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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Shields


Updated: Jan 7, 2020

Happy New Years Everyone!

It's so nice to get back to normal! Was it just me, or did the holidays seem to go on forever? I guess for me, it felt like Christmas started back in November with the holiday home tour. I don't know, it just felt long. Anyways, welcome 2020! I'm excited to get back into the swing of things.

I'm happy to say that I've had quite a few newcomers subscribe to the blog recently, yay! I'm so grateful for the support and I promise not to disappoint. I realize now that when I started this blog, which really wasn't that long ago, I didn't exactly introduced myself or explain who I am or where I'm coming from. So I figured, why not ring in 2020 with a bit of a Q&A? A little "get-to-know-me" session, so to speak, for all of you who I am yet to meet.....

1. Where did you grow up and how did you end up in Newmarket?

Well, most of my childhood I lived in Etobicoke until my family moved to Waterloo the summer before grade 5. We stayed in Waterloo until grade 12 and my parents decided to move to Windsor my last year of high school, (back when grade 13 was a thing). As you could imagine I wasn't thrilled about moving to Windsor and being a bit of a wild child, I couldn't wait to get out of may parents house and on my own. The minute I graduated, I headed out on my own and moved to Toronto, where I spent the next 20 years of my life. It wasn't until about 5 years ago, after marrying my husband in 2014, that I moved to lovely Newmarket Ontario - which happens to be my husband's hometown. We have since bought a house here, had 2 sweet little girls and I have never looked back.

2. How did you develop your design style?

I've spent a ton of years researching design trends and decor styles, which definitely has provided a lot of style inspiration for me, but what has never failed me is just trusting my gut. My own style is inspired by the way things make me feel, the vibe a room is creating, or an ambiance. I love a comfy, relaxed space with clean lines and the perfect amount of pattern and texture. It has to feel bright, airy and effortlessly well thought out.

3. How did you get into the business?

It seriously did not happen overnight. I've always been a creative type and went to University for Design. I started my career in home decor working alongside celebrity designer, Joseph Mimran developing and designing home decor collections for the mass market. Over the years, I moved up and around within the industry, designing products for various companies and later, focusing on home trend forecasting. After 12 years in the industry, I got laid off from a job and came to the realization that the Canadian retail market was dying. I knew I needed to make a move. I had secretly always fantasized about starting my own business and seeing as I had so much experience in home decor I decided to grab life by the balls and just go for it.

4. How was the transition from working a 9-5 to becoming an entrepreneur?

Exciting and terrifying at the same time. When I started my business my daughter was about 2 years old and my husband and I were trying for another baby. Since we lived in Newmarket and I was commuting to Toronto each day, the transition was nice in the way that I could be closer and more accessible for kids appointments and drop off's, ect. The stress of not having a steady pay check was definitely an adjustment, and one I'm still getting used too. But seriously, I wouldn't have it any other way, becoming an entrepreneur has taught me so much about myself, humbling lessons that I could have gone on to never learn so I'm thankful for that. Plus, now I get to do what I truly love to do and by my own rules. As a creative person, there is nothing better than having complete creative control over your projects. You don't necessarily have that when you are designing in a corporate environment.

5. What is your number one design rule?

Rule number one is that all the rules can be broken. Not saying that they should be broken, but bear in mind that there is an exception to every design rule, which is where "going with your gut" comes into play. If you don't trust your own gut, then find someone's gut you do trust.

6. How do you manage being a busy mom and a business owner?

To be honest, I sometimes wonder if I am actually managing? I'm always looking for better, more efficient ways to do things; laundry, meal planning, parenting, working, self care. There aren't enough hours in the day. I'm trying to find balance but the scales always seem to be tipping one way or the other. I find if one thing is going well, something else is compromised. I think the trick is to just go with the flow and be OK with things not being so perfect all the time. As long as your family is happy and healthy, that's all that really matters.

7. Where do you see yourself going in 2020?

I have big plans for 2020 ! First of all, I'm committing to this blog, I'm planning on blogging at least twice a month with design related content like: how to guides, decor trends and project reveals. I'm going to continue to grow the business and take on even more clients and projects. I'm also taking on a huge project for myself. My husband and I have decided to purchase his childhood home in Central Newmarket and we are planning on completely gutting the place. Don't worry, I'll be sharing the whole process with you so stay tuned.

8. What is your biggest design pet peeve?

There are so many! The first that comes to mind is when I see drapery panels that are too short - seriously like nails on a chalk board for me! Oh - and artwork that is hung too high.

9. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I have a bunch actually, but watching Vanderpump Rules and eating Taco Bell are both right up there.

10. What is your favorite place to travel?

I've done a bit of travelling in my time and I think my favorite place I've been so far is Barcelona. It's been awhile since I've been there but the art, the culture, the sangria. I would love to take my husband there someday but having two small kids has put a bit of a halt on any big travel plans for now.


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