Our Fabulous People feature this week is the Founder and Creative Director at THE LifeStyled COMPANY, Kristen Forgione. Kristen is an “Interior Stylist + Designer” in Gilbert, AZ. We have been following Kristen’s work for years and have always been so impressed with beautiful rooms she puts together and the business she has built! Learn a little more about Kristen:
Hometown: Born in San Diego but bred right here in the East Valley
First job: First job ever, Black Tie Cleaners! It was the rise and fall, I was running that place by 16, and then made the decision to hire my best friends… hence the fall part! I could write a book called The Dry Cleaning Diaries!
Favorite AZ restaurant: Can anyone really answer this question?? Goodness- if I had to pick ONE… Serranos! Probably not what you’d expect to hear but my family has been going there for down home Mexican food for 25 years, and the bean dip is still the same! I was torn between there and Filibertos… See a pattern here?
Person who has impacted your life the most: My husband. Before we met I had drive, but I didn’t have the heart to direct all that fire into something good. Call it early twenties, but before we became “us,” I knew there had to be something more out there but I definitely didn’t know what finding that something would entail. He is the one and only person I’ve ever known who can look me in the face and call b*llsh*t while also loving me to the core. Impact is an understatement.
Your biggest accomplishment: Taking the leap! Working for yourself is such a crazy thing. Looking back, I think (often), how did I have the guts to do this?! Without that leap, all of the other accomplishments wouldn’t be! I always knew I would work for myself, but I didn’t know when or how.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: I can’t say fully overcome, but I am getting better! And making progress! Criticism. Working in a creative field that is super subjective is really tough. I can honestly say I NEVER prepared myself for what criticism would feel like, and how much it can rock you. I design with my whole heart. My soul. My being. It’s who I am. And when it isn’t received in the way you expect, it hurts. I am learning not to let it “hurt” so much and to take it in stride. Ultimately, my client’s homes and spaces should be a reflection of them and if the process to get us there comes with a few “I hate that”s or “that’s ugly,” I’ll live.
Someone who inspires you: My girls! Babies, kiddos, children, little masterpieces, whatever we call them, mine are so deep! In such a short time! It’s like, you’ve been on this planet less than five years and you love so hard. You are so passionate (just take the play doh away and see the passion). You are so dedicated. You are so humble. You are so selfless. It reminds me that we work so hard, only to hopefully get back to the place we were when we got here. Just with experience and knowledge instead of naivety.
Favorite quote: “Less House More Home.” I say it often, but am certainly not the first. It’s sort of become my mantra.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Have confidence.
What makes someone fabulous: Authenticity.