Today we’d like to introduce you to Brooke Thompson.
Brooke, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started staging on a whim really. I had been a nightclub bartender for eight years, and the small outfits and the toxic environment was taking its toll. I went to design school knowing that I had always loved interior design and that it was a safe education for my preferences.
A little over halfway through my schooling, I had capped out on financial aid having previously attended college in stints over the past seven years. I decided to try to make a design career work on my own. I began scavenging daily through thrift shops and salvation army’s for really cheap unique pieces and started selling them.
I was about six months into this venture when it became very obvious I was never going to be able to quit bartending on this particular path. Around this time, a friend actually told me she had a dream that I started a staging company. I kid you not, I didn’t actually know what that was at this time, and yet, I made the decision to try it.
I was genuinely desperate for a path and even more desperate to drop bartending for good. She happened to be a realtor and had a listing coming up that we decided I’d stage for free to get a feel for the industry. Having very little money and few resources, I teetered between second-hand stores and craigslist to buy every single item I used for that first job.
I showed up to purchase a sofa with my SUV with all the seats removed and a piece of rope to tie the back down. Once I got home, I’d shimmy the sofa out, place it on a makeshift dolly and I’d shimmy it into my garage which would be my storage for the next four months. I live on the boardwalk in mission beach, having no parking really is quite a nightmare in and of itself.
Basically, the next year and a half looked like this with a slightly larger (and much less convenient storage upgrade) we ended up renting out an unfinished, not level, dirt floor add on to someone’s house. I was desperate for cheap space, and in San Diego, that really doesn’t exist. Starting this business was really by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
Almost exactly three years in and it finally feels like I’m able to take a breath. I have sufficient storage, a team and we do about a hundred stagings a year. We actually expanded the business into event staging and rentals, and I started a home decor line called aster & olive featuring my designed dinnerware and flatware line a couple of months ago as well.
Thank goodness for progress. I had someone ask me the other day what I would do if I could do anything in the world and the realization that I’m actually doing it all gave me a powerful sense of gratitude.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I touched on this in the last question, but it was definitely extremely challenging. I started this business with all second-hand items, very little funds on my own.
Please tell us about Brooke Paper Scissors.
We are a luxury home staging company that stages a range of vacant homes and condos throughout San Diego. We have recently expanded the business into event staging, styling and rentals as well. We specialize in a very designed and on-trend staging that has a great track record in getting the property sold rapidly and for top dollar.
We pride ourselves in really taking each specific property’s special needs and the locations demographics into account when determining the best way to present the property. I’m proud of the work we put out, the close relationships that we have with our clients and our ability to not only produce a great product but to be able to offer it at an affordable rate as well.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Some of my greatest memories as a child were with my dad. He was a landscaper and a jack of all traits. I was learning about the inner workings of building water features and driving tractors at eight years old.
I took an interest in interior design from an extremely young age and would watch the Christopher Lowell show in my PJs eating cereal.
I definitely believe that my dad had a lot to do with my growing interest in design from a young age. He was the guy that could do anything and helped me to be the girl who believed she could.
- Website: Brookepaperscissors.com
- Phone: (623)986-7979
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @brooke.paper.scissors @brookepaperscissors_events @aster_and_olive