Sunday, May 19, 2024

Interview with Liz Toombs of PDR Interiors: Navigating Challenges and Defining Success

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Pathways to Success: Exploring Unique Paths to Achievement
Today, we have the pleasure of sitting down with Liz Toombs, the Owner & Lead Decorator of PDR Interiors. With nearly 15 years of experience in the interior design industry, Liz has worked on over 100 campuses across 25 states, specializing in sorority interiors. In our interview, Liz shares her journey to success, including overcoming personal challenges and finding inspiration from strong female founders like Beyonce and Reese Witherspoon. She also offers valuable advice on defining success and maintaining a well-rounded approach to life. Join us as we delve into the story behind the success of Liz Toombs and PDR Interiors.

Interview with Liz Toombs of PDR Interiors: Navigating Challenges and Defining Success

Interviewee Name: Liz Toombs

Company: PDR Interiors

Liz Toombs’s favourite quote: “Be who you needed when you were younger”

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Liz Toombs : I am a Certified Interior Decorator as well as Owner & Lead Decorator of PDR Interiors, a firm I founded in Lexington, Kentucky, nearly 15 years ago that focuses on the décor of sorority interiors for projects such as expansions and renovations. To date I’ve worked on more than 100 campuses across 25 states in all regions of the country.

Mentoring women is a keystone of my firm, something I’ve learned to value throughout my fraternity experience. Helping to preserve that experience for current and future members of women’s organizations is what drives me to focus on sorority housing projects. In addition to PDR’s vast work in Greek housing, we also offer comprehensive services for private residences.

My grandad was a realtor when I was a kid and he exposed me to houses. That sparked my initial interest, and then shows like “Trading Spaces” fed the fire. I studied textiles in college, which had more of a fashion focus, but I always knew I wanted to use that knowledge in the realm of home interiors. My path post-college involved sales for a countertop manufacturer then going to work for a residential design firm. After the recession, that firm closed up and I took the leap to go out on my own. The niche of sorority interiors materialized in 2010, and I slowly but steadily built that customer base over the years.

Overcoming obstacles is often a part of the journey to success. Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced and how you navigated through it to ultimately achieve your goals?

Liz Toombs : One of the benchmarks in my business was in 2012…only three years after I started my business. My mom was battling cancer. I was juggling a lot with work commitments and family responsibilities helping care for her. I was scared to tell clients what was going on for fear they would think I couldn’t handle their project and therefore not want to work with me. So I forged ahead. There were a lot of overnight stays working from my laptop on the cot in the hospital room. This is also the same year I worked on my first out of state sorority project- a niche market I have served for over a decade. But I wouldn’t be doing this work if I hadn’t said yes despite my personal challenges. From that experience, I learned that I can do hard things. I also realized I am not superhuman, and people don’t expect me to be. Clients are understanding when things are happening in my personal life. This was a big driver behind our first company value becoming “be human first.” There’s a way to create harmony between humanity and professionalism.

Many people draw inspiration from the stories of others. Are there any individuals or mentors who have played a significant role in guiding or supporting you along your journey? How have they impacted your perspective or approach to success?

Liz Toombs : Yes! I’ve had several. Some have been clients, others family members, and some friends I’ve made through business networking. They’ve modeled how to be a woman in business and how to handle adversity with grace and class.

I admire a lot of strong female founders. Women like Beyonce, Reese Witherspoon, and Taylor Swift are in the forefront of my mind quite often. I appreciate that they are talented at their craft, I am amazed at their business acumen, and I love the way they continue to level-up in their careers while remaining simultaneously feminine and strong. I recently saw the Beyonce movie documenting her Renaissance tour. They tell a story about one of her back-up dancers landing on the tour as her FIRST JOB. Beyonce saw her on social and hired her immediately. Any founder that takes time to support the next generation – especially those unknown in their field – is golden to me. That’s what I strive to do.

Success can mean different things to different people. How do you define success personally, and what advice would you offer to others who are striving to achieve their own version of success in life?

Liz Toombs : I used to define success in terms of pay and/or title. Now I look at it differently. I define success as being a well-rounded person. What I mean is when I take care of myself (physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally), practice true connection with others, and give back through my platform of my business that’s when I feel successful. If those things get out of whack, I don’t feel successful. This definition feels most authentic to me because it’s not measuring me by someone else’s standards or goals. It’s also a reminder that life is about a lot more than money and status.

Leaders Perception would like to thank Liz Toombs and PDR Interiors for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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