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Perfect Business for New Moms

business for new moms

Having just come back from speaking at the Real Estate Staging Convention I have so many, amazing stories to tell about the people who take a leap of faith, follow their design passion (and talent), take our HSR Certification training and are now loving life!  I have tons of photos to share too but I wanted to get this story out which showed home staging to be the perfect business for a new mom.

One such story, I had to share right away was Asha Thune Clarks of Haven Space Designs an Austin, TX based home stager.  I love her story because it shows how she created the perfect business for new moms and so represents what I hear daily from people wondering if they can do this. 

Asha was a new mom when she started the HSR training four years ago and wanted a business that could work around her hours, allow her to contribute to the family finances and still make all the important events in her children’s lives.  That's when she found my training!

Here's Her Inspiring Story and Impressive Portfolio...

One of my very favorite childhood memories was walking into my bedroom and discovering that my mom had surprised me with a beautiful new bedspread. I can still feel the fabric and could pick that particular shade of pink out of a lineup any day. I could not have been more than four years old, but I vividly remember the beauty of my newly, lovingly designed room and how it made me feel: special, loved, and perfectly at peace (as much as a four-year-old recognizes peace).

Throughout the many years that followed, I looked at houses inside and out and loved how the built environment influenced the way I felt. My husband still finds my habit of asking him to slow down as we drive past warmly lit houses at night a bit creepy, but I just love how life happens inside a space that looks and feels beautiful.

When I was around ten, my mom started working for Any Baby Can, an amazing organization that helps families with children with special needs or chronic illnesses. I would tag along on many of her endeavors. One such trip brought us to a small house where we delivered Thanksgiving dinner. I will never forget driving up to the house and once inside, realizing that the dirt floors were not a temporary inconvenience during a remodel or construction; it was the way of life. My heart was changed so strongly that I found myself engaged in as much volunteer work during my high school years as I could find.

When I was accepted into the UT School of Social Work, it seemed fitting; however, I had this nagging voice that wouldn’t let me ignore the dream of creating interior spaces that look and feel beautiful. After all, I was the girl who introduced herself to her would-be college roommate not by saying what my hobbies and interests were but by telling her that our dorm room would be decorated in purple and to please be sure she coordinated her bedding accordingly. Miraculously, she is still one of my most treasured friends.

I completed my graduate degree in Social Work and years went by. I found myself enjoying my career at a local non-profit for several years, but the feeling of “what if I could do what I really love” never went away. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband encouraged me to take a leap of faith and make a change since we were about to embark on the biggest change of all. I wanted to be sure that whatever I did, I made it official; I started researching Professional Staging Certification programs. I found HSR and began the training.

I was a kid in a candy store going through the modules and learning more not just about how to stage and decorate but how to run my own business.

Before I even completed the training, I had my first client. I was in a total panic and made a couple frantic calls to Audra to get guidance on how to proceed as if I knew what I was doing. HSR gave me tools that helped me move confidently forward. I cannot believe that this journey started almost three years ago. My business has grown steadily, along with my family.

I specialize in Occupied Consultations and also work with design clients who want to improve their living spaces. I also now have a 10-month-old little boy. It is an amazing gift to live near my own mother who helps juggle – I mean watch- the little ones when I meet with clients. I get to plan my work around their needs and never have to miss out on special moments or events. As ridiculous as it sounds, I often find myself driving away from clients’ homes with a smile on my face.

I was recently asked the age-old “if you won the lottery, would you quit the next day” question. Without a doubt, my answer is “No!” I love what I do, I love the people I get to help, I love the realtors I work for who want the best for their clients, and I love that HSR helped turn my life-long daydream into my real-life job.

Woohoo, how cool is that?!

Thank you Asha for sharing your story and talent to encourage others!   This is an amazing industry because of people like you.
If you're reading this and thinking about becoming a home stager and creating your story...then watch my free video about how to become a home stager below...

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?

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4 Steps to Finding Your “Calling”

4 Steps to Finding Your Calling

Another year went by in a flash and I’m taking a moment reflecting on what can help me to slow down time, be very intentional in my planning and focus on my “calling”.  The reality is that everybody has a “calling” and your job should be finding out what that “calling” is for your life.  In Stanford’s graduation ceremony this year, Nike founder Phil Knight said something very profound to the young, excited new grads:


You see, when you find what you were meant to do, what gets your blood going and keeps you up at night thinking excitedly about…you will succeed.  Money usually always follows passion because it doesn’t become “work” at that point and training yourself daily in your passion helps you be become “the expert”.  A key to finding a calling that can become a career is following these important 4 steps:

Step One – Identify Your Core Competencies and Strengths

What is it that you know about and are good at?  What is it that people are constantly complimenting you about? Make a list, if you need to organize your thoughts.  For some ideas, consider your ability to achieve, adapt, analyze, arrange, communicate, compete, connect with people, develop, empathize, focus, learn, etc…Knowing your strengths will help you to understand how to pathway your career.

benfranklin quote

 Step Two – Identify and List Your Interests and Passions

What is it that you love to do?  What really gets you excited about life?  What gets your blood boiling?  Make a list of the things that you do in your free time, when nobody is watching, and consider whether or not there may be something deeper to that desire.  Many times the things you love to do, correspond to the talents that you have, so look for connections between what your talented/strong at and how it corresponds to what you are passionate about.

howard thurman quoteStep Three – If Fear and Money Were Not A Factor What Would You Do?

Okay, here’s the tough part…taking fear out out of the equation.  How do you do that?  You need to face the fears and break them down in you mind.  What is the worst that can happen if you pursue your “calling”?  Is the consequence of inaction, better than the risk of trying?  I love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Ralphwaldo quoteStep Four – Take Action and Get Busy!

Just sitting and dreaming does not make things happen.  Take the first steps you need to move closer to your calling for 2015.  The good news is that you have the Internet and so many ways to explore and learn about new things.  Make this year the year you grow, learn and create!

If you love design, know that there is a home staging industry that would love to take that talent and help you do something GREAT with it!  At the Home Staging Resource, we are focused on giving you the tools, strategies, forms and training that allows you to never reinvent the wheel and focus on what you’re great at…staging and design.

I just got this email from Pramiti of BlueGrape Staging who has just been nominated for the RESA Rising Star Finalist of 2015:


Pramiti just took the plunge and followed her calling LESS than a year ago by becoming a home stager!  Don’t let another year go by to follow your calling.


XOXO – Happy Staging!

Audra Slinkey

Hope to hear from you!

2014-11 Audra-Slinkey-Staging-Mentors-Most-Innovator-Product-or-Service-of-the-Year_edited-1Audra-Slinkeyinnovator

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