Monday, August 4, 2008

What a weekend!

This year’s Remodel It Right Expo is now history, and it was an absolute whirlwind. I went in looking forward to two things: a chance to meet you—style students who’ve been learning through our workshops and website, people who have heard of us from friends or seen our ads or television spots, and those who simply chanced by and connected with our mission of teaching personalized home design and décor. I was also looking forward to introducing our Starter Set, which combines our DVD series and Training Guide in an affordable package that many of you had requested.

Guys vacuuming and working while I eat--that's the way I like it!

The expo was a great success on both counts. So if you were one of the thousands who stopped by, thank you! Did you notice our booth? In the middle of the cavernous Hawaii Convention Center, we were able to transform a 20x10 space into a beautiful sitting area layered with colors and textures. I’ve been teaching about harmonious colors, and that’s exactly what we did—we mixed neutral colors with harmonious greens, darker yellows and creams. We pulled the space together by subtly featuring these colors in artwork, an area rug and accessories. Some of you said you wanted to move in!

Al, Gordy and Nick, aka "The Dudes"--responsible for the construction of our beautiful booth

And to my delight, when expo workers laid down the aisle carpet, guess what color it was? Green! Unfortunately it was a cooler shade than I would have liked, because we decorated with warm colors, but oh well, it was still harmonious. Compared to the bright blue carpet of the BIA Home Show last January, this one was much better!

One of the highlights was when a woman named Kathy came to meet me, which was so nice. She divides her time between Honolulu and Guam because she has a home furnishings store on Guam that also does design work. She purchased a Deluxe Style Kit a while ago and was so happy with it that she shared it with her employees. They all loved it, but what she really loved was that whereas before, she had to train her staff on how to help clients, now she can let me train them through the DVD! She said they feel so much more confident about layering textures and colors and pulling together styles that they’re able to help their customers better. She said who knows? She might even offer, as an incentive for her staff, a Deluxe Style Kit or even a chance to fly to Honolulu to attend one of our workshops.

If any of you have had the experience of putting your heart and soul into making the best product you possibly can—as we at RSVPstyle did for nine months—then you understand how happy I was to hear that Kathy is using our Style Kit and DVD to make her job easier.

Now it’s time to get back to regular work. We’ve got a whole lineup of exciting things coming up. Just wanted to say I enjoyed meeting all of you!

P.S. As I predicted, Jennifer won America’s hearts and votes and emerged as the winner of HGTV’s Design Star. Even though I was so impressed with Matt’s architectural design and his strong sense of style, Jennifer was ultimately better able to combine sophisticated, artistic style with a bubbly personality that just shined on television—even within the impossible constraints that the show threw at them.

I still think that given enough time, Matt could have pulled off much stronger designs. Good design can’t be pulled together in 24 hours. But he still fell short on personality, even though he improved over the course of the show, and in the end the format proved a better showcase for Jennifer’s strengths.

If you watch Matt’s last video on, he says it was an honor to lose to Jennifer. So it was a bittersweet but satisfying ending. You can bet I’ll be watching Season 4!