But sometimes they’re afraid to tell you as a designer,
I’ve seen some crazy stuff, okay.
And they don’t want you to know that their closets a mess or something.
Or they have all this other stuff. Like one time I did an office space.
They’re moving to a new space. And she saw –
I was hearing what they had now because I was taking
What we call inventory. I have to find places to make sure
That they have enough storage space and
What have you for the new place. And she’s all
“Don’t look in that room.” I’m like, “Why not? What’s in it a bomb?”
I was laughing. But she was mortified because
It had a lot of crap in it. I said, :Well, are you taking that with you?”
Or are we just, she said, “No, no, we’re not gonna.”
She lied. She was taking all that stuff.
She just was horrified that I saw it. I’m like,
But I have to make space for it. Don’t you understand?
You want to just shove it in another room in your new place.
You want it to have a place to belong. Don’t you want it?
If you don’t want it, whyyou bring it with you?
And if you do want it, don’t you want to use it?
Because you certainly can’t use it that way.
Some people just don’t want –
Aren’t able to get past their thinking.
They have a thought process we all do.
And then it stops at a certain point. When it comes to design,
It’s my job to help them. This is part of your life.
It’s about stuff, but it’s also about how you use the space.
There was that whole room just didn’t want me to see.
And okay, listen, I’ve seen some crazy stuff.
I’m telling you, back in the day when I first started,
I was drafting for I’m an architect back in Ocean Township,
Ocean Grove. And back in those days, there used to be a lot of B and B’s.
And it was right on the ocean was great.
And a lot of abandoned buildings. When I worked for this architect.
So we would go in as the lowly drafters and go and measure
And dimension and we’d have to drop the space.
One time we walked into space and oh my god,
The smell that hit you first was just, I’ll never forget that
I still remember it, it was all these cats.
There were just hundreds of cats that had taken over
This building that was abandoned. I mean, there were some dead cats.
There were live cats, there was just poop everywhere.
It was just awful and it had to be cleaned out.
Before we can even really go in there. It was not safe.
But I’ve seen stuff like that. Just there are buildings, so anyway-
I want to talk about the other side of your superpowers.
And that is the fatal flaw. Like Superman has his Kryptonite.
Batman is not actually super. So when it comes to running a business,
Running a business as an interior designer,
What would you say something that has held you back
Or kept you from growing, that you’ve learned from
That you could share and maybe more importantly,
What have you done to overcome that?
I think a lot of designers have this issue is the prioritizing.
We’re all kind of little perfectionist, we all want to make it perfect.
And, Emeril Lagasse that chef that always goes, “Bam!”
So we never want to do “Bam!” I always say this,
It’s like, we’re never at that point where we can go “Bam!” serve it.
We just got to keep fixing, fixing, fixing.
And the fact is that most people aren’t going to see
The things that we see. And nobody cares.
I can’t stand there with a sign going, this is not what I designed,
My client changed it, or the budget changed or what have you,
This is not what I … How it’s going to come out,
You have to do your best as much as possible.
And then you have to let it go.
At some point, you have to learn to prioritize.
You have to, and it’s hard to do it when you’re –
I know a lot of designers have the same issue.
Like, “It’s not done.” “It’s not finished.” “It’s not good enough.”
It’s not the way I want it to be.
So how do I fixed it? I don’t know, they fixed it.
I constantly have to pep talk myself.
And that’s why coaches exist because they’re like,
“No gotta move on Stacy. Let’s go keep it moving.”
It’s hard. That’s hard. Because you know you could do better.
It’s nothing’s worse than when you find that say one fabric
After you went forward with the job and everybody signed off,
You got whatever, the deposits and then you found this one fabric
That was amazing. Like, “Oh!”, it’s done. Move on.
I really like a visual of you standing out in front of the design,
“This is not the way I designed it.”
I have had clients that change stuff on me.
And it happens all the time. Contractors are notorious for that.
If you don’t have a really good relationship with, it’s like a threesome,
Client, contractor and you. If your client is,
If your contractor’s not loyal to you, if it’s not your guy,
What happens is, they just want to get the job done.
They don’t really care about my design. They’re in it.
And I’m not knocking all contractors.
There are contractors that absolutely care about the design.
But they got to get to stay on a schedule that,
It’s based on the money.
