December 1998, 16 years ago, I sat listening to my Mother’s eulogy by one of her dear friends. My Mom had died at 66, which may seem young. A dear friend spoke and wove a story, creating a lovely, rich mosaic of a woman who leaped through life; she pushed past life’s challenges, celebrating life in a curious, educated and always beautifully vivacious way. She raised a son handicapped at 15 months by polio, lost a daughter to drugs, marched for women’s rights in Dallas, was a business partner to her husband, traveled the world, community volunteered and played bridge and golf while terminally ill, and so, so much more. I sat there listening, holding my brother’s hand and it occurred to me that there is no perfect time to do something and if you want to do something, just do it.
Sparks. A buzz, a click of a light bulb. It may sound cliché; I really did have that light bulb moment, which spurred me to a new career. Damn… that eulogy was good. I have told that dear friend of hers on many an occasion, that she should be a professional eulogy writer. The back story goes like this –a few years before, I had read an article in the magazine Better Homes & Gardens about a new breed of designer emerging. A designer/home decorator that used what the client already owned and restyled and arranged the home’s spaces (Interior Stylist/Re-designer/Home Stager). I loved the concept, had always had a flair for design and would paint, rearrange and sew new window treatments in my home in a weekend, on a whim. I called and was sent information about this fledgling association that too offered a training program. I really wanted to take the training, but instead filed away the material for the future, having a toddler and baby filling my daily life.
After getting home from saying goodbye to my Mom, I immediately signed up for a few interior design classes at a local college, signed up and booked a flight to Dallas for that specialty training program and leaped into a new career and business all in a few months. Fifteen years later, I wake up every morning excited about my business. There is never a day that I regret or consider something else. My business has been the perfect fit, fulfilled me, and changed me. I have the best clients, meet the most interesting people, have created friendships with both clients and associates. I pour my creativity into something that makes people happy in their homes. I have a successful business that offers soup to nuts services to make homes lovely whether homeowners are moving out, in, or anything in between. My adventures are many - From HGTV projects, a little local cable TV show, working on everything from model homes to mobile homes and getting to share my passion for all things 'home' by speaking, educating and training others. And that dear friend of my Mother's? Well she is a dear friend of mine now and a client!
Years ago, I had lunch with an interior designer and author who I greatly admired and to this day, channel her design and life-style philosophy, Alexandra Stoddard. She told me something that stays always in my mind and heart - “You become truly the women you can be, after your Mother is gone”.
So with that, I thank my Mom.