Real Estate Staging / Home Staging Blog


Where is that Staging Waldo?

Many of you have emailed wondering just where the heck I have been for the last month. Well, I really have no better explanation than to say that I have been busy "working" on many things I needed to do to succeed in a market that has thrust upon us all new challenges. While there have been quite a few changes around here... I thought I would share some of the bigger things that have been keeping me busy.

Soon after my trip in December to Sacramento and the Stage It Forward Round Table discussion held there... the holidays were upon us. And typical, for that time of year, my life got "holiday" busy.  So, while there were plenty desire to play in the Rain, there was really no time. But as time went on I found I was actually enjoying my break, for it gave me some space to reflect on all that has/was/is transpiring in my life, in the real esate industry and with my staging career. If you ever have been on a religious retreat you know the clarity you can get when you remove yourself from what normally surrounds you... this is what I found myself needing and doing.

One thing I really got clear on was the fact that my life was not in balance. To be honest I felt the imbalance for awhile... but it became crystal clear to me when I was in Sacramento. During the Round Table discussion one of the attendees made the comment. "You can't serve two masters." WOW, while I have heard those words before... they rang very true in a new way for me that day.

I finally "got" what those closest to me were saying was true. I was trying to do so much for others and the industry and in the process literally neglecting what I needed to do for me. I was depleting myself down to near exhaustion. You would think I would have got a clue when I found it quite disheartening to look at myself in a mirror and literally saw a stranger looking back... all that I had taken on was taking its toll.

Then to add insult to "injury" (or should I say vanity?) I received the bill for my health insurance premium. An unfortunate reality of being self employed is the fact that you are sometimes not able to benefit from a group health plan. To be insured you need to be self insured. Well the bill for my QUARTERLY premiums, for a policy that doesn't even cover the cost of meds, arrived. The quartely premium went up from $2,500 to $3,800... that is a whopping $1,300 more per quarter! OR put another way... it was going to cost me ANOTHER $5,200 a year more to stay insured! It doesn't help that a few years ago I had a bout with cancer... so I have a nasty pre-existing condition that makes switching plans almost impossible.

This shocking reality that I was now going to have to spend $15,200 annually for health insurance forced me to really look at what was/is working to my benefit financially and what is not.

I reflected on what I believe the home staging industry needs, what it wants and what it will allow itself to have. I have come to a personal conclusion that for a number of reasons, at this point, the industry is just is not ready to allow itself to have what it needs to be in alignment with what many want and see is possible. While there are many factors that keep us where we are, one thing I see working against us is an underlying degree of mistrust and mean spiritedness that keeps us trudging forward instead of soaring. But we are were we are, and it is what it is. While I have done and will continue to do all that I can to move this industry forward, it is clear to me that this segment of the real estate industry will unfold (grow) the way it will. I, like many of you, can do what we can to help, but we can not force it to move any faster.

So while I have been and will continue to be committed to staging and the real estate staging industry... I must be judicious and selective where I invest my time, energy and resources so that they best provide me what I need personally, professionally and financially.

While the challenges I face are unique to me... I know they are no greater then those that face you. I have learned that my willingness to be honestly transparent about myself is one of the reasons people appreciate what I say. I share this because I think that many of you are like me... small business owners in a newly developing industry caught in a difficult economy and challenging real estate market. I believe it is important and healthy that we take a good hard look at who we are and who we need to be as we move forward on our own paths. The willingness to be honest with ourselves is an important part of our growth, development and ultimately our success.

So to the many of you that sent me emails or called concerned and wondering where this Waldo went... thank you. He is back Staging It Forward with the same passion and resolve, but in a way that might appear publically to be a little different from what you saw before.


