When I started Home Matters, home staging and redesign in 2004, it wasn’t like opening a dry cleaning operation or another franchise. I was starting a home staging business-a concept that didn’t yet exist in the terminology or the language of Real Estate in the Indianapolis area. I guess, I was a pioneer of sorts in my neck of the woods. Although I was an interior decorator and former Realtor who believed in the service I was selling, there were times in which I didn’t think I could continue. While home staging was a well-respected marketing strategy on the East and West coast, it hadn’t caught on in the Hoosier Heartland. TV shows like “Sell this house”, Flip this house”, or others didn’t yet exist. Real Estate Professionals didn’t understand the psychology or methodology of Home Staging. Homeowners couldn’t see the value of it and more than once, I wondered if I was in over my head.
I finally realized that if I was going to be a successful Home Stager, education was going to be a key component of my career. I had to help my clients and others in the real estate market understand that while it is a home’s price that gets buyers interested, it is the overall presentation that generates a positive experience and ultimately the offer.
In 2004, I obtained my certifications in Staging and Redesign and continued with many other staging certifications to learn as much as I possibly could about staging and more importantly operating a staging company. From there, I went on to earn my Real Estate Staging Association Professional designation (RESA-PRO) along with an Advanced Staging and Redesign designation with Matthew Finlason of HGTV.
I remembered offering free staging services in the beginning of my business, and began making presentations so that I could apply my knowledge, collect data and measure the results in order to show proof of concept to potential clients and to my real estate partners. I was trying to gain traction in a marketplace where there was no local statistics or what appeared to be a need, but of course I felt differently. So, I persisted and in time, I was able to build my reputation and my clientele in order to create one of the fastest-growing home staging companies in the Midwest. As Home Matters flourished, I became a certified Home Staging Instructor, served as the technical editor on the Home Staging for Dummies book, served as an officer in my Home Staging professional organization, and was a finalist for RESA Professional Stager of the Year Award, many times. In addition, my company has had the privilege of receiving the prestigious Angie’s List Super Service Award three consecutive years and Houzz customer service award two consecutive years as well as the FC Tucker Home Link service award six consecutive years since 2008 and we are proud to say that Team Home Matters was also named Best of Indianapolis by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine.
Over the years I have met and worked with so many wonderful people that helped me hone my craft and touched my heart in so many ways including Real Estate Agents, Builders, Investors, rental property owners, my staging colleagues around the globe, as well as the home sellers themselves who entrusted me to take their single biggest investment and showcase it in its best possible light. You all have invested in me and I have invested my heart in your homes, treating each as if it had its own distinct personality. By doing so, I have learned the secret of true success…that when you put your heart and soul into something you believe in, you will never become robotic at it and that makes each job a true privilege.
Therefore, I’M VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE that the time has come for me to pass the Home Matters, home staging and redesign torch to the next generation. Certified Interior Designer and Professional Home Stager, AUTUMN JANOWSKI has purchased the business and will be taking it to the next level in Indianapolis. Autumn has worked closely with me for 4 years and has superior design skills and a wonderful laid-back attitude, is extremely organized and along with her husband (Joe) have great ideas and forwarding thinking plans for the future. With Autumn at the helm of the company, and the rest of team Home Matters intact, I know the future will be bright. I know that the transition will be seamless and I am excited to see what is in store for Home Matters, the next generation.
I am so very grateful for all of the support that the Central Indiana community has shown me, especially my real estate partners along with some dear friends: Chris Castetter, Paul Nysewander, Aaron Padgett, Steve Sergi, Cathy Epps, Kevin Elson, Mike Pucket, Vivian Phelps, Cathy Toombs, Peggy Kieper, and Julie Young. I would also like to recognize those in the Home Staging Industry who have been there with me and for me every step of the way; Shell Brodnax, Melissa Marro, Karen Otto, Carole Morgan, Lori Kim Polk, the late Karen Dempski and Mister Craig Schiller as well as so many others, too many to count. I could not have done it without your support. I also owe a debt of gratitude to the Home Matters team–the best team assembled anywhere-Kathy Howe, Autumn Janowski, Hollie Stokes, and Maureen Zumbiel as well as my biggest fan and lifelong supporter, my best friend, my rock and solid ground-Gary whose support has been strong from day one!
As I move onto the next phase of my life and leave Home Matters behind, I wish you all nothing but the absolute best. I am confident that our standards will be maintained, that our clients and partners are in great hands, and that Home Matters will continue to grow and remain a strong business that supports its community needs.
I bid you all a farewell and as always “Happy Sales to You”!
One house, one stage, one success story at a time.
We’re ready when you need us.
Staging Indy homes since 2004.