Spotlight

Spotlight On: Paige Minear

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

If you follow design in Atlanta at all, you've probably already heard of Paige Minear. She writes the design blog, "the pink clutch" which is a great read and you should definitely subscribe now! Paige has a style that cannot be denied in all of her work. It's colorful, vibrant, bold, and inspiring! We have the joy of taking a peek into the perfect reflection of Paige's design style--her own home! And we're bringing you with us! 

Join us as we turn the spotlight on Paige Minear! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Define your personal design style and perspective.

I am most definitely a preppy chic girl.  Most everything I am drawn to in fashion leans toward traditional with an edge.  It is the same in my style for our home. Very classic and preppy with an edge.  Lots of color with texture and pattern. 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Which of your career milestones make you most proud?

The past year has been out of control.  My brand has tripled and the opportunities that have been offered to me blow me away.  Being an invited participant in the One Room Challenge was the biggest opportunity so far and definitely the one I am most proud of. Growing my Instagram following has really been exciting.  I love my followers and their incredible support!
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

How did you become a design blogger and where did you learn your skills?

My passion and background is fashion.  For me I see our home as an outfit needing to be put together.  You start with a piece that inspires you and you grow from there.  In our dining room it was the pink walls and an antique table that my in laws received as a wedding present.  The table provided the traditional and the pink the edge and it just grew.  I don't think it is hard to transition from fashion to design, it just seemed to be an easy transition.  I have been blogging since 2007 and love the creative outlet it provides.  I get to write about all the things that inspire me. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What's your secret for running a business and maintaining your personal life?

I have learned in the last six months to pick and chose projects.  I say no a lot and I am good with that. Saying no also allows me to pick the right projects and opportunities for me.   I can't do everything and when the day is done I have to be true to me.  My family always comes first and that gives me the greatest comfort and joy. 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What's your guilty pleasure?

My love language is quality time.  Any time given to me by those I love fills my soul.  All my best friends know that I love their time and of course a fabulous meal! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What's your favorite destination?

New York and Palm Beach.  I think I was meant to live in both.  I could have an apartment in the city and a home in Palm Beach.  It might be the perfect combination! 
Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Leave a comment below and tell us which of Paige's rooms we've featured is your favorite! Like what you see? Follow Paige Minear on Facebook, Instagram, and her blog!

We hope you enjoyed this spotlight as much as we did! 

Spotlight On: Michele Williams

If you're a business owner, you'll definitely want to get to know our spotlight today! For that matter, if you like to support women in business or even if your just enjoy learning about interesting people who are genuine, honest, and awesome, you'll want to keep reading! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

We are very pleased to introduce you to the beautiful, graceful, wise, and wonderful, Michele Williams of Scarlet Thread Consulting and Scarlet Thread Interiors. Michele is a business coach with years of experience as a business owner and custom drapery maker and a background rich with management and financial consulting. She has so much knowledge about the more technical side of owning a business, as well as the artful side of running a company in a creative industry. 

As creative people and business owners, Christina and I both enjoy working with Michele as she understands how artistic people operate. She gives the guidance and knowledge we need to continue to be more and more successful while staying within our natural work style! Christina and I both go to her for our own businesses and it has been truly wonderful to learn from her and grow my business in confidence! Whether you're just starting out, or have been in business for years and want to refocus and get things on the right track, working with Scarlet Thread Consulting is the way to go! If you're in the market for draperies, you can trust your windows to Scarlet Thread Interiors for beautifully and thoughtfully made custom pieces! 

Let's get to know Michele a bit better and get to know her story as a business owner and what drives her! 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Describe a day in your work life.

I do not have a typical work day – meaning, every day is a bit different (or can be).  The flexibility keeps me from being bored!  How about a week – let’s look at that. For any given week you will find me meeting with local business owners in my home for coaching, meeting with business owners outside of my area by Go To Meeting (with webcam!), going to a networking meeting, designing or sewing and creating in my drapery workroom, or meeting with designers. Some weeks allow me to travel to teach my “Pricing Without Emotion” course or offering online education to groups. Like I said, I do not have cookie cutter days. And from working with mostly creative business owners – they don’t either!  I do try to chunk my to-do list so I am efficient with my tasks.  Especially when working in my drapery workroom – I like to have half days blocked as much as possible to allow me to really focus. Google Calendar is a MUST for me. Business organization is paramount.

