We have been eager to share the story behind our recent purchase of what will soon be the official Upstate Roots Design Headquarters. We have high hopes and dreams for what this property will become one day and offer to our clients combined with the local community. If you have been following us thus far, we are so grateful to have you join URD for this exciting journey. What many may not know, is that for us, this journey started almost an entire year ago. It just doesn't feel right to have you come on board without the insight into the WHY and HOW we obtained this historic property.
Allow us start by telling you more about this AMAZING gem of home, located at 978 N Greece Road. This property is a cobblestone farmhouse built in 1832. It is one of the four surviving cobblestone properties located in Greece. The property is known as the William Covert-Pollok House, is listed on the national landmark site, and was the very first designated town landmark in 1998. The prior family that owned this property, Helen and Bill Pollok took great pride in the home and fought hard to preserve its beauty and bring awareness to its history. The roots of this property are deep and we are excited to continue to uncover the special stories behind these walls.
THE WHY: URD comes with a lot of baggage..literally tons of STUFF as you all know. We explored the idea of renting space, purchasing a warehouse, and many other crazy ideas we entertained for 2 years that quite simply never sat right. In October of 2021, we staged a beautiful historic home and it hit us. We knew then that we wanted a property with history, character, charm and one that we could bring to life while upholding & honoring all that stood before. We treasure all styles, and through the art of staging and design, we help clients see the beauty in mixing the old with new; and we just knew we wanted our business headquarters to do the same. After exploration, we were connected to the Covert-Pollock property and it was love at first sight. The funny thing is, Meagan grew up & Kristin now lives only miles from this property and we have driven by it hundreds of times. All the more reason this property felt special. We started to wonder how many other people felt the same way about this beautiful landmark that appeared to be vacant for many years. Maybe much like us, they always knew it was there but never truly understood its history. We hope to change that!
We were silly to think this may be an easy journey and per usual, we put our hearts far before the reality of the situation. What started as an exciting idea led down a path of tears, exhaustion, and often defeat. But, we stayed committed to our goal and we had some really great people working by our side to get us here. 978 N Greece Rd has always been a residential property, therefore our largest hurdle ahead was our goal to run it as a commercial property. Throw in the fact that it is a national & local historic landmark, and our hopes to build on it in the future…you can imagine the mountain of approvals that were ahead of us. There were a lot of highs & a lot of lows, but we stayed the course and continued to push our vision forward. We gained not one, not two…BUT the three approvals we needed from the town of Greece and on October 30th, 2022 we became the proud owners of 978 N. Greece Rd.
What’s to come?!?! This is SO hard to put into words. A lot! It’s the next chapter of our story. Our story that went from an idea, to a conversation, to an LLC, building of a brand, to our first design project and our first vacant stage…Working out of our garages, getting a storage unit, partnering with a moving company, getting a second storage unit, moving out of our storage units and into a building…to now putting our roots in the ground at our first ever headquarters. We have built this business from the ground up and through all of the ups and down that come with entrepreneurship, we are so dang proud of this brand! It’s been quite the ride and an even sweeter one to have people like you interested & following our journey. There is so much more to come both with the property itself & URD’s services.
We thank you from the bottom of our heart for being here.
Kris & Meg
The space I have chosen is...drum roll please...my...boring...old guest bath. I wish I was entering when I transformed our sunroom last year (sigh) BUT...that project is done and I am onto the next and one that is far overdue.
THE SPACE: Guest/kids Bathroom
We have two full baths and two 1/2 baths in our home. This is not our master, rather our upstairs full bathroom that guests would use if they stayed over and the bathroom that belongs to my crazy kiddos yet is not used as they still use ours! It must be that hard to look at that even my kids shy away from it! It is literally the one room in the house that has not been touched in any way, shape, or form since we moved in 10 years ago. Every.Other.Room.Has.Been.At.Least.Hugged.
So, while it would not be my pick to WOW on my first #ORC Challenge...it is a space that needs some serious love.
