Hey gang! Happy Friday! I cannot believe how fast the days and weeks are flying by lately. We officially hit our third trimester, so we are on a crazy mad dash to get all the things taken care of before baby Molitor #2 comes. That’s probably why these days are just zooming right by. But, that’s fine by me. I’m ready for some spring sunshine and to meet our new little man!
So as you guys know, or if you are new to us, every Friday we feature one of our favorite people. These people are creatives who cease to amaze and inspire us on the daily. We get so much of our creative juices flowing by stalking and collaborating with businesses and brands like these. If you’ve missed some of our past features, just head to our blog and click on the Friday Features on the right hand side and it will bring them all up for you.
Before you do that, I want to introduce you to one of our favorite couples, Beginning in the Middle. We met these guys on, yet again, Instagram! Their content blows my mind. Their story is a lot like ours, which makes us love them even more. They started as DIY’ers, flipping their own homes and now do contract work for others. I mean, seriously, go look at their Instagram. I just can’t get enough. They have such a cool style that I would die for them to come and do our house. Haha!
So everyone say hello to Bryan and Catherine and go give them a follow!
Tell me a little bit about you guys! How did you meet? Where do you live? And what led you guys to Beginning in the Middle?
Bryan and I met in New York City almost ten years ago while we were both doing summer internships. He was visiting from Columbus for a woodworking internship in Brooklyn, and I was doing a tax internship in Manhattan. We had a short conversation, exchanged info, and that was that. A few years later, after Bryan had gone back to Columbus, he sent me a message online saying hello. It was out of the blue, but we kept the conversation going and started emailing back and forth, “You’ve Got Mail” style. Emails grew to phone calls, phone calls grew to visits between Columbus and New York, and visits grew to Bryan moving to New York. We lived in a 600 square foot apartment in Astoria, Queens and had such a blast.
After a few years, we started burning out from busy jobs and financial stress. We wanted a better quality of life, and decided to move back to Columbus after seeing all of the momentum going on in the downtown area. We bought our first house and started the blog to document our life and DIY home projects. Around the same time, we read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and started thinking of ways to increase our income and decrease our expenses. We decided to list our spare bedroom on Airbnb, and our real estate obsession took off from there. We’ve done six homes in the last four years, but we feel like we’re just getting started!
That is so, so cool. Love that story.
Where did your guys’ name stem from?
When we moved from New York to Ohio, it felt like we were beginning a new life here, so we wanted the name to reflect our new adventures in the midwest. As we continued to renovate more properties, it grew to have another meaning of giving old houses new life.
Did you always know you guys you would be renovating homes?
Bryan majored in construction management and interior design in college, and has always been interested in development and urban planning. My situation was a little different. I always had a big creative side when I was younger, but it took a backseat in my adulthood. I majored in accounting, got my master’s in Tax, got a CPA license, and had a job at a big firm. It wasn’t until we moved to Columbus and started renovating and blogging that my creative side came out again. We didn’t plan on making a career out of renovating houses when we chose to move here, but things fell into place and we’re so happy they did. We feel like we’re using our talents every day, which is really satisfying.
haha, I love it! So much like Jamie & myself. What is it like working as a husband and wife team?
You might get a different answer from me and Bryan on this one. Just kidding, but not really… Haha! Bryan and I are opposites, but we compliment each other really well. I’m more introverted and practical, and Bryan’s more extroverted and doesn’t mind taking risks. He’s the big picture guy, and I’m the one that figures out the details. We play off of each other’s strengths and energy and dreams and goals, which is really fun. Being a husband and wife team also allows us to have an extra layer of comfort and honesty, along with trust in each other that we wouldn’t have with regular coworkers. We love it.
HAHA! YES! So much like us. Except Jamie is the details and I’m the crazy mad dreamer always in a rush to get it done. And I couldn’t agree more on the trust. It’s nice to be able to open up completely to you’re co-worker and always have one another backs.
What are each of your roles? I always think it’s so funny, with us, people always assume that I do the design, Jamie does the work. When really Jamie actually always puts together the actual design plans. I do all the selections, but when it comes to planning that’s all him. And…I LOVE getting my hands dirty. Most people don’t know that I’m actually alongside him doing the physical work too. After all, we’re a team!
That’s funny, the same thing happens with us! It has taken us awhile to figure out our roles. When we first started, we worked on everything together from demo to design to countertop installation. Now that we’re growing and getting busier, we’re trying to focus our time on where we can add the most value in our business, and hire out the rest. Bryan manages our renos, does a lot of the carpentry/install work, and finds new properties for us. I source all of our materials and furnishings, manage our Airbnb rentals, update our social media and blog, and help Bryan with the physical stuff when I’m able to (although lately he’s been telling me I’m a bad worker, so he may try to fire me! I’d be okay with that, not gonna lie.). The design/decorating process is our favorite, and we always work together on that from start to finish.
LOL! Jamie tells me he’s going to fire me on the daily. haha! Ohhh the joys of husband and wife teams, haha!
What are your 3 favorite projects you’ve done?
Gosh, you guys amaze me!
Do you also do client work or mostly just your own homes?
Up until a few months ago we were just working on our own homes, but we recently started taking clients as well! We have a bunch of consultations and projects lined up this year that we’re really excited about.
You guys definitely have a certain look, which I LOVE! What is your advice for how you always maintain that style?
Thank you! We’re usually inspired by the house itself as a starting point. If there’s historic features intact, we tend to leave them and work around them in our design. If the home doesn’t have much existing character or charm, we take more creative freedom. We love black and white, wood, neutrals with pops of color, and fun patterns, and we try to incorporate those in one way or another in our projects. We don’t like cookie cutter, and love challenging ourselves to create new designs that still feel classic and timeless.
What’s your favorite brand to work with/use in your home renovations?
We just discovered Riad Tile, which has cement tiles for $9/sq ft. We’re using them in a bathroom we’re renovating and are really impressed by the quality of the tiles. On top of that, the owner is based in Texas and is really great to work with! We also love going to outlets for furniture and lighting, we rarely buy anything at full price.
Ohhh I have to check them out!
What’s your best advice for your 25-year-old self?
Get out of debt!
You guys have such an engaged audience! Tell us a little secret on how your readers are a part of your tribe.
Thank you! We try to be ourselves and be intentional about what we share and post.
Well, I feel like we’re besties. You do such a great job.
What’s your favorite tool that you use and want to share? For social, marketing, designs, your business…
Not glamorous at all, but Google Drive is a life saver.
I don’t know how I lived without Google Drive before. 🙂
Where do you hope to see Beginning in the Middle in five years?
Ahh, we have so many ideas. We talk about getting into development, restoring old buildings, and opening businesses on a daily basis. We love seeing the impact that fun new establishments have on up and coming communities, and would love to be a part of that.
Well keep dreaming and doing you guys. You are killing it!
Anything else you want our readers to know about you guys and how cool you are?
We’re about to start restoring a big victorian house that miiiight just be our favorite project yet. We’re really excited to share our journey with everyone on Instagram @beginninginthemiddle and on the blog www.beginninginthemiddle.net!
Well thank you guys so much for taking the time and hanging with us today! You guys are a true inspiration and I absoloutely loved getting to know you even a little better. Keep killing it! And everyone go check them out in the links above- you will be inspired on the daily. Have a great weekend friends!