Comment balloon 76 commentsCraig Schiller • January 16 2008 10:03AM


Craig ~ Obviously, not overextending yourself so that your health becomes affected, and being able to sustain your financial responsibilities takes top priority.  I understand what you are saying, and better that you realize and acknowledge this now, before you become burnt out, is best. 
Posted by Kathy Passarette, L.I. Staging/Decorating (Creative Home Expressions) almost 13 years ago

Soooo,you'll be here, but less often?  Doesn't matter. As much or as little as you join us going forward, we exist here because you gave us a place to be.  Your legacy will be far-reaching.  May you enjoy much health and prosperity this year, Craig.

With respect, admiration and gratitude,


Posted by Juliet Johnson, Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing (Vizzitopia) almost 13 years ago

Craig!!!!!!  I have missed you!  Thank you for responding personally to my post looking for you.  I understand the business, just you didn't say goodbye (or so long, I'll be back...nuthin').  After 2 months we start to panic and go through withdrawls!

I definately agree that you've been doing soooo much - probably too much.  You are the one who needs to identify when you've done enough.  You can always ask us to step in and help you when you need it.  Some of us wouldn't mind. 

Thank you for clearing the air, showing up and speaking out (as always)!  It is good to know that we'll still be seeing you, even if it is less of you.  Hey, aren't we the ones who always say less is more? lol.... Take care of what you need to take care of & we'll be here for you when you need us!

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 13 years ago
Craig, you have been missed and I totally understand!  Sending wishes of prosperity, peace and health your way!
Posted by Marci Toliver, Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging (438-4642) almost 13 years ago
 Hey stranger, what a nice surprise to see you posting again. Our health is more valuable than anything, nice to hear you're getting things in balance. be well my friend.
Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... ( almost 13 years ago

So happy to hear you are doing well.  Glad you are able to step back and take care of yourself.  Your passion for the staging industry and colleagues is tremendous.  We will always be grateful for all you do.....or don't do! :) 

Can you say Cabo???

Posted by Janice Sutton, Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta (1st Stage Property Transformations ) almost 13 years ago


I to understand about the insurance and the cost of having a preexisting condition. That is one Reason My partner still holds down a full time job, for the insurance.

We all have missed you and your inspirational posts. I wish you all the best, and can't wait to hear you on the Diva's radio show.

If there is anything you need, We our just minutes away:)

Brian Bloom

Posted by Brian Bloom, All in One Staging Inc. - Home Staging Consultant, Redesign Expert ( 1-630-292-2710) almost 13 years ago
Well, I am new to your posts, but I will enjoy reading these well written insights in the future.
Posted by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck (Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig;

    Nicely done.  I am a firm believer in finding what it is you are most passionate about and directing and focusing your attention on those things that feed our souls as well as our profession.  Some times it means having to let go of things to make room for others.  It's difficult at first, but once we get the hang of it and realize that it is for the overall betterment of ourselves...that's a powerful positive thing.  I am forever reminding myself the destination is not where my focus should be...the journey itself should be savored and enjoyed. 

Take care of yourself first and foremost. 


Posted by Gina McNew, Host of Diva in the House - The Voice of Real Estate Staging Radio (diva la difference interiors) almost 13 years ago
Health insurance is a real problem.  Both my husband and I are self employed with exorbitant out of pocket costs, and I don't think a week goes by without thinking about a job with benefits.  Good luck.
Posted by Eliese Pivarnik, CRS, GRI, ABR, RSPS, Colorado Group Realt (Colorado Group Realty, LLC) almost 13 years ago
Craig: Best wishes for good health, happiness and prosperity in 2008.
Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig...

I figured you would turn up in these parts :)

Glad to hear things are going fairly well. That health insurance thing sucks though. Been there before. 

Anyway...Balance is one of the keys to success. I have also spent some time reevaluating my priorities and aiming towards balance for the good. 

Over the holidays we downsized and the process kept me very busy. Like you it gave me the chance to step back and line things up in a more orderly and beneficial fashion.  

I now limit how much time I spend mouthing off around here. So far I have enjoyed taking my life back.