And that’s not what she approved. It’s going to cost more money.
So if he’s not loyal to you, he’s not going to come to you and say,
And it’s happened all the time, he’s not going to come to you and say,
“Oh, listen, she doesn’t want this” or
“We found something that will be better.”
The other thing, maybe is a back order. We can’t get it
And we have a replacement. I’ve had contractors just do it.
They just replace that without telling me,
And it didn’t affect the business, and it changed stuff.
And maybe it’s bigger, smaller just doesn’t look the same.
It’s really torturous. When that happens.
And it’s happened enough in my life where I’ve developed that thing,
I cannot stand there with a sign that says,
“This is not what I designed.” It’s got to stand on its own.
So you got to do your job the best you can,
And then just get over it and move on. We’re good.
If you can think of an advice for all of us,
Whether or not we’re in design is just
You got to do the best and move on you actually have to get it-
Everybody doesn’t do that. Everybody doesn’t do their best.
There are people who just want to get through the day.
Get their paycheck, or if they’re running their own business,
Just get the job done. And they don’t, I don’t know about that.
I think entrepreneurs have a deeper feeling.
But you meet them all the time.
You meet the people that aren’t invested in doing their best.
There’s just this level that’s missing.
And it’s hard to work with those people because
One of the things I am is, I do I feel things are deeply.
And I am a little sensitive. So I’m a creative, it’s kind of the fail.
Comes with the package.
Kind of but I do, the funny thing is
You can be sensitive and still have a thick skin.
Meaning that affects me. It bothers me. I’m hurt. I’m upset.
Whatever, and I can move on.
So, gotta do it. There’s no other way to do it.
So let’s take a little time and talk about your common enemy.
And this is specifically for your clients so when,
If you could, when a client hires you,
You generally have struggles and things like that.
Getting through the whole process and going through thing,
If you could remove one thing from your clients life,
From their mindset that would make your job
Easier every time you did it. What would that one thing be?
The perception of value or lack of value.
They don’t, I have to talk about I have to-
I have to show the value of what I’m presenting
Eevery single time. I think I do a decent job of it.
But some jobs I didn’t get. And that says to me,
Either didn’t do a good job on the perceived value,
Or the money was wrong.
And even then that still goes back to value.
I have a – She’s not my coach.
But I mean, we do Facebook groups.
And I’m in one of these groups who’s a –
She’s a designer, and she’s also a coach.
And she’s recently been on this line of thinking that
We don’t talk, we don’t use the B word, which is budget.
And it’s actually kind of changed my thinking,
And I’m kind of appreciative of it. It’s a new thing and I like it.
She said we don’t use the word budget with a client anymore.
Okay, well, when you do big corporate jobs, especially hotels,
That’s a huge word, they have investors.
There is definitely a line of budget, budget line.
She replaces it with, it’s an investment on the clients part.
And when I thought of that, I said,
“That’s brilliant, because it is investment.”
And it definitely goes hand in hand with the perception of value.
So you may told me, I only have $5,000 to spend on this.
Whatever we’re doing this remodel or whatever.
Okay, great. Well, I know that if I show you a couple of things or a little-
They’re gonna push that number a little bit higher, but you’ll love it.
And you really want it.
Are you telling me you’re not going to find a way to find the money?
Most people will, if you can do it, if you can’t,
I’m one of those wonderful designers that will work with you.
Maybe we do a payment plan. Maybe we do-
I don’t know. But we’ll work it out.
Because I believe in the design enough,
And giving you what you asked for that will serve you well.
I really do believe this, this is not schlock or schticks.
That’s the word I meant to use. It’s not schtick. I really believe this,
I’m trying to do- It’s not my job. It’s not my home,
When I finished my work, I’m going to close the door.
Say, “Thank you very much,” and I go.
Maybe I won’t come back anymore. You have to live with it.
So I need to give you what you asked me for.
Okay. And I really believe that what I just said to you
Is that the perceived value and what she says about the investment,
I think they go hand in hand that this is not -It’s not a budget.
For a person who’s invested in the design,
It’s an investment on their money, and on their belief system
That you are giving what you said you will do
What you said you will do for them.
How do you help people understand the value of design?
