I always pictured myself living in New York City, working as an artist, wearing the latest fashions and admiring the view of the city from my apartment on the 110th floor. Imagine my shock when at 35 I am living in a small town, working as a stay at home mom to 2 kids, wearing Cabi and admiring my culdesac from the second level of my home.
(Record scratch) Wait, what just happened?!
Had I given up on my dreams and aspirations? What happened to that headstrong freshman studio art major who knew what she wanted? Was she still in there? And was there any glimmer of my artistic talent left? I was determined to find out!
As a child growing up in Minneapolis, I was always drawn to the arts. I danced competitively from the age of 5. And while it wasn’t as intense as an episode of Dance Moms, it was my life. The music, the costumes, the movements, all spoke to my soul. That was until my parents moved me from the big city, to the small town of Sartell when I was 13.
At the time, Sartell was not what it is today. It was a super small town. And dance here was nothing like what I was used to. Thank goodness for freshman drawing class that made me realize that I might be kind of good at this art thing. My first real pencil drawing was of ballet pointe shoes (big surprise). I not only got an A on it, but my teacher and classmates commented on how good it was. Wow, maybe there was more to my creative talents than just dance. As I moved through the motions of high school and took every art class offered, I settled on attending UW Eau Claire for Studio Art. And then there was this guy that kind of changed everything.
(You got it, Record scratch)
I took a year off from school, packed my bags and moved to Tennessee with Andy; a guy I had known in high school and recently reconnected with.
(Record SKIP – Gotcha on that one)
Five years later, I had moved back to Minnesota, graduated from SCSU with a bachelors degree in Marketing (the whole starving artist thing prompted me to change my major), I was engaged to my now husband Andy and we were general contracting and building our first house.
(Record skip again)
Five more years and I had another degree in Accounting and was studying for the CPA. Our family had grown by 2 dogs and we were expecting our first baby. And then our daughter arrived.
(Record skip, jump, scratch, the needle is off the record) Whoa…what happened?!
After flipping our second home, welcoming another baby to our family, purchasing the company my husband had worked at for 10 years (Minnesota Home Improvements) and moving to Sartell, I was back to the beginning of this story. 35 years old and trying to figure out where my former self was.
As I was on my quest to find a way to put my creativity to use, an idea fell in my lap. Good friends were flipping a house and wanted it staged before it hit the market. The only staging company they could find to do it was in Minneapolis. That is when the light bulb lit up in my head.
I had helped my husband take over and run his business for the last 3 years, so why couldn’t I run my own business? I had a background in sales, marketing, and accounting. I had always received compliments on how I styled my own home. Everyone loved my choices in our first home that we built, raved about our second home that we flipped and were wowed by the transformation of our current home. Could I really do this?
That’s when she came back. The strong-willed, impulsive and determined freshman art school student was back. And she was ready to rock.
After that, I hit the ground running and Minnesota Home Interiors was created as a sister company to Minnesota Home Improvements. I started out storing my staging inventory in the guest room of my home, then in storage units and I finally moved into my first warehouse. I have also teamed up with some amazing realtors who entrust me to consult with their clients on staging their homes. We have been able to expand our Interior Design services from simple idea boards to shoppable mood boards and 3D renderings. As the business has grown, I have been able to add two amazingly talented designers to my team.
My husband and I love working on projects together and constantly get jokes about being “Chip & Joanna Gaines”. Our 2 kiddos, Liv and Kingston, were named after children of famous Rockstars (bonus points if you can guess who). We have a 13 year old yorkie named Jack who only uses 3 of his legs, but has never let it slow him down. We live in a red, colonial brick house in Sartell. Our home is full of honey oak and I have taken on the task of making it look current, without painting it all white. Black is my happy color.
I am no longer scratching and skipping on another artists record, I am recording my own.