What is your favorite thing about your career?

WOW – the absolute most exciting part of my career (both as a coach and a professional drapery workroom) is helping people. With custom home furnishings I am able to bring a bit of beauty into rooms with fabric at the windows or on pillows. With business coaching I am able to work with other creative business owners to help them understand the direction, focus and details of their business. Watching a business owner have an A-HA moment when they understand which business opportunities fit their growth plan and which don’t, when they see what is achievable instead of every obstacle, when they feel like they are “owning” their business instead of it being owned by their client base or circumstances - - that is my favorite part. And seriously, every client is my favorite. Because I am blessed to work with the most spectacular people, each unique in their craft, but traveling on a similar journey to freedom in owning a business.

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What led you to start your current career? 

My current career(s) are an amalgamation of everything prior.  I bet most of us could say that! Directly out of college I worked in software development focusing on financial software (AP, GL, Project Accounting, Purchasing, Inventory). While in that career I took night classes on design (and cake decorating…seriously!) – because I LOVE color and fabric and texture. I am very math oriented, so calculating yardage or understanding scale and proportion felt like a challenge to me – much the same as software!  After 10 years in software I came home to raise my two children and to decorate our new home. First up – window treatments. After about 1.5 years at home, I felt I needed something more. So, my prayer was for God to help me identify something to do at home to make some money (flexibility was key – being available for our kids after school was super important to our family).  In January of 2000 my doorbell rang. Two of my neighbors wanted to pay me to make window treatments for them like I had made for our home.  My second career started that day.

This sounds easy, right?  Well, I did not come into my second business with a resume or a business plan. I just started working around my family schedule and child care.  Things were purchased at retail to get the job done. I did not yet have wholesale accounts and did not even know who they were. My goal was just to create and get paid.  I LOVED making and engineering window treatments and then installing them and watching the faces of the home owners. It was fantastic. After about year 3 (April of 2003 to be exact – that day is etched in my brain), I was completing our taxes to give to the accountant and I realized I had made NOTHING for the year. Sales were great but profit and salary were nil. (If I were to be honest, the number was actually a negative – meaning it cost my family for me to be in business! – now that hurt.) This was not what I had envisioned as the big entrepreneurial dream. I pouted, I cried, I called my husband. Together we agreed that I was running my “business” as a big fat hobby.  Since I had been in management for a large company, and had a business degree, I knew what I had to do. 

Step 1:  Separate ME from my BUSINESS. Set up business boundaries, processes, procedures, terms and conditions, etc. – and go!

 Step 2:  Repeat step 1 often!

It was then that I saw the shift. But it had to start with me – no one else. After that I started sharing with others and eventually teaching classes in the workroom industry on how to build profit into your business with better pricing, policies, procedures – all the things big business does is also important to us – no matter the size of our business.

In 2013 after making some business changes and having a health issue in 2012 – I really decided to focus on what I loved to do the most at that point. That is helping people who are where I have been get to the other side. It is truly possible to have a business you love that you run – that does not run you! It is possible to have a profitable business, it is possible to run a business efficiently, it is possible to do the work you love while loving the work you do! It seriously makes me laugh and humbles me at the same time to look back over my career. God has not wasted a bit on my journey. First working with accounting and software with policies and procedures. Then creating a love for the creative industry that just makes my heart pound – and if that were not blessing enough – allowing me to help others see the connections and make changes. Then to wrap all of that up for a coaching business some 14 years later – amazing. I never saw this path when I began my career. It has been anything but linear. I did not even notice it when I shifted to the next phase of creation of home furnishings. It was not until I had been coaching other businesses that I realized how it was all coming together. AMAZING. I look forward every day to working with fantastic people who are pushing themselves and then push me to be better at what I am meant to do. Continuing to create in my drapery workroom that I love keeps me connected to the concepts I teach and coach. 

