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09 Apr Ep. 13: Suzie Osterloh, Owner of St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Magazine


In this episode, Adam interviews Suzie Osterloh, the owner and publisher of St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Magazine.

Email questions to [email protected]  


1:00-How did Suzie become the owner of St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

2:05-What other businesses has Suzie owned

3:19-What is Suzie’s opinion on bamboo

4:15-What does Suzie do as the publisher

4:52-What is the magazine about and where can people find it

6:12-How is the website different from the print magazine

7:00-How can realtors get their listings on the website and how do homes get featured in the magazine

8:48-Can Suzie tell if a home has the capability to be something special

9:25-What is Relocating In St. Louis Magazine and how is Suzie connected to it 10:11-What kind of events are St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles Magazine apart of

10:54-The magazine is a sponsor of the Junior League of St. Louis Home Design Tour on April 18th

12:20-The magazine is a sponsor of the Ethan Allan Furniture Store Party on May 12th

14:41-How a reader can use the magazine to find out their tastes and then find a designer they like

16:21-Adam is jealous of the food and wine critics at the magazine

18:06-Can a minimalist house really be functional and feel warm

20:59- Is being green and sustainable a trend and what’s the difference between them

22:36-Are high-end designers doing a lot of re-purposing of old items

23:49-Adam tries to convince Suzie to cover urban chicken farming in the magazine

25:58-How has the internet affected the magazine

27:26-Suzie expresses the importance of buying local

29:30-Are stainless steel and granite the standard for interior designers

32:09-What are the hottest trends going on right now

32:58-What’s a current trend people will regret

35:12-Making unused formal living rooms functional

36:19-Who lives under Suzie’s roof

39:43-When is Suzie at her best 40:08-What is Suzie’s favorite blog

40:42-What is Suzie’s guilty pleasure 41:10-Who is Suzie’s mentor and how has she thanked them


