Episode 76: Diversifying Your Income by Design with Shayla Copas
Shayla Copas with Shayla Copas Lifestyle is joining us today to talk about diversifying your income stream. Shayla is a national award-winning interior designer, travel entrepreneur, product designer, and the author of the book Four Seasons of Entertaining and the upcoming book Four Seasons of Celebration. In addition, she is also launching Shayla Copas Travel at the end of the year, where she will host design and culinary enthusiasts on trips around the globe.
In this episode, we chat about finding your passions and building your business around them. Shayla also shares her best marketing tips for creatives and ways she has been able to diversify her income as a designer.
Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.
In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies, and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.
Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.
Connect with Michelle
Have ideas or suggestions or want to be considered as a guest on the show? Email me!
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Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because, while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus and a touch of the woowoo, and probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.
Michelle Lynne: Well, hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. My name is Michelle Lynne, and I am happy to be here and introduce you to Shayla Copas. Let me tell you about this chick, she is with Shayla Copas Lifestyle. She's joining us today to talk about diversifying your income stream. Shayla is a national award-winning interior designer, travel entrepreneur, product designer, and the author of Four Seasons of Entertaining. And I just learned that she also has a PR company. Like, this babe does it all. So Shayla, hello, welcome. I'm so glad you're here.
Shayla Copas: Hi, thank you for having me.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, absolutely. I love just talking to women who are on the move and having some fun and just, you know, living their best life. So this definitely ties that up. I want to start by asking what is under the Shayla Copas Lifestyle umbrella, like, what's under that?
Shayla Copas: Okay, so we have the Shayla Copas Interiors, we're a luxury interior design firm. And we also have a travel, a luxury travel section of our business called Shayla Copas Travel. And we take group trips that are design oriented with a culinary portion of those trips.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's a love language.
Shayla Copas: So much fun, and adventure, because I'm all about some adventure in my life and bringing adventure to other people. But I think designers get inspired by travel. And that's when we get our best ideas. And there are a lot of reasons that I brought this to the table. And I haven't even officially announced it yet. I mean, I've kind of put it a little bit on Facebook, but before officially announcing it, I'm already a full-fledged agency. So we're booking as many trips as most people do when they have been in this business for a long time.
Michelle Lynne: What?
Shayla Copas: Yeah, it shocked me, it's shocked me a lot. So I went to school for this, there's actually a school.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, really?
Shayla Copas: And I went through the Travel MBA program and graduated this year in March. So it was one year long. And then I'm on my second year with their program, with that host agency. We're Virtuoso. And if your audience does not know about Virtuoso, Virtuoso is a consortium that has luxury travel under it. And so just anytime you think about Ritz Carlton, you think about St. Regis, all of your luxury brands are members of Virtuoso.
Michelle Lynne: Wow, that sounds like a full-time job in itself.
Shayla Copas: It is, but we're bringing in people. So I'm working on that right now is, you know, you have to bring in people to make things move.
Michelle Lynne: Amen.
Shayla Copas: People on interior design, people on product design, and now we're bringing in people for travel design.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, how fun and it all ties together so well.
Shayla Copas: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: I love that. So diversifying. I love the fact, and I'm of the mindset as well, is you can't put all of your eggs in one basket. But tell me why you think diversifying your income is so important.
Shayla Copas: Diversifying is extremely important because you never know what consumers are going to want in the future based on the economy, politics, where everything's going in our lives. And so you want to make sure that you have income streams coming in from different areas, but also go into your brand. You don't want them not to make sense in your brand, so that you can keep moving as times change. And it's also great job security for employees as well. I know my employees very much appreciate the fact that we have several divisions of our business because they know that they always have a job and a place.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, and that they become like family when they've been with you for so long.
Shayla Copas: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: No, that makes sense. How did you learn how to do all this?
Shayla Copas: It's my background, is where I'm from. I'm from Goldendale, Washington, a very small farming community. And it's kind of a long story that may require a lot of wine. So we might do that on another episode.
Michelle Lynne: I'm totally down with that. That's sounds great.
Shayla Copas: But as a child, I was abused as a child. And so I spent a lot of time having to figure out how to do things for myself and how to take care of myself. And basically, that just made me into Shayla, the entrepreneur. And I've been an entrepreneur since I was 19 years old. And I've always been trying to figure out how I was going to make my business run. And my first business started around that time in my life.
Michelle Lynne: And that way, you didn't have to depend on anybody. You could take care of yourself and just forge your own path. A warrior.
