It is hard to believe that the property styling division of Design & Diplomacy started less than a year ago. D&D had a soft start in Jan of 2015 when we were working almost exclusively with private clients, but the real big bang came when we announced that we would be offering full service home staging of properties for sale.
The jobs came in hard and fast – as soon as word got out that I was ‘back’ the phone was ringing off the hook. We had expected to have the time over the traditionally slow winter months to secure our warehouse, build our team and our stock – maybe even to go overseas to fill a container or two – but no! The gods had other plans for us.
Our first styling job came in June – before we even formally started – but as with any new business, when a client asks ‘can you do it?’ the answer is always YES. I bought furniture for the property and had it delivered directly there as we had no warehouse and stock at the time.
When our second job came about a few days after the first we had purchased our vans but hadn’t yet moved into our warehouse, so we loaded for the job on the street in Collingwood – literally!
We have come so far in 10 short months. We have been flat out since before the word GO. We now have a growing staff of 8 and work on very prestigious properties (valued up to AUD 20 Million) all over Victoria. We have firmly established ourselves in the market and built solid relationships with real estate agents across the state, including a very close relationship with Kay and Burton (Australia’s premier agency). The D&D directors and sometimes the staff work seven days a week (even in our sleep in fact – I am often fluffing cushions and rearranging furniture in my dreams).
The extent of our success has surprised even us. We have twice as many properties out at any given time than our business case forecasted, which means we are ‘still’ buying furniture and have twice the operational volume today as we expected at 2.5 years in.
Today, for example, is just another ‘manic Monday’ – we have two collections and an installation of a 4-bedroom house. In between it all we are picking, packing and prepping for the rest of this week’s jobs. Mondays are almost always hectic as we install and scramble to collect the properties that sold the weekend past – and then there is the blog. I have been writing this blog every Monday for 15 months, come rain or shine. I have not missed a post even if I have been totally snowed under or out of the country. Lately I have called upon my fabulous creative team to lend a hand – contributing a post here or there to provide a bit of relief for this tired Creative Director. Don’t get me wrong, I love the blog, I love writing it and I somehow I am never short of ideas to write about. What I am short on however, is time.
Sooo…, long story short, I have decided to reduce my posts to fortnightly not weekly, at least for now. I will still have my team contribute – putting in their own creative two cents, but at this stage of the game, time is money and I need to invest it well.
I will still deliver the design feast but now fortnightly rather than weekly so, please continue to read and share and follow us in Instagram!