Quote of the Month!
Even the best excuses don't feel as good as
Tons of people have been inspired by what
The Secret has to say about the "law of attraction" and our ability
to manifest what we want in our lives by our thoughts. It's a bit
simplistic in that while I agree we shape our own reality by what we
think, the book leaves out the reality of the hard work that
actually goes along with those thoughts. I find this book (and all
of it's spin-off products) fascinating as a marketer. There's
nothing new here but with smart marketing they've given "The Secret"
almost a cult following with discussion groups, other courses,
blogs, etc. devoted to it. Worth reading if for nothing else than to
see what all the fuss is about.
Winter Course Dates
Want to take the Staging Diva
courses live with me?
Registration is now open for the February / March Live
Staging Diva TeleClasses. I only take 15 students in a conference
call. All notes are emailed to you in advance. You get a phone
number and password to join your fellow students and me in the live
calls on the 5 designated evenings.
winter 2008 schedule and register before it's full.
Of course you can always order course
recordings so you aren't tied to the live class schedule. And,
you get to listen to the material as often as you
Don't worry, I'm still accessible but with over 500 emails a
day, I need help. If you send me something that needs my attention,
Sandy always forwards your message to me.
A Word About
Don't take home staging training just because you want
"credentials" since there are none (not
official ones at least).
Anyone can put initials after their names and call themselves
a professional home stager, there are no requirements or licenses to
The only real reason to take a course is if you feel the
content will improve your chance of success.
Decide exactly what you need to get out of a program and then
that offers that.
Look for a trainer that has a proven
track record of success as a home stager, not just as an
Otherwise, what proof is there that their methods work in the
Are you promised unlimited one on one access to the head of
the company, forever? Ask yourself whether this is realistic and
whether you are being promised other things that are impossible
single training program will be right for everyone! You owe it to
yourself to research your options and choose wisely, based on your
the rest of this story
student comments about the Staging Diva
17: January 2008
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expressed interest in learning about the business of Home Staging.
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I don't know about you but I always get revved up in January.
The New Year always brings a feeling of being able to make a fresh,
new start. I love cracking open my brand new day timer and plotting
my projects and meetings on its crisp pages (the coffee stains and
smudges will come soon enough).
This year I'm especially
nostalgic because this is the 5th anniversary of my first home
staging project for a client. Who knew it could have led to doing
hundreds of homes and international recognition? It's also the 3rd
anniversary of the first Staging Diva TeleClass and there are now
700 Graduates worldwide and many others who have read my two books,
enjoyed a few classes, or business coaching with me to help them
turn a non-performing staging company into a profitable
I'm deeply grateful to all of you for letting me be part of
your own journeys of reinvention. I believe life is the adventure we
make of it and I want all of you to go out there and follow whatever
dreams you may have.
For those of you who wrote wondering about my HGTV shoot at
the end of December, it was so much fun! You can read more in the
last article in this newsletter.
I hope you find the content of this issue of Staging Diva
Dispatch helpful. I welcome your feedback and/or new story ideas!
Best wishes for the New Year and may all your dreams come true in
Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.
Creator of The Staging Diva Program
P.S. If you missed the
Preview session I ran in January, you can listen and download the
F/REE recording here. There were
excellent questions from the audience about marketing, the future of
home staging and more.
HGTV Addicts Consider New Career for 2008
Buyers and Improve Your Portfolio
Student/Graduate Success Corner
Debra Gould Teaches Staging on HGTV
Quote of the Month
Staging Diva Winter 2008 Courses
The Staging Diva Team
A Word about
Consider New Career for 2008
If you had told
me five years ago that I'd be making multiple appearances on HGTV
and a bunch of other networks, or that I'd be in all the major
magazines and newspapers I have been across the US and Canada, I
would have thought you were crazy!
||Home remolding, design and decorating have become
national pastimes in part because of the phenomenal success of
Home & Garden Television or HGTV. Shows such as Designed
to Sell, House Doctor and Sell This House allow armchair
decorators a way to indulge their passion.|
For all the
viewers of these shows who say to themselves "I can do that"
or "I want to do that", I say it's a New Year, what have you
got to lose by trying?
A number of Staging Diva
Graduates have also found themselves on HGTV including:
Victoria Willits, Suzanne Paro,
and Kris O'Neill. Others, like Jenny
Olsen have written their own newspaper columns and been
profiled in magazines.
We all went from dreamy HGTV addicts
to actually being the people you see on shows because we took action
to follow our dreams. 2008 is a brand new year full of possibilities
and a chance to start over from wherever you are now in your life.
Was it Einstein that said, "opportunity meets the prepared mind"? In
other words, if you tell yourself something is impossible then it
WILL be impossible!
When I started I was scared about whether
I could pay my mortgage and support my family. I was scared no one
would understand what home staging was, that I'd look silly, that I
didn't have a degree in interior design, that no one would hire me.
But I plunged on anyways and fought the urge to give up many times
in that first year!
