Another cup of tea?
Like so many people during Covid, I re-examined my career, my aspirations, and what it would take to Dream Big. Fear threatened to extinguish my dreams before I’d started, despite years of encouragement by family and friends that I had a natural aptitude for creating calming and beautiful inner spaces. Coincidentally, in March 2020, the closure of the hair salon I’d worked in became the impetus for me to jump into my theoretical dream future, making it reality. I furtively crafted my new career platform, without even telling my husband, until at a restaurant one day, I casually suggested he google sandraflorahomedesign.ca. He was an ecstatic supporter! I have since firmly established my home design business, Sandra Flora Home Design, where passion is my guiding principle. Passion, of course, for growing the business, but even more so, I care about how I make people feel through the rooms I design, and the difference I can make in the most sacred spaces of one’s home.
As a trained cosmetologist, prior to 2020 I spent nearly three decades styling hair. Not unlike home design, I always focused on styling clients’ hair, so they felt their best, their inner beauty reflected in their outer self as they walked out the door.
To ground myself in current design trends I’ve taken several courses in interior decorating, design, and staging. Whether a client wishes to reimagine one room or many, make their home appealing for potential buyers, or unveil an elegant dining table at which friends will enjoy conversation into the evening, my goal is to make people feel good. I allegedly do a great job at this since I’ve been invited to stay for another cup of tea more than a few times after several rounds of consultation with clients.
Near the end of July 2020, I was driving away from my fourth client consult since launching Sandra Flora Home Design, at which point I experienced an “a-ha!” moment. I knew that this is where I am meant to be, what I am meant to do. Without reservation I can say I am grateful to have faced my fear and walked through it. My business enables me to bring light into dark spaces and focus where clients felt none. I feel privileged when I’m chosen to offer genuine and honest care in journeying with clients to realize their own dreams.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My family, especially my grown children. I’m so proud of the adults they’ve turned into!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Listening to waves lapping on a beach, my toes sinking into pristine warm sand.
What is your current state of mind?
I feel a great amount of gratitude and am generally relaxed.
What is your favourite occupation?
While I absolutely love my current chosen career, being a mom to my sons as they grew up has been my favourite occupation.
What is your most treasured possessions?
My most treasured possessions are intangible. They’re the memories I have of my father, grandfather, and brother. Each of them passed much too young, but throughout my life their love, and the memories I have of them, have pushed me through hard life circumstances. They were some of the most nurturing people I’ve had in my life, and the lessons I learned from them I carry with me every single day.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Always and forever it’s my husband. We’ve had ups and downs in our three decades together, but I still adore him. He makes me laugh every day, brings so much compassion and kindness into our relationship, and is so giving.
What is your favourite journey?
Any journey that’s landed me in a warm and sunny destination. A particularly great one was with my husband, children, and grandchildren in Maui, where one of my sons got engaged.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Open-mindedness. I truly look for the best in each person I meet, believing there is goodness in us all.
What is it that you most dislike?
I absolutely dislike sushi.
What is your greatest fear?
Getting bitten by a shark. This makes my love for sunny destinations complicated.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Which living person do you most despise?
I truly don’t despise anyone.
What is your biggest regret?
Not speaking my mind or standing up to people who are condescending. I wish I would have spoken up to make my voice heard any time another person was speaking over me, diminishing my contribution in a conversation or meeting.
Which talent would you most like to have ?
I wish I was an amazing singer.
Where would you like to live?
What is the quality you most like in a man?
I love a great sense of humour. Luckily my husband has one.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Encouragement. Some women in my early life weren’t so encouraging, and as an adult I’ve met some amazing women who were such a great support to me and others.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself ?
I wish I wasn’t so impatient.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Next to people who are disempowering of others, I wish boys—and men!—would put down the toilet seat!
What do you value most in your friends?
Respect and trustworthiness. Women need to be able to rely on each other, be vulnerable and respectful.
Who is your favourite hero in fiction?
I’m not a big reader, but as a kid I loved watching The Hulk. The scientist, David Banner was this mild, sweet guy, but I was always delighted when he burst through his clothes, rampaging against whatever made him angry.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale. Both lived lives of great compassion, humility, purpose, and sacrifice.
Which living person do most admire?
My children. They’re bot amazing young adults. Even though they’re my children, they’ve become role models to me in how they face life without fear, going after their dreams.
Which words or phases do you most overuse?
What are your favourite names?
Archie and Bella.
How would you like to die?
If I could live to 100, and die peacefully in my sleep, that’s how I would choose.