Business Spotlight on Moving Mountains Design

Moving Mountains Design is the subject of Small Business Trends Spotlight on Small Business

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by a journalist and Editor of Small Business Trends for their Business Spotlight series, one of the largest websites dedicated to small business. Here’s the article, with a link to the original.

Arcadia luxury home stager

This week we shine the spotlight on Moving Mountains Design. Those needing to sell a  big luxury home in the Los Angeles area call on owner Michelle Minch. She and her team swoop in and choose just the right paintings, rugs, sofas and even duvet covers to make a property fetch top dollar. Minch says she has 6 part-time employees in all and has been in business eight years.

WHAT THE BUSINESS IS KNOWN FOR: Being the luxury home stager for the Los Angeles market.

Very few professional stagers own enough inventory to stage larger homes. Even fewer have the kind of higher end furniture, Persian rugs, artwork and accessories needed to complete these jobs successfully. Moving Mountains Design has a warehouse full of beautiful accessories, furniture, artwork, linens, throw pillows and lamps appropriate to luxury homes. At the Real Estate Staging Association International Conference this year, Minch presented a workshop on luxury home staging to a standing-room-only audience. The conference is kind of like a Ted Talks for professional home stagers.

HOW THE BUSINESS GOT STARTED: A trip to Kansas City to wow some home buyers.

The first home Minch staged (and got paid for) was for an interior design client. They asked her to help them get their Kansas City home ready to sell. Minch was flown from Los Angeles. She did a lot of editing, rearranging and upgraded the kitchen with granite counters and new backsplash. The sellers expected the home to take six months to a year to sell, which was the norm at that time in Kansas City. It was the early 2000?s. They went under contract almost immediately and closed escrow about two months later – shockingly fast. Minch didn’t call what she did staging back then. She just told colleagues she was “getting the house ready to sell”. But back home, one of her neighbors was a real estate agent. When she heard about Minch’s success, she started calling her to stage listings. Word got out and other agents started calling. And the rest is history.

BIGGEST RISK TAKEN IN THE BUSINESS: Taking a line of credit for high end inventory

The biggest risk was a home equity line of credit on a rental property which Minch used to grow her company and keep it in the black. She says if her business hadn’t prospered, she could have potentially lost that property to foreclosure. The end result is that she has been able to purchase a very large stock of higher end inventory, furniture, artwork and accessories. This allowed her to position herself as a luxury home staging expert.

BIGGEST WINS? Professional Stager of the Year and More.

In 2010, Minch was voted Professional Stager of the Year by the Real Estate Staging Association. Being chosen as the best professional stager in the United States and Canada by her peers- over 1,000 professional home stagers- was a huge honor. This year she was voted RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager in the U.S.

Winning these awards has given Minch “street cred.” It has given her great credibility with her peers, her clients and with the media. It has also been a wonderful marketing and public relations opportunity.

IF THIS BUSINESS WERE A SONG, IT WOULD BE: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Minch says she’s an eternal optimist. She surrounds herself with optimistic people. Her company culture is optimistic, creative and up-beat. Since the work the company does is very physically demanding, it helps to be surrounded by happy people, Minch says.

Runner up would be “High Hopes” by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen. Minch admits her favorite version is by Jiminy Cricket.


Though Minch feels her team is a pretty diverse group, she says she’s never had anyone say no to Japanese food.


“Big doors swing on little hinges”

The quote is attributed to businessman and philanthropist W. Clement Stone.

Photo credit: Kevin Edge

Click here read the article on Small Business Trends

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Los Angeles Home Stager Michelle Minch Wins Prestigious Intl. Staging Award

Los Angeles real estate stager Michelle Minch named a 2014 Top 10 Professional Home Stager™ by the Real Estate Staging Association at their International Home Staging Convention.

RESA National Staging AwardPress release via PRWeb:

Pasadena, California (PRWEB) February 28, 2014

Los Angeles home stager, Michelle Minch, President of Moving Mountains Design, was named the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) 2014 Top 10 Professional Home Stagers™, at the RESA International Stager Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Minch won the 2010 Professional Stager of the Year award. RESA Professional Stager of the Year award recognizes the home stager that demonstrates excellence in home staging, best home staging business practices, a proven track record of ethical conduct and commitment to raising awareness about home staging.

