We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Martin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine, how do you think about risk?
Career-wise, I played it safe for a long time. As an international educator for over 15 years, I stayed in my role knowing that it paid the bills and afforded the lifestyle I enjoyed. Still, since the beginning, I knew it was not what made my soul sing. It took me a long time to transition into interior design. I couldn’t jump all in until I had some experiences under my belt, momentum in my brand, and positive responses from clients. Up until about a month ago, I still had my foot in the teaching door. I was offered a more secure position even. In pandemic times, having job offers is golden. But, my intuition…the knowing in my gut whispered to me to pass it up. Filling my time like that would inhibit me from cultivating my business further. Saying no to this offer and others has been scary; I wont’ lie. But, I felt the time right to take a chance on myself, to give all of my creativity, effort, and stamina to the business I created. Getting to this point stems from years of trying new things. Working overseas, I had the opportunity to begin life chapters in various parts of the world. Starting over like this is never easy. But, it always met me with rewards: meeting new people and engaging in global cultures are two big ones. Being out of my comfort zone is something I actually seek. I think this makes feeling the right risks to take a bit easier.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Good Abode is an online interior design business with the goal of giving everyone the comfortable and soulful space they deserve to live in. The streamlined virtual process is simple and allows me to engage and co create with my clients. I look at my service and accessing a DIY project with the guidance of a professional. This allows for people to take ownership in creating the home they dream of. I am most proud of the evolution of my business. It started as an Instagram account where I posted images of interiors that inspired me. As I started to get small projects, I began to share my approach to design. And my own spaces, including the house we built in Mexico also became topics of content on social media. I soon realized I needed a website and nurtured that while receiving more inquiries. I love that many of my clients are repeat ones…that they are happy with past projects and continue to seek my help for other areas of their home. I am proud of the connections I’ve made along the way both with other designers, craftspeople, and artists. There is always room for collaboration and helping each other out in this realm; it’s one of my favorite things. Getting here was definitely not easy. I wanted to throw in the towel several times. It’s really about showing up. Trying new methods. Being resilient. I learned that you can’t market to everyone and that really, the number of followers on your accounts matters nothing if you’re audience isn’t engaged. I learned that waiting for something to be perfect to share is limiting. There is a beauty in seeing the process, with messy mistakes and all. This makes you more human and human is relatable. I’m excited about connecting design and wellness. There is no doubt, especially now, that people recognize the importance of their environments. Our homes are everything: our havens, our workspaces, our schools, our place for community. Creating spaces that nurture us in all ways is key to our physical, mental, and emotional health. The Good Abode designs with this in mind. Taking things a step further, I’ve launched another site, Magnetic Interiors which focuses on how energy and environment align. My aim there is to help people identify where they are stuck in life, unblock, and design spaces that are containers for the transformation they want to see in their lives. It’s energy healing meets interior design. It’s a holistic interior design practice and I think people are ready for it!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Without the tireless support of David Marino, I’d likely have diverted off my career path. Since we first met, he had a confidence in me and my skills that I, myself, lacked. It was through his affirmations and sharing with others at parties, on Facebook (sometimes to my embarrassment) that the message started to sink in: I’m good at what I do! When we moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, I decided to leave my paying job with another company to give entrepreneurship a go. David cheered me on. He held space for my dream to open a decor shop, to promote my services locally and online, to work on my website. Thanks to his connections, I’ve had a number of client requests and thanks to his own career experience, I have learned some of the ropes of organizing a business. By financially supporting us, I had the freedom to explore my identity as a business owner. We had some rough moments and certainly the stress of making money was always in the background for me. But, I’ve felt his unconditional encouragement always-even now as we’ve moved out of a romantic partnership and continue our friendship. So grateful to have such a beautiful person on my side.