Adam-Welcome. Welcome, everybody to the to St. Louis Realtor Podcast, this is Episode 13 and we’re working here from the rooftop of The Hermann London Real Estate Group in beautiful downtown Maplewood, Missouri. We’re excited this week, we have a special guest in the studio, her name is Suzie Osterloh. She is the Publisher and the Owner of the St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. Just sort of introduce yourself and tell us little bit about how you got to be the owner of the St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. Suzie- Well, after working for several owners of St. Louis Homes and Lifestyles back in St. Patrick’s Day 2011, I made an offer and purchased the publications. So now I own it, which gave me a little more freedom to buy the paper and get it printed and keep everything local. Adam- So while I was out on the streets of Dogtown drinking green beer, you were making a big business deal. Suzie- Yes, back in 2011. So now St. Patrick’s Day is a great day for us, we have another reason to celebrate. Adam- Just one more reason to celebrate. Suzie- Yes. Adam- Were you working there before that? Suzie- Yes, I was the Publisher for 15 years prior. So it was a real easy transition. It was almost like a McDonald’s franchise. You know where I oversaw everything and I had complete control over everything except I had to buy the paper and the printing and had to go through budget reviews with the big corporation. It was really an easy transition Adam- Okay so before it was owned by a big corporation like not locally owned. Suzie- Right! Adam- Okay so is this the first business that you’ve owned? Suzie- No. Actually when I got out of College, I owned a plant business. I got my degree in Botany Adam- Oh wow, okay. Suzie- Yes, kind of crazy. But I got out of College and worked for a small plant store in Cape Gerardo, Missouri. Then when I moved in to St. Louis, I started my own. I would go in to restaurant and hotels and would decorate with plants, tropical plants. Then I would sell them a maintenance contract where they would pay me monthly to take care of the plants. Adam- Okay, that’s smart. Suzie- Yes, so pretty nice. Adam- Do you ever put like a St. Louis gardens kind of sections in the magazine? Suzie- Oh yes. If you look at the front of the magazine, little catch phrase up here as Urban Suburban Indoor Outdoor. Every single issue, we’ve come out 9 times a year. We’ve got a beautiful garden, we feature a beautiful space at the botanical gardens. Then we have another department called The Dirt, where we’ve got local landscapers. We asked them questions like what’s your favorite perennial, what’s your favorite flowering bush. So with the big movement of people interchanging and hanging out outdoors. Adam- So you’re covering that too. Well, I wasn’t planning on asking you this right now but tell me what your opinion about Bamboo is. Because I think I’m a bamboo lover but I don’t have any of it yet. Suzie- Oh yes. I got bamboo in my office, on the floor. I think bamboo is great, it holds up really really well. And I don’t know, I like hardwood because I ‘ve got hardwood in my floor in my home. But the bamboo is really nice. Adam- What about as a plant? To put in like my backyard if I make a fence type of thing? Suzie- Oh yes, that’s good too. Just like a good privacy screen and it can go crazy wild, you know you’ve got to keep it in check. but it’s great privacy screen. Adam- I was just reading about bamboo,because I want to make sort of a fence about it. Then I’ve found these articles that are like,”It’s terrible, we’re banning it in our city.” Because I guess it does, it grows as wild and crazy as I want it to be. Suzie- Yes, they call it an invasive plant, where it will just.. it grows on the ground and it just goes crazy. Adam- Okay, so what does a publisher do? Does that mean you get to choose all the articles that are going to be in there? You don’t write, do you write any of the articles? Suzie- No, very rarely. Sometimes I do. As a publisher I oversee the editorial staff, the design staff that designs the magazine and the sales portion of the publication. So I’ve see it all but there’s other people that get right down into the nitty-gritty. Adam- So Publisher and Owner in your case is the same thing but in a lot of ways it’s sort of almost like the same thing. Even when you weren’t the owner, you were sort of acting as the business head. Suzie- Oh Absolutely! Adam- Publisher, President I guess is a similar type of word. Okay, just give me an overview of the magazine if you want. I noticed that you guys have real estate section on there. You write down some homes on there. You have different, obviously lots of different things about interior decorating. So just tell me little bit about it. Where can I buy one, you said it comes out 9 times a year? Suzie- Right. Well you can buy it at Straubs and Schnuck’s and Dierbergs and some of the bookstores, there’s still open. But the majority of our readership are subscribers. So they pay for it and mail it to them. There’s about 18,00 of those and we sell about 5,000 on the news stand. Adam- Holy cow! Suzie- Yes, our goal is just to inspire our readership, give them ideas on decorating their home and making it just more comfortable and fun to entertain. Adam- It seems like it would be a good gift to give. Like a Christmas, if I would give my past clients subscriptions to your magazine, something like that. Suzie- Ah yes, that’s great! Adam- Do you notice a bump in subscriptions around the holidays? Suzie- Oh yes, there’s a lot of people. Realtors like to do it, some of our clients we give out special pricing and then they send in multiple we like to call it “the gift that keeps on giving all year long”. Adam- Right. Every month my parents have given me some magazines before, entrepreneur magazines or whatever every month and I go, “Oh yeah,that” which is neat. You guys also have a website right and I guess you have to nowadays. How do you choose what goes on your website versus the