Growing up, I was into sports. Basketball and Tennis mostly. My love and appreciation of sport came from my dad, a baseball player. Many Octobers spent watching the Yankees own 'October Baseball' on our basement television. Many Sundays spent watching Golf greats do their thing on Championship Sunday. I remember staying up late to watch Arthur Ashe stadium come alive night after night. Breakfasts at Wimbledon, never missed.
I decided to pursue Sport Business Management in College. I was so intrigued by the everyday workings of the front office and the impact these organizations had on their communities. I thought it was what I was meant to do. A degree and a few interviews later I quickly realized it wasn't my path.
Thankfully I had a marketing degree to also fall back on. And, that's where I spent the next six years of my life. Creative Marketing. You wear many hats. And you learn how to do things you never thought you needed to know how to do. Like pack and ship tradeshow materials. And website coding. Ugh. Website coding. I still have nightmares about this. But there were glamorous parts too. Like traveling the U.S. - Pasadena, NYC, Phoenix, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, Nashville. And working with stellar marketing teams. And using my creativity to produce marketing materials, webinars, newsletters, events, blog posts from scratch.
In 2013, my husband and I grew our family by welcoming a son. I decided to step away from Corporate America for a bit and become a stay-at-home mama. I grew bored quickly. Gasp. Yes. I said it. My life as a marketing creative was non-stop. Now I was home staring at a sleeping baby, tapping my foot and twiddling my thumbs. Looking to channel my creative energy, I immersed myself in decorating our first family home.
Fast forward a couple years and I was making our second family home feel like our own. I started a home design Instagram account to keep mostly friends and family up to date on how we were settling into our new home. Through this small account, I was introduced to a community filled with mama's just like me, who had immersed themselves in home interiors while also wearing that title of 'mama'. Their work was inspiring. Their work/life balance was inspiring. And so I thought to myself, 'I can do this too'.
I enrolled in an interior design class at a local community college to learn the basics. I started to read design books and magazines to soak up as much information as I could. I began using Instagram as an educational tool, rather than just another social media platform. It's filled with design inspiration and styling tips, yes. But it also follows design projects from start to finish. I saw how designers and contractors interacted. I saw how designers approach their design process and client relationships. I saw design trends and what type of design has stood the test of time. I saw how to mix patterns, textures, colors. The wealth of knowledge shared through those tiny little squares is incredible.
I wanted experience. I needed experience. So I applied for a design assistant position for a local interior designer. It was a great interview and I was grateful for their time, but at the end of the day I just didn't have the design experience they were looking for. Or any design experience at all. So I decided to leverage my marketing experience to get in the door so to speak. I applied for a marketing manager position for an interior designer in California. And for a couple months, I supported her marketing efforts and did my best to learn as much as I could from her in regards to running an interior design business. She shared her experiences so openly. And she shared her time so generously. I'm forever grateful for her kindness and guidance.
During this time, I started creating design boards for friends and family. I created a Facebook page, started sharing a few blog posts here and there about what was inspiring me, and taught myself how to use a professional camera to take Instagram-worthy photos of my own home. My world was becoming all about design and I loved every second of it. I remember a conversation with my mom after a family friend asked if I would be interested in helping her friends redecorate their home. Filled with fear and self-doubt, I respectfully declined. My mom urged me to start somewhere. And she reminded me of a time when I used to lock myself in my room growing up, spending hours drawing plans of my dream home in five star notebooks. How funny. This path had been inside of me all along. It just took me awhile to realize it.
These last few months have been a whirlwind. I officially became a business. I had a logo developed and built a website. I started working at our local Pottery Barn to further educate myself on furniture and upholstery and get more experience perfecting my craft. I enrolled in some additional classes at our local community college for continuing design education. And I officially took on clients - thanks to sweet friends and an incredible network of fellow Boss Ladies in my area.
To say I'm excited is an understatement. I feel pretty lucky to be doing what I love. And to have a husband who's been so supportive of my new dream. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my journey to this place. Your enthusiasm and encouragement has meant so much to me. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Christine McCall Home.