Moments with an M.E.O.

Adding the Fun to Functional Decor, with Brittany Zimmerman

May 13, 2022 Britt Lanza Season 3 Episode 119
Moments with an M.E.O.
Adding the Fun to Functional Decor, with Brittany Zimmerman
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever struggled to explain your design choices to your service member spouse? Or asked them to hide their sports collection items in the "man cave"? Curious what to do for your small business office space that's PCS-friendly? Then you'll want to tune in to this episode! Brittany Zimmerman, MEO of Bleu Bee Designs, is teaching us all about decor and adding fun pieces! Episode 119 of the Moments with an MEO podcast is all about fun and functional pieces to spruce up your military home! 

In this episode, Brittany and I discuss: 

  • The first thing you can do when you get to your next empty home and can't paint. 
  • The importance of multi-purposeful storage pieces and having a space and a place for everything. 
  • Where to find inspiration for unique design choices.
  • Where to start decorating your boring office space.
  • How to blend your style with your spouse, and how to add them in every room in a beautiful way that pleases you both. 

Tune in each week to hear more military and entrepreneurial stories and tips!

Connect with Brittany Zimmerman:

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Check out MilSO Box here:

Brittany Zimmerman  0:00  
You know, I think a big thing with making any home feel really like yours is photography. And so I think going back and pulling photos from his childhood of his family, long before you are in the picture and doing the same with yours, we have photos throughout our home of him as a child with his siblings and me with mine, grandparents that have since passed, and have him pick out the photos that are meaningful. And then you pick out the frames that are going to be beautiful and match the rest of your decor.

Britt  0:40  
Brittany, I am so excited to welcome you to the moments with an MBO podcast. Brittany, you have a very unique love for blending antiques and new items and the classic yet fun and refreshing way. And it's become basically your signature style, which I love. I've been following you for a couple months. But I actually found you through Sarah, who has the military wives top fives podcast, which is how we got connected, because I was like, Oh my gosh, okay, if Sarah says that you're amazing, I know that you are you. You collaborate closely with each of your clients to pair decor with their lifestyles and personalities, which I think is great. And it's a perfect topic for today. You also design spaces that function to the ideal purpose of their owner, whoever owns the space, which I love. You enjoy working alongside clients whose homes are a unique reflection of their history and story, which I think ties your antiques, new item, that kind of collab. And, yeah, and BlueBee designs is your business. And it started in 2019. And it's got some southern roots and a little bit of French, I think it really speaks of a unique and fresh twist on design. So you are currently in the Jacksonville area with your husband and your lab, I have two labs as well. So I love it. And then as a military family home is wherever the Navy sends you and I can 100% relate to that as an Air Force wife. So welcome to the podcast.

Brittany Zimmerman  2:20  
Thank you so much for having me. Just really glad that Sarah connected us. And thank you for reaching out to me.

Britt  2:27  
Absolutely. So let's start with your story. So tell me just a little bit about who you are, and then how you met your significant other.

Brittany Zimmerman  2:38  
Thanks. So I am one of those famous people who switches their careers in their 30s I had a little bit of an identity crisis, I always loved learning and I was an educator for eight years, really, I've just found that my constant love for learning has led to exponential growth in my business. There's always something new to learn, whether it's products, furniture, marketing technology, there's a lot to keep up with. I was a Event Management major in college and a marketing minor said to me, I've always had a love for aesthetics and the beautiful things. And my business ideation came to me on a trip in Paris where I was literally surrounded by all what I like to call you know, the the classic culprits architecture, fashion, beauty our it just really hit me than that I wasn't, I wasn't being as true to myself as I could possibly be. I just had to figure out a way to jump you know, jump tracks. So I am born and raised Floridian and still reside here for the time being until the the Navy sends us to Washington next year. But yeah, my roots run deep. My family's big on heirlooms and traditions. And those things just are so ingrained in who I am that my home can't help but display that. And so I love connecting with clients who also feel like you know, home is their story home is where your story starts and ends is the place where you can be vulnerable, where you can be yourself. So I think for me being able to connect with somebody who wants their home to be a true reflection of their soul and who they are. Those are my people.