magazine. Because the website get what’s coming in the magazine or totally different stuff. How does it work? Suzie- No, right now. The website has a lot of the same information as what’s in the current issue. But then you can go to the website and you can get all the back information. So our website is very content heavy, it goes back years and years. Actually next year 2016 we’ll be celebrating our 20th Anniversary Adam- Holy cow, congratulations! Suzie- Thanks, thanks! So you know we have web profiles on the website, when that’s like getting your portfolio like let’s say you have a web profile on our website you can have all the homes that are up for sale and then change it constantly. Adam- I was on your website and I was kinda clicking around and at the top. There is a section for real estate and there are some homes on there. Suzie- Got it. Adam- I was curious. Do you guys just kinda like look at all the homes for sale and find the really spectacular ones or how do you choose. How do I get my listings on there, how does it work? Suzie- Oh, the web profiles you pay for that. Adam- Okay. Suzie- But the content in the magazine, what we do is we just find out about beautiful homes or are referred and we’ll go and scout the homes. That’s how we feature the homes that are IN the magazine. Adam- You must have some of the best photographers. Suzie- We do. Adam- Right, Is it always a home for sale or not necessarily. I guess you just find out about a beautiful home. Suzie- They’re never for sale. Adam- Oh okay. Suzie- Yes Adam- They put too much attention and then why they wouldn’t want to sell? Suzie- Well, were afraid that we would probably be taken advantage of by the realtors because they love it. Like if a house has been featured in our magazine and like maybe a couple of years later it goes on the market, they usually have the magazine there folded out that it’s a beautiful home. But yeah no, the houses featured in our magazine are not for sale. Adam- Do you probably know all the coolest people in town that have all the neatest houses. Suzie- Yes. Adam- Right, with the best decorating. Suzie- Yes, it’s fun. We go in, I mean this week alone we’ve been in 4 houses, scouting them, see if it will work in a magazine. And it’s hard because a lot of the homes are just drop dead gorgeous but were always looking for something that’s just really unique. Something that we haven’t done already, so that’s hard. Then we have to part them through out so you know we’ve got before and after, we’ve got all kinds of different things that our readership can be inspired by. Adam- I love. Everyone loves the before and afters I guess, right? Suzie- I know, yes. Adam- Because they’re amazed by what can be done and just through this job you have the vision. Can you look at a home that has maybe deferred maintenance or whatever, and say this could really be something special Suzie- Oh yes, before and afters are so popular that last year we dedicated our September issue, so that the entire issue is before and afters. So we usually have 2 big home features and that’s all about just beautiful homes but now everything is in that September issue. It’s all before and after. People can see better. You know that saying a picture is worth a thousand words. Adam- Yes, right. I’m curious because you guys have the magazine, you have the website, you have this relocating in St. Louis, this is a separate business in general right? Suzie- Yes. This little guy, he’s digest size and really the only way you can get it is through realtors or the larger companies here in town. So it’s basically meant for new comers to St. Louis and it covers you know each of the neighborhoods what the flavor is. And all the schools so that when you move to St. Louis, first where your kids going to school, where you’re going to live and then while you’re looking where you going to get something to eat. Adam- So have I seen the said airport or no. Suzie- No, never has been Adam- I feel like I saw it somewhere. I probably seen it in some real estate offices or something like that, Suzie- Yes, just out and about, Adam- Okay, so but you also have events. Suzie- Yes, we do, Adam- Do you do that because you just like to be as busy as you possibly can? Suzie- No we do, we partner and sponsor different events in order to help people in the design or building industry. Plus our readership enjoy going to events and they just love it, it’s just in their blood. Adam- I guess if they love reading your magazine they probably have some sort of similar traits to the other people that are coming into your events so they probably get to meet people that have things in common with them, right? Suzie- Oh yes. There’s a lot of networking going on at the events too. Adam- Oh yes, I need to start coming to your events! Suzie- Yes, they’re fun. Adam- Tell me when you have coming up here Suzie- Well, April 18th we’re sponsoring the Junior League of St. Louis, their home design tour. Adam- Ooh what’s that? Suzie- Yes, it’s got 5 different homes and it’s just a home tour. So you pay ex amount and go at your leisure to visit these homes and there’ll be designers in each of the homes and they’ll tell you why they did this or what brand of lighting is that and help anybody with design ideas. Mostly so then like you know you’ve got this savvy surrounding and you go there like “oh, wow! I like that particular chair.” Then you can go there and maybe they’ve got the chair there that you want. Adam- These are privately owned homes that you guys knew of that having incredible design and then they’re going to have the people in there to help them with the design? Suzie- Yes, well it isn’t our deal. We’re just the sponsors. So it’s the Junior League that went out and secured the homes and sponsorships. And then were a media sponsor so were promoting it in the magazine because our readership would want to attend this, Adam- Okay, so it’s Saturday April 18th from 9:00AM to 3:00PM, and there’s 5 homes and can they come to your website to know more information? Suzie- No, they’ll have to go to the Junior League Adam- Okay so they can just Google Junior League of St. Louis and find out more information about it. Okay, so you guys are one of the major sponsors because this is totally in your real house. I guess you support. Suzie- You got it! Adam- Okay, so what’s this other event you have here? Suzie- The next event that we’re sponsoring is the Ethan Allan which is a furniture store in Chesterfield Valley. They’re having a party wherein they’re giving out a great looking book for inspiration and that is May 12th. And there’ll be food and beverages and all kinds of things going on in the store. Adam- May 12th at Ethan Allan in Chesterfield Valley. Ethan Allan is a store where you can buy furniture, and rugs and whatever. Suzie- Yes, and they’re got interior design, complimentary interior design so the designers will help you. Adam- Oh they do? Suzie- Yes. Adam- Okay, you know I had a client ask me the other day. They’re looking to buy a nice home and they do And one of the homes they looked needed a total rehab and they said, do we hire a designer or do we hire. And I explain to them that obviously we’ll hire a contractor who’s going to come out and do the work. And it seems like a lot of the contractors kind of like to maybe try to act like a designer or something and say, ” Oh,you can put your refrigerator here, let’s move this wall..” But can people also hire Ethan Allan’s designers as an example just to help them figure out what furniture to place not necessarily how to where to put walls and what, where to put light features and stuff Suzie- Yes,right. That’s how probably it is with Ethan Allan but then you’ve got some of the bigger interior design firms like Castle Design and Design where they also provide architecture Adam: Oh they’ll come out and say.. Suzie- Yes, they’ve got an architect and staff and so they’ll help you with your knocking down walls and make sure its not.. that’s it, low bearing. Yes, so a lot of them have that and they have construction crews in addition to the designer. And really the best design team when you”re going to remodel or do a major renovation is to start with the team. That’s the architect, the builder, or remodeler and interior designer. Then because they’ll know okay I know want to put this here and I want all the pretty things how to have the light sockets in the right place that they’re going to put, a sofa in the particular place they might want outlet on the floor. Adam- I would have to consider you the expert in interior design. Suzie- No. Adam- The reigning Queen. So I guess if someone’s looking to either rehab a house and redesign or if they look into build a house whatever they’re trying to do a great place I guess for them to do would be of course start with your magazine, right. And just kind of get what they’re general taste is right. Like do they like modern or do they like country french or whatever. Suzie- Yes, good job! Adam- Thank you, thank you. I could thank for teaching about country french. So then once they kind of get the gist to that like what’s going to make me comfortable then they can start going to the stores and actually having unformed conversations I guess. Suzie- Right. Well, in our magazine maybe 3 or 4 times a year we’ve got a section called Designer’s in Demand, I don’t know if it’s in this one or not. Oh yes it is. So you can read this little bios about all these different design firms so there is where you can find the interior designer that does multiple applications. But many of them are the designer and the they bring in the construction crews. They’re got crews that they’ve been working with already. Adam- Okay. Suzie- So they’re not just interior designers but some of them are. Some of them just stick to the interior design part, you know you bring in your own. Everyone is different in how they like to tackle their projects. Adam- And I guess by reading through this different profiles you can kind of see who maybe fits your personality and that type of thing right? Suzie- Yes. You can interview them just like when you’re going to interview a real estate agent Adam- Oh you do. Suzie- You know, you see which one you feel the most comfortable with because it’s going to be a project that’s going to be dear to your heart. So you’ve got to make sure that there’s a good rapport. Adam- Okay, that makes sense. Cool. This is neat. You’ve got different designers on here that we could choose from. Suzie- Yes. See, there’s just bunches of them. Adam- Well I have another question for you. Adam- Lorraine and Judith. You know who I’m talking about? Suzie- No? Adam- I think they wrote some different articles at least on your website about food stuff. Suzie- Okay Adam- You know who I am talking about now? Suzie- Yes, yes. Adam- Is this what I imagine to be the best job in the world? Do they get to go to restaurants and the restaurants just flaunts all over them and gives them the best food. Is that how this is? Suzie- Oh yes, they do. And what they’ll do is they’ll go on a photo-shoot the day that they are shooting the pictures for the food there and they’d get to eat it. Adam- They’d get to it eat? Suzie- Yes, it’s great. Adam- Are you hiring? Because I will quit this job right now. I’ll drop the microphone I want to be a food… They’re kind of like a food critiques, food writers. Suzie- Yes, they are. And then what’s kind of fun is that if you read about a restaurant, the food that we present in the magazine then we have a cooking school that the chef comes out to construction appliance. Which is one of our clients, they’ve got all the great appliances you know the subzero and wolf and the chef presents and cooks the meal right there and then we all get to eat it and drink wine, and it’s great. Adam- That’s awesome! Suzie- Yes, you have to come, come to one. Adam- Yes, absolutely. That has to be one of the best parts of the job. I mean right, you can visually enjoy a space and man you can really taste some good food like that. Suzie- Right! And then Lorraine, she writes about the wine. Adam- Okay, yeah. Suzie- So it’s all about food and wine. That’s the lifestyle part. Adam- So she’s at home drinking wine, and her husband, her partner whatever is like, “You’re drinking wine again..” She says, “I’m working” hahaha Suzie- Yes, I’m working hahaha Adam- Okay, so there’s a lifestyle section to the magazine too. Suzie- Uh-hmmm Adam- Because it’s not just about having a great looking house, you have to have kind of lifestyle around it. I’ve been in to houses where I don’t think I am using the right word, but it’s kind of like the minimalist look you know. You go into their house and there’s like a bed and there’s like maybe a chair and then you know their house is I would consider to be sort of sparse right. Do you, is that called minimalist or what is it called? Suzie- Yes, that’s it. Usually it’s contemporary, I think the challenge there is to get some warmth into it because sometimes they can be a little cold, cold feeling. But yeah, that’s where a designer, a professional interior designer really comes in to play. Adam- I’m just curious about this person. I really like the minimalist look you know, but I wonder how do they kind of practically apply that to their life you know. Does that person come home and kick their shoes off and throw their coat on the sofa. You know, they’re not doing that right? How is that person’s life kind of different then. Suzie- Well they tidy up their house before we come you know. It looks the best it ever has you know when we come. And when we come in with flowers but no they, they just don’t like clutter. They want a simplify their lives and… Adam- So if we go over their house on a Tuesday afternoon you don’t think they have stuffs sort of sitting around? Suzie- Oh yes, they do Adam- They do? Suzie- They do. Adam- Is their closet somewhere that’s just chock full of stuff. Suzie- We rarely, rarely see a messy closet you know. It’s a kill to go in to somebody else’s houses and the closets are so big and so beautiful and organized. Adam- I guess that sort place in to how much design has to sort of compliment your personality right? Because my personality is I come in, kick off my shoes, throw my coat on the sofa or whatever, where yesterday’s coat is still sitting kind of thing you know. But so my design might want something a little bit busier and more comfortable. Suzie- Right. Adam- But I do have friends that they come home and their shoes go into the closet, and their shirt goes to the you know one of this many hampers they have and all their clothes are organized. That’s just the way they live, I guess maybe they’d be better for their lifestyle. Suzie- You know what though. If you, if you are a little bit messy, I think in the morning like you just take 5 minutes to just tidy up a little bit and throw the empty candy bar wrappers off the coffee table, throw the soda can away whenever. You just say 5 minutes I’m going to clean and I’m going to make my bed then it looks pretty darn good when you come. Makes you feel good too. Adam- That really does, you know. And thanks Mom hahaha Suzie- *laughs* Adam- My mom’s listening to this ___, “I told him that, I told him that..” because she did, she taught me that stuff. And you’re right, when you come home then you’re going to have a more relaxing night than come home with that mess and clutter. Suzie- And I think it simplifies your life too when you’ve got not too much clutter, and you’re organized. Adam- Kind of give you a peaceful at home you know experience whatever. Suzie- Yes. Adam- Well you’ve mentioned that one of the upcoming issues is going to be all about green. And I saw that you guys have some content about sustainability and re-purposing. There’s some solar stuff on there. This whole sustainability and re-purposing stuff seems to be really big now. Are you noticing that too like the trending net people using palettes to make shelves and all that kind of thing? Suzie- Yes, they really are. Everybody’s trying to re-purpose more and be more aware of the imprint that they’re leaving on mother Earth. And there’s a lot of ___ involve too with the green. Because now everyone tries to say that they’re green. Adam- Right. Suzie- You know. But there’s different ways that you can go about it like if you’re going to build or remodel to try and think of ways to keep your energy cost down that’s big. Also use products that don’t have the off gases. You know because green is also staying healthy too. Because there’s all kinds of off gases from carpeting, there’s just different things that you can do. Adam- And the process that they’ve made that they used to make them I guess. What’s the difference between sustainability and I guess being green? Suzie- Well, green I think is a little bit, just became cliche. All products now you can figure out a way that you can say you are green. And sustainability more on just keeping your energy cost down, recycling, re-purposing, kind of change the way that you’re living so you don’t throw things away that your conscious about how you utilize products and treat the Earth. Adam- So then with this re-purposing thing, are you seeing somebody’s hiring designers using re-purposing. Are they buying old barn wood from places and stuff like that? Suzie- Yes, yes. Just yesterday, I saw a beautiful table that have been made and the leg post at each end. That was 200 year old barn wood. The top was brand new and then the legs were this old. So apparently, the new part was going to eventually age and match the look of the legs. That table was made by a local furniture designer here in town named, Martin Goble. He makes a lot. If you go to his shop, he reclaims all these, if somebody has to cut down a big tree, he’ll go and just pick it up and he’ll make tables and chairs. Adam- Wow. That seems like a cool job too! Suzie- Yes, it’s really nice. And it’s great to walk in to his shop because you just breathe in the wood. Adam- So it’s that kind of what you’re saying I guess. The barn wood seems to be the