Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Post.
Hi Karen, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I studied fashion merchandising in Texas and started my career as a luxury retail display artist. From there, I got very interested in marketing and branding. I was fascinated with why people buy things, what creates consumer loyalty and how psychology plays a roll in everything we do. At 22, I started my first business, a marketing firm that I successfully lead for 20 years. In 2000, I got involved in a dot-com that unfortunately ended up being a dot-bomb. I took a financial haircut and was faced with what’s next. Living in Houston at the time, a friend invited me to Sarasota Florida for weekend to relax and reboot my life. On the way back to Houston, the flight was oversold and I had to spend the night in Tampa. I immediately fell in love with the area and felt a change (Texas to Florida) was in order to restart my career. I returned to Houston, packed my bags and told my friends I’m moving to Tampa. No job, no friends, no problem.
Fast forward, I re-established myself and quickly carved out a niche as a top branding consultant, professional speaker and writer. Within two years, I landed my first book deal with a national publisher and was taking my message to businesses around the world. I was also a regular commentator and guest with international media like FOX News, CNN, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. My work around the globe continued for nearly 20 years until I met my husband, Eric, a successful banker, in 2014. We married in 2016 and I decided I wanted to reduce my travel and create a local business in Tampa. As we were selling off our separate (homes) to build a new life and house together, a realtor friend of mind suggested staging our places to get the highest price. That was the moment the Home Frosting light bulb went off.
Parlaying my visual skills and creativity, I staged both properties, one for sale and one we rented for a while and then sold. The staging presentations made a huge difference in our financial returns. We continued to research the staging and interior design business and opportunities.
In mid-2016, Home Frosting, a full-service interior design and luxury home staging company, was born. Located near Tampa International Airport, our 7,000 sq. ft studio and team of seven allows us to serve clients all around the bay area. Our sweet spot is design, staging and rentals for luxury, high-end projects.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No matter where or how leaders are educated, running a business is no cup cakewalk. It’s a crazy roller coaster with constant learning. When we launched Home Frosting, we secured an SBA loan. This was helpful in quickly getting off the ground with a studio, a truck, inventory and payroll before we had any clients. I’m a big fan of research, but there is a lot that happens in a start-up that even the best business reports and books don’t cover. This in the trenches research can be costly.
When you are a small business, marketing, creating a new business pipeline, servicing clients and building out your operational procedures with a small team is tough. Keeping focused on what really matters is key. Until your volume hits a certain point, there are aspects of the business that you need to contract out to get it done. This can be tricky; while it’s not fixed costs, you are at the mercy of part-timers and their schedules. Out-of-house people costs can reduce your margins too. There’s a lot of chicken and egg situations every day. Educating clients on you get what you pay for and caviar on a beer budget is a tough task.
As you know, we’re big fans of Home Frosting. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Home Frosting makes life and homes delicious. 50% of our business is interior design and decorating. We do this by designing and decorating spaces that reflect the owner’s preferences, values, story and lifestyle. We specialize in high-end residential homes, from new construction to remodels to updates.
We also help homeowners, flippers and real estate investors get the highest price for their property. Be it to rent or sell.
We also create instant homes for professional athletes and busy executives when they need a furnished, curated and move-in ready home. This is a rental program that can be turn-key from china to linens, art and furniture. We offer two levels of service. Sprinkles- start at $2,500 are smaller project consultations. Frosting- generally $100,000+ remodeling, new constructions, major transformations.
How we are different, we understand the luxury customer and their expectations. We have a large studio with in-stock inventory, our logistics team is in-house and we have a fleet of trucks.
What are your plans for the future?
The Home Frosting brand is ideal for up and down markets because we serve three distinct customers. We see expanding our retail channels both online and through design clients and we’d like to see the home frosting brand in other geographic markets too.
- Sprinkles – Design consultation projects start at $2500+
- Frosting – Full service design projects start at $100,000
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: homefrosting.com
- Instagram: HomefrostingFL
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karen.post.56/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaJaStT9vhjriwxqxOe9IHg
- Other: https://www.houzz.com/pro/karenmpost/home-frosting