Shayla Copas: Yes, you could call me that.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's fun. That's very fun. And it is interesting how people come around to entrepreneurship. I never thought I wanted to do it myself until I was in my late 30s. I think. And now I look back and I'm like, how in the heck did I ever report to anybody else? Because I've got a bad attitude.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, how did you come in every day?
Michelle Lynne: Exactly.
Shayla Copas: And wear that suit or
Michelle Lynne: Amen to that. Back in the day. I'm dating myself now. We had to wear pantyhose with our business suits all the time.
Shayla Copas: Oh, my goodness.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, right. Not so much fun.
Shayla Copas: No. And in the summer in Arkansas.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah. It was it was something Yeah, it was something. So thankfully, now, here I am barefoot talking to you in my almost pajamas.
Shayla Copas: What part of the country are you in?
Michelle Lynne: So originally, I was born in California, I lived there through second grade. Moved to New Mexico, was there through college. Then I went back to California, until about, how long have I been, now I'm in Texas for 22 years. So it was a roundabout. And I had a couple of detours in there too. But those are the big ones.
Shayla Copas: So all the warm places and you were wearing those pantyhose.
Michelle Lynne: Exactly. Oh, so much fun, especially in Dallas in the summertime.
Shayla Copas: Oh, yeah.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah, thank goodness, I don't think I've put a pair of pantyhose on since. Well, I used to be in recruiting. So I placed accounting and financial professionals. So all of the big, I think it was like the big six, and then it was the big five, and the big four, whatever. So all of those large, consulting companies and CPA firms, they were all business professional. So we had to be business professional, because that's who we were interacting with.
Shayla Copas: Okay, so you were like a headhunter.
Michelle Lynne: I was, yeah, for a long time. And then, funny story, and then we'll get back on track. When I got out of that industry and I started this business, I thought we were going to do glamorously functional interiors for the busy professional, because that's kind of who I was relating to. And then I realized I'm gonna have to wear a dress, like I'm gonna have to wear, what? Like, I'm gonna have to wear, shoot, like high-heeled shoes and stuff like that. No, no, no, this is not the niche we want to go after. So coming back to a lot of the things that you're doing, you also have a book, if I recall correctly, right? Entertaining?
Shayla Copas: Mm hmm.
Michelle Lynne: And how did that come along?
Shayla Copas: Four Seasons of Entertaining. I was actually featured in the book of another author that featured other designers in 2016, I think, it was so long ago. And we had a great relationship, and I didn't even know her before I ended up in that book. She contacted me out of nowhere and asked me if I wanted to be featured in her book. And I thought that she was charging for it. You know, I thought it was some kind of scam, because I didn't know this lady. So she said, do you want to be in my book? I said, how much? And she said, nothing. And I said, okay, well, that's very sweet of you. I'll send you some pictures. So I sent her pictures. And she put me in her book, but not only in the book, she put my job on the cover. Well, after that happened, she came to Arkansas, and we did a nice little book signing at the Governor's Mansion. And a couple years later, she contacted me and said, do you want your own book? Because I think you should have one.
Michelle Lynne: Well, you've got a little guardian angel.
Shayla Copas: I know. I said, well, you know, it's something I had thought about. And it was kind of in the little goal list. But I don't know that it's something that's within reach at this very moment. She said, oh, no, I can, we can have a phone call and we can make this happen. And the next week, we had a phone call, and I had a book deal.
Michelle Lynne: That's amazing.
Shayla Copas: There it is.
Michelle Lynne: Isn't that funny? Like when God has His path for you? There's no denying it.
Shayla Copas: There isn't any denying it at all, when he has what he has set for us, we're going down that path. And now I have a second book coming out with them, with the same publisher. We were supposed to launch this year but won't be able to launch probably until 2024. So there's been various reasons mixed up in that, trying to get all the content finished up, but we will have it finished in 2024.
Michelle Lynne: That's fun. So your first one was Four Seasons of Entertaining. Can you tell us what the next one is?
Shayla Copas: It's Four Seasons of Celebration.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, fun.
Shayla Copas: Yeah. So it's the same like, themed parties and the recipes that go along with it. And all the decor on the tabletops, you know, just every single element from the napkins, the napkin rings, the place cards, but it's just different themes. So the first one had your basics like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Well, now we're celebrating Hanukkah.
Michelle Lynne: How cool is that?