The award was presented at a special awards dinner at the Treasure Island Resort in Las Vegas, NV, during RESA’s annual International Staging Conference. Barbara Corcoran (Shark Tank) was the keynote speaker. Home stagers from the US, Canada, and Europe were in attendance, as were many vendors that service the home staging and real estate industries.

“Being chosen as a Top 10 Professional Home Stager is so gratifying. All my hard work has paid off. I feel honored and privileged to have been chosen by my peers for this honor,” said Minch. “There’s a revolution going on in the real estate industry. Home Buyers are choosing homes that are move-in-ready and staged to perfection. My goal as Top 10 Professional Home Stager is to raise awareness about the value home staging adds to the bottom line, both for the home seller & buyer. Home staging should be an integral part of every home sale.”

In addition to winning 2010 Professional Stager of the Year, Ms. Minch is a past winner of two Chrysalis Awards for Remodeling Excellence: the Western Region Award for Best Whole House Remodel Under $200,000 and the National Award for Best Kitchen Remodel under $40,000. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Real Estate Section, the Chicago Tribune, Sunset Magazine, Green Builder, Log Home Living, LA Weekly Pasadena Weekly & Los Angeles Times On-Line. In addition, she blogs extensively at Moving Mountains Design Home Staging Blog and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Silk Road Report, an online blog about Chinese Real Estate investment on the West Coast.

About the Real Estate Staging Association:

The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) is the world’s largest member governed trade association for home stagers. RESA was formed in order to support all professional real estate stagers or home stagers in North America and Europe. RESA is a portal to the home staging industry and is a source of education and business tools focusing on the needs of home stagers. Members have access to up to date information relative to the home staging industry, marketing support services and access to home staging continuing education providers. Click here for more information about the Real Estate Staging Association.

To see the full press release click here.

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Contemporary Home Staging In Rancho Palos Verdes

Contemporary Home Staging in Rancho Palos Verdes

Last week we staged this lovely multistory contemporary home for one of my favorite real estate investors. She has an amazing eye for picking properties and for rehabbing and renovating. It’s always a pleasure to work on one of her homes. Contemporary home staging is one of the many styles in which we excel. This unique view home has 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms in 2,883 sq. ft. Two bedrooms have balconies with huge views of the Port of Los Angeles, as does the living room. The open floor plan allows kitchen to flow into dining room into living room.

Contemporary Home Staging Living Room DetailsContemporary Home Staging Living Room DetailsContemporary Home Staging Los Angeles Dining RoomContemporary Los Angeles Home Staging Dining Room and Kitchen

From the MLS listing notes:

If you’ve been looking for a well-designed view home w/ exquisite high-end finishes, look no further. This is your opportunity to enjoy life in a 2014-updated house on a quiet cul-de-sac. After passing through the custom double-door entry, it’s evident that the house was built around the vast & unobstructed views from the mountains to the Vincent Thomas Bridge. Living room has richly colored wide-plank flooring, vaulted ceilings, fireplace, & sliding glass doors leading out to large balcony. Newer kitchen features quartz counters, under-cabinet lighting, new tile flooring, & stainless steel appliances. Kitchen overlooks beautifully landscaped backyard with new sod & fruit trees. Laundry room complete with custom wood counters & ample storage. 4 out of the 5 bedrooms also have views. Upstairs bedrooms have open beam ceilings, high-end berber carpet, & custom closet built-ins. Master suite has en-suite bathroom, walk-in closet, & balcony. New roof, vinyl windows, finished garage, & more.

Let me know if you’d like more information about this lovely and unique Ranch Palos Verdes view home. or by calling 626-385-8852

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Contemporary Luxury Home Staging | New Construction In Arcadia

Contemporary Luxury Home Staging In Arcadia, CA

I’m always excited when I get to stage contemporary homes and doubly excited when I get to work on a Contemporary luxury home staging project. This home is located in one of the prettiest streets in Arcadia and was constructed with extreme attention to detail and beautiful design. It’s not officially on the market yet, so this is just a sneak peek :)

Contemporary Luxury Home Staging Office in ArcadiaContemporary Luxury Home Staging Arcadia Family RoomContemporary Luxury Home Staging Arcadia Family Room 2Contemporary Luxury Home Staging Arcadia Living RoomContemporary Luxury Living Room Home Staging Arcadia Photos by Kevin Edge

As soon as this beautiful home hits the MLS, I’ll post more information.

For a look at the behind the scenes effort that went into staging this home, read Los Angeles Luxury Home Staging – A Look Behind the Scenes

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