To Top

Meet Nikki Watson of The Design Quad in Dallas – East

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki Watson.

Nikki, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When my twin daughters were seniors in high school, I panicked. I worked for a local chain of flooring stores as a marketing rep and was making ends meet but the thought of a double college bill kept me up at night. I knew I would have to do something else to make sure I could afford the next step in our lives. My family and friends would often ask me to come and help with the décor of their homes because I was known as the creative one in my circle. I really didn’t think it was a big deal but they would rave about how I helped them put their space together.
As the marketing rep for the flooring company, I met a Home Stager named Jason and I was the flooring rep on a pilot he was filming called The Equity Enhancer. A show about the daily workings of a Home Staging company. I would come in with my flooring samples, measure the floors, tell a few corny jokes and drive away in our company van. I thought that being on the show was cool but I was focused on how awesome Jason’s job was. He was making money doing what I did for my family and friends. I became interested in this thing called Staging.

A few months went by and circumstances took Jason away from the Metroplex back to his hometown. His business closed suddenly and now lots of Realtors in our area were looking for a replacement Home Stager. This was my opportunity. I started my company by reading a book about Home Staging by the creator of the term Barb Schwarz and telling a few investors that I opened a Staging company. But now, I had to prove myself!

My husband was not a fan of this new venture. He said it was a waste of time and that it would never be successful. The day I got my first call from an investor was the turning point that I needed. She called and said she had a house about 15 miles away from my house. At the time, my husband had complete control of our finances and I was completely reliant on him for everything, The investor asked if I could meet her at the house that afternoon and my car was on empty. I asked my husband for gas money to meet the lady and he said NO. That I was wasting my time and he was not participating in this with me. I was heartbroken. So, I called my mom and asked her to borrow $10 to meet this potential client. My mother lived about 85 miles away from me so she wired it to my town. I picked up the money, met the client and sold my first job! Needless to say, he is an ex-husband now, but I am very thankful for the lesson I learned that day.

I continued to work for the flooring company for years and did Home Staging as a hobby. Referral business started coming and people started noticing my work. I went from one job a month to a couple a week fairly quickly. This was a steady business for me and I was satisfied. I did both jobs for about 5 years and as business picked up it got more difficult to keep up with inventory and with having two full-time jobs. I knew it was time to leave my regular job. I hired a marketing rep for the Staging company and a few other people joined the same month, My business grew tremendously within two months. What had once been a hobby was a good sized business and I had to take it seriously. The owner of the company I worked for had started to hear about my Staging business growth and he decided to let me go. He said that I would do better focusing on my company. He was right but I was scared. Within a month we went from doing one vacant Staging a day to 3 vacant Stagings a day! We have kept pace since then and have added Design, Furniture Sales, and Flooring to our company.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road at all. Being new to the industry I wanted to stand out from the competition. Of course, pricing is the number one thing people factor in when hiring a service. I decided early on that I wanted to own all of my inventory and not have my customers deal with monthly rental fees and an invoice nightmare. So I came up with a flat fee Staging structure which was unheard of in my market. The other Stagers hated me! I was called rude names by some of them because not only was my pricing better than theirs, I didn’t make my customers pay a monthly rental fee. It was hard not to take this personal but I also learned another lesson by this. Competition is healthy and there is always going to be someone that comes in with the next great idea. I appreciate every lesson because I have grown not only professionally but personally as well.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Design Quad – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our company specializes in Real Estate transactions. We offer Home Staging for sellers to get their properties showroom ready, Interior Design for commercial or residential clients that want to create a space that they feel comfortable in, Furniture Sales Program for clients of Real Estate Agents to buy furniture at cost for homes that they are purchasing or currently living in, and Flooring Material and Installation for anyone needing flooring replacement.

We are known for our flat rate model and the ability to finance all of our services.

I am most proud that our company serves our community. We look for opportunities to give back to people in situations that we could easily be in. Volunteering at the North Texas Food Bank, Feeding the Homeless, Giving ladies in shelters and opportunity to come and work in our warehouse to make some money and feel that someone cares about them, taking time out to decorate an apartment with Dwell with Dignity or Exodus Ministries, or even providing a birthday party at The Vogel Alcove for a homeless child are all things we have done together. Each of the 12 ladies at our company has a heart of gold and it is hard to get any work done because if we are not careful we would fill our days with service. That is the most amazing thing about coming to work every day. To be around people that care more about others than themselves.

We are not trying to make a million dollars on one deal. Our volume speaks for itself. So, unlike other companies that may charge 3 times what we charge because they are slower and need to make the margins, we make sure we are giving the best deal to our clients every single time. We pass on our discounts to our clients at major retailers with no mark up because we know that builds a relationship. If we get a discount at Crate and Barrel, we give them our card and just tell them to bring it back when they can. It’s not about how many marks up you can put on an item for us, it’s about making sure the client has the best experience and tells all of their friends how amazing their experience was.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I grew up in Southeast Dallas (Pleasant Grove), so I have been here since I was 2 years old. I love the diversity of our city the most.

Traffic, I am sure that is everyone’s answer to this question!


  • We have an investor package for Staging that starts at $1695 until the property sells for 5 areas.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageDallas is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in