What is some of the things that you actually do or say
Or like actually use to help someone who is questioning
The value of the design to really understand why it’s worth
Taking the time and the money to actually
Do something that works well for them?
I mean, that really goes, a good example with that would be a like,
An aging in place kind of project would be somebody
Who’s maybe in a wheelchair or their site has been affected whatever.
So they need things adjusted in their home.
And I had a client started out but
They didn’t have the money to finish the project.
And it was one of those unfortunate things that broke my heart.
We really didn’t get to finish it. But I did a good job on it.
He had this sunroom, he had the sunroom in the back …
And he’d never used it, it was in poor condition.
But he was going into a wheelchair. And he really, he couldn’t go upstairs
To the bedroom anymore. But he wanted to stay in his home.
So I looked around the house. I said, “So we could.”
“If you’re willing to invest a little bit more money,
We could take the sunroom, and adjust it and raise it up the floor level
so that you can use it as your bedroom.”
And he hadn’t thought of that before. It never occurred to him.
It’s like it was just a sunroom that he never used
Because it had a step down and he couldn’t do it anymore.
But we could make it work for you.
And it would be lovely, you get a lot of light. We’ll insulate it well,
Do what we have to do. But then you’ll be on the first floor.
So you can age in place. And then we were just going to do a bathroom
To adjust the bathroom so they could accommodate the wheelchair .
That was a bigger part of the job. So I’m sorry,
Tell me your question, again. I know it just got I just went off.
It was a how do you get them to understand the value of design, right?
When you’re teaching them?
Like how do you teach someone the value of design
Because someone who’s a designer doesn’t always get that value?
Sorry, I just lost my train of thought, but I had it.
So that’s the point is that I gave him something he never thought of.
It didn’t occur to him.
He didn’t know how he was going to make a space.
He didn’t want to lose his dining room.
He didn’t want to lose his living room
Over to which what most people would do is turn that into a bedroom.
And I said, “Well, you have this other room here.”
“Oh, yeah, it’s just the sunroom.” So that was a value to him.
He was like, “Oh my god, they loved it.”
So I actually did the space plan for them. I did the design work.
And then it kind of didn’t go anywhere it need to
Because he just didn’t have the money to do it at the time.
I don’t know what happened.
But that’s the point is when you hear a client say,
“I never thought of that,” or “Oh my god, I love that.”
Not because they love the fabric. It’s not all about the fun stuff.
It’s about you have this whole space,
If we could just say take this wall out,
Or open it up and do this here.
What have you, three space planet.
We could actually make the space for you.
If you’re not a designer and you don’t know
The ability on can you take that wall out?
Can you make a new wall here? Can you move the door over?
If you like, that’s the first thing I think of when I go into space.
So if I can show them that they see the value.
They see that they weren’t thinking that way
Bcause it’s not what they do.
So it’s something that we deal with as entrepreneurs
A lot is being able to say, here’s the value of what I do,
Because I see things, I have a perspective that you don’t have,
Because of my skill sets that I have because of the the stack of …
That’s why you’re hiring me.
That’s why you’re suppposed to be hiring me.
So it’s something that we deal with all the time,
Regardless of what space you’re in is learning
How to communicate the value you have to your clients.
Exactly. And also, when they say that, again,
The value is if they don’t have the money, I try to work with them.
Because a lot of people don’t, I don’t,
There’s this thing about interior design,
Is sort of equated with luxury. There’s this old fashion,
“Oh, I can’t afford an interior designer” or “That’s for luxury.”
“That’s for people with money.” I don’t see –
I don’t approach design that way. There’s a rich people design for sure.
You know what that is? Instead of being relegated
To below $50 a yard for fabric,
You get to spend maybe the hundred dollars or more.
There’s definitely a level if you want luxury,
You’re gonna have to pay for it because luxury does cost more.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get quality interior design
For an affordable price.
I hate to use that word because affordable to you
May be different to me. Okay, an appropriate design,
An appropriate budget. It’s a word.
There’s design for everyone and it can fit everyone.
My secret desire is to do more community spaces
For communities that need it.
That do gooder thing, I would kill to do community road.
So that like a community house like a JCC kind of a thing.
But so that communities that are desperate
For that sort of thing, for their kids and their community,
Their members can use it. Like a dance studio with art studio,
Then there are people that have to make
Decisions for that, design decision.
