Janet V.L.: Owner & Chief Designer, Azul Staging

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My Native Admission Statement: I’m Janet V.L., creator and leading designer at Azul Staging, a luxury home staging company in Los Angeles. Interior design, art & Architecture have been my passion since I was a child growing up in Mexico. In today’s attention-grabbing world, there are so many challenges to making your work and your home stand out. We stage houses betting on surprise, or the unexpected - the "WOW effect.” We take special care to make sure the textures, furniture and decor blend in our own unique ‘Azul Staging’ way. No other home on the market has that individual look.

How did you get into the industry?

I was born and raised in Mexico. As a child I had always been drawn to art and design. So naturally, a career in design and fashion was part of my childhood destiny. I traveled to Milan and Madrid to learn directly from top designers in the industry. Later, I discovered my passion to combine textures and material, which is the heart of space design. And with space design I am able to apply my skills and my passion for art, design and architecture. I don’t like repetition or the ordinary, so my drive is to find unorthodox combinations of materials. If I don't find the perfect piece for a room, I design it myself.

Any emerging industry trends?

Home staging is a fast paced and quickly developing industry. The latest interior design trends are all on display, so we have to respond quickly to the growing demand among homeowners for the hottest ideas. We can stage their houses before they put them on the market, so their homes sell as fast as possible and over-market value.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Many companies and clients go with a neutral staging looks using common furniture and accent ideas. Following basic interior design makes everyone feel more comfortable and secure but the market is already saturated with generic staging, so no one take any real notice when they walk through a staged home. The trend today is to utilize bold colors and original designs with unique elements and new combination, and accented with original art creations. Among staging companies the search for authenticity creates faster sales.

As an LA-based design firm, we have attenuated our vibration with the originality of the SoCal’s natural, breezy, yet sophisticated style. We scour the city in search for art and the people that define the west-side.

Many of our clients are Hollywood insiders, who define the culture with their colorful personalities and creative minds. Since they strive to find inspiration everywhere, we strive to stage their home to match their imaginative lifestyle. We want to make sure the homes reflect their unique personalities, so they can sell faster to the right party.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

Originally we wanted to show and talk about the extraordinary wooden furniture that we produce at Azul. The furniture design belongs to nature and we don't change any of the natural shapes of the trees we choose for our collections. Arranging spaces with these pieces and adding art and variety of elements create the effect we are trying to deliver to every one of our projects.

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Our latest project was to stage the house of famed director and Hollywood royalty, Nick Cassavetes, who’s projects include Blow, The Notebook, John Q… the list goes on. We wanted to stage his house in a way that reflected his professional and familial stature, while paying homage to his creative sensibility, and of course help his family sell the their property as fast and profitably as possible.

Our future plans are to launch a program for realtors to make communication more effectively between clients and agents so they can be completely satisfied with the final staging. We are doing this so we can help educate and support the real estate industry to become more knowledgeable about interior and space design.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Azul Staging is focused on building long term partnerships with the top real estate agencies in Los Angeles and national realtors like Compass and The Agency. Our goal is to offer our expertise, with timely consultation. We strive to create a flawless end-to-end process so the client, the seller and the agent are confident with the quality of our service. A job well done creates trust and repeat business.

Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)

When you are creating something new, unique and exclusive, getting the first client on board is always the hardest. To justify my vision and my design, I had to convince that initial brave person that the cost was going to be worthy. I didn’t yet have a portfolio, case studies or any other clients I could refer them to. The lesson I learned was that if I listened closely to the clients needs and spoke with confidence and passion, and describe my vision with as much detail as possible, I could open any door.

Ideal experience for a customer/client?

Our experience with clients broaden our vision of their needs. We constantly learn from them and improve our relationship over time. We begin with the idea of learning who they are and end in the process of staging. After a detailed consultation, we sat the exact terms of staging, creating an unique design using all the key elements which help the client feel confident that they have made an informed decision.

How do you motivate others?

Everyone has something to offer. We are all creative geniuses in our own unique way. Some people may be good at math, or spatial dynamics, some people are more artistic or have the right words, some people are born scientists and anyone can support and amplify the vision. I like to give freedom to these talents. I’ve seen them blossom aesthetically into meaningful projects that bring value to our clients and partners.

Career advise to those in your industry?

I have learned to bring my true self to each project and to constantly refine my skills and expand my knowledge. This has led me down the path of success. Remember, that no matter how hard something is to accomplish or how distant or bold your dream looks in the beginning, if you keep being yourself and striving for excellence the world will open her doors for you. Interior design involves imagination and inner sense of space, atmosphere, and understanding people and how they will use the space. Use all of them all.

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What do I do best?

Inspire the others

What makes me the best version of myself?

Awkwardly persistent in my strive for improvement

What are my aspirations?

My personal goal is to help people find a piece of genuine beauty that makes their home cozy and happy.

My business goal is to make Azul Staging well known and loved brand.

My Biggest Success?

My biggest success was when I found out my talents and brought them into the world.

My Most Challenging Moment?

Out of the world of business being a parent and raising my kids in strong beliefs and values is a true challenge in life.

My Motto?

Man is what he sees in the world

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Fridda Kalo as an artist and strong woman

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Pacific Palisades coast line since Los Angeles is my second home

My Favorite Products/Objects?

The HarmoniousTable

This piece embodies the concept of harmony, as it is formed by two roots which naturally intertwined with one another as they grew. Harmoniously shaped, this 100-year-old masterpiece is absolutely one-of-a-kind. The contrast of this organic, artistic creation and the clear glass top give this piece the unique, modem look that few people are fortunate to attain. This piece will automatically set the tone of any atmosphere

My Current Passions?

Fashion and nature

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: To recognize one better me, when looking in the mirrоr at the end of the day

Thought of the Day: Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground

Action of the Day: 1 hour deep talk with my kids

Deed of the Day: To Create beauty

Tip of the Day: It always seems impossible until it's done

A Day in My Life:

What do you love most about Your City?

Diversity, people and weather

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Cafe Vida - Pacific Palisades

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – wake up

10:00 AM - business meetings and office work

12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

Nobu Malibu

7:00 PM - Dinner with the family

11:00 PM - Reading

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Coffee kicks my day off

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

Our Instagram account: @azulstagingdesigns

What should everyone try at least once?

To test his own inner boundaries

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In the eyes of the man next to me...

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