The Personnel File
The Centric Home
Started her business in: 2012
Michelle Raymond works with energy. Every person has it, every house has it, every room has it – and, through feng shui, she helps make it flow more positively and naturally.
A 25-year veteran of the design field, she studied feng shui and color consulting two years ago before launching her Cape Elizabeth-based business.
But, she stresses, feng shui isn’t just about clearing space and shifting energy around – or bubbling mini-fountains and lute music, for that matter. It’s about intention, finding comfort where you live and work.
What exactly is feng shui?
For clients that need to understand what feng shui energy is all about, I give them two examples. The first one is how a room feels after an argument has ensued. Ever walk in and feel that something’s happened? That’s energy. The second is to go outside on a windy day, open your coat and turn your back to it. Nothing is there, yet it is forceful and pushing you. Again, unseen energy. The energy inside meanders around things and gives a good feeling to the space. Energy equals comfortable surroundings. I move furniture and accessories around to give energy room to move and to attract it to specific areas of the room to benefit your life.
What drew you to it?
I wanted to help people. When I was practicing design before, I helped people by putting together their environments, but it always felt too surface or shallow. This time around, I am concentrating on consultation and teaching. I re-use and re-purpose, but also recommend new purchases. My clients usually call because they are lacking comfort in their spaces, whether at home or their office. They know that something is not right, but can’t put their finger on it. It’s not all esoteric space clearing and energy shifting. It’s about intention and feeling comfortable in your space. You don’t need lucky coins or frogs statues. I work totally with Western design and furniture. I also teach workshops on basic feng shui and on selecting appropriate colors in the space. I specialize in clients that are downsizing; I inventory their old home, and floor plan the new one. It’s amazing what has to be weeded out when downsizing. I also consult with DIY clients that need direction so they are not tearing out and re-doing because the wrong project was started first.
Any feng shui tips you can offer?
If you want a quick burst of energy in a room, move three items around. Leave it, then come back and feel the difference. I use a specific grid map to guide a client where to concentrate their intentions for areas of their life where they feel they need work.
What were your key needs in getting started with your business?
There is an awful lot of help for anyone thinking about opening their own business. I first went to the low-cost workshops given by SCORE in Portland. From there I found Women, Work and Community. They were invaluable to me. I now have a handle on what I need to do for my business to be organized, successful, and to grow. Women are most of the micro-business owners and should network to pool ideas. We sometimes wear too many hats and our passions take a backseat to practical matters. It doesn’t have to be that way. Help is there to succeed as business owners.
What’s your outlook on life, summed up in a sentence or two?
My favorite quote from Albert Einstein sums up the passion for my work: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”