Graduate Feature: Luisa Giaitzis
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
My name is Luisa Giaitzis. I have been in the business for 7 years. I have 2 amazing children whom I adore and spend so much time with. They are my world and everything that I do, I do it for them. I love being with people. I am active in my church and love being part of it and surrounded by incredible people who inspire me to be better.
I am very passionate about my profession. I love coming up with new designs and ideas. I have a natural talent and that is how I decided to get into the field.
What first motivated you to go into the design industry?
What motivated me was my children.
I just finished my thesis and had my thesis in education published. I was going to pursue my PhD but was encouraged to take something not so stressful. I have a love of learning and enjoy writing essays and being in school. However, instead of my PhD, I decided to take something more fun! I was drawn to home staging. I took the QC course and loved it! I finished it quickly and got started right away on consulting with home owners in terms of how they could sell their houses more efficiently with home staging.
Immediately after I was done, I took the interior design course as I felt that I could help home owners sell their house and then help them with their new house. I took 4 years off to raise my children and be with them. During my spare time, I worked on the courses and slowly grew what has become a successful home staging and interior decorating business, working on million dollar homes and for reputable builders.
Absolute Simplicity offers staging and design solutions ranging from color consultation to personal home décor shopping. How do you approach different spaces? Do you have a trademark style?
My trademark style for a few years was always red and white….I absolutely love those colors…hence my logo. However, every space was unique and differently even though I had red and white in it. I have broadened my horizons (haha) since then and have moved away from those colors! I am more playful and bold with the ways that I use color.
I tend to follow the trends more in terms of accent colors. My last large project was all gold and black – it was absolutely stunning. I approach different spaces by connecting with my clients and finding out what their needs are and really listen to what makes them happy. I always walk around the house and pick out one thing that stands out and that draws my inspiration for the design.
We see that you have worked alongside many high-profile design professionals. You’ve even been featured on your own TV segment! Are there any career highlights you would like to share?
It has been a crazy awesome year! In 2016 I did staging for Paul McCartney at the First Ontario Center, had a grand opening of my Design Center, received two Hamilton Reader’s Choice Awards (for best windows and best interior design), and worked on the TV show The Creek is Chic. All have been incredible opportunities!
In past years, I’ve been lucky enough to do staging for Sir Elton John, work on a 10,000 square foot church, and work with great builders.
What was working with the design crew on All for One with Debbie Travis like?
Super awesome. Some of the volunteers and workers thought I was one of the crew because of my leadership and energy. It was an incredible experience.
I have met a lot of the HGTV crew! I just staged a house for the host of Property Virgins, Sandra Rinomatto. I have attended events with all of the HGTV stars. They are all so down to earth. The experience of staging for Paul McCartney and Elton john was unforgettable.
Is there any advice you can offer to those just starting out in the industry?
Take your time, don’t rush into it and search carefully for clients. Really get the business-end operating first in terms of paperwork, accounting, invoices, handbooks, consultation outlines, contacts and suppliers, and inventory. Spend half a year (or as much time as you need) getting all of that ready so that you are prepared to dive into it and tackle the designs clients are looking for.
What does the future hold for you and Absolute Simplicity?
In the future, I would like my business to branch out into the nearby cities of Oakville and Mississauga. I also aim to do more interior decorating jobs, whether that involves large luxury homes or simple one room jobs. I love meeting people and helping them transform their space no matter what the budget is! I have five staff members and they are all amazing. I want to continue to grow my business – this year has been my best year! So much has happened, I am so grateful! I’m not sure what’s next for me but I’m taking each day as it comes!