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Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Should I do?

Recently I have been made an offer.......
perhaps that I shouldn't refuse.

I met a man from India (Dehli) 
and he is in the process of building green homes 
for expatiates living in India.

Sounds cool right?

Can you see me here?

He has seen my work and wants me to be the designer 
of his turn key homes for ex-pats.
These designer homes would be leased to the tenants for approximately 1 to 2 years.
He would be dependent on me to 'Westernize' the homes inside and out for the comfort of the tenants.

I would design the interiors and be the exporter of the furnishings.
This would all be done on a small mark-up because the quantities could be great.

The thought of spending time in India 
is exciting and frightening at the same time

What would I wear?
Maybe this with leggings or capri pants underneath.
Would it be as sweaty as it is here???? 
If so...yucko.

What would I would eat......?
I love the food, and the SPICES.

I even love the smell of curry.
Americans either hate or love the taste of curry, 
I am the latter.
I could eat it everyday.
......and I just may end up eating it everyday if I go!

If I were a young designer........I would never go!
I have no fear any longer of being drugged and sold into the sex trade!

What are your feelings on this opportunity?
Should I see what happens.......
 and if things turn out to be safe, 
including legitimate & 'kosher '....should I go?

And if anyone has had previous experience doing business in India,
please share your experiences with me.

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG..... Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Ft.Lauderdale,Design Service, Window Treatments, TurnKey Interior Design Service,Paint selection, Floor-Plans,Online Interior Design, Design Center of The Americas, D.C.O.T.A. ,Interior design for ex-pats, India, business opportunity, going to India


  1. A friend of mine has been working for an embassy in India for the past year with one more year to go. If you would like me to put you in touch with her, please let me know. She loves telling about her experiences there! I know she's had a hard time adopting even in a modern 'western' city such as hydrabad. her 'western' house is anything but it turns out!

  2. Contact a blogger, Monograms and Manicures. Her mother and father live in India and she has visited a couple times.

  3. Arch/Des

    we will talk....

  4. Renee, I'm sure you would do your homework to make sure that this is a legitimate offer. And if it is legitimate, that it has the proper funding to make it happen. I would want to know who all the backers are, what their involvement will be, what their background is, as well as anyone else directly involved. I would want verification of funding.

    If you find that it all is proper, I would see no reason not to go!

    The ball is in your corner... If you decide to go, set the terms:

    1.A binding and legal contract that states all the terms
    2. A HUGE retainer fee
    3. An escrow account with working funds for the project
    4. The option to bring an assistant or support group.
    5. Your living quarters and conditions
    6. A prepaid round trip ticket!
    7. etc....

    If this is a real offer, based on proper business procedures and practices, then they should be willing to negotiate with you on the terms...

    GOOD LUCK!!!!


  5. You have good advice and contacts I see! Investigate -- and
    good luck!!!

  6. Are you kidding me?!?!? If it's REAL and SAFE GO FOR IT!!!!!!!

  7. It sounds like a fantastic opportunity Renee and if everything on the business side stacks up why not go for a quick visit, check it out and then decide....nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that....xv

  8. Ditto Countrypolitan/Terri...& remember if it sounds too good to be usually isn't. I went off to live in Iran during the time of the Shah, but my husband's corporate hq was in Houston, an international company. You must have a fall-back plan. The red tape in these 3rd world countries is unbelievable, and even if your client has all the money, he still has to bribe people, or wait years for approval. I assume he will be leasng to corporations for their employees? Good luck. xx's

  9. splenderosa & countrypolitan

    i know
    i know
    this is super complicated.

    i will be cautious and follow all the loving suggestions offered to me.

    love xxx

  10. vicki

    thank you.
    i really do need a bit of a push on this one.


  11. Renee....There is a wonderful blogger (on my favs list) Rajee Sood. She is based in Gurgoan , India...and I'd be willng to bet that she could answer all your questions...good luck....and congratulations on the offer! K

  12. I always wanted to go to India and had the chance in 2002. I have had the good fortune to have been around the world and I have never been as sick in my life as I was leaving Delhi after a week in the country. It took me 7 years to even consider going back. It is a fascinating country of kind, loving people. The depths of poverty are beyond anything I could have ever imagined or have seen anywhere else on earth.