That actually leads me really well in my next question,
Which is your driving powers. Spider Man fights save New York.
Batman fights to save Gotham or
Google fights to index all the world’s information.
What is it that you fight for? What’s your mission,
When you go out and you work with clients and
You try to do design work, you have something specific
That you’re striving to do.
Because every client is different. So I can’t say that.
So you, like I said, you could be that basketball player
That wants that basketball court in his living room.
That’s a unique client. That’s a special kind of client.
He’s completely different from the hotel owner,
Who is different from- Everybody has different needs.
But if I could pick and choose what I really would be doing?
I mean, I think you know that I think in my bio,
That my daughter’s death. And my son is very ADA able
They’re are very successful human beings. They’re 26 and 29.
So they’re doing well, I apparently was a good mother.
Okay. But I’m very sensitive to accommodations,
And also being an interior designer. I have no choice.
It’s part of design. When you get a project
That’s introduced to you, it was a possible project.
The first thing you ask is, where is it?
And then I have to look up what the ADA combinations.
But some are just across the board. If you have no wheelchair access,
I already know we have to do something.
Okay. Most people don’t allow for this.
But I’m always searching for some kind of accommodation
For deaf people, for blind people.
I had somebody- This is always a funny story.
This talks to the – And I’m going to owning this in a mean way.
But the ignorance of people of accommodations.
Everybody thinks, “Oh, ADA wheelchair.” It’s not just wheelchair.
There’s a lot of other people that need accommodations out there.
So I was saying that to somebody who wants –
And he goes, this guy goes, -We’re talking about the hotel.
And he says, “Well, there’s the bumps with that … in the elevator,
We’re talking about my daughter being deaf,
And I wanted to have accommodations for deaf people.
And I looked at them,”That’s kind of really good for blind people.”
Did you hear what you said, we were talking about a deaf issue.
And you – because that’s all they know. And I get it.
I understand if it’s not your world,
You have no people in your world that need accommodations.
It’s unimportant to you. But one day it will be.
You might be in the wheelchair, your significant other or
Spouse, or your child. Somebody’s going to need something.
Some beloved aunt and uncle, somebody needs something.
There’s nothing worse than knowing that somebody
Could get to use the facilities or be accommodated,
Because the space wasn’t, unfortunately, forced to do it,
Because that’s what ADA does.
So ADA is definitely near and dear to my heart.
Because I can do it. Because I can design for it.
Just because it’s ADA. And your accommodating for a disability
Doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. I see people just throw ugly ramps up,
Come on, you could have done better.
There’s some really pretty railings out there.
You could have done something.
They don’t care. And then there are people
Who really do make the effort. And I love that.
So that’s taking the time to actually really care about
The design and the people that are going to use it
Sounds like it’s very dear to your heart.
It’s really weird. I hear there’s so many people out there
That need accommodations.
And they are stopped by using the facilities
Because there’s not a wheelchair access, or it’s poor lighting.
So my daughter being deaf, if we’re in a restaurant or
In a place that’s very low lighting, she struggles. Why?
Cause’ she’s reading lips, so she can’t see lips well.
Those are accommodations for her. So correct lighting.
I don’t need bright and fluorescent, but appropriate lighting.
So many times you go to restaurant. It’s so dark and dingy. I think.
Really, in this day and age? Okay. Anyway.
So that’s what’s near and dear to my heart.
That’s what I always search for.
This would be an interesting question.
Because you’re in a unique space. So how about your tool belt?
Maybe you have a big magical hammer, like Thor or
Bulletproof vest, like a police officer, or maybe just really love how
Evernote helps you organize your thoughts.
What are some of the tools you use to run
The business side of your business.
The handling of leads, the scheduling appointments,
The the stuff that’s the minutiae of actually making sure
You get your business done, and you get your product delivered
To your clients on time? What are some of the tools
That you use to help make that happen in your business?
You mean like Microsoft or like –
I’m not sure. So I’m it like, do you?
Do you use like a day planner or is it?
Okay, I didn’t know where you’re going with that, like a software?
Well, I have an assistant, part-time assistant.
I don’t have that kind of volume. So I’m not a big firm.
But when I do need, have the need for that kind of volume,
I outsource, I use contractors. But we do,
I will put together presentation boards based on
the Microsoft suite, Photoshop type of software.
