Thursday, September 17, 2009

E-crete Concrete Ceiling

We just finished a very cool ceiling. This client came to us wanting help for the raw concrete ceiling in her contemporary condo. Although she loved her urban retreat, she said when she got in bed each night she felt like she was "sleeping under a bridge" as she gazed up at her industrial raw concrete ceiling. It was E-crete to the rescue. Here are a few pictures of the transformation. E-crete is a very versatile product that is also perfect for counter tops. It goes right on top of laminate, tile or wood which means your existing counter tops won't end up in the landfill. It is also low VOC and a LEED certified product. You can get more information on it from our friend, Dirk here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

How to have a profitable Home Show Booth

This is the second year that we have participated in the Nashville Home Decorating and Remodeling Show. We spent a ton of time, money and energy to pull off this event. We had a good show last year and left with several leads. We didn't end up closing ANY of them last year and this year I was determined to have a different approach. This is a VERY targeted show and a great place for us to meet potential clients. Everyone there is in the market to make changes to their homes. There are a couple of reasons I think we failed to generate any business last year. 1.) The show was in September and the economy tanked in October and everyone held on to their money. 2) I only took the names of people who were ready to work on a project right away and didn't have a way to keep in contact with people who might be in the market later.

This year I made some key changes. My biggest objective this year was to collect names and e-mail addresses for our e-mail newsletter. The way I did that was to ask people to sign up for our e-mail newsletter as an opportunity to win a "fireplace makeover".

I have blogged about a fireplace makeover before and it is my most read post, so I knew that would be a popular giveaway. We also had a distressed buffet that Brooks had painted in our booth. It got a ton of comments from the crowd. Everyone was asking what the process was to get the distressed look. I told everyone to sign up for our e-mail list and I would send out the formula and process for distressing the buffet in our newsletter. We got over 100 qualified people to sign up to receive our newsletter who are genuinely interested in faux. In addition, I also took down the names and contact information for people who were ready to book a consultation on the spot. We got about 15 booked at the show. We had face to face meetings with multiple builders, interior designers and remodelers. Of course we also passed out tons of business cards.

As for our actual booth, we had a huge space. We had 4 booths in the lobby of the convention center. We were in the center with no walls, so we had to get creative. Brooks built a double sided faux brick wall that we hung framed sample boards on. I got the frames at the Habitat for Humanity store for $2 a piece and he spray painted them gold. Brooks also painted a couple of big furniture pieces that were the "show stoppers". Everyone stopped to look at his hand painted scripture table and distressed buffet.
We got lots of table top easels and displayed different sample boards around the booth. We took off cabinet doors and painted doors throughout our house and also brought them into our display. Everyone loved the painted doors and it sparked lots of discussion with potential clients. To make it feel more homey we brought in rugs and lamps and accessories. Basically we emptied our entire house into our booth. We also created an iMovie of recent projects and ran it on a loop on a big screen t.v. at the front of the booth.
Overall, I think the time and effort was well worth the leads we got from the show. I'm praying that we will be able to close lots of business and create a tribe of people through our e-mail list that will be passionate supporters and recommend us to their friends.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Medieval Day at Walnut Grove

The third graders celebrated their weeks of learning about Medieval times with a feast today. Zane and Zoey looked fabulous in their costumes. They each had baskets of goods to barter at the open market after the feast. Can't wait to see what they bring home. Here's video of this morning.
I am just learning how to use I Movie. Hopefully, I will learn how to fade the music. I'll get there. This is somewhat related to faux painting in that Brooks turned an Anniken Skywalker costume from last year into a quasi Knight costume. He spray painted the boots and lapels a shimmery silver and then drew the armor details and the crest on the front. Not bad for a recycled costume.