Frequently Asked Questions

Nothing is more exciting than to be appreciated (and paid) for a job well done. Former students often comment they can’t believe people will pay them to do what they love. If you are considering starting a business or upping your game and want the confidence quality training can bring, The-DSA is for you.

1. Can I start an interior decorating or home staging business with no prior experience?
Absolutely! Our trainers provide you with logical and systemic programs to arm you with confidence. Many of our successful students, like you, are born with a natural talent for creating beautiful rooms. Solid education and reputable certification provides the credibility you need to establish and grow your business.

2. What skills do I need to succeed?
It all begins with natural talent. Add a willing to learn, appreciate every style and a desire to communicate with others and you are on your way.  The-DSA will help reinforce your communication skills.  Don't forget a tenacious curiosity which helps you stay current on industry trends.

3. How much money can I make? How many hours do I need to work?
It’s entirely up to you! Any business requires a strong work ethic, people skills, smart marketing plan and the desire to succeed. The bottom line, your business can be as big as you want. Even in today’s tough economy, the decorating and staging industry continues to flourish.

4. Are The-DSA classes certified?
Each class from The-DSA has been certified and/or endorsed by a variety of industry associations. As a result of your training, you will be eligible to join associations such as RESA, IAHSP, IDS, WCAA and others. Many of The-DSA certification classes meet the requirement for free membership and benefits. There are also learning non-certification learning opportunities. 

5. Why do I need certifications?
Education and knowledge is the core to success. Gaining credibility not only gives you confidence it gives your clients confidence you have the skills and business protocol. Quality Certifications will jump start your business and define you as and your skill set as “Quality”.

6. Why should I take a class from The-DSA?
-The-DSA Trainers are respected, experienced industry leaders
-The-DSA offers the longest running training of its type in the country
-Annual Updates of Training materials to reflect trends and industry changes
-Business Fast Track Program and Checklist to fast track your business start-up or expansion
-Twelve Step Marketing Strategy
-Ongoing Support and Educational Opportunities
-Discounts on Future Training
-Comprehensive manuals and workbooks and/or iPad air 2
-Hands-on training in real homes for On-site training
-Ability to Audit-contact your trainer for specifics
-One on one coaching with your trainer
-Listing on The-DSA Directory at no charge for first year
-The-DSA is invested in your success and helping you reach your goals
-Systematic Forms and Success Templates

7. Are the training materials updated regularly?
The-DSA updates all training materials annually. Although the core principles and fundamentals of design may stay the same, bottom line trends impact the way you address a room, for both decorating and staging. 

8. What are the qualification of The-DSA Trainers?
The-DSA Trainers are Master Professional Trainers. They are leaders in the industry and have reached a level of distinction through training, awards and expertise. Just like our materials, The- DSA trainers stay current. Not only are the trainers qualified to teach each curriculum they thrive off of each students’ success. As the longest running truly decorating related training program in the country, we pride ourselves on the quality of trainers. Our trainers have successful businesses so they know first hand what it take to build a business, create design plans and work with clients.

9. What is a typical training day?
On-site classes are a combination of classroom and field experience in real houses. Classroom days typically run 8:30 am - 5:00 p.m. and on-site days may run longer depending on the decorating project.
Online Classes are offered both live and on-demand so decide what best suits your schedule.

10. What do I get for my money?
Certification classes provide students with a student kit including comprehensive manuals, workbooks, paint deck, and a variety of learning aids, dependent on the subject matter. This kit will also include a packet of forms and templates to help you hit the ground running. On-line certification classes may include a pre-shipped student kit or a link for support materials that may be printed.  Five Day certification students will receive a FREE and preloaded iPad.  

11. What is the difference between on-site and on-line classes?
On-site: These certificate classes are a combination of classroom and hands-on in real homes held at a variety of locations around the country. At The DSA, when we say hands-on, we mean put on your comfy shoes because we are going to move a sofa, hang art or maybe even window treatments. The-DSA classes are not about standing their silently and observing the trainer offer a consultation without implementation as happens in other training programs. Be prepared for a variety of interactive exercises and a chance to shine in a real home with real clients. Due to the small on-onsite class sizes, (4-6) each student has ample hands-on opportunity.
On-line: A combination These classes have the same subject matter as the On-site courses but training is provided via webinar format led by a Master Professional Trainer from The DSA. Hands-on assignments and test completion round out this learning option for your certification.
Regardless of the class style you select, each will have a variety of hands-on learning reinforcements

12. Do I need a business or marketing background?
No, you do not need a business background. The-DSA will guide you through the necessary steps to establish your new business. After you register, you will receive our Welcome Packet to include the following:
Class Instructor information
Class, Airport and Hotel Information
Class Schedule and What to Expect
Class Forms
"Business Quick Start" Checklist
Tips of Selecting a Business and Domain Name
Industry Affiliations

13. Are there ongoing fees?
Once you have paid for your initial training, you are not obligated to pay The-DSA for any other services. All certification classes offer one year free membership.  The membership is $99/year after your first year.  The membership provides discounts on classes, products and webinars.  (valued at $1000) The-DSA will make you aware of additional training, support services, and industry associations, but nothing is mandatory.

14. What if I have an established decorating or staging business?
Learning is key to growth. If you have already taken the leap into the world of business, training with The-DSA will compliment your current business. It’s an opportunity for continuing education, new forms and a systematic approach unique to the The-DSA. The-DSA designations and credentials reinforces your expert status.

15. Do I need a support staff?
We encourage you to get professional advice during your start-up phase to ensure you are setting up your books correctly, insuring yourself properly, etc. When it comes to actually redesigning or rearranging the space, most alumni work alone. If help is needed The-DSA will coach you how to work around the more difficult jobs by connecting with peers, using temp agencies or hiring per project. This will allow you to get the job done, without making the financial and emotional commitment to a partner or committing to a full time payroll.

16. What happens when class ends?
The-DSA and your trainer are still there for you! Take advantage of the business check list, a 12 week marketing plan, promotional material and forms to take the guesswork out of those first few weeks. Remember your success is our success.

17.  What is cancellation policy?
A refund is available to a register student up until material has been provided.  If an iPad has been loaded and customized for a student, the deposit is refundable minus $100 administration fee.  Classes tuition can be refunded or applied to another class.

Didn't see your question listed?
Call us or email us and we will be happy to answer your questions.