Sometimes we tend to give so much of ourselves we find there's very little left for us. I see you 'get' that :)  


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) almost 13 years ago
Welcome back Craig, sounds like you have had a heavy dose of introspection... we all need that from time to time. Please stay heathy, well and super-charged for 2008! Best wishes!
Posted by Julianna Hind, REALTOR, 206-679-4768, Tacoma Federal Way, Auburn, Kent, WA (eXp Realty) almost 13 years ago

Craig, I'm so happy to hear you've been taking care of yourself. I just watched Micheal Moore's Sicko last night and was appalled to learn how the insurance companies work to NOT pay out...and work to recover money they have paid out.

It was shocking to hear how much your premiums have gone up but to hear the total amount you pay annually...well, it is a shame such a great country would allow it's citizen's to incur such costs for their health care. Sure, I have to look after myself in Canada, but our homes and business's are not at risk if we don't.

Best wishes for a healthy, happy prosperous 2008!

Posted by Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging (2 Hounds Design + Home Staging) almost 13 years ago

Craig-Your post was so timely for me. I just spent hours online last night shopping for better health insurance. Mine went up too, and I am in a panic. And, like you, I've had cancer (skin) in the past, and most companies don't want to touch me! Really makes you feel like damaged goods!

Anyway, good luck to you! I know this industry can be frustrating, because it may very well be moving forward by baby steps, but we would all prefer big leaps!!!

Posted by Elaine Manes Gage, Staging done ONLINE! (Home Staging Online Services) almost 13 years ago
Craig ~  YOU are not alone.  I know that a lot of us are in the same exact situation.  Balance is key- I wonder why NAR cannot come up with a group plan for Realtor members and affiliates.  I know when I practiced law there were group plans for attorneys.   We do have a health care crises in this country and I hope that one of those politicans will come up with a viable plan.  Thanks for checking in and the best to you in 2008!
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 13 years ago

The inspiration and knowledge you've given and shared with the staging industry cannot be measured.

May 2008 Be Great for you as you keep your priorities in order!!  As always I will look forward to your fabulous posts.     

Posted by Cathy Lee almost 13 years ago
I have you on my subscribed blogs and notice you were not active. I'm glad you are back.
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) almost 13 years ago

Craig -- You look fabulous in stripes!!!! 

The industry is what it is right now, and you, sir, have done so much to educate, motivate, encourage and refine what is the wild west.  I wish you prosperty, health, balance and joy. . .as time goes on and the housing industry finds its footing the moment will be right and I look forward to the result.

Posted by Lori Gilmore, One Savvy Move Home Staging (One Savvy Move) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig Welcome back!!!! Our fearless leader!

I definitely can relate to the Insurance situation, I also went through a cancer scare and the worst part is that since I started my new staging biz this year and I lost the benefits I had when I worked for a big corporation. Unfortunately my partners company will not allow "significant others" to enroll, so I find myself not insured. Is that scary?? or what?

great to C U Around again !

;) Fernando

Posted by Fernando Rosado, 561-906-0050 or 561-840-8950 almost 13 years ago
Yes welcome back Craig. January is the perfect time to start fresh with whatever "new you" you need to be. I know I am doing the same. But if you feel yourself slipping where you don't want to be, come back and read your post. No matter what take care of you!
Posted by Cari Pilon, RE:STYLE Home Staging (RE:STYLE Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig - I'm glad to hear from you.  I think that many of us have readjusted our priorities - it is hard to achieve balance in life but it sounds like you are on the right path.  Be good to yourself.  
Posted by Maureen Maureen almost 13 years ago


Wonderful words.  It is great to see people who have a passion for their work!  Take care of yourself.  Wish you the best in 2008!

Posted by First Last almost 13 years ago

Craig, my friend, I can SO appreciate what you are saying!  I actually reached the place that you are at a good 6 months ago (Active Rain Exposure: Use It or Lose It! ).  I, too, have taken an honest and hard look at my life and decided that, as committed as I am to the Home Staging industry, I needed to find a 'balance' and take some time to live as 'normal' an existence as this business will allow. 

