How Vacation Planning—and Family Memories—Made a Successful Business

 By: Meredith Flory

When Regina Edry moved back home to Augusta, Georgia from Ohio in 2016, she did not plan on opening her own interior design business and becoming a “Superhost” for Airbnb, yet now her business is focused on helping people plan their travel, sell their home through staging, and make other property decisions.

Working as a caretaker, she owned a home, but she wasn’t spending a lot of time in it due to often working nights. Inspired by Gammy, a spunky elderly woman she cared for who taught Edry how “attitude is everything,” and encouraged by her mother Kathy, a business owner herself, Edry decided to rent out her “cute little house on the hill.” As Edry began to have more and more people interested in staying in the rental home, she gradually moved in with her mother and purchased another property to renovate and rent out.

Edry’s father passed away unexpectedly a few years ago, but it was his influence of making memories for her family that motivated her to be a hostess who connects with her guests. She now owns three rental properties and puts flourishing touches on each to make every stay feel special. She recalls that when she was in high school, her dad decided the family would take a trip for Father’s Day, and the family decided to rent a home on Jekyll Island. It became a twenty-year tradition for her family, and Edry remembers the joy and expectation she and her siblings had of staying at a property each year and looking through the art, bookshelves, and decorations, clues to unraveling the mystery of who the families were that owned these homes. Continuing these stays has been a way for her family to “see our dad everywhere” as they visit his favorite places on the island. Now, Edry wants to “take care of guests in a personal way” that helps their own families make precious memories.

In fact, she does have people rent from her multiple times, and she says that renting a guest house through a company like Airbnb, or other forms of staying with a host, allows you to experience a community in a more close-up way than a traditional hotel stay, whether it’s for business, a family vacation, a getaway with friends, or another travel need. For example, Edry has gotten to know a family that has stayed in one of her properties seven times as they’ve needed to be in the area for their son’s medical care, and she is praying for their son’s health with her own community.

One of the challenges of this career is managing all the varying schedules of different responsibilities and properties, and Edry credits having wonderful people who work with her for cleaning, maintenance, and yard work. As she adds properties and clients, her role as the leader of a small company has shifted to encompass more scheduling and hiring of competent and dependable staff. She believes her company, Regina Edry Interior Design and Staging, is filling a needed area. Many people think of interior design and beautiful home staging as something out of reach or only for higher income families, but Edry works with her clients to find affordable, middle-ground design solutions to make a house feel like a beautifully cultivated home to live in, place on the market, or welcome renters and guests to.

Edry believes her faith has allowed her to stay centered as she manages careers in caretaking, rental properties, and interior design. She credits her beliefs with allowing her to accept and navigate the life changes, inspirations, and coincidences that brought her to find her “niche.”  She now recognizes that opportunities she found to travel as a college student and young woman, even on a tight budget, prepared her in ways she could not have predicted for this job. She laughs about how she received an “accidental education” in design and art through viewing architecture throughout Europe, and she hopes that as her business grows she can give back to other young women at Augusta University with her interests.

Did You Know?

Planning is incredibly important, especially when it comes to managing all the moving parts of a small business. Whether you’re trying to get your ducks in a row to start your dream business or are looking for ways to help keep that beautiful business going, Powerhouse has you covered. From starting your initial business planning, to preparing for conferences or team building, to refreshing and “spring cleaning,” we’ve got it.

Check out our Resources Page for lots of helpful tips and strategies to make planning one of your favorite things.