biggest thing. Suzie- Yeah! Adam- I drive into the country now and I see an old barn. And I’m like, “Oh man, that thing’s worth a ton!” Suzie- Oh yes. People are tying to gobble them up There’s a bunch of them over in Illinois. Adam- Have you written anything yet about urban chicken farming? Suzie- No, no. But you know what I went in to a blog conference last month and I was talking to a girl that blogs about chickens. Adam- She does? Suzie- Yes, yes. Adam- I became a chicken fan a couple weekends ago. My girlfriend and I got chickens. I live in the city, we have only 2. You know, the limits poor. But we’ve built a big chicken coop and all that type of thing. Painted it, and tried to make it a little nice but it seems like that kind of just fits in to the whole sustainability thing somehow. Suzie- Yes, it does. You got your own eggs Adam- It’s green, I guess. Suzie- Yes, yeah. Adam- We don’t have any eggs yet, the chickens are too young. But we’ll have them in about 3 months. I just think I love the urban chicken farming. It’s fun! Suzie- Can you have a rooster? Adam- You can’t have a rooster, at least in the city. Suzie- Okay. Well then how do you get eggs? Adam- Well, I feel weird saying this but just like a human woman makes eggs every month that’s not fertilized, chickens are the same way. They make eggs all the time, without a rooster they’re not fertilized. I actually was talking to a realtor who’s a Vegan about this. I said, what’s is the problem with eggs because it’s not like really hurting an animal when you get the eggs which we kind of got in to a discussion about it. I guess essentially we’re taking the eggs I don’t know if it’s before or after they have the chance to be fertilized. I don’t know exactly how it works to be honest with you, I need to have a chemistry profession or something. Suzie- Well that makes sense though why that Vegans can’t eat eggs. They don’t eat eggs. Adam- I think if a Vegan maybe really a Vegan person I guess really got into it might be comfortable making some exceptions. But I can understand maybe why they wouldn’t want eggs that came from some huge chicken factory somewhere where they kind of mistreated. My little chickens are the best treated chickens in town! Suzie- I bet they’re really cute too! Adam- They’re loving life! I don’t think they’re going to be in any sort of pain. I am curious you have a magazine, it’s a paper magazine. How has this whole internet thing affected your business? It looks like you guys have done a good job adding an internet section to your business and you have ads on there that kind of stuff. Obviously people are still reading magazines right? There’s something about we just like the whole did, look at the pictures and that kind of things. Has it affected your business that happened before? Suzie- No. we were really worried back 10 years ago. When it looked like everybody was going digital. It really hasn’t hurt us because it is the experience. Just this morning I’ve read an article about the goals of digital publications have just plummeted because we’re learning that, just like you said people want to hold it. It’s more of an experience. Adam- I would honestly rather pay a few dollars for the magazine and hold it in my hands than I would probably go to a website that was desperate to get money to the point where, some of the websites you go to, you read 6 sentences, click next for the rest of the article. They serve you another ad and then you read another paragraph and then you click next and you’re like, “C’mon guys! Just let me read the whole article here.” So yes, that’s good. It sounds like you have taken a good approach to it. Everyone still loves holding a magazine. Suzie- Yes, you really have to do both. We do a lot of social media also. Another thing that we are really dedicated is local. Everything in the magazine, all the articles, everyone we feature is all local. So in my publishers letter, I’m always saying buy local, buy local. Yes, research on the web but when you buy local, the money stays here. And you’re supporting your local merchants. It would be terrible if we lost some shops because people were buying in the internet. And the problem that some of the stores have now is that people will come in would want to find out, they’ll probably fall in love with a chair and want to find out what brand that is and then they’ll go online and try to buy it and bypass stuff. Adam- Like thank you for using my company as a free showroom. Suzie- Exactly! Like, this chair sits really nice fits my rear end nicely so I think I’m going to buy this but not through you, I think I’ll go online and save 5%. That’s just so wrong, I think. Adam- I think you’re right, Suzie- I think you. Do your research, find out what you need to know and go in as an educated consumer but then buy local. Adam- I don’t know if this is true or not. But if you said to that store owner, “Hey, I’m thinking about going to Amazon and buying this for $20 less.” That store owner would probably say, “Well, I’ll give you that $20 offer or somethings.” I don’t know if they would or not. Suzie- Well maybe they can compromise. I know that I spoke to one interior designer and one of her client’s that she’s working with currently said the he found a chair or whatever it was, a sofa online and he is going to buy it that way instead of through her. And she said that okay that’s fine but if you have a problem with the you know the order, the delivery. Wrong color, wrong wood, it’s your problem not mine. Sure enough, guess what happened? Adam- Problems. Suzie- Problems. He came to her and she went, “Hey.” yes, that’s what you pay for their expertise. It’s well worth it. Adam- I get it. Okay. So I want to ask you a little bit of design. As you are St. Louis’ design Queen. I know you told me to call you that before we start this show. No, I’m just kidding! Suzie- *laughs* Adam- No, so I go in to a lot of homes. As realtors we go into lots and lots of homes. Actually, I’m going to change the order of my questions. I’m curious