Celebrating 12 years of turning Idaho houses into homes.
By Elle Parker
Photography by Kimberlee Miller
Growing up in Papua New Guinea, Ellyn Hoffman used to take the grass shavings from her lawn-mower and lay out blueprints on her front yard. While she didn’t realize it at the time, this would ultimately be a glimpse into her future. Today, Ellyn works for Boise Hunter Homes as an independent business owner and has staged over 500 homes in the Treasure Valley.
For most of her youth, Ellyn, like many people, was unsure of what her purpose was. On top of this, being dyslexic challenged her greatly; all she knew was that college simply wasn’t the right path for her because of her difficulty in school. In 2000, Ellyn and her husband David became missionaries through Mission Aviation Fellowship and headed to Ecuador. Years later, they returned to the states, and Ellyn began cleaning houses for secondary income. She would do little things alongside cleaning, such as moving small pieces of decor around the houses.
Eventually, one of Ellyn’s clients, who worked for a real estate firm, offered her a job to stage a model home after noticing she had a talent for it. Ellyn gradually began staging more homes. So, before she started her own business, she approached Boise Hunter Homes to see if they would be interested in taking her on to stage for them. They said “yes” and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship!
So at last, in 2008, she started her own business: Stage Two & Co. Ellyn explained earnestly, “I am so truly thankful for [Boise Hunter Homes]…they trust my creativity to fill their homes with all my ideas of how to make a house a home!” It wasn’t always easy though, and it took immense dedication and time to get to where she is today. At one point, she was working three jobs just to help her business grow. Now, Ellyn is a full-time stager who works exclusively for BHH and loves every minute of it, calling her job “the best gig ever.”
While staging can seem glamorous from an outside perspective, there is much more that happens behind the scenes that can be challenging. Besides shopping, Ellyn also is required to pack/unpack all of her decor and furniture, hang wall art, and organize/keep track of all 18 houses worth of furniture. It can be a very physically demanding job.
Each day is unexpected and exciting, always bringing new people into Ellyn’s life. By integrating Boiseans’ work into her houses, she adds a personal touch, as she doesn’t want all of her pieces to look or be generic. “I want there to be character to the pieces I pick.” In the same way, staging isn’t a one-person job. You’re only as good as the people who come alongside you; finding people to support you is crucial to being in interior design.
Ellyn is the kind of person who inspires everyone she meets to style their home after what they love and can bring out the beauty in anything. Her work reflects her overflowing creativity and passion, always bringing something new to the table. Despite her hardships, she has persevered and become one of the most popular stagers locally, while remaining down-to-earth and lively. As she reflects on her life, Ellyn looks back and sees how God used every job, struggle, and relationship as stepping stones to help guide her to where she is today, and is thankful for the generosity and trust that Boise Hunter Homes gave her from the beginning.
To keep up with Ellyn and StageTwo & Co, follow her on Instagram @EllynHoffman.