Big Changes at Lauren Liess & Co and for our Family

It's been almost a year now since my husband, David- Dave or Dav (at home ;)-  came to work full time for our design/ textiles business and it's been a whirlwind of a year.  We debated hardcore on whether he should make this move.  (Playing devil's advocate, doing worst case scenarios etc.)  We finally came to the conclusion that we'd always wonder "What if?" if we didn't give it a go.

{Us with our middle guy, Justin.  Photo by Helen Norman.}


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.

{college}


It feels 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.

{...But how amazing would something like this Liz Cann door be??!!  I've always wanted a black & white striped awning!!! :) }

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.

{an old project board from way back when...  our new online services will be similar but clients will actually be mailed a physical package of custom designed goodies.}

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.

*****UPDATE******  Our fabric website is down for maintenance this week as we launch our brand new website, blog and online store so if you'd like to place any fabric orders this week, please visit our website www.thepurestyle.com and go to "contact" and let us know what you'd like to order.  Thanks for your patience!!


28 comments:

Courtney {a thoughtful place} said...

Very exciting, Lauren. Wishing you the best as you search for a possible studio. And you and your hubby make me feel better. . .we are that annoying couple that likes to hang all of the time, too. Oh, and that striped awning is pretty darn perfect. I want that, too!

Rebecca Penno said...

How exciting - congrats on where you've been and what's to come!

Jenny said...

WOW! Amazing! Can't wait to see your house! I imagine it will also be amazing!!!

Dawn @ Inspired Living said...

I've loved watching your business grow (been reading since 2008 or 2009, can't quite remember). Congrats to you and your family!!

Nancy said...

Thanks for keeping it real and taking us (your readers) on this amazing journey with you.

Tawna said...

I'm so happy for you {and anxious as well...is that weird}? Somehow, seeing you fight through it gives me courage to fight through it as well. My husband is a contractor, so we work together on and off. He's also my adviser and we love being together too. So we'll see if it conglomerates into something down the road. Best, best wishes sent your way!

Jessica said...

Ooh, I love all of this! I've always wanted a black & white striped awning as well! I'm sure your studio would be amaaaaze! :) Good luck to you all!!

dervla kelly said...

wow, what a wonderful post, Lauren! Congrats on making it work with your husband being a part of your business, i'm sure that can be tough at times but it sounds like you are a couple that work really well together.

Marissa@ohhhsolovely said...

such exciting things happening for you guys! that's so awesome, as i think you are a truly talented designer!

CityGirlCountryBloke said...

So awesome to hear your choices are working out for you and your family! It can be so nerve-wracking when you have such monumental decisions to make and you just pray every night that it was the right one! Can't wait to see where you decide to set up shop!

Susan Lentz said...

Hi Lauren,
Are you still accepting resumes/applications for the business manager position? I live in Northern Virginia and I'm really interested in hearing more about the positions you have available. I've been following your blog for a few years now and I really admire your work. Thanks!

Simone @simonedesignblog.com said...

Hi Lauren

So exciting for you and your family. I thoroughly following you. Good luck I think you'll do just beautifully!

Simone

Diane Haynie said...

Lauren, I have followed you and your family from the very beginning and it has been exciting to follow your success. While I am quite a bit older than you my husband and I have worked together for most of our marriage, first in his law office and now, in semi-retirement, at home with both his part time law practice and my design/freelance writing career. There is something special about a couple who can, and want to spend as much time together even when you have been together as long as we have (33 years) Good luck with all your new ideas.

René said...

How exciting Lauren! Your work inspires us all so seeing you succeed is wonderful! You and your husband sound just like us. Would work with mine in a heartbeat if I could.

Aja said...

So exciting! I love following along, watching your family and business grow. Can't wait to see all that's in store for Lauren Liess & Co!!

lessthanperfectmama.com said...

Good for you! I've been reading your blog for a long time and I'm so glad to see the exciting changes.

Sarah said...

Oh, phew!! When I read the title of this post I feared you would say you're too busy to keep up the blog. Thank you for the update (you are so talented and deserving of every success) and thank you for your blog!

Leah said...

wishing you the best! i always appreciate your updates and exciting news.

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

Wishing you all the best with your endeavors!! You deserve it.

Smitten Design said...

How exciting! It's so fun seeing your career flourish. Best of luck!

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Lauren- I cannot wait to see your new "look" on the web! How exciting!

What a wonderful story your husband joined you in this adventure. My husband is a high school teacher, so I feel how risky that jump you took was. I'm so happy that with a year under your belt you can look back and know it's working out!

Loretta

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

Lauren, You have some exciting times ahead of you and I cannot wait to watch your company grow even more! Good luck with the launch of your new website and blog :)

Liz

Lauren said...

Thank you SO much for all of the kind words & well wishes everyone!!!
xoxo,
Lauren

SmileyIsles said...

Oh, I hope you do consultations. I would love for you to come over to my house and give me some ideas. Please please pretty please!!!

Lee John said...

An interesting story to read. How a big change rises and makes an interesting story. Such Facts are really informative.

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figtreesundays said...

You have about 17 times more energy than I do - I would absolutely have a nervous breakdown if I had the workload & family obligations you do. I think your design work is top notch and I love your personality that comes through in your writing - and I am wishing you every good thing as you transition in this season!

Katy Roberts said...

Very exciting, Lauren! I have loved your blog for a long time and am so envious that you get to work with your husband! I have enjoyed your talent and watching your business grow :).