We have come a long way, baby! Remember that old Virginia Slims commercial? ...Now I am dating myself. Life comes at you fast, and it is hard for me to believe we have been in business 15 years now. Here is a little walk down memory lane.
I think we had this video produced somewhere around year 3 of being in business. Thanks to my uncle, Jimmy Shelton, for creating my very first logo for the business (which you can see in the video). It was his rendition of me with all of my stuff, and it was spot on since I have had a love of interior design since childhood. As the company grew over the years and our target market changed, it was recommended by marketing experts that my logo be altered to be more streamlined. While I know it was the right thing to do, that first logo was hard to let go of for sentimental reasons and will always be special to me.
This business photo was produced probably somewhere around 2005... I have a few more wrinkles and pounds on now. I guess the plus side to that is it means more experience and wisdom as well. Okay… well in my defense I still have the shirt in the picture, and it still fits, and I have been known to wear it on occasion. My philosophy for weight maintenance is simple: if my clothes start getting tight I cut back and exercise more. It is not as easy as it used to be, but I am standing by it.
People always ask me how I ended up in this business. Since 2018 marks our 15th year in business, it seems appropriate to share the story. I tried to keep it succinct but, how succinct can you get with 15 years?
Before I go any further, I would like to first and foremost thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This vision was His before it was mine and the miraculous way that He brought everything together with this business amazes me, and how far we have come has been nothing short of a miracle.
I would say probably from the age of 8 years old it was apparent that I was stronger with the right side of my brain versus the left. My dad's sister, Aunt Rosie, had me singing with her by that time and I loved to create, paint and draw. I was also keenly aware of my environment and cared deeply about how it looked, and more importantly, how it made me feel. My bedroom always had to be a certain way, and at age 16 my parents even had me help make selections for their custom home.
Music was primarily how I lived out my artistic expression until a cyst on my vocal cord took me out of the music scene. My day job at the time had really only been to support my music habit, but now that I was starting a new chapter I realized I had never really thought about a career. I had my first house by 21 years old and then remodeled a house in Alamo Heights in my late 20's. All along the way people kept saying that I had this talent for what I called 3-D art and others called interior design. It never occurred to me to pursue it as a career, but it kept coming up, and when we moved to Austin I, once again, decorated that house since my environment is important to me.
When we moved to Austin I continued to commute to San Antonio to service my insurance clientele (remember that day job I talked about), and that is when I actually started thinking about the possibility of interior design as a career. I had no idea where to even begin, though, and so I started with checking into going back to school to get a degree in interior design. About that time, I also found out I was pregnant with my son, Shelton, and so the thought of trying to juggle that and a new baby, plus work was not appealing to me. I never liked school anyway and so it was easy to ditch that idea. I have always been a more hands on, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal.
Shelton was born, and as I enjoyed being a mom and working part-time in my insurance career, I began to pray about this whole interior design thing and how it would work. It was about 18 months later that within a three week period the following happened: A good friend of mine was going to remodel her home in Western Oaks and asked me to help her, another friend bought a new house in Dripping Springs and asked me to help her with her drapery, and as we were walking the lot for our new home being built in Circle C Ranch we ran into our new neighbors. She had a decorating business and suggested I just go down and file a DBA. Since I had been praying, I was able to see that God was lining things up and was about to do something. I went to my boss in the insurance business, who is also a Christian, and explained to her what was transpiring and how I knew this is what I needed to do. She gave me her blessing. So, not giving it much further thought, I went down and got my DBA in the name of Robin Bond Interiors. Like I mention, I did not give the name much thought.
I went on to help my two friends, and when one of my their neighbors wanted to hire me I immediately found myself in the fetal position wondering what the heck I was doing. It had not occurred to me that an actual client who was not a personal friend would want to hire me at some point. I picked myself back up the next day, and along this 15 year journey started taking business classes, design classes (obtaining a diploma in interior design as well as several certifications) and here we are today. I did everything in a backwards sort of way (which I would not recommend) but going back to my prayer and those three things lining up at once has always given me that stone of remembrance, Joshua Chapter 4, that this business was not actually started by me. Rather, I consider it my destiny and purpose that was brought forth by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through prayer. It has been a heck of a ride that I would have never had the courage to take without His guidance and I am so thankful.
I am also thankful to my parents, mother-in-law, husband and son who always encouraged me not to give up when I probably wanted to thousands of times. Rose, my bookkeeper who has been with me almost since the beginning (we like to call her my longest non-employee-employee), helped me manage our business finances with integrity even through difficult times, like opening a store, closing that store and the recession. Most recently, thank you to Renee for filling all of my gaps and using her high integrity and creative ways to make our team an unstoppable whole and well-rounded business. You are the wind beneath my wings.
Last, and certainly not least, thanks to all of the wonderful vendors and business associates who bring all of my visions to life in a quality and professional way, and all of the amazing clients who have put their faith in me to help with one of their most prized possessions; their homes. I know it is not easy to entrust the place where you do life and family to someone else. All of you took that chance, and if you hadn't we would not be celebrating our 15 year anniversary. I am humbled and grateful.
As we are about to complete our 15th year this September I am pleased to report that we are going strong and have the most amazing clients ever. It is still a blast and I never feel like I am working a day of my life. We have worked with some of you now for all of those 15 years, and those of you who know us know that as we have grown so has our brand. It has always been my philosophy that we must continue to change and grow.
In that light, this next year we will be changing our marketing format from our Wine, Dine, Design theme to straight insight into our projects from concept to completion through this blog. The 4th of July recipe below is the last one that we will be sharing. We have already started to phase this in and have been getting some really good feedback. After all, who doesn't love a great before-and-after project reveal or watching a house be constructed from the ground up. We love going through this process with our clients and so hopefully you will love watching the spaces come to life as much as we love creating them.
Along with all of these changes, we also made some major updates to the Robin Bond Interiors website. Renee continues to prove her talent over and over and has become an expert at taking the ideas that I have in my head and turning them into fantastic visual collateral material. When I proposed the challenge to her to take a basic website template and build us a new website that encapsulated the vision we both had, she stepped up and created an amazing website that is exactly as we both envisioned it to be. Way to go Renee for your courage to try new things! She is currently giving our Draped website the same treatment and that should be going live here soon as well.
We encourage you to pass along our posts to others and follow along. Please enjoy this last recipe as you celebrate the birth of our country on Wednesday.
RED, WHITE & BLUE COOKIE BARS - MAKE A LAST MINUTE ADDITION TO YOUR 4TH OF JULY SPREAD!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am fairly patriotic and actually LOVE the color combination of red, white and blue. I designed a guest room for one of my long-term, favorite clients in red, white and blue since she is a retired Army Colonel and needed a creative way to display some of her military memorabilia. I even designed a patriotic Christmas tree for that same room during the holidays since this client also loves having a Christmas tree in almost every room of her house. We used her White House ornaments and it came out amazing! Okay… so right now it's July and 100+ degrees outside, and I am getting a little off-track talking about Christmas trees (I bet it made you feel a little cooler though!)
If you need a last minute dessert to add to your 4th of July meal, bring these cookie bars and I promise you will be the hit of the party. You can make them any time of the year, really, and everyone will love you, but the red, white and blue color palette just shouted 4th of July at me and so I had to make sure I got this recipe in for you all in time. Dessert does not need to be fancy to be amazing!
Download the recipe card here.
We'd like to extend a huge "Thank You" to our military, to all those who fought for our independence from Great Britain so long ago and those who still defend our freedoms today.
Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July!