Jessica Boyer has always had a passion for color and design. Until recently, she pushed that passion aside and focused her energy on her other passion of helping others.

But now Boyer, who lives in Alexandria, has started her own home staging and design company that also incorporates therapeutic coaching, called Kreat and Design by Jessica Boyer.

"There were a few people really strongly encouraging me like, 'Hey, why don't you do this, it seems really needed, we could really use it,'" she said.

Home staging is the process of preparing a residence to be sold by placing furniture and decor in what would otherwise be empty rooms. The idea is to make it more appealing to potential buyers because they can picture the space as a home. Boyer says it is important to prepare sellers for what the staging process is like.

"It's about helping the homeowner take the emotion out of it," she said. "Even in a house where the individual had already moved out, there can still be an emotional tie to the space. So I have to kind of set the stage, let them know it can be difficult sometimes to see other people's furniture in their space and it can bring up a lot of emotion."

When it comes to staging spaces, each home is different, which can be a challenge.

"What was really fun was that a recent home I just did isn't my style," Boyer said. "It was so awesome to go in there and still make it work, still make it come to life."

As a certified therapeutic coach and holistic health coach, Boyer works to incorporate that aspect into her design work.

"Space can really play a huge part in how people are moving through life," she said. "It can be very anxiety ridden if it's not reflecting the individual's personality. So it's about working to try to discover what their unique style and personality is and then bringing that into their space so it can have that calming effect."

Boyer says sometimes, people are attached to certain items in their homes even if the items do not add anything. She tries to work with people to determine what items are worth displaying.

"A lot of times there is memorabilia and things that matter to individuals. We try to figure out if it's about them feeling like they should keep this, or wanting to keep this," she said. Sometimes an expectation they should keep something is making them hang onto it, Boyer said, "and it doesn't fill them up or bring them happiness."

Boyer's coaching experience comes into play when talking to clients about what they envision for their space.

"That's the part that has kind of a knack to it, to squeeze out what they do, who they are, what's their style," she said. "Most of the time in talking to people, they don't really know. But they know what they don't like."

In the end, Boyer says, she enjoys the process of creating.

"That's the piece I love," she said. "I love making things come to life."