I adopted a high standard of work ethic early on in life. From my father’s expectations of me as a young girl, to a strong need and desire to build great customer service as a business owner, I have never swayed from one truth, that “Excellence is never an accident.”
I recall what my father had expected of me as a child. Daddy told me to always give my best, even if I didn’t make the grade. At least I gave my best. If doing my best is what I can expect of myself, then I will never be disappointed. As I got older, the standard for myself became pretty high. I like things done right and in order. It’s just how I operate.
I apply this core value to how I approach every job and install. When someone comes in our store and has a project in which they are considering, it would be really easy to say ‘yes we can do that!’ and go load a truck. But, it’s best if I have time to process what the customer needs and wants, and be intentional. Being intentional means we consider every aspect of the project. The size, scale and proportions of the space and furniture are key. I make sure I have exactly what the client desires and am very deliberate about what items we take. Being intentional also requires me to make a specific plan. I make the plan with my staff and work the plan accordingly. If you don’t have a plan, then you plan to fail.
The hardest thing for me to do is to explain to someone how we do what we do and the process we take. You just have to experience it…we call it the Mathison Experience.
More times than not, customers will come into the store and they may ask for a pair of chairs. Later, I find out that’s not exactly what they want. They really want their house and rooms to be put together well. I always offer the best possible plan. So many people think they want just furniture, but really what they want is a painting, a pair of lamps or side tables. If they are ready for my ideas, then, great. If they are not, then at least they have the idea and they can work toward what’s next. I always encourage people to make a plan. I present them with the best possible presentation and they can decide. If they are open, I like to go into the home, access the situation, and I get a feel for their space.
After the consultation with my client, I work with my team to get all the pieces and options for the job organized and listed. This helps my team to get to know the clients style and interests. Each client we work with is different.
Every need, every project, and every client is different. It is not a cookie cutter process. Every job has to be thought out according to the size, need and what the main function will be. I always ask what the space will be used for. Some people like to entertain often, while others may want to have a room that is comfortable and easy for them to relax with family.
I consult with my team throughout the days leading up to a specific install. I always try to keep them in the loop of any changes the client may have. Sometimes, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night with an idea or vision of what pieces may work better. A lot of times I will have a job pulled and ready to install the next day. When I wake up with another vision or an idea, I usually go with the idea because that’s usually how God speaks to me. I’ll get to the store and will tell my team the new direction. My team knows to follow. I always ask God to not let us miss anything. I always want God to bless the project, the people that work it and especially, the client.
Some clients are fully committed to the ideas and the work implemented by the team during installation day. Some may be reluctant of the process since it requires accepting change which they are not used to.
The more I can encourage and lead someone into understanding what needs to happen, the better. It’s a process to educate them about space, furniture placement, size and scale of pieces. People will usually thank me for taking the time to paint the big picture so that they can see what it is they really want. Sometimes we have to fix the room and it’s a complete surprise, while others want to be involved with the whole process. Some people want their room to be familiar, they really don’t want a big change. They just want something like they’ve had. Same arrangement same color, and same style. We try to stay within the client’s comfort zone. I give them the option of trusting our vision to meet theirs or letting them choose what change they can handle. It’s always their choice.
I often say “excellence” is also about inches.
We want a space to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If something needs to be moved a half an inch, we’ll move it. If the furniture needs to be moved an inch, we move it. Inches make a difference in decorating. It’s just like in sports… it all comes down to a matter of inches. Whatever it takes to make it right, that’s what we do. We are very intentional. Excellence is never an accident.
Mathison Interiors strives for excellence, and that requires a lot of time and energy. I take the insights and expertise I have learned over the years and come up with what is the best presentation and plan for our clients. Whether it’s planning for a small home update or commercial building, my roots have taught me to always give my best and aim high.
I know, feel, and practice my belief, “Excellence is never an accident.”
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23 NIV