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A Well-Designed Business®

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Jun 14, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, Sarah Santacroce, an internationally recognized LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor, joins us on the show. Sarah helps convert your presence online into paying customers, and she is also the creative brain behind the LinkedIn Challenge, an event that has already helped more than 1900 people to improve their knowledge about using LinkedIn for business. Tune in now, to find out more.

Sarah, who lives in Switzerland, is known for her simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency mixed with a dose of Californian 'yes we can' attitude. She uses her ability to focus to help you to come up with a strategy to achieve your goals. And with her experience, her skill, her empathy, and her passion, she encourages you and helps you grow your business. She has assisted hundreds of clients from all over the world by generating leads for them via LinkedIn and social serving strategies. In today's episode, Sarah will open your eyes to the untapped potential of Linkedin. Listen in, to learn from Sarah how to breathe life into your LinkedIn profile.

Show highlights:

  • Why LinkedIn is actually a great platform for introverts.
  • How LinkedIn has changed since the millennials started showing up and changing things about two years ago.
  • Sarah suggests some strategies for successfully using LinkedIn as a platform.
  • How a great LinkedIn profile can really benefit introverts.
  • Where the power of LinkedIn really lies.
  • On LinkedIn, everything is organized by job titles so you need to figure out who you're going to be working with.
  • Adding more experiences to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Creating a special landing page and linking it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • The biggest mistake Sarah's seen people make.
  • Sarah explains where to start.
  • Your past experience counts for a lot.
  • Building relationships and networking effectively through social serving.
  • LinkedIn is about creating a human connection.
  • Posting visual content to demonstrate that you're an expert in your field.
  • LinkedIn's mission is to be the number one platform for professional content.
  • The amount of time it takes to create a meaningful presence on LinkedIn.
  • Sarah talks about her podcast, Introvert Biz Growth Podcast.

Extract from Sarah's website:

My clients like to work with me because I’m structured, focused, result oriented, ‘the real thing’. 

I’m known for my simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency, mixed with a good dose of Californian ‘yes we can’ attitude! (we lived in California from 2006 - 2010)

And she goes on to say:

There are a few things I’m good at:

  • My ability to focus on the essentials & come up with the strategy for you to achieve your goals
  • My experience(based on many failures) of getting clients online & what it takes to grow your business
  • My skill to quickly put myself into your client’s shoes & create an offer that he/she can’t resist
  • My empathy, passion& encouragement to use your uniqueness to grow your business

Oh, and I'm an Introvert.

Links and resources:

Sarah's website: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's podcast

Sarah's LinkedIn: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's facebook: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's lead magnet: Sarah's Templates

LuAnn's Webinar:

Join me on Tuesday, June 25th at 1:00 pm est for an exclusive Mydoma Studio webinar on Sales Strategies for Interior Designers!

The roles will be reversed and I will be in the hot seat talking about the strategies I have learned.

Come prepared with your questions!  You can ask me questions about your business, about tricky conversations with clients, about how to sell more to the same people, about anything you want really.

You know me, I just love hanging out with you!

Webinar: My Doma Studio

Jun 11, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! It's time to start thinking about the High Point Market again. If you're wondering why you need to be thinking about it now, you may be surprised to find out that the hotels are already filling up. Also, now is the right time to start mapping out your trip and go to the website at High Point Market to see who the brands are, make your appointments, and get onto the email list so you can be notified of the new product launches, the panels, and the keynote series in the theater, because you really won't want to miss a thing! Listen in today, to find out more.

On the show today, we have Ashley Grigg, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the High Point Market Authority, Lisa Mende, the founder and principal of Lisa Mende Design, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jeanne Chung, a luxury interior designer and retailer based in Southern California. These three ladies will explain why you need to attend the High Point Market and they will give some great tips for making the most of the experience. They will also discuss the logistics of going to High Point, explain how to make your trip really productive, and share some really useful information about the various tours that are available. You really have to know what to do before you get to High Point, so tune in now, to get all the details.

Show Highlights:

  • Why it's really important for interior designers to invest the time and money in going to High Point Market.
  • How half the business is conducted after the market is over.
  • The brand cocktail parties are awesome opportunities to meet and connect with important people.
  • The way that High Point has really impacted on Jeanne's business.
  • Making great connections at High Point Market.
  • How High Point Market stands out from all the rest.
  • Having the opportunity to talk to the showroom owners.
  • Ways for new designers to establish themselves with the various showrooms.
  • Some things to think about when pre-planning your trip to High Point Market.
  • Why it's a good idea to do a tour for your first trip to High Point.
  • High Point Market covers 11 500 000 square feet!
  • Jeanne talks about her Insider's Tour, which is geared towards designers seeking to offer customization and one-of-a-kind.
  • Ashley talks about all the other tours that are also available for buyers at High Point. The relevant information about all the tours is available on the High Point Market authority website. High Point Market
  • Some tips for making sure that you are able to connect with the right people at High Point.
  • There is an incredible Market Advisor Team available for you to call to answer any questions you may have prior to arriving at HP. They will also be available during the market.
  • Lisa's great tips and suggestions for getting ready for market.

Bios:

Ashley Grigg is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the High Point Market Authority. High Point Market is the largest home furnishings trade show in the world and Ashley manages many of their projects, including media relations, educational programming, social media, and digital promotions. Ashley has over 13 years of experience in marketing and event management

Lisa Mende is the founder and principal of Lisa Mende Design based in Charlotte, NC which opened in 1998. She has built a reputation as one of the South’s Leading Luxury Designers and her work has been featured in many well-known national shelter and lifestyle magazines. As a designer and tastemaker, Lisa works with Brands and has served as a #Authlux Design Guild Member for House of Rohl for 2018, The Thermador Design Council and the Design Council for DSV Luxury in 2016. Lisa is an Allied Member of ASID and NKBA. She also pens the popular blