So, putting all of our egg's in one figurative basket, Dave left his English teaching position and began working full time for our company. Last summer, I'd just given birth to our third son, Luke, (Our "Louie") so Dave & Meghan (our junior designer) were in the office more than I was actually, as I attempted maternity leave with three boys to take care of. (Ha!)
Driving home from our beach vacation last July (pic above) we were browsing houses for sale online "for fun" and came across an affordable (and very intriguing!!) fixer-upper house a couple of towns away. The next day, we went to the open house and decided to make an offer. We knew what we were doing looked crazy: Hey let's quit work and go buy a new house!! We knew the best financial move would be to sit tight in our newly finished home we loved and wait to see how things worked out with both of us working for the company, but sometimes your gut pulls you in a different direction.
So, we moved to the house in September, immediately tearing out the floors and walls and adding new windows, and have been putting it back together over the past ten months.
Our oldest, Christian, started kindergarten this year and we hired an amazing nanny- who's now like part of our family- to take care of the boys during the day. There are days when I just don't know how we're ever going to get everything we need to get done, done... and there are days when I look over at Dave as we're out doing something together for work and I think, "I can't believe we get to be together every day."
We're one of those annoying couples that's basically attached at the hip (it used to make our college friends roll their eyes... maybe still does ;) and always wants to be together.
It feels like we never feel like we get enough time. We were only married a year before I was pregnant with our first "surprise" son so maybe it was that the newlywed phase was joined so quickly by our little guys. Anyway, suffice it to say that I love being able to work with my husband.
In the past year, though, there have been some crazy times. Most days, Dave & I do completely different things and don't really get to hang out until work's over. We've pulled lots of all-nighters trying to get things done for our house or for work. Designing this house has pretty much happened on borrowed time. It happens on nights & weekends and when the contractors show up and need an immediate answer on something. We've also seen our business grow, which is really exciting. I'm thrilled that we're now a part of more & more projects being built from the ground up or project undergoing extensive renovations, which is a true passion of mine. I love being a part of the architectural process and being able to help make choices that will make the house come together perfectly.
But as the business has grown, things have had to change. A couple of years ago, we stopped offering consultations and online decorating, because I couldn't keep up with both consultations/ e-decorating and full-service projects. I haven't been thrilled about that and I've always intended to hire more people to be able to bring these services back, but just haven't had the bandwidth to do it. Lately, though, we've been doing a lot of thinking and reorganizing and are in the process of finally making the move and I'm so excited about it!!!
We're in the process of hiring a new business manager for Lauren Liess & Co and will then be hiring another junior designer in addition to Meghan. We recently hired a part time assistant/ intern named Daniel, who helps with a lot of the literal heavy-lifting. With these new additions to our team, we'll be looking at an office space to lease because we pretty much just won't fit in our home office. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that we've mulled over moving our office out of the house or keeping it in the home for years now. I love being home and being near my boys (our youngest is only a little over a year) during the day so we're really trying to make this move carefully. I plan on working both from home and from the new studio so it needs to be nearby. We're also trying to figure out exactly what our needs for the studio will be: do we want potential clients to be able to come and visit? Do we want a space with a small showroom? A store? etc. I love the idea of clients being able to come into an environment we've created but I also want to be careful about this move too. I don't want to take on too much financially, so we're thinking we'll move slowly.
Anyway, these are ideas we've played around with for years and will probably always be playing around with. I'll keep you posted on our search and may be taking you studio shopping with me to get your input. :) And as soon as I can introduce our new team members to you, I will!!
Also, we've gotten lots of inquiries regarding our online decorating services and I'm working like crazy on trying to put together the packages we'll be offering. As soon as I have everything put together into some sort of intelligible format, I'll be sure to post about it and then we'll open up the list for new e-decorating clients. I hope to be offering some sort of online or phone consultation services too for those who are looking for more of a general home consultation.
So, please keep your fingers crossed for us over this next month or so as we begin making all of these changes within our business! It's not going to be the easiest transition but I really hope it's for the best!
If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.