Britt  4:33  
I love that. And I think it's difficult to achieve that when you're constantly moving. Nick and I have been very fortunate that we don't have to move so often. I know you're preparing for a move. And so it can be hard. Like when Nick and I were renting and moving year after year after year, it was almost like like why would I even do this or you know Hang up on this, if I'm just gonna have to take it down or if I'm just gonna have to move it like, what's the point? And so I can't wait to dive into this a little bit deeper further on in our conversation. But how did you meet your spouse.

Brittany Zimmerman  5:15  
So we ironically have both lived in Jacksonville for over a decade. So speaking of those rare positions where you don't move a lot, he's been here since he got out of Flight School in Pensacola. I've lived here at the time for about nine years, we lived miles from each other in Jackson was a really big city, and we hung out in the same places, but we live very separate lives. So I was perfectly content being here. I never really dated anybody in the military, because I'm pretty independent. I never wanted to be told this where you're going. And this is for how long. And so I really kind of just would steer clear of bass. And it wasn't until 2009 teen We met through a mutual friend that I knew through church, and he knew through work, we were set up on a blind date, we went and got ice cream together. And I went from ice cream to forever basically, neither of us after that three hour date of getting ice cream, neither of us wanted to see anybody else. And we found this weird, random thing. So I'm born on Christmas, he asked to see my driver's license on our first date, because he's also born on Christmas Day. And we felt like That was just super random. And he was like, I don't believe you. I need to see your driver's license. And I was like, what kind of weirdo asked to see my driver's license? First date. So yeah, we, you know, started dating 2020 hit and he bought a house, we decided to get married and decided not to wait, even though the whole world was shut down. And the military basically said you can't go more than 20 miles away from base. So we had a really small wedding with just my immediate family, followed by a brunch ceremony. And we that give this pandemic things six months, we'll be in the clear. So we started to play in a bigger but still small wedding in Jacksonville for the spring of 2021. Which as we all know, we were still in the midst of a pandemic, but we didn't care, you know, because it can't stop true. And so we never took a honeymoon, you know, officially but you know, we've got our life here in Jacksonville. Yeah, I've been happily married for officially it'll be two years this August.

Britt  7:42  
Congratulations. Which do you celebrate? Do you celebrate both anniversaries? Or do you just kind of pick one like, how does that work?

Brittany Zimmerman  7:51  
So So here's a lesson in communication. always discuss with your spouse, which one you plan on celebrating? So we had our small ceremony in September of 2020. And then our big wedding was February the following year, we've always said we'll celebrate our first one because that's when we're like legally officially married. But then February rolled around, it was our one year anniversary. I didn't get anything because I was like, we'll celebrate it in September. And he ended up getting me like a traditional first year anniversary. It was just basically a giant fiasco and an example of like, All right, we've got a lot of work to do on communication. So we do count both. And as you know, life in the military. They could be here for one and gone for the next. So I think we'll take it year by year. You know, if he's home for one, we'll celebrate it.

Britt  8:46  
That is a very valid point, Nick, and I probably should have done that. Yeah, We eloped in Vermont with just immediate family. And this was back in 2019. He was going to be deployed to Afghanistan. And so we were like, we're just going to get it out of the way right. And then we'll plan a bigger one later, and then later came and we were like, Let's just buy a house instead. But we also had a brunch afterwards. So I love that you guys did that brunch.

Brittany Zimmerman  9:18  
And you know as as much fun as the big wedding was, it was a lot of stress. It was a lot of work. Yeah, I was kind of glad when that was over.

