Cameron: Hey guys, Cameron here! I’m here with Christina with Spiral Design consulting. Christina, how are you doing?
Christina Kittelstad: I am good!
Cameron: Well, Christina is so awesome, she helps my company out; Ace Hardware Pro Painters with color, she is an amazing designer and knows everything about it.
So, we are going to talk with her about her business today. Christina let’s start off… how did you get into doing color?
Christina: Probably about 18 years ago, I was working for a National Arts Education non-profit, and I loved it.
I have an Arts background, and I actually got really burned out, it was a lot of work, I managed about 150 professional artists.
Christina: And I started doing color on the side as a hobby.
Every time my husband would come home, a different wall in our house would be painted with a different color.
He had no idea what had changed each day, he knew something had changed.
So, I had people start asking me for this as a hobby, and I just decided to go for it, I loved it and it came easily to me, and I had to make a career choice.
We wanted to start a family, and my whole family, there was a huge long history and everyone being entrepreneurs and owning their own businesses, so I should have known all along that this was what was going to happen, so I just decided to go for it and I have no plan B at all.
Cameron: Wow! And how did that feel? It must have been crazy.
Christina: It was super crazy and super scary, but I was really done with what I was doing.
I loved the work that I had and loved the experiences and the time that I had with it, but I was done, you know, when you are ready, you are ready.
Christina: Like there is nothing to do, but just do it and go for it, and that’s where I was at, and everybody was super supportive.
There was a lot of deep breath for the first 6 months, like am I totally crazy?
But no, everything fell into place, the doors kept opening, so I just kept going for it, and it’s like they say, fake it till you make it.
And I did, so I just kept going for it, and I loved it, and I got certified, and got a lot more textbook knowledge about all of it, and mostly hands-on experience, because it’s like painting, you just have to do it, learn it.
Cameron: You got to jump in right?
Cameron: And how many years ago was that? Just to get a timeline…
Christina: That was about 18 years ago.
Cameron: Wow! So, that’s like 2001-issh?
Cameron: And how was the market back then?
Christina: You know, it was about the same as it is now, but I can say this, the year I started going full time in this, I think it was maybe around 2007.
I decided to start my own business and go for it, right when the economy crashed.
So, everybody really thought, are you insane?
I thought, what am I doing?
It is such a bad plan, and then I realized I was doing okay, and I was loving it.
I was getting clients and I thought, hey, if I can do this in recession and be successful, and I can survive this year or two, then I am golden.
If I can do it when it is this tough, then why not? That was kind of the test for me.
Cameron: That’s so cool. And one of the coolest things about Christina is the process and what you do for your Color Consulting, it’s amazing, and our customers love it.
So, can you go into detail on that?
Christina: Yes. So, every client I work with gets a full color consultation, so I actually do everything virtual now.
Over the last 18 years, I have done in-home, in-person consultations, and virtual.
I decided a few years ago to go strictly virtual because I found myself on the road all the time travelling.
All those hours a day, at least 3 hours a day could have been spent working on my client’s color, and working on those projects and really making sure that they were exactly what my clients wanted, so I started doing all virtual.
So, the way it works is a client would call me and say, hey, we are painting one room, or a whole house, or the exterior, and they will send me photos of their home, with a phone or whatever.
Just to give me a sense of the space, and then we do a phone consultation, and emails too, my clients love email, even text, super text friendly.
When people are at work, and they don’t want to be on the phone talking about paint colors for their house when they are in a board meeting, they can text me.
Cameron: That’s great.
Christina: Yeah, so we can get it done. And then I send them a written color plan, that goes room-by-room, wall-by-wall, tells them exactly what their colors should be, and then they take that and the color test.
I love when time allows to have really nice oversize colors swatch mailed to them in the mail, to your door, so you have something really nice and big to look at compared to those little, tiny swatches.
And I feel like that saves them a lot of time, because they can look at those big swatches, narrow them down to their favorite, then spend money on the test samples.
So it just saves a lot of time and they have something fun to look at, they don’t have to leave their house, they don’t have to take time out of their day to have me meet with them, like come home from work at lunch time for an hour, and they are stressed, so they can’t think about color, because they got to get back to the office.
