By Heather Lusk
When Whitney Vredenburgh received the Leap of Faith Award from zWORKS in November, it seemed fitting for a woman who was inspired to build her business after watching entrepreneurs in the coworking space succeed in their own businesses.
Vredenburgh had been working in marketing and sales for an agricultural company when became a member of zWORKs when it opened almost two years ago as an alternative to her home office. She soon became intrigued by the possibility of building her own company.
“I felt like I was being called to start my own business,” she said. “It was scary. It required a lot of faith.”
She took the leap and Nested Spaces, her home staging and redesign business, launched last year.
Clients are primarily in Zionsville, but her vision is to expand into St. Louis and Louisville, with family and friends in both cities to help her grow.
“It’s really fulfilling to see that there’s a need out there,” she said.
Although Indianapolis has other staging companies, she said each fits a niche, and she differentiates her business by offering a variety of price options and finding something that works within her client’s budget.
Vredenburgh also helps clients cope with the emotional process of selling their home.
“We’re de-personalizing their space. We’re trying to make it appeal to as many buyers as possible,” she said. “I try to help them picture where they’re going to be moving to and how great it’s going to be to have the house sold and (for) them to be in their new space. It’s getting them excited about the next chapter, whatever it is.
“I just wanted to help people make that transition from selling their home to moving easier because it can be really stressful.”
Her mother has been in real estate for 20 years, so Vredenburgh saw firsthand how quickly a home could sell if it’s well-prepped and photographed before being listed. According to a “Better Homes and Gardens” study, 90 percent of buyers use the Internet as part of their house hunting, so Vredenburgh emphasizes the need to have the house staged for photos.
“The sellers that are most excited to move are more willing to do the updates necessary and are more willing to invest in the necessary repairs,” she said.
Vredenburgh’s team might recommend paint, suggest furniture choices and small repairs. She has furniture available for staging expressly for the business.
“There is a recipe for why certain homes sell quickly,” she said, noting the popularity of HGTV has changed expectations of homebuyers to find a turnkey home.
“There’s something really fun about taking a vacant house that is completely vacant and then warming it up with furniture and throws and pillows and lamps and artwork,” she said.
Vredenburhg is the sole full-time employee of Nested Spaces, but she relies on movers and women “who have that eye” for part-time help to stage the homes.
Moreover, she relies on members of Zionsville Women in Network and other members of zWORKS to provide guidance and support.
“I think the great part about zWORKS is you can have these one-off conversations with different people,” she said.
Being recognized at zWORKS for launching her business venture gives Vredenburgh a lot of encouragement to continue moving forward.
“When I started thinking about this business, folks were really supportive,” she said. “They’ve seen it evolve from this concept to this business. It’s very true that you have to get the right people. They may not be working directly for you, but having a team of advisors is so, so important.”
Nested Spaces supports So Big
Ten percent of profits from Nested Spaces support So Big, a nonprofit dedicated to offering hope to expectant women in need.
Lori Buzzetti founded So Big in 2012 and plans to create a house for pregnant women in Whitestown this year to offer life skills and education to foster self-sufficiency.
“We want to be a place that connects women with resources,” Buzzetti said.
Buzzetti, an OBGYN, came across women in her practice who were homeless or living in vehicles, and she wanted to give them a place that would help and meet their needs.
“I needed to open a maternity home to give them a place,” she said. “It was God-inspired.”
Vredenburgh and Buzzetti connected through Traders Point Christian Church, where they are both members.
“I was looking for a place to give back,” Vredenburgh said. “I instantly felt like what she was doing was so important and so good for this community, too.”
“I think her business is a reflection of the generous, warm person that she is,” Buzzetti said. “We’re just really grateful for her.”
Vredenburgh has been helping to refurbish the interior of the building, selecting paint colors and furniture to make it feel like a home.
“I work with women a lot when I do staging,” Vredenburgh said. “I’m a female-owned business, so I wanted to do something that gave back to women.”