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If success makes you bold, self-made home staging guru Kelly Fallis might just be as fearless as she seems.
Fallis, originally from Durham, Ont., near Collingwood, kick-started her working career in Toronto’s financial sector doing institutional sales before realizing her passion for style and organization was more fun. When her company was bought out four years ago by a major bank, Fallis decided the time was right for a change and left to start her own company, Organized Outcomes, to grab a bite of the up-and-coming industry of home staging. She admits taking the plunge was more about gut feeling than anything rational, but it felt right.
“It wasn’t planned — I just went on instinct and what I loved. I was 26 at the time and I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose. I think I’m going to do this,’” Fallis said.
Home staging is a growing industry that helps homeowners sell their homes faster and usually for higher prices by choosing and placing furnishings in the home to simulate a live setting.
Starting Organized Outcomes took a lot of hard work at first for Fallis, particularly because staging was still relatively unknown in the industry then.
“The biggest challenge was educating people. The concept of staging didn’t really exist. I was definitely on the forefront of something,” Fallis said.
Since then, her business has blossomed — last year Fallis staged 65 homes and today she averages two to three homes per week from about 10 high-volume realty clients she works with, each of which spends an average of $5,400 per staging. While the physical act of staging a home might only take a day or two, the actual process can take up to two weeks because Fallis makes sure to consult with a client about every detail before conducting a staging.
As if running one company wasn’t enough, Fallis has recently started another one, called The Remote Stylist Ltd., which lets people get style advice for their home over the Internet. Fallis’ website, theremotestylist.ca, lets users send in photos of their homes to see what a room will look like with a variety of new wall colours and designs, or fill out a questionnaire to get personalized style advice. Users who want to take the advice a little further can buy a “style file” package, which will let them obtain even more advice on their home or room.
Fallis says running two companies is a challenge, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m fascinated by people and by homes. I’m interested in how people live. It’s fun — that’s the main thing.”