Britt  9:27  
Yeah, but I bet. So today we're talking about basically finding the fun in the functional office space in your home. And we touched upon it briefly before we hit record and then again when we were talking about your story, but it can be really challenging as a military spouse to come into a home that you know isn't your forever home and make it feel like a forever home. So what are your top tips or recommendations for the military spouse who's sitting there going? Like I hate these why It was, but what do I do with them knowing I'm going to have to take them down in a couple years. So where is finding the fun in the functional for the office space for the male spouse.

Brittany Zimmerman  10:12  
So finding the fun, first of all, every design that we do, we love to inject layers of either fun or whimsy or a surprise here and there. Whether that's something outwardly meaningful to you, or in the design, that's a subtle nod to maybe your passions where your business started, what inspires you, I think the first thing you can do when you get into a space that you may not be able to paint is put up artwork and photos. I know personally, I have a piece behind me, that is one of the women that I work with in an art collective, that's also run by military spouse. You know, that spoke to me. And I felt like that's energizing that helps me to create. I also have photos that I've taken when I was on trips to Paris, that inspired me where my business started pictures of family. But then the functional aspect is a little bit harder. A lot of businesses these days run paperless. And as a designer, I can't really do paper lists. I am a very tactile person, I have baskets of fabric samples, paint decks, hardware tile, so for me having storage, that's multipurpose, but also beautiful is very important. I actually have behind me a, I guess you would call it like either a buffet piece, something you would normally see in a dining room. I painted it added some really cute hardware to it that was very on brand for me. And I can shove, it's got three cabinets and three jars, I can shove a number of things in there. But you never have to know when you walk into my office, the mess of samples that are in there. You know, having a place in a space for everything is important. I'm also a big fan of cork boards, but make it pretty. So maybe you get an an old frame a giant frame, I'm talking like a 30 by 40 inch frame, painted a fun color, add some cork to it cover the cork and a beautiful fabric and then make that either your inspiration board or your you know your To Do lists. Yeah, and little things like that. I mean, yes, I'm putting holes in the wall. But at the end of the day, there's nothing a little spackle can't fix. And I am not of the mindset or the person who can function in a space that that's not me. So I would say beautiful storage pieces. Find some wall pieces, a beautiful white board, nice acrylic board. Yes, many things with drawers and cabinets that you can that you can put pretty things on the top like photos, lamps, book stacks, things like that, but the inside needs to be functional.

Britt  13:07  
I have like this giant bookcase behind me. And I love it. And I finally got it only a few months ago. And it was like a game changer because it's like a pretty piece behind me like I feel good looking at it because it's all pretty. The books are stacked a certain way. But it also serves as like a bookshelf and like places to put my knickknacks that would normally just be all over my desk. So I love a bookshelf. And I love this idea of like taking a piece that would normally be probably somewhere else but like making it yours through paint through different hardware. Where do you find a lot of your inspiration? Or where can our listeners find inspiration for unique pieces to keep?

Brittany Zimmerman  13:51  
I would say for inspiration start with Pinterest. I'm a big fan of visual hoarding, as my husband calls. You know, start there and I think, you know, especially in the military, we have to be a little bit mindful that things make it broken, scratched, dented, or completely damaged. So with that, I would say look on marketplace, go to estate sales. You know, once you find the look of something or a paint color you like on Pinterest or Instagram, then look for a piece with similar lines and go online to Amazon or Hobby Lobby, get yourself some fun hardware, you know and really make it your own.

Britt  14:35  
Yeah, where would you suggest someone starts if they're like, Okay, I've got the most boring office ever. What's the first thing that I should start with?

Brittany Zimmerman  14:45  
I like to start with a fun rug and I know from renting apartments and condos through the years that your rental floor is probably not the prettiest thing and that's one of my like major home tips anyways is area ads everywhere, but get as big as you can afford. That will cover the most space. Start from there, I kind of go from the ground up. So I'd say a rug, find a desk, I'm actually in the market for sounds funny, but a small light kitchen table, just because so many times when I'm working, I need a lot of things spread out. So your typical desk is only like, maybe 20 inches deep. And that's not sufficient for me. So don't be afraid to use like set pieces from other rooms. But yeah, find a fun carpet. And then find a desk that works for you get an old piece of furniture and painted a fun color and then throw some stuff up on your walls, that's, you know, inspiring to you.