The Staging Diva
Home Staging Business Training Program provides individuals with
an opportunity to combine a passion for decorating with the tools
you need to make m0ney as a home stager.
I focus on the
business side of home staging rather than teaching you "decorating,"
because I believe anyone considering this field should already have
a natural talent for decorating. If you have no taste and no sense
of what looks good in a room, I donít believe anyone can teach you
that-- especially in a day or two. Instead, I emphasize best
business practices, marketing strategies and pricing of services,
and all the things you need to take your natural talent and turn it
into a lucrative business.
more about how to stop "watching" and start
Vignettes Delight Home Buyers and
Improve Your Portfolio
Think of a vignette as a detail or 'still
life.' It should have an attractive composition. If youíre staging a
house youíll be creating lots of vignettes for your clients. Donít
forget to photograph them when youíre shooting the overall
Here are easy examples of ways to create/show
You might zoom in close on the arm of a chair with a throw
nicely arranged and a portion of a painting in the
Perhaps itís the three figurines you carefully arranged on
the end of the mantle.
Maybe itís the book and lamp on a night table with
only the edge of a pillow sham visible in the
It could be towel rolls on the edge of a tub beside some
before shot (above left) isn't portfolio-worthy. While the planter I
created for one of my staging projects looked great on the kitchen
counter, the photo of it doesn't work because of the distracting
plugs on the wall and the window. Not to mention it's a bit
in a software program called Adobe Photoshop, I created
shot (above right) by cropping, sharpening the original image and
adjusting the lighting. The image is now perfect for laying out an
interesting brochure or web page.
Vignettes tell a story, they set a mood. They are everywhere
in a staged home. Donít forget to capture these little gems and pay
attention to creating an interesting and attractive composition when
youíre shooting or cropping them.
For more portfolio ideas check out the Staging
Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide.
way, when you join the Staging
Diva Directory of Home Stagers, this is the kind of retouching
work we do on your photos for you.
Judi used the Staging
Diva Ultimate Portfolio Guide for help. She writes, "I received
my Portfolio Guide immediately and found your advice invaluable. My
web designer was pressuring me to use stock photos but you've
convinced me to maintain my integrity and wait to get some awesome
photos of my own. Your training is practical, motivating, real-life
stuff. It demystifies a lot of technical subjects, while making me
feel proud of my staging ability!"
||Congratulations to Staging Diva Graduate Judi
Collins of Superior Home
Styling (Australia) who launched her
website within a
few months of completing the training
|Congratulations to Staging Diva Graduate Leigh
Luck of Revitalize Design (OR) who quit her high
stress executive position of 9 years in July, completed the
Staging Diva Program in August, got married in October and has
launched her new staging business, saying, "Well
now, it is my turn to do not only what I am good at, but what
I love!" She's one of many new members in the Staging Diva
Network Online Discussion Group.
In our last
conversation Dane said to me, "without a doubt you saved me at least
a year of struggle because of the information you shared so candidly
in your training program."
||Congratulations to Staging Diva Graduate Dane
Caldwell of 2-Hounds Design (ON) who
turned a staging project referral I gave her into a kitchen
redesign including new granite counters before staging the
whole house. It's been a pleasure to watch the amazing
business progress Dane has made since taking the Staging Diva
Program less than a year ago. She's positioned herself very
clearly as a home staging expert and has shown real leadership
in the industry already.|
|In October I received a request to teach a program from
the Professional Development Institute in Maryland. Not
wanting to travel, I passed the lead on to Staging Diva
Graduate Allegra Shann of Styled
and Sold, LLC (MD). She's now teaching their three-hour
continuing education course for Realtors, called "The Benefits
of Home Staging." What a great way for Allegra to establish
her expertise as a stager and spread the word to Realtors on
why they need our help decorating their clients'
This is not the first time I've been able to
forward a teaching or guest speaking opportunity to one of my
Graduates. I hear about these because of all the traffic I get to my
have you got to lose by joining?
|The Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers
welcomes Laura Kakoschke of HUNTER
LAKE Home Staging and Design.
Congratulations on getting your portfolio together and
putting yourself out there for homeowners, agents and the
media to find as we head into the busy 2008 spring real estate
Staging Diva Students and
Graduates, send me your
successes so we can celebrate your triumphs and inspire others!
being included in this newsletter gets you a F/ree home on StagingDivaDispatch.com
(the more links I provide you with, the better for your business
another way, I'm the most receptive editor you'll ever approach for
publicity for your business. It's time you take advantage of
Debra Gould Teaches Home Staging on New HGTV
|I recently finished an all day shoot for a new HGTV
show to air this spring, "The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose
Price." Ambrose was one of the contestants on the last season
of HGTV's Designer SuperStar Challenge.
In one of the
13 episodes of this new show, I take Ambrose under my wing to
teach him about how to stage a home. We visited three
supposedly staged houses just before Christmas and I talked
through what was done right and what was wrong in each
the full story here
Diva Teaches Home Staging
HGTV Show. Debra Gould
with host Ambrose Price.