Home Furnishings Designer Extraordinaire
Name One of Traditional Homes “Top 20 Young American Designers 2009”
Design Industry Expert Speaker
Magazine Column Writer
Business Coach, Mentor and Consultant
Wife to Carter
Mom to Ellison
Friend, Mentor & Coach to me
I originally found Tobi Fairley’s blog in 2009 and was immediately drawn to her interior design style and bold use of color. Interestingly, I was going through a very dark period of my life, after having lost a child and I was looking for any ray of sunshine to brighten my dreary days. Tobi’s work conveyed a feeling of warmth and happiness, which I so desired in my life that that time.
One Friday night, after reading Tobi’s blog post, I posted a comment on her blog. She almost immediately responded to the comment. I was really impressed. Someone who was just named one of Traditional Homes Top 20 Young American Designers of 2009, would take the time to respond to me? That email was the beginning of a regular email dialogue between Tobi and myself. Our email conversations ranged from everything about Tobi’s daughter, Ellison’s soccer to my struggles to get back to my interior design practice. Each email always ended with a strong note of encouragement from Tobi. Her desire to lift me up, really touched me. Like me, Tobi was a working mother, who was passionate about her work, yet she still seemed able to keep her life priorities in order, mine seen to have gotten caught up in life. Over the past two years, Tobi invited me to come to her design camps, MBA groups and Mastermind. I always knew I would eventually go, but the timing had to be right. She didn’t give up on me, she periodically sent me an email asking how I was and when I was going to come. She became my lifeline.
Tobi would say “you have to just start Lisa. It will happen, but you can’t sit around and wait for it to happen, you have to make it happen.” The most monumental statement she made to me was “I will do everything to help you!” Wow! Here is a designer I have gotten to know through commenting on a blog post, who had taken a genuine interest in me. How could I not take notice? If you are in the industry, you know this is not the norm, many designers are guarded and don’t get personal. They could careless if another designer is successful or not. Not Tobi! She didn’t have an employee send me an email, she wrote it herself , which is pretty amazing with a schedule like hers!
Tobi has been published in almost every major shelter magazine I read. She developed her own line of pillows, fabrics and lighting which debuted in the Fall of 2011 as part of Hickory Chair’s Centennial Furniture Collection. She speaks nationally and has developed Tobi Fairley Consulting Group. Tobi has achieved all the things that most designers dream of doing.
Privately, I saw Tobi from another angle. This hugely successful woman, who barely had time to breathe, took time to reach out to me in my time of need. That is the kind of person Tobi Fairley is. That is why she will always be successful in life. She really gets it. She knows what is important and doesn’t take life or people for granted.
When she asked me to participate in her Mastermind Group, I was both flattered and interested, but not sure the timing was right. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an invitation only group, but the mere fact that she reached out to me, touched my heart. I was worried that I was not ready to go back to work or reality. She convinced me otherwise. She made me realize that my life could return to normal, after the death of a child.
It was that “believing in me” that put me on a path of returning to myself.
Why is Tobi successful? She works extremely hard and doesn’t give up on her dreams. Who better to be my mentor, my business coach? As I lovingly said to Tobi recently…”all roads lead back to Tobi” so I joined Mastermind! What I have found from participating in Mastermind, is in order to a success like Tobi, one must be willing to do what it takes to be successful if that means to hit the ground running that’s what you have to do. Tobi doesn’t mess around!
It isn’t an accident that she is a success it is a well laid and worked plan. Tobi doesn’t sit back on her laurels and let life pass her by, she gets up every morning and plans her day with intention. Just being with Tobi makes me want to be a better person at everything I do and for that I am truly grateful!
Thanks Tobi for having a heart that I am quite sure is sterling silver and for caring about little ole me!
I consider myself lucky to call you my friend!