Updated: Aug 30, 2019
So I'll 'fess up straight away, Rachel is my cousin! And I must say she is also an inspiration. I love that she set up House of Haven because interior design is something she is so passionate about. The trends and tips she shares via her Facebook page are just brilliant and give me new ideas for my own home. Super proud of Rachel for branching out and setting up her own business. Find out more about the House of Haven story in our latest Businesses We Love feature.
House of Haven - Rachel Hilsdon - Interior Designer
Tell us a little bit about your business.
House of Haven provides interior design consultancy services that give you the tools, confidence and freedom to complete your interior design project in your own time and to your own budget.
I achieved a Distinction in my Postgraduate Diploma in Interior Design with the British Academy of Interior Design. I've worked on both residential and small business interiors.
What inspired you to set up House of Haven?
I love interior design and I want other people to love it too. Making your home your haven, the place you feel comfortable, the place that makes you smile, shouldn't be intimidating. It should be fun, inspiring and a chance to show your personality.
I felt that lots of people might like some help with their interiors but might have concerns about using an interior designer. There’s a perception that interior designers are only for large, expensive or complicated projects. Some people are worried they might lose control of their project and end up with something they’re not comfortable with.
My inspiration for starting House of Haven was to make interior design accessible and approachable, whatever the size of the project.
Not everyone will want, or need, a full design service. I want House of Haven to be the friendly expert who can advise you on your colour scheme, or help you try out a new style, or just give you some advice on how to make your room 'come together'.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
The biggest challenge was making the decision to start House of Haven. I put it off for a long time, even though I knew it was something I wanted to do. I was scared of failing. I thought I had to have everything in place before I could start and that was daunting.
I had a lovely chat with someone who had already set up their business. I realised that my ‘getting everything ready’ was actually just a way of stalling. I went home that night and ordered my business cards!
What gave you the final nudge/ push to go for it?
It really was that conversation with someone who had already done it. I think the key was when she asked me directly why I hadn’t set up the business already. I’d had lots of conversations with friends and family, where I’d said things like ‘I’m hoping to set up an interior design business’, or ‘I’m thinking about setting up a business’ and no-one had been that direct before – why haven’t you?
I’m such a planner and like to be prepared for every eventuality I thought I was doing the right thing by trying to get everything ready before I started. There were definitely some stalling tactics in there too – I was waiting to feel brave enough to do it. When I tried to answer that question, I realised if I waited until everything was ready, until I was ready, I’d never do it. That’s when I made the decision to just go for it.
I also remembered something a business consultant friend had said to me, knowing my perfectionist tendencies – ‘progress, not perfection’. Sometimes you just need to get on with things, if you wait until you think it’s ‘perfect’, it won’t happen.
Describe your greatest success/ the thing you are most proud of.
When my first clients saw the scheme I’d put together for them and told me it was exactly what they’d wanted, it was a great confidence boost.
I’d been so nervous about presenting to them and all the doubts I’d had before I’d started the business had crept in – Was I good enough? Could I do this? What if the clients hated it?
When they told me I’d interpreted their brief perfectly, I was so pleased, not just that they loved my design, but because I’d finally taken the plunge and launched the business.
What motivates you to keep forging ahead with your business?
I love interior design! House of Haven is just an excuse for me to share that enthusiasm with other people.
Thank you so much to Rachel for sharing her story with us here at Cat's Pajamas. We always feel inspired hearing about the journeys of others.
If you would like to find out more about House of Haven you can follow on Facebook via:
Facebook - @HouseofHavenInteriorDesign