On the heels of the NAHB International Builders’ Show, I am excited about the reignited energy of the home building industry. If you were able to stop by our booth, you probably noticed it was hopping! I’m not sure how many people you can fit in a 10 x 20 booth, but it was more than I imagined. Thank you to everyone that stopped by to meet our team, learn more about Design Basics, discuss home plans, or even just to say “hi.”
As I reflect back on 2016, I recognize some key accomplishments at Design Basics. First, we have been meticulously developing a new database. Though more of an internal project, it is crucial for keeping our plan search and ordering process running smoothly. With an 18+ month development and testing time, we were happy when it went live in the fall.
Second, we were delighted to introduce a new blog site. Not only is it a great place for you to find valuable information, but it is also a more efficient way for us to communicate with you. Easier navigation with just four topic categories; all newsletter, promotion, and other communications pass through the blog, which saves everyone – readers and internal staff – time. If you haven’t checked out the new Design Basics Blog yet, please do!
Most importantly, our designers have been working diligently to develop new plans to add to our library of home designs. At IBS, our booth showcased many new designs with the most desired amenities, such as multiple owner’s suites, large walk-in showers, and the Casita concept. As multi-generational living is a hot topic these days, many of our plans are designed with this flexibility in mind.
I am pleased by the progress we made this past year with updating our database, introducing a new blog, and expanding our plan library. This gives us a great start to our goals for 2017, and beyond! As always, you can count on the Design Basics team to deliver innovation and leadership through creative home design, marketing, and business transformation solutions.
Design Basics…where great design matters.
Passion ~ Adaptability ~ Courage ~ Teamwork ~ Self-Realization
Visionary ~ Effectiveness ~ Integrity ~ Learning ~ Leadership ~ Efficiency
WHAT DREW YOU TO DESIGN BASICS?
I liked that was a new industry for me. I do not have experience in the construction/home plan industry, so working at Design Basics would allow me to use my talents and experience in new and interesting ways while learning about an entirely new industry.
SO FAR, WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT WORKING HERE?
I love that no two days are ever the same. There is always something new to learn and I am surrounded by professionals with decades of experience.
YOU RECENTLY GOT MARRIED. WHAT WAS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR WEDDING AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO DO THAT?
My husband and I love to go skiing in Colorado and we wanted to share our love of the mountains with our close friends and family. We decided have a small wedding at our favorite ski resort in Colorado, which allowed us to use a venue that was mid-mountain. It is not accessible by car (only by ski, snowmobile, or off the gondola), so our guests were treated to gondola rides up and down the mountain and the wedding party took a giant snow cat. We were able to take pictures all over the mountain. It was so beautiful and a memory I will never forget.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I am currently completing my MBA, so free time isn’t something I get to experience very often. When I do have some time, I love to spend it with my husband, Ryan, and our two dogs, Winnie and Griffin. Ryan and I both love to cook and so you can usually find me in the kitchen if I am not studying. Ryan says that my favorite hobby is finding projects on Pinterest for him to complete.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE EVER VISITED AND WHY?
I love to visit the mountains. For me, being in the mountains is the epitome of serene. Everything is so quiet and the air is crisp. I love to go skiing first thing in the morning after a night of constant snow. The world seems fresh and sparkling. On the other side of the spectrum, I absolutely love Manhattan. I love the energy of the city and that you can do anything there. You are only limited by your own imagination and work ethic. And, any place I can get an authentic gyro at 2 am is my kind of city!
PLACE YOU MOST WANT TO VISIT AND WHY?
I would love to visit Geneva. Geneva has the best of both worlds – unbelievable scenery while also being a global hub. It is a diplomacy magnet and houses cultures from around the world.
NAME THREE THINGS SOMEONE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU:
- I used to competitively ride/show quarter horses.
- My previous work experience includes working on political campaigns.
- I am big Led Zeppelin fan.
Learn more about our Team on our Contact Us page.
Thank you to everyone that stopped by our booth at IBS – we really enjoyed visiting with you!
Here are some photos from our booth:
We hope to see you again next year – Jan. 9-11, 2018 in Orlando.
Attending the International Builders Show in Orlando? Stop by and visit us at our booth!
BUILDERS: Receive your FREE home plan!
January 10-12, 2017
If you haven’t registered yet and would like to attend the show, here is a link to our page for complimentary exhibits-only passes: Free 3-Day Exhibits Only Pass
Michele Weaver is Design Basics’ Brand Manager, helping spread Design Basics mantra that “Great Design Matters”!
You joined the Design Basics’ team about 18 months ago as the Brand Manager. What does that entail and how have your job responsibilities evolved?
Design Basics recognized the importance of protecting the company’s innovations with trademarks. In my role, I look to ensure those marks, such as Livability at a Glance™,
Woman-Centric Matters!®, Her Home™, and Finally About Me®, are being used correctly. The company also knew social media is where homebuyers are, and as part of our mission is helping buyers make wise, informed decisions regarding their new home, Design Basics needed a stronger social media presence.
