Glen Ellyn Mom Leaves Corporate America to Start Niche Decorating Company
For this entrepreneur, it's about using what you have to make a house a home.
Ann Bridgman is the lady to call when a drab home needs an upgrade and for less.
About ten years ago, Bridgman found herself needing a refresher. After working in corporate America, Bridgman developed an interest in home decorating and staging when she was at home with her kids. Looking to channel her creative talents, something not commonly rewarded in her previous field, Bridgman began sprucing up her friends' homes. When one friend offered to pay her for her work it was then that Bridgman realized she was an entrepreneur and started her own company.
It started out slow, a one-hour per week job that grew exponentially. Now, Bridgman works with clients about 30-hours each week from all over DuPage County. While some home decorators charge thousands, and want to start with a blank canvas, Bridgman is more interested in working within a homeowner's own style.
Bridgman's forte is coming into a home and taking what homeowners already have and giving it a second chance but maybe in a different spot. Maybe she'll swap rugs from a bedroom and replace it with one from the living room. Her expertise is making slight re-touches that make all the difference in making a house a home.
One unique practice is her "one-day makeover." She comes into a home, sends the homeowner out and moves all the furniture out of the room to start over. Bridgman then browses through the home to see what pieces could work in the room.
"It's like an HGTV moment," said Bridgman. "What I love to do is give them a transformation that makes them happy."
By making order from chaos, Bridgman says her business, which she markets online, has simply grown by word of mouth. Most of her clients are pleased with her willingness to work within their budget and their own styles.
"She has great ideas, but also was good at listening to my ideas, and helping me put them together to create a great space," said Carrie Bills, a client from Glen Ellyn.
When looking at before and after pictures the solutions Bridgman finds to certain room challenges seem like no-brainers but improvements that make all the difference.
One element that homeowners overlook when decorating a room is finding the right lighting. And, Bridgman adds that many people tend to think a bunch of small items make up for the lack of a few large items with more impact. Bridgman does more than just one-day makeovers. She'll makeover a room from start to finish and she even does kitchens, bathrooms and staging for realtors.
For more on Bridgman's business, and to contact her, visit her website by clicking here.