Was there one experience that set the course of your career?

This is a difficult question – not sure there was any one experience overall. I can say this. The one experience that set the course for my current coaching career was my health issues in 2012. Prior to that I was running a drapery workroom in Georgia – and in NC helping to manage a brick and mortar school 3.5 hours from my home, editing and publishing a magazine every other month, hosting monthly webinars and working with a dynamic group of women as business partners – while also traveling to teach my “Pricing Without Emotion” class.  In February 2012 I was severely ill – almost at the point of death. Something had to change and my body was physically weak. During this time I was getting calls from business friends asking questions about their business or some concept they had learned in one of my classes. They were asking me how to implement it in their particular business – not just the theory. It became clear that this is work I had been doing for years – and it was time for this to come more front and center. Without the health slow down – I probably would not have made the move to add coaching to my Scarlet Thread business at this time. I feel certain it would have happened at some point – but probably not 2013.

 

Who does your business serve?

My business serves business owners (or those who want to start a business). I have helped many industries, not just the interiors industry. In addition to custom drapery workrooms, I am currently working with professionals in the fields of interior design, marketing, photography, bookkeeping,window blinds/shade companies, financial wealth management, jewelry artisans, hair salon owners, educators, and other entrepreneurs. The key component I look for when working with other professionals is a willingness to learn and grow and to be challenged beyond the status quo!  A “yes” attitude is worth so much when faced with doing hard things in our business

 

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

What are your passions?

I am passionate about so many things. First I am passionate about my love for Jesus. Without my faith, I know my life would have been so much more difficult. Because I have hope in a secure future – it makes today more manageable. I am passionate about my family. My husband, Joel, and two sons, Harrison and Brantley, light up my world. The laughs and conversations in our home are fantastic. They keep me going and support me like crazy. My extended family and close friends are also very important to me. I am passionate about reading. At any time I have 2-3 books that I am in the middle of. Amazon Prime should just set aside a drone to deliver directly to me. My goal is to one day have huge bookcases on 3 walls of a room filled with nothing but books I have read! I am passionate about speaking truth to women. Helping women see the lies that they believe based on circumstance or opinions – and then to trade that for truth. I am passionate about good health and life. (And it might not be passion on the same level, but I love pretty things!)

What is your favorite meal?

Sticky subject. In 2012 I was diagnosed as a Type 1 (used to be called juvenile) diabetic. This rocked my world. I am now insulin dependent and always will be. So – this meant my diet had to drastically change to support my health and travel schedule.  I eat very low carb and gluten free.  My favorite meals are those that feed my body for fuel…..and don’t make me feel terrible in the process.  I love a good salad and vegetables, love steak, and bacon is candy to me!  Each morning I am excited for that first cup of coffee – and then for the second.  The foods that I loved prior to 2012 were biscuits (yes, I am from the south), brownies, pound cake, pizza, shrimp and grits, and mashed potatoes. The recipes that are available to substitute for each of these has been great which has allowed me to find a way to eat almost everything I used to – but in a much healthier way for my body.

 

Ends In Style: The Year In Review

It's been a year of blogging, and what a year it's been! I think we've done a pretty good job, especially considering that we're only one! One year olds typically can't even talk yet, right? And here we are, typing away--practically prodigies! 

As we reflect over this past year and look forward to the future; planning our next steps as a photography/styling/blogging duo, we are taking the time to go back and enjoy our favorite posts from the past year. So here they are, our top five posts from year one of Ends In Style!

1. Spotlight on Writer/Editor/Producer/Stylist: Lisa Mowry

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Lisa Mowry is what some people might call a modern times Renaissance woman, writing, editing, styling and producing features for home and lifestyle magazines.  We caught up with her to get the inside scoop on her life and career. Click here for the full article. 

2. Frugal Friday Fashion: Winter Looks

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Four fun winter outfits modeled by me and Alex, photos by Christina. I felt inspired to style the shoot with some layers, textures, and unexpected combinations from our closets and by doing a little shopping, too! Click here to read the entire article.

