This month we invited Denise Roberts, owner and founder of Love Ding, into our studio to chat all things small business, vintage, and home styling! Denise has a knack for finding the most incredible vintage finds for her online store, and has an eye for interior design that always leaves us inspired. So, we asked her everything from her best advice for other small business owners just starting out, her favorite thrift spots in Austin, and home styling trends for fall!
Check out what she had to say in our 10-minute interview, below.
For those who don’t know, tell us more about Love Ding:
Love Ding started off as a vintage & new home goods shop in South Austin. In the last couple years it has grown and evolved into a Home Staging & Interior Styling company and online store!
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I feel so lucky that my job is all about making people happy to be in their own homes!
Real talk: Owning a business can be hard, what’s a small business lesson you wish you would have known when you got started or wish you could tell your past self?
I wish I could’ve told myself that it’s okay to veer off of the original path I had envisioned. When I decided to close my brick + mortar shop I was really down on myself for a while, because I felt like a total failure. Changing my vision for Love Ding and now looking back, I see that even these “failures” have gotten me to where I am now. I don’t know that I could’ve launched my staging and styling services if I hadn’t built up a community of supporters by having the shop first. It’s worked out even though it’s not what I originally had planned.
I also really wish I had joined a co-working space and attended more networking events for creative people like myself a long time ago. Just having supportive and driven people to bounce ideas off of has made a world of difference!
What's your proudest small business moment?
Launching my Spruce Kit! It was a lot of work to get off of the ground, and I was really proud to share my new services with the world.
Do you have any advice for those looking to start their own small business?
GO FOR IT! You’ll never ever know how or what it takes, or if you are even capable of doing it unless you try.
If you had to give some pro-tips on where to go to find great vintage goods, where would you go?
I love estate sales! The earlier they start in the week (like Thursdays) the better selection you have. Waiting until the weekend could mean the sales have already been picked over. The best resource to finding these sales is to sign up for emails from estatesles.net. They tell you about all of the sales in your area. Also, if you watch my Instagram Stories, you'll see that I frequently stop at Goodwills all over town (and beyond—I’ve been known to cram stuff in suitcases to get them home)! I will always make time for a Goodwill pit-stop.
How long did it take to train your eye to uncover amazing vintage home goods when you’re going around town thrifting?
It’s taken me about three years or so to finally feel confident in my thrifting skills. Now, when something catches my eye and I get a little rush from the good find, I don’t second-guess myself.
What your top 4 favorite items in the Love Ding shop right now?
I'm loving the warmth of wicker, woven and wooden accessories right now! So, I pulled a few of my favorites from my online shop (placemats, mini suitcase, this adorable Aldemere Egg Tray, and color-blocked vases)! Oh, I've also recently released a "giftable" version of my Spruce Kits, which I'm really excited about!
Are there any Instagrammers you seek inspiration from or think we should be following?
What are some of your favorite shops/local makers in Austin?
Any exciting plans for Love Ding in the next year?
I’m really focusing on my staging and styling services right now, and making efforts to get my name out there! I’ll also be updating my online inventory in the next year and a will be announcing the launch of a private shopping event series in the very near future! Shhh...
We’ve been keeping up with your personal home reno on your blog! Tell us a little bit about how your "RenovateDING" project is going?
It’s going well! I think we are (finally) about 2-3 weeks away from being DONE! *Fingers crossed* The final touches will be installing a tiny bit of tile work, door hardware, plumbing fixtures and lighting. I AM SO EXCITED to show y’all the big reveal and share lots and lots of Insta stories about my process for styling my new digs.
Any design trend predictions for fall + winter? We want to know!
I’m thinking there has to be some fall-ish spin off millennial pink? Perhaps a darker pink jewel tone... I’m also sort of digging furniture with black accents right now—black leather, black wood, black metal—it’s such a bold color but neutral at the same time!