1. How long have your been a Stager? I have been a stager since 1990. I have had booths in at least 15 antiques and crafts malls, and owned a retail home decor and gift store and Tea Room for 20 years.
2. Do you do this full time? Yes, I do.
3. How did you get into the business? I was asked to stage a model home that a home builder was selling. I agreed to warm up several of the empty rooms with furniture, home decor, floral arrangements and art. Later I worked as a stager doing store window displays, and interior displays of merchandise.
4. Do you have any formal training? Yes. I studied design and visual merchandising and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts and Design.
5. How do you get business? Mostly by word of mouth.
6. Do you think staging is just a trend or here to stay? Oh, staging is most definitely here to stay! It's been around for hundreds of years and will always be very important to aid in sales.
7. What do you enjoy most about it? I enjoy bringing merchandise to life!
8. What do you enjoy least about it? As merchandise sells, you must constantly rearrange and re-stage.
9. How have you built your business? I now stage for many small shops and businesses, for antique vendor booths, and for my own booths.
10. Why do you think it's important to stage a booth? Well displayed merchandise always sells well. Well designed and well displayed vignettes set your antiques booth apart from others, not to mention speed up sales.
11. What is the biggest mistake a dealer makes with their booth? They have too many styles and kinds of merchandise in their booth that is unrelated. They often have tables of mismatched inventory that doesn't tell a story.
12. How often do you recommend a dealer staging their booth? Twice a month. Major changes seasonally, four times a year.
13. Does a Stager charge by the hour or booth? Normally by the hour, with a three hour minimum.
14. What are some of your main tools when it comes to staging? Create a staging/display kit including screws and nails, screwdrivers, hammer, staple gun and staples, strong tape and clear fishing line.
15. Which season is your favorite to stage? Most definitely Christmas!
16. Would you rather a client convey their vision to you or would you rather stage a booth with all your own ideas? I listen to their ideas and goals, and then like to use my ideas and skills.
17. What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into this business? Have confidence and charge what you are worth. Take lots of pictures of your work.
18. What are some simple tips you could offer dealers that struggle with design? Go with your gut. Don't be afraid to use magazines, books, and sites like Pinterest for inspiration. Collect lots of display materials such as fabric, crates, boxes, dress forms, etc to aid in display.
Quote from Tony:
"Did you know you could paint fabric? In this project I painted a vintage 1940's sofa with chalk paint and waxed it. The result was a soft leather-like feel! A great idea if your piece has upholstery that is in good shape but just needs updating"
I hope everyone enjoyed Tony's interview with us. Be sure to stop back next Sunday. We will have another fabulous interview. Thank you Tony for speaking with us last week. It was pleasure getting to know you and know more about Staging. Your work absolutely stunning.