Things appeared to be finally looking up but I still needed to bring in some extra income. I pondered the thought of a ” personal sponor,” but would that require too much work???? So, without too much thinking I ran back to my trusty Craigslist.org and posted an ad of “a different sort” if you will. Sure enough it worked! I received a call from a Hasidic Jewish gentlemen with a raspy voice who wanted to be serviced. He said he had done this before but wasn’t pleased with the last guy. He requested that I meet him at his new condo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. When I arrived I didn’t know what to expect. This was my first time doing something like this and I didn’t know what to do. He told me that if I did a great job he would refer me to all of his friends. So, I did would anyone else in this position would do and got on my knees to start taking measurements of the space. I mean this was my first time designing at model home. I wanted everything to be perfect. …(get your mind out of the gutter.. what did you think I was talking about?) Green to odel home staging, I totally under estimated the budget and my rate! I ended up completing the model unit with a budget of $1500. I even brought in pieces from my own apartment to make things work.
After completing this project, my client honored his word and referred me to 3 of his friends the following week. For the first time I felt like I could conquer NYC. I had 3 projects lined up and decided I didn’t need to work part time at The Container Store anymore. So, I quit that job and began staging new apartment homes. The commute from Jersey City had become too much of a burden and I now needed to live in NYC so I could tend to my clients. I called my stylist friend Christian Allen and ask if I could crash at his place until I saved up enough money to get my own apt. Now he lived in a 250 sqft. studio apt but we some how made it work with 2 modular chairs that converted into pull out beds. I literally felt like I was sleeping on top of a coffin; I had to lay still because if I tipped 4inches in either direction, I would definitely fall off of the bed. In the end we somehow made it work! The only problem was his bldg didn’t except pets so I was forced to take my dog 30 blocks down to another friend’s house. The one clause was that I get up every morning at 7am to come to her house and let the dog out in the am and then come back at 6pm to let him out at night because she refused to touch dog crap. ..Talk about love for your pet! With housing and doggie daycare in place, I was now ready to tackle more model home stagings. I was called by another Hasidic Jewish developer to design two more model homes. I had this grand idea to use a classic black, white and red color scheme. He was hesitant at first but decided to go along with these colors. With the colors set I began shopping for the furniture and accessories. The apartment had 12ft. ceiling to floor windows that I wanted to accentuate. I decided to use color block draperies that encompassed the chosen color scheme. I was busy installing everything in the space when my client came over and ask if he could address a few concerns. Instantly, I jumped up to hear what he had to say. He ask me, “Are you trying to offend me?” and I replied “offend you in what manor?” He then stated that my choice of red, white and black drapes looked very similar to the Palestinian Flag!
(Honestly, I think he was having a Diva moment….I didn’t have any green in the space like the flag)To make matters worse, I kept the bedroom color white and added pops of red in the sheet set and accessories. My client told me that red sheets had a “sexual conotation” and it was a little to much for his conservative taste. Needless to say the red sheets were the last straw and my client ask me to leave. I was devistated!!!!!! I had just quit my job at The Container Store and was now black listed in the Hasidic Jewish community. What was I to do now?….