A Whole New Meaning To “Mi Casa Es Tu Casa”

On my last day in Rome, I decided to visit one of my absolute favorite stores. It’s called Dust of Time, and it lives up to the name…

Hand-crafted compasses, manual watches, ancient maps, world globes, and hourglasses are amongst some of the wonders gracing this small, cozy store.

For almost 10 years, I’ve been stopping by and purchasing one special item every visit.

I got to know the store owner, and older gentleman named Adrian, really well back in 2017, after he blindly trusted me to borrow his €300 hand-painted world globe for a photoshoot and return it after an hour 😂. It’s actually featured on the cover of my first book, The Art of Being Human… see?

Whenever I come in now, Adrian warmly greets me and shares stories about his life as he shows me the newest wondrous objects he’s created.

Once upon a time, Adrian was an architect in Argentina, working a prestigious job that didn’t fulfill him (ah… now doesn’t that sound familiar?).

He loved working with his hands, and had an insatiable curiosity for astrology, ancient forms of navigation, and the concept of time.

When he was transferred to Rome, he was so inspired by the city and the people he met here, that he started creating small compasses, maps, and other trinkets to sell on the side. Eventually, he made the scary decision to make his side hustle his full-time job… and here he was, decades later, with his dream shop in one of the most bustling neighborhoods of Rome.

“Remind me again Celinne, what do you do?” He asked me once he finished sharing his story.

“I help people tell their story.” I replied. “Specifically, entrepreneurs. So they can better share their mission with their audience.”

“Ah,” he said, and then waved his hand around the shop. “This is my story. I don’t need words. You can just walk in here and you can feel it.”

“I would agree,” I said, “If only people were able to infuse all that they want to express into a cozy room. Unfortunately, a lot of them work online so it’s a bit more all over the place.”

“So you read people for a living?” He asked.

“Very much.”

“I read people, too, a bit differently.” He had a twinkle in his eye that I couldn’t ignore.

“Oh?” My ears perked up. I can feel wisdom bombs about to drop from a mile away.

“People’s homes say so much about them. When I was an architect, I could tell who the person was based on the home they lived in.

“How they organized the rooms, where they put the cushions, where their photos hung… all of those little choices tell you so much about a person’s psyche.”

I laughed in delight. I could so relate to what he was saying.

“You know Adrian,” I told him, “What we do is actually not so different.

“While you walk into someone’s physical home, I walk into their life, specifically their company. I look at what’s going on… the condition of their relationships, how they’re handling business, how they treat themselves, and I can almost immediately tell you so much about their story: if they have abandonment issues, if they’re lacking confidence, or are afraid to express themselves.

“To me, the little things show up in how you craft your messaging, how you connect with your audience, heck, it even shows in how you manage your team and your business strategy. It’s all rooted in the story you tell yourself, about yourself.

“The home that others see from the outside? That’s your brand, that your audience walks into.”

Adrian looked pleased. Then he dropped the wisdom 💣:

“A home can be a nice home to others, but in the end, you’re the one who must enjoy living in it.”

Ah-men.


KATIE AIME PHOTOGRAPHY

When I work with clients, that’s the thing they want the most: that beautifully crafted brand story they can share on their social media channels, in their presentations, with the media, and more.

And that’s all and good, but what they end up discovering from working with me is that the REAL story — the one that transforms their life and ultimately shapes their external story anyway —  is actually the one they’ve been telling themselves all along.

About who they are.

What they stand for.

What they truly value.

What their big mission is.

All of the above gets naturally transferred to your audience, because that’s what you do when you share a story – you transfer what’s in your psyche to the outside world, through your own unique lens.

The same way that your living space is a unique expression of you, the brand story you share with the world is a unique expression of your work.

It’s the home you invite your people into. And while how they interpret that home is not up to you,  you can certainly influence how you make them feel.

  • A sloppy messy home creates feelings of chaos and confusion.
  • An overpolished home creates feelings of discomfort and inauthenticity.
  • A warm, cozy home creates feelings of ease and relaxation.

None is right or wrong. But how you choose to share your story does have consequences.

So, what kind of space do you want people to walk into when they interact with your brand story?

And how do you want them to feel?

Take it from me (and Adrian)… there is no better feeling than becoming the architect of your own story 😉.

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