3. Halloween Entertaining: Not-So-Predictable Tabletop Decor

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

Halloween usually conjures up images of cotton spiderwebs, orange and black decor, and anything bloody, gory, or just plain scary.  Well we don't think that your Halloween Entertaining Experience needs to be so literal this year.  Why not inject a little style into your decor? Last October, we put a different spin on Halloween entertaining and we think you'll love it! Click here to read the entire article. 

4. Comfortable, Peaceful Interiors: How to Achieve the Mood

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

These spaces by designer Jennifer Schoenberger are a wonderful example of livable, comfortable, and relaxing design. The use of patterns and colors throughout the connected spaces tie them together and make the home feel like one continuous, harmonious space but with a few distinct characteristics in each room to keep them interesting on their own as well. Click here to read the entire article. 

5. Mother's Day Soiree

Photo by Christina Wedge

Photo by Christina Wedge

For Mother's Day this year, we styled an intimate little backyard party with friends and parents. It was a beautiful day with beautiful company. We again used layering to create a more interesting table top with varied colors and textures and mixture of wood and metallic tones. We think you'll love the look and be inspired to try your own garden party by following our simple tips. Click here and here to read the entire article. 

 

Thank you for stopping by and for reading! We love our followers and can't wait to show you what we've got in store for the coming year. Have some ideas of topics or style challenges you'd like to see us tackle? Let us know in the comments below! We love to hear what our readers like. 


Spotlight On: Mark Wentz

 

 

Mark Wentz is a renaissance man. He can do the following, in no particular order:

  • Blow Glass
  • Weld
  • Forge
  • Carve
  • Sculpt
  • Build
  • Paint
  • Be a cool dad
  • Wrestle

The last one was a curve ball, but it's serious. Mark went to Kent State University on a wrestling scholarship and approaches life with the same competitive, can-do spirit of a trained athlete. Mark and I worked together on Season 4 of HGTV's Elbow Room where we joked that he was every episode's MVP. Need a sculpture? Call Mark! Need something 3D printed? Call Mark! Need something built? Call Mark! He can do it all and does without complaint. He's a laid back dude with talent for days. 

If you need public art made or someone to teach you how to do basically anything, Mark is the guy. He's patient and kind and just an all around great guy. Let's get to know him!

How did you get your start?

I got my start by moving to Georgia and attending Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta.

Was there one job or contact that set the course of your career?

Being awarded the Blooming Hill project in Midtown Atlanta has set the tone for my public art career.

What is your favorite/most successful way to advertise?

The most successful way for me to advertise is word of mouth.

If there was one thing you could change about your career, what would it be?

I would have started it sooner.

What is your favorite stress reliever?

My favorite stress reliever is kayaking and creating something in the studio.

What is your favorite destination?

My favorite place is Interlacken, Switzerland.

To contact Mark for fabrication and/or design, go to his website Americo Glass Fabrication and Design. 

Spotlight On: Niki Gray

A few months ago, we Ends In Style girls spoke at an event at Steve McKenzie's for designers and bloggers. The objective was learning how to get published but more importantly, learning how best to "Tell Your Story". It was a great event and we were honored to speak alongside Michele Williams of Scarlet Thread Consulting and Lisa Mowry, Atlanta editor of Better Homes & Gardens, Traditional Home, Renovation Style, and Decor magazines. We invited attendees to enter a contest and be featured on the blog by writing us and telling us their story. We received many great submissions and were thankful for each of them, but one was able to really tell her story in a way that stood out.

Let's meet the contest winner, Niki Gray of HomeMadeville.com and NikiGray.com

How did you get your start?

To say I came out of the womb looking for ways to communicate and connect with others, would probably be an understatement.  But just because something comes naturally doesn't mean that it will come easily.  I feel like almost every life experience has somewhat contributed to doing what I love, but the simple answer is this -- When I had my daughter, I was only 12 classes from my degree. As a stay-at-home mom, I started my blog, www.HomeMadeville.com as an outlet for creativity.  When my daughter started school, with a little push from my friend, Carole, I decided to go back to school part-time.  I felt like this was the perfect opportunity for me to pursue my passion, not just get a degree. 