Further, I agree that the Staging industry, as a whole, has some challenging obstacles to overcome.  Your Stage It Forward Round Table discussion groups are becoming a positive force that are helping us to move forward. When we 'network' together, we add 'strength' to our cause. Home Staging is gaining recognition as a viable method to help secure and assure the sale of houses that might otherwise never get a second look!

Like yourself, I have in no way turned my back on this business, and I continue to try to move the industry ahead through my involvement in ASHSR as Chapter President of the Metro NY Chapter.  Through monthly meetings (very much like the Round Table meetups), tri-state area Home Stagers will network and continue the 'good fight' that you and a few other industry professionals have begun - to educate and inform Realtors, Sellers, and the general public about the virtues of Home Staging.

I wish you peace.  I wish you 'space' to find time for yourself, your family and friends.  I wish you time to pursue those seemingly mundane activities that everyone takes for granted - things like reading a good book, watching some mindless TV show (American Idol comes to mind and it's back on!), going for a walk and reveling in the scenery...most of all, I wish you continued good health.

You are doing the right thing, my friend, and seem to be putting your priorities in the proper order.

Be Well!


Posted by Val Allocco, HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island (Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island) almost 13 years ago
Craig ~ Welcome back to the rain ... you were missed.  The idea of ensuring balance in our lives is challenging and necessary.  Do what works for YOU first and you'll be able to help others along the way.  You'll always be our shining star!
Posted by Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging, "Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes" (Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR) almost 13 years ago
Wow Craig, glad to see your face around here again and looking forward to reading more.  Welcome back!
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) almost 13 years ago
Hey Craig - I and many others here in AR are going through similar growing pains. How thoughtful of you to share your position which in turn opens the door for others to share and be honest with themselves and others. WE ARE A FAMILY!
Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 13 years ago


I'm new to the Rain and surprised at just how addictive this place is.  I first found you by your Rants & Ravings blog online and followed that to Stage It Forward and then to AR.  You are the reason I am here.  Staging is my passion and having a place to network with other stagers is so valuable.  I look forward to your future posts, but you don't have to worry about cutting back because your past posts are timeless and will continue to be read and will continue to inspire us. 

I, like Dane, also watched Sicko recently and it infuriated me.  Everyone should watch it and we all should get good and mad.  The way our healthcare system operates in this country is a crime. 

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 13 years ago


I'm fairly new to this rain, not the rain in Washington:). Read your post today and see that you have impacted many folks. I am looking forward to what you have to say, and wish you a very healthy 2008 and beyond.

Posted by Katharine Carey (eXp Realty) almost 13 years ago
Love your new outfit Craig! :)
Posted by Matt Heaton (Timu Corp - CEO, ActiveRain - Co-founder) almost 13 years ago

Hello Craig--Your words are expressive of where your mind and energy have been flowing.  Good for you for taking the time to review your personal desires, needs and search to find a more proper balance.  Though it seems to be a Life-long journey, it is a path we all share.  Thank you for being so open to the many people here who respect and admire you!

While I am hopeful for healthcare changes here in the US, it does not help the immediate issue when you have medical insurance rates which are really too-high.  Though, to go without health insurance when you have had serious health challenges in the past, is not really an option.  I feel for you and will hope that your business carries you and the money flows from many directions!  Namaste...Regards-Kathleen G

Posted by Kathleen Garvey, Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales (HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver) almost 13 years ago


Good to see you back...and there is nothing wrong with taking a step back if you have i said if you don't change the oil on a regular basis the engine will burn out so do what you have to do for yourself and the rest will always be there.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (Brokered by eXp Realty LLC) almost 13 years ago
...And to think you tease me about blog grooming :)
Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) almost 13 years ago
Good luck...we look forward to your future posts.
Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) almost 13 years ago

Thanks for sharing and giving all of us some reminder food.  Balance is hard to find sometimes, but taking a step back to re-evaluate things is important.

