Property Solutions Manager, Sam Hicks, discovered decorating early in life, and drove her mother nuts when she constantly rearranged her room.
‘I took sewing lessons from a local woman when I was in school so I could start sewing my own curtains and cushions for my room. When I got good at it, Mum bought me a sewing machine on the condition that I make new curtains for the entire house.’
The passion grew from there, and Sam was asked by friends to style their spaces or make soft furnishings, which was a handy cash income during university days. Later, when she had a ‘real’ job, decorating became a dedicated hobby. Now, in her property role with Coorong Realty, she can combine her renovation experience with styling properties for clients, as they look to put them on the market, or lease them as holiday homes.
Sam and her husband Shawn have spent years renovating their own home, a former pub at White Sands called ‘The Ranch’. They purchased the property 20 years ago to expand their vegetable growing business, and thought the house would be a great side project.
‘When we were young, even though we were cash strapped with a newborn baby, we didn’t weigh the risks and cons, and we had far less caution. For us, so long as the finances allowed us to purchase the property, then we didn’t put too much thought into how we would pay for the rest, let alone if we actually had the skill set to pull off a major renovation.’
‘Of course, we didn’t have the skill set, we just learned along the way. I miss the spontaneity and gumption of our property decision making from those days. As we’ve progressed through our property journey, we’ve employed more caution, and made decisions based on dollars and location. This is all totally necessary, but I’ve started to listen to my gut again. You have to be passionate about your projects, and frankly, don’t overthink it and pre-plan everything.’
The best part about Sam’s job? Getting into people’s houses and seeing their vision for the property. She loves to help with styling, and working out the best use of space.
‘I’m genuinely excited about the level and quality of accommodation being developed in the Coorong. As a tourism region, we need high-quality accommodation options to meet the growing demand. I love to discover those hidden gems and help put them on the map.’
And Sam’s next project? ‘We are jumping on the bandwagon, and developing a studio-style retreat at White Sands, to service the river holiday market, and SA Motorsport Park event demand.’