My Journey To Owning A Home Staging Business




Feature Friday - Showhomes Minneapolis

Ann Jensen-Warren owns and operates Showhomes Minneapolis, providing home staging and interior design services in the Minneapolis metro area.

Ann was instrumental in bringing Showhomes to the Minneapolis market in 2003. She has worked with designers and stagers for many years in creating beautiful home environments. Ann's work as a photo stylist in commercial photography allowed her to serve clients such as Target.com, Macy's, Marshall Fields, Department 56, Hershey's, etc. She is a creative individual with a keen eye for visual marketing. Whether in print or creating beautiful spaces, she is known for her creative flair.

"It was the elements of creating a stunning picture that compelled me to hone in on my craft, whether working with food, fashion, or home interiors. Others recognized my skills WAY before I did!  While entertaining one evening, a friend saw how I presented the food and suggested I become a food stylist. She opened many doors for me in pursuing that path! Years later, another friend suggested I buy this home staging business. He too could see my aptitude for creating beautiful homes. When I look back at my early years of journaling, it always points back to creating beautiful homes. I finally got the message!"

In addition to Ann's RESA-Pro® Membership, she also became a RESA® Approved Instructor, teaching real estate agents "Staging To Sell, What Every Agent Should Know".  She is an active member of her local RESA® Minneapolis Chapter and most recently presented an educational session on photo-styling for RESACON Virtual 2021.

"I love my local RESA® group! Everyone is eager to share, learn and grow from one another. The national group is equally supportive! It would be difficult to do this business alone."

 

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SHOWHOMES MINNEAPOLIS

Learn more about Ann:

Good staging should..

Have great communication skills with the homeowner, realtor and any other interested parties! Understand their vision for hiring you and deliver a product that WOWS!

When I am not working I enjoy...

Hanging out at home with friends and family. I love enjoying the outdoors whether that includes reading a good book on a comfy chair outside, walking along one of the many tree lined trails in MN or getting out on a boat and feeling the wind in my hair!

Before I was staging...

I was a full time/stay at home mom for 17 years (BEST JOB EVER), then I became a photo stylist, followed by owning an e-commerce business and, finally, I became a home stager (second best job ever)!

My favorite meal after a long day of staging is...

My husband takes such great care of me! He always has a wonderful meal prepared for me at the end of a long day! I can't pick just one thing!

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SHOWHOMES MINNEAPOLIS

When faced with a struggle...

I tend to dig deep into myself to find the answers to challenges. I surround myself with friends who know me well and whom I trust for valuable advice. Faith, self-discipline and integrity go a long ways in solving life's most challenging times.

My go to staging accessory is...

Pillows, pillows and more pillows!

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?

I like to use my time in the car to make phone calls, catch up on local news or tune in to faith radio. If I'm truly in the mood to be alone with my thoughts it is about how to grow the business or concerns for my kiddos.

My motto is...

We are better together!

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SHOWHOMES MINNEAPOLIS

How did you start your staging career? 

By playing with Barbie dolls, of course!

If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?

I move around a lot, so this should be an easy question for me!  

  1. My car for transportation.
  2. My favorite down filled pillow for a good night's sleep.
  3. My favorite soft night gown because I like being comfortable.
  4. A small suitcase with a week's worth of clothes when I can't be in my pj's.
  5. My cell phone so I can keep up with my family and have access to email and files for work.

My morning ritual is...

Enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee with my husband while we chat about the day ahead!

In the next 5 years...

There is so much I want to do in the next five years...where to begin? I want to continue to grow my home staging business adding more interior design services to the mix of what we already do.

I would also love to carve more travel into the landscape of what I do.  I have kids spread out in lovely places to visit and would love to spend more time with them.  My husband's career allows him to work internationally.  I would love to travel with him and explore the world.

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SHOWHOMES MINNEAPOLIS

Who is your role model and why?

One of my greatest role models is my biggest competitor! She is a good business woman and not afraid to share with me what she has done to be successful. Her motto is "We are better together"! I have embraced those words as I share my craft with others!

Why did you choose to become a stager?

I've always loved visual marketing. When I read a magazine, it is the visual images that speak to me more than the words. My mind takes in the beauty around me and I am drawn to create a visual impression.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

Sleeping in...a cup of coffee (or two), jumping in the boat and stopping for breakfast at our local favorite spot...back on the boat for a few hours of exploring, home for a nap, dinner with friends while watching the sunset.

When you are in a rut creatively where do you go or what do you do to get out of it?

I go to my team! I love the collaboration I have with my team members as well as other RESA® members. We have a very active RESA® chapter in Minneapolis and we find support in each other's ideas. Additionally, I keep ideas fresh in visiting local high end retail stores and attending market in order to see the latest and greatest home fashion trends.