Biz chat with Interior Designer Dee Campling

Hey Guys, this is my 1st post of many that will delve into the business side of the Interiors world, with some mega pros who are absolutely blazin a trail! Also once I get some counciling for my bad experiences/lessons learnt in business so far (lol) ill also be sharing them with you throughout random blog posts.

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Let me introduce you

Dee Campling Interior Designer & owner of www.dee-campling.com was top of my list to interview and I was buzzing when she agreed. Me and Dee 1st met approx 2.5 years ago via Instagram she was one of my 1st customers that had discovered me via Instagram, as at that time i had no website and pretty much relied on local passing trade. Dee contacted me about industrial lettering I sold and I arranged to have handmade her large infamous rustic 4ft letter C she stylishly hangs in her lounge.

  Here we go a biz chin wag with Dee ....

In your own words can you please tell our readers about your self and your brand?

My name is Dee Campling and I live in Cheltenham with my husband and three children aged 10, 13 and 15. I'm an interior designer and event stylist. I worked in Project Management and Control for a large corporation for years and only eighteen months ago launched myself as full time interior designer and event stylist. Instagram gave me the strength to change careers. I love delivering affordable interior design to everyone. I believe that your home should make you happy and that this doesn't have to cost the earth. 

Can you tell me some of your strengths that really helped you in your business and design journey so far?

Wherever I visit, I'm always taking inspiration or redesigning that space in my head. So I guess being obsessed is my strength there. 😂😂 

I genuinely believe that your home should make you happy and if it's not, you need to do something about it. Interior design has this 'elitist' stigma to it which people like me and Lisa Dawson are trying to smash - me by providing interior design and Lisa by providing styling tips on a budget in her popular blog.

 

What would be your tips for anyone thinking of starting their own business in the interiors industry?

You have to genuinely love interiors. You need a beautiful website and you need to get in with the interiors crowd on Instagram. Lots of interiors Instagrammers will happily promote, for free, a product from a new business, as long as it's a great product and the new business provides great service. 

It's great time to get into the UK Interiors industry. That movement from 'elite' interior design to interior design for everyone in the U.K. is gaining traction now and has already worked brilliantly in the US.  There's room for everyone.,

What do you enjoy most about running your business?

I absolutely love talking to people about interiors. I love meeting fellow creatives and the fact that they 'get' me and I love the feedback I get when I've improved someone's home for them and they love it. 

What was your biggest worry when you 1st launched your business and how did you over come this?

 My biggest worry was failing and I think that this is everyone's biggest worry.  I overcame this by talking to lots of other people, networking and being honest about my journey. I learnt that everyone feels the same, we all feel like frauds for quite a while after we first launch! 😂 So I'd say if you're worried about launching a business because of the fear of failure then just leap anyway. You'll be amazed at the support network you'll find if you're honest and reach out for it. 

Can you tell me about your greatest high in your career so far?

My greatest high I think is just living this opportunity to work full time in a career I love.  I did an ordinary day job for years and years, with creative stuff on the side, in the evenings in between having children. To wake up in the morning now and be able to work from home doing something I love is a daily high. 
 

Have you experienced any failures and what did you learn from them?

I've experienced loads of failures and in my opinion it's the ONLY way to learn. Don't be scared of failing. I had a vintage caravan shop for a few years which I ended up selling as it didn't make much money - but the lessons I learned from that experience were invaluable. 

Who has impacted you most in your business/design journey and how?

My dad is a brilliant carpenter and taught me loads about how to think differently around design problems and how to always use what a space is giving you already before adding anything else. 

More recently Lisa Dawson had helped me on my business journey by giving me the balls to try new business ideas that wouldn't do normally! Thanks Lisa! 

Who is your design/style icon?

Abigail Ahern has been a big influence on me. Not so much from a design point of view (though I love the way she curates her interiors) but the way she just shares her journey so honestly and shares what she's learnt. Her reasoning is that it's healthy to give away all you've learnt already to others as it helps them, obviously, and what else are we here for if not to help each other? But it also clears your head to make space for new creative ideas! I absolutely, wholeheartedly agree with this philosophy. 

