Stacy Milburn- Modern in the Mirror
Stacy, you will find, is smart, beautiful, talented, and oh so kind! She's a quadruple threat! Her work is distinctive and unique! I can't wait for y'all to meet her!
Part 1: About You
AAT: Who are you (outside of work)? Describe life.
SM: I am a Mother to a blended family of 5 kids- all teenagers now! 3 older girls, 2 younger boys. One daughter is at UGA and one is about to leave the nest for University of Alabama. At this stage in my life- its about keeping a balance of interior design, creating mirrors, volunteering and spending quality time with family and always making room for God! Its so easy to get caught up in the pace of life that I can forget about my spiritual grounding and focus. When that is in line- everything else lines up the way it should.
AAT: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
SM: I really love my quiet walks with my Bernese Mountain dog Blaze in the evening and sipping wine on porches with friends occasionally. Laughter HAS to be a part of my day- usually it’s me making others laugh by saying something or doing something completely out of character and wrapped in unexpected silliness.
AAT: What is one thing that people don’t realize about you?
SM: One thing people don’t know about me is how hyper-creative my mind is. I love thinking about ways to improve things or spin something differently. One thing people don’t know about me is that when I lived in New York, I wrote a children’s television show in the early 2000s and pitched it to Nickelodeon. I met with the production team of Blue’s Clues and had to sit in the ‘Big Red Thinking Chair’ to pitch my concept. That was as nerve wracking as it gets. The show was called The Kidchen and was focused on parent- child interaction in the kitchen and tasty fresh foods from around the world that would interest kids. I wrote this to address the obesity crises in children that our country was facing- and is still facing. It had a retro vibe that taught simple math (through measuring), geography (through exploration of foods grown in different countries/ villages) and music of course was an element to the show. Needless to say, that this didn’t take off, but what I learned was that it was OK! I went through the creative process, I put myself out there, and pitched my idea to the big guys on Madison Ave. Not a lot of people get to do that. My heart was in the right place and I really wanted to make a difference, but this wasn’t the path I was meant to take.
AAT: That is fascinating! I had no idea! I hate that it didn’t work out, but I love your attitude about putting it out there. I know you learned something and grew in the process!
Part 2: About Your Business
AAT: What business do you own? What type of business is it?
SM: I own an interiors business which is a parent company to my mirror art. It’s called Atlanta Classic Interiors.
AAT: Tell us how your business began and why you started it?
SM: When working as a Marketing Consultant for PwC in the late 90s early 2000s I went to study Interior Design at Parsons (The New School) at night. I was in my late 20s and was by far the oldest student around. The combat boots, heavy eyeliner and mohawks didn’t phase me- I couldn’t get enough of this world of creative abundance. My work at PwC of thinking outside the box and looking at what can be improved in business processes really helped me with design and still does to this day. I left the world of business because I was at pivotal point in my life where I was a part -time, stay -at -home mom looking for something creative and sustainable once my children were old enough to start school.
AAT: What has been your biggest trial?
SM: My biggest trial was a divorce that was thrown into the mix when I least expected it. With the help of family and friends (and of course God!) I was able to pull myself out of the dark with grace, dignity and a lightness of heart and life that I hadn’t felt in a while. This caused a whole new creative drive and my interior design business was born. Focusing on making others happy was incredibly healing and rewarding. Bringing people together to improve a lifestyle or home environment brought me a tremendous amount of joy, and that’s when I knew I doing what I was meant to do.
AAT: What has been your biggest triumph?
SM: My biggest triumph was trusting myself to be the artist that I wanted to be. And being OK with it if it didn’t work out. Finding a niche in mirror art has been huge for me. It started off as antiquing mirror and evolved into something much greater and beautiful than that. This is an art and a science that compliments other artwork in a room, brings in light and evokes a little something unexpected.
AAT: Where do you see your business in 5-10 years?
SM: I always see myself and my business as evolving. In 5-10 years I hope that I am still creating art that is unique and coming up with innovative solutions for the design community!
Part III: About Your Relationship with other Businesses
AAT: How did you know you wanted to collaborate?
SM: I knew I wanted to collaborate with other designers and artists because I was on to something unique that they needed to know about and have as a new design tool. Working as an artist can be very isolating at times. As an extrovert this was going to be a tough journey if I didn’t have a group of “art sisters” with me! Working with Melissa Payne Baker and Andrea Costa both are brilliant artists and I was thrilled when they agreed to collaborate with me. This meant that I would become a canvas creator for them to showcase their distinctive styles and brush strokes. This is not for everyone because painting on a canvas can be a little more straight forward than mirror. When painting behind a mirror your last stroke on a canvas is your first on a mirror- and you are painting in reverse! For the artist it gives them a way to show their work in a new light.
AAT: What have been the benefits?
SM: The benefits of an artist collaboration is that you have a built-in network of people who are in the same boat as you and dealing with a lot of the same business issues you are. But one of the best benefits are the new friendships that are created! These are like rare jewels.
AAT: What is something you would do differently?
SM: If I could’ve done one thing differently, I would’ve trusted my instincts sooner instead waiting for the ‘right time’ to come along.
AAT: Name one thing you have learned from another collaborator?
SM: One thing I’ve learned from working with other businesses like galleries, stores, designers, artists and other creative types is that TRUST goes a long way.
AAT: Best advice for others wanting to collaborate/work with another business?
SM: Keep your pricing consistent and fair. Give credit where credit is due and don’t be shy about it. Promote the designers, shops, and galleries for what THEY do, not just because they are selling YOUR work. Being genuine and kind in this business goes a long way. The best advice that I can give others wanting to work with other businesses is that if there is something in this world that you want, go out and get it! And once you do, help others do the same for themselves.
AAT: Yes!! I love that; always be willing to graciously pay it forward!
AAT: Last but not least, I ask everyone this question Favorite Quote and Favorite Verse?
Attract what you expect,
Reflect what you desire,
Become what you respect,
Mirror what you admire.