Shoshanna Shapiro of Sho and Co: 5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Don’t just follow trends, make it your own.
Why: Each person is unique and different, therefore what inspires them is going to be unique as well. A client’s inspiration cannot be defined by a trend or by what works for someone else. Your space needs to speak true to your soul.
Example: Using intuition and listening. Every project I do, I make sure to listen to my clients and translate their personality into my design.
As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shoshanna Shapiro.
Shoshanna Shapiro is a lifelong artist of many mediums. Her creative background informs every detail of her designs, prioritizing the emotive nature of colors and textures and the emotional attachments people form to their environments. Twenty years ago, Shoshanna set out to renovate her own 120-year-old home. That experience cemented her calling as she transformed her own life through personal design. After years of building her design skills, Shoshanna began working for builders to learn the industry and hone in on how she could improve the process and is now the Owner + Principal Designer at Sho and Co.
While Shoshanna has cultivated a unique signature aesthetic and a seamless process, what she is best known for is her ability to translate her clients’ inexplicable values and ideal lifestyle into a tangible, livable space. As a mother of two grown children, dog mom to Henry, and cancer survivor, Shoshanna deeply understands the value of home and is continually inspired by the opportunity to share that with her clients.
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
As far back as I can remember I’ve been inspired by textures and colors. As a kid I had this rainbow sweater, and whenever I wore that sweater, I was invincible. As an adult, I’ve found that same inspiration in spaces and home environments. If I can achieve one thing through my work, it would be to make my clients feel invincible.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
The very first job I completed back in 2018, before I had even properly launched Sho and Co., the task felt so daunting. There were so many points along the way that I had no idea how I was going to problem solve. But sure enough, I did it. Perseverance has been the most interesting thing to happen to me along my journey. And at the end of that project, when my client was in their new space and happy as a clam, I knew that I had what it took to get to that next level. And that next year, Sho and Co. began.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I don’t make mistakes…But when I do, it’s generally because I give someone the benefit of the doubt. I’ve learned to vet my people and hold my cards closer to my chest.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
We are building our brand, launching digital products, collaborating with vendors to sell physical products both online and in the next year working towards opening a store front.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Something my mom use to say was, “This too shall pass.” This quote has gotten me through the toughest challenges in my life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My children. They are my sunshine, and they give me the strength and purpose to follow my dreams. They’ve also come along on this journey with me. Both have joined the Sho and Co. team in the last few years. My daughter has become one of our best designers, and my son has since joined as the head of our new e-commerce site and Marketing Director. Family business is the strongest.
Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Why: Most people are so used to following a rubric for how a space should function. I take my clients’ needs and make them my top priority when designing spaces. I put myself in their shoes and ask a lot of questions. The problems that they have with a space tell more than anything. When they come to me with a problem, I solve it. So, creating functionality in a space is key to me when I think about “Sparking Joy.” When your needs are met by your environment, you’re going to feel happy about it.
- Example: An issue I come across often is appliance placement in kitchens. In our “White Oak” project, the client had their cooktop in the middle of their kitchen. It was in the way and impractical. We relocated it to a side wall which improved the functionality of the kitchen. Appliance placement is a game changer when it comes to kitchen design. Now my clients can cook and entertain their guests with ease and comfort.
Keep it simple (Minimalism)
- Why: Make sure the objects you keep in a space are purposeful and meaningful. Don’t clutter up your space. Keeping it neat and tidy will become much easier. And being able to reach for the things that really serve you on a daily basis.
- Example: If you have open shelving don’t shove them full of mix-matched decor and frivolous things. Make sure you keep some space and use the shelves to highlight the things in life that matter most to you.
Add items that are meaningful and hold value to you (Curate)
- Why: Curating a space with items that hold implicate value to you is a sure-fire way to bring joy to your space.
- Example: Family photos can be so powerful in a space, but when people litter them around the house in miss-matched frames they can start to clutter a space. By taking your more meaningful photos and hanging them in matching frames in a grid-type gallery can be much more impactful at highlighting those special moments.
Let there be light!
- Why: Good design falls flat without the proper lighting. You can have of the best curated pieces in the world but if your home isn’t properly lit you won’t be able to really appreciate them. Ambient lighting, task lighting, layered lighting, these are things that all need to be considered to improve the quality of your design.
- Example: Day to night function friendly lighting. When you have a party, you’re not going to want to use bright overhead lighting. Making sure you have wall sconces, lamps, dimmers on chandeliers, pendants, the subtle layers of light that provide a more magical feel are really going to make your space inviting and enjoyable.
Don’t just follow trends, make it your own.
- Why: Each person is unique and different, therefore what inspires them is going to be unique as well. A client’s inspiration cannot be defined by a trend or by what works for someone else. Your space needs to speak true to your soul.
- Example: Using intuition and listening. Every project I do, I make sure to listen to my clients and translate their personality into my design.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Getting kids involved in designing their own space. I’ve always felt passionate about kids’ spaces. Kids can so often be dismissed by grown-ups and can be left voiceless when it comes to their surroundings. Creating a space for children to feel empowered and grow in a space they’ve designed themselves. That’s a trend I’d like to see.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them :-)
Joanna Gaines. She is a pioneer of the interior design industry and an inspiration when it comes to balancing family and business. I don’t know how she does it!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!