Home Decor Interview:
Sarah from "Thrifty Decor Chick"
Times are tough these days. The markets are down and the economy is in a
pinch. As a result, we're all watching how much cash we spend these days.
That's where the
Chick" comes in! Her name says it all, and Sarah devotes an entire
to decorating with your hard earned dollars in mind. I even discovered
that she has the exact same master bed that my husband and I have (we love you,
Not only that, but Sarah recently decided to make interior decorating her
career. We applaud her courage to live out her dream, and kudos to her
husband for supporting her decision along the way.
Sarah was very excited to do this interview with us, and we're excited to have
her as well. Please enjoy this priceless interview with the Thrifty Decor
1. Hi Sarah, thanks for taking time out of your busy holiday season to
grant us an interview. Please take this chance to briefly introduce yourself
and tell everyone about
"Thrifty Decor Chick."
I'm so honored
you've asked me to participate! I am 33-years-old, married, with an 18-year-old
stepdaughter and a two-year-old son. Both of our children are amazing and make
us so proud! My husband, who is my biggest supporter, is a band director and
My blog is
all about decorating in all forms -- painting, crafts, woodworking, window
treatments. When I see decor I love, it fulfills me to no end to be able to do
it with my own spin, for a fraction of the cost.
That's why I started the blog. Initially it was to show my girlfriends how I do
what I do, and then I got the blog "bug" and it's become what it is today.
You recently did something many of us are not brave enough to do: quit your day
job to pursue a career in interior decorating. What led to this decision and
how has the transition been so far?
You know what's
funny – I toyed with the idea of majoring in interior design back in high
school, but my love of writing won out.
I ended up pursuing Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Public Relations. I
always had a love of decorating though, and throughout the years, I tried to get
into the decorating field a few times with no luck. I made phone calls, met with
designers…I even made up business cards to start my own business!
But all I ever heard over and over was that I needed another degree to
pursue this dream. There was NO way I was going back to school again! So I
continued in my marketing career and loved that work, but then something
big happened – pregnancy. All the sudden the only thing I could think
about was leaving my baby for 11 hours a day (the commute was up to two hours a
day). The thought of it made me ill. I know every pregnant/new momma feels this
The only reason I was brave enough to make this move was because my amazing
husband encouraged me to do it. He knew we'd be losing a substantial income and
he still pushed me to follow my dream. So with his support, I made one last
effort to try to find an "in" in the business and finally did it! The transition
to my dream career was easy – the change in income was NOT. But I would not
change it for anything. I work part time, so I get the best of both worlds –
days with my son and work and a schedule I really love.
3. We all dream of getting paid to decorate people's homes. Now that
you're actually doing that, how has it lived up to your expectations? Are you
living a dream, or has "working" as a decorator taken some of the fun out of it?
I have to say yes
to both parts of this question. I have a dream job – working with beautiful
products, fabrics, furniture and wonderful, creative people. My clients are
fantastic and I've even become close friends with some. I am lucky to work for a
firm that has laid everything at our feet and makes it SO easy for us to please
our customers. My schedule is to die for -- I set my own appointments, I am my
It is like any job
though -- there are little annoyances. On exasperating days (the client is
stressing about the price of window treatments, they didn't like the paint
colors you suggested), you are so wiped out, it's not fun at those moments. The
good far outweighs the bad though. Seeing how happy a client is, hearing how
they bragged about what their decorator did…it fills you up. And I have to say,
even on annoying days, I still feel more inspired than ever about our own home.
This career has sparked my creativity like you wouldn't believe.
Just as important as quitting your job was convincing your husband to let you do
For women out there who want to take the plunge but are meeting resistance from
their spouses, what advice do you have for them to convince them to let them
follow their dream?
I have to say again how fortunate I am to have such a supportive husband. We are
lucky that his income can support us both, with a few spending changes.
(Although the amazing things I see on blogs sure doesn't help financially!!)
My first piece of advice would be for the women to make sure their husbands know
it is not a fleeting idea – that they are serious and passionate about it and it
would be a dream come true to pursue it.
need to show how they will make sacrifices. Especially if the dream means losing
income, or adding expenses like day care. How can they make changes to help the
Third, they need
to make an effort to learn everything they can about their dream – network with
a ton of people, e-mail people, do research on the Internet. This will show that
they are prepared and how passionate they are about it.
interviewed a lot of experts on thrift shopping and decorating, and each person
has her own perspective. Where are your favorite places to hunt down bargains,
and do you shop mostly online or at bargain shops?
I am a bargain shopper through and through!! Let's see – in the past couple
weeks, the best places I've shopped are the dollar store, Hobby Lobby and the
Flower Factory (a wholesale store). It's gotten to the point where I can't
honestly tell you the last time I bought an accessory at Target. (Even though
it's one of my favorite places to shop!)
My favorite stores lately are our local consignment shop and Goodwill. One
person's trash is another person's treasure – how true is that?! I always
encourage people to look up their local consignment shop – not only to purchase,
but to sell. I haven't spent more than $15 total at the shop I love because of
the credit I have from all of the items I've sold there.
I don't shop
online often but when I do, ebay is the first place I go. Overstock.com is
another favorite. Between the two, I can usually find exactly what I'm looking
You explain a lot of arts and crafts projects that you do personally at home.
Where did you learn these skills, and how would you advise someone who wants to
do some of these things but isn't particularly handy?
Trial and error. You have to do it to learn. I didn't used to be crafty. I've
always been handy (I have my Dad and Grandfathers to thank for that) and
creative -- but it's really been the past year that I've really gotten
into craft projects.
Some of them are MAJOR flops – my readers don't see most of those. Sometimes the
idea sounds great and it just doesn't work.
Sometimes it works in a different way, but better! You just have to try, have
low expectations at first, and have fun with it.
7. We noticed the "We say Merry Christmas" sticker on your blog that
Bill O'Reilly sells. Anyone who loves decorating loves the holidays. What is
your personal favorite holiday (mine is Halloween) and why?
Christmas is by far my favorite. It's not about the decorations though – it's
about the traditions that surround that holiday. The decorations are just a
bonus for me. My mom was so great about instilling traditions with us, and those
are what I remember best. I am practically giddy at the thought of enjoying
those same traditions and more with our son. And I am a sucker for giving gifts
– I just love it. :)
8. Sarah, thanks again for the interview. For the last question,
please let us say how impressed we are with your enthusiasm for decor. You're
obsessed with decorating (in a good way) and it shows. What is it that first
made you interested in decorating, and what is it that keeps you interested all
Great question! I'm
not sure what it first was -- it's just innate in me. I believe it's a part of
me and always will be. I love that just when I think there's nothing else I can
do in our home, I get a bright idea, which leads to another, then another...and
the BEST feeling is completing something I see in my head and it turns out
better than what I
imagined. That's what keeps me interested and always will. I hope my blog
inspires that in others as well.
Now that's how to do an interview!
Sarah really put some effort into her answers and we very much appreciate that.
We want to thank Sarah for sharing her life and home with us, and be sure you
check out her
Chick" blog for some great advice on how to beautify your home with
out bankrupting it. Thanks Sarah!
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