Archive for September, 2014

Mastermind Spotlight: Meredith Bohn

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_MG_3885 Today I want to introduce you to another one of my fantastic Mastermind members – Meredith Bohn. Meredith is one smart cookie, particularly about historical design and the story behind amazing old homes in her New England area. You know how I am enamored with antiques but not yet an expert in them? Well Meredith is definitely one of my go-to experts on that topic when I need to take my antiques expertise up a notch or two. York Bohn livingrm 1 Meredith has been in the design business in one form or another since 1990, but has been working for herself in the industry since 2004. The part of the business that makes her happiest is her niche: honoring history but designing for today’s living. All of her work is based on that strong sense of history and a classical approach to today’s lifestyles. “I always found the romance in the wear pattern on a stone step, or the marks made from years of handling – these things make the past very real for me,” she says.

And as you can see from one of Meredith’s gorgeous Showhouse rooms above, she is very talented at making historic elements blend with current pieces for a fresh, classic result! Meredith says her biggest triumph in her business for 2014 is re-launching her website and redefining her business to showcase her niche and truly define what she does that sets her apart. “I feel that has been the number one factor in beginning to become ‘known’ in the area, both to clients and the industry here,” she says. large size meredith photo Meredith’s goal for 2015 is to put all that she’s learned into consistent practice, both with marketing and blogging and business revenue growth.  She says she is also pointing toward a published presence in the larger regional magazine other than showhouse features. And though we can’t reveal all her secrets just yet, we know that Meredith is well on her way to achieving this goal in the coming months.

When Meredith isn’t working, her favorite thing to do is travel, especially to England and Europe.  She hopes to do a big trip in 2015 and her ultimate goal is to live in England for at least 10 years in her own Cotswold cottage! And I for one hope Meredith makes this happen sooner than later, because I will for sure be going for a visit.  She also loves anything beach related, but only the ocean will do, from Maine all the way down to Florida. She laughs while saying her Viking heritage demands a sea breeze and the smell of the salt water, if at all possible! And there’s that love of heritage and history coming up again–I love how her personality is SO authentic to her new brand. GWP_Bohn_BohnKitchen-1 Meredith’s sons are grown, but she says they are always the light of her life!  She has worked in design almost their whole lives. “They laughingly explain to friends that our lives are always one big decorating project!  Seriously, I love doing design work, but I love family time and I work hard at making sure I take care of both,” Meredith says.

She says that her biggest a-ha moment from her two years in Mastermind is really defining her strengths. “Tobi and her great team have absolutely made a profound difference in my approach to my business.  Mastermind is not just a collection of great ideas and insights from a group of fantastic people and designers.  Mastermind is a true synergy of ideas, methods and approaches that has allowed me to create a design business that I am passionate about and is unique to ME.”

So if you’re looking for a designer to create a home that “Honors History but Lives for Today”, Meredith is your gal. Thanks for letting me share this amazing designer with you.

See you soon! xo,

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Tobi TV: Tips for Living a Stylish Life with Children

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Tobi-TV-logo-600x332Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Designs is not only a fabulous interior designer, but she’s also the mother of adorable twin boys. Having that “double trouble” at home, as Traci says, doesn’t mean that she has to avoid a put-together home, though. Traci believes that “you don’t have to wait until your kids are grown to bring style into your home.” So true!

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Since Traci also happens to be a long-standing member of my Mastermind Group, I asked her to give us some of her best tips for living a stylish life with children. Let’s take a look at her fantastic ideas:

Wow! Don’t you love those? Here’s a recap of Traci’s tips for still having stylish decor with kids and pets in your home:

1. Lighting is a great way to invest. You can inject big style with fixtures and chandeliers because they are hands-off and out of the way, and they don’t get the wear-and-tear that other pieces in your house might. Lamps can be included in this idea, but only if they are out of reach.

2. Performance fabrics are your friend! Forget about those scratchy fabrics from the past, today’s treated textiles are soft and look incredible. So put them on pillows and upholstery where your kids and pets will be lounging most often.

3. Layer in color. Use a neutral (and easy to keep clean) envelope of walls and large upholstery, and then layer in color and pattern. This gives you flexibility in your accessories because you can move things around for different looks, and it gives you a long-term bang for your buck.

