This week’s meet-a-mom is a woman I have known and admired for the better part of a decade. Lindsey and I worked together at what was once a boutique IT consulting firm in Washington DC called Excella Consulting. Lindsey started at Excella a little over a year before I did, and we both were hired before the firm had 100 employees. She worked as a project manager (which in IT speak basically means professional cat herder). and I worked as a technical PM, data architect and ETL developer (aka cat to be herded). We never worked directly together, but the account was close and we got to know each other well. We learned through happy hours and company events (all pre-children) that we both grew up in Northeast Ohio. WIthin 5 years of meeting, we both started families and left the rat race of DC to move back to Ohio (within a year of each other). I may even be responsible for planting that seed in Lindsey’s head at a company retreat. We both left Excella for other corporate endeavors within a year of each other as well, she in spring of 2014 and me in summer of 2015.
Our once boutique firm is no longer – Excella has always been a step above the competition (which I can say, because I also worked for the competition in my illustrious IT career) and predictably has grown like gangbusters. While i’m sure we’re both grateful for our time there (I know I am), I suspect we’re equally grateful for what we learned from our experiences and how we’ve both been able to successfully transalate that to self-employment, While I stayed in the IT world (something I truly love and am passionate about), Lindsey is a momma that I have nothing but admiration for. She quit the IT rat race entirely and completely transitioned her career so that she literally has the job she’s always dreamed of. I’ll let her tell you the rest!
Where are you originally from?
I grew up in North Canton.
Where did you go to school & what’s your current profession?
I went to the University of Virginia and majored in Business (practical) and French (for fun) and am an interior Designer with my own firm (Eclectic Interiors) in Hudson, Ohio.
Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?
We moved to Hudson 4 years ago.
How many children do you have & what are their ages?
My husband, Nathan, and I have one child, Sebastian, who is almost 6.
What’s your favorite things about Northeast Ohio?
I think Northeast Ohio is one of the country’s best kept secrets. The Playhouse Square theater district in Cleveland is amazing – we’re a very musical family and enjoy all of the performances available there. Our restaurants are excellent. We have some of the top public schools in the nation. Our cost of living is low. There are always festivals and community events to enjoy. What’s not to love?!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Before opening my interior design firm, I was an IT project management and business analysis consultant for 12 years.
Tell us a little about your community involvement – a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or business – how do you rely on the women of NE Ohio?
I own my own interior design firm called Eclectic Interiors and my business is heavily reliant on other female entrepreneurs in related fields, such as flooring, upholstery, and white glove delivery.
I’m also the president of a new Business Networking International chapter forming in Hudson and am also the president of my Homeowner’s Association. I volunteer with an organization called Zonta, which is all about women empowering women through service and advocacy.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Finally shedding the stressful, soul-sucking corporate job I had for years to pursue the passion I had since I was a child! I started laying the foundations for my interior design business in October 2017 (opening a business takes a LOT of behind-the-scenes effort!), landed my first client in March 2018 (thank you, Facebook groups!), quit my corporate job in June 2018 (one of the top 5 best days of my life!), and am happily living my dream now!
What was your biggest failure?
Staying in a corporate job that affected my mental and physical well-being for way too many years. I was afraid of failure, but I didn’t realize at the time that my fear was holding me back from truly enjoying my life!
What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
I have two passions: my family and interior design.
My family is small but tight-knit. I’m fortunate to have an incredibly supportive husband who is the one who encouraged me to start my business. In fact, he is the one who found out how to file for an LLC in Ohio and helped me with the initial paperwork! Like most moms, I think my son is the best little man around, and I’ve enjoyed volunteering at his school this year, since I finally have a a flexible schedule!
Interior design is my second passion – one I’ve had all my life. I love combining color, pattern, and texture. What excites me the most, though, is designing a space for an actual family, which means taking into account their personal tastes and lifestyle. It’s not about what I love – it’s about what THEY love!
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?
Your home should be a reflection of you – not of the latest design trends. Do what makes you happy and forget what anyone else thinks.
If you could encourage more people to take action in some way, what would it be?
If you’re miserable in your current career, take baby steps to change your life. Dedicate 15 minutes a day to researching whatever makes you happy. Make a rough plan of how to achieve your happiness. Then, take one step at a time. Be patient. Big change doesn’t happen overnight, but never forget to look back and reflect on how far you have come – even if you do have a long way to go.
Last question – is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband Nathan! I couldn’t do what I do without him. He is a great father and a wonderful partner.
Want to learn more about what Lindsey’s doing and Eclectic Interiors? Follow her on Facebook or Instagram, or even better, sign up for her newsletter! (it comes with a free eBook on color!). Lindsey’s design consultations can also be done virtually – you should definitely ask her about some of her successes! (hint- they aren’t all in-person)
While you’re at it, sign up for our newsletter too & never miss new Meet-a-Mom Features (we will never spam you or sell your info!). Also, stay tuned for even more on this front, because my husband and I hired Eclectic Interiors for our 2nd floor renovation, a series that we’ll start posting about in Q1 of 2019!
other meet-a-mom features
Meet Jennifer Woda from Sing & Swing, music classes for infants and children all over Cleveland’s East Side!
Excited for you to meet local Cleveland Mom of Two, Breast Cancer Survivor and Owner of Barre3 Solon, Vicki Giancola!!
This week’s Meet a Mom is Mona Shah, owner of Color Me Mine at Pinecrest!! Find out all about this amazing pottery painting studio that’s a hit with everyone!!