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The Story Behind Ask the Decorator


    The story of Ask the Decorator is one of continuous change -- from a Web site with a few articles to a blog to a series of video episodes. To start at the beginning of the Ask the Decorator story, we would find Meghan as a college senior. But rather than rewind that far, the story below tells the most crucial story of Ask the Decorator: how it became the Web site it is today.

There comes a point in almost all humans' lives when they must admit that they don't know everything. For me, that moment came on a very cold January night.

    I had just finished filming a series of do-it-yourself videos for Ask the Decorator, and the number of projects I knew how to do was quickly dwindling. Frustrated, I began pacing my room, slowly wearing a track into my carpet. The nervous energy from my feet swiftly made its way to my thoughts where it began to wreck havoc.
    "What was I thinking?" I thought. "I'm only 22. How can I be an expert on anything? I've barely lived. Why did I think I could start my own blog - my own Web site. I was crazy."
    Locked in a fierce battle, my confidence and insecurities were busy tearing myself apart. If someone had walked into the room at that moment, he or she would have placed his or her money on my insecurities. I think I would have even taken that bet.
    "Why didn't I get a real job after college," I thought. "Why didn't I become a public relations practitioner or go to grad school or even become a journalist for some..."
    Slowly my emotions began to sway in a different direction.
    "A journalist?" I thought excitedly as if I'd stumbled upon a revelation. "Why hadn't I thought of that before? I could be a journalist. I could interview other people. I don't have to be the expert. No one can be an expert on everything. I don't have to know everything."
    And the light went off. I could check another essential moment of being a human being off my life's list. But instead of taking that momentous occasion as a humbling experience, my confidence went into overdrive as if to rub its victory in the face of my insecurities.
    "To interview all of the experts about interior design, I'm going to have to travel around the country," I thought. "So I'll go on a giant road trip to every state filming short videos with each expert. I'm going to get the best information for my viewers and readers. This is going to be awesome."
    Months later when I reflected on that moment, I referred to it as, "A stroke of genius that only comes to you when the sane parts of your mind are asleep."
    And so the Ask the Decorator that we know today was born from a mixture of sleep deprivation and insanity - two necessary elements of any good idea.
    The next day, I called up my first video interview before the excitement wore off and reality had time to sink in. Never once did it occur to me that they would say no. Why would they? Like I said, the confidence was in overdrive. Luckily, they said yes and formed the beginning of a long list of interviews to come.

   

I think back to that night often. Normally it's at moments when I'm carrying four bags up a flight of stairs to reach the next video location, or when I'm finally eating lunch at 4:00 after a long day of filming - you know, moments of immense physical pain. And I wonder why I thought traveling the nation would be so "awesome."

    Then there are those moments when I'm at an extremely successful, nationally known company or watching a highly talented artisan work, and I think, "How did that one night get me here? This is unbelievable."
    But my favorite moments are the ones when I get an e-mail from a reader saying, "Thank you. Your videos and articles really helped me." It's those moments that give that night meaning. After all, everything here on Ask the Decorator is for you, our reader. And I hope you enjoy it.



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Hey, are you sniffing around in our private corporate documents? Go ahead. I won’t tell. Besides I’ve got nothing to hide. In fact, I like it when you look around. It gives me the chance to brag a little. Plus, you get to know me, which is always a good thing. Okay, I’m hoping it's a good thing. I’ve got my fingers crossed.