2012 Year in Review

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

I’ve been taking a look back at the year that is coming to an end every year since I started this blog in 2008. So this is my 5th look back and I am so grateful that each year the blessings continue to flow.

This time, though, I feel a little different about my look back. Maybe it’s age that is affecting me. Or maybe it’s wisdom that comes with age. Or maybe it’s that as I watch my favorite show, the CBS Sunday Morning Show, while I write this and think about it’s look back at all those great and small, celebrities and the 300 military service men and women, and all the sweet and precious victims of the Sandy Hook shootings that left us in 2012, I am impacted by what is really important in life.

So that doesn’t mean that in light of sadness and serious issues, that we can’t celebrate our successes and blessings. In fact, I think that is the VERY time that we should celebrate them. But celebrating them with a sense of gratitude and a plan to pay them forward, now that is how it feels like I should celebrate them this year.

So here is a look back at a few of the many things I am grateful for in 2012 followed by my perspective on my responsibility to pay forward similar blessings to those in my life…

In January I turned 40! Yes, maybe that’s where all the wisdom is coming from :). But I think rolling into this new decade has marked me rolling into my best years to date. I am grateful for finally feeling good in my own skin and the excuse to help me lose almost 40 pounds this year!

And this first month of the year marked another great One Kings Lane sale for me!

In February, the Design Bloggers Conference bestowed on me their first ever Best Blog Award. Wow! What an honor. And I am thrilled that I will be presenting the 2013 award to the lucky winner and serving as Master of Ceremony for the Awards event at the upcoming Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles.

In March I launched my first Designer MBA camp, was privileged to be included in Susanna Salk’s latest book, and had a lovely and warm welcome as a keynote speaker at the Arizona Design Center’s Spring market.

April brought with it many blessings. First I spoke at the Design Leadership Summit in Marrakech, Morocco attended by 200 design and architect greats. My friend and fellow Arkansan, President Bill Clinton recorded a short video clip for me as part of that presentation. That was certainly a highlight of my year.

Traditional Home Magazine featured my Richmond Showhouse from 2010 in April.

And Southern Living featured an Entertaining Story all about Seersucker.

And I rounded out the month by being the reigning Style Spotter at High Point Market and the Keynote speaker in Chicago at the Visions Window Treatment Conference.

May was also full of excitement with 2 inclusions in the May issue of House Beautiful in both their regular color section and their “Designer Secrets” feature.

And May was the month I launched my first E-products with my Tobi Fairley Business Solutions Teleseminars and Video webinars to rave reviews.

June was full of dreams come true especially thanks to Traditional Home Magazine. First they featured my Hampton’s Showhouse from 2011.

Next they asked me to be part of their “Master Class” 15 weeks of design tips from top Designers.

 And then they invited me to join them on a trip to Scotland with the Scottish Textiles Industry. Traditional Home is always so good to me, but this year they leave me speechless on all they have done.

Another exciting bonus in June was finding my work included in this special issue of Southern Living called 100 Makeover Ideas.

July brought with it yet another One Kings Lane sale that was another great success!

Rolling into the Fall, At Home in Arkansas was kind enough to give me my 10th cover with their Family Homes Issue in August.

I also had fun press that month with Decorating Shortcuts Magazine

And this gorgeous feature in RedBook Magazine.

And I traveled to the Atlanta Market Center, America’s Mart for a fun talk called “Decoreat” with my friend Kathy Greeley all about our favorite Tabletop and Entertaining Design Ideas.

September brought my collaboration with Masin’s Furniture and Design in Seattle, and a fun talk at theIFDA Day of Design in Richmond, Virginia where my friends and the design community there treat me like family.

And an exciting milestone…Tobi’s Blog turned 4.

October brought more press from HGTV magazine.

And again from Traditional Home with a gorgeous Fall Entertaining Feature.

Speaking of Traditional Home, my “Traditional Home Room” in the Holiday House NYC Showhouse in New York City opened that month to rave reviews. Thank you Traditional Home for asking me to design your sponsored space!

Plus my team and I were honored with 3 ASID awards including 2 Gold and a Silver. And then I traveled to Gasden, Alabama for a great speaking engagement with the Antiquarian Society.

In November my hospitality project, The Chancellor Hotel, that I  completed this Fall was revealed on my blog and subsequently featured on House of Turquoise.

And a VERY exciting relationship was formed with Olioboard that month as a sponsor of my Design Camps for 2012 and 2013.  I am thrilled to be working with Olioboard and can’t wait for all we will accomplish together next year.

