We had the good fortune of connecting with Terri-Leigh Huleis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Terri-Leigh, how do you think about risk?
What does risk mean to me? The opportunity for great reward!
The biggest risk I have ever taken was agreeing to marry a boy I’d known for a grand total of 10 days, and then moving from South African to America to be with him. Yep.
I was in my very early twenties and I had been drifting along, traveling solo through Europe trying to figure out what I was going to do with my one precious life. We met, completely by chance on a small boat moored off a dock on the little Island of Milos, Greece. I was kicked, hard in the gut, with “knowing” and thought well, what the heck, what have I got to lose. That was 14 years ago and boy we’ve had our ups and downs but I have never looked back.
I’ve been rolling with my intuition and that “knowing” ever since.
A few happy years go by when I get a good hard “nudge” to move our now family of 4, from Los Angeles halfway across the country, to a far away city where we knew absolutely no-one… And it was the best thing we ever did. The move propelled my husbands career, it taught us to grow up in all the right ways, we met the most wonderful down to Earth friends, and living in this much more affordable market allowed us to purchase our very first home! It was one hell of an ugly duckling, in rough cosmetic shape, but it was all ours.
For 18 months we toiled over our 1958 city bungalow, learning plenty of skills… My husband honed his DIY abilities and I found my interior design voice. All while having our third son and battling the diagnosis and surgical removal of a pesky little brain tumor. Spurred on by the “gut nudge” to make a lifestyle change and heal somewhere peaceful, where I could really tap into my body and abilities, we sold that home within 4 days of listing, without a realtor for a huge profit and moved straight onto our next fixer upper, an 8 acre hobby farm in the country.
Again, the risk of taking on more, the risk of a new way of life, the risk of leaving what we were comfortable with paid off! We took to country life beautifully and had the most incredible backdrop for the boys younger years. We built fences and chicken coops, we fixed up old barns, we remodeled a house top to bottom, adding an entire master suite and new kitchen, we even learned to milk goats and keep bees… Slowly and beautifully, we grew.
3 years later, again the nudge elbowed its way into our comfortable life and we decided to risk it all again and move to the mountains of Colorado. Our 5 year old son had been diagnosed with diabetes, and we felt a strong desire to be nearer to family. In the middle of a pandemic, we again sold our full of love fixer upper, our second, what we like to call, long term flip. We walked away again with a very healthy profit that would prove helpful in the Denver market.
We settled into a beautiful strawbale farmouse with views for days, a stretch for our budget but our last two properties had been stepping stones to get here. We found ourselves with a new zipcode, new wildlife, HELLO LIONS AND BEARS, and new friends… Friends like the realtor who helped us buy our house and saw us turn it into our home and then asked point blank why I on earth I hadn’t started an interior design and styling business.
Well… Honestly, I had thought about it, I had wanted very much to do so… But I was a mom. I wasn’t educated in design. I didn’t go to a fancy school or have a fancy resume. She kindly and firmly, as she is known to do, pointed out that I had the best resume of all… A portfolio of incredible properties that we had successfully envisioned and transformed. I bought a website domain that day and licensed our trade name, FoundHomeCo. Interior Styling and Design. That dear friend, that sweet realtor of ours, she listens to nudges too.
FoundHomeCo. hit the ground running that day and we have been running ever since.
Kitchen remodels, bath remodels, full basement redesigns, exterior finish packages, custom furniture… We have done it all and have absolutely loved every minute of it. What a pleasure it is to serve our mountain community creating HAPPY homes and we do it all based on nothing but referrals so far.
Soon we’ll have to grow and this one woman show will need to take on help, that feels huge, that feels a little risky, but if anyone knows, I do: With a little risk, comes reward.
What’s next? Well, we were nudged again and find ourselves in love with a beautiful little blue eyed boy who we may one day soon get to call ours, not ours by blood but definitely ours by heart. Ask me how growing a business while growing a family of four little boys is going? It’s a tight rope act daily, a little risky and wild, a whole lot WONDERFUL.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
FoundHomeCo. was born in the practice of creating homes and spaces that serve well. Our designs work to enhance our clients way of life, to mirror their core values, to echo their true sense of style. This is such a great way to create and serve because it means we are able to work in almost all scopes and budgets. Our designs aim to create soft, comforting places to land at the peak of a happy moment or at the very end of a hard, long day. The business has grown organically which is both beautiful and sometimes challenging, the growth has been rapid and “right” but it was unexpected and thus we are learning as we go, challenges are over come in the moment which can sometimes be frustrating, but it is also an incredibly fun way to learn and I think the lessons are more meaningful in a way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ah! This one is EASY! I have often thought of curating a FoundHomeco. Ladies Day in the Mountains! Shopping, good food and nature are on the menu.
We’d start off all piled into a white van loaded with coffee and pastries from Muddy Buck Cafe in Evergreen. Our first stop would be Colorado Furniture in Conifer, to visit my friends Peggy and Stephanie, once we had our fill of gorgeous mountain furniture and decor we’d head down to Flippin Furniture in Ken Caryl for some of the most fun furniture consignment shopping, then it’s over to Old Crow’s Antiques and The Brass Armadillo for antique treasures. We’d make a quick stop in Golden to walk the down town and grab a snack and an ice cold beer on a patio. Everyone back in the not-at-all-creepy white van, we are Morrison bound! A walk around the cute down town, shopping for hippie garb and cute homewares and gifts, it’s time to hike the Red Rocks Ampitheatre because there is more eating and drinking to do. Once sufficiently sweaty, we are headed up 74 towards Kitteredge stopping at Corwina park to put our feet in the beautiful cool creek. In Kitteredge we have to stop at A Comfortable Home for beautifully curated furniture and home wares, then on to the Evergreen Design Centre and the garden centre nextdoor. We’d then head to Evergreen downtown to admire the ORIGINAL boardwalk. We’d stop in at Sister’s Boutique and Silver Arrow, we’d also stop in at the Evergreen Art Gallery and Bain Lakes Antiques before heading to Revival Brews for dinner and drinks on the patio under the garden lights. As the sun dips behind the mountains, we’d stroll the lake and promise to meet tomorrow at Tall Grass Spa for mani’s and pedi’s…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, who fought so hard to open me up to all the love and goodness that is out there, who puts up quite a fight when it comes to change but is quickly won over by my passion and enthusiasm.
My sweet baby boys, who take my passion and excitement for new things and adventures and make it their own. They are endlessly patient and resilient and the worlds best baby sitters in a pinch!