This just makes it easier so they don’t have to stress about making quick decisions on something this big.
Cameron: That is fantastic and it is like such an easy process compared to actually doing that whole thing.
Christina: yeah, so easy… And you know, sometimes clients get really nervous and worried, because to them this is a really big thing, it is overwhelming and it’s stressful and so they get really worried that the process is really in-depth.
I get like a lot of guy-client actually too… they are like, I don’t know about those design stuff, I have never worked as a designer, and I am like, it’s paint, we can do this, it’s okay.
And then they give me the process and I am like, it’s so simple, because I hand them the plan, it’s easy.
Cameron: And that’s the best part, you get multiple options.
You get like body color, a trim color and asking color, for an exterior, interior, you will get different rooms and different options.
Christina: Exactly! And I talk with each client to find out what their design style is, what their tastes are, what kind of colors they love, which colors they hate.
So we are not wasting time and I am not giving them what I think is going to look good necessarily, as much as what I think the client wants to see.
So, I will give my recommendations, but also what I know they really would like, and what would be nice in their house.
Cameron: So, question… What are some of the popular colors right now?
Christina: Grey. Grey is still popular, I would say we are going back a little bit more towards those cooler greys, well, you are seeing more like greyish.
I knew this was going to happen, because say like 10 years ago, everything was bayland, and then everything went completely grey overnight, and everybody wanted grey, and then people were kind of finding “oh, we got to find something in the middle”.
A lot of people in their homes, like mine have different finishes, so they still have some of the older bay finishes too, they don’t want to have to rip everything out and start over, so it helps to combine the two, white trim is still very popular, clean white trim and warm white trims too…
Cameron: One thing though with grey, and this is one of the reasons why you should do color consulting, there is a lot of greys, so grey is popular but you can get it so wrong with grey, that’s why you ask Christine about it.
Christina: Yeah. Lighting makes a big difference with greys and you can look at it on a swatch in home dipos or Sherman Williams or Benjamin Moore, wherever you are at.
You can look at it and then take it home and put it on your wall, and when you look at it, it is completely different, so it matters.
Cameron: Excellent. What is like one of the best ways to just get started with a virtual color consulting?
Obviously, through me… we work together a lot, but for somebody who wants to get a hold of you, how do they do that?
Christina: So, the easiest thing to do is either, go to my website; spiraldesignsinc.com or just Google Spiral Designs Color Consulting, and my website will pop right up at the top.
And you just click on the link on the homepage that says, let’s work together, and all you do is just put your name and your phone number in, and I will give you a call, and you can tell me what you are having painted, what your timeline is.
I can give you a free quote that way, so you can get a sense of what the cost would be and what is involved, but I can tell you I am extremely affordable.
Cameron: Yes, absolutely. And I guess before we are finished here… is there anything else that I didn’t bring up that you want to talk about or mention?
Christina: I don’t think so; I think we covered everything. I would just say, don’t be scared of the process.
A lot of times, I get people say, we can do this ourselves, we’ve got two days, let’s just do this ourselves.
Well, it only takes me a day or two max to get colors to a plan.
Cameron: I’d say that’s even on a long end… I have seen a couple quick ones she does.
Christina: If you are painting a whole house, and you are paying professional painters to come in and do it right, the cost of the color consultation is nothing, to make sure that you get it right, and not just make it look good.
You can make it look okay, picking colors on your own, but to make it look amazing, a home where you want to come to and place you love, I think that’s the difference.
Cameron: Awesome. And before we go, I just want to say Christine is so easy to work with, and such a nice person, she’s the best.
She brings so much value and it’s an easy process, so I am highly recommending her.
Before we go, I always ask this question, do you have a favorite coffee or favorite tea?
Christina: I can’t drink coffee, I can’t do caffeine, which is a really big bother, as a business owner, a mom and all those things, but chai… too much ginger chai, I drink it so much.
Cameron: Awesome. Thank you so much…
Christina: Of course, thank you for having me.