The Lifestylist® List: Bathing Beauties

Have you started following the Clayton Blog yet? It's full of great information about how you can enjoy the manufactured housing lifestyle.

Yesterday they posted the Lifestylist List about bath details - it's amazing how many luxury products can be found in todays affordable manufactured homes!

Lifestyle Resources for Manufactured Housing Owners

For so long I have thought about lifestyle resources specifically for owners of manufactured housing unnecessary. You can do just about anything in a manufactured or mobile home that you can experience in a site built home so where is the need?

After reading and participating the in Clayton Homes blog for the past few months I've changed my mind. Not only can we share the same lifestyle, their are things that are unique to the manufactured housing lifestyle that an owner of a site built home will never never be able to experience. A place that celebrates just our style of housing is a breath of fresh air. They have a large group of contributors that bring different viewpoints to the page, and we learn something every time we visit.

Be sure and take a look here and discover for yourself why we love this resource so much.

The Manufactured Housing Institute Reaches New Social Media Milestone!

Congratulations to The Manufactured Housing Institute for reaching a huge social media milestone this week - their Facebook page now has more than 100,000 likes!

That's a tremendous accomplishment and really speaks to the fact that MHI is doing a great job getting the word out about the value of today's manufactured and modular housing.

You can also visit their website for up to date news on events and legislative actions that are currently happening - their Advocacy and Issues page even provides a direct link to your Congressmen.

If you are looking for more information on what manufactured homes are available, the MHI Facebook page is a great place to start your search. For more information on other manufactured housing social media resources, visit our American Housing Advocates website.

The Politics of Manufactured Housing

It must be because it’s an election year. - It seems like more than ever people, groups, and organizations are being very vocal about what they think is right or wrong with our government and our world. Part of it may be because of the explosion of social media - now anyone can claim to be a blogger or journalist and put things out there that they claim are facts, but don’t (or won’t) back them up. I am very fortunate to not only own my own company and brand, but I also write for a very credible publication - Candy’, and have been mentored by some of the best true journalists out there.This is a trust that I take very seriously, so when I see the public’s trust being treated without the respect it deserves, it hurts.

Words are very powerful things and can sometimes hurt more than any physical damage that you can do to someone. When you attack a person online or in print, that’s something that stays out there forever, whether it is true or not. Acting like a petulant child and making accusations about an organization or someone without thinking about what the consequences might be, just isn’t responsible journalism.

My parents have been married 64 years today and are terrific role models. My parents were great at sharing things that we needed to know without burdening us with problems we couldn’t solve or do anything about. They are the parents - we trust them to do the right thing and they always have.

When you join a nonprofit organization, you do so understanding that there is a governing group in place that is probably elected, and besides staff members, they are doing that as a labor of love for an industry they believe in. I’ve been on the boards of enough nonprofits and have friends that are staff members of some - they aren’t getting rich by any means, in fact they usually make less than someone in a similar position for a for profit business. They have an entire membership to listen to and make happy, and truly it is usually a thankless job.

When Dick Jennison came to the Manufactured Housing Institute, the industry was in a tailspin. We had a tough couple of years and there were lots of questions about how we would turn this around as an industry and regain the public’s trust. Mr. Jennison had to make a lot of tough decisions, pare down staff and cut costs to make sure that the Institute could survive. And we have. Not only have we survived, we are getting ready to thrive again. This year’s MHI Congress and Expo was a beautiful example of all of us coming together and working on ways how we could all move forward. Over 1,000 industry leaders attended, and Mr. Jennison stated that “we are back and stronger than ever.” Cavco Homes is celebrating their 60th year anniversary and I think their stock prices are the highest they have ever been. Champion has brought on some exciting new leadership and has made groundbreaking changes in the past year, and Clayton Homes continues to be the largest home builder of any kind in the United States. The big challenge that everyone has focused on, is how we are going to change the perception of manufactured and modular homes.

This all sounds great - so why is someone continually writing disparaging things about MHI and personally calling out some of it’s staff members to be replaced? I have my own opinions, but like my Dad says “nothing good will come out of sharing those with people who are not directly involved in the discussion.” Instead of being part of the solution, they prefer to make sensational statements that aren’t backed up and create a problem that isn’t there. Arguing with someone else’s viewpoint online or in print probably won’t change their perception in fact some publications are known to use sensational headlines or provocative comments just to get viewers to read their pages and increase their numbers. We refuse to do this and instead prefer to fill our pages with informative, original content that people are interested in. 

If you want to be a positive force with a group try volunteering, getting involved and helping to make a difference. If you don’t like what the rest of the group is doing, or prefer to have a different result you can always start your own group.

There is so much work to be done and it’s going to take all of us to progress in the future. By sharing the great things that all of us are doing, and leaving the fighting and discussions that need to go on behind closed doors exactly there - we can show the world a united front and share the right message - that manufactured is the consumers best choice for their new home.

TruMH by Clayton Homes

Recently Lifestylist Design was asked to merchandise a new home for the Clayton Home Store in Desoto, Texas.
The home being featured was on of the new TruMH homes that's all about getting back to basics. These well designed homes are perfect for land lease communities and pricing is kept low by focusing on what factory built housing does best - keeping options to a minimum and taking advantage of volume pricing.
Just because a home is affordable doesn't mean that it can't have lots of style. We loved adding the Lifestylist touch to this home and showing people how much value this home has.
If you would like to find out more about how you can buy your new home at Clayton Homes Desoto, give them a call at: 972-230-8030.

Protecting Your Reputation: Copyrights and Trademarks

When I trademarked the term Lifestylist® over 10 years ago I had no idea what I was in for. I thought by registering the name and going through the proper channels I'd be protected - unfortunately it wasn't that easy. You have to constantly monitor all of the media that is out there and be the  intellectual property cop which can be very time consuming, but the only way to protect what you have built. I've found that some people honestly didn't know that Lifestylist is a trademarked term and will remove their usage of it, but there are others who insist on getting lawyers involved.
Through all of this I've become increasingly more aware that there are some really stellar, ethical bloggers out there that really know their stuff and share great information and then well... there are others. Today I noticed a tweet from someone I follow and respect - Courtney Price of Courtney Price Design and sure enough it was full of great information that every blogger needs to be aware of.
Her article on Copyright Issues for Bloggers shows how to do the right thing - she contacted Susan and William from the House of Brinson about an online class they gave on copyrights,  got quotes and permission to use their photography and credited them in the article. Blogging should be about celebrating all of us - not just your own domain.
We teamed up at the beginning of our Lifestylist journey with Lisa Stewart of Lisa Stewart Photography so we would have the photos we need to tell our story with. I have a photography page at the top of my blog that credits her and states all photos are copyrighted.
Words to the wise: if you don't own the rights to a photo, got permission in writing to use it or took it yourself, don't use it. This is becoming an issue that more photographers and writers are taking seriously and winning in the battles that make it to court.
If you don't know if a term or service is trademarked you can go to the USPTO website, do a trademark search and anything that has been filed will be shown as well as who the owner is.
If you haven't discovered them already, be sure to visit The House of Brinson and Courtney Price Design to see examples of how to share ideas and make a house a home beautifully.