THE PAIN POINTS:
- No lighting besides an awful heater light in ceiling
- Colorless - this is the color my whole house was painted when I moved in and it is the only room in my entire house that remains this color
- The decor (or lack of) has been the same for 10 years including that creative, brown “live well, laugh often, love much” sign that I asked for on my wedding registry (why?!?!)
- Yellow wood vanity with zero hardware
- Dingy old tile floors
- Old brown mirror
- Broken towel rack
- Toothpaste on the vanity cabinets
- Toothpaste on the floors
- Toothpaste on the ceiling
- You get the point…toothpaste everywhere (kids!)
As much as I would love to rip everything out and start new, we are on a budget. So I will be doing most of the work myself...which brings me to...
If you are new here, I lost my dad 5 years ago to cancer at the age of 55. If you’ve been here for awhile...you know I am putting on my daddy’s boots for this one! 5 years ago I couldn’t hang a picture. My dad would help me bring all my crazy design ideas to life. I would dream them...and he would make them, paint them, hang them...you name it. Losing him has been one of the most gut wrenching, painful experiences of my life. It has also been one of the most transformative. It has showed me what I’m made of. That I’m fierce. I am strong. That even in the darkest of moments, if you open your eyes...you see so much light from others. That while our experiences are just that - ours...we are never alone. That I sure can hang a picture, use a paint brush, learn how to use power tools, teach myself stuff I would have never dreamed of. While I would give anything to have my partner in crime here doing these things for me...it is not my reality. Instead I believe he gifted me this path, this business...so I will try my hardest to step into his boots and do ALL the things...This ones for you dad <3
And we’re off! I will leave you with my vibe board…not to be confused with mood board - Thats coming at you next week! This is the vibe, the feeling, the picture you bring your hair dresser to get the look you want…Ya got me?
Thanks for being here friends. We appreciate you so much!!
So, this topic has been weighing heavy on my heart lately. I think anyone, with any type of goal, in any season of life can relate. You have these goals & dreams, and you’re super excited. You start putting the wheels in motion to get yourself there…AND just as easily...you give up on them or put them on the back burner because you’re not getting there fast enough. Whatever your end goal is (be a better parent, a better spouse, lose 10 pounds, run a marathon, start a business, make a million dollars, start a blog, spend more time with your mama), the thing that holds us back the most is enjoying the process. I truly feel, you are not going to be happy in success (whatever that looks like to you) if you can’t be happy on the road that gets you there.
We need to understand that we are just as successful on our way to the end goal as we are when we reach it. Every step in that direction needs to be seen, heard and celebrated. If you do not take the time to focus in on that now, you will NOT be fulfilled when you reach your end goal. You will just be striving for the next goal and missing out on all the amazing moments that got you right where you are.
Meg & I recently networked with a very successful real estate broker in our area. It was great conversation, and during our meeting he asked, “what does success look like for you”? Meg and I sat there for a second, and then I started blurting the things you would assume make a business successful...things around money, go to business, best at our job etc. Since that meeting, my crazy brain has been thinking...Of course we need to define success and dream crazy dreams. We need to have huge goals. That’s what keeps passion alive and keeps our entrepreneur spirit on fire. But just as important is truly living in the process that is getting you there. My answer should have been simple…Sitting here with you is success Brought me back to our why and here are some of the things Meg and I are celebrating on our way to success.
END GOAL: We want to create beautiful lived in spaces that people love & can afford
Success is the client that cried when she walked into her redesigned living room space.
Success is helping someone see that they can love what they have by simply moving their items around in their space through our “Refresh” package, if they are on a tight budget.
Success was our decision to invest in a website too showcase what we can do and have a place to build our portfolio so people can see our work.
END GOAL: We want our brand to build and support community
Success is when we have shared or promoted another small business to a client or on our social media pages.
Success is when we decided to start a community page on our website.
Success is our new campaign we kicked off - #itstheinsidethatcounts – all with a mission to spread self-love and kindness throughout our local community.
Success is when a fellow business shared not only what we do but that we have “lots of feel good posts” as that is something we strive for.
END GOAL: We want staging to become as routine as home inspections (say what?!?!)
Success is the networking meeting we had with a local realtor to help them understand what we do, how we do it differently, and most importantly how we can help their business and clients.
Success was us making the decision to get certified in staging so we fully articulate all that we offer besides a fresh space
Success is the house that just sold in 1 week after being staged for our client.
Were there failures along with these small successes...absolutely. But if we concentrated on just that, we would not be moving forward as a business. And I firmly believe that is why so many startup businesses fail. If you’re always thinking about the end goal, and not in the moment celebrating every single step forward in your process (big or small), we challenge you to rethink what success looks like to you. You my friend are worthy of celebrating every step in your journey, along with every set back as it brings you right to where you should be. The only true set back is you giving up on wanting something more for yourself…
“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness & growth occurs while you are climbing it” ~ Andy Rooney
URD is so beyond excited to spread self love, positivity, and kindness around our Rochester, NY community with our #ROCitstheinsidethatcounts mission.
From the beginning of our business conversations, we knew we wanted something more than just spreading beauty in people’s homes. Of course what we do and love is just that. We passionately believe that beauty lies within each and every room of your home, so much so that it is one of our main points in our mission statement - "Beauty Inside Us All". It is our goal to empahsize that while keeping the beauty of your home true to you. One of the main reasons we started URD.
However, outside of the physical beauty of our business and what we aesthetically provide, we always wanted to take it a step further and make sure our clients understand that #ROCitstheinsidethatcounts. Not only the inside of your home... but the inside of who you do business with, who you surround yourself with, and most importantly how you feel about yourself. That was one of our tag lines from the very beginning and now we have found another way to bring it to light!
I was listening to Jenna Kutchers podcast not to long ago, and Ashley Reale was on there talking about her company and her mission too #shareloveeverywhere. Her mission started simply. “What if one act of kindness could change a life?" Now she has distributed over 21,000 notes globally to strangers to simply share encouragement. So simple. So kind. So freaking amazing! Her personal goal 5 years ago was just doubled when Reebok started a campaign putting 200,000 of her cards in their women’s sneakers in honor of international women’s day Go check out Ashley’s company and support this amazing woman at www.shareloveeverywhere.com.
If any of you have been following Upstate Roots Design for some time, you know we are all about this positivity, encouragement, and light. Right before I listened to the podcast, I was thinking of how to spread more kindness, love, and good vibes faster within our community. Without selling someone’s product or someone selling our services. Sitting in my car that day, listening to Ashley...I had to pull over. It was just what I needed! I emailed her how inspired I was and how I wanted our company to #shareloveeverywhere locally in our community. She so graciously sent me 100 of her cards to start our new mission!!
I sat down with Meg and told her about my vision. Let me explain a little bit about Meg and I’s business relationship...
I am riding our URD train FULL speed ahead with blinders on...and Meg is the one that keeps us on the tracks (thank god!). If I were just driving...we would be derailed. My brain doesn’t stop. I’m up texting her at 2 am...Half are good ideas, half are just...well NOT!! After she could fully understand what I was saying behind my fast words and passionate thoughts...This is a crazy turn she SO wanted to make as it aligns to our brand and exactly what we stand for.
So here we are...setting forth on this new passion project. A simple one...but a powerful one.
If we can lighten one persons day...
Make someone smile...
Help someone push through their hardship...
Embrace their insecurities...
Take one step closer to understanding they are worth it...
They are not alone in their troubles...
Their dreams are not small...
They deserve more...
They are loved...
They are fierce just the way they are...
We have succeeded. Follow us along for the ride. And if you ever receive one of our cards, share with us on social media and hashtag #itstheinsidethatcounts! We would love to see you with your card or hear about it!!! And in the mean time, spread a little love wherever you go! #ROCitstheinsidethatcounts