Today I interviewed one of my most talented friends, Alisa Berry, who used her God-given talents to grow a wildly successful Interior Design business! She tells us about the major business changes she has recently made, going from owning a store to freelance design. If you have experienced financial success in your business but have had increasingly more stress and less peace and less freedom with your time, it may be time to answer the question, “What is success costing you?”.
Alisa is a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. Over the last two decades she built her interior design business and among a numerous amount of stellar awards and accomplishments, she has been voted Best Interior Designer in the state of Mississippi three times in a row! She shared with us, though, that interior design sort of became her trade by happenstance…or so it seemed so at the time.
“I was a single mother with a house cleaning business, and what I found when I was cleaning for someone was that I would move things and put them back in a different way that just felt more eye pleasing. It felt right. It looked right. I would rearrange the furniture, and most often it was received well! As I did that, people would begin to ask for my advice. And it took some time through years of doing that to build up the confidence to feel okay just saying those things.”
Alisa eventually worked up to freelancing, which transitioned into having her own interior design store. “I figured out after eleven years that owning running a retail store was just not my gift. I closed the store in August of 2018 and went back to freelancing, but this time I focused on the business. Incorporating doing what I love with the business aspect of it. And that made all the difference. Finding where those two intersect is bliss.”
The most important part of the choice to transition, she says, is her freedom. Alisa treasures her time with her family more than anything. The ability to pick and choose when she works and what jobs she takes on has reduced her stress ten fold. Getting back to what she loves to do and freed up time for her to do more acts of kindness for people who really need help but can’t always afford it.
“God gave me a specific gift to be able to help people, and I don’t think he gave me that gift just so I could make money.”
Many of us have “leap of faith” stories and Alisa definitely included. She closed her store when she realized that it just wasn’t God’s plan for her. “I had to just get to a point where God had to break me. He showed me that my dreams would continue to slip away until I realized that it just wasn’t his plan for me. God literally closed the doors on that dream. And I felt like every door he closed, he opened a window to this life, the one I’m living now. Where I get to help people, and choose my clients, and I don’t have customers berating me! I work with people who value my talent and value my time.”
I love that Alisa is able to use her new business model to attract her ideal clients. She is able to carve out her niche, and attract the clients she wants to work with, and repel the ones that she doesn’t. With regards to interior design, she mainly uses social media to market exactly what is important to her; casual and colorful living! She makes sure to create her posts about what her ideal client thinks they want, and the things they didn’t even know they needed. She posts what she believes in, and through this people can know exactly what she is all about.
“There are always going to be people who believe in you, and people who don’t believe in you. And you just have to stop associating with people who don’t believe in you. That seems harsh, but you have to cut that negativity out of your life. The reality is that the reason they’re negative is because they don’t need to be there. And that’s because they don’t have your best interest at heart. If you surround yourself with good people then you’ll be able to increase your confidence. You can be the juiciest, ripest peach on the tree, and there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches!”
It’s so true! You just have to just be the best version of yourself.
“Confidence comes from failures that turn into success and being able to do things you never thought you could do before. Having people around you who believe in you makes all the difference.”
I asked Alisa if she could go back in time and talk to herself, what would she say to help and encourage her?
“I would tell myself to listen to God. Looking back I can see that if I had just listened and watched for the doors that were opening and closing it could have been so much easier. And to keep integrity. I’ve done many things wrong, but I have to make them right. When you do something wrong, making it right makes all the difference.”
Alisa recently launched a course called “12 Months to a Casual, Chic Home” that will eventually be a subscription based online education resource. It will teach you in 12 months how to gain the confidence to complete design projects on your own. In April 2020 she is launching another course to teach people how to do what she does that will include meetings and fun classes like going to a flea market and picking out things that can be repurposed!