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Daily Inspiration: Meet Elizabeth Medina Ross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Medina Ross.

Hi Elizabeth, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am a proud Cuban-American. I am proud of the sacrifices my parents made for my sisters and me to have a better life in this country. I have never taken that for granted. Education was and still is an important avenue they saw as a way to make a better life for ourselves.

I have always loved the design. I used to redesign and redecorate my room and my parent’s home from when I was a little girl. I also always loved order and structure. At the time, I decided to get into IT systems design and graduated from the University of Miami. I paid for my college with part-time jobs and continued to once I graduated. I was in the IT business for 15 years. I left it to raise my two young daughters almost 19 years ago. During that time I remodeled and redesigned my home multiple times, and as a result, my friends would ask me to do theirs. I was referred to their friends and so on. I stayed as busy as I could handle with two young girls. I made a nice part-time living just off referrals and without a formal business or advertising or anything! Just word of mouth. During this time, I developed relationships with local vendors in cabinets, flooring, moving, etc., that I value tremendously.

My youngest daughter left for college four years ago. That freed up my time substantially to finally pursue this love of mine full time. But I was scared. I was already 50 years old. Was I going to really start a new business at this stage in my life? I started to doubt whether it was a good idea or not. During that time, I met up with an old friend in the business, and he became my mentor. He encouraged me to pursue what I loved to do and what I had a talent in doing.. As they say ‘if you do what you love, you won’t work a day! My family and friends also encouraged me to pursue my dreams! So I took the plunge, and I did!

As a type-A personality, I received certifications in home staging, design and color consultations. Last year during the pandemic I needed to pivot a bit since we were all locked down. I started to offer a new service, e-design. This service is online and is great for the do-it-yourselfer or for those who just need help envisioning their room(s). I create design boards with or without shopping lists, and they can implement the design on their own time schedule, or I can do it all for them. We all had to adjust with the times and make the most of it. This new service was very successful, and even furniture stores have referred my e-design service to their customers who are looking for help in putting their rooms together!

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road hasn’t always been smooth. I had challenges with inventory, storage, transportation, etc. Too many to mention. And then, just as we were taking off big the pandemic hit! So we had to pivot, as did many other businesses. However, I keep a positive attitude when I encounter challenges I have to say. My approach to them (my whole life) has been to not focus on the challenge itself but to focus on the solution. This happened so, now what? How do we fix it? How do we move around it? etc. And then, after the fact, look for the silver lining in the situation. There is ALWAYS a silver lining.

Keeping a sense of humor is important too! This keeps things in perspective. And I am lucky that I have a very supportive family and a group of friends that are there to help any way they can!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My business is a home staging and interior redesign business. I work with realtors to ‘stage’ homes so that they look amazing and sell faster! Staged homes provide the sellers with a 5-15% return on their investment. Staged homes sell 90% faster than those not staged, even in this great market! I also design and remodel interiors for homeowners. My mentor and partner is a real estate redeveloper/investor. I remodel and design the properties he purchases before they are put up for sale. When I first started, I hated the fact that interior designers wanted a fortune in a retainer just to come to my home.

I feel I am known for working with any client and any budget and create the most beautiful spaces within their budget. My motto is that ‘beautiful design should be accessible to all no matter the budget. I spend time knowing my clients (even those I stage for) and incorporate details into their design that speaks to their loves, hobbies, desires, etc. I place so much emphasis on the details to ensure I have thought of everything. My biggest challenge is knowing when to stop! I can always do one more thing, one more accessory… etc.

I am most proud of when a realtor or a home seller contracts me to stage their home and then they love my work so much they want me to design their new place! This happens to me all the time, and I love it! I am so proud that they love my work so much they trust me to design their own personal space! I don’t just do the minimum and get out. I go way out of my way to be sure that all the details have been thought of, and my goal is to always exceed their expectations. I truly LOVE what I do and when a client loves it too, that is my reward!

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I love Miami, the 305!! I am a South Florida girl through and through! I love the diversity of people, food, music, etc. If you want it you can probably find it here. Not to mention the beaches and the warm weather year-round.

The only thing I can think of that I dislike about my city is the traffic. But a small price to pay to live in paradise!

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