Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber has been a homemaker for over 40 years, and loves to share some of the great ideas and innovations she has discovered along her journey. Her greatest joys are her children and grandchildren, and cooking with her grandkids is something that's celebrated as often as possible. The Lifestylist® Brands are all about Life Celebrating Style, and you can discover more about how to live your live graciously at: www.lifestylist.com

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The Future of Factory Built Housing


Change can be a very scary thing, but when a company like SE Homes of TX - a division of Clayton Homes - can change people's perception of manufacturing housing it's exciting!
The recent home show that they had at their Ft. Worth, TX location shows why SE Homes of TX has emerged as a leader in design and lifestyle. All of the 5 Lifestylist® Designed homes were very well received, but the one that stole the show was definitely The Monarch. I've shared photos of this home with consumers living in very high end site built homes and with custom builders and developers, and none of them can believe that this is a factory built home.
I've never seen this floorplan before. It is perfectly in tune with today's home buyer and the lifestyle they are hoping to achieve. It's open, the master suite is in a separate part of the home and has access to the very cool patio that is enclosed on 3 sides and ships as part of the home.
The "pet parlor" has also been a hit - this space in the utility room featured a pet shower with hand held showerhead, and a feeding drawer that can be closed when not in use.
I'm excited about this positive direction for our industry, and think you will be as well. For more information, visit the SE Homes of TX website or email Ryan Blackburn at: ryan.blackburn@sehomes.com

Bob Vila Article Embraces Factory Built Housing



There's nothing we love more than a positive story about factory built housing, and BobVila.com has a wonderful article about the history of factory built housing.  Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber was honored to be interviewed and quoted in the story, and what is really exciting is that the author of the story - Jane Dagmi - was so intrigued about what this form of housing offers she's continuing to learn more and visit communities on her own. I'm looking forward to more of her stories in the future.
One of the things that has always been a detriment to our industry was the perception the press has, so having writers not only like our homes but also want to know more is a step in the right direction.
Be sure to also take a look at the timeline that Jane did -it's one of the best I've seen.

ROC USA Helps To Make Home Ownership Achievable

As a Lifestylist® I spend a lot of time tracking trends and listening to people's dreams and realities. One of the biggest dreams a person often has is a home of their own, and that dream comes in all shapes and sizes.
Land lease communities are a great way to own a home of your own on a budget, but a lot of potential homeowners are afraid of the fact that they don't own the land that their new home is sited on.
When I attended the recent MHI Congress and Expo I was introduced to Paul Bradley and the ROC USA team, and loved having the chance to speak with them and to learn more. ROC stands for Resident Owned Communities, and they help residents of land lease communities buy their communities and own a part of it. I was fascinated to learn that they are a non profit, and loved that the first thing that they do with their homeowners is to choose a new name for their community and start the re-branding process.
NPR and "All Things Considered" recently featured ROC USA on their broadcast, and you can see our interview with the ROC USA team on Lifestylist.com.

Modular Construction on The Rise

It seems like people are finally beginning to realize that factory built housing may be a better way to build - I've had two site builders ask me if the projects that we are working on might be more efficient if we do a modular build instead of the way they traditionally build. What's really great is these are both commercial projects - one is a clubhouse and one is transitional housing for 14 so I'm really proud of my clients for looking at all options. In fact, Champion Homes is doing quite a few commercial builds, including hotels for a major hotel company - I can't wait to see (and stay in) the finished buildings.
Many people have the misconception that using modular construction is very limiting - I'm always surprised with how many people think you can only do 1 story. In fact, all construction has some limitations, but with modular you can build multi story buildings just as you can with site built.
This beautiful home in Montana that was built by the EnergyMate division of Patriot Homes is an example of what can be accomplished using modular construction. It has a 2 story family room and rock fireplace in it -they just completed the fireplace on-site with rocks they found on the ranch.
Before you make a decision on who is going to be building your next home or building, you might contact one of the many fine modular builders that might be the right fit for you.
If you need recommendations on who might be a good fit for you, feel free to contact us at: answers@lifestylist.com and we'll be happy to share our list of qualified builders with you.

What's Mine is Not Yours - Intellectual Property

Seth Godin is my guru. He is so no nonsense but funny at times, intellectual but down to earth, and what I really love about him is that he can get a point across faster than anyone else I know. His Purple Cow book started me on a new road to being more involved in marketing and social media so I'm forever grateful. When I worked on the Purple Cow House Campaign with Patriot Homes I made sure to get permission from Mr. Godin, and we credited him for the phrase (and gave out his Purple Cow Book).

Today I got a great post from him titled "Simple Thoughts About Fair Use". So timely, and as always so well written. In this new blogging, social world I'm always stunned to see how many people are using other people's photography, ads, brands, and stories without permission. This article is a must read for anyone who is even thinking about posting on Facebook, Twitter, or a blog and using someones text or images.

I'm fortunate enough to have access to a very talented photographer - Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography. The images you see in my blogs, on my Lifestylist Design Facebook page and on my website have been shot specifically for my use. I do that so I'm not using other people's work and having copyright infringements.

Lifestylist® is a term that I successfully trademarked in 2002 - my registration number is 2583235. I'm very proud of this because I thought I had a good idea and made the extra effort do "do the right thing" and spend the time, effort, and money to trademark it. You would be amazed at how much time I've had to spend since them protecting my mark because people haven't bothered to do their homework and see that it's trademarked before they use it in their own businesses.

Before you decide that you have discovered the next great phrase, or "borrow" a photo from someone else be sure to read Seth's post. Wondering where to learn more about these topics? The US Patent and Trademark Office has a great site, and it is also where you can search trademark registrations and applications.

Social Media Lifestylist® Guidelines for 2012

Happy New Year from the Lifestylist® family! I'm really excited about 2012, and the opportunities that come with it.
A lot of being a Lifestylist® is about being a trend tracker and doing research. Today I read something that was written by someone else titled "Social Media Lifestylist Guidelines for 2012" - boy does that sound dull! The first thing that comes to mind is a big dusty manual full of rules and regulations, and that is exactly what social media (and being a Lifestylist®) is not about.
The tag line I have always used for my Lifestylist® brand is "It's All About You". I didn't want the brand to be about me telling people what to do - I wanted to listen to people's wants, needs, and dreams, and help them achieve those even when they didn't know that's what they were really searching for. I don't want to dictate, I want to educate. I've learned that listening is so much more important than anything I will ever have to say, because sometimes if you let people express their thoughts they will find their answers.
Social media is such an exciting new frontier because it gives everyone the chance to tell their story to the universe. It's become a great equalizer because almost anyone  on any budget can get access to a computer and a free site and share their thoughts.
There's a down side to this though as well -there's not as much editing as we've seen in the past. We have to learn that even though someone may have written it, there is the possibility it might not be true. Before we share or depend on information we find we have to be sure and check the facts. As the guardian of the Lifestylist® trademark for almost 10 years now I've seen how many people want to tie into my brand but aren't willing to go through the legal process to acquire a brand of their own.
So what are the real Lifestylist's guidelines for 2012? Never call them guidelines, live your life to the fullest, listen to those around you and you can never laugh too much or have too much great food and wine!
Here's to a boisterous 2012!