Pay it Forward: Stellar Homes Staging + Design

I am happy to present to you our twenty-third local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – Stellar Homes Staging + Design.

Our recent Lake County business featured was Life at Two Oak Photography and owner, Tristesse “TC” Peterson, chose to Pay it Forward to Whitney Brand, owner of Stellar Homes Staging + Design.

The catch is that I will not choose the next business to interview, but the current spotlighted business will choose who I will interview next. Local businesses will Pay it Forward.

Stellar Homes Staging + Design is a local professional home staging and interior design service-oriented business. They are based in Middletown, California and also cover areas outside of Lake County. Whitney and her team offers home staging that is your one stop shop for complete market preparation – cleaning, staging and SOLD!
Whitney provides full house design, which includes everything from color/paint selection, space planning/layout, lighting selection and so much more. Stellar Homes not only stages homes to be sold, but also vacation homes, vacant homes – even offering renovation consultation.
Travel is not out of the question for Stellar Homes – inquire for all of your home staging needs.

  1. Why did you decide to start your own business?

The actual staging part of Stellar Homes Staging + Design was born purely out of the community’s need. I was more in the business of flipping homes, casually, maybe one per year. My husband worked full-time outside of the business at that time so we did flipping on the side to supplement our income. I always staged the houses that I flipped, and with each flipped house, came another realtor asking if I might be interested in staging their listings.

The last flipped house that we did fell out of escrow three times and took six months to sell, which was quite terrifying so it made the transition to staging look extremely appealing. It was kind of like doing the fun part at the end of a flip and not having to risk or invest hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the two people in my life that I go to for advice, said jump all in, I followed suit and did exactly that.

We have never said “no” to a job; no matter how big or small the job is, what time restraints we are currently under, or the status of our inventory. During the first couple years of major growth, that was a very difficult business model to follow. When you’re having to buy entire houses worth of furniture within a day or twos time, it can be extremely financially difficult and rather stressful – That way of business has been questioned by multiple people, but I truly believe in being there for the realtors and the sellers. I never want to ever say “no” or give a product that is subpar.

  1. What advice would you give to someone just starting their own business?

I am probably the wrong person to ask that question. I don’t follow the typical standards of writing up business plans, and what not. I give it a ton of my time and energy, sleepless nights, and of course I would never do this unless I was extremely passionate about what I do.

I can stand behind my product and I can look my clients in the eye and tell them that this will indeed help them to get the most money out of their real estate investment. Believing in what you do, loving your job and the people that you work with would be my best advice.

  1. What routines do you follow each day?

The only routine that I can think of is that every day I drink a cup of coffee! I drink it in bed for a half hour to 45 minutes while I plan out my day. In my business you need to be extremely flexible. I often say, “Well, my day took a hard left!” I don’t mind it. I love change! I love being able to tell a client, “Yes. I can do that tomorrow!” Schedules and routines are really not my thing. Just ask my team.

  1. Where do you see your business in five years? Ten?

Oh boy, those dreams are pretty big!

Within five years, I hope to see a beautiful development in downtown Middletown that Stellar Homes designed and built! I also see the staging side of the company growing and supporting another crewmember or two. I’d like to see us all working steadily; full-time positions that provide each member with the lifestyle they deserve.

  1. How did you market your business when it was brand new?

The only way I ever marketed my business was by word-of-mouth. I believe that is why the realtors that use me are so loyal to me. They have been recommended to me, and then I have proven myself, and they in turn recommend me to other realtors and clients.

I have saved letters, texts, emails and voicemails that have brought me to tears with clients being so satisfied and grateful for the job that we have done. In my business, we are hired during the most stressful of times for people. Typically people are starting new chapters of life; there has been a death in the family, divorce, and 1 million other reasons. I like to come in and be a breath of fresh air and relieve the people of the stress of getting their house market ready. I love providing that service, almost more than I love design!

  1. If you could spend the day with anyone (living or who has passed on) who would it be and why?

Well, that’s pretty easy. Our family lost a precious little girl, my niece, Joanna Rose. It would be pretty incredible to spend another day with her…..

Stellar Homes Staging + Design
Owner – Whitney Brand
PO Box 1679
Middletown, CA 95461

  1. 6666

Website – https://www.stellarhomes.org/
Facebook – Stellar Homes

Whitney would like to Pay it Forward to Koontz Mercantile in Middletown.
Stay tuned for Koontz Mercantile!

Lori Armstrong

Lori began her career in the legal field, leaving that position to pursue full-time writing endeavors. Being a criminal court reporter for the Record-Bee, she balances the chaos in her brain by writing children's books and reflective pieces. When time allows, she publishes books for Amazon.

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