Britt  15:46  
Yeah, what I'm hearing a lot is it really you want to think about how it's going to function before you can even buy the piece like you don't know what kind of desk you need, until you know what you're going to be using that desk for like for you, it's spreading things out. So you can look at a lot of different things all at once. For someone else, it might be Hey, all I need is a laptop, to have a space for a laptop. I love paper. I know we live in a digital world, but I have 1234567 I've got like 13 or 14 different notebooks spread out on my desk. And each notebook is for a different part of my business. And I love writing notes. And I love sticky notes and all these other things. So I'm sitting here like, man, maybe I need like not even a small dining room table. Maybe I need like a large like eighth person

Brittany Zimmerman  16:36  
gives you a conference table.

Britt  16:37  
Exactly. You know you're talking about like, yes, we want to make it fun. But think about how you're going to use the space first, does that line up with how you think about spaces when you go to decorate them?

Brittany Zimmerman  16:49  
Absolutely. My personal motto is kind of we take design from function, to thoughtfulness to beauty, and you can't have all three, I know some people would say, Well, you can have two out of three. But you really can't have all three, it goes into a little bit about how I kind of consult with especially military families or renters, you know, the home that you're looking at may have a dining room and eat in kitchen, a living room, that maybe your family's not the type that entertains or you don't have family nearby, you don't do big holidays. But you have three kids under seven, and they need a play space. Make one of those rooms make that formal dining room a functioning play space, you know, you don't have to go with, you know, the status quo of this room is designed for this design your rooms for the way that your family lives. And that's one of the first things I walked through with clients in our onboarding questionnaire is tell me how your family lives in this space. Do you entertain? What age groups do you entertain? How often do you entertain? What you're entertaining built around? Is that around sports and television, cooking, wine tasting in a formal room, you know, so we really do, we have to think about the way we live. Make the designs thoughtful enough so that they meet those needs, but then pull in the beauty and make sure that they're aesthetically pleasing one room is cohesive to the next. And really you should be able in my design philosophy, you should be able to move things from one room to the next because your whole home is cohesive and as things don't have to live in solitary confinement in one room.

Britt  18:33  
That is something that I personally need to work on because for me, part of it is like okay, I need to set boundaries in my business. So like my business goes in one part of my home. But there's other parts of me that are like okay, like our guest bedroom. That's the baseball room. That's we decorate that room full of all my husband's memorabilia signed baseballs, bats are hanging up. That's where all the Astros blankets go because like I don't need more bright orange in my home and other places. So you're saying like I should be able to like mix things in well enough that like it doesn't have to be that like the door is closed and it doesn't exist? Well,

Brittany Zimmerman  19:13  
okay, I will say the The Man Cave is the one caveat because my husband is a golf addict. Our upstairs loft is a guest room is his kind of office which you know, really he doesn't work in, but it is our golf room. So everything up there related to golf, whether it's anti golf posters or what not. Yeah, that room kind of stays to its own. Now I do have classic bedding up there. I have white and navy monogrammed bedding, which also can work in our downstairs guest room. But yeah, you know, I mean part of building a home is bringing maybe the pieces that your husband has collected through the years and putting them in a nice bookshelf. Spread out with a pretty book stack For, you know, nestled in, take the covers off of the books of his, and just use the beautiful spines to decorate to bring color in. So I'm not saying banish all of his stuff to one area, but I'd be lying if I said man home wasn't didn't have a golf themed room to itself.

