Interior Designer Becomes a Stager Story

I love hearing and sharing stories of personal and professional success from my HSR Grads!   Today I'm sharing  a story and gorgeous photos from Dina Ferguson, a Scottsdale home stager who not only rebounded her business when the economy tanked but also overcame the odds of moving to a different state!  Here's her full story and amazing work from four months ago to today...enjoy!

Dina sent me this letter last June...

Scottsdale home stager Dina

Hi Audra - I worked as an Interior Designer for 7 years, but switched to being a special education teacher (my original degree) when the economy tanked.  As much as I have enjoyed working in education, my focus has been to find a way back into the design trade.

Once I decided that staging was the best fit for me, I began researching local stagers, websites and training companies.  I was reluctant to spend the money for another training or certification (I have 60 units of design coursework already)

scottsdale home stager dina2


Currently, I am in Week Two of your training and WOW!  Your training is worth every penny and more.  Staging is not rocket science, but being an entrepreneur and knowing how to market your business and build a brand is! I would NEVER have been able to do this on my own.

scottsdale home stager


Flash forward to today, I sent Dina an email just "checking in" and got this very cool response... 

Hi Audra, I moved to a new area where I know no one two months ago.  I began working the marketing tips your provide in the training and got my first vacant staging job! 

Scottsdale home stager5


How cool is that?  Not only did Dina start a brand new business, she moved to another state and already is getting calls for work!  These photos are from that vacant job and I would absolutely say she is in the RIGHT INDUSTRY....what do you think?


Wow! That is the only way to describe this training. As an entrepreneur and design professional wanting to shift gears into the staging platform, I found this training invaluable for the business and marketing expertise. I can't thank HSR enough for sharing this information and motivating me to expand into this next phase.

Dina Ferguson Debut Home Staging

What will your story be?

Could Home Staging" be a Career for You?

Don’t miss this..!!

  • 7 Key Questions to Ask Yourself
  • What the Cost is to Starting this Business
  • Do You Have the Personality for This Industry?
  • How You Know If You Have the Design Talent?

Another HSR Grad success story about a Scottsdale home stager who started out as an interior designer and made a cross-state move to start her staging business.

7 Reasons to Add Holiday Design to Grow Your Business

Are you ready for the holidays?  Do you love to decorate for Christmas?

I know many of you LOVE holiday design, so I've put together "7 Reasons You Should Add Holiday Design to Your Business"...


Holiday Design Fulfills a Need...

Let's face it...the holidays can be EXHAUSTING for most of us!  Between the gift shopping, parties, wrapping and vacation planning it's hard to carve out time to sift through our massive amounts of holiday decorations. Most people would love a service that works with them to dial in their holiday home while saving them time.

We are in the era of "outsourcing" and now more than ever people are paying others to do the work they don't have the time for.

Click to Tweet


Holiday Design Attracts a High-End Clientele

The very nature of holiday design is to save clients time by doing the design for them, so typically the folks who don't have that kind of time but do have the money are in a higher-end, income bracket.

What do this mean for the designer?  It means you've just created a wonderful referral source for multiple design projects!


Holiday Design Attracts a "Regular" Clientele

The great thing about a offering a holiday design service is that those client's whom you did an excellent job for the previous year, will invariably have you come back every year!  That's only need to cultivate a handful of client's to have regular, steady business every year.  In fact, a stager friend of mine says that she earns almost 15% of her business yearly on only a few, holiday design client's that LOVE her.

Expand Your Business to Holiday Design


Holiday Design "Hedges" Your Staging Season

Sometimes I hear stager's complain that their staging business really dips during the holidays, so having a steady, holiday design clientele that keeps you busy, year after year, makes perfect sense!


You Save Client's Money by Re-Purposing

Home Stagers and Designers have the uncanny ability to "see" interiors in creative ways and part of that skill-set goes toward Re-purposing items to their best showing. Why pack all of your current decor away before decorating for the holidays when you can easily to the gorgeous decor you already have and "holiday, bling it up!"


Holiday Design Services are EASY to Market

Not only is this kind of service highly referral's easy to market using Facebook Ads, post cards and online directory key words...


Simply add the term "Holiday Design Services" to your Yelp listing and you're already ahead of the game!  Look how few providers come up in the entire San Diego area...


Holiday Design is EASY to Offer...

I've put together an hour long video training that walks you through the process, pricing and marketing of offering a Holiday Design service to your clients...

Expand Your Business to Holiday Design

4 Staging Trends to Follow

I love what these Santa Cruz home stagers did to this million dollar vacant listing!  This Santa Cruz Home Staging company, Pacific Home Design merchandised this space so well...I'm building an article off the work they did about staging trends I'm seeing in the industry...

4 Hot Staging Trends You Can't Ignore...


Navy and White Are Here to Stay

Before Staging

After - Pacific Home Design

After by Pacific Home Design

In a 2014 Staging Trends post, I named the color navy as a staging color trend you will see more of in the coming years and I'm happy to say that three years later...I'm not tired of it.  You can see how these Santa Cruz home stagers (Chrissy and Corrine) really tap into the design vibe of the city of Santa Cruz in that their staging design enhances the view and creates a "lounge like" feel.