Shayla Copas: Yeah, Hanukkah and Friendsgiving. And we're celebrating Mardi Gras.
Michelle Lynne: Oh fun. So did you get to travel for these?
Shayla Copas: I did. So well, we're still in the process of shooting, but some of them, we've already been to South Africa to shoot one of them. So I took my whole crew to South Africa.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that doesn't suck.
Shayla Copas: I know, right? We just got back in March.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh. How amazing.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, it was pretty cool.
Michelle Lynne: So yeah, it's a whole production.
Shayla Copas: To be in South Africa when you have a giraffe behind you and you're shooting a tablescape.
Michelle Lynne: Not many people can say that, Shayla.
Shayla Copas: I know, right? And I'm getting ready to head to Antarctica. But we're not shooting tabletop there. But we will be shooting some video for some upcoming trips I'll be selling, group trips that I'll be selling.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, there we go. That makes sense.
Shayla Copas: For my clients and designers to go on with me.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, your passport is going to be full.
Shayla Copas: It is.
Michelle Lynne: That's amazing.
Shayla Copas: And people will be very shocked, because most people wouldn't expect me to go to Antarctica, you know? I'm just not really, I'm kind of more, I don't know, South Africa prone. I like warmth. I don't like to be cold. So it'll be interesting to see me do the polar plunge.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, you're going for the adventure.
Shayla Copas: Yeah.
Michelle Lynne: That'll be really cool. And how fun that you take other people along with you.
Shayla Copas: It will be cool. Yeah, on this one, I'm going to familiarize myself with the brand. And then we'll be putting one together to take people with me. But I'm taking a videographer with me.
Michelle Lynne: Awesome. So yeah, you're doing reconnaissance?
Shayla Copas: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: Which is also probably tax deductible. So that's like a hell of a trip.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, for sure. We'll be getting a lot of great content.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, that's genius. Absolutely genius. Being able to tie in, like what your passions are and building the business around it.
Shayla Copas: Yes, for sure. And then all while all the jobs for interior design, you know, I just never want to forget that, because that's our main bread and butter. And we're busier than ever, and I think every designer in the world is right now.
Michelle Lynne: Isn't it crazy?
Shayla Copas: It's so crazy. When it all hit, I thought, what's going to happen? What are we going to do? But you know, it hit and within that week that it hit, I got a phone call for a huge job that week, when it hit, that week, huge job.
Michelle Lynne: Did they continue moving forward at an average pace?
Shayla Copas: Yes. Crazy. And then we kept getting calls during the prime time of COVID.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. Who would have thought? But it makes sense with everybody locked in their house. That they're sitting there staring at their walls.
Shayla Copas: That's why it was only a couple days in, and they called. They were like sitting looking at their house, and they were like, oh my gosh, we need help.
Michelle Lynne: And that, it makes life so much easier. Like, we want to stay married, can you fix our house?
Shayla Copas: Exactly.
Michelle Lynne: So let's chat about finding your passions and building your business around it.
Shayla Copas: Yeah. So when you look at what you should be spending your time doing during the day to make an income, it needs to be around your passions, because that's the way that we are successful. If we don't like what we do, we're not going to be successful at it, and the people buying are not going to get the full value of what we can provide.
Michelle Lynne: I think that's a key point. It's the value that we're providing. Plus, I mean, hating our life would be a bad sign.
Shayla Copas: I know, we don't want to do that.
Michelle Lynne: But it's true. So for the listeners, like, stop and think about the details that you don't like doing, it's the things that we always avoid. And sometimes they don't get done or sometimes it comes back and bites us in the booty and so forth. So you've really embraced that with all of your endeavors and different interests.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, and we always keep it along design, because once a brand makes sense, and travel really does fit in the lifestyle brand under that umbrella, it all makes sense. And with our marketing, we market for, some for interior designers, but mainly for contractors and architects. Well, that's all under that umbrella.
Michelle Lynne: It absolutely is.
Shayla Copas: of me being an interior designer. And then the product design is again under that umbrella.
Michelle Lynne: That's right with POLLYWOOD.
Shayla Copas: Yes, so actually Chelsea House. When is this coming out by the way? I might be able to make an announcement right now.
Michelle Lynne: I'll find that out.
Shayla Copas: Okay. So yeah, we have POLLYWOOD that we're doing a fabric deal with. And we've already got that out. And then Chelsea House. And we have a huge art deal that's coming out fall market.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's exciting. Well, let me ask you this, Shayla. When do you want it to come out?
