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In The News - Examiner.com

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November 16, 2013

Debbie Wiener: Mompreneur and interior design extraordinaire

news-examiner-2013-11-dw (44K) Debbie Wiener is not your average entrepreneur. In fact, this mother of two doesnít use the word "entrepreneur" to describe herself at all.

"I just did what I had to do for my family," says Wiener, owner of Designing Solutions in Silver Spring, Md.

Wienerís entrepreneurial spark began when her charge card was declined at a local K-Mart. With her two screaming boys in tow, Debbie vowed to the cashier Ė and the frustrated customers standing behind her Ė that she would never be broke again.

Wiener decided that creating alternative sustainable income streams was a necessary commodity for her family.

Designing Solutions, LLC was born in 2001, after Wiener noticed a gap in the market for lack of interior designers who catered to families with children. Having a husband and children of her own, Wienerís company prides itself on creating design choices that require no protection from the people (or pets) who live in your home.

From humbling beginnings, to now being one of the busiest design firms in the Washington Metropolitan Area Ė Wiener credits her success to guerrilla marketing tactics, determination, and family support.

"Think globally, but act locally," says Wiener. "I started advertising in neighborhood newsletters. People are more likely to pick up the phone and call someone from their own community. Thatís where I got most of my business from."

Wienerís thriving business has garnered national attention, and sheís currently co-authoring a book with Steve Harvey entitled, The Jewish Motherís Guide to Business.

To keep up with Wiener, and to learn more about her ventures, visit mydesigningsolutions.com and slobproof.com.

(Original Article on Examiner.com)


March 2009

Slob Proof real-life design solutions

Today I'd like to introduce decorating maven, television personality, radio performer and author of the new book: Slob Proof! Real-Life Design Solutions—designer extraordinaire Debbie Wiener.

Q.: What was the impetus for writing your new book: Slob Proof! Real-Life Design Solutions and (ha!) who in your family was offended by the reference?

Actually, Penguin contacted me and asked me to write the book after reading about my work in USA Today. Offended? No way. My husband—the true professional in this house full of slobs—takes pride in being the slob behind my success. He has elevated sloppiness to an art form and each day I wake up wondering what I’ll find waiting for me…..a dried up apple core on the arm of the sofa, peanut butter on the cabinet knobs….I won’t even mention the bathroom floor.

Q.: Do you have a home design tip or two for people who love their pets?

Yes-—In fact, I write a design column in every issue of Dog Fancy Magazine. If your dog/cat/spouse sheds, stay away from fabrics like ultrasuede. Their tactile property traps lint and hai—making them tough to clean. If your pet “Twinkle” still tinkles in the house, use anti-bacteria padding under carpets and seal tile grout (better yet, don’t use grout—use epoxy) to prevent staining.

Q.: Your book has a lot of foundational reference, meaning, information about choosing flooring and other construction elements. What would you tell renovators? Or someone who just wants to begin to make changes?

Like all great civilizations, you have to start from the ground up. If you’re choosing new flooring, new carpet or new area rugs, my book will tell you how to make better choices and get greater value from your investment. Flooring, more than most areas, takes a lot of abuse from grit, moisture, pet claws—everyday life. It isn’t meant to last forever. At some point you’ll have to replace or refinish your floors. Now you have a resource to turn to.

Q.: What do you consider is the biggest faux pas people make when planning their home décor?

Neutral! Beige carpet, beige walls, beige seating. What is it that makes people love color but fear using it? Ban the beige! Color is camouflage.

Q.: Why are magazines so different from “real-life” solutions?

It’s our fault. We’ve elevated home décor to an art form—meant to be seen but not touched. That’s why I’ve stopped reading most fashion magazines. I can’t stand looking at gorgeous clothes that only come as large as a size 10 or shoes that have four inch heels. No woman I know can wear this stuff. No family I know can live in the pages of Architectural Digest.

Q.: A lot of your commentary is about camouflage and hiding dirt; what a pleasant surprise! Are you the only designer talking about this subject?

Maybe I’m the only designer who cares more about my slobs than I do my furniture. Let’s face it—we’re changing. Out with the luxury, in with comfort and convenience. It’s time to be a slob. Worry about being happy and healthy and paying your mortgage—not the sofa. I just can’t swallow spending time and effort on keeping an expensive home when now, so many in my community are worried about simply keeping their home. Get real.

Q.: What is your favorite upholstery fabric today and why?

Crypton! First—I love Superman and just like him—Crypton is gorgeous and indestructible. And it’s affordable! With so many colors, patterns and textures, it’s my go to choice for dining room, play rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. Why would you use anything else?

Q.: Of course the economy is a huge subject now, does your book address these issues?

(See 2 questions up) Yes! I am all about VALUE—finding the right level of quality and durability at a price you can afford, so that once you invest in your home…it lasts and lasts!

Q.: Do you know: I have a beautiful medium green-colored (great for hiding dirt) Laura Ashley carpet running up my stairs and into two bedrooms. It was very good quality but it is buckling and raised in spots. Why would it stretch? Is this common? And what is the remedy?

Almost all carpet stretches—it’s not uncommon and happens because: a) It wasn’t stretched enough during installation; b) temperature changes during winter and summer can make fibers contract and expand c) seams in the carpet move. Call your installer and ask them to come out and re-stretch the carpet. Most installers offer a life time warranty.

Q.: Would you like to tell Home and Living Readers about your television experience?

Oy! I’d need five pages to tell you about the time I was flown out to LA to audition for Design Star. I’m not into reality TV—it’s so totally UNreal! But I love to do TV and share my philosophy, knowledge and, most importantly, humor whenever the camera is rolling.

Q.: Do you have a Website or blog? And where is your next appearance?

I have a website:  www.slobproof.com
And a blog www.DebbieWiener.com and I next appear at the Virginia Festival of Books March 18 -22, 2009 in Charlottesville VA.

Thank you, Debbie.

Taken from Examiner.com.

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