Can I just start by saying I love everything Denise Roberts touches. Like everything. The first time I walked into her store, Love Ding, (a take on her nickname, Ding) I wanted to move in. Just peep her instagram and you’ll know exactly what I mean. You immediately forgot that Love Ding was housed in a huge warehouse by the way she styled it. Denise decorated Pinterest-worthy vignettes throughout the space that were blended perfectly with vintage finds and modern goods. And you could always find the perfect gift and card for friends. Lucky for us, her store is now online and since closing the doors to focus on the online shop, she is now entering the world of home staging. Just look at this Desert Chic baby shower she styled for us earlier this year and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Denise invited us to her home and shared her tips for time management, shopping vintage goods and finding inspiration.
What was the inspiration behind starting Love Ding?
My parents are small business owners as well and have always shown me the hard work involved in starting a business but were always super reassuring about how rewarding it is. I was also inspired by the “shop local” movement and saw there was a need for awesome-nessin South Austin!
How did your business grow from being an idea to a real business? Any tips for our readers who want to their ideas to the next level?
Everything just sort of fell into place for me; right time, right place type of thing. You can’t let your ideas die because of bumps along the road, I think a strong support system really helps to keep you on track. There were days when I felt like a failure and only those around me could help me see the positives in these situations and encourage me to keep trying.
Where do you find inspiration?
Social media and the internet is crazy; I can spend hours on Pinterest dreaming up my next inventory purchases and how to style beautiful rooms!
Can you give us any advice when shopping for vintage goods?
I say go with your gut – If something catches your eye, it’s probably for a good reason. Just a little practice can help you hone in the skill of looking above and beyond all the not-so-cute finds in thrift stores. Also, don’t let the excitement of finding an awesome item keep you away from giving it a once-over to check for major flaws.
How do you stay on top of design trends and all the new products that pop up?
Oh gosh, it’s gotta be social media on this also. I follow tons of designers and magazines on social media and am constantly staying in the loop.
What is your process for staging a room?
I like to see a space in person before I stage it. I get a feel for the style of the home and can usually pick a few key/larger pieces that will ground the room and fill in pretty accessories to compliment the homes style.
You are a one-woman show. Do you have any tips for managing your time? When and how do you work best?
This is probably the hardest thing! Time management is key – I make lists. Daily lists, weekly lists, monthly lists. Even if an item on my daily list says “read all unread emails”, being able to check something off helps to keep me positive and moving forward.
What does a typical weekend look like for you? Favorite places to hang?
I loooove food. Right now, I’m making my way down the Top 10 BBQ places in Texas as picked by Austin Monthly! I also love the water so in the summer I’m usually out by the pool working on my tan.
We love your instagram feed! Any social media/photography tips for our readers?
This take a lot of practice! I read photography blogs + study other peoples feeds. It took me a long time to figure out what my followers love to see on my Insta and sometimes I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing! Take lots and lots and lots of photos and ask other tastemakers for help/advice! I don’t have a super duper fancy camera but I have invested lots of time editing in Adobe Lightroom (watch YouTube videos), it really just takes practice. Once you find your photo style, you’ll get faster and faster at editing. I also like to shoot in the morning when the sun isn’t beaming super harsh into a space – it’s better if the light is indirect, you’ll get bright photos but with softer shadows. VSCO Cam is a great app for editing photos on mobile, super user friendly and an easy way to bump up the brightness in a photo.
What’s next for Love Ding?
I’d love to become a household name for home staging in Austin, thats where I’m headed! Of course, I’ll still have my online shop which I’m constantly trying to make better and better. Also, watch out for me in pop-ups around town!