Merchandising Every Space is ESSENTIAL!


santa cruz home staging

After by Pacific Home Design

Part of the art of staging is "merchandising" the space.  The definition of merchandising is "displaying a product in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase."

The two photos above show this concept beautifully!

A buyer would go onto the deck and marvel at the view in the unstaged, empty deck photo BUT the buyer who goes onto the staged deck will sit in the chair and imagine spending sunsets with their partner over a glass of wine and teaching their children the constellations in the you see the difference?

In my staging and design training, I call this building "Emotional Connection Points" in the home, so that buyers feel home in the each room...


Staging Outdoor Areas is a Huge Trend

Staging by Pacific Home Design

For the first time in the 2017 National Association of Realtors staging statistics they mention the importance of staging outdoor areas, so this is a trend we are going to see grow in the coming years!

2017 home staging statistics



"White" is the New Gray for Staging

Don't you hate how fast color trends seem to change?:) 

After staging by Pacific Home Design

Expect to see more white walls in the staging realm since this trends is growing.  Having said that, it takes extreme, design expertise to work with white walls since "white" needs lots of white furnishings and texture to work well.

Luckily the Santa Cruz home stager gals at Pacific Home Design had taken my Certified Color Expert (CCE) training course, so they knew the right way to work with white on the walls in this home!

More Gorgeous Photos from Their Staging Project...

santa cruz home staging

After by Pacific Home Design

Santa Cruz home stagers hit the mark on the hot new staging trends I’m seeing and the photos of their work will inspire you…

Great Business for the “Semi-Retired”

I never get tired of hearing "success" stories from people who "took the plunge" and decided to invest in our certification training AND themselves to become a stager!  This featured stager story is about starting a business semi-retired and doing the travel you love to do too!  There is no "one size fits all" in this business and in Week 1 of my training, I walk people through finding the business model that will fit their life style.


Join me Oct. 4th at 4pm for a FREE, live webinar on what you need to know when getting started in the staging industry!  I also talk about the "right business model for you" so click to reserve your space...

Kathy "Kiki" McNair of Kiki Staging based in Folsom, CA wanted a business she could do while also retiring to her condo in Kona, Hawaii twice a year for 2-3 months.  This may sound like a tall order but believe it or not, the Department of Defense used to completely pay for our training for military spouses because it is such an ideal, portable business model when you incorporate both staging and redesign.

Before Kiki's Redesign

Kiki finished the training in April of 2017 and send me this email a mere 3 months later...

Kiki McNair

Audra, I thought it was high time that I let you know how my new business is doing.  I started the course on 2/21 while at the end of our 2 month stay in Hawaii.  My husband is retired and we are able to come to our condo twice a year for 2-3 months. Pretty great, right?

We are currently back on island for 2 more months and I hated to leave my new business!

After Kiki's Redesign

Anyway, I finished your course and started with a redesign client. I worked with her for 3 months and completely redesigned the interior and best of all, she's thrilled and I had so much fun!

Before Kiki's Redesign

I also staged 2 homes and both sold within a month of listing. The homeowners and realtor were very happy with my work. One was completely empty and the other partially empty. I also did some consultations for redesign and color.

After Kiki's Redesign


I am so thrilled to have a new and fun business that I can even do in Hawaii.   An interior designer here contacted me to assist her with a job.

I am fortunate that I can work as much or as little as I want to!

Before Kiki's Redesign


Thank you for the opportunity and skills you have given me to have a new and fun career.

Kiki McNair

After Kiki's Redesign

Another Happy Client!


You are welcome Kiki!  It's so wonderful to see how people make their business...their own.  Being semi-retired but having a business that you love is absolutely not work!  Just ask Kiki.

Now what will your story look like...

Could Home Staging" be a Career for You?

Don’t miss this..!!

  • 7 Key Questions to Ask Yourself
  • What the Cost is to Starting this Business
  • Do You Have the Personality for This Industry?
  • How You Know If You Have the Design Talent?

Another stager and redesigner success story!  Kiki was a semi-retired traveler who lived in Hawaii a third of a year and wanted a business that suited her lifestyle…

Free Webinar for New Stagers

Free Staging Training Webinar on Wednesday, October 4th at 4:00pm (Pacific Time)

After well over 10 years of staging training, speaking at RESA Conferences and chatting with veteran stagers daily I’ve narrowed down some essential, soul searching elements that make up various niches in the industry, the best staging accessories to buy for ROI, best practices for marketing and lots more great tips for new stagers!

If you're a new home stager or considering getting into the industry, you will not want to miss this!​

What You'll Learn on the Live Webinar:

  1. How to Easily Focus and Find Your Niche in the Staging Industry - 4 Key Factors to Consider
  2. Top 10 Accessory Items to Shop for Right Away
  3. Step-by-step strategies you can implement in your business for immediate results - backed up by years of experience!
  4. BONUS!  FREE notes download with special links to free learning presentations.

Space is limited for this staging training, so signup right's FREE!

Join me for this free staging training webinar on Wednesday, Oct. 4 entitled, “8 ‘Hot Tips’ for New Stagers (and Those Thinking About Becoming One)”  Hope to see you there!

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