Britt  20:20  
I am fascinated with the idea that you also have like a decked out sports room. And so I'm curious for our listeners, if you have there's going to be a poll when this when this airs, but send us an email, new altitudes. And let us know, do you also have one of those rooms? You have the room that's like either the man cave, or like all the sports stuff goes here like, let us know. Because I'm curious. I know, when Nick and I moved in, it was really difficult for me, we had very different styles, he was minimalist, and nothing matched. And it didn't have to. And I was very, like, I want to make this pretty, like I want to, you know, I want to make sure that all our hardware matches, and you know, all these things that my husband had no concept on. And so figuring out how to blend our styles was very difficult. Do you have any recommendations for someone who might be new to decorating with a spouse? And you know, how do you mix those styles cohesively? I love the idea of, you know, taking the covers off of the books and using the spines, like making sure that he feels like he's in the space somewhere, too. But what are your recommendations. So first

Brittany Zimmerman  21:35  
of all, I will say hire somebody because part of my job is marriage counseling, I always I can bring spouses to the table that cannot agree eye to eye on decorating at all. And somehow I will do six rooms in their home for them that he's pleased with. And so is she, it's it's all about that give and take, there has to be a common color that you guys agreed on. Maybe it's a texture that you both like, maybe you both love the outdoors. And so you are okay with both bringing in plants, but maybe you kill plants, so maybe they have to be fo plants. You know, I think a big thing with making any home feel really like yours is photography. And so I think going back and pulling photos from his childhood of his family, long before you are in the picture and doing the same with yours. We have photos throughout our home of him as a child with his siblings, and me with mine, grandparents that have since passed, and have him pick out the photos that are meaningful. And then you pick out the frames that are going to be beautiful and match the rest of your decor. You know, but there's there's little things too, that you also just, you just kind of have to overlook, my husband flies on PA and we have these beautiful, no offense to whoever designed them these beautiful coasters with P eights on them. My husband loves those coasters, I broke one. And I felt tremendously, tremendously bad for it. He thought I was kind of trying to break them all so that I could replace them. But really like all of those coasters are used. And so they're all nestled in a really pretty decorative box that's green and white and floral. And it matches our living room. So there are little ways here and there. But yeah, find, find something that you guys have in common, you know, and give and take and listen for their ideas. Because I have found the times when I really truly ask for my husband's input. He has some really good ideas. And I just kind of have to step out of the way.

Britt  23:49  
I love that. And I think it makes it less annoying for the spouse to like, if I bring home another plant or I bring him in, he's like, What are you gonna do with that? But I feel like if I included him a little bit more, he might be less resistant to it, because his opinion is part of that. So I love that. And now that we have a home to decorate, slowly, but surely we are and so I'll have to have to take those tips. Thank you.

Brittany Zimmerman  24:15  
And I know for us like one of the fun things. Obviously I love antiques and heirlooms, but I love just they don't have to be heirlooms. But we'll go to an antique store together for the day. And then we'll go to Hobby Lobby, and he'll give me all sorts of feedback. And I'm like, where are your opinions coming from? But you know, you see things out in an antique store that you wouldn't have necessarily thought your husband says, oh, wouldn't this be cool? And you're like, actually, yes, that's a great idea.

Britt  24:45  
I love that being open to their input, even if it's not your first initial reaction and kind of seeing where it takes you. That's awesome. Exactly. So we've talked about what to do with our space if we have it, but I know A lot of our listeners don't have a designated office space. So what would you recommend to be fun and functional, but have an office have a designated space for their business if they don't have an actual extra room set aside for that?

