Friday, January 4th, 2019
by Sherry Castaldi
Woo Hoo! Even if I say so myself, a 15 year anniversary is quite an achievement for a small business! I am extremely proud of starting this venture from scratch from a desire to help others by creating a better space whether they want to sell, stay or simplify!
I’ve seen many changes through the years. When starting out, the term “staging” wasn’t that well heard of in our area. I can recall being asked if that meant I worked in the Theatre? Um, no, and the explanation of what home staging was would ensue. Obviously my company was named prior to me even hearing of staging as the word staging is not in the name.
My first home staging clients were extremely forward thinking and acknowledged not only the service itself, but the need to have me stage their home prior to calling in their Realtor to list the home for sale. I couldn’t have been more excited, and with that opportunity I had my first staging job at the end of 2004. And to this day it is still one of the biggest jobs to date as it incorporated all aspects required for a family’s major move; organizing, project management, and the finishing touch of staging! However, staging hardly took off like a rocket ship in my area. Slowly and ever so slowing with the help of the HGTV staging shows and the consistent perseverance of RESA, the Real Estate Staging Association, educating the benefits of staging to home sellers and Realtors, that finally working with a home stager became more the norm for the mainstream and not just a curiosity.
Getting the word out whenever you start a business is always a big part of the early years. Believe it or not, print advertising was still the way to go. No websites or social media, just in-person networking, word of month and print advertising. Then the technological evolution began and a website became an essential part of your business. And with a website came the need for SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Otherwise how would anyone even find you even if you had a website? What one learned early on is that building a website was expensive and needed constant maintenance and updates. (Fantastic!…Not!) If that wasn’t enough then came social media! And one quickly realized there was a lot to learn there and even more to maintain so that also could easily turn into a full time job! I will admit I’m more than happy to have those major business evolutions behind me. Even so, I’m sure more changes will be just around the corner as neither life nor business is ever stagnant but always changing and moving forward.
My home makeover service also has seen transitions through the years. I realized early on that there was a need to assist homeowners with design or decor in a home that they were living in. Offering a service where I managed the home improvement projects with contractors filled a need for my clients that didn’t want to deal with contractors for their projects. Assisting with paint color selections also became much more popular, as now the exact shade and what’s trending or marketable is much more important than in years past. Helping clients make design choices either in their home or at a retail store, is now evolving to online shopping options. This trend is following the explosion of how shopping in general is becoming more of an online experience than an in-store experience.
Professional organizing has also transitioned from the vast amount of paperwork organizing in earlier years to very little paperwork these days due to technological advancements and all that paper began being stored online. Organizing has also taken on multiple specialty services to really fine tune the service to the client’s need. The trade organization NAPO, National Association of Professional Organization, has even undergone a name change to NAPO, National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals, reflecting those advancements.
Through the last 15 years, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to help and assist all of the wonderful clients that have come my way through my business, as well as all of the wonderful friendships formed along the way, whether clients, colleagues or business associates. Thank you to all who’s paths have crossed with Organized by Design in the last 15 years as I look forward to what the future brings and continue with my original quest of helping people make their home a better space whether they want to sell, stay or simplify!
Home Staging, Home Makeovers and Home Organizing for Chester County, PA, including the towns of Chadds Ford, PA, Chester Springs, PA, Downingtown, PA, Exton, PA, Malvern, PA, Phoenixville, PA, West Chester, PA. Also serving the Main Line towns of Paoli, PA, Berwyn, PA, Devon, PA, Wayne, PA, Radnor, PA, Villanova, PA, Bryn Mawr, PA, and Ardmore, PA, into the Philadelphia area.