Everything is digital these days.
I’m a very small studio in a place called The Factory.
Shout out to The Factory. And so what it is is The MakerSpace.
And it’s in Collingswood. And so I have just one room.
And it’s in, it’s really cool. When you walk in,
He does, his bread and butter money. He owns the building.
So he’s the landlord. But he also puts together
Those light edge tables. You know what they are?
They’re like, trees, you’ve seen them,
You just don’t realize you’ve seen them.
Google light edge tables they’re sliced wood.
And it’s really cool. It’s the hot thing now
For last so many years, and it probably will be on for a while.
So he puts those kinds of tables out, he does an amazing job.
His beautiful work. But he also rent out his huge space.
So people- It’s like a maker’s space.
Now in the back, there are individual studios
That people rent on a tenant. And I rent one.
And so the point is, it’s only so big, I can’t-
I don’t have the luxury of having lots of, what I call crap.
Like carpet books, fabric books, and all that stuff.
So that’s – As a designer these days, because of the digital world,
I can do most of the stuff digitally except things
That have texture, like a fabric like a carpet, or tile.
Those things I keep physically on site,
Or I go to the tile store, the fabrics place or whatever,
Or my vendor is bringing to me like-
Do you mock up a lot of your designs, like in 3d for people?
I myself personally don’t do the 3d,
I took the class and I just don’t do it enough to retain it.
I outsource that. But yes, we put together presentation boards,
And we do it through like present-
A publisher, or just make a document. And we do
The digital design boards. And then if the client approves that,
I will send it digitally. And just like we’re doing now,
I’ll have a zoom call with them. If they’re far away
If they’re nearby, I’ll do it in person. But if it’s far away,
Because there’s no reason why I can’t do a job in California,
Designers do it all the time, hotels of corporate buildings.
I mean, people travel, that’s what planes are for.
But again, we do a meeting like this,
I put together a digital board, I share it, we review it,
I go through everything. And if they approve it,
Then I will actually send them the real materials.
So they like what I showed them, great. I’m going to put
A package together and send them out the fabric, the carpet,
The tile, whatever. And then we get a second approval.
I really do like this for sure. And or can we I’m not sure if I like this,
We tweak it. And then so we use we utilize the mail system.
But most times, these are investor groups,
And they don’t have this kind of time.
They’re like, we’re good digitally. And so I do a lot of stuff digitally.
But that’s one of the ways I do it. And then, I use some
That’s really interesting
That you can do a lot of that stuff today, even with design work.
How much of it you can do digitally?
Oh, totally, totally. I’m a couple years ago,
I thought it was going to take a job in Houston,
Right before the hurricane hit there. So and I’m really into tiny houses
And not, I’m not a minimalist. I just needed a lot of stuff
Out of my life. I needed to downsize everything,
I just couldn’t live like this anymore thing.
I think people are too attached to their stuff.
And that’s pretty funny, coming from a designer (laughter)
But I think that people don’t value their stuff the way they should.
I think they minimize it. And they take it for granted.
Okay, so and you only have to go through a storm
To lose stuff to realize that. Okay, so I got rid of my house
And I bought an RV. Okay, and moved into it with my daughter,
Thinking we were moving to Houston. And then we would
Take our time because it’s warmer we could live in it
For a while and then see, get the lay of the land and
Find a place or whathaveyou. Well, that storm took out that job.
So I did not do that job. Plus, again, you’ve asked me
Being an entrepreneur, I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life.
I’ve always kept my baby. When I worked for other people,
I still kept my business going on the side. So if I worked
For a company that did only residential, which I’d never done,
Then I wouldn’t take any residential projects. I would only do
Projects that would never be a conflict of interest.
Okay, so we’re, right now we’re living in an RV.
Because I kind of like it.
I am interviewing you from an RV.
I curtain up behind me I’m in my bedroom right now.
I do that here because then my studio, I can’t …
I’m in an RV.
I love it. Because I feel like, here’s how I put it.
I have some of my friends that are got their noses
In the air a little bit and they go,
“When are you going to go to an apartment or house?”
I don’t want to right now. Maybe I will.
But right now. So my dream is to take jobs anywhere
And just sort of drive my house to there and do the job.
