Guardian Angel: Ricky Phillips is a Loan Officer by Day, Home Decor Store Owner by Night

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Do you use both sides of your brain? This month’s Guardian Angel Ricky Phillips does. Not only does he love the problem-solving, number-crunching aspect of being a mortgage officer, but he’s also deeply smitten with the color-coordinating, detail-minding aspect of owning his own interior design business.

Methinks that Phillips would be a great one-stop-shop for first-time homebuyers as they find just the right loan for their dream home and just the right decor, too.

It’s that kind of attentiveness and creativity that makes the professionals at Guardian Mortgage stand out in the crowd. Jump to find out more about Phillips and how he helps people live their dreams in both of his professions. So we hear you have a dual life: Mortgage officer by day, home decorating store owner by night. Tell us a little bit about how that came to be.

Ricky Phillips: Math and numbers have always come naturally to me, and I can do the calculations practically in my sleep. I enjoy putting the pieces of the puzzle together for my loan applicants, realizing the absolute best scenario possible for their home purchase. Each individual situation is unique – some complex and some simple, but each needs attention to detail and diligent follow through. That’s my left-brain talking. My interior design business is my right-brain creative outlet. I have to have that too, or I feel stifled. I believe creativity is the spice of life.

CD: What’s the store like? What can people find there?

RP: It’s a slice of heaven in the heart of downtown McKinney. High-end furnishings and home décor at reasonable prices. It offers our patrons the opportunity to find rare pieces that serve as conversation points, and puts them on the road to creating an environment that exudes beauty, style, and personal taste. We carry a wide range of manufacturers and product lines, so we found that we can appeal to most everyone’s taste. The store is a place to come when you want to tune out the rest of the world. Browse, make a mental wish list, and let us help you create that space all your own.

CD: Have you always been into interior design? How did you get into it?

RP: I have always had a knack for being able to coordinate a room ensemble effortlessly, and select color tones and textiles that complement each other. I like clutter-free, functional, minimalist rooms with several different layers of eye-catching focal points. Perhaps these pieces should take a bit to be noticed, after careful examination and time for a guest to really absorb the surroundings. Strategic placement and thoughtful selection is key. As far as how I got started, it really evolved naturally – friends and family hired me to design their spaces, and from there it grew exponentially to an actual profitable and sustaining business. I am very blessed.

CD: Do you find that the two careers complement each other in any way? Does it give you a unique perspective that other loan officers might not have?

RP: I like helping people realize their dreams – whether it be obtaining a mortgage to finance their dream home or doing the interior design for them when they move into that home – I find that very satisfying and personally rewarding. Both scenarios also come with their own stressors, so part of my role with each is to help people navigate through the processes and remain calm. I want them to understand that nothing worth waiting for happens overnight, but I can also assure them that it’ll be worth the wait. I never really thought about it, but I would imagine that being able to visualize their next steps (interior design) after they obtain the mortgage, helps me to put myself in my clients’ shoes and see things from their point of view too. I don’t try to blend the two industries too often, but if the stars are aligned…

CD: How do you balance both positions? Does it ever get overwhelming? Is there a secret sauce to making it all work?

RP: What is balance? No, just kidding. My six year-old son is the secret sauce. He helps me stay balanced. I can come home totally exhausted from a crazy, hectic day and he will stand there smiling with his new Lego set ready to be built with his daddy. I can’t say no to that sweet face, and within minutes of our time together – the stress of the day is long gone. He is my motivation to succeed and do my best every day, and my true joy in life.

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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