4. Stay organized to stay stylish! How do you keep everything in its place with active kids in the house? Traci says you should have a place for everything and keep everything in that place. Take a hard look at the function of your home and find a place for each piece of clutter to live. And if some items have outlived their usefulness, then donate them to someone else who needs them.

Aren’t those great ideas? I love that Traci refuses to sacrifice design and style in her home just because she has little ones! I hope you loved her tips, too. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of this video and be sure to share it with your friends that have children. Stay tuned for more tips from other talented members of my Mastermind Consulting Group coming to Tobi TV soon!









A Chance to Celebrate – and to Win!

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I was thrilled to be asked by Annie Selke to create my favorite bed using fabulous Pine Cone Hill products, all to celebrate PCH’s 20th anniversary! Now you know I love my bed – I work in it, I watch television it in it, and I read to my daughter Ellison in it. It’s like my oasis from the world! So to create a fun look for a bed is right up my alley.

As much as I love color – and you know I do – I also love crisp, clean white bedding. My selection offers the best of both worlds with an on-trend fuchsia that fits my signature look of bright, bold, and tailored!

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I also like layers on a bed to help you easily control how warm or cool you are, so the new Boyfriend Matelasse coverlet is the absolutely perfect weight for that. And I love it mixed with the Candlewick Fuchsia Throw – it has a terrific soft texture that you just want to snuggle into!

I’m also known for mixing patterns, and I wanted to complement the delicate ribbon on the embroidered sheet set from Pine Cone Hill with the bolder chevron pillows from sister company Fresh American. Even better – those pillows are indoor/outdoor, which gives them a great wearability factor!

This bed is fun and inviting, and if you like it too then I have even bigger news! Annie Selke is going to give one of my blog readers the chance to win everything you see on this bed – shams, coverlet, sheets, pillows, throw – that’s a value over $1,000! All you have to do to enter is to put your name and email address into the form on the top right of this blog and you will be entered to win! We’ll draw a name from all the entries on Sept. 25 at 5pm and will announce the winner on Sept. 26!

And if you enter to win, I’ll also send you a free download of my Top 10 Ways to Add Style with Color! It’s a win-win!

Happy Anniversary to Pine Cone Hill, and good luck to all of you who enter!









My New Collaboration with C.R. Laine Furniture

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I know it’s Tuesday and I know you are expecting my latest episode of Tobi TV but today I have bigger news! I am thrilled to announce that I have a VERY exciting partnership with one of my favorite upholstery companies, C.R. Laine. I will be creating a furniture collection to launch in April 2015 at the High Point Furniture Market with this amazing family-owned company that is based in Hickory, North Carolina.

My friends at the Editor at Large captured all the details about our unique collaboration perfectly, so you can read all about it here including an interview with me. And even though we have to wait until April for my collection to debut, I have been helping C.R. Laine redesign their “Bistro” in their High Point showroom so if you are a designer, come by and see their newly expanded showroom, their new cafe and say hello at market this October!  C.R. Laine and I look forward to seeing you there soon.

And for all you design-lovers out there who love my design style, I’ll be bringing you sneak peeks of our collaboration in the coming months.  And look for my C.R. Laine upholstery collection coming to retailers near you by Summer 2015.


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P.S. I’ll be back with another episode of Tobi TV really soon. But check back here tomorrow for a BIG giveaway! You’re going to love it.

Self-Care Saturday: Making a Mental “Shift” for a Healthy and Profitable Life

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Your success, whether in your business or in your personal life, is completely dependent on what you believe. You could be just one mindset shift from the success you dream of in all parts of your life. It was true for me just a few years ago and today I am realizing so many dreams that my mindset was keeping me from. Here’s what I mean… tobi before and after

It’s been two years since I finished losing over 30 pounds and almost 2 years since I revealed my getting healthy process here on the blog for all the world to see. It took me almost 2 years to lose the weight, 18 months to be exact, and thankfully I have kept more than 30 pounds off to date. And trust me, the keeping it off is much harder than losing the weight.


But it’s not the weight loss that has been the big deal in my life. It’s the mental shift I made way back in June of 2010 which was over 4 years ago. That is when I was feeling awful and working myself to death. I was in my late 30’s and was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle to build a business and be a mom of a young child. I was filling my body with sugar and carbs to have the quick energy to keep working those 14 hour days, I was getting very little sleep and I was doing ZERO exercise. I just didn’t have time, or so I told myself. And when I wasn’t working my day job, I was at home writing this blog in all my other “free time” to help build a business and a following so I could grow my company into something profitable for my family. My intentions were right, but my mindset wasn’t.


Here’s what I looked like in June 2010 and seeing this picture is what made me say enough is enough. When I look at this photo I remember how awful I felt–my whole body hurt, I felt about 20 years older than my 38 year-old self and I was a walking ball of stress waiting to melt-down at any moment. I was SITTING at my desk or on my bed with my laptop for hours every day and there is a reason that Arianna Huffington addressed the top designers and architects in the country last November at the Design Leadership Summit by saying this…”Sitting is the new Smoking”. To be healthy, my body needed to MOVE, not sit!

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Thankfully this is what I look like today. When I look at this photo I see a healthy, happy and much more balanced forty-something gal. But for me it’s not about constantly fitting  into some tiny size of pants. It’s being a healthy size that’s right for me and more importantly feeling good on a daily basis through healthy food, regular exercise, yoga and meditation and a most importantly, maintaining a healthy mindset. Just last week for my Mastermind Consulting Group‘s monthly tele-call, my topic was Stay Healthy AND Make a Profit. Those of you who are entrepreneurs and small business owners like me know that these two things are often mutually exclusive.

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It is so difficult to have the time and energy to build and maintain a profitable business and have time to exercise and eat right, not to mention the difficulty of eating and working out when you travel often for work like I do.  And then there are the  many work-related social events where there are always so many things to tempt you like high-calorie foods and alcohol.

In my Mastermind Tele-call last week I spoke about why I believe that being both healthy and profitable not only can co-exist but why I think they actually MUST go hand-in-hand. And why when I made the mental shift that helped me finally get healthy, it was the same mindset shift that also made me disciplined enough to REALLY get my finances in order with my business and become dedicated to taking both my design and consulting businesses to a level of success I had previously only dreamed of. Today I am seeing all the things I have been working for now for over 15 years fall into place and I credit it all to that mindset shift over 4 years ago. the body will follow This week, I was reminded of another successful entrepreneur and business woman who has made this same sort of shift. My weekday morning show of choice is ABC’s Good Morning America. And I have loved watching Tory Johnson, their guest contributor of the Deals and Steals segment, get healthy over the last few years. Tory founded two multi-million dollar companies herself and spends time empowering women like I do, and she struggled with the same challenges of losing weight and getting healthy for years. But she has now kicked her bad habits and kept her weight off too as featured this week on GMA.

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Her book (which I am now reading by the way) is called The Shift. And Tory inspires me to continue to make being healthy a priority in my life. So much so that I am ordering this treadmill desk for my office. Well I have ordered it and I am just waiting for the glass desk top to get re-stocked because Tory inspired so many people this week with her segment that the glass top for the desk is currently sold out. But I can hardly wait to have this desk as another excuse not to SIT all day, every day. 090414AtWork09CJ

So on this Self-care Saturday while I await my new desk,  I am going to take today to re-enforce my healthy habits. It takes time each week to relax, replenish and make sure you aren’t falling off the “healthy mindset” wagon. Yes, it’s self-care Saturday so I am going to the spa for a facial and a massage. I will be doing my daily 3.5 mile walk and I am enjoying healthy food like a yummy green smoothie filled with nutrients for breakfast. Plus I’ll be cooking some healthy recipes with my family this afternoon, all because almost 4 years ago I made a big “shift”.


Do you need to make this shift in your life to become both healthy and profitable? I hope I’ve inspired you to do so and let me know how I can help. Leave me a comment here if you’ve made a similar shift and let me know what tips and tricks for staying healthy AND profitable have worked for you.

I am always looking for new ways to maintain my healthy lifestyle. Happy Saturday friends! I hope you will spend the day being both healthy and happy.

Now I’m off to the spa. xo,

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