So HGTV…and then What?

Upon hearing the news that our submissions to the HGTV editorial team at Scripts Media was accepted into the Design Professionals Network, I let it sit. In my inbox, I let sit an incredible piece of news that we were acknowledged by a very recognizable media source. So as the story goes, I say to Kimberly DiBenedetto “hey, we should probably say something about the HGTV thing.” Her response, a causal “yeah, I’ll do it.”

Within minutes, a very dynamic post evolves on Facebook that states “it’s the real deal…we have been chosen to be a part of HGTV Design Professional’s Network.” The notifications are blowing up on my phone. People are really responding to this news. It’s great, it’s awesome, congratulations, how exciting. I now feel a little guilty, since this email had been in my inbox for three weeks and I just now mentioned it to Kim and Angela as a “to do item.”

I feel like I’ve been named for an academy award, hell, I feel like I won the damn thing. How could I have played it down so much? HGTV…are you kidding me? As I arrive home, I am greeted by Mr. Andrew. A ten-year-old, fourth grader who could care less if HGTV thought I sucked or didn’t. If I told him Si from Duck Dynasty thought I was the bomb, he would sit up and listen. But since camouflage and duck calls are outside my realm of expertise, our conversation resulted in what kind of snack I would get him because he was waiting for sooo long till I got home. Officially, the bubble had burst.

I am a business owner and a mom. Some days my greatest success is simply setting two feet on the floor. Other days, my greatest success is being recognized by a power house such as HGTV.

It’s not self indulgent to promote yourself and your success. It’s not wrong to take a moment to recognize the people who have been substantial players in that success. But success is a perception. As I walked through the door on that Tuesday afternoon, success was dinner and play time before piano and hockey practice.

For days after the Facebook post, the accolades poured in and the ego swelled. But ultimately, all I needed to hear was that little voice asking me about a snack. He didn’t need me to walk on water, he just wanted me to walk through the door.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those wonderful women who make it happen every day and doubt every move. You are wonderful, you are relevant and you are doing the best you can. Thank you to Angela Loewecke and Kimberly DiBenedetto that show me that being a mom is as important as being a designer. You are my heroes!

Gratitude upon Turning 40

This year marks the 40th year on this good earth. It is also the tenth year as a COO and mother to a fabulous little boy. Less importantly, it is my 15th year as business owner and interior designer. Since this musing is posted on KannCept Design, Inc. and not Baby Andrew, Inc., I will write about the journey as a business owner and designer.

Remarkably, or not, this is also the first year I am “flying solo”, as I divorced my husband last year. It may seem an odd to introduce this as the primary point in a recollection on my career, but to me it holds enormous significance. When I am asked what I am most proud of (as a question on dating websites), I jolt the system and say I am most proud of my divorce. Holy s___, what did she say? Yes, I said it. I am incredibly proud of how Tom and I handled a difficult situation, that we put our number one customer first, our child. I am proud of how we dismantled almost two decades of a life together, with respect and grace. When the go to emotion is hate, we chose to be different. We had no training in this, only that innate notion to do the right thing.

Just as in business, a marriage is built on rebuilding the framework of failures. It is learning and growing, deciding what works and what doesn’t. Ask any small business owner, was it easy? If they didn’t spit out their coffee upon utterance of “easy”, than count yourself dry and lucky. There has been many days that I fall asleep wondering what I had gotten myself into, by morning I was back in love with my job. It’s a passion, it’s my soul mate. I think about my business, my creative adventures, my friends that I call coworkers (never will I call you an employee unless talking to the IRS), my clients that have been “the other man/woman” in my life, and the unbelievable luck of having found interior design as a profession.

How did I get here? Who cares. Who got me here? Tom Carey. Yes, I said it. My ex-husband and my friend. I have had many a platform to tell him (and few select others) what he’s done wrong, but here’s what he’s done right. He loved me, he supported me, he drove my school work to Chicago when I was pregnant and throwing up so my final design project wouldn’t be late. He handed me the keys and told me to drive (not literally, because he always drove, like a jack ass), to do whatever I wanted to do. He took a back seat to my dream and never complained. He found my first client and said “Molly could do this.” From there it was history, KannCept was born (because CareyCept didn’t have the same flavor). I took something I was good at and made it unstoppable.

We may not have survived the business of marriage, but upon what may seem as an obvious failure is an even stronger success. It’s an evolution to move forward and use the past as a positive reflection of the future. He empowered me to have a voice, which may have backfired. He taught me compassion and patience in the workplace. He sacrificed time and money for a dream that wasn’t his. He listened and asked questions, helping me find the answer on my own.

There is no between the lines in this revelation of gratitude, it’s laced with only the best intentions, to recognize and thank the most significant person in my adult life.

Thank you. Onto the next chapter.


Welcome to my mind! Scary, I know. This will be my design dumping ground; a place for unloading any tips and tricks of the trade that come with working in the field for over 15 years. Check back periodically for new updates.