By Maggie Glynn
DECARTE INTERIORS STRIVES TO SUPPORT BUSINESSWOMEN IN EVERY WAY. IN THIS WEEKLY SERIES, CHICAGO WOMEN SHARE THE SUCCESS THEY HAVE FOUND IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL LIVES.
Kristi Gorski is a 28-year-old small business owner residing in Lincoln Park, Illinois. She and her husband, Lee, love the city life and spend a lot of their time on the lake path near the water. Kristi also blogs about small business tips and coach women who are interested in starting their own business at KristiMeansBusiness.com. DecArte Interiors recently caught up with Kristi to gain some more insight into her business life. Follow her on Instagram, @windycitykristi.
Q: What exactly is your business, and what is your role in the company?
A: I own a few businesses - I started my own women's clothing boutique called 522envy.com & I sell exclusively online. I also recently co-founded a pop-up event called Shop Buzzed where we curate local brands together for a night of shopping & drinking at local bars in Chicago! On top of that, I am also a licensed real estate broker in Illinois & I get to work with my mom on her real estate team!
Q: How did you get your business off the ground?
A: I attribute a lot of the successes my businesses have found to the mentorship I've been provided. When it came to my clothing business, I started under the wings of a previous employer who guided me through the processes of building a store. My real estate career is still young but I've experienced the same type of mentorship working with my mom. Getting a business off the ground is not easy, so finding an experienced mentor has been my game-changer.
Q: What obstacles have you faced along the way and how did you overcome them?
A: Early on, I hit a wall when realizing that my business was running me, not the other way around. It was difficult to spend so much time & sweat into something that wasn't ultimately able to give me the life I wanted. I've made changes over time in my business that have allowed me to have a more fulfilling life - one of those being making my clothing company exclusively online. This change allowed me to get my real estate license, start my blog KristiMeansBusiness.com and grow in other ways.
Q: If you could give advice to young business women just getting started? What should they expect?
A: Don't fit in. Be different. Do the things that others don't do or just talk about doing. Be interesting & well rounded. That will be the secret sauce to success.
Q: How have you balanced your work and personal life? Is it important for you to keep them separate, or are you comfortable letting them intertwine sometimes?
A: There's no such thing as separating work & personal life. The simple reason is because set work hours don't exist. But the real answer is that being a business owner is not just my job, it's part of my identity. It's impossible to separate it from my personal life because it's part of who I am, and it gets carried into everything I do.
Q: Do you think the space you work in has an effect on how productive you are? Where do you do most of your work?
A: I often work from my couch or home office -- I love working from home because I can start in my pajamas at 7:30 a.m., take a break to go for a jog at noon, do some more work, and maybe run errands after. I'm a more productive human when I don't have to waste my life commuting!
Need help organizing your home office to become more productive? Contact us and we can help!
*Editor's note: Answers have been slightly edited for length and clarity.
By Maggie Glynn
If you want your home to feel well-correlated and thoughtfully designed, make sure you address the color scheme of each and every room. Try to keep a good flow to your space by incorporating colors from one room subtly into the aesthetic of another room. Keep the following tips on current color trends in mind while decorating.
There seems to be a monochromatic wave hitting the fashion world lately, and it may seem hard to bring into your home. There are a few ways to play up neutral colors, however, that are more simple than you may think.
First of all, let’s discuss the benefits of using neutrals. It allows you to easily relate each room to the other, allowing you to incorporate different shades of each room into your design throughout your home. Your living room, dining room and kitchen should all seem to have a natural flow to them. You can incorporate beige shades from your living room into your kitchen by adding beige decor, or adding some beige candles to your dining room table. If you try to keep all of these spaces relatively neutral, it makes it easier to blend styles between rooms. Try to keep this in mind while decorating.
One way to make a neutral room seem less dull would be to add pops of color, whether it be darker furniture pieces or bold art statements. Or, if a room has a beautiful view out the window, try to draw your guests’ eyes to this scene by keeping colors in that room simple. Another option is to simply add layers of the lighter colors together. For example, instead of driving yourself crazy trying to find the exact same shade of blue and cream you want in your bedroom, simply find a few different hues that work well together, as pictured below.
"Don’t try too hard to make a big splash. If you put your money into furniture and good fabrics, you’ll get a more elegant, textural feel."
— Mollie Johnson, designer of room pictured above.
Darker colors can completely transform a space. It can be hard, however, to work up the courage to commit to a deeper-colored room at first. How do you decide which color to use? Should you use it on all of the walls, or just one? Do you have to play down your furniture, or can you have some bold, bright chairs added in as well?
There’s a way to make everything work. First of all, try to find a source of inspiration if you’re looking for a bright color to add to your walls. Maybe it’s your antique vase, your favorite chair or a unique painting. Once you have decided, try to incorporate other colors that balance well with this main source of inspiration. A great tool to use is simply the Adobe color wheel. If you do decide to go with a darker color on the walls, make sure to keep the flooring neutral and a lighter-colored ceiling.
Keep in mind that this space is yours, so it’s completely up to you how dark or neutral you decide to go. Note that deeper colors, however, accentuate texture. So, if you go with a deep brown on the walls, no need to overdo it with the color or pattern of your furniture. Textured pieces look best, like the ones presented below.
Need help deciding what colors suit you and your space best? Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.
By Maggie Glynn
You may find yourself easily distracted while trying to get work done. Maybe you're prone to procrastination, maybe you fall into more of the overcommitting category, or maybe you're just stuck in a rut. Read these tips to help you regain control and increase productivity in your work life.
1. Stick to One Task at a Time
While you may be tempted to multitask, especially since this could give your peers the impression that you are always crazy busy, it's actually much more efficient to focus on one thing at a time. This way, you give your undivided attention to one goal, and do everything in your power to complete this task without getting sidetracked by something related to something else on your agenda.
2. Make a List
Whether it be a daily schedule or a weekly to-do list, writing out what you want to get done and what you need to get done can be extremely beneficial to your work ethic. You will feel a sense of accomplishment once you cross something off your list, whether you physically do it with a pen or simply make a mental note that your task is complete. This also provides an easy way to make sure you're not forgetting anything. Check your list before your work day ends. This also allows you to make a mental separation between your work day ending and your personal life at home beginning.
3. Take Breaks
While it may seem counterintuitive to stop working in order to work more efficiently, breaks are actually necessary to ensure productivity. It allows your brain to rest and reset before refocusing on whatever you were working on prior to your break. You can go for a walk, get some food or maybe watch a few short videos online. Make sure it doesn't last much longer than 15 to 20 minutes, however, because then it will turn into procrastination.
4. Stay Healthy
Even if your work is all intellectual and requires no physical effort at all, it is vital to keep your body healthy. Make sure to be getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water, exercising at least three times a week and eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet. This way, your mind can focus on your work instead of how hungry you are, how tired you feel or how out of shape you feel.
5. Keep Your Space Organized
Whether you're working from home or at an office, make sure the area you do your work in is always relatively clean and organized. As the saying goes, a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind. If you are stuck looking at the mess surrounding you each day, this may be detrimental to your productivity as you may focus on the dread of having to clean instead of whatever work you are supposed to be doing. Try to set aside a few minutes each day to straighten up your space.
Need some help organizing? Download our free guide to help you achieve a smarter home office!