in your opinion does stainless steel like appliances. Do they still reign as a the king? Weren’t they trying to bring in white appliances sort of shiny ones for awhile? Suzie- Yes, they have. But I think the stainless steel is still.. Adam- Still king. Suzie- Yes. Adam- Especially now that they’ve made it magnetic. What about granite? Is there something better than granite out there now? Suzie- Granite is wonderful. It always has been. But with the sustainability and green movement, some people been leaning towards the quartz. And also recycled glass and stone. There’s also paper counter tops. Recycled paper is real hard. Adam- Putting like a coating like on there or something I guess. Suzie- It doesn’t look like paper though. It’s like paper and something else. But there are alternatives too. Granite is still just as beautiful. Adam- I bought granite for my house a year ago or so. I thought it was funny, because I bought the granite and like. Okay well now don’t get citrus on it and don’t use any special cleaning products on it. I’m like this came with rules on it. I thought this was supposed to be granite, it’s supposed to be hard, durable but it’s not really as durable. And maybe there are, you’re saying maybe it’s quartz more durable. Suzie- Oh yes, I’ve got quartz. Adam- Quartz it is everybody! Suzie- Nooo. But it’s just. You don’t stain it, you can’t hurt it, and it’s a little more green than granite. But granite is beautiful. I mean you can get different finishes to put on it. And yes, you have a little more maintenance on it. Marble is one that I love. And I would love to have marble counter tops but it;s not practical at all. Adam- So granite is expensive but marble is even more expensive? Suzie- I think so. And higher maintenance. I mean if you have a family and you want. I mean if you have a beautiful kitchen and beautiful appliances but you really don’t cook in your kitchen. Then you can have marble. Adam- But if you get some wine in the marble, it might stain it? Suzie- Yes, you have to immediately clean it up. Adam- What about quartz. Is it expensive or not compared to granite? Suzie- It’s about the same Adam- You buy it in the same kind of places? Suzi-e Yes Adam- What is in your opinion kind of the trendiest thing now. What is the hottest thing going on right now? Suzie- Acrylic. Like acrylic chairs.. Adam- Really? Suzie- Yes, a couple of issues back we did acrylic classic. Or is it a craze. It’s been around, it’s the last page of our book every issue. And acrylic is just really hot and it’s been around forever. About 5 or 6 years ago we went into a home. We ended up featuring, it’s like called Elton John. there’s just acrylic everywhere. Acrylic is amazing. It’s great and small places because if you get a clear and not the color one. It’s just like a glass table. It makes the space seem bigger. Adam- And what in your opinion is trendy now, kinda popular now that in 10 years or so from now we’re going to be thinking, what were we thinking? Which is what I think about when I see old green counter tops and brown counter-tops. What do you think is like? Suzie- Well I think a lot of times it’s the color as a year. You know like right now, the color is terracotta red. You now, I always go with the color of the year thinking yes this is great. It kind of updates. Then you can quickly see down the road that you’ll see something that like if there’s a terracotta red sofa. Oh well I know when they bought that. Adam- When I was still living with my parents before I left College. We had our basement finished and everything was kind of in this maroon color and there’s like 4 screen color. And now I see that I’m like, oh it looks like they redid their kitchen in 96. Suzie- Yes. Adam- I guess you think there’s something that’s coming back. Like are we about to be, are we now styling houses like we did in 96 or like we did in 80 or is this a totally new style we’re on. Suzie- Well I think there’s always you know a contemporary which is what is hot right now. But right now there’s a big movement towards the mid century. Retro. That’s really hot right now and I think that furniture is like from the 40’s, 50’s there. And it’s just beautiful. And what’s nice about it is you can incorporate a mid-century piece into a traditional environment or contemporary or modern. And that’s what’s nice. That’s trending right now and I think it’s going to stick around. No longer do you have everything that’s matchy-matchy like your whole house is traditional and you’ve got matching lamps on each side of the sofa and the exact amount of pillows. Now it’s like mix it up and whatever makes you happy. Adam- Okay so that’s kind of never now thing. Everyone has their own style but you don’t have to have exactly a set pattern basically Suzie- Right. You can’t. You just want to make all your spaces like instead of having maybe a formal living room that you don’t use, turn it into a study or turning into a music room something that you’ll truly use. So functionality is really important now. Adam- I’m curious about this formal living room thing right. because most of the people I’m working with now they want everything open you know. They want to be standing in the kitchen and be able to see the people watching TV and will see the people in the other rooms. I guess I go into a lot of homes that are laid out with the formal living room, the formal dining room and everything’s kind of on its own. What do you think about those formal living rooms are they usable like those people use those? I’ve seen them with plastic still on the furniture now Suzie- Oh yeah. I think that, that floor plan is a classic. You just have to like if you’re selling one, then you just encourage the people to utilize that space. Adam- ANd show it for what is is Suzie- Yes. Don’t just have a room that just goes wasted. Use it. Adam- Alright. So I’m going to jump into asking you my 5 questions that I ask everyone. Suzie- Oh dear Adam- They’re not so bad. I just, getting to know you a little bit you know. We’re