Getting To Know: Denise Roberts of Love Ding
Do you have that store where you walk in and you feel like the owners totally get you? You know the one - everything is exactly what you would have picked in your dream home, and it's impossible to walk out without taking something home? For me, that's Love Ding. Christmas 2014 everyone in our family got something from her store, and our favorite piece is the coolest mid-century modern shelving unit that sits in our home bar area.
I first fell in love with her over Instagram (as most innocent girl crushes go these days), and then it turned into full-on love affair after stepping into her store. After fangirling from behind my phone screen for way too long, I was so fortunate when our paths crossed last year through mutual friends. Now, I feel so incredibly fortunate to call Denise not only a client, but a friend.
She is kind, creative, and witty, and it has been so fun working together and getting to know her. When you fall in love with her aesthetic, get excited! She recently launched her e-design service so she can bring her design sensibilities to your home - regardless of where you live!
Read on for more from the next installment of my Getting to Know series.
Tell us more about your overall journey for how Love Ding came to be. Oh, and where the name comes from, too!
Love Ding started out as a small idea. I wanted to fix up vintage pieces and post them on Craigslist as a side-gig to my day design job. I took several upholstery classes at Spruce Upholstery, did tons of research and purchased lots of fancy paint sprayers. I made several things for my friends and family and then had the idea to get a warehouse space, as my garage and my parents garage were both FULL of vintage stuff. I transformed a warehouse space I found to a happy and bright space. I realized refinishing furniture is TOUGH and my love for design was sort of falling by the wayside. I started making connections in the creative world and realized there were so many talented makers out there making one-of-a-kind things. I got a few wholesale accounts, kept thrifting and the full-on retail spot of Love Ding was happening!
Ding is my childhood nickname. My dad gave me several as a kid and this one just stuck. Anyone that knows me well always ends up calling me Ding. I wanted the shop to really represent Me so I decided that everything in the shop would be styled, handpicked, designed with Love from Ding.
What aspect of this work is the most life-giving for you?
I really really love seeing pieces I’ve thrifted or styled being loved by people in their personal homes. I’m a pretty sensitive person and feel for others easily. I sort of take on their emotions whether it be happy, worried or hurt. Seeing them happy makes me happy!
Was there ever a time when you happily ignored external validation or outside advice about your business so that you could follow the True North that you created for yourself? If so, how did making that choice to follow Your Why impact not only you, but your business?
When I decided to close my storefront and move my goods online and pursue home staging and interior styling, there were lots of comments I heard about “getting a real job” and things like that. At that point, I had to put my head down and surround myself with positive vibes and people who truly believed in me. Love Ding is a brand created around chasing my dreams. If I never dove in headfirst and if I had let negative words stray my desire, I wouldn't be where I am today. I get to do what I truly love every single day because of this.
Your #MondayMotivation boards on Instagram are hysterical. Where do you come up with those sayings?
I scour the internet for funny puns and sayings and rap lyrics I love. I find tons of quotes about coffee and always chasing your daydreams, so it takes time to find quotes that actually make me LOL when I read them. I’ve really gotten a feel for my Why and my brand’s voice so this helps me narrow down the quotes I choose, they’ve got to BE Love Ding.
You’re currently renovating a house (I’ve been following along via #renovateding on Instagram). What has been the most unexpected part of the process, and how has that shaped the design or inspiration for the rest of the project?
Honestly, how expensive everything is. I see all of these beautiful homes on Pinterest and I have my hopes and dreams set real high. So, I have to get creative with design and try to replicate things I have to have in a way that’s budget friendly. For instance, there are these really cool, heavy duty steel doors all over the internet. They have thin frames and only a few horizontal panes. Those are like a billion dollars so I had to come up with a way to get a wood door with the same clean modern look. These type of things happen very often!
Not only do you sell incredible vintage and home goods on your online store, but you recently launched your Spruce Kit - an interior design package to help those of us elevate our home one room at a time. What is your #1 piece of advice when it comes to transforming a room into a space that is inviting and feels like the homeowner?
I’ve found out that people think items in a spaces have to “match”. In order to make a space feel comfortable and truly reflect a homeowner, things should be collected and loved. Analyzing your style and knowing key elements you like can help when shopping for things that are cohesive with one another, not matchy matchy.
I know you don’t want to spill all of your secrets, but can you tell us some of your favorite places to shop and/or blogs where you gather inspiration? What makes them so special?
Emily Henderson, her book, her blog, her Instagram. I feel like I might be her #1 Fangirl. Studio McGee, their Instagram and Online Shop are what I want to be when I grow up! They both have such distinct styles - I can tell which Instagram post is theirs before I even read the name. They both have qualities I would love Love Ding to be a few years down the road, so they are my role models.
What is your marketing strategy for Love Ding? Is there one element that has been most successful for you?
I just try to be myself. I let my personality shine through in everything that I do - from Instagram posts to items I source for my online shop. I’ve found that consistency has helped people notice me on the internet as well as kept me accountable and helped me build out my brand's image/voice.
We all hit rough patches of low motivation, fighting the comparison trap, and overcoming self doubt. When you find yourself up against that wall, how do you pull yourself out of it?
Talk to my other creative, entrepreneur friends. It really helps to not feel like I’m the only one doubting and comparing. Everyone does it. It’s true.
What element of your daily routine is most important to ensure you have the most successful day?
Waking up early and working out first thing. This way I don’t have time to dread and worry about when I’m going to squeeze in a workout. By the time I’m up and at ‘em, my workout is DONE! If I don’t have an alarm set, I wake up at 9a and the day just drags along. I feel like I can never wake up.