Posted by Jody Deeds, "Helping You Move On With Your Plans" (Key Realty, LTD) almost 13 years ago

Best of luck on keeping the balance--it's not easy, but burnout is not much fun either!

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 13 years ago, Craig- It's nice to see you posting and checking in with us.  Can you tell your blogging presence has been missed?! 

I'm glad to read you're taking some needed time and attention for yourself and I for one am hoping you'll be sharing some much needed and refreshing perspective for us in no time at all.

Rest up, Craig...there's work to be done! :)


Posted by Jackie Peraza, Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts (Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC) almost 13 years ago

Craig, For the time I have been on active rain I have enjoyed reading your insightful posts.   It is very important to find balance in our lives so that we may enjoy all aspects of it.  I did wonder where you were but lately have only been on maybe once a week or as time allows.

It is unfortunate that  our friends in the states have a very financially debilitating Health Care System.  I pray that some day that you may experience having Universal Healthcare system like ours in Canada.  Where everyone is treated equally despite coverage and income and do not face the fear of losing a home and livelihood.

Staging has to take its course and growing at it's own pace.  It will get there sooner or later.  You have started something that has grown.  It was obvious in the RT I attended with Dane in Toronto.  There were stagers united to grow the industry from all training backgounds, and that in itself is progress.

Posted by Isabel Gomes, Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont (Gomes Design) almost 13 years ago
It's that time of year for everyone to take a good hard look at his or her business plan, goals and objectives. We all need to periodically evaluate all of this and make sure we are on the right path. Welcome back!
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) almost 13 years ago

Hey Craig, I can relate with you especially when you said about the looking in the mirror. I too caught a glimpse of myself in one of the stores last month and was frightened. We all have been working way to hard not only trying to promote this industry but actually keeping up with the challenges of this business. I had some time off in December and I have to tell you I SLEPT peacefully because my brain wasn't running a million miles per hour. YOU NEED TO TAKE TIME FOR YOU!!

You cannot serve two masters, for you will love one and HATE the other. YOU LOVE THIS BUSINESS. What have you been blessed with? A talent to stage and lead so do the thing that brings you peace, comfort and joy. I love what I do and if there was no AR, I would still love what I do. We are all blessed with talent that we can use to help someone else. Our gifts and talents are unique and we must learn to share and help one another, but at the same time nurture the talent that was gifted to US.

I love that I have this network of friends and professionals that I can share with, learn from and ask questions to. It has been great, and thanks for Staging it Forward, it is awesome. BUT I have promised myself to take time to enjoy life more. For instance, when I am with my grandson, I will not run to answer the phone but rather let it go to voicemail He is growing waaay too quickly. I am realizing that my parents are growing older and I need to spend more time with them. When someone invites us to dinner on a Saturday night, I say YES. My poor husband is working his full time job and helping me in this business, the poor guy is POOPED! It is good to REST and Craig, thanks for all your honest words and may you be blessed with Peace of mind, rest for the soul and a new vision...Ask and you shall receive.

God Bless Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) almost 13 years ago

The journey is the reward Craig.

As my business mentor likes to say, "keep the fork, the best is yet to come".

Thank you for sharing.

Wishing you peace, joy and happiness on your journey.


Posted by Karen Otto, Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, (Home Star Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig, I'm thankful to read this.  It takes tremendous courage to stop, look, listen and then do what's necessary.  Thanks for taking care of yourself.  Blessings...
Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) almost 13 years ago

Craig, the toll of Leadership can be very heavy.  Discovering that your personal needs must come first is so important and it sounds like you've reached that point. 

Here's to a great, healthy and prosperous 2008

Posted by Ginger Foust, Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging (Certified Staging Professional) almost 13 years ago

Hey, Craig..

Your email is elegant and very descriptive of what many of us go thru at times in our lives.

I think that it's great  that you stepped out of your everyday surroundings and reflected upon your life..

we need to reflect to grow.

At times we let situations take control of our lives, and lose focus on the things in life that holds true meaning to us.

