Sometimes we wander aimlessly in our life and do not listen to the whispers of our hearts. When you can tune into the calling upon your life and take action on that calling, that is where your unmuted life begins. As for Michelle Harper, she listened to her call and boldly stepped away from a lucrative 15-year corporate career to courageously chase down her dreams.
“Why am I in a miserable sales job when my passion is design and helping people love their homes?”
Michelle Harper asked herself that simple question that ultimately changed her course forever. Having followed the corporate path for 15 years, she finally took a chance on chasing down her own dreams of building an interior design business. With her homey mission and desire to create warmth, love, and joy inside of people’s homes, Right Next Door Designs was formed. While the transition was challenging and change takes courage, she hit the ground running and has never looked back.
She was motivated for change so that she could spend more time with her children instead of on the road selling for others. Through prayer, introspection, and timely inspiration from a church service, she knew that, “God does have a purpose for all of us. We all have a calling.” While she faces obstacles and new challenges regularly, she says, “I never gave it a thought in terms of success or failure or anything like that, I was just going to do what God called me to do.”
Her jump start was a Facebook post that resulted in her initial clientele. Now, only three years later, she has built an interior design client base and a retail space all while keeping the main thing the main thing: keeping her children a priority. When asked how she balances her business with her family as a single mom, she reveals that she handles it in stride. She always tries to be home for the kids but gives herself grace if she cannot do it that day. Michelle is also very passionate about setting a good example of her work ethic so that she can teach them the core values of making a good life happen.
Michelle knows that it takes much energy, drive, and focus to live a good life and as much as she works on the interior design of people’s homes, she also believes on working on the interior self. Her personal mission is to remember that, “I am a proud, joyful, and loving mom, grandmother, sister, daughter, and friend who strives to be a role model to all who I encounter. I want to help others achieve all that God meant them to be.”
Michelle takes her core values into the work she does inside people’s homes. For her, design is based on joyful living and a happy home.
When you meet Michelle, you will get a warm welcome and more than most likely leave with a hug. You can find her at her retail shop, Right Next Door Designs, in The Woodlands, shows, lacrosse games with her kids, and working on client home transformations. She has a big vision for the future and what is next for her business. The best is yet to come!
To find out more about what is on Michelle Harper’s mind, listen to her on The Unmuted Life Podcast.
Red, wind-blown curls and a bright smile greeted me as I heard a “tap, tap, tap,” on my car window. I rolled down the window to an electric personality and vibrancy that is nearly impossible to resist. “I need to know you,” she said, “can we meet for coffee?” And that is how I met Kathryn Vernon.
Kathryn is a native Texan. She speaks her mind, tells the truth, and follows her heart. She is determined, friendly, and has the gift of gab. She possesses a special gift of magnetism, and it shines through immediately.
Kathryn is part of the millennial generation who are known for appreciating authenticity and bringing fresh energy into life and work. What makes Kathryn stand out is that already in her life she has achieved levels of greatness by simply living out her authenticity and listening to the calls of the spirit.
Her path to graduation from Texas A&M with a degree in Sociology was the scenic route. While her course was not conventionally direct, the wisdom and experience she gained through her journey are priceless. Since high school, she had the initiative to begin several businesses and devoted her spare time to volunteering at an equine therapy center. As of late, with her strong communication skills, fearless attitude, and warm approach, she has embarked on a career in marketing and business development.
She and I have visited with each other a few times: coffee, a Lions Club meeting, phone calls, and 2 podcast interviews (long story). We are never short on anything to talk about and each time I learn about her, I know that she is onto something big. In my world, I call it the “it” factor. She certainly has IT. During our first coffee (in which we were so chatty that we visited well past our appointment time) we embarked on a conversation of faith. This is where Kathryn’s story becomes especially radiant as she shared a story about her leap of faith at age 21 to embark on a mission trip to South Africa. For 3 months she poured into the people of South Africa. The experience and lessons she learned during her time there made an imprint on her heart that she carries into her daily living. She loved the beauty and the food of the place, but mostly she fell in love with the people.
