2017 President’s Letter

Kathy Dick, PresidentOn 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.

Sincerely,
Kathy Dick
President

Passion ~ Adaptability ~ Courage ~ Teamwork ~ Self-Realization
Visionary ~ Effectiveness ~ Integrity ~ Learning ~ Leadership ~ Efficiency

Beyond the Basics with Natalie

NatalieNatalie Wendling
Administrative Assistant

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.

Success at IBS!

Success at IBS!

Thank you to everyone that stopped by our booth at IBS – we really enjoyed visiting with you!

Here are some photos from our booth:

20170110_085006   20170110_084918  20170110_084548 IMG_3708  IMG_3709 16107289_10153906813101706_1569937164829788302_o  IMG_3710  IMG_3707

We hope to see you again next year – Jan. 9-11, 2018 in Orlando.

Beyond the Basics with Michele Weaver

Michele Weaver is Design Basics’ Brand Manager, helping spread Design Basics mantra that “Great Design Matters”!

Michele WeaverYou 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.

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