Every New Year...I spend time just thinking about where I've gone, personally and professionally that year...and where I need to go.

It's pretty amusing...I look at my previous New Year's resolutions...some of them are "repeats" :), and some are accomplished. However, I do try to "shoot for the moon".

You have been an inspiration to many....

our balance in life gets altered when we GIVE, GIVE, GIVE...

sometimes it's difficult...but try to let other's give to YOU now. Inspiration, and otherwise...



Posted by Julia Fedak, IRIS, CSP (Platinum Home Designs ) almost 13 years ago


Glad to hear from you again.  Take care of yourself first and foremost.  Wishing you all the best in '08'. 


Posted by Debbie Wheeler, Chandler, AZ Rooms Rearranged RESA, IRIS (Real Estate Staging/Rooms Rearranged, LLC) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig,

Can see from your mounting posts that I should keep this short.

I was very inspired by the Chicago Round-table event. You are truly passionate about what you love to do. In short, let me just say that your long hours do not go unrecognized. Amazing group of people you have glued together here!  Truly hope we have the opportunity to meet again. Informal round-table would be wonderful as well.

We had a great time sharing and bouncing ideas off each other. Would hate to think this would be the end!

 Please take care of "ME"! Health and sanity first. We will wait until you have time for "US"!


Posted by Gina Metzger, ASP, IAHSP (Spaces Refined Inc.) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig - I'm glad to hear where you've been and what your plans are, and look forward to seeing you more around here.  And what a crappy thing to have your health insurance premiums go up that much!  That's awful.  And that's proof that something really needs to be done in this country to deal with ever escalating health care costs and insurance.  It's no wonder that more and more are having to give up their health insurance.

Welcome back Waldo!

Posted by Ann Cummings, Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent (RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine) almost 13 years ago

Thanks Craig! 

I feel I need to echo waht Val stated above. I think what has happened to you is so familiar to many of us. In fact, I feel quite the same and those in Minnesota may soon see some drastic changes with Stylish Transformations - and not sure if Beth Patnode will be involved in them or not. Time will tell. I definetly is an unbelievable industry but agree that the ugliness factor has been one I've been struggling with for some time.

It's hard to say this especially after we JUST had our MN/WI Roundtable yesterday and it was such a success! So many wonderful people, unbelievable talents and true hearts. 

Regardless of how involved you are here at AR, you MUST know your thoughts, ideas and way of handling things is so incredibly respected and valued.

Fondest regards,



Posted by Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota (Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm) almost 13 years ago

Good for you! Health is the most important thing, no health no stage it forward! Please do take care of yourself.




Posted by Cindy Lin, Host, The Home Staging Show podcast (Staged4more School of Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig my friend, I would like you to also reflect on and give yourself credit for tackling some very difficult issues.  It had to be very disheartening to give so much of yourself, only to run into what you termed "mistrust and mean spiritedness".  I am truly sorry for that.  Your leadership has shown the way for us all to proceed.  In many ways you have empowered a large group of people to carry the ball to help themselves and the industry.  The creation of the round tables alone was a huge leap ahead for us all.  Time will only tell if we as a group can keep moving the ball forward.  Now, what can Linda and I do for you?
Posted by Gary Barnett, Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis (Home Matters) almost 13 years ago

Craig: There are plans for small businesses. If you have one other person you could add to your plan, you might be surprised at what you can get and how much more reasonable the insurance could be. Call me if you want additional information.

Hope all is well otherwise! 

Posted by Roberta Murphy, Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes (San Diego Previews Real Estate) almost 13 years ago

Craig...sorry if the mean spiritedness got  you...but it can't hurt you with all of us around...

The truth is that you have given us wings and that IS the gift.  Where that takes us no one knows, but really the fact that we now know we are free and can fly is the best gift of all.  THANK YOU.  I am happy you were able to step back, wish you good health and health insurance. 

Shell, can't we work on health insurance from RESA????  NEXT???  or get NAR to get it for Affiliates as Joan suggested.  There is no one like Shell to go after something like this. 

Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 13 years ago
very good an intresting site
Posted by Gambia property almost 13 years ago
Craig, we all do need to re-evaluate and time off makes us put what is important in perspective. I came to the same conclusion this year, I had to STOP trying to build my company and start to build me and my team. Selfish? No  Smart? yes  Time to do it? yes.
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 13 years ago
Welcome Back Craig!  You were dearly missed- retreats are good, Reflection is better. And I'm happy to hear you are refreshed and ready to take on the challenges ahead!  I hope 2008 proves to  be a better year for you.
Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) almost 13 years ago
Welcome back. What a terrific post. I am so sorry about the health insurance. It is very nasty. You would think with all the self employed people in the real estate industry, we could get a group discount. 
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) almost 13 years ago

Hi Craig-

As a staging newbie, I have followed your posts & can see your honesty and courage.  You have started a great support for stagers with SIF, and now you deserve time to devote to yourself and personal goals. You are very appreciated in this industry.


Posted by Kathy Riggle, Houston Home Staging (STAGING SMART N SOLD) almost 13 years ago

Craig, you have hit on what so many of us go through but are afraid to admit.  The economy is bad, people are struggling and striking a balance is important. Thank you for your honesty about it all, including the mean-spirtitness. 

You have been an inspiration to many people in this industry.  I wish you health, balance and much prosperity in 2008 and in many years to come.

Posted by Teresa J. Ramey (ReDecorating with Style) almost 13 years ago
Craig:  STAGE IT FORWARD!!!  We know you're not going back - many thanks for everything...we know you're out there!  God bless you - Julie
Posted by Julia Maher, Connecticut Home Stager (Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes) almost 13 years ago
Craig I certainly agree with your post.  The Staging industry will unfold in its own way, but with leadership like you have given, you have started us down the right path.  Now it's time for you to look after you.  I recently had two months off from the Rain and like you said - it's not the end of the world.  I look forward to any future blogs.  2008 should be a banner year for YOU!  Betty
Posted by Betty Haney (Haney Consulting) almost 13 years ago



Buncha freeking crap about your insurance - this is why this country is losing the economic war: there is enough money to take care of everybody, help them stay healthy and care for those in desperate need.

Thank you for staying with it so your obvious expertise can help people learn. Without a doubt,your decision is appreciated and respected.


Posted by Obeoman Glade Jones ( almost 13 years ago
Thanks Craig for getting us going and giving us a "little" push.  Having just had our MN and WI combined roundtable - I see that we have a ways to go before we are all  even talking the same language "consultation, bids, proposals, etc. - let alone the fact that some of us actually need to get paid for what we do and others just give free advice.
Posted by Kathleen Lordbock, Keller Williams Realty Professionals (Keller Williams Realty Professionals) almost 13 years ago
I too can relate to being self-insured.  When leaving the corp. world, you leave a lot of other niceties behind too, car, constant paycheck, bonus, fantastic health insurance, comp. funded savings plan,etc.  Insurance rates are out of control for a small business owner, pre-existing or not.  You go from full coverage to catastrophic coverage for more money!  Why am I doing this.....?? 
Posted by Cindy Bryant, "Houston Home Staging Pros" (Redesign Etc. Home Staging) almost 13 years ago

Craig, First, let me say that it was wonderful to see you in Sacramento. I for one along with many will and have missed you and your articles. With that said, business comes first and of course taking care of yourself.

I hope you jump in every now and then to at least give a SHOUT!

Take care, my friend and the very BEST to you.

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) almost 13 years ago

Well, Craig, glad to see you back. You - and several others - have been parked at the bottom of my subscribe list for too long.

Boy, I hear you on the insurance issue!

Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) almost 13 years ago


You have been an inspiration to us all, and your decision to find Balance is applauded.  If you don't take care of YOU - then who will??  Forward toward Stager's health insurance!


