Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Crider-Manning.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Elizabeth. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up with a very DIY family. My mom and dad were always finding creative ways to make our house as cute and functional as it could be. Once I was on my own, I had an instant desire to redo/renovate/and decorate. At first, all my projects were either small real estate investments or my own home projects that my then fiancé and I were working on together, while we both had full time corporate jobs. Then two things happened in a year of each other that allowed for some major changes in what I considered “my career”. First, the condo we were flipping was featured on HGTV. Getting to show off the hard work and all my decorating was really rewarding. Then about 6 months later, my husband got a rotational position in Australia. Every other month while he was gone, I decided to start helping other people improve their spaces on nights and weekends (since I was still working at my corporate job). It took about 6 months of hard work before my little business started blowing up. Now I am full time decorating/renovating, and doing my best to grow my business and provide happy spaces and happy experiences.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
While the “horror stories” of the small business owner/start-up company didn’t really happen to me the same as it does for a lot of people, there were dozens of times where I thought about giving up. When you own a business by yourself, you don’t have much to lean on. You fail and succeed all on your own, which can be difficult to deal with mentally. Working a full time job while trying to start up was both a pro and a con. I had financial stability, but was mentally exhausted a times. And anytime something didn’t go perfect with a delivery, or a curtain color, or installation, I took it like a personal failure. Now I’ve learned nothing in life is perfect, no matter how hard I try, and this is especially true in renovations. Every hiccup is now an opportunity to provide great customer service and learn for the next project.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Houston Affordable Designs – what should we know?
I do interior decorating, as well as kitchen and bath renovation projects for clients with budgets. I focus on being affordable and maximizing the bang for your buck. I take a lot of pride in my customer service skills, and I am not your typically “fussy” interior designer. I am just like those I work with—hardworking, busy, and a desire to have a nice space to come home to. What’s great about loving what you do is that you don’t have to force anything. My clients never feel pressured into decisions. Even though I consider this a hardworking career, I‘m not pushy, and my clients find that very refreshing. I also do a lot of ground work, by putting the renderings together so that there is a clear game plan for the space. This allows the client to feel confident in what we are achieving. It’s amazing how much smoother it makes the process.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Of course I have to thank my wonderful family and supportive husband. I got my hard work from my dad and creativity from my mom. And my husband’s super smart and business savvy; someone that I can always count on for the most sound advice. They all know if I could have it my way, they would all work for me.
- Price per square foot for designs- $1.75-$2.25
- Min design fee of $395
- Minimum furniture purchase amount of $2500 per project/room being designed
- Address: 1718 HUTCHINS ST, Houston TX 77003
- Website: www.houstonaffordabledesigns.com
- Phone: 9014969686
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @houston_affordable_designs
- Facebook: @houstonaffordabledesigns
- Yelp: Houston Affordable Designs