Was there one job or contact that set the course of your career?

Adoption Discovery, a nonprofit that educates people who are considering adoption, asked me to be the on-camera host for some of their training videos.  This opportunity not only confirmed that I would enjoy this career path, but it also connected me with a professional actor who has given me lots of great advice and helped me understand more about the industry and pursuing the opportunities that are best for me.

What is your favorite or most successful way to advertise?

So, I don't mean to sound like a broken record here, but I have to say networking.  I have made connections with some amazing bloggers who have promoted me on their blogs and helped me tell my story.  

If there was one thing you could change about your career, what would it be?

I would outsource the things I don't like to do and focus on the things I love.  Both as a blogger and communicator, I have to wear many hats.  I love creating, I love communicating, I love being on-camera or on-stage, and I love telling a story, but there are many times that in order to get that story out there, I have to photograph, edit, produce, promote, and re-promote.  As I grow, I hope to outsource some of those daunting tasks, so that I can just do what I love.

What is your favorite stress reliever?

Spending time with people.  In case you haven't noticed, I am an off- the-charts extrovert.  I am energized by spending time with others, but it also helps me get away from whatever is on my mind. I push the stress away because I want to invest in those relationships.

What is your favorite destination?

Newport Beach, CA.  The minute I step out of the airport into the California sun, I instantly feel invigorated.  The weather is almost always perfect, the food is fabulous and usually healthy, and it is not a place where I feel like a tourist.  Instead, I feel like I am home -- not a feeling this southern girl expected.
 
Niki blogs at HomeMadeville – “Your Place for Homemade Inspiration.”  She is a broadcast journalism student who works as an on-camera and on-stage host for corporations and nonprofits.   Her blog gives her a platform all her own to showcase DIY tutorials,  crafty videosevent decor & more.  She is energized by connecting with others and would love for you to reach out to her on FacebookPinterestTwiitter, or Google+.

Spotlight On: Lori May

Happy Monday, everyone! Today, we're turning the spotlight on Lori May, interior designer and owner of Lori May Interiors here in Atlanta. Let's get to know her! 

Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

How did you get your start?

I have always loved making my surroundings beautiful.  Before my interior design career, I was a corporate buyer and product designer.  International travel was a huge part of my job.  I loved the travel, but once we started our family, I no longer wished to be away all those weeks each year.  I had also always wanted to have my own business.  I made the decision to leave the corporate life and start my own company.  I was able to create my own boutique design firm that married a high level of customer service with my feeling that everyone deserves a beautiful home. It has given me the best of both worlds, the ability to do what I love and the flexibility to spend more time with my family.
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

 

Was there one job or contact that set the course of your career?

My job with The Bombay Company changed my life.  I grew up in a town of 2500 people.  I had not been on a plane until I was in my 20’s.  With The Bombay Company, I traveled all over the world.  I designed my own product.  My love of interiors was expanded by the flavors and colors of all of the places I visited.  Paris, London, New York, California, Hong Kong, Beijing, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and India 
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

What is your favorite/most successful way to advertise?

We provide an incredibly high level of customer service and work hard to create long term relationships with our clients.  It is our goal to create an unparalleled experience for each client.  Because of this, our clients are our best advertisements. 
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

If there was one thing you could change about your career, what would it be?

I would have started my design firm earlier! 
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

What is your favorite stress reliever?

My favorite stress reliever is a cup of Jasmine tea on my back porch.  
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

What is your favorite destination?

It is so hard to say!  I have so many favorites.  There is a sweet cottage in the mountains that we try to get to at least once a year.  There are very few places that I find as relaxing as this place.  Simple, beautiful, serene.  We hike, we visit the small mountain towns and we just relax.  It helps that I get no cell service there at all!   I always leave incredibly invigorated and inspired.  
Photo via Christina Wedge

Photo via Christina Wedge

Thank you for joining us while we put the spotlight on Lori May of Lori May Interiors! If you'd like to know more about Lori, get in touch with her via her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.