Brittany Zimmerman  25:15  
Sure. I think a lot of this kind of became something we had to scramble to figure out when a lot of people went virtual and 2020, myself included, I wasn't working in design at the time. So I had to kind of make shift, throw a desk or you know, throw my work on the dining room table, the things that are practical tips, I would say, have a couple really nice like choke baskets. I love the durability of like a woven seagrass basket, it looks pretty sitting over in the corner, you can also just like throw a blanket on top of it and make it look like it's a basket of blankets. But invest in a really good tote bag that you can throw your laptop in. I know in laundry rooms, sometimes you have wall space, you can do like one of those hanging wall folder, organizers. But I think keeping yourself organized. And making making sure that you can get your things out and fully immerse yourself in work. But then clean up at the end of the day. I think the dining room table works great. Some days I'm more inspired if I'm really comfortable. So sometimes for me sitting on the couch in my favorite room that looks out to our backyard, sometimes that's more comfortable. So drag your basket and your tote bag, you know, to wherever you need to. And then I like to dedicate a closet, whether it's a small hall closet, or a portion of a closet and a guest room, maybe that you don't use, get some of those modular storage cabinets and like Target IKEA with the foldable, collapsible bins, label those bins up and you can easily stack six of them in a small closet. And then you've kind of got at least a landing spot for paper ink office supplies.

Britt  27:07  
I love that. And it's not as intimidating as like, take over half of the living room. It's like you can have a couple baskets. And you can move those baskets. I know for the majority of what I do, I love sitting at my desk because I'm like, Okay, this is my space. And you know, I'm going to use up boundaries. But every once in a while I want to go work out in the dining room because has more natural light. And I just enjoy that or I want to go work outside in our beautiful landscape backyard. Like I want to be able to just move and it's good to change up your position every once in a while. So I love that. That's so cool.

Brittany Zimmerman  27:41  
Yeah, and I think you draw different. I think you draw different inspiration and different creative elements based on your surroundings. I know, I moved my office from the back of the house to the front of the house because like you I'm a natural light junkie. And I love nothing more than the first thing I do in the morning is open up all the blinds in our house. So yeah, buy anywhere, hates it. Mine could live with the blinds shut and it wouldn't even faze him, but I swear he's

Britt  28:09  
a vampire. So you mentioned earlier that sometimes our pieces can get damaged. And we kind of just have to be okay with that. What are your PCs friendly idea? So if someone moves often I know a lot of our listeners, I did a poll, I want to say like two months ago, and on average, our listeners are moving every one to three years, which is a lot, a lot more than Nick and I have to move for sure. So for them when it comes to both finding pieces and choosing pieces, even if they're willing to spend a little bit extra for it. What are your best moving tips?

Brittany Zimmerman  28:48  
Sure. So I'm going to start out with one that is wildly unpopular. And I say that because I'm in a lot of military spouse groups, whether they're my local base spouse page, or a PCS group, and everybody loves their oversized sectionals, my number one piece of advice to you if you are just starting out or you are moving or you are redoing your living room, do not buy a sectional. It locks you in I say this even to my clients who are not in the military. Because unless you're in your forever home, chances are that couch is not going to work and probably seven out of the 10 floorplans that you're going to look at. It locks you in design wise, they're heavy, visually, they're heavy. And I think a lot of times people purchase them for their indestructibility or you know, we need recliners and USB ports in our furniture. And I'm just gonna say buy two sofas, or buy a sofa and a loveseat. We personally have a sofa and a loveseat. And I know that when we move we're looking At downsizing just because homes in Washington are not as generously large as what we have here in Jacksonville. I know that our loveseat and sofa will probably not fit in the living room together. But there's a little tiny front room that a lot of base housing has where I can put our loveseat and maybe an occasional chair or two. So just versatility that gets into the function of each room. So number one, ditch the giant sectional sorry in advance. For anybody who has one or doesn't like that tip, they just they lock you in. Second thing, go with anything that is slipcovered furniture. You don't have to worry about movers damaging something that's going to be seen because you can zip off those covers, pack them away in a bag and then a box and then if they scratch your sofa as they're pulling it out the front door, don't worry about it. You've got a slip cover to cover it. slip covers in white. I know people will think I'm crazy but they're bleachable we have a 75 pound dog who gets on our furniture. Many people have children who use their furniture as you know wrestling or the floor is lava. Bleach is your friend. So bleach and slipcovers are my like number two functionality thing. Third thing I would say is find multipurpose furniture. We kind of already touched on this but find a piece that works from room to room. This could be an arm wha which we saw a lot of in the 90s a lot of them are very heavy and dated. There are more streamlined versions now that are more beautiful. But an anti gun law sometimes can add great personality to a room. You can use them in the kitchen, if you don't have a full pantry, you can use them in a bedroom for clothing and to put a TV in that you don't have to look at. You can use them in a playroom for kids storage crafts, use them in an office. So I really love arm was dressers, you know the low like horizontal dressers. You can use them in a foyer, throw a skirt a tablecloth over them, and they make a great console table that you can still hide things in. And Ottomans, again, great for storage, whether at the end of a bed, instead of a coffee table. They're great for kids, you know, there's no sharp edges. So Ottomans are walls and dressers or anything that can function in a different room. And then rugs. I mentioned I'm a huge fan of rugs. We have large area rugs in every room. It's also a great way to one cover up floors that you don't like, which actually in the house that we own, I hate our flooring, giant beige tile, except for the bedrooms, which are wood. And I hate it. And so I know that when we move, all of our furniture will still look very cohesive, because I have a rug that goes with it. rugs are also great for defining spaces. So in an open concept plan, maybe you have a really weird open living room slash dining room that's off of your kitchen. That's a very common setup these days, you can use two complimentary rugs, one in the living room, one in the dining room to really define those spaces. Anything you put on the wall are family photos, things that make you feel at home. And again, they don't have to be expensive. IKEA has great like basic white frames that you can do gallery walls. Yeah, those are my kind of will fit in any home suggestions.

