Growing Up Family Business Style by Elliot Otteson

After nearly 21 years of trips with family to arts & crafting stores, trade shows, clients homes, and sitting at the table in company meetings; I realize I have been raised for the fast adventures of family business.

Starting at age 3, my young twenty-something mother, Elizabeth Traub, would drive my younger sister and I around the NE Seattle neighborhoods selling her homemade hair bows door-to-door.  Late at night she would hand make this bows, rise early to care for my sister and I, and then start in after dinner knocking on doors.  Beginning in a the local craft stores, my sister and I found our familiarity in the store isles where we’d play hide-and-seek for hours as mother carefully picked out her materials for crafting in her home hair-bow studio. I’m positive her makeshift work-space consisted of a small desk with a lamp, glue-gun, and rolls upon rolls of colorfully decorated ribbons for lacing and decorating her various bow selections.  From home to home we would stroll delightfully charmed over and over again by the sound of my mothers happy hair-bow invitations to the neighborhoods. It was from this young age that I was instilled by her helpful and joyful lifestyle. She authentically gave in sharing her passion with color and girls hair-bow fashion.

Over the next several years as she would expand her reaches into fine furnishings and home decor communities, I would continue to observe her intuitive care for authentically serving her customers who she treated like personal friends.

Flashing forward from the early 90’s to the mid 00’s, I would continue traveling with mother as her son and personal assistant as her career in Kids Interiors turned into consulting companies in the design and product development of kids’ products. We no longer toured the local neighborhoods, however. Now, we reached out in interstate trade shows from Portland, New York, Vegas, and beyond. Her natural approach through friendship and the enjoyment of serving people has gathered my own virtue to engage people with my heart.

Being raised in and now continuing life-work together with family has provided me the unique opportunity to be cultivated not in rigorous training processes, but rather through the years of watching my family learn and grow together.  We have a blast and really enjoy each other in the family business. Furthermore, we look forward to continuing in our passion for people we can help and in doing so welcome to the family.

It’s rare to grow up working so closely with a parent and finding that line of being “the kid” to now being the colleague.  My mother respects my life experiences, my education, and now includes me in the day-to-day operations of Hung Out To Buy.  This is familiar and it’s home and I invite you along in our process and journey.

Now raising the next generation in Kids Room Design.


7 responses

  1. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic but I
    was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

    • I am a kids room designer. Therefore I have no specific direction for you. However if you are wondering what the best paint color, or furniture choice is for a room, you now have my expertise offered generously.

  2. I want to use wallpaper for a home theater (200 inches diagnol) and was wondering how good it would look;seamless,smooth,no bubbles etc.

    My wall is somewhat texturexed and it would
    be too time consuming to resurface it and too expensive to get an actual screen that size.

    . Any suggestions on making wallpaper as clean and nice looking as possible?

    • This is a terrific question and an important one for your project. I personally have never hung wall paper. As a designer, I enlisted the professionals. So I have enlisted a professional on this subject. Here is a link to a very resourceful website for home projects. I think #4 & #7 apply directly to your question. Best of luck with your project. Check back and let me know how it goes,
      Thanks for stopping by,

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