Connie Roitman’s Thing

I needed someone to arrange a grouping of family photos going up a staircase and Connie was referred to me by a friend. After I told her what I wanted, Connie replied, “I can do that.” Music to my ears! As complicated as everyday life gets to be, when I heard those words, we became friends. Our friendship has revealed her kindness, but it’s also shown her confidence, which was not always there. Connie has moved through her fears and is taking hold of her life.

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Photography by MelIssa Donald

“Practical” means I use the existing furnishings in someone’s home to create rooms without the financial stress of a complete makeover. Sometimes all that’s needed is a trained eye to see the possibilities. When I use furniture, collections, and accessories that have meaning to a client, she becomes a part of the creative process, and that is very important to me.

How did you discover your thing?

I have often assisted family and friends in organizing and decorating their homes. My husband looked at me one day and said, “You could get paid for doing this, you know?” So, when I turned 40, I decided I would try. It started with my job at eyedia, a consignment furniture and accessories store, and it has taken off from there.

What did you do before you started your business?

I have designed framing, managed a textile,artifact, and jewelry store, and worked in the family business learning what it takes to make a business successful.

What skills help you with practical room designing?

There is this innate visual thing I have that is about finding balance and cohesiveness in a room. I might see what needs to be changed immediately,or sometimes I have to step away from the space to design. I occasionally wake up in the middle of the night with the answer. The other skill is being a good listener. Assisting a client to conceptualize how a room will look with her things requires paying attention and sometimes reading between the lines. It has to be her story that comes through, not mine.

What obstacles have you had?

The little voice in my head that said, “You can’t design. You don’t have an interior design degree.” I’ve realized the design field is so vast, and there is room for every level out there.

What is your favorite part of your job?

It’s exciting when I can take furniture from different periods and make it all work together. Or when I tell a client they can still use that sideboard or kitchen hutch of Grandma’s. Just use it in a different way in a different room.

How are you brave?

Any time you create, you are putting a part of yourself out there for the world to see. That is bravery to me. I now can look in the mirror and say that I possess creativity that is uniquely mine.

What advice do you have for others?

What are you passionate about? Surround yourself with an environment that nurtures you in that direction. Encourage others to do the same, because when you invest in someone else, you will always feel encouraged yourself.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I am a magazine junkie. Some of my favorites are: Elle Décor, Veranda, and Traditional Home.

What is not your thing?

Sitting in front of a computer.

What took you so long to find “your thing?”

Life took over. I was focused on getting a job and starting a family. Then I realized, I am kind of good at this, but I didn’t have the guts. When you get a little age on you…you gain that confidence. There is room for all of us. Nobody does it the same way…nobody!

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