learned a lot about your magazines in those homes and lifestyles and talk about interior decorating things but I want to learn abour Suzie a little bit if I may. So who lives under your roof? Suzie- Mu husband, and we’ll be celebrating our 40th anniversary. Adam- Wow! Congratulations Suzie- I know. Thanks! Adam- You going to do anything fun? Suzie- Well we’re trying to plan a trip, a really nice trip. But we’re not there yet, we’re thinking about it. Adam- You probably kind of get out of town because you’ve already been to all the coolest restaurants in you’ve already seen the cools spaces right. Suzie- Yes, it’s healthy to take a break and get away from your routine. Adam- Alright. No pets or anything I guess? Suzie- Oh yes I have a standard red poodle that’s 11 years old and she goes to work with me every day. As a matter of fact she’s at work right now. Adam – Okay Suzie- And she loves going to work Adam- You could’ve brought her here, I love dogs Suzie- Oh yes, I should’ve. And I have 2 kids, I have a son, Tim and I have a daughter, Sadie. Adam- Are they both going to grow up and be working at the magazine? Suzie- No. Tim has his own business. He installs window tint. His business is called Metro Tent and they go in and put the tint on the window so they’ll block the sunlight and also doesn’t stain the furniture or the floors. Adam- That’s cool. Where’s this company? Suzie- He works out of his home. But he goes into homes and just puts it up. Adam- Interesting. I always thought of tint being just what people put on their car. But I do know, again I have a listing now. Ohhh the windows are tinted, I’m like that’s an interesting idea. Suzie- yes, its wonderful because it protects your artwork, your furnishings, your rugs and your hardwood floors. Adam- I guess it’s kind of fits the whole green thing too. Because it probably, like room stays cooler in the summer type of thing. Suzie- yes, it does. Adam- Alright, so you’re just a green family. Suzie- Yes, and my daughter is a circus performer. Adam- What! What does she do? Suzie- Well, she owns a runaway circus in Ashville North Carolina and she is a Trapeze artist and she sings and dances and plays 4 or 5 instruments. Right now she’s down in West Palm Beach taking more classes on Trapeze and actually teaching. Adam- Okay so at the circus they have the people who I guess incredible sort of physical skills trapeze that kind of things, that’s what your daughter does. And there’s like the other people there who are swallowing swords. Suzie- No, none of those. But jugglers, it’s a little bit more like a little version of Cirque du Soleil. Lots of singing and dancing and then they also a lot of vaudeville. They also have camps for children and they go into elementary schools and teach the kids. It’s kind of those children that maybe don’t excel or organized sports, do really well in circus arts they call it. And they’re like kind of trending right now. Because it gives children confidence and they have fun. Adam- And there’s more out there for kids that don’t just want to play foot ball. Suzie- Exactly. Well you know here in town, down at City Museum. They’ve got a great circus group Adam- I didn’t know. See, I’ve learned something new. That’s what these podcast are all about. Where are you, your best? Suzie- Probably just out and about. Talking to people and having fun. Going out with friends, traveling. I just like to have a good time, really. Adam- Good. I love that. Me too. I think you have the perfect job for it, right. Because everyone has a reason to have you at their events and to have you in their restaurants it’s like this is great. You put yourself in a really cool position. Do you have a favorite blog that you read or podcaster. Suzie- Well I do have a good friend that has a wine blog, it’s called Winezag.com that I follow. He just talks about all the great wines and if you’re having this for dinner then this is a great wine to drink with that. He does that on the side but he is always drinking great wine. Adam- Okay, good! Suzie- Yes, it does make a difference you know when, what you are having for dinner. If you have a glass of wine that compliments your meal. It just makes it taste that much better just like a great dessert. Adam- What is your guilty pleasure? Suzie- Oh gosh, hahaha. Guilty pleasure.. I don’t know. Probably just watching marathon on House of Cards Adam- Okay. House of Cards? That’s not a decorating show? Suzie- Loved it. No I just had to do something totally different. Adam- Okay, when you just go home and take your shoes off and watch some House of Cards. Okay. Well you deserve it! Suzie- Yeah! Adam- Who is your mentor and how have you thanked them? Suzie- Oh I would say my mentor was, a girl in publishing. She was the publisher and still is of Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle. And I’ve learned a lot from her and just admire the way she goes about business and customer service. Her name is Jenna Christianson and she’s from Atlanta. Adam- So you’ve met her just through your dealings with when this company was still big company- owned. Suzie- Yes. Actually, she came up from Atlanta and helped us start St. Louis Homes and Lifestyle Magazine. She was the publisher and I was a sales rep there. I had no idea that they were teaching me to be a publisher. Adam- They we’re grooming you. And so yes, she was your mentor, how have you thanked her. Maybe you haven’t. Suzie- Oh no, I have. Just verbally, I’ll write her little notes. Tell her she’s wonderful and I’ve gotten out on big meetings and said she was my mentor and she’d gets all embarrassed, you know. Adam- She appreciates that I’m sure. Suzie- Yes. Adam- And I’m sure your dog is wanting you to get back to her so we’ll let you go. I appreciate it very much. Thanks for coming on the show and we look forward to everyone listening to next week’s podcast. We’ll have more guests, more great information and more content for you. Thanks for listening, take care!    

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