Shayla Copas: Oh, it can come out anytime. But we're announcing next week. So I can tell you now, Prestige Arts is who we're doing a Shayla Copas collection for Prestige Arts. And we have an art collection coming out. Furniture, fabric, and art. And then more, we have another announcement coming out in January.
Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh. Yes. There's always something in the pipeline, it seems.
Shayla Copas: Yes. Yes.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, wow, that is so darn cool. How do you juggle all of this? I know that people are listening, they're gonna be like, she's freaking Wonder Woman, I could never do all of this.
Shayla Copas: No, you don't have to be Wonder Woman, you just have to put the right people in places to help keep the ball rolling. Because one person cannot do everything. And I think that's what people always, they always feel like, okay, I have to be in charge of every single thing that's going on in my business. And your business will never go to the next level if you take that mindset.
Michelle Lynne: Because you have to hire people smarter than you in their field.
Shayla Copas: Absolutely. As a leader, we have to do that. And also, people feel really good about themselves and their job, when they're able to really take part in taking a company to the next level. And that's what keeps them with you. Because they're part of the actual team that's making everything roll.
Michelle Lynne: And what a blessing and a compliment to the individual that you give your trust to with this entity, that is like your baby, you know, because it has your name on it. And of course, they're going to want to be invested in it.
Shayla Copas: It is. It's a big deal. But, you know, we've made good decisions. And the people that are involved are good people, talented people, we have product designers on the product design side, interior designers on the interior design side. And then now we're getting ready to bring on travel experts on the travel side, so that we can keep everything moving, and then I oversee everything. But people will be a little surprised to know that with the travel side, you know, we've been running my business full-fledged for this whole time and interior design while I was taking classes for travel design. And I've done all of it myself. The travel design for the last year, I've booked all those trips myself. I put them all into the accounting systems. I've learned every single little, tiny thing, so anybody I would need to train at any level, from the bottom up, would need to know, so that I understand what they're going through in order to do the job.
Michelle Lynne: I think that that is so applicable, because you don't have to be the best at it, you just need to know enough to be dangerous. And also, if somebody's not doing it to your level of expectation, you can go in there and show them where.
Shayla Copas: Exactly. Because then also, that's how businesses don't thrive is when the person that is the CEO or COO does not understand how everything works. And I've seen this before, where businesses go down because they don't understand, because maybe one person leaves and then that business can't survive. And recently I've seen that where that business isn't doing well, because they've lost somebody very important. And the other people in the company didn't know what was going on.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, if nothing else, just write it down as a standard operating procedure. So even if you're the CEO, you need to go back and figure it out. You can at least follow the steps.
Shayla Copas: Copas
SOPs are very important, people. Remember that. We actually have SOPs in our company.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, it makes a difference. Well, we call it the Fiji factor, in regards to if one of us on the team, not really myself included anymore, but if one of them on the team wins the lottery and goes to buy a ticket to Fiji, and then there's no Wi-Fi but they have a fruity little drink laying on the beach, that anybody can pop in and pick up where they left off.
Shayla Copas: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: I used to say, if somebody gets hit by a bus, we need to be able to handle this. And then I thought, that's not a very good manifestation. Let's aim for Fiji. Can we please?
Shayla Copas: Oh my gosh, I think I'm going to adopt that. But I'm gonna call it like the Bora Bora deal.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. Yeah.
Shayla Copas: Yeah. You know, I don't want to take Fiji away from you. I'm gonna head on to Bora Bora.
Michelle Lynne: Well, we were talking about having wine together and telling stories. So what's the difference between wine and maybe a rum drink? I'll just meet you on the beach. Oh, fun. So you were talking about, like your marketing and all the things that you've like, created. What sort of marketing advice would you give to creatives?
Shayla Copas: The best marketing advice that I can give is to market on a continual basis, even if it's something small each day. So you don't have to post each day. But just reach out each day maybe to a client for, you know, for continual client development of keeping the clients you've already had that maybe you went back again, just checking in. And maybe that job is finished, but if you keep in touch, then those jobs will come back, right? Because that's the relationship. So maybe Monday you do that. And then Tuesday, you post. And then Thursday, you write a blog post, and then you work on a newsletter. But also, I'm gonna give you two. If you don't do those things well, and you don't market well, bring someone in that can help you with it. You don't necessarily have to have a full-fledged agency. When you start out small and you're just doing a little bit, hire a copywriter to help you with writing the newsletters and writing your blog posts. But make sure you do it right.
