Vicki Blair makes us smile

Posted on Mon, 08/01/2022 - 12:30pm

By Linda Eng

When someone’s joy in life is bringing a smile to others, then they are someone you will want to know. Vicki Blair, married to her high school sweetheart Sean and the mother of Rachel and Michael, has been doing just that in many ways.

During the COVID-19 outbreak she was on the front lines, working at Integrated Holistic Healthcare in Wilmette, and she never took time off during the pandemic. Vicki spoke of the constant attention given to her staff and clients that kept everyone healthy. She was very satisfied with their incredibly low number of COVID cases, but this work took a personal toll, and she sought help and advice from a life coach. She dug deep into her life and decided to change careers to put her creative self out there.

Humble Design

One way to accomplish her goal was to take the position of lead designer at Humble Design furnishes homes for families, veterans and people in need coming out of homelessness.

I love to show interested volunteers or even corporate groups just how we provide a ‘home’ for the those who find themselves homeless,” Vicki said. Every week, she will site-visit the homes, speak to her clients about their history and family needs, develop a plan and, by the following week, install a complete home.

I always get emotional at our reveals,” Vicki said. “These are people who have suffered domestic violence, veterans in need and so many others. Ninety-nine percent of our clients never go back to homelessness. Once the family secures housing, Vicki, with the help of so many volunteers, provides custom-design furnished homes for families that look professionally decorated (with mostly gently used donations), with the greater purpose to give them safety, hope and a smile. For so many families, this is the first time they have slept on their own bed.”

Thrifty Vicki YouTube

When not working at Humble Design, Vicki keeps herself busy with her husband, her dog Moose and children Michael, who is a sophomore at Elon College, and Rachel, who recently graduated from Vassar College.

If you are a YouTuber, you may have seen Vicki’s own channel, “Thrifty Vicki.” There you will find low-cost recipes, gardening, shopping tips and more. This latest project she conceived is to provide others with thrifty advice, a sense of community and, hopefully, a smile. Recently, Vicki showcased Malibu East with a demonstration on filling a large planter on the Sheridan Road side of the building.

Food Network thought she was particularly great, so in June 2023, she will make an appearance on one of the shows, but she cannot reveal which one yet.

Subscribe to YouTube channel Thrifty Vicki and watch all the wonderful videos pop up. They’re guaranteed to make you smile. During the pandemic she also launched the TikTok channel @ChicagoVickiBlair with so many fun, short videos.

Malibu East

Vicki sits on the Malibu East Board of Directors, which elected her to be the chair of the Building Aesthetics and Services Committee. In that capacity she has created subcommittees to help “refresh” the public spaces at Malibu East, and they have been working hard. You will certainly remember how beautiful our building was for the winter holidays. Thrifty Vicki and Carl Chadek managed to purchase those beautiful “trees” for us at a 30% discount.

During her time on the Board beginning in 2020, she and her committee have beautified the lobby, Plaza, Windjammer and Community rooms and the outdoor space. Next on deck is fresh paint and carpet in the Community Room and a refresh of the garage lobby space. What is so spectacular is that she has organized these projects with the help and input from many residents on the committee, who also want to make us smile.

Still, there is more. Vicki has been offered a life coach position with Strong Foundations starting this fall and is completing her nutrition, life coach and cognitive behavioral training. She felt so blessed to have had someone help during the pandemic that she wants to share her joy, to help others find theirs. Fortunately, Humble Design did not want to see her go, so the company offered her a part-time design position. She is thrilled to be able to balance both careers.

Thank you for all you do, Vicki Blair.