We don’t have to live where we work, that’s the thing.
If you’re doing anything digitally, if you’re an interior designer,
If you’re a web design, you don’t have to live with the project is.
It’s the beauty of being in this day and age. And if I really need to-
We always travel full time, we’ve been traveling for two years.
I love it. I love it. I know it won’t last forever.
But I’m not seeing an end to it right now. So I’m good.
I know it’s crazy. I’m in New Jersey. So there’s only two
Or three that are year-round campgrounds
That you can park this thing in. And I’m waiting for tiny houses
To become legal and accepted in New Jersey and
Then that’s probably where I’ll go, just do a tiny house, I’m waiting.
I don’t want to do it now because I think there’s too much.
There’s still too much fighting over it.
They’re still not fully accepted. But that’s the goal.
The HERO Show will be right back.
Music is my purple planet music visit https://purpleplanet.com/
So, let’s talk a little bit. You’re your own personal heroes.
Frodo had Gandalf. Luke had Obi Wan.
Robert Kiyosaki had his Rich Dad. Who were some of your heroes?
Were they real life mentors? Were they speakers or authors,
Peers who were just few years ahead of you,
And how important were they to what
You’ve accomplished so far in your business?
I had a few. I don’t want to name the names.
And the reason why is when you put heroes up on a pedestal,
They fall. And I’ve learned that the hard way.
Is that when you idolize people, or you make them bigger
Than they are, and maybe you shouldn’t do that,
But I think that’s what we do with our heroes and
Our people that we look up to. I find it – It’s heartbreaking
Because they’re not really who they think they seem.
I did have a mentor back in the day.
This is going back 30 years ago, he was an architect.
Sam from Ocean Township, he has since passed.
Loved him. He was a kind, intelligent, thoughtful architect,
And I love my architects. They are the favorite people in the world.
I love to be there. I’d like to take what they do,
And bring it to fruition because that’s my job really,
To take the architecture and finish and complete it.
He was a lovely man. And he has since passed.
And he’s the one person I would say that taught me a lot.
I learned a lot about drafting. That’s the drawing style
We use and in design. But we had a small practice,
A mid-sized practice in ocean Township, and met some
Great people there. I’d loved him. And then I think it’s just
I don’t tend to do that anymore. I think we were in this culture
Of putting a lot of pressure on people
To be this perfect thing that they’re not.
So this goes against your show. I’m sorry. I just feel that way.
I feel like we have a lot of pressure to put on somebody.
To be somebody’s hero or idolize them, because nobody’s perfect.
So I think that’s the other thing,
Going back to what you’d asked before,
I see things for what they are. And it’s disappointing
If you’re expecting something else. I’m a realist,
And I am a dreamer. But I’m a realist.
And I think we all – When we look to people
Who have inspired us, at some point you realize that
Everyone is a normal human being. But so there’s both sides
To that. We get inspiration from people and at some point
As you grow and realize that they’re just normal person like me.
… was a normal person, he was a lovely man. He just –
He was an architect and he was my first real –
Actually, that’s not true. I did work for somebody else briefly
When I first started out, but he was the guy I looked up to,
And I had a lot of respect for his integrity. I think that’s really
What I meant to say is coming around a long winded way is,
I respect people who live with their integrity. And in this day and age,
Especially now, really hard to see
That there’s a lot of people doing that. I think people
Are walking around scared and nervous
For lots of various reasons. And I don’t think a lot of people
Are living their integrity, I know we a lot of buzz words out there.
Be transparent, be a genuine person,
That’s how you get to be – It’s all marketing stuff.
Nobody is fully transparent and you shouldn’t have to be.
We’re all allowed to have our secrets and our things
That we don’t want people to know. Your human being,
I don’t really want to know all that stuff about you.
I do, I mean, get a life. I sound …
Let’s be home for a little bit and talk about last thing here,
Top one or two principles or action that you take every day,
That contribute to your business growth. Maybe something
You wish you would have been doing when you started out.
I’m getting a little bit more, I guess I’ll use the word aggressive,
Although I’m not really sure if that’s the right word,
Or cognizant of not being afraid to reach out to people.
If I hear about things that are happening in the
For a potential project, or, work. I’ll reach out and
Find out the information. I used to not do that as much.
I always read about it. I’m a voracious reader,
I read everything I read. I’m not talking about books.
I’m talking about magazines and news stories.
And I’m a news junkie. But that means something’s going on.
So if you’re reading about something, that there’s a possible
There’s a sale, some building got sold, that means
Something’s happening, you know what I mean?
So probably it’s too late. By the time you read about it,
But not always. So I’m, maybe it’s putting myself out there
A little bit more. I hadn’t been doing that. So I’ve started to do that
A little bit more often. Which gets me in front of other people.
I find it very hard to ask people for what they call that referrals
Or good things like that, I feel very uncomfortable after hearing that.
I feel like if you really liked me, and you liked the work I did,
Or you like something about me, you should want to do that.
That’s really- ballsy (laughter).
Because people don’t do that. I do it. I do with people,
If I meet someone, and they impress me,
I already put out say on the internet,
Like, say Facebook or whatever, I just met this person.
I just found out about this product. This is amazing.
And then maybe somebody something will come with it.
That’s awesome. So last thing I do on the show every time
And you were actually a recipient of this last time,
Max asked you to come on the show is our Hero Challenge.
Your challenge is really simple.
Do you have someone in your life or in your network
Who is an entrepreneur that you think has a really cool story
That you can share their story. Who are they? First names are fine,
And why do you think they should come share their story on the show?
I think I could nominate – Did you get nominated, Joe Pardo?
No, I haven’t.
Okay, Joe Pardo is an amazing guy. He, if I could take one word,
I would say that man, his energy all rolled up in one person.
Max knows him very well. He’s a podcaster.
But he’s starting a bunch of different businesses and
Two that are specifically, he does, he runs the Mac Con.
I don’t know if you heard that.
Max must’ve told you about that. So it’s a conference,
A podcaster conference coming up in a couple of weeks.
But also he hasn’t been tainted yet. He still believes.
He’s not jaded. He’s energetic. He has lots of projects going on.
And it’s about the entrepreneurial spirit.
He would be perfect for your show. He’s awesome.
Awesome. We’ll reach out later and see if we can get
Contact details for him. Lastly is thank you so much for coming
On the show today, Staci. I really appreciate it.
Where can people find you if they want to reach out
And learn a little about interior design, maybe learn about
Your residential program that you’re getting started working?
Where can they find you, how that should they reach out, l
Who’s theideal client?
OK, so the ideal client, again is hotels, but also for the residential.
The DIY project, or workshop is going to be called Design Interrupted.
And yes, it’s taken right out of that movie Girl Interrupted.
The idea being is if you had a notion about design,
I’m going to interrupt you and stop that.
And now we’re going to do it this way.
We’re going to let you do it. How to do your room
The way you want to do it with professional guidance.
So that’s why I call the Design Interrupted.
But my company is called Interior and Design, LLC.
So the website, https://www.interioranddesignllc.com
It’s interior, the ampersand, just because I have to be different
And I’m a designer and that’s what we do.
But domain names don’t let you do that.
So its https://www.interioranddesignllc.com.
And I’m located in Collingswood, New Jersey,
Right outside of Philadelphia. What else did you ask me?
Who’s your ideal client and how can they find you?
Okay, so they could find me on the web.
They can Google me, you know, Staci Greenberg,
Or Interior and design LLC. The ideal client is really
Anybody who wants a well designed space. If it’s a hotel, again,
I do hotels, but that they they want it to reflect their their needs,
Their information, their taste whathaveyou. That’s my ideal client.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much
For coming on the show today, Staci. I really appreciate it.
It’s been great talking with you. And I’ve not had anyone on
Talking about interior design before. It’s an interesting business.
I have a podcast I haven’t launched yet.
But it’s gonna be called The Inside Outlook.
It should be launching like very shortly.
And I’ll let you know when that happens. I’m excited about it.
Cool. So thanks for coming on the show.
And thank you for sharing your story with us today.
Thank you for having me. It was a lovely evening. I really enjoyed it.
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What Is The Hero Show?
A peak behind the masks of modern day super heroes. What makes them tick? What are their super powers? Their worst enemies? What's their kryptonite? And who are their personal heroes? Find out by listening now
The HERO Show
Hi! I'm Richard Matthews and I've been helping Entrepreneurs
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