Can you imagine getting paid to do what you love?  I have been doing exactly that for over 40 years and can teach you how.  The JLW Company team is composed of the most experienced individuals in the decorating and training industry. But let’s take a moment to answer your potential questions.  Don’t see an answer to your question…simply send an email to or call us at 814-440-3044.  We welcome your calls.


1. Do I need the experience to start a Decorating or Staging Business? 

Absolutely not! What you need is talent, a strong work ethic, the willingness to persevere and round out all of that with systematic and practical education. Top that off with a smart marketing and business plan (we can help with that also) and you are ready to rock the world.

2. What skills will help me succeed? 

  • It begins with natural talent, a good eye, an ability to visualize…call it what you may, you need it
  • Willingness to appreciate styles that aren’t your favorites
  • Understanding core design and staging fundamentals
  • Communication Skills-yep, you need to look your clients right in the eye and dazzle them
  • Strong Work Ethic-this can help overcome other shortcomings
  • Staying on top of color and design trends 

3. How much money can I make? How many hours do I need to work?
It’s entirely up to you! Any business requires a strong work ethic, people skills, smart marketing plan and the desire to succeed. The bottom line, your business can be as big as you want. Even in today’s tough economy, the decorating and staging industry continue to flourish.

4. Are The JLW Company classes certified?
Face it, anyone can claim their class is certified. The question is…are the certifications and training endorsed and/or recognized by industry associations? We offer Certification and Continuing Ed classes because we know they are both vitally important. Our Certification classes have been certified and/or endorsed by a variety of industry associations. As a result of your training, you will be eligible to join associations such as The-DSA, RESA, IDS, WCAA and others. Even more important than the certification is the quality of the curriculum, trainers and their respected standing in the industry at large.  Call just about anyone in the decorating or staging industry, they know or have heard of JoAnne Lenart-Weary.

5. Why do I need certifications?
Education and knowledge are the core to success. Gaining credibility not only gives you confidence, it gives your clients confidence in your abilities.

6. Why should I choose to train with The-DSA? 

  • Most experienced training team in the country
  • Annual Curriculum and Support Materials Update-ask training providers of classses when was the last time they updated
  • Ongoing Support and Educational Opportunities
  • Discounts on Future Training
  • Virtual Manuals and Support Materials
  • Live training includes many hands-on exercises
  • Ability to Audit-contact your trainer for specifics
  • One on one coaching with your trainer
  • Complimentary Listing on various directories for first year
  • Guerilla Marketing Coach

7. Why do you update your curriculum and training materials annually? 
Although the core principles and fundamentals of design may stay the same, trends impact the way you address a room, for both decorating and staging. For example, the approach to staging has changed dramatically in the past 3 years. If the training program you select is teaching from a dated curriculum, you are at an immediate disadvantage. If you are exploring which class to teach, ask them when were their training materials last updated. If it is more than 2 years, you need to look elsewhere.

8. What are the trainer’s qualifications? 
The JLW Company trainers are the cream of the crop and must have 10+ years of field experience in their training niche. They are industry leaders and have reached a level of distinction. Not only can they deliver fabulous education, they truly care about your success.  Our principal, JoAnne Lenart-Weary has been teaching the combination of professional decorating, staging and color classes longer than anyone in the country.  Our trainers also have ongoing successful decorating or staging related businesses, so they understand exactly what you will encounter.

9. Describe a typical live class. 

This will vary depending on the class you are attending…but every class will have a mix of hands-on opportunities. The goal is to help you build your confidence while polishing your skill set.  Most live classes run 9-5 and include a lunch break.  If we are working in a real home, the day may run longer to maximize your learning opportunities.

10. Describe a typical online class. 

If you are taking a certification class, our approach is blended.  In other words, some of your lessons will be recorded to be completed at your leisure and others will be live with your instructor.  You will have a variety of exercises to complete and return for grading. Continuing Ed webinars are typically offered in an on-demand format but never hesitate to reach out to your trainer.

10. What do I get for my money?
Certification classes provide students with a student kit including comprehensive manuals, workbooks, paint deck, and a variety of learning aids, dependent on the subject matter. Most classes will also include a virtual file with forms and templates relating to the class. Most classes are also recorded so you can review as many times as you wish at your leisure.

11. What is the difference between Live and Online Classes?
Live: These certificate classes are held in a  variety of locations around the country. They are a combination of classroom and hands-on interactive exercises, ranging from identifying color to building design plans online or actually moving a sofa and hanging art in a real home. Due to the small on-site class sizes, everyone receives one on one and critiquing.
Online Certification Classes: The same subject matter as the live classes with many of the same hands-on exercises. Classes are held in a blended format that includes both recorded and live sessions with your instructor. To earn the final certificate, students will be required to complete a final project and/or complete a test.
Online Continuing Ed:  These classes are presented to you via the power of the world wide web.  Most are pre-recorded but some may be live with a follow-up recording.

12. Do I need a Business or Marketing background?
No, you do not need a business background. The-DSA will guide you through the necessary steps to establish your new business. In fact, as soon as you register, you will receive our Welcome Packet to include the following:
Class Instructor information
Class, Airport and Hotel Information
Class Schedule and What to Expect
Class Forms
“Business Quick Start” Checklist
Tips of Selecting a Business and Domain Name
Industry Affiliations

13. Are there ongoing fees?
No, Once you have paid for your initial training, you are not obligated to pay for any other services. Additional training, support services, and industry associations memberships are available but nothing is mandatory.

14. Will this help me if I have an existing business? 
Learning is key to growth. If you have already taken the leap into the world of business, our training will compliment your current business. It’s an opportunity for continuing education, new forms and a systematic approach unique to us. Our designations and credentials reinforce your expert status.

15. Do I need a support staff?
We encourage you to get professional advice during your start-up phase to ensure you are setting up your books correctly, getting appropriate insurance, setting up your legal entity and more. When it comes to actually redesigning or rearranging the space, most alumni work alone. However; if help is needed we can coach you as to how to work around the more difficult jobs by connecting with peers, using temp agencies or hiring per project. This will allow you to get the job done, without making the financial and emotional commitment to a partner or committing to a full-time payroll.

16. Do I need inventory for my staging business?
Please, we beg you, do not rush out and rent a warehouse and buy lots of inventory. Take some time to get your systems in place and build a following. We want you to start on a positive cash flow, in time you can start building small if you like. But keep in mind, there are many successful stagers who do not own any inventory and focus on occupied houses.

17. Now what?  

Take some time to explore our various classes…we would love to see you in one of them.

18. What happens after class? 
We are still there for you! Take advantage of your one on one coaching session with your trainer. Remember your success is our success.

Didn’t see your question listed?  Call us or email us and we will be happy to answer your questions.