20 Questions With Angela Todd

AngelaAngela Todd’s vibrant red hair, impeccable taste in clothing, Midwestern drawl and perky personality make her as unique and memorable as the rooms she styles.

This professional designer has deep roots in all things artistic and has a passion for life and beautiful spaces. Consequently, in 2006 she started Angela Todd Designs, a full-service design firm dedicated to incorporating clients’ personal style and treasures into their spaces.

While relatively new to the HBA, Todd’s made the most of her year with the association by joining the Professional Remodelers Organization, PRO Marketing Committee, PRO Steering Committee and the Communications Committee and helping out at the Ultimate Open House by staging and styling homes with the Interior Design Society of Portland, where she serves as Vice President Elect. She’s a consistent fixture at HBA events and is quick to flash a smile, tell a joke and leave you feeling more upbeat about the world in no time flat, making her a welcome addition to any group she joins.

A regular contributor on KXL’s Around the House with Handyman Bob during her segment, “The Design Angle,” Angela is also a regular blogger on her site and guest blogger for the Interior Design Society of Portland, Home Gain, and The Society of Decorating Professionals.

In her free time, Todd enjoys weekends in wine country and on Oregon coast, spending time on the water and in her garden, and relaxing with those she loves. Her pride and joy are her two darling dogs, a golden retriever named Kashmir and a sheltie named Sadie Sue.

Business Basics

Education: I got my bachelor’s from the University of Minnesota and then attended a private design school.

How’d You Get Started: I started my career in marketing and sales. It was a great foundation for running a successful business. When I stopped liking what I did for a living, I knew it was time to follow my dream of designing interiors.

Secrets to Success: As a designer, I listen first and then speak. As a business partner, I work to connect people and share opportunities.

Measuring Success: I measure success by my personal happiness.  To me, being happy is the secret to success in all of life.

Business Mentors or Heroes: I love my mentors – so many have influenced me! My father is a great entrepreneur and taught me the value of building strong relationships with people and business partners. I also have great respect for successful business women like Brandy Marsh from Area Floors who is a great partner and coach for me.  Additionally, I have learned tons from the remodelers and builders I work with, including Mitch and Arlene Stanley from Stanley Home Renovation and Design.

Making the Call

Business Decision You’re Most Proud Of: Giving up my “golden handcuffs” and finding the courage to go back to school and start my own design business.

One You’d Like to Have Back:  When I first started my business, I spent most of my time in leads groups. After about a year of weekly meetings and passing many referrals, I realized nothing was back coming to me. After that I started focusing my networking to homogeneous groups like the HBA. It has made a huge difference in growing my business.

Principals I Use For Big Decisions: Do what feels right.  Be honest and direct when you need to but always with kindness. And I always talk through big decisions with mentors. They keep me grounded and focused.

The Best Business Advice You’ve Received:  Do what you are most passionate about and the money will follow.

Where I’ve Been, Where I am Going

What I Learned From My First Job: I worked for my Dad and knew I had a burning desire to grow and run my own business someday. Dad said, “There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make things happen, those who let things happen, and those that wonder what happened. Decide who you are Angela.”

First “Career” Job: I worked in marketing and branding at a hearing health care start up.  It relocated me to Portland.

As a Kid, I Wanted to Be: A designer, a business owner, a writer or a professional singer.  I am fortunate to have done all four.

If I Weren’t Doing This, I’d Be: Living a life I didn’t intend.

Insider Information

People Would Be Surprised to Know:  I was a lead singer for a wedding and event band in Portland for eight years.

If I Could Work For Free For Any Cause/Charity, It Would Be: I would create special spaces for children and families who are dealing with tough times, poverty or illness.

Famous Words I wished I’d Said:  “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.” – Zig Ziglar

I Need More Time on Weekends For: Hiking, boating, spending time with family and friends and taking the occasional afternoon nap.


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