My role within marketing is expanding now to include overseeing our trade shows, such as the IBS, our newsletters, and launching a new blog. Additionally, while I have a graduate degree in marketing communications, my undergraduate is in accounting, so I help out in our business office as needed, such as managing our staff’s expense reporting.
What do you like best about working at Design Basics?
I know this sounds like a canned answer, but with our staff size [of 10], this is truly a team atmosphere. Everybody works together; everybody pitches in to help each other. I’ve worked other places where they say it’s a “team environment,” but at Design Basics it’s true!
Design Basics utilizes [Gallup] StrengthsFinder. What are your top strengths?
[Gallup] labels my #1 strength as “individualization.” Recognizing others’ individuality – their own unique personalities, strengths, and differences – can go a long way in creating effective teams, whether that’s at work, in volunteer committees, or leading my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Rounding out my top five strengths are Responsibility, Input, Includer, and Arranger, which I think work well with our team.
You also took Design Basics’ Finally About Me® quiz on our website and are closest to “Elise”?
Yes! My style is traditional in almost every sense of the word. Elise is also “practical” and “family-oriented,” which describes me pretty well.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
I like to read mysteries and comedic fiction, plus an occasional biography as I find people and history fascinating. And, I love live theater, musicals, movies, and music. As a family, we enjoy traveling – mostly to discover new places we’ve not been to before.
What are some of your favorite places you have been?
For our honeymoon, we took a 10-day Alaskan cruise tour – it was truly amazing! Two of our most memorable family vacations were to Michigan/Wisconsin and the northern Oregon coast. We really enjoy the beautiful scenery and being outdoors, and hope to visit Yellowstone and the Tetons for our next adventure!
Name three things someone might not know about you:
- My husband and I have been together for 26 years; we’ve been married 18 years and have two children, ages 14 and 11.
- I used to love going to amusement parks and would ride all the rides, several times if I could. I dreamed of parasailing and skydiving. But, now just looking at the merry-go-round makes my equilibrium swoon!
- There’s something about 80’s pop music, not to mention anything from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, that can put me in a good mood no matter what. I openly admit to having seen Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond in concert (both excellent performers!). I also enjoy some country – Gary Allan, Kenny Chesney, Jo Dee Messina, George Strait…but, sometimes I just need to crank it up and put on some Led Zeppelin!
Learn more about Michele.
Paul Foresman is the VP of Business Development and oversees our Woman-Centric Matters!® program, helping builders more fully appreciate women’s preferences in home design.
You have been with Design Basics for over 25 years. How did you get here and what makes you stick around?
I had been working for an advertising agency and Design Basics was one of my accounts. After a couple years, the owner of Design Basics offered me the position as Director of Marketing. Over the years I’ve been told I am “un-hirable,” being with the same company in the same position for so long. This may or may not be true, but the opportunity to do what you really enjoy, innovate, and grow your role with a team that’s become my second family is very rewarding, so why would I even think about leaving?
What do you like best about working at Design Basics?
The learning opportunities are endless here at Design Basics and my role has expanded in so many exciting ways. Just like homeowners want open designs rather than closed-off rooms, I wouldn’t be happy in a strictly defined job doing essentially the same thing day after day.
What do you find is most fulfilling about working with our customers?
The clients I get to work with inspire us to evolve home design in profound ways that’s having a significant impact on American housing.
Tell us a little bit about how you got involved in and launched the Woman-Centric program?
Woman-Centric Matters! was born out of years of (still ongoing) research. Also, I have a degree is in marketing research, so it was a natural fit for me. Really, it’s Marketing 101 – know thy customer. Women make most of the home buying decisions, yet most architects, engineers, builders, and construction tradespeople are men, so home design and construction has been from a decidedly male perspective. Hearing homebuyers say “You’ve thought of everything!” and “Why don’t other builders offer amenities like these?” validates the need for builders to gain an ever-increasing appreciation for women’s preferences in the home.
You are a Packers fan. How did that come about?
I was eight years old and Green Bay was going to face Kansas City in Super Bowl I. My older brother was a Chiefs fan so I took the Packers. One of the best days of my life was finally going with my youngest son to Lambeau field and watching the Packers beat Detroit in the final game of the 2014 season to win the NFC north division.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t believe in “spare time.” We’ve only been given so many days on this earth to make a difference in people’s lives, starting with family.
Name three things someone might not know about you:
I was adopted at a young age by wonderful parents. Adopted to me means “chosen,” and I thank God for His leading in my parent’s and my life.
My wife, Cindy, and I will celebrate 34 years of marriage, and the birth of our third grandson this December.
I was very into fast cars and drag racing in high school, which kept me out of trouble – all the money I earned went into my cars!
Learn more about Paul by clicking here.