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5475 days.

5475 days.

Over 5,000 stagings and consultations.

I find it funny that those numbers are so similar. You see, a little over 15 years ago (or 5475 days ago) I staged my first house. I didn’t know it would lead to where I am today (or that I would ever stage another one!)But it did. My sweet neighbor was having trouble selling her house in a very aggressive sellers market (sound familiar?) And I knew her because I volunteered at the school library where my son went and she worked there as a full-time librarian. I approached her and timidly said “I think I can help”.

You see I’m one of those people who as a little girl wouldn’t wear the clothes my parents put on me and drug my furniture around my room often to “redecorate it”. After college I discovered I was not cut out to be a clinical psychologist even though I worked through my undergraduate degree and got into graduate school- I left with a 4.0 GPA-to go home and work in my family’s furniture business.I loved every single minute of it -until I didn’t. Retail of any kind is not for the faint of heart but two stores and ever decreasing profit margins (and a child I never got to be with) it got the best of me. It was time to go and not long after that our family sold our business after 67 years. And here I was three moves later, moving furniture around and painting walls in my neighbors house. But what happened NEXT is what changed the next 15 plus years of my life and that of my families. The next buyer who walked in the door wrote an offer, and the real estate agent listing the house got my number from the seller and called me. She said “Mrs. Wilkerson, you don’t know me but I’m Cheryl Valenti and I’d like to know if you can do that again.”

That question from that sweet lady changed my life and it’s been off to the races ever since. She brought me another client and house-And suddenly I was ordering from my wholesale furniture sources, renting delivery trucks and storage space. That was a month after my first foray into staging-which most people had never heard of! Soon, an agent open house led me to my third client, a savvy business executive named Margaret-who predicted we would grow and that our budding business was hitting a needed niche (she was a client three times!) And today, that amazing woman heads business development for Designed to Sell! (More to come-stay tuned!)

Today, with 12 independent contractors and two regular employees-including my son who now handles marketing- Designed To Sell Home Staging stages hundreds of homes each year. Some days we have as many as Six homes to stage. We routinely do 15 to 20 Per week. I had no idea 15 years ago the adventure would lead me to where I am today. But I wouldn’t trade a day of it - I’ve loved every minute of it —all 5475 days.

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