I was recently a special guest on the Real Estate Staging Association’s podcast, Stager Talk, with Shell Brodnax. 

I always get excited to sit down with RESA, but this interview felt extra special, as it came on the heels of winning the Best Rising Star Home Stager Of The Year in the Occupied category of the 2021 Home staging Industry Awards!

Preparing for this award was exhilarating – and nerve-racking! 

To be considered, I had to submit project before and afters (which you can see here) for judgment by a panel of my peers. 

When I found out I had won, it was one of the biggest honours I had ever felt – topping even the marketing awards that sit on my shelf from my last career. 

You can listen or watch the full episode right now, but here’s a quick recap!

From Side Hustle to Full-Time Gig

At the time of winning this award, I owned and operated a marketing business full-time and ran Unshelf on the side. 

I love design and staging so much, so I had already been thinking about giving Unshelf my full attention, and winning this award was the fuel I needed to make the plunge.  

With newfound confidence, I closed my marketing business and dove into the design and staging world headfirst. 

Educate, Educate, Educate

Aside from providing quality service, one of my biggest priorities is educating my clients and industry partners on my staging services, specifically, occupied vs vacant

Though I get a lot of inquiries for it, Unshelf Design does not offer any vacant staging services.

There’s just something about taking a client’s existing pieces and showing them how beautiful they can be that fills my soul – plus, ‘shopping’ someone’s home is so fun! 

I also focus on education because it’s important to me that my clients have a complete understanding of the benefits of occupied staging and a realistic view of what it could mean for their home

Believe it or not, this before and after is an occupied stage. The client owned all of this furniture either elsewhere in the home or packed up in their garage for their next home. This is why ‘shopping the home’ pays off! No rentals were used.

before gallery (1)
after gallery (1)

“Staging is Marketing”

I think the reason that I love staging so much is because it blends my love of design and my past experience as a marketer so seamlessly. 

We’ve all heard of “cookie-cutter” housing. I like to relate it to multi-level/network marketing, where everyone is selling the exact same thing, yet some people succeed and some people don’t. 

Why is that?


Staging is your personal brand. Staging is storytelling. Staging is the difference-maker. 

From the award and interview to their incredibly valuable resources and ongoing education opportunities, I continue to be so grateful to the Real Estate Staging Association for what they do. 

Thank you RESA (and Shell 😊)

Don’t miss out on my award-winning design and staging services!