When I say "a" you say "ha"...

The "Aha!" Moment.  We all have them.  It could be a flash of inspiration, a coincidence or a simple connecting of the dots.  Its a defining moment where the light bulb goes off and you gain clarity, and maybe even a bit of knowledge that changes or strengthens the path you are on. 
While attending Blogfest, House Beautiful did a presentation pertaining to this, and they asked us bloggers to give them our own personal "Aha Moment".  
 I only had to think for a second of the image that has changed the direction of my path in design, and my career for the most part.  These wardrobes:

I know you have all seen them about 100 times on the blog here, but let me tell you the rest of the story. 

 It was Summer 2010 and I was working the above guest room for a client.  My good friend Cheryle Rhuda had a workroom and was helping me with all the soft treatments.  We got along great and often toyed with the idea of starting a joint business together.  We would frequently sit on a rock in my yard after a tough install and toss around ideas, but nothing ever took root.   Every idea seemed to have been done already or felt too forced.

 Back to the picture.  I had just painted and dressed up a pair of old IKEA Pax wardrobes with a piece of mirror, some crown molding and some vintage fretwork panels found at a flea market for a client's guest room.  When Cheryle came over to deliver the pillows and draperies and I showed them to her.  Neither one of us couldn't get over how these fretwork panels transformed the once drab inexpensive cabinets into something so high end and custom looking.  We had other clients that we wanted to do this for too, but we couldn't find anymore panels.

And just like that the lightbulb went off, our unexpected "Aha" moment.  We had found our niche. We would make fretwork panels that would fit standard flat furniture.
It took about a year of designing and scouring for resources, endless road trips to IKEA measuring drawers and doors and a whole lot of wine until O'verlays were born.  We realized that we could still be sitting on that rock searching for inspiration, but it was those two cabinets and some flea market panels that accidentally led to our big "aha!" moment and forever changed our paths.  

So, what is your moment? I want to know.

9 comments:

nouveaustitch.com said...

Love this story! I hope you gals make a million bucks...no, really! This is exactly as it should be. Great idea, intestinal fortitude {read VERY hard work} to pull it off.

Ellen

Aimee said...

1) That photo is amazing, and you deserve all the success you're having, and 2) to answer your question, I haven't had the aha moment yet. Everything I've done so far seems forced (granted, I haven't been in this game too long!) but I'm banking on sucking early and succeeding later. ;-) Thanks for all the inspiration, Danika!

Aimee @ sixteenfourteen.weebly.com

Ashley said...

Fantastic story, especially to hear how you and Cheryle had a real 'meeting of the minds'. Talk about a very fabulous partnership.

Tiffany Leigh {thedesignerlifestyle} said...

So inspirational! I'm so glad you had this aha moment...it's brilliant!
Tiffany
tiffanyleighinteriordesign.blogspot.com

kayce hughes said...

I don't know but I love yours! I am working on a new store in Atlanta and I am hoping to incorporate some of your fretwork.
I hope that you are having a great Summer.

Sharon@house58blog.com said...

Still waiting for that moment to come! However, I am so grateful for gals like you who provide wonderful inspiration!

Nancy said...

That is a wonderful moment and ensuing business you have! I need to think about when a big AHA moment happened to me...there isn't one on the top of my head.
Nancy
Powellbrowerhome.com

lookingatglass said...

What a wonderful idea and product. I love those aha moments. You can bet I'll be sharing the O'verlays site on my blog. Great way to make mirrors and windows into something special. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success!

The Cuban In My Coffee said...

What a lovely post. I'm thrilled for you and your success. I think I may do a post on my "aha" moment which were the series of events that made me go on my own. You never know unless or until you take risks.

XOXO,
Whitney

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