01 Jan Less post. More drumroll leading up to the next post.
Our Storm Inspired shop is not afraid to admit it’s having some work done. No shame in looking your best. (Closed for a few weeks while we reno-ify it.)
Hey there. We have some biiiiiiig-big (like hippo-big) news that we can’t fully reveal yet because it’s still top secret for not-spoiling-the-surprise reasons. But as it means we’ll be ever-so-briefly closing the Storm Inspired shop for reno’s, we did want to let you know there are lots of new things in the works for our small-but-speedily-growing company.
And just thinking about our biggish news (that shall yet remain unrevealed) has put us in full nostalgic reflect-back mode. Join us on this brief trip back through the days of yore – well, maybe not full-yore, but a few decades’ worth of highlights.
Amy waltzes out of Iowa State (go Cyclones!) with a BA in Fine Arts/Interior Design with admittedly nominal experience, but curiosity and enthusiasm galore. Lands a job with big-name hospitality architecture and interior design firm Knauer Inc. and works her patootie off learning everything possible about lighting, millwork, plumbing, electrical and the interior architectural mechanics of it all. She’s fascinated by the level of detail and advances through the ranks, taking on more and more responsibility – dreaming of goin’ all #GirlBoss years before it was even a thing.
Baby girl makes her grand entrance into the world! After a few hamster-wheel months of trying to prove she can do it all, she decides to take a breather. Her plan is to focus on momming first, design second – maybe picking up some projects a few months down the road. Her last day at Knauer is a Wednesday. Thursday she’s at the park with the baby, gets a call on her flip phone and lands her first freelance job from a friend of a friend who is frozen – stuck in the middle of a new build with a lot of decisions to make. So much for the breather.
Another girl! Amy continues with smaller project work, all coming in via word of mouth. She works from home during kiddo nap times and evenings after they’re soundly snoozing. It’s busy, but manageable.
Housing market (along with the whole economy) swan dives to the point where nooooot muuuuuuch is happening in terms of new builds. On the bright side, people decide to redo what they already have, and Amy is slammed with remodels. She also takes on a big new construction job. It’s the only new home locally in the works at the moment, so evvvvvveryone is watching. (No pressure.)
She continues to office from home, taking over the master bedroom and dining room with swatch books and blueprints. She begins adding part-timers. Folding tables and piles of samples take over the house. Vendors show up on the front porch for meetings.
6 on staff, working from Master Bed folding tables, office and Dining Room (crowded house). Husband-slash-creative-director Josh leaves his marketing job and joins the crew, heading up social media, among five zillion other things. Company sees instant lift in inquiries and converts said inquirers to clients (hands-in-the-air emoji here). PR outreach leads to everything from a Daily Herald Best Business Award to an LA Times feature and Luxe Magazine cover in 2018 (thank you Pamela Jaccarino and Luxe team!).
Now a crew of seven, the search is on for more legit office space. An ideal spot in downtown Glen Ellyn turns up. Quick buildout ensues, including an open-to-all showroom/shop filled with unique finds and Storm Inspired sign goes up. Meanwhile, Designstorms extends geographic boundaries to include homes all across Chicagoland, and out of state projects from Georgia to Maine.
How is this possible? Out of space. Again. The back wall is knocked down and more space is finished out to accommodate the current team of twelve-ish.
Uhhhhmmm. Can’t say much about it just yet. But it’s gonna be BIG.
Here’s the part where we get mushy.
We’re up to 500 projects since we started officially tracking them in 2011, and with each comes not just experience, but learning and dare we say wisdom? Through it all, we’ve been shown much grace by both contractors/subs and clients when things have occasionally gone awry. It doesn’t happen often, but life is life, and things don’t always go perfectly accordingly to Plan A. And we’re grateful for your partnership in figuring out what Plan B and C look like – which sometimes (weirdly) end up being better than Plan A anyway. This year’s work demonstrates that:
To our clients: Wow. Wow. Wowwwww. We can’t tell you how much your confidence means to us. We are continually floored by all that you entrust us with, and have thoroughly enjoyed our months of collaboration with each of you.
To our contractors and subs: Thank you for your infinite patience in explaining to us why sometimes our (what we thought was brilliant design) can’t/won’t work due to the constraints of reality and physics and all that. We appreciate your creativity in finding alternate solves that WILL work and remain true to our design intent. We continue to learn daily from you.
To our girls: You are two amazing young ladies and we LOOOOVE having you (and sometimes the dog) here with us working part-time in the store. Thanks for sticking with it long after the novelty wore off. You make us proud, and we hope you’re flattered and embarrassed by all this gushy-talk.
And lastly but not leastly, to our team: You are phenomenally talented and genius problem-solvers. Plus you make work fun – which we know it’s not always supposed to be (hence the name “work”), but we like ourselves some levity and you know how to bring it. We don’t even know if you read the blog, but if you do, Designstormers – we hope you’re blushing and feeling very publicly appreciated right now. Like a big atta-boy/girl slap on the back in blog form. We are grateful for the opportunity to sit elbow-to-elbow with you daily. We heart you immensely and could no-way, no-how pull off what we do in any given day without you. You are incredible and possibly a little bit magic. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all that you do!!!
Like we said up front, we’ve had some things in the works for the better part of a year, and while our internal team is aware of all the happenings, they’ve been sworn to secrecy – and they are shockingly excellent at keeping things hush-hush [pantomime mouth locked, key tossed over shoulder]. We hired well.
BIIIIIIIIIG ANNOUNCEMENT COMING FEB 3rd. Meanwhile the Storm Inspired showroom will be closed the next few weeks as we remodel and prepare for our big reveal. Meanwhile, everything is still available online, which is a preferable way to shop in January anyway. We’ll let you know when the final touches are complete – should be just a few weeks!
Until next time… Happy New Year and thanks for reading!
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