Home Stager Kym Tarr talks about her career, Shoe String Home Staging & Prep this House

Kym Tarr, SAR Home Staging Instructor and owner of Shoe String Home Staging & co- owner with Barb Katnich of Prep this House talks about her career path, what she loves about staging and her most memorable experiences.

How long have you been a home stager?   8 years

Why did you decide to become a home stager?

A number of years ago I was seriously ill.  My doctor strongly suggested I find another line of work.. something that I was passionate about! So I did, I went back to my first love of Decorating!  Since it had been years that I done anything in that field I needed to top up my skills.  Home Staging was in its infancy.. called House Fluffing back then.. so I took some courses online, then found a course that was taught locally and jumped in with both feet..Have not looked back since!

 What did you do before you were a home stager?

I was a nurse, dealing with all kinds of patients from children to seniors, I really enjoyed it!  After that I was a purchaser for a manufacturing company.

Tell us a little about your business, how it operates and who your clients are:

With Shoestring Home Stage, I deal with clients anywhere in the world, as we prepare a  Virtual Home Staging Action Plan for them, giving them the ability to stage a property themselves.  With Prep This House, we focus on Owner Occupied Resales, helping sellers either stage the property themselves or we  can go back and do it for them.  With Prep This House, we also carry an accessory inventory, so clients can rent what they need instead of purchasing something that may not work for them in their new space.

 What’s your favorite part of the business?

Watching the faces of clients when they come back to their home and see the transformation!  Or the seeing the after pictures clients send in showing the work they have accomplished!


What’s your least favorite part of the business?

Loading the van!

Who are some of your favorite stagers?

Lori Kim Polk, Michelle Minch, Kathy Nielson, Cathy Lee, Melissa Marro, my dear friend Barb Katnich and of course the amazing Jackson West !  There are a ton of others, but those are the ones that first came to mind

Tell us about your best staging experience.

Having a home seller tell me, that coming home to their newly staged property and marveling at the changes room by room was just like something out of a TV show, the only thing missing was the TV camera!

Tell us about your worst staging experience.

I had come to “tweak” a property and discovered when I arrived that the front door had been kicked in.. my staging props were all over the floor as was the remenants of drug paraphernalia.. It  was pretty scary searching the house to make sure no one else was around! It was almost a scene from a scary movie!

What was your favorite room or art or accessory?

Think Bedrooms are my favourite room. . a bed has to look just so for me to be happy with it.

If you were to pick a theme song for your career as a home stager, what would it be?

Believe by Cher! Or Express Yourself by Madonna..

If you were going to write a book about your staging career, what would it be called?

“The Land of Make Believe”  we are creating spaces that make a home buyer believe they can see themselves living there!

What would you tell someone new, thinking of getting into home staging? 

That if this is your passion, follow it!  I did, I have learned so much along the road, which has  definitely  made me a better decorator, home stager and  person!

Connect with Kym through Social Media:

Facebook & LinkedIn

Read more home stager stories in our, “I’m a home stager.” series. 


Melissa Marro

About melissamarro

Melissa Marro is an international award winning home stager and professional speaker for the home staging and real estate industry. Founder and CEO for both SAR, Staging and Redesign Training and MRRE, Market Ready Real Estate's online home staging consultation program, Marro continues to help inspire and empower new and existing stagers as well as move the industry standards forward.

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