Britt  33:44  
I love that. And I think that works for both. If you're renting, if you're owning if you're living on base, like you just dropped the best high value content in the last five minutes. So I love that and I huge fan of Ottomans. And I hate our sectional couch. I bought it right after college before I even met Nick. And it's honestly one of those things where we're like, first of all, I love mixing up my space. Like I love moving furniture around with a sectional you can't really do that. Like you can't take it apart and only put half year like it just doesn't work that way. I've regretted my purchase, but we keep it because it's still functioning and you know, whatever happens in the future happens and eventually we'll replace it. But it's one of those pieces that when we bought our home we had to sit there and go oh man, like the living space is a little bit smaller than we anticipated. Like, is it even going to fit? Yeah, it but like, we shouldn't have had to have worried about that. So if we had two separate pieces that worked well or that could you know, we could move one into another space. Yeah, would have been a whole lot easier on us. So I love those tips.

Brittany Zimmerman  34:54  
And I love like occasional chairs for that too. Whether it's you know, a leather club chair or an upholstered chair. Or like a glider, you know, swivel chair, buy to always buy two. And you can put them in different rooms, you know if your current space doesn't have room for them, but I think that's also a great alternative to buying like maybe too expensive sofas, get one nice sofa, and then you know, pop it with to occasional chairs.

Britt  35:24  
So where can people connect with you if they want to reach out if they want to work with you, or if they just want to follow along with all the cool stuff that we're doing?

Brittany Zimmerman  35:30  
Sure. So we are super active on Instagram, our Instagram is blue B, L E. U. B E, designs underscore what we try to do there as a little bit of education, we love to share our design tips and inspiration, as well as a little bit about our services. And then we love to share other beautiful designs that other designers have done that are in the vein of our aesthetic as well. You can also catch us about every month, I'll say I'm working on consistency with blogging, but we do have a blog that's in our website, www dot BlueBee, and II, through our website, you can contact us we've got an easy form to get in touch. We are also excited to add a shopping page to our website, we'll be featuring some embedded collections where you can basically shop the room. And so you don't have to go through a certain design package of ours that say you're just looking for a one off piece, we'll have a collection of some of our favorite pieces there that you can purchase, or working on a signature candle with a military spouse. So we'll have those for sale as well. You know, we're on Facebook, and you can certainly, you know, message us there. But that contact form on our website is probably the best way to get ahold of us. And we do a quarterly newsletter, just with kind of Project Insight, what we've been up to and featuring what's coming up.