What do you think has been your brands super power?

Well I'm not sure if I have a 'brand' yet but I'd say that hopefully the thing people will see in me is authenticity.

Were any of your characteristics as a child now a clear sign that you were destined for a career in styling?

I've always been obsessed with interiors since I was a child. I decoupaged an entire wall of my bedroom aged 13 and when everyone else was leafing through Jackie magazine I was looking through Ideal Home and World of Interiors. 😂🙄

Since Style Squeeze is all about small spaces - How would you squeeze most of small square footage?

Keep the background (walls and ceiling) light in colour to add the illusion of space. Add mirrors to reflect the light and keep the colour scheme pared back to give the room flow. 

Your most loved item in your home?

I love my antique French mirrors - all shabby frames and foxed glass and scored for a song on eBay. The shipping costs were more than the price of the mirrors! But everyone knows that eBay shipping costs aren't real money, right?! 😉 

Whats the best advice you could give on balancing motherhood and running a business?

It's such a hard one and it's different for everyone but I think doing something that makes you happy is the key - happy mum equals happy child. Period. Also, being available to them after school is import_ I think so - tools down at 3pm. Pick up work again after kids bedtime if you have to. Also reaching out to support networks is import_ant and getting help in if you need it - with work or child care. Finding that balance is THE hardest thing about being a working mum. I could bang on for hours about this subject! 😂

In your expert opinion whats the 1 thing EVERYONE should have in their home?

A really comfortable dining space with a big old battered dining table. Eating together with family and friends is where the best memories are made.

Design or Functionality?

design! 

Whats the stupidest thing you've ever done?

- Hmmm, plenty of those but nothing I regret really! 

Which bad habits of other people drive you crazy?

Criticising other people without applying the same standards to themselves. 

What was the worst job you have ever had?

a temp in a windowless office where everyone hated each other. 🤦🏼‍♀️ I left after one morning! 

Would you rather kiss a jellyfish or step on a crab?

Kiss a jelly fish - I hate hurting things. 

Got any hidden talents?

( what are they) No. all my talents are on display already!  😂😂

Coffee or Tea?

TEA TEA TEA! On the hour, every hour!

Whats the one thing you cant live without?

TEA! And custard creams.

In an 'Alternative Universe' if you could be any piece of furniture what would you be?

 I genuinely go weak at the knees looking at Danish designer chairs so it would have to be an iconic chair such as an Arne Jacobson.

What was your worst decor faux pass?

possibly my framing orange gingham tea towels phase for a 'farmhouse' look years ago. Sorry! 😂

Who would be your ideal client to work with?
Someone with a whole house, an open brief and an open budget! Preferably a celebrity who then tells all their friends about me. No biggie. 😑😂

 

How you enjoyed that as much as i did! 

Thanks for reading as always love your feedback and massive thanks to Dee for sharing her expertise and experiences with us.

Love Nickie xx   

 

 

 

 

I had only had my 1st little shop open a few months I was brand new to all social media platforms and retail so rabbit in head lights was pretty much an understatement I was learning everything in the deep end day by day. Dee was just one of those dream customers who make the graft of retail all worth while. Dee kept in touch and came back to me with amazing images where she had used the letter in a recent styling job as she had begun her start up styling business, so we also had this lovely common ground of both being start up businesses in the same industry so had many lovely chats via Instagram. 

Fast forward 2 years and she has totally done herself proud building her business she is in a nut shell KILLING IT! I truly believe that it is not only the fact that she is uber talented as a designer (click here to stalk her home via Instagram) but Dee's genuine, warm, Inspiring and friendly character and gift of really connecting with her community that has lead to her success. Aswel as running her own Interior Design and Styling business Dee & the amazing Interior guru Lisa Dawson run an awesome 'Styling Your Home' Workshop mobile all over the country at the most stylish of locations check dates & book a place click here.

So grab a brew switch the TV volume off and enjoy this read where I get to delve into Dee's experiences in this industry the good and the bad so far and her tips for anyone thinking of heading down this route.....

Style Squeeze