Interview with Jennifer McDougald who is an Owner & Founder of Legacy Home Decor. We asked couple of interesting questions with her to know how is handling business and expanding it. Let’s start with the Introduction.
I began my career by assisting people in finding their new homes, as an apartment leasing professional and it evolved into my business of helping people decorate and organize their homes instead. Legacy Home Décor is a home décor, furniture and gift shop located in Pearland, Texas.
We do most of our business online, but also offer the in-store experience for those that are local and like to see the products in person. We specialize in unique home décor and gifts that are affordable. We also have a variety of products that are handmade by local artisans. We have new products arriving weekly, so our selection is always changing and we always have something new and exciting to offer our customers.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to start your business?
In 2012 I had found myself unexpectedly in the position of being a single mom of 3 children, struggling to make ends meet and was considering other opportunities to bring in additional income. One weekend I had seen a segment on HGTV for home staging and I immediately knew I would be great at home staging because of my experience in property management and working with model apartments, as well as sales and marketing.
I continued to work in property management full time, while also working on weekends doing home staging and redesign decorating jobs to bring in additional income as a single mom. A friend had told me about a furniture painting class being held locally that peaked my interest, so I signed up to take the class. Before the class came to a close, I knew I had found something that I was going to love doing and incorporating into my business, but little did I know that one class would change my entire business direction.
As soon as I got home from the class, I went out and bought a pair of end tables from a secondhand shop down the street, so I could start practicing what I had learned. Before long, my waiting list for custom painted furniture far exceeded my list for home staging. I began to see the possibility of growing my business enough to one day escape the corporate world in order to be able to spend more time with my children before missing any more of their childhood than I had to.
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I began taking my business more seriously and developed a plan to build it at night and on weekends while still working full time, until I could take the plunge of quitting my job and working my business full time instead.
After 6 months of working on the business every night of the week from 9 pm (when everyone was off to bed) until 2 am, while only sleeping 3 hours a night from 2 am to 5 am, when I had to get up and get ready for another long day, I was finally able to quit my corporate job and Legacy became a full time endeavor in January of 2014. My business was solely online until April of 2015, when I opened the retail storefront of Legacy.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Home décor and furniture stores were already common businesses, however, I knew what busy moms life and schedule looked like and how difficult it was for them to find the time to go out shopping, so I wanted to develop a business model that would not only provide unique affordable home décor options but also make shopping easy and hassle free, which is why Legacy offers things such as online shopping and local holds for pick up until it’s convenient for them to come to the storefront.
How many people work for you currently?
Currently, we have 5 people working for us.
What advice would you have for other new entrepreneurs?
I would tell other entrepreneurs that it is going to take a lot more of your time and money to be successful than you are probably planning for and that it’s going to take a lot longer to become successful than you are anticipating. I think you go into entrepreneurship expecting it to be difficult, time-consuming and expensive, but I don’t think the true magnitude of these areas can be understood until you are actually experiencing them.
It certainly requires far more than I had ever imagined, but I would still do it all over again and would not let that stop me for taking the risk.
How much potential market share can you achieve in the next 3 years?
The home décor industry is a 663 billion dollar a year industry. As a small business, we are nowhere close to having a measurable size of the market share in such a massive industry, but I do have aspirations to one day be a true contender in this industry.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
The majority of purchases I have made have all been inventory related. I have done my best to study the home décor trends as well as become an expert at selecting items that my customer base will be attracted to, but I don’t always get it right. On rare occasion I have selected a product that ended up being a flop.
In those instances, I simply clearance out the item for my wholesale cost and move on and find something to replace it with, that is successful.
Who supported you the most in your life?
My husband, my mother and my grandmother up until her passing have absolutely been the most supportive people in my life. I could not have made it this far in my business without the support of my husband and my mom, and I am very grateful for all they have done and continue to do for my success.
What are your future plans?
My future plans include continuing to focus on bringing the best possible products for the best price I can, to my customer audience, as well as continuing to find ways to help my clients organize their homes. I am working on increasing our customer base both locally and online and would like to expand my reach significantly over the next few years.
How people should contact you?