    As I type this, Charlie Rose is interviewing Melinda & Bill Gates with Warren Buffet and they are talking about India (Bill was at the Intercontinental the same time I was in 2002). They are encouraged, but just said, "Boy, the poverty is so much worse that I thought. Boy, the education system is so much worse than I thought. How can my philanthropy change that."

    India will change you in a good way. Take a STRONG antibiotic with you (like Cipro), eat the dairy they eat to introduce your gut to their bacteria's, and call a doctor the INSTANT you feel the slightest bit wonky.

    Heed the input splenderosa & countrypolitan have offered. My mother's best friend lived with her 5 kids in India for 5 years from 1969-1974 and it was life changing for their family.

    Get the auyrvedic cough medicine (paste) offered there,--it puts Phenergen VC w/ Codine to shame; it is a true miracle cough medicine. I got mine at the airport, they happened to have a pharmacy right next to Passport Control at the airport.

    Do your due diligence and if it feels right & your thinking "Heck Yeh", then have at it.

    For me, India was one of those "Ah ha" moments that Oprah asks about.

    As I read about your opportunity I kept thinking "fun, what fun". what ever you choose, it will be right.

  13. Terri's advice is fab & Kathys' right about Rajee ( I reckon Vicki's advice is spot on Renee. See if you can wangle a short trip first, you'd be able to confirm (or not) the validity of the offer before jumping in. If he's serious, this should not be a problem. India's economy is booming currently, so this offer does not surprise me.
    Millie ^_^

  14. Sounds like an exciting possibility, I would be torn, too. Wish you the best either way - you're a great talent, Renee. hugs!

  15. blog authors

    i loved your reply to my dilemma.
    i am freaked about getting sick and seeing the poverty.
    i am afraid i will come home with a baby...or crazier...a few kids.

    thanks for all the great MED info. too.

  16. You've been given very good advice here, and I cannot add to that. The only question I would ask you is have you ever lived outside of the US before? (I'm assuming you'll spend some time living in India). In my experience people who haven't lived abroad find the culture shock too severe, and don't realise that it's quite different to just visiting a place. India is of course one of the extremes of foreign countries, that even I, (who have lived outside of my native land most of my life, including being born in SE Asia), would hesitate at deciding to move to. By the same token, it would be a hugely challenging experience, (which means both good and bad).

  17. columnist

    i love what you are saying................
    i could live in paris in a heart beat!

    but india is NO PARIS!!!!
    it would strictly be a means to an end for me.

    don't think i haven't thought about this.
    if i went it would only be for weeks at a time.

    xx thank you

  18. Ok..please forgive me I'm late as always. I have no useful advice or information (never been but always have wanted to) but so impressed by the wisdom and caring from everyone's comments. You are an intelligent woman, and will cover your bases. You may be blond & gorgeous but there is a brain up there and you know how to use it.

    I need to make list & compare the positives to the negatives at times like this. I say follow your heart once the details are solid. You have not been appreciated or even treated fairly by your ogre employer and staff, and us girls come to a point in life we need more, & we need some adventure. We don't live forever. So..if you need a housekeeper in India, you know where to find me.

    Love you Renee. Not an easy decision but it is an exciting one. xoxo

  19. Renee,

    You have attracted this experience for further development in your lifetime. You know what to do so. This experience will be rewarding as we all have gypsy blood in our blood lines.

    Sharing your experience in a book will further your definition as a designer. You are the one to do this and mentally you need this as well. The universe is calling will you answer?

    Looking forward to hearing more as weeks unfold.


  20. bette

    i want to answer.
    i do.

    thank you for your encouragement,
    and confidence in me

  21. Tons of great really really cool blogland is! We all cannot wait to hear what happens.

    India is the most brilliant colourful country ever. I have spent not a ton of time but, enough and where the topics are green...India is a magnificent rainbow! The most surprising country I have ever incredibly different from the
    propaganda fed to us in 60's and 70's...all completely one sided glass half empty....

