WHAT DID I SAY “YES” TO??
When the creative director Jen called me and told me she wanted me to be in the funny, online video she was doing for Big Lots, my first thought was “Is this my kinda thing?” I was in the car after a lunch date with my super southern girlfriend Annie Gray. Jen said it was about that moment your friend tells you she did all this for only this much money. Then she started playing techno music and singing the rest of the idea through the phone and I thought—“This is so me and my friends since high school—my sense of humor.” As Annie Gray and I cracked up, I said, “I’m in!”
It wasn’t a great time for me to take on a 2-day shoot in Ohio. I have a toddler. I’m still moving. I’m still setting up my new business in North Carolina. And Randy and I are under contract for our first home as husband and wife. I need to work on my own house for heck’s sake. But my only line was “Get out.” Two words. Hilarious and ridiculous.
My first Big Lots experience was helping my future mother-in-law redo a bedroom at her then new home in Florida. When I saw it, I remember thinking, “What is this wonderland I didn’t know existed with all this décor and furniture?” It was like a secret club I’d just been asked to join. We quickly spotted an amazing headboard with complementary nightstands and a dresser. It was really satisfying to find exactly what we wanted to put in their newly renovated home. All at a price that was right on budget.
As a designer, you often get stuck in your own channels and avenues of where you like to shop for clients and look for pieces. When I opened up my first store on Armitage in Chicago, I had young couples, kids right out of school, families with multiple children, all looking for affordable design. I knew I could do it but I had to shake it up. Back then I leaned on stores like Big Lots to take the pressure off the budgets. That’s when you really show how creative you can be. That’s when I became confident in knowing that good design can and should be affordable to everyone.
Affordable design—which brings me back to the 2-day shoot in Ohio. On set, Kate and I were friends affirming the heck out of each other on the great design purchases she made at Big Lots. Of course, although I was hired to ‘act’ it won’t surprise you I couldn’t leave well enough alone. The family room they’d made for us was awesome and so pretty but I retooled the decor on top of the hutch before we started. (Books give height when layered under a lantern!)
Being with a new ‘best friend’ on set reminded me that whether it’s your profession or your hobby, unveiling a design well done and well spent is a blast. And now Big Lots has secured a top 5 spot for all of my emergency Meg-bombing* missions.
If you would have told me a few months ago that I would do this video, I would have told you to “Get out!” Please enjoy my performance in this project. It was the most fun.
*Definition of Meg-bombing: when a friend/client is in a bind because they’re having a party and I drag Randy to my favorite stores for emergency decorating supplies (pillows, artwork, ottomans, you name it) all morning, then show up at their house in the afternoon and bomb it with Meg-decorating goodness.
I’m excited to be collaborating with Big Lots as a part of this online video! Big Lots has provided me with compensation for this post and all the opinions are my own.