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Friday, October 9, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Well it has been over three months since I trained in Toronto with Canadian Staging Professionals to become a certified real estate home stager. The 3 day course, or should I say 3 day and 2 night course, was filled with a mind boggling amount of invaluable information.

For the first 2 days, classes began at 8:00 in the morning and went on until 6:00 in the evening. After returning to my cousin's apartment I wolfed down some supper and continued my studies by writing a test that covered the information we had been taught during the day, as well as material we were required to cover on our own. My poor cousin had to tiptoe around her apartment so I could concentrate on the test questions made more difficult by the fact that my mind was overflowing with newly aquired information and I was exhausted. On both nights it was close to midnight when I tiptoed past my sleeping cousin, crawled into bed and dreamed of flat fees and consultations and focal points and props versus accessories.

The third day began at 7:00 in the morning. We were taken to a home badly in need of staging. We had an invaluable hands on experience, putting to practice what we had been taught in the classroom. That morning I learned that real estate home staging is HARD work, both physiaclly and mentally. I also learned that it is exactly what I want to do in my years of rewirement. Home staging satisfies my insatiable hunger to edit spaces and provides me with the challenge of preparing a property, spending as little money as possible by reusing and reinventing the furnishings found in its interior and exterior spaces.

I would like to thank my instructors, Christine, Jackson, & Duncan for putting up with my endless questions. Thank you especially to Christine, the incredibly knowledgeable and busy founder of Canadian Staging Professionals, who travels the world training aspiring home stagers. She took the time to personally mentor me through some difficult moments when I returned home . Her prompt and lengthy email responses showed me that she was a teacher who cared about her students.

While CSP™ and CCSP are 2 different designations given to stagers trained through Canadian Staging Professionals, the credentials are one and the same. A Canadian company that initially trained Canadians, graduates were given the title of CSP™ or Canadian Staging Professional. Training courses are now being offered around the globe. For Stagers trained outside of Canada , CSP™ stands for Certfiied Staging Professional. For Canadian stagers the new designation of CCSP ( Certified Canadian Staging Professional) is applied. Many Canadians may still use the initials CSP™ because that was their original designation.

I am just happy to say that CSP™ or CCSP, I am trained and up and running. I had planned initially to be ready to begin my actual staging career in September, not realizing the work involved in setting up a business. I figured it couldn't take all that much time to get a small home based business off the ground. There were contracts to compose, business cards and a web site to design, a bank account to set up, insurance to purchase, stationary to have printed, a portolio and client education binders to put together, price lists to establish; all before I could pound the pavement. But I'm there now.


My daughter Lauren, an architect living in Rome, collaborated with me to conceive my logo. She worked tirelessly to design my website. A huge time consuming undertaking that is now garnering Rave Re:views. Thank goodness for Lauren and thank goodness for skype. Without skype this entry would not have been called 'Better Late than Never " it would have been called 'Later than Ever' .

Now, I had intended on sharing some of my reinventions and design tips today but while I am wired to stage I am technologically inept. I'm wired less than my wireless when it comes to having computer savvy. So par for the course, I clicked file on my tool bar to save this entry and as a result the complete entry disappeared. I should have clicked on save at the bottom of this entry. Screaming silently, fighting back the tears, I rewrote the entire entry from memory which took a looooooong time. So tomorrow I will share some of my reinventions if I can learn how to insert pictures along with my text. I'll worry about that tomorrow.

On a closing note, a little explanation about my company name:

'Rave Re:view Home Staging & Redesign'

The : in the word Re:view gives my chosen name a double meaning.
One meaning refers to that fact that there is a before and after ingredient in Home Staging and Redesign. Pictures of a room pre-staging are posted as are pictures of the same room post staging. So a room is viewed and then viewed again or re viewed.
The second meaning refers to a review as in a book or a play or a movie review.

I enjoy playing with words almost as much as I enjoy playing with space. So here is my motto, a play on words :

You can count on Rave Re:views when you enlist our help to stage or redesign your home.


  1. Excellent Blog Joanne!! I'm sorry that we won't be able to connect when I'm in Halifax next month... but I'll be back!!


  2. Thanks Duncan,
    Enjoy our city and yes, next time you are here let me know. Joanne

  3. My mom sent me the link for you blog. This is wonderful, I look forward to reading your blog as you go along your journey. Good luck with everything in the future!



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