Spotlight On Moving Mountains Design: Staging Luxury Homes on the market

This week we shine the spotlight on Moving Mountains Design . Those needing to sell a  big luxury home within the L. a. area call on owner Michelle Minch. She and her team swoop in and decide just the proper paintings, rugs, sofas or even duvet covers to make a property fetch top dollar. Minch says she has 6 part-time employees in all and was in business eight years.

WHAT THE BUSINESS IS FAMOUS FOR: Being the luxurious home stager for the la market.

Very few professional stagers own enough inventory to stage larger homes. Even fewer have the type of higher end furniture, Persian rugs, artwork and accessories had to complete these jobs successfully. Moving Mountains Design has a warehouse stuffed with beautiful accessories, furniture, artwork, linens, throw pillows and lamps appropriate to luxury homes. On the Real Estate Staging Association International Conference this year, Minch presented a workshop on luxury home staging to a status-room-only audience. The conference is sort of like a Ted Talks for pro home stagers.

HOW THE BUSINESS GOT STARTED: a visit to Kansas City to wow some home buyers.

The first home Minch staged (and got paid for) was for an interior design client. They asked her to assist them get their Kansas City home able to sell. Minch was flown from L. a.. She did plenty of editing, rearranging and upgraded the kitchen with granite counters and new backsplash. The sellers expected the house to take six months to a year to sell, which was the norm at the moment in Kansas City. It was the early 2000′s. They went under contract shortly and closed escrow about two months later – shockingly fast. Minch didn’t call what she did staging back then. She just told colleagues she was “getting the home able to sell”. But back home, one in every of her neighbors was an actual estate agent. When she heard about Minch’s success, she started calling her to stage listings. Word got out and other agents started calling. And the remainder is history.

BIGGEST RISK TAKEN WITHIN THE BUSINESS: Taking a line of credit for prime end inventory

The biggest risk was a house equity line of credit on a rental property which Minch used to grow her company and keep it within the black. She says if her business hadn’t prospered, she may have potentially lost that property to foreclosure. The outcome is that she have been ready to purchase a truly large stock of upper end inventory, furniture, artwork and accessories. This allowed her to place herself as a luxury home staging expert.

BIGGEST WINS? Professional Stager of the Year and More.

In 2010, Minch was voted Professional Stager of the Year by the genuine Estate Staging Association. Being chosen because the best professional stager within the U . s . a . and Canada by her peers- over 1,000 professional home stagers- was a large honor. This year she was voted RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager within the U.S.

Winning these awards has given Minch “street cred.” It has given her great credibility together with her peers, her clients and with the media. It has also been a glorious marketing and public relations opportunity.

IF THIS BUSINESS WERE A SONG, IT’D BE: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Minch says she’s an eternal optimist. She surrounds herself with optimistic people. Her company culture is optimistic, creative and up-beat. Because the work the corporate does is extremely physically demanding, it helps to be surrounded by happy people, Minch says.

Runner up will be “High Hopes” by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen. Minch admits her favorite version is by Jiminy Cricket.


Though Minch feels her team is diverse group, she says she’s never had anyone say no to Japanese food.


“Big doors swing on little hinges”

The quote is attributed to businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone.

Image: Kevin Edge

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