Hello! I'm Michele, founder of Scarlet Thread Consulting, former soft treatment fabricator, and wife / mom always. I could tell you that I have a B.S. in Business Administration, but I'm just as proud of the diploma in Christian Life Coaching I earned through Light University. Additionally, I am one of the few certified Profit First coaches in the United States - and I am a creative on top of that!
You see, I wasn't always a coach for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs. I wasn't even in the home industry at the beginning. I began my career in financial software development with Management Science America and Dun & Bradstreet Software. It may sound as if it was a boring experience, but I can assure you that the experience helped my tech, testing, and organizational skills truly blossom.
My Career Change
I opened my soft furnishings company, The Scarlet Thread, in 2000. It was a welcome change of pace with challenges that any new business owner might face. I had to find the confidence as a business owner all while finding out the answers to questions like:
How much should I charge for my work?
Why am I second-guessing my decisions ALL. THE. TIME?
How much money should I spend on advertising? And where are the best places to market my service?
Should I join a networking group? And if so, which one?
How do I handle difficult clients and stand up for myself and my work in a poised, professional way?
Thank goodness, I learned the answers to each of these questions, but I saw many of my colleagues struggling with the same challenges. Their talent with textiles and furnishings was being suffocated by the overwhelming demands of running-and attempting to grow-a business. I started offering advice and helpful tips where I could without seeming pushy, and before I knew it, the next chapter of my career began.
In 2009, I began teaching business classes with an emphasis on good business practices and pricing custom work. I was an instructor at the Custom Home Furnishings Academy in North Carolina as well as at trade shows across the United States. I also formed a management company with several colleagues to manage and support the daily operations of the Custom Home Furnishings Academy.
You might say I was getting serious about this whole business advice thing.
Over the years I have been asked to consult and coach interior design and creative businesses on how to move to the next level. The million-dollar question that I was asked most was, "What do I do next to not only get the clients I want, but to make the profit I need to make?"
After four years of teaching concepts to entrepreneurs regarding their business practices, mission and pricing, I really wanted an opportunity to walk beside some of these business owners to personally coach and cheer them on as they moved toward their goals. In 2013, I began offering coaching for the interior design and custom drapery workroom industry as well as other creative businesses.
I served as Communications Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Drapery and Design Professional magazine from 2009-2012 and today I'm a proud member of the Design Collective and the Window Coverings Association of America, where I served as President of the national organization and on the board of directors for nine years.
In addition to coaching, I host workshops, provide online training, I also offer educational seminars on a variety of business topics around the country.