Organizing your faith
St. Paul member Carrie Hummel helps others to know what they have, use what they have, and love what they have to find deeper, meaningful connections with the spaces and people around them.
From an early age, Carrie Hummel has had an eye for design and organization. Combining the practical, process-oriented engineering mind of her father and her innate artistic side, Carrie has always been creating spaces.
“Organizing my mom’s pantry, a faux painting in my parent’s foyer — I’ve always done this. I could see a canvas to work on almost anywhere.”
Carrie graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the College of Design. At the beginning of her career she worked in a corporate commercial design firm in Chicago. When Carrie and her husband Glen moved back to the Quad Cities, she found herself with the Midwest-based architectural and interior design firm, Shive-Hattery.
Shive-Hattery was a great fit for a while but, eventually, it was time to do more full-time parenting. While busy raising her three children, friends began to seek out Carrie’s expertise, enquiring about simple projects, and looking for friendly advice. That’s how her expertise evolved into residential design – a surprise even to Carrie.
Over the years, Carrie has been invited to numerous women’s groups to discuss or offer presentations on her organizational talents. While organization is a huge term, she tailors her presentations to the crowd in which she’s meeting. One particular group was the St. Paul Moms’ Morning.
“It was fun to empower these other moms with ideas. We have so much to gain from each other’s insight. When you stay at home with kids, you are longing for a little order, a way to make sense out of your days, bring joy to your days. Plus, back then we didn’t have the online resources we have now, like Pinterest. It was a great way to connect with moms and share ideas.”
Years later, with her children in high school and college, Carrie decided to take the next bold step forward. She launched Carrie Hummel Interiors.
“What first got me interested in organization and design was being a good steward of your belongings. My personal philosophy is to ‘know what you have, use what you have, love what you have.’ Being aware, connected, intentional, less wasteful. Loving what you have is about the beauty, joy, and gratitude of your things.”
“For me, all of those things are how I think about my faith life and being a good steward of the earth. When I’m a good steward of my things, I’m more intentional about my time, thoughtful and caring to others. It all connects for me. Your space, your home is also very personal, like your faith. It’s personal for you to decide what you cherish and what you love.”
Carrie also emphasizes giving yourself grace, practicing patience, and letting go of the idea of “perfect.”
“I’m a little bit of a trainer, cheering clients on, providing tips and tricks, giving out homework or “workouts.” People can relate to that, like training for a triathlon. Things do get disorganized. Your space is real, lived in, loved. It’s not about perfection. It’s the journey.”
Fellow new business owners can attest that the launch of their own business is like entering a new, unknown world filled with questions and vulnerabilities. Will this business succeed? Will people want what I have to offer? Am I relevant?
Carrie faced many of these same uncertainties but chose to, in the words of Brené Brown, “go scared.”
“In 2020, my two kids were in college, my youngest was driving now, it was time for me to figure out what’s next for me…in a more formal way. I thought it’d stay the same – a few clients here and there but my daughter was home during Covid and she said “well, how big do you want to go?”
There are many unknowns, and it takes faith to move through these uncharted territories. Carrie said her whole family has been supportive from her daughter’s social media management and guidance, her sister’s marketing prowess, to the cheerleader of the group, Glen, who Carrie says is a great resource on how to handle business issues with confidence and grace.
After launching Carrie Hummel Interiors almost two years ago, Carrie is encouraged to see where things continue to go.
“My goal for my first six months of work was to have clients that weren’t on my Christmas list or my parent’s Christmas list. I met that goal. Now it’s ‘what do I want this to look like?’ I’m trying to find the sweet spot with my pace to figure out how many people I can serve. I’m enjoying learning. It’s been a blast. Do something you’re passionate about so you are energized and passionate. Who knew I’d be doing this? I’m going scared but I’m going!”
Tips & Tricks
Know what you have, use what you have, love what you have
Lighten the load
Make a habit of cleaning out your purse, briefcase, or backpack at the end of every week. If everything has a home, then you will know exactly where to reach when you need to find something!
One in, one out strategy
Consider implementing a one in, one out strategy. When a new item is added to the space, an old one is donated.
Would I buy it again?
When sorting your closet, decide what to keep, donate, or toss by asking: Would I buy it again?
A Launching Pad is a dedicated space for all those “out-the-door” essentials needed for the next day! Gather up everything you need for the following day and put it in one place: lunch boxes, library books, items for errands, or going to a meeting.
Make it easy to be thoughtful!
Keep an assortment of cards organized by calendar month or occasion. No more scrambling at the last minute for that almost forgotten birthday card. Be prepared to always let others know they’re special to you!