Add color in each room. What is your favorite color? Is it blue, green, or do you love highlighter yellow? I have done each of those colors in a room. My favorite use of color lately was painting a vintage piano in canary yellow. It added a pop of unexpected fun to that room and sparked joy for that home owner and her kids as the color reminds her of her childhood. Colors spark memories and emotions. Ease your way into it by adding a pop of color through a pillow or books, or go for it with a larger piece of furniture or bold wallpaper.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Meg Piercy.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, and graduate of the University of Kansas, Meg Piercy has mid-western roots but always dreamed of living in a big city. After she graduated with a degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications, Meg left her hometown and moved to Chicago Illinois, looking for the excitement in life that only a big city can bring — little did she know that she would surely build new roots that would last a lifetime. Meg met her husband Joe, and eventually started painting furniture in their basement to sell on Craiglist. Soon after, they came across one customer who insisted they turn their talent into a business.
MegMade’s tagline, ‘A Home Like No Other,’ is not just a statement, but the driving force behind all that they do. With their wide range of customizable options, MegMade guarantees to make your furniture + home decor unique to match your style and personality, and because each home is unique to the family that lives there, they believe that you should have a home that is completely designed for you.
Thank you for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have always loved being creative. As a child, I would sell my coloring book art to my neighbors. My mom would go to all our neighbors and give them a stack of quarters to encourage my coloring business. As a teenager, I showed my creative side through experimenting with fashion. After getting married and purchasing our first condo in Chicago, I realized I truly loved being creative in my home — both through design and DIY projects. Though I never intended for it to become a career, people began asking me to update their furniture for them. I eventually realized that I could turn this hobby into a profession. Shortly after, I opened a store and it became a full-blown design business. I kind of happened into this career path as an accident, but boy am I glad I did. I love what I do and I love that I get to do it alongside my husband.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Honestly, so many things have happened. We have met some amazing people, we have been featured in more things than we could have imagined, but I think the most interesting thing that has happened is that I have truly become who I was intended to be. I never really considered myself to be creative or entrepreneurial. So, I think this journey of being a female-owned business has been the most interesting to me. I am very grateful for this journey.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Oh man, just one? When we first started MegMade, I would beat myself up about making mistakes. However, as we grew into business owners and leaders, we started realizing that mistakes are the only way to grow. Often times, you have to take risks, but with risks come reward. Our funniest mistake, though, was thinking that an interesting shop pet would be a good idea. We had a pot-bellied pig named Purpose for a short while. He was so cute, however, he would eat all of the furniture legs and had a thing for chasing children through the shop. He is now on a sweet farm in Indiana living his best life, but man was that a loud and costly one! Another “mistake” was giving Joe the password to Instagram… just kidding. His stories and his lack of correct interior design nomenclature has only added to the humor and fun that our store embodies.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Each client project we have is one of a kind which makes every project so different and exciting. However, the most exciting project we are currently working on is a pilot episode for a TV show! We are having a blast with it and hope that is shows the world that there is no need to always buy new, big box furniture. You are often sitting on a goldmine of furniture in your home, you just need fresh eyes — and maybe a fresh coat of paint!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Life is moving so incredibly fast right now with many new product launches and, of course, filming, so I think the quote that is most relevant to me right now is, “Do your best and forget the rest.” I can’t do everything perfectly right now and that is okay. As long as I am giving everyone my best, that is all I can expect right now. I learned a lot of life lessons from my mom. She always told me that as long as I was doing my best and treating those around me with respect that was enough. I have put up a poster in my kids’ room that reads, “Work hard and be nice to people.” I only hope to pass on to my three boys that it’s not about being perfect, but about being happy and fulfilled.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
We really embrace the notion that it takes a village. Both with our business and with our family. We have surrounded ourselves with people who are smarter and more talented than we are. We are not threatened by that. Instead, we embrace it. We have had experts come through at the perfect time to help us get to the next level and we are grateful for each and every one of them. However, I would say our families are the ones who have helped us most. They have stepped in when we desperately needed encouragement or help. They have celebrated the highs and they have picked us up out of the lows. We absolutely would not be where we are today without each and every one of them.
Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I work with my husband Joe. His professor once said that if you looked up the word joy in the dictionary you would see a picture of him next to it. He has permanent smile lines on his face and there is no way you can be in a bad mood with him. This question makes me so happy because our family’s goal is that everyone who leaves our home feels joy and hope from being with us and from being in our home. Environments can dictate emotions and who doesn’t want their home to spark joy, am I right? So here are five ways we have tried to make that a reality in our home!
- Add color in each room. What is your favorite color? Is it blue, green, or do you love highlighter yellow? I have done each of those colors in a room. My favorite use of color lately was painting a vintage piano in canary yellow. It added a pop of unexpected fun to that room and sparked joy for that home owner and her kids as the color reminds her of her childhood. Colors spark memories and emotions. Ease your way into it by adding a pop of color through a pillow or books, or go for it with a larger piece of furniture or bold wallpaper.
- Vintage pieces of furniture add warmth to a room. They also bring joy as you remember that time in your past, or imagine a piece’s history. We recently had a customer who lost her mom at far too young of an age. She and her mom had gone to Spain together recently and ate at a restaurant that had a sewing pedal as the base to the table. Her mom had a sewing machine table that originally belonged to her grandmother. She brought it in, and we made the sewing machine into a piece of art for a bookshelf. We also took the base and turned it into her kitchen table by adding a piece of quartz on top. Now, every time she looks at that bookcase or uses her table, it sparks a joyful memory she had with her mom. We have done the same with generational rocking chairs or buffets that were used for family gatherings. I love bringing family history into a home. It gives a sense of warmth and joy.
- Use pattern in your home whether through fabric, wallpaper or art….or in my case, all of the above. Patterned pieces are a great way to add texture, personality, and to tie together colors used in the room. I walk in many homes designed in many shades of beige and I just want to throw something on the wall or add a pillow for some fun! If you know me, you know I love wallpaper. I even just came out with a MegMade line of wallpaper! I have a tiger-print wallpaper with an orange vanity in my bathroom. Every time someone uses our powder bathroom, they walk out talking about it.
- Magnify the light in your room. I love a well-lit room, especially in the long winters of the Midwest. I like to use mirrors in most rooms to magnify the light, making the room appear larger.
- Comfort is key! Nobody ever asks me if they can get comfortable in my home, they just do it. You can create a welcoming and comfortable space by the design choices you make. We choose fabrics and furniture that are meant to be used, not only by adults, but also by kids. We don’t have any room too perfect that people feel they can’t go in there. Our couches are comfortable, and our coffee tables are there to put your feet up on!
To make your family and your guests comfortable and make conversational joyful, your home must be inviting. These five things are ways we have found to do just that.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Funny you ask, I actually think of this a lot. I have always wanted to be successful not for personal wealth, but so that I could impact the world. Before starting MegMade, I worked in Chicago’s inner-city with kids that were failing out of schools. That embedded in me to want to instill change in the environment around me. Breaking out of negative cycles is hard. Nobody accomplishes their dream on their own, we are first-hand examples of that. I would love to create a way to see more people breakthrough into the professions and families that they desire. We want to create a movement of empowering people to empower others!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them.
We have built MegMade through a lot of hustle and grit. I really admire other women who have built businesses. I would love to meet Sara Blakely, who started Spanx. She did it unconventionally. She always talks about how you should celebrate failure and through failure you can build an empire. She clearly has done exactly that. I would love to learn from her!