A freelance producer by day working in film, TV and international sports; Stephanie started doing interior design as a fun artistic side venture while pairing with her husband’s real estate investment business. This gave her the perfect opportunity to practice her design skills while experimenting with styles.
She is big on re-purposing items, finding budget friendly solutions and making a space unique. Her company, Redesigned Classics, specializes in eclectic, travel-inspired, often vintage, and color inclusive designs.
Where did the idea for Redesigned Classics come from?
I am a freelance entertainment Producer by day and love my job, but when my husband started to get involved with real estate investment, he would often ask for my help decorating properties. I was happy to do so and eventually decided to turn it into a business. As a designer my style tends to lean more towards a decidedly vintage and eclectic flare, because of this I came up with the name “Redesigned Classics.” It’s a more modern take on older styles.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day can vary so much, especially since I am also a freelance producer. If I am working on a production, then I will usually be consumed with that project and my design work is limited to just an hour or two a day. During these times I will only take on one design project at a time. But when I am in-between producer jobs, then I will usually start my day catching up on design articles, blogs and researching style trends. I do a lot of online interior design and will typically spend my mornings sourcing furniture, décor, etc. from my laptop. The rest of the day is spent answering emails, updating my blog, writing design articles and finishing up any client projects.
To stay on track I like to keep a lot of lists and create a new one each day for all the tasks I want to accomplish. I also keep a weekly and monthly calendar with long-term task lists to make sure I am aware of any upcoming deadlines.
How do you bring ideas to life?
One of my favorite parts of doing Interior Design is seeing an idea come to life! To do this I make it a priority to understand my client’s needs and wants. There is a lot of communication and bouncing around of ideas. It is a wonderfully collaborative process and one that really lets us get to know each other. Once a client approves an idea, I then make a 2D concept on-line. This is where you can really see what a space will look like when it is complete!
What’s one trend that excites you?
Right now, I am really into the mid-century modern trend and love all things velvet! I love the clean lines of this style and the added rich texture velvet provides. I feel like the two styles combined can instantly change the mood of a room to something a lot more dramatic without being over the top.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My background as a Producer has given me a lot of project management skills and this readily transfers to other areas of my life-including my design business. It has really helped me know how to focus and prioritize which makes my work process a lot more effective.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Not to get so lost in the small stuff. I was (am) a worrier and looking back I have worried about a lot of things that never even came to fruition. If I could tell myself one thing it would be to not worry so much-things usually work out.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
There are no rules in design. I took the classes and learned all about the proper way to use color, make layouts, and how to effectively choose a style; but when it all comes down to it, it’s really just guidelines. Some of the most breakthrough designers made their mark by not following all the design rules. Just create something you love. It’s your home-who cares what others think.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stay positive and keep at it. It’s cliche I know, but day after day I try to keep myself motivated and productive. Long term success is not created overnight. When I am feeling discouraged, I try to remember to look back at where I was a year ago, two years ago, etc. You accomplish a lot more than you think you do, and it is easy to forget that when you are only looking forward. Remember to be grateful for what you have already accomplished.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Not going it alone. I have used so many resources and mentors. I could never do this on my own and I wouldn’t want to. I love to reach out to others who have gone down this road ahead of me. I make it a priority to get plugged into professional organizations and apply to mentor programs to find and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs. This has worked wonders for me in both my production work and my design business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
How important social media is in growing a business. I have always used social media but was not utilizing it to its fullest potential. I was under the impression that if my work was good it would speak for itself. With so much content out there now, even if my work was the best it was not being seen.
I have recently been working on restructuring my social media tactics. I hired some management teams and am starting to see more success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Teach a class on-line. No matter what industry you are in you can create a class for others and post it on-line. There are a lot of companies that will host the classes for you and in a lot of instances take care of the marketing. Depending on the course you create you can make a class once, post it on-line, and continue to get passive income from it as long as it is offered. You’ll also build rapport for yourself while helping others.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought one of those smoothie delivery plans. You know, the ones that have it all prepped ahead of time for you and deliver it right to your home. I travel a lot for work and when I am home, I tend to act like I am on vacation and eat all the things I missed while away. The smoothies are great because it saves so much time and I feel like I am still getting a treat! Plus, it’s helping me be healthier which makes me feel more like a successful adult.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use a lot of different programs but some of my favorites are Smart Draw, MailChimp and Write Better Headlines. I use Smart Draw to create all of my on-line floor plans. It has a lot of furniture and objects already created in a library, so it cuts down on the time it takes me to create layouts.
MailChimp is what I use for all of my company emails, how I track subscribers and create email marketing campaigns. It’s free to start and is easy to use.
The last one I mentioned is a sight I recently discovered called, “Write Better Headlines.” You can literally plug in a headline idea and it will help analyze it for you to see what impact it has. I use it for all of my email subject lines and blog titles.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. It’s mostly about real estate investment but there are a lot of good themes in there on being an entrepreneur, how to create passive income and work for yourself. It was actually the book that encouraged me to step out on my own and try something new.
What is your favorite quote?
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. -From the poem Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson
• Keep a list of tasks, both short term and long term to stay on top of projects and keep aware of upcoming deadlines.
• Remember to look back just as much as you look forward.
• When it comes to design, don’t be afraid to break the rules.
• Make it a priority to join professional organizations and get a mentor. This helps you stay connected in your industry and grow your own business.
• Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki to inspire yourself into creating your own passive income stream.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.