Paige Bolen, Interior Designer and Decorator
Follow Paige on Instagram: @PaigeBolen
Contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As all of you know, that we come up with stories on how someone lands into their careers and life. We may assume that one went to college and then landed the job of their dreams learning and growing until the perfect planned time to open their business. As a business owner, I have realized this is far from the truth. Every person’s story is actually very different and filled with magic, synchronicity and the ability to take leaps of faith in following their heart. It does come with stress and fear that absolutely tests the level of faith one has in God and themselves. It comes with challenges that seem to push one to the edge of wondering how much strength and courage they have only to find out they find a deeper faith in God and themselves.
This is very much true for Paige’s story. I met Paige Bolen many years ago through being a massage therapist at a chiropractor’s office. She is an interior designer and decorator. Paige has a warm and loving presence! After speaking with her, I was inspired listening to her journey and how she grounded into her calling as an interior designer and decorator.
Paige is no stranger of her faith being tested. Her and her husband Bryan had some of their first tests with their youngest daughter becoming ill with meningitis and it tragically caused the loss of her hearing. Then, the tragedy of Bryan being severely injured on the job and the recovery of the injuries he sustained. Yet through all of this, Paige and Bryan have an unbreakable faith in God and Jesus. It is evident since the first time I met both of them, that they are very connected to their faith and radiate this faith and love to those they meet and love.
You are very talented in your creative ability as an Interior decorator, how did you know you wanted to decorate as your career/calling?
I always had a sense for color and aesthetics. I didn’t go to college after high school. I was fortunate to find a great paying job in the construction industry and worked in that job for a long time. Then one day, a friend of mine and I decided to start a side business for extra income decorating offices for the Holidays. We met at the McDonald’s playground and came up with this idea that it would be a fun thing to do since they used to decorate the company Christmas tree. (Laughter) “Somehow this made us an expert”.
We went back to the house and I pulled out the phone book and started calling seeing if anyone needed Christmas decorating while my friend watched and distracted the kids. Sure enough that first year, by the grace of God, we got some clients. I called arena since they just opened that year, they said they were actually taking bids and encouraged us to submit a bid. I wasn’t sure about it and learned so much from this experience and more along the way. We actually won the Arena bid, Channel 10, and other big accounts.
I realized early on that business is about relationships and cultivating those relationships. We thought commercial jobs would be a really good way to earn money but realized that we did better in homes. People were more appreciative and we enjoyed the one on one personal decorating with clients. I also have learned with this business, what you don’t know, you find out. This then grew to beyond to other personal decorating projects from these clients.
Could you tell me about your journey to becoming an interior designer? Were you always self-employed?
No, I worked for a home builder for 12 years in Contract administration and directly worked with the home buyers/construction side/mortgage and the field workers. That background gave me the experience to transition into decorating such as learning the construction process and even reading blue prints that I utilize all the time now. I know what it is like to work with tradesmen and contractors.
Do you remember any one defining moment that changed your whole outlook on life and your journey to becoming who you are today?
I have been self-employed for 25 years! It was helpful fun money and went from this little flexible income in the beginning to having to step up being the income provider when Bryan, my husband was injured on his job. I had taken a development job at the kid’s school. I was doing the development job, Holiday decorating jobs and interior design jobs. We were in survival mode at that point in time because for three years we thought Bryan would get better and go back to work. We didn’t think he would ever be on disability.
I took some college courses to learn about the industry as well in effort to overcome the fears of what I didn’t know. There, I learned I knew more than I thought I did. I had to learn how to do things that I resisted because I didn’t feel I was good at those skills.
What were some of the big challenges on this journey of being self-employed?
Having confidence that I know what I am doing and building that confidence in my abilities and business. Being resourceful helped in learning and figuring things out. I am grateful for the challenges it pushed me out of my comfort zone and showed me what I was capable of. I realized, I am really good working with people and details. I realized that I don’t have to be good at every skill in design. Something valuable I have learned is that in partnering with people on projects whose skills complement mine.
How did you overcome these challenges?
God provision: God will take care of us and we have to trust. I am grateful for the struggles; for the financial challenges and the other challenges in our lives. These things force you to have faith in God. Bryan and I place Jesus in the center of our marriage.
What were the top two beliefs or fears you had to overcome to create the life you have now? How did you do it? You have a deep faith in God, how does this guide your life?
Learning to trust in God in all areas of my life and let go of control issues which really are insecurity and fear. I realized, I am not in control and to trust God. God loves me and wants the best for me. I see how “God” uses and has used our family to encourage and inspire others in their lives. We have inspired so many people over the years with the story of our struggles and faith. It has helped instill hope for them to face their challenges.
God is my lifeline! I have always been a part of Bible study and led bible study for many years.
Now this is something really important I realized: I just “fell” into my calling. Over time, I realized it was ok to be a mom, work and to admit the turmoil I had of choosing one or the other. I didn’t have to choose one or the other. I was able to have both and be a mother first and foremost with being self-employed.
Any favorite books or inspirational tools you use to help you through challenges in life?
The bible is important to me. God’s word is alive. I read many scripturally based books. I have read tons of marriage books. One of my favorite books and I feel everyone should be required to read is Dale Carnegie’s “How to win Friends and Influence People”. It is about building relationships.
I listen to K-Love and try to start my morning quiet listening for God’s message. I control what goes into my mind and environment. Gratitude is important!! You have to do what you can do to have that alone time with God just a little bit every day. It doesn’t have to be “perfect”. It’s not about not making mistakes. It’s about how quickly we can get back to God. That is the sign of growth; how quickly we can get back to God and focus on what’s important. We all have struggles and it is a journey. Let go and trust God to get you through. Be grateful for the struggles.
What would you tell someone who is struggling taking the leap to do the calling they love?
Trust in the Lord. It’s not about you! It is about what you are doing to bring glory to the kingdom. You just need to follow God’s calling for you. How is God trying to work through you?
If you can earn money doing what you love and helping others, then I encourage them to do it.
What do you feel from your experience is the key to happiness?
For so long, I lived from short term pleasure to short term pleasure (living from paycheck to paycheck). What I realized with God it is about long term happiness. You can find joy and peace in the hard times. We have had our fair share of that. Trusting in Christ, that whatever you are going through, it is going to be ok!
Happiness is a choice. It is a choice of trusting God and it is an exercise to remind yourself, “Oh, I am not going to go there with my thoughts and emotions. I am going to choose thoughts of faith in God that bring me peace and happiness”. It is our responsibility to share our struggles to inspire others. We are not perfect. It is about trusting and loving God.
Thank you Paige for being so open and vulnerable with your journey and inspiring our readers to answer their call that God is calling them! Your story is a true inspiration of how love and faith gives strength, guidance including opening the doors of love and opportunity in life. To contact Paige Bolen follow her on Instagram @PaigeBolen, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/paige.bolen.1?pnref=friends.search and/or email her at email@example.com.