Graduate Feature: Jacqueline Forde
Meet Jacqueline Forde, owner and lead stylist of Alluring Interiors. Jacqueline may have started her career as a nurse, but she now owns and operates a successful (and stylish!) interior decorating and home staging company. We caught up with her to learn more about her passion for design, her incredible publication record, and her standout brand!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
I am first a mother of 3 gorgeous babies. Ashantee, Rayne & Roger II. I adore flowers in my home and scented candles. Ouuuu! And cute stationery!
My name is Jacqueline Forde and I am the owner and Lead Stylist of Alluring Interiors. It is a full service Interior Decorating and Home Staging Company. In the world of Home Staging and Interior Décor there are no two companies alike. We are business-minded, family-oriented and driven by perfection. We provide high quality service and focus on the details – that’s the bare minimum, dolls.
What first motivated you to get into the design industry?
So, I was actually a nursing assistant working towards my nursing certification, as family tradition would have it. I felt unfulfilled in the direction of my career and was curious what life would have been if I had followed my childhood dream of architecture and décor. I picked up a part time job at the Bombay Company selling furniture and accessories as well as handling visual coordination. I quickly gained recognition as “Top Sale Associate” with an engaging personality! It was evident I was super passionate about interiors and I was amazing at selling a desired look with all of the extra fuss—and hellloooo! I totally love people!
You’ve got such a striking brand. Where did you get your inspiration?
A piece of advice I was given that I’ve always kept in the back of my mind is, “think of your brand as a person; think of it as your child or a loved one.” When you take on this kind of thinking, you begin to nurture your brand rather than manage it. Another important piece of advice is… Be true to the person you know best: yourself! Use your personality to inspire your brand and to inspire others to be true to themselves and their brand! So, for example, I have a very colorful personality and I use a lively way of “freaking” speaking…LOL! I decided to use it in my brand and marketing. It totally works for me!
Alluring Interiors does home staging and interior decorating. How did you decide to take on both of these design professions?
Well…that was easy! By bringing the best of Interior Decorating and combining it with Home Staging, I have composed a formula that works! The best part is my “sellers,” 9 times out of 10, hire me to decorate their new place! That’s right, dolls! It only made sense, right? Now some of our realtors purchase “New Home Consultation” gift certificates from us as a thank you gift for their clients.
You see, I communicate feelings with visuals. I adore colour & use it to evoke a visual emotion whether I am staging or decorating. With our decor clients, we get to know & understand them & their lifestyle—the clothing they wear, the food they eat, the places they go. These methods have contributed to our success and have helped us decorate and stage millions of dollars worth of real estate annually.
You’ve got a great publication record! What’s your secret?
If you build it correctly, patiently & with passion, they will come! The media will seek you out. Again this goes back to creating a fan-tab-ulous brand. Concentrate on doing good work and being authentic.
What made you decide to pursue online education?
I worked the Emergency Department as well as the Pediatrics Unit at our local area hospital. I constantly found myself in patients’ rooms wanting to change the colour of the walls; wanting to add some cute Horchow side tables; add a pair of Neiman Marcus lamps & it wouldn’t be complete without a Brian Gluckstein ensemble from his Penthouse collection!
But after having my third child, it hit me that I couldn’t live the rest of my life in such a depressing environment. Giving life to 3 beautiful souls was all the realization that I needed to know my passion: to create beautiful things, beautiful moments…beautiful spaces. I quit my job at the hospital & with vision proceeded into the direction of what I considered my dream career. Online education allowed me to do this while also bonding with my newborn son.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
For me it’s when my clients see their items used in ways they wouldn’t have imagined themselves, yet totally love! I like to call myself a visual storyteller! As a decorator and home stager, I get the opportunity to highlight important pieces that belong to my clients and give them substance and additional meaning. In this way, I set the stage to create conversations, verbally as well as visually.
I would like to share one of my fav design quotes by Barry Dixon: “A room should start a conversation before people actually start exchanging words.” I also enjoy the flexibility of my career. Ashantee, Rayne & Roger II enjoy that benefit the most… My beautiful souls. When your children say…”I want to be just like you, Mom”—that’s the ultimate reward!
Many of our students dream of owning their own business, just like you. What’s your best advice for those who are just starting out in the industry?
My advice would be…First, to know yourself! Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses & know what you want. Be your authentic self and stand in the truth of who you are and what you’ve come to do. Second is believe! Have belief in the unseen, the unknown. Believe and you can achieve. You must find your unique place rather than want to beat the competition. My parents always taught me to never look into your neighbors bowl unless it’s to check if they have enough. You want to grow your business, become educated, learn how to move & dance in the world and have character. Do good work.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when you started out?
My back office! Put me in any home & I’ll turn it out…but paperwork & invoicing, blahhh!
What does the future hold for you and your business?
OMG…Yes! My business partner Jasmine Lee & I just launched phase II of Alluring Interiors with an accessory line. Alluring Interiors Boutique unveiled our first product: crystal handles for your kitchen, washroom & furniture to adorn our client’s homes. They will satisfy all who seek a dynamic custom look! We’ve named the line “Alluring Ice.” And that’s just the beginning—we have so much more to come! Phase III is in its creation stages. Looking forward to launching the Academy portion of Alluring Interiors!
Check out some more of Jacqueline’s incredible work!