Speaking of Camp Tobi, November also brought another A to Z camp but this time with amazing special guest speakers Scot Meacham Wood, Kathryn Greeley, Cheminne Taylor-Smith and a book signing with my friend Amanda Nisbet.

Then rolling into December, this last month of 2012, I was honored with more great press including this AMAZING feature on my InBox Interiors Service in Southern Living Magazine.

Plus this lovely feature on my Mom and me and our Holiday Decor in Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas Magazine.

And HGTV gave me a beautiful full page in their “What color is this” section.

Then my year-long tour through the home with AY Magazine came to a close with an exciting giveaway to several lucky winners!

WOW. I am speechless when I see all these amazing features, memories of lovely friends new and old that I have met over the year, design awards, and exciting project reveals.

So here’s where the gratitude part comes in…Thank you so very much to the many publications and books that thought my work worthy of their gorgeous pages this year. I am so very grateful to each and every one of you and your teams who are so good to me.

An especially big Thank You to Ann Maine, Beth Brenner, and Krissa Rossbund at Traditional Home and all their team members who have been such a joy to work with and travel with this year.

Also a giant Thank You to Jennifer Kopf and Lindsey Beatty and their team at Southern Living Magazine who have been fantastic and fun and so kind to include me in so many lovely spreads this year. I am so appreciative!

I also want to thank each and every one of you who have had me speak at your events and who have treated me both like a queen and like family this year. I am so happy to have so many new people to call friends and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hospitality and warm welcomes! I want to say a special thanks to my friend Cheminne Taylor-Smith, head of marketing at High Point Market, for having me speak so many times in your tenure with the market and for your genius idea of the “Style Spotters” and including me in such an innovative idea.

Next, I need to thank each and every person who attended my camps and purchased my information products this year. My consulting business has grown like wild-fire thanks to you all and I look forward to working with many of you more this year!

Plus a special thanks to all those who have been speakers and special guests at our camps this year including Cheminne, Scot, Kathy, and Amanda. As well as Phoebe Howard, Annie Selke, and Susanna Salk.

And how could I not thank the 25 AMAZING women that are part of my Mastermind Consulting Group. You are my inspiration. You make me want to get out of bed each day and go to work solving the problems of the Design Industry and creating new and innovative ideas for making our businesses and lives better. I am eternally grateful that you have helped me find my true passion! Much love to each of you.

I send out a sincere Thank You to President Bill Clinton who took time from his busy schedule to record a message of inspiration for the 200 designers and architects I was speaking to at the Design Leadership Summit in Morocco and for his kind words about my family and me in the video. He is a true inspiration to me and so many and for that I am very grateful!  And a thank you to Keith Granet, Meg Touborg, and Peter Sallick for asking me to share my “Moment of Inspiration” with the conference. It was a highlight of my year.

Tobi Fairley Design of Masins Bellvue

I want to thank the Masin Family in Seattle for entrusting their store lobby to me for the Diffa Glam Charity Event.  I can honestly say I have never met a family any kinder or more loving than the Masins. From the moment I arrived until the moment I left on both trips to Seattle, they treated me like I was one of them. I could have sworn I was in the South because their hospitality would rival any of it here! And I adored spending time with the youngest Masin family members too. The G-man became one of my biggest fans, and me his!

Another important Thank You is to Sheilah, the amazing owner of Olioboard and to Leslie Carothers who helped bring us together. I think our relationship is a match made in Heaven and it will be so much fun to give back to the design community with you more next year. Thank you for being a big part of our educational and inspiring events!

I can’t miss sending a big Thank You to my fantastic clients who allow me to create my vision in their homes and hospitality projects. I am so grateful for that privilege and I can’t thank you enough for investing in me.

And lastly, to my staff (shown here with design campers). What a unbelievable group of women (including my amazing mom), that I get to work with each week. Thank you for drinking the “Tobi Kool-aide” and buying into my vision to create Inspired Design, Inspired Businesses, and Inspired Lives. I couldn’t accomplish even a tenth of what I do without your help! And for that, I love you all!

And just like with any great Awards Speech :), I am sure there are so many people that have been a part of my life and my many blessings this year that I haven’t named. And so to each of you that I have encountered, that have been part of projects in any way from construction workers and subcontractors to architects and photographers…I thank you. To all of you who have been a part of my magazine features from lay-out to the written content…I thank you. And to each and every one of you who have said hello to me during my travels, have emailed me kind feedback, have left a blog comment, Facebook message, or Tweet…I thank you.

I get the honor and privilege to have SO many amazing people come into my life each year and each of you enrich my life more than you will ever know. You all are the reason that this is my dream job!