She cared for and loved on children who were orphaned, HIV positive, and other varieties of challenges. She visited the elderly and aided the people in anyway that she could. Kathryn wholeheartedly lived in her moment and with joy, she served.
She knows that The Lord put it on her heart to go to South Africa, and while she knows that not everyone is called to go on a mission trip she does lend some advice that can be applied to any calling that you feel may be on your life. These are just a quick excerpt of the conversation we shared on The Unmuted Life Podcast. It is well worth the listen:
Kathryn is an example of living an unmuted life! She strives to live in her light, use her gifting and talents, and follow the missions presented to her. When asked what is next, she is not sure. She knows another mission is in her future as is sharing her faith and journey through her new blog:
She will be one to follow as more of her story unfolds. Check out her interview on The Unmuted Life Podcast to find out what her top 3 suggestions are to lead an unmuted life!
Have you jumped on the Marie Kondo Bandwagon? I have, well, I am a little bit of a de-clutterer anyway. Clutter is not good for my state of mind. It creates stress and reduces my creativity. Trust me, I am in no way perfect at the clutter crisis in my home. In fact, with 2 teenagers, two fur babies, a husband on the go and a modern lifestyle, we collect just as much stuff as anybody else! Oftentimes, it finds itself pile up next to the refrigerator, stacked in a “pending” bin in my office, or waiting in some inconvenient location in my house for me to “deal” with it. If you are ever a guest in my home, there are a few scary closets and drawers that I would advise you not to open!
With all of that being said, I am also a big advocate of getting rid of things. Quite frankly, we do not need it all. It clutters our mind, spirit, and well-being. Clutter can attribute to debt, weight, and other types of hoarding or excess tendencies. Master Organizer, Peter Walsh, is a good resource on that type of clutter and has several books on the topic. Marie Kondo is another organizer on the scene that has ignited the sparking joy approach. She has taken Netflix and the world by storm with her “Tidying Up” program inspiring many to toss the junk and tidy up! Both of these organizing gurus are inspiration for me to live an unmuted and uncluttered life!
I talk more about tossing the clutter and the Kondo Craze on my latest podcast. You can listen here:
Have you started your own decluttering journey?
Well, I got brave and took off my chicken hat and formally kicked off my Podcast! If you are one of the brave listeners, thank you. We are all a work in progress and each of us has dreams to embrace and fears to kick to the curb! This podcast, my friends, is BOTH for me!!
If you are in the mood to listen to me gab- you will get to hear me discuss fanny packs, haters, one-word selection, and living a life unmuted!
Thank you for your support! (And kindness!)
Are you feeding your faith or fear?
Listen to the newest episode of my podcast, The Unmuted Life: An Unmuted Moment: Faith https://anchor.fm/stacey-jata/episodes/An-Unmuted-Moment-Faith-e2bgn0
While it is difficult to get away for a full weekend, it is still important and desirable to decompress and come back to center. On occasion, it is necessary to refill our spiritual self so that we can continue to pour out into our daily obligations and loves.
As women, we possess the “feminine genius.” We are uniquely designed to have many files open at once and take care of the complexities of life. We are blessed with emotional endurance and sacrifice greatly in all areas of life and love. We embrace, empower, organize, rush, balance, and attempt to do it all with grace. Each of those areas provides an added hole in our bucket, which can drain quickly if we are not mindful.
To replenish ourselves, it is important that we seek to refuel and recenter. By putting ourselves first, even for a few hours, our spirit buckets are filled and we are ready to gracefully step back into our lives with a clearer vision of our self and greater love for those that we encounter.
In the spirit of putting ourselves into an intentional time out, I invite you to the Realign Your Compass Mini-Retreat.
At the relaxing Salt Remedy, Nature’s Therapy location on 1488, we will partake in a little “wine down,” breathe in the healing and relaxing salt air and visit the topics of mission and purpose.
Please come join me for this 2-hour retreat. The space is very limited, you will want to reserve your space early.