Britt  37:07  
That's awesome. And all those links will be in the show notes. So anybody listening, if you're running, or if you're in the shower, like don't worry about it, they will all be in the show notes for you. So you can just head back to this episode later. So we've kind of switched directions a little bit in the middle of season three here, I was asking everybody what they're learning right now. But I've started to develop this understanding that okay, we all know that we're all learning. But what's the point? Like? What are we getting towards? And so I'd love to know, what does success look like to you? And can you describe a time when you truly felt successful? Even if it was just for a moment?

Brittany Zimmerman  37:46  
Success to me? And to that I will say I answered your what are we learning question? So I'm going to kind of piggyback my answer off of that, because I'm a good student. But I will say success to me, is truly understanding what my client is looking for in the now and down the road, and being able to provide them with the ideal service, and products so that they can live cohesively from now 1015 20 years down the road. Success to me is not a pipeline stocked full of clients. It's not being featured on blogs, and websites, those things are great. But knowing my products, knowing my vendors, and most of all, knowing my clients, having happy clients that are repeat customers that success to me,

Britt  38:38  
I love that can you describe a time when you truly felt successful?

Brittany Zimmerman  38:42  
I would say probably my very first repeat client was a big a big success. I had, you know, had nailed the vision for the first project we did. And I've since gone on to do six projects in their home. I don't we're not done yet. You know, to that I would say repeat business for somebody in the service industry is pretty much the highest form of you know, compliment and self define success that we you know, we did a good job the first time and you want to work together. And what a lot of what we do is is relational. I mean I come into your house, we talk about money, we talk about the way you live, design is personal. So I think that if my clients trust know, and like me enough to have me come back. I've been successful in my job.

Britt  39:31  
That is awesome. I love the feeling when someone comes back, like even months later or a year later, and they're like, hey, like I really want to work with you again like that feeling like you're just like yes, like I made such an impact that not only did they remember me, but they want to pay me again like this.

Brittany Zimmerman  39:50  
And I think a lot of times what people don't think about InDesign is that like, you know, I try to focus on what room are you utilizing the most and let's start there. But this is reality. And we all have budgets, millionaires have budgets, and then certainly normal everyday people do. So for me, you know, our design process is let's do this one room to completion. And we know that you, you know, you know where we are. And when you've saved up and you're ready to do another project, come back, and let's, let's pick right up where we left off, you know, so we certainly understand that ebb and flow and that downtime between projects. But yeah, like I said, having people come back that want to work with us, again, is success. Truly,

Britt  40:35  
it's awesome, truly is. So my last and final question for you is how do you embrace being an M E. Oh, a military spouse CEO,

Brittany Zimmerman  40:43  
being able to have my own identity, in my own business is huge. That keeps me from getting wrapped up in maybe the minutia of military life that can sometimes be negative, or overwhelming, it gives me an identity and a purpose. At the same time, I'm able to schedule my clients around big moments in life. So whether my husband's going off to school before a new Squadron, or we're preparing the PCs, or we are going through pre deployment life, that I'm able, you know, to tailor my schedule so that I can flip the switch and support my husband 100%. Because we know that military members who have supportive families and spouses have just a happier, you know, time in their career really. So I like that I can switch and kind of switch roles and responsibilities to be 100% MBO. And I'm 100% CEO.

Britt  41:48  
I love that so much. Well, Brittany, Truly, this has been awesome. I've learned things that I didn't even know. And I know that we've had episodes in the past that kind of touched upon this from an organizational standpoint, but not a fun and functional standpoint. And so I love your take on this. I think it's going to be great. And I know for sure that our audience is going to love this episode. So thank you so much.

Brittany Zimmerman  42:12  
Thank you, Brett. I really appreciate it. It's been great getting to just share what we love to do and thank you for creating this platform for for us Emmy O's to keep giving our best