    My darling daughter #2 lived in Delhi for two years just after graduating and really only left because of the low wages in her field.

    If you love the smell of curry you are 1/2 way there!
    Do keep us all posted!

  22. You have received some very good advice. Mill it over and you will find out what to do. I am not negative, just hope you make the right decision. Have a happy day
    and wish for happy thoughts.
    Mamma xxxx

  23. I would No.1, pull the sheet on the guy, you know financials etc to verify his credibility. The other thing is I would consider how many offers you get like this and what you would learn.....Then I would ask him to let you visit the area where you would be working to meet the other people you would be working with., If he is worth his salt he would agree. At least you'd get a trip to India, and I love the food too! Maryanne xo

  24. Renee,

    Here's what I did not tell you about my 2002 Round Tthe World Trip with India at the tail end before London.....

    I was travelling with a doctor.
    We both got sick. I got sicker.
    It was during SARS & we were in Hong Kong for a week in late October/early November.
    I was sick for two years after this trip. It screwed with me in insane ways, that illness in India.
    I thought I was going to die in London, 20-30 hours after leaving India. I thought I was a hearty vagabond before India and then I realized I was an ant and that India was going to squash me. I told my doctor travel buddy that I had had a happy life and I was okay to die. Couldn't believe I woke up in the morning alive.

    And, last but not least, my white Opthalmologist told me two years ago that his whole family spent a long family vacation in India in 2000. His 80 year old mother ate the dairy and took a shot of whiskey every day and did not get sick. No one else did the shot of whiskey and everyone else got sick.

    Don't worry about the adoption thing, the need is so beyond overwhelming I would be stunned if that did not pass for you.

    If you want to adopt anyways, well great.

    It is not a coincidence that the pharmacy was next to Passport Control as you leave the Country.

    The food was FANTASTIC!!! The people were beautiful and kind and fantastic. the experience was so full of palpable joy. the poverty so intensely pervasive as to numb you to it by the second day. The quantity of sick people and people with physical deformities was everywhere & guaranteed to be near any group of tourists.

    I saw Delhi, Agra & Jaipur. ALL the crappy stuff was is Delhi. Agra & Jaipur and every country place we had a pit stop in between was normal 3rd world nice stuff. Nothing freaky at all.

    Indian elephants in Delhi and Jaipur do not appear as healthy as Indian elephants in Nepal. All the snakes I saw with snake charmers were injured, sad and pathetic looking. I don't like snakes and these were not a threat in the slightest.

    You will want to buy every piece of trinket crap, from every smiling kid you see all day every day.

    I changed my line of work after India because while at the time, I made more money in a month than most made in a decade or two, they ALL seemed happier, and more content in their lives.

    India was a valuable lesson and I would go back again. It took me 7 years to forget how awful I felt and consider going back.

    Go to the doctor before you go and get the drugs before you leave.

    The miracle Cough medicine is called Madhuvaani and it cost $1.

    It is like $18 if you get it here via a domestic Ayurvedic source. It is awful to take, but dear god a miracle.

    I've said too much and I wasn't there very long, I know. My mom's best friend had a maid and cook the whole time she lived there.

    Your have a fun dilemma.

  25. beadboard - maryanne

    i like this suggestion....
    i am going to do this.


  26. what the heck are you waiting for?
    and i have dreamed of going to india for years...
    we will visit, bring you goodie bags from the good ol' usa... and bring you lots of love - daily.
    xoxoxoxoxo DO IT

  27. i also feel terri's comments are brilliant. get it all in writing. for sure. if you hate it, come back... NOTHING to lose. xx

  28. ok, i am sooo late to this party. i have LOVED reading all of the comments. wow... great adv... and i say, get a roundtrip tkt, paid of course, and ck it out... you will know in your heart if you will be able to do it. i think it is exactly what you need to change your life. xoxoxoxo

  29. red ticking /pamela

    you are sooooooooo right on.
    i do need a change.


  30. Wowza...what great advice and background info!

    I would do it without question. Have my roundtrip tckt in hand. Have some contacts to meet with secured before. Have my immunizations to date....and fly.




Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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