From Airbnb Adventures to Building a Business

June 5, 2024  | 

Greetings, esteemed business owners and enthusiasts alike! I’m Brenda Hernandez, the passionate mind behind Designs by Her, a women owned Professional Home Staging and Short-Term Styling Business located in the vibrant South Coast region of Massachusetts.

Since our launch in December 2023, Designs by Her has been on a remarkable journey, swiftly securing contracts for over $3.1 million dollars’ worth of homes within just a few months. As I am sure you can relate, every win, no matter how small, feels like a triumph in the world of business ownership.

Like you, I’m navigating the challenges of carving out a space in the market, relying on a blend of foresight and local market insight to resonate with our customers. Understanding my client has been pivotal, we are not just offering a service; we are building genuine connections and fostering trust. Adapting to our customers’ needs are key on this path, instrumental in our success. All while wearing multiple hats (visionary, strategist, problem solver) and staying the course!

How It All Started

In 2021, my journey into the world of Home Staging and Short-Term Rental Consulting began with a leap of faith when I purchased my first Airbnb just outside of Atlanta. Enjoying the immediate financial returns and hosting guests ignited a fire within me. Eager to expand, I partnered with my best friend, and together we acquired a second property in the same city.

As the portfolio grew to seven short-term rentals by the end of 2022, I discovered a natural talent for swiftly styling these spaces into Instagram – worthy spaces while maximizing their potential for profit. It was a revelation. Recognizing my passion and proficiency, I boldly transitioned into a business focused on assisting both real estate agents and investors in staging homes and offering strategic short-term rental consulting services. The satisfaction of transforming spaces and facilitating profitable ventures became my driving force, propelling me to embark on this entrepreneurial endeavor. The rest, as they say, is entrepreneurial history – a journey of transformations, triumphs, and the occasional misplaced throw pillow.

The Wonders of Entrepreneurship

Of course, starting a business sounds like the epitome of adventure! With a God-given talent, I was fueled by relentless enthusiasm, and armed with an indomitable work ethic, I embarked on this path with fervor. However, as I’ve delved deeper into entrepreneurship, I swiftly have come to learn that passion and determination, while essential, are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Navigating the intricate landscape of business ownership requires more than just innate skills; it demands a strategic approach and a willingness to learn. Through purposeful encounters with fellow business owners and seasoned professionals, I’ve discovered invaluable insights into refining my marketing strategies and honing my sales pitch. Embracing the ethos of continuous learning, I have taken full advantage of free resources like SCORE.org, which has paired me with mentors adept at deciphering the intricacies of business management. Together, we’ve crafted concrete goals and actionable steps, laying the groundwork for success in my business.
Yet, amidst all the advice and guidance, one invaluable lesson stands out — patience! Entrepreneurship, I discovered, is a marathon, not a sprint. Each milestone achieved, each obstacle that is overcome, serves as a testament to the incremental progress made, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Beyond the Horizon

As I embark on the next phase of this journey, my focus is squarely set on charting a course for sustained growth and success.

1. The first order of business? Defining clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will serve to illuminate our progress and pinpoint areas for improvement. By establishing measurable metrics, we can navigate with confidence, knowing exactly where we stand and where we need to go.

2. Streamlining our business processes will be paramount, ensuring that every cog in the machine turns with precision. From customer acquisition to service delivery, every aspect of our operations will undergo scrutiny and refinement, paving the way for seamless execution and customer satisfaction.

3. Craft our three and five-year plan, mapping out the trajectory of our company’s evolution and defining the heights we aim to reach. With a clear destination in sight, we can reverse-engineer our path, identifying the steps and strategies necessary to turn our vision into reality.

4. Fine tune our mission statement. As we continue this path, I am committed to articulating the essence of our purpose, encapsulating the values and aspirations that drive us forward. Our mission will serve to guide our decisions, and assist to inspire our actions, and unite us in our pursuit of excellence.

5. In addition to laying the groundwork for strategic planning and operational excellence, networking and establishing meaningful connections will be vital in propelling our business forward. Getting in front of people, whether it’s fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts, or potential clients, is not just a box to check – it’s a cornerstone of building a thriving business.

Just Keep Going

In a short time, I have learned a lot! However, the biggest lesson so far is that when you love something, it doesn’t feel like work. The excitement about the journey ahead is palpable, filled with possibilities and opportunities. I eagerly anticipate what the future holds and am committed to navigating this ship with grace, enthusiasm, and a relentless desire to keep pushing forward while finding ways to streamline and organize my processes.

To my fellow small business owners reading this, remember never to lose sight of the incredible impact you have. It’s essential to align with other businesses, network, and collaborate whenever possible. When you inevitably encounter bumps in the road, keep pushing and connect with experts who can guide you through challenges. Your success is not just a wish; it’s a certainty that I wholeheartedly believe in and will continue to champion!

This is a contributed blog post by Brenda Hernandez. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of resilience and reinvention. At the age of 42, she courageously parted ways from a long-standing corporate career to embark on an entrepreneurial journey that would redefine her life. With an unwavering determination and a keen eye for opportunity, Brenda ventured into the realm of real estate, ultimately discovering her true passion for interior design.

In the pursuit of professional fulfillment, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to explore the lucrative world of short-term rentals. Through strategic investments and a natural flair for interior design, she not only found success but also discovered a newfound passion that would set her on a course towards fulfillment.

Today, Brenda proudly owns and manages seven short-term rentals, each meticulously curated to reflect her design sensibilities. Her properties stand as a testament to the boundless opportunities that await those who dare to embrace change and pursue their true calling.

As a minority female investor and business owner, Brenda brings a unique perspective shaped by her personal experiences and cultural background. Her journey from humble beginnings to entrepreneurial success serves as an inspiration to others, demonstrating the transformative power of resilience, reinvention, and unwavering determination.

Driven by a desire to empower others to seize their own opportunities for growth and success, Brenda has embarked on a new venture as the founder of a Home Staging and Airbnb Styling and Consulting Business, Designs by Her. Through her expertise and guidance, she aims to help others unlock the full potential of their properties while sharing her passion for interior design with clients.

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