Posted by Mary DeBella (Northwest Staging & Redesign) almost 13 years ago
very good site
Posted by Gambia Property almost 13 years ago
Hi Craig - Thank you for sharing of yourself again and again.  Sending you good thoughts and wishes.  Margaret
Posted by Margaret Ann Innis, Real Estate Staging - MA & NH (Decorate To Sell - Merrimack Valley Real Estate Staging ) almost 13 years ago
I just saw a commercial by the American Medical Association about working towards having healthcare for everyone there in the states
Posted by Isabel Gomes, Interior Decorator, Stager - London, Ont (Gomes Design) almost 13 years ago

Craig, nice to see you back.  Sounds like you took a well-deserved rest, which we all need from time to time.  Remember, "progress, not perfection".  You have started the industry on the way.

Kim Dillon, Creative Eye Home Staging

Posted by Kim Dillon (Creative Eye Home Staging) almost 13 years ago
Craig,  I continue to be impressed with your skill as a stager and as a business owner.  Our phone conversation last year was invaluable to me as we discussed ideas about how to grow our businesses.  I will be thrilled if the new you focusses on the business of our businesses.  The rest will take care of itself as the industry evolves.
Posted by Jo Potvin, Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market (Design To Market LLC) almost 13 years ago

Craig-its so nice to see you back.  You really are the reason I started blogging so I owe all my successes to you.  I will love to take you out to lunch or dinner or golf  when you are in the area.  I also had cancer, and was so excited last year when the 5 year mark passed.  I hope to talk to you soon. 

Posted by Judy Greenberg, Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes (Coldwell Banker Long Grove) almost 13 years ago


I just wanted to add my 2 cents here, as you take time to reflect, regroup, and refocus as you need to. 

I can not imagine the sheer exhaustion you must feel, for all that you do and take on for others.  You are an inspiration to many, and I thank you for all that you have done and  am sure will continue to do.

I too have dealt with cancer,  my motto now, (most of the time, but especially when I just can't handle anymore) is "if is not life threatening, then I am not going to sweat it"  :-)  As I have had 2 life threatening illnesses, I feel quite justified when I take this stance.  :-) 

All the best Craig, and take care.

Posted by No Longer Available almost 13 years ago


I am new to the home staging profession and when i was still in the researching stage, I came across your blogs...least to say I was hooked.

I understand you are one of the pioneers of this infant industry and I appreciate your honesty and willingness to help your fellow stagers.

I wish you all the best in health and look forward to many more of your inspirational writings.

Best of luck,


Posted by ZEESHAN SHAH (STAGE IT FIRST) over 12 years ago

Hi Craig,

I too have been absent from the site most of the last two months - only dropping in a time or two to peruse the site and post a couple of nuggets.  I did notice you were not online much - figured you were just enjoying the holidays, but it sounds like you were also doing some good old-fashioned Soul-searching. 

After I becamse a Mom, my Mom wisely shared with me that taking care of babies and my spouse was my focus, and yet no one will take care of me but me nor will they know I need caring if I don't speak up.  And if I did not take time to take care of me - it would not be good.  Sounds like some of that personal attention is in order for you - as you have become a pseudo "parent" for many on this site and putting things in balance is needed - as we are only here once (I believe) and when we have things to contribute to the greater good, we need to be around to make that happen. 

Take care of yourself - because there is only one you.

Fondly, Jennie

Posted by Jennie Norris, Denver Regions Premier Home Staging Resource, (Sensational Home Staging) over 12 years ago


Thanks for the post. I can absolutely relate without hesitation. I believe, I have been away from AR for a much more extended period than you. I have had to retool to accommodate the demands of my business. In addition, I am in the process of opening a new office in the next three weeks. Our time is an absolutlely precious commodity and sometimes, those of us in the real estate industry lose sight of this. Sometimes in going to the brink we find the balance out of necessity. Thanks for your unselfish sharing. Good health and good fortune.

Posted by William Collins, Property and Asset Management (ERA Queen City Realty) over 12 years ago