In a not too distant past, Tina Mitchell steps over the threshold into the new home she’s purchased to flip and enters a place in ruins. The wallpaper hangs in shreds, the carpets are stained and mildewed, and mouse droppings litter the bathtub. 
Weeks later, she’ll break down, exhausted and crying while picking up piles of dog feces in the backyard—one final injustice from a nightmare home.
Tina has learned a lot from that early experience—she would go on to sell the house at a profit and fund new home renovations—and today the 45-year-old single mother of three owns a growing home staging and interior design company.
It’s good, steady work and she knows she’s lucky for finding a vocation that she’s passionate about. One that is fulfilling and that allows her to be creative.

Getting to this point Tina will tell you was a matter of survival. At the heart of which was a driving question... How was she to give her children the kind of life she had been accustomed to?
A Strong Foundation​​​
Tina is the middle child stuck between two brothers. Her parents, one a successful real estate business owner, and the other a college philosophy professor, provided a traditional upbringing where hard work and being self-sufficient was encouraged. 
Financial success in the Mitchell family was not defined by excess—a grand home or expensive car—but in having the freedom and means to live a good life.
Tina’s journey towards a rewarding career and financial freedom, like many, was not exactly clear cut.
Years before Tina had a family of her own, she seemed destined to be a fine art painter. As a student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at Concordia, her art garnered her attention and eventually, a request to hang her pieces in a prestigious Montreal art gallery.
It’s a situation most young artists dream of but despite the early success, she was unable to keep up with the demands and pressures of the gallery and the opportunity was lost.
“I was too young and insecure,” she says. “I put way too much emphasis on what other people thought. So much so that I shied away from the success”.
Over the years, since then, Tina has pursued other business ventures. She taught art lessons and, for a time, co-owned a small retail store of her own.
None of these pursuits proved to be the kind of ventures to provide the balance of creativity and stability Tina was looking for.
A Bold New Canvas
Painting had been Tina’s first passion but she didn’t feel like she could be successful at it again while raising children. As a young adult, she was able to hide away for hours lost in her art with only her paints and canvases. It seemed to her later in life, like the kind of activity ill-suited to the life of a single mother. One that also could also be unreliable.  
Through interior design, she would come to realize in time, that she could put her passion and art education to good use designing spaces. 
Coming from a real estate family, the transition to interior design, gradual as it was, felt natural. And when buying and flipping homes is a family affair, there are plenty of “blank canvases” to work on. Making it the perfect training ground for Tina to learn her trade, one where she could make mistakes and learn from them. Even if it meant painting a room four times until she got it right!
The efforts have paid off and today Tina is as busy as she’s ever been putting her hard-earned experiences to good use managing her interior design business, a team of contractors, and project managing her brother’s home renovation.
In between school pickups, Tina is busy putting the final touches on a sketch that will become a client’s brand new office. She meticulously pores over each detail of the office plans until it is just right.
Each room she’d tell you has its own story to tell, “They all share a similar language—they are all connected—your home office is just as important as your master bedroom,” she says.
Later she plans to head to the store to purchase a mid-century style lamp, her latest discovery that she knows will be perfect for her niece’s bedroom redesign in progress. 
The world outside may be uncertain, but Tina is sure about her career choice. Every day brings new discoveries, excitement as well as challenges. But thanks to her past experiences, she’s confident that she can handle whatever comes her way, including the success that comes with the job.
It may not always be easy juggling family and business, the demands of both are constant and often taxing. But pulling into her driveway recently, Tina stopped and looked back to see discarded designs, crumbs and shrivelled french fries littering the back seat. Evidence of life, chaos and just how full her plate has become.
Tina wouldn’t want it any other way.
Interested in working with Tina? Visit her Facebook Page to see her latest work and to get in touch.

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