Have you ever had to sacrifice a dream?
Hello, I am Vane and if you identify with these situation and you dream of decorating your house, you are definitely interested in reading this story about Sylvia, who now lives in her dream house, and mine, spending time with my mom and my friends, while I work.
A few years ago, two apparently bad things allowed me to fulfill a dream that I never thought I would achieve, and those things, allowed me to fulfill yours.
My friend Sylvia had spent a lot of time, begging me:
Come on, you have to help me, Vane!
Sylvia sat day after day on a worn-out sofa with deformed foam, a piece of furniture that had been in her home since she got married. You might be wondering, why not replace it?
What you may not realize is that Sylvia's furniture was a gift from her parents, and replacing it would feel like a betrayal.
Furthermore, she wasn't sure what new pieces to buy, as her entire decor was centered around this furniture. However, now that Sylvia no longer likes the furniture, everything else in the room feels equally uncomfortable and makes her feel increasingly upset and sad.
Sylvia dreams of the beautiful transformation her home could undergo with the help of her friend, the decorator.
She simply desires to transform her house, which she perceives as dull, gloomy, and monotonous. Now that she has the financial means, she can finally afford to do so. My usual response to her requests for assistance is,
"I'm sorry, darling, but I don't have the time. I can't help but think about her needs and how I can support her. Despite the discomfort it may cause me, I feel guilty that I'm not able to help her as much as I'd like. However, one day, a brilliant idea strikes me, and I realize that I may have found a solution to transform her home.
There are some things that seem wonderful, yet turn out to be a nightmare in the end.
Like you, in 2016, I worked for a well-known and prestigious design and architecture firm, where I spent my days designing luxurious residences and stunning hotels, the type you'd find in magazines and drool over.
It was the ideal job.
However, there was one critical aspect of my job that I disliked, and you may relate to it too: the working hours. I was managing up to seven significant projects simultaneously, and the pressure and responsibility were too much to bear calmly.
As a result, I had to devise a methodical approach to work and sleep peacefully at night. This was the idea that eventually allowed me to achieve my dream.
I enjoy the process of transforming spaces, and even more, I love the satisfaction of seeing my clients overjoyed with the results. Nevertheless, the situation was exceedingly tense.
The pressure to perform flawlessly, meet delivery deadlines, manage difficult subordinates, and meet the expectations of clients and stakeholders had a detrimental impact on my quality of life and personal relationships.
And my frustration makes me think of impossible things
I don't like not being able to enjoy with my mom, who I love spending time with. Nor can I go out with my friends who have their own companies, to have a coffee on a beautiful afternoon, in my favorite cafeteria. They were things I always thought about. Nor do I go out to run errands, paperwork or medical appointments so as not to be late at work, cancel meetings or go through the tedium of asking for leave to be absent. And usually, I end up putting off all my needs and never do what I need to do, given the lack of time. Does any of this ring a bell? If you're a perfectionist, these things tend to happen, right? You know, it's hard sometimes to command yourself to do certain things that, even though you want them, require a little more effort than normal and you end up procrastinating. So I complain and ask myself: why does nobody think of offering services or opening their stores at accessible hours, for those of us who work from “8 to 5”, in the best of cases. “Speaking of impossible things…”
From time to time my color was green
Silvia, my friend, lives in another province (Guanacaste) and she decided to hire a decorator. She could no longer continue doing everything in the same way as always, which was going out to the stores to buy what she thought was beautiful, because that was how she had ended up living in a house:
full of things she really didn't like,
didn´t match at all
and that she did not know how to change
and she was spending instead of investing money wisely
That's why she constantly asks her, to help her improve that house that drives her crazy. She worked in her own Boutique and she can't be there to receive me during the week, so she wants me to visit her on a Saturday or Sunday and go there. But every time he asks me to, I get a little green because I think he's a little selfish, don't you think? Now I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but I was being selfish too. Finally one day, tired and a little guilty, I decide to put myself in Silvia's shoes to help her. I remember my frustration and my usual complaint. Why no one attends during non-business hours? This is precisely the problem of most people in the world. The lack of time. And then I come up with a solution. And I didn't know it at the time, but it turned out to be very useful for me and wonderful for Silvia, because she was finally able to decorate her house as she dreamed of and enjoy a warm, more comfortable environment and feel that everything was to her liking.
Finally everything bad turns into something good
That day that I decided to help her, I finally told her:
Look Silvia let's do something. I can't go there now, because I don't have time for vacations.
And to eliminate the problem of travel time there, I decided to use technology. At that time there was no Zoom, only Skype and to be face to face, without having to travel, we sat in front of the computer, on a sunny Saturday, before opening his Boutique at 10 in the morning and he showed me his entire house. I listened very carefully to everything she needed and imagined she wanted for her dream home and finally I helped her with the transformation she had been waiting for so long and at the end of the meeting she told me:
“Vane: I had no idea how easy it was going to be and how short we would last. The truth is that I thought that I was going to lose all of Saturday when you came and frankly I felt that you were not going to understand me if you did not come to see the house.“
Of course, I had to solve more than the design, because Silvia didn't know how:
design a schedule of activities
calculate the total cost of the project
respect your budget
what furniture to buy
easily buy lamps and accessories
and I even recommended my best suppliers and workers, so that he could do everything at his own pace and in stages.
And life turned pink...
…Because you will see.
Despite the selfishness of both at the beginning, their persistence and the creativity that I had to develop under this pressure, a few years later, this experience allowed me to leave behind the obsolete traditional design and decoration services. I turned the experience into a company that helps with a service: agile, easy, accessible and digital, hundreds of women who, like Silvia, have the same dream, but share the same problem: “They dream of a beautiful house that they don't know how to achieve and don't have time” The point is that thanks to my frustration, I now understand that clients need to be served at the time they propose and I can do it from wherever we are thanks to the technology and methodology that I designed for that purpose. In fact, I attended one of my first clients in the mist of the cloud forest, one Saturday morning, sitting in the lobby of my favorite mountain hotel, during my birthday in May 2017. Since I had this experience, it was very clear to me that in the digital age and even more so after what we have experienced during the 2019 pandemic:
"Interior design and decoration services must be completely adapted to your needs, instead of you having to adapt to the conditions that a company imposes on you."