Now here’s my chance to pay all these blessings forward. I ask that you please support all of these people that have been so supportive to me.

Please hire designers, architects and other professionals for your next project. They are so worth the value and expertise they bring to your project. A great design professional will more than pay for themselves in money saved and mistakes avoided, so please invest in them.

Please spread the love when shopping for your home from the internet with Olioboard and One Kings Lane to retail home stores like Masins Furniture and our Camp Tobi Fairley sponsor Cobblestone and Vine. I hope you will invest in both so we keep them all alive and well in the coming year, as both online and brick and mortar shops all have so many wonderful things to offer us.

And when looking for Design inspiration, I know you will look to the web, but please continue to support all those amazing print magazines like Traditional Home, Southern Living, House Beautiful, HGTV Magazine, At Home in Arkansas and the many other publications that have been so instrumental in my career. Life just wouldn’t be the same without them.

And when looking for great design information and education, please consider attending conferences and markets like the Design Bloggers Conference, High Point Furniture Market, Arizona Market events, the Atlanta Market Center events and the Visions Window Treatment Conference. Each of these have fantastic content and will greatly benefit your business. And many of these have trade shows in conjunction, so feel free to shop away, purchasing gorgeous furniture, fabrics and home accents for your clients or yourself while you are there!

For more design inspiration and to give back at the same time, I hope you will visit Designer Showhouses and events like the Day of Design in Richmond when it comes around again in 2014 and also great showhouse events like Holiday House in New York that benefits Breast Cancer Research or the gorgeous tabletop design events benefitting DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) which are usually called Dining by Design and happen in cities all across the country throughout the year like the DIFFAGlam event in Seattle in the Fall.

And if you are looking for a Charity to embrace, there is none better than the Clinton Foundation. Their work in Africa, Haiti and right here in America is inspiring. Bill Clinton’s vision for helping others is second to none and supporting this worthy charity foundation would make a difference in lives around the globe!

Nothing would make me happier in 2013 than to know that I had some part in helping to support all these fantastic businesses, services, and publications that have been so kind to support me.

And now as 2012 comes to a close, one final Thank You. This one is for you. First, I thank you for reading this VERY long blog post. (LOL) But more importantly, I thank you for being here with me on the blog day in and day out this year and every year since 2008. Without you, I wouldn’t have this powerful platform for celebrating my successes, sharing my inspiration, my passions, my challenges, and my life’s journey. And without you and this “little blog”, my life wouldn’t be near as full.

You are a blessing to me and I want you to know that for that I am grateful.

Much love to you and wishing you many blessings, peace and prosperity as the door on 2012 closes and the opportunities of 2013 blossom. May next year be the year that all your dreams come true. And I will be here cheering you along every step of the way.


P.S. Now the FUN starts…so meet me back here starting tomorrow for a MONTH-LONG look at my resolutions, goals, plans, and dreams for the new year. I love a fresh start and I can’t wait to see you here in 2013! Happy New Year!


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7 Responses to 2012 Year in Review

  1. Franki Parde says:

    Hard work pays off!!! 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR!! franki

  2. Donna Frasca says:

    Tobi, I just heard your video (on another blog) about how you’re changing for 2013, getting back to basics and family and the rest will follow. It’s like you words were coming right out my head. I agree with you 110%. Best to you and your family for 2013 🙂

  3. Leslie Wood says:

    WOW Tobi,
    What an amazing year you have had. I am so excited to be a part of your Mastermind group this year. I wish you much continued success in 2013.
    All the best,
    Leslie Wood

  4. Tobi –

    Here’s to another amazing year!


  5. Pinkeggshell says:

    Congrats Tobi,
    It’s always amazing to be appreciated for your talents. I have many of the issues mentioned above. Each time I’d open one up and see your name, I’d celebrate with you. I can appreciate your huge dreams and the courage it takes for you to chase them. Good luck in 2013. I know you’ll do well as you’ve only just begun to show the world what you are capable of.
    May God Bless you,
    Kimberly at Pinkeggshell

  6. congratulations to you tobi, what an amazing year!

    i have spent some time, starting with today’s post and going back and forth, catching up with you. like a seed scattered to the wind, your influence and spirit has energized me, your generosity is unparalleled and lastly you have inspired (this years word indeed!) me for 2013. i cannot imagine how you do it all, and losing 38 lbs, and taking a day for yourself, et al………BUT, if i can accomplish half, even 1/4, i will be thrilled!
    i am sticking with you girlfriend as my inspiration coach!
    love and blessings for 2013

  7. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. They provide so much inspiration.
    Happy New Year!