Michelle Lynne: I think that that's such a valid point. Because so many designers that I talk to one, they either don't do it because they don't think they're doing it right, which probably they're not doing it as well as somebody outsourcing it could do. And then two, nobody has the time because we're also damn busy right now. So outsourcing, I literally had to practice what I preach, because I love social media. I love to be on Instagram. But it was taking all my time and I was doing it but I wasn't doing it as well as if I outsourced it. So I finally outsourced it. And just the freedom it gives you. And then you still are getting business.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, it's just learning to take things off your plate. Take things off our plate, let's do it. And let's keep moving towards where we make our money.
Michelle Lynne: I think that's, what you just said, and this is really I think hits in because you have so many different branches under your umbrella, for lack of a better term, you've got so many different things going on that you just nailed it. That you cannot do it all. You have to give it to the professional to do it so that you can be the CEO. You can oversee all the things but you're not doing it.
Shayla Copas: Yes. Occasionally I do have to, you know, somebody's sick, or you know, something happens, and I've got to dive in. I know how to do it.
Michelle Lynne: You're just not gonna be as efficient. But it still gets done.
Shayla Copas: Right. And my husband is involved in the business too. He's the COO.
Michelle Lynne: So yeah, between the two of you guys.
Shayla Copas: He keeps things going.
Michelle Lynne: That is, it's such a valid point, the marketing, even when you're busy, I think it's important. Because what we're doing today to market may not monetize for three, six, or nine months. Because people have to see you over and over and over again. So if you're in the middle of the, you know, the harvest right now, you still have to plant your seeds.
Shayla Copas: That is right. And people, they get impatient. They want to see it right now. And they don't realize it takes time to grow that little seed.
Michelle Lynne: Well, it's because Amazon. Come on, I want it all and I want it now.
Shayla Copas: I want it now. I want it tomorrow. But just like, so we haven't done a lot of social media recently. We've been spending a lot of time on our new website because our website, I don't know if you've had a chance to look over our website, but it's old.
Michelle Lynne: It's beautiful.
Shayla Copas: But thank you for saying so. It's old, like 2016, 2017. It's a dinosaur as far as websites are concerned. And so I've been spending a tremendous amount of time, so that's where my marketing time is spent, is there. And then getting a new process for leads, and then SEO, but I have an SEO person, but I still have to feed him the information and understand it. And I still have to meet with the blog person. And the person that's working on the newsletters, and then the website person. The good thing is, is we own a marketing agency. So I understand all this and how it works.
Michelle Lynne: Right. Well, that and for the individuals who are listening who don't understand how it works, I think you just described, there are a lot of moving parts. And yes, you've had your website. It's been up, it's still pretty, you know, but yeah, it's on the list. It's next on the list.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, wait until you see it.
Michelle Lynne: I can't even imagine with all the stuff that you have going on. I can't wait. But it's true that you have to have the right people in place. And if it's the first time you're doing your website, ask questions. Like, I didn't know that SEO was completely different than the website. And then I was, you know, I heard about it. And I was like, hey, how's our SEO? And she's like, I don't do that. I was like, Oh, shit.
Shayla Copas: I know, right? I mean, that was the time when you're like, holy crap, what am I doing? And then also, a lot of people that design, website designers, do not do Shopify. So then you've got to find another website designer for Shopify. So we have a Shopify website designer, we have a website designer, a copywriter, and a SEO guy.
Michelle Lynne: It's a project.
Shayla Copas: All the peeps. But I mean, but with agencies, you're use to all that, because you're used to working with so many people each day, because, you know, no one knows everything. Nobody wears one hat that knows every single thing.
Michelle Lynne: And if they tell you that they do, they're lying. Do not hire that person.
Shayla Copas: Right. Run as fast as you can.
Michelle Lynne: Yes. Liar, liar, pants on fire. No, and it would be nice, because if you have that agency, everybody knows each other and works together well.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, they do. And then they trust each other, because they know that each person is an expert at what they're doing.
Michelle Lynne: And they're gonna hit their deadlines and communicate well, and all of the things.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, and don't go for the cheapest price. That's my other advice. I know I'm giving way more advice.
Michelle Lynne: That's okay. I think that a lot of the listeners are gonna appreciate that because you're right.
Shayla Copas: Don't go with the cheapest price. That'll get you in trouble every time.
Michelle Lynne: And ask for references and see what sort of work they've done.
Shayla Copas: Yeah. And also, if you're doing a new website, look at websites of other interior designers, and then save those links and show the teams that you're interviewing those sites. And see the look on their face, on a Zoom, do not do this over the phone, people. Look at their face on a Zoom and see if they look exhausted when they're looking at what you want. If they look exhausted, they cannot perform it.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. That's a great idea.
Shayla Copas: That's happened to me. My first team could not perform it. They didn't have the ability. So we had to, you know, we had to go on to another team to do it, and they're phenomenal. But it was because I chose to go local. I was trying to be nice, trying to keep the money in the economy and all that.
Michelle Lynne: You start with the nice intentions, but it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your standards in order to do that.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, well, yeah. And I'm not willing to sacrifice the standards, because the brand standards are important.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. And I think it's true, because everybody can look at what you touch, and it does represent you. In fact, girl, so y'all know that we're recording this on Zoom. I can see in Shayla's living room, and it looks just like your brand.
Shayla Copas: Aww, thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. So in that respect, it makes a difference staying on point. It doesn't confuse the consumer.
Shayla Copas: Right. They need to know that when they're looking at your website, like, what they're really going to get. And they understand you before you walk in their home, and you give them a proposal for a makeover on their home.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that's very similar. You have to find somebody who can talk the talk and walk the walk. I love that. Well, Shayla, I could talk business, and I'm just so, so fangirling at how much you've accomplished and just how warm and welcoming you continually are. And I'm just so excited about how your business is growing, and how you're navigating it, and how you're so willing to share with other people. So thank you. It's very much appreciated.
Shayla Copas: Oh, thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And then we will head up to the beach with rum. Or tequila. Actually, I'm more on the tequila side these days.
Shayla Copas: Okay, so margaritas?
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely, sounds like a plan. So, before we wrap up, I do have a little bit of fun to have. And it's a Q&A session for individuals to get to know you just a little bit differently.
Shayla Copas: All right.
Michelle Lynne: So nothing's off the table. Are you ready?
Shayla Copas: Yes. Hit me with it.
Michelle Lynne: Okay, we'll start easy. What's your favorite ice cream?
Shayla Copas: Rocky Road.
Michelle Lynne: Hmm. What would you do, anything, if you knew that you could not fail?
Shayla Copas: Anything if I knew that I couldn't fail?
Michelle Lynne: Anything.
Shayla Copas: Oh, that is a hard one. Um, I think I would want to be an astronaut. You know, we're selling space trips now.
Michelle Lynne: That is so crazy. Are we gonna see videographer of you like shooting up into the stars?
Shayla Copas: You might. That's a very big possibility. We literally are selling trips.
Michelle Lynne: That is so cool.
Shayla Copas: To space through Virtuoso.
Michelle Lynne: You can tell me about it. I'll watch.
Shayla Copas: Yeah. We'll talk about that one later.
Michelle Lynne: That's crazy. That's a whole other episode. When was the last time you laughed until you almost peed yourself?
Shayla Copas: Oh, I do that all the time.
Michelle Lynne: Getting older is really hard sometimes, isn't it?
Shayla Copas: Right? I need Depends. You know when I was in Alaska, I mean, not Alaska. When I was in Africa, in South Africa shooting the book, I went with my design besties, Jason and Jeremy. Jason Clifton and Jeremy Bauer from Bauer/Clifton, and I think I laugh and almost pee myself every time I'm with them.
Michelle Lynne: Those are some good friends to have.
Shayla Copas: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: Awesome. So what is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from the experience?
Shayla Copas: Ooh, biggest failure. So that is a hard one for me. Because I am not trying to sound Pollyanna, but I don't ever believe that anything is failed, because lessons are the way that we become even more successful.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah.
Shayla Copas: And so I actually welcome lessons. They're hard and they may cause problems like emotionally getting through times, or what have you. But when you get over the hump, you're in a better position, if you keep your mind straight on that.
Michelle Lynne: I think that's so key.
Shayla Copas: I have to give you that before I say, I would say that when I was younger, I struggled quite a bit. Because I was a single mom, and that wasn't, but I don't feel like that was a failure. I just know that that was the biggest struggle for me, was trying to start a business and support a child.
Michelle Lynne: And you've probably learned that you can do hard things.
Shayla Copas: Yes.
Michelle Lynne: It gives you that confidence to say, looking back, that was the hardest time, but holy cow, I proved to myself and probably to your child too, that there's really not a lot of circumstances that can hold you down if you choose not to.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, and the thing that people should always tell themselves when they're always like, you know, people always do this, well, what if, what if, what if. They're worried all the time. What if, what if, what if. So the what if factor, of you're saying to yourself, what if, and it's something that is life or death, and that's different. But you always have to look at it and say, is it gonna kill you or someone that you love? Is it really that serious if you don't get that award? Or if you don't get that job? What is it really going to do to you? Nothing. Or if this group of people does not approve of you, it does not affect you. And you don't need to let it affect you.
Michelle Lynne: I love that.
Shayla Copas: Keep on moving.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, yes. Other people, no, Shayla, that is so well said. Because if you get stuck in your head, you're dead.
Shayla Copas: That is right, your head can kill you.
Michelle Lynne: Absolutely, yes.
Shayla Copas: I'm sounding so negative right now. But your head is a beautiful place because, you know, there's a lot of things we can't control. And sometimes people go through hard times, a lot of people have reached out to me because I am a child abuse survivor. And so I get people, especially designers, you know, that connect with me on Instagram, that want advice for how they can get help for PTSD and depression, because I've been very honest that I had gone through that. And the thing is, is you can't control some of those things that happened to you, or even the symptoms that you have. But you can control the feelings that you have, like of, you know, the doomsday feelings of what I just said, you can control that. You can't obviously control a nightmare that you have about it, right? But you can control thinking, okay, we're going to get through this. It's going to be okay, well, it's the same thing with your job. We're not going to be successful every single day of our lives. It's okay to have a week, two weeks, even a year that we take a slump, but we are always going to build out of it.
Michelle Lynne: Well, and it's the stories we tell ourselves.
Shayla Copas: That's right.
Michelle Lynne: We make a story around whatever this is. And the question is, is that how it really is, or how are you seeing it? Are you seeing how it really is? Or are you seeing it worse than it really is?
Shayla Copas: Exacty.
Michelle Lynne: And our thoughts, like I always say, we have thoughts, we are not our thoughts. We have fingernails, we are not our fingernails. So controlling those thoughts, I think, is once you realize that, and I think that being in business for ourselves, you really have to have that mental fortitude, because those little thoughts can just paralyze you.
Shayla Copas: They can, and every day there's something new that's thrown at us, right? And we can't control them. And like I said, you can't control that nightmare you have over something. Or if you're depressed one day, or not happy, sometimes it just happens. But what you have to tell yourself is you're a survivor, and you're going to get through it. And it'll be okay. But think about when you're at your lowest moment, think about your best moment, and know that there's always an uphill climb. It's never going to be bad all the time. It just doesn't happen.
Michelle Lynne: No. That life is not a straight line. It's up and down and around in circles and all sorts of things. I love that. I absolutely love that. Well, let me ask you a couple more questions. and then we will honor the listeners' timeframe. One of my favorites. What is your favorite book?
Shayla Copas: The Blessing. And that book is actually about abuse and about our relationship with our parents as we were kids. And it kind of helps you focus on success for the future. And that book actually has helped me get through a lot of what I went through as a child.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that tied in really well. I love writing these down because I still go back and read so many.
Shayla Copas: It's a good book. And I found it in a hotel I was staying at. And I got to the hotel, and it was in in shambles. This hotel, I was getting ready to check out. I was literally like, okay, I have my bags, I'm gonna leave this place, I'm gonna find someplace else. And they had a shelf of books down the hallway, as I was headed out to tell them, hasta, I'm gone. And it says, take a book and then bring one back. Well, I took the book and then just decided to stay in that hotel and read that book. And I read that book and it was meant to be for me. And those things happen to me all the time, those God things, where God is saying, no, no, no, no, no, this is superficial right here, Shayla. The materialism does not matter. This hotel does not matter. What matters is you.
Michelle Lynne: There you go. Yeah. And I think just listening to those moments and honoring that instinct to say, I'm gonna grab this book and actually stay. Listening to your inside. Yes. Yeah. I call it the birdie. Like your instinct is telling you that. Yeah. But you know, it's the Holy Spirit working in you just telling you to stop and put your head on straight in that particular instance. It's not that big of a deal. It's safe and it's clean, it's just not pretty.
Shayla Copas: Again, it's not the end of the world. Nobody's dying.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, I'm the same way though. I am such a hotel snob.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, I tend to be that way. That's why it's a luxury travel.
Michelle Lynne: Oh yes. Oh, fun. Okay. What would you pick for your last meal?
Shayla Copas: So that is so hard. I like to, I like to graze. So I'd probably pick fried chicken and a cheeseburger and pizza. I would have all of them.
Michelle Lynne: Why have one when you can have them all? I love that.
Shayla Copas: Right. And they're all basic foods. I don't like complicated foods when I want comfort. When I want comfort, I want it very all-American comfort food.
Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. Oh, fun. All right. Last question. Dinner with anybody, past or present. Who would you invite?
Shayla Copas: My husband's mother. So she passed away in 2010. And I was very close to her, and she loved to entertain but she couldn't because of a stroke. So she had a stroke in her 40s and so she kind of lived through me as Scott and I would chair balls in the community and, you know, did the social scene. She would cut out little clippings in the newspaper of us in our tuxes and ball gowns and ask questions and want to know about everything. Well, when she passed away, she gave me all of her China and her dishes, and all the things that were really treasured, you know, that she treasured. So I would just love to let her know that I wrote this book because when she gave it to me I didn't even have an interest in that. So I do because of her, and I would just like to say thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Lynne
Oh, that is so sweet. Yeah, just in her passing a change the trajectory part of your life.
Shayla Copas: I cry to talk about it because she was so, so good to me and just loved this kind of thing. So she didn't even get to really go to parties or to public gatherings. She was on a little walker from her 40s on.
Michelle Lynne: Wow. Well, that and just stepping in as a parent to you when you're an adult, is extra special.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, she was my mother figure. Just a great person. So yeah, Scott's mom would be the person that I would want to have dinner with to let her see the book. And we are putting Mother's Day in the next book in memory of her and using her China.
Michelle Lynne: That is so perfect, full circle. Absolute full circle. Well, I firmly believe that she's probably watching you as you are growing and just honoring her.
Shayla Copas: I hope she's happy with how that China's being used.
Michelle Lynne: It sounds like it, just a lot of fun. Well, Shayla, thank you so much for being here. This has just been such an honor. I know our audience has loved everything that you've talked about. How can they stay in touch with you? Like where can we find you?
Shayla Copas: Instagram, and I always answer my own messages. So it's @shaylacopas, I'm on Instagram. And through email at [email protected]
Michelle Lynne: Perfect. And then soon, the new shaylacopas.com website.
Shayla Copas: Yes, pretty soon our lifestyle website will come out with our interior design and travel so if designers want to go on trips with me, those trips will be on there and our products. So yeah, we cannot wait.
Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's gonna be amazing. What's your timeframe on that?
Shayla Copas: It looks like it may be this month. But one of our team members is having a few issues with health. So we are hoping that it will be then but I'm not pressuring.
Michelle Lynne: Because it their health.
Shayla Copas: Yeah, and so, it's nobody on my staff or anything, but it's somebody that's a freelancer that's working with us on the site. And so I'm trying to just kind of stay low key about it and praying a lot for him. And I know it'll work out in the time that it is supposed to.
Michelle Lynne: I think that that's, I'm going to really point that out is that whatever we're doing in our business, we're not in the operating room, like nobody's going to die on our shift if we miss a deadline or something. So taking ourselves, like you not taking it so seriously. Yeah, of course we'd like to have it done and we are on a deadline and so forth. But giving them the grace to take care of themselves, I think is is key. People are people.
Shayla Copas: They are people and yeah, so we are, you know, I check in on it, of course. But we just want him to be able to do it in his own time.
Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that makes sense.
Shayla Copas: It will be really good. And I know that he's taking it very seriously. It's not like he's run away from it or anything.
Michelle Lynne: Right. If he could be working on your website today, he would be. That's where you have that trust.
Shayla Copas: Yes. He would.
Michelle Lynne: Oh fun. Well, Shayla, I will make sure that all of your contact details are listed in the show notes for our audience to reference. And for those of you who can benefit from even more resources about the business of running an interior design business, you can join our growing community on Facebook. And yes, I always make fun of it. It's Facebook, but that's the best place to have a private group. And we are at the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. I go live there once a week with some free training. We have some really badass workshops that happen a few times a year. And then just within that group, you can find out where else we're gonna be. We've got a summit, we've got, obviously you're listening to the podcast, which by the way, if you're listening to the podcast and you like it, will you please drop a review, wherever you're listening to it? And thanks again for being here, Shayla. And those of you listening, thanks for being here.
Shayla Copas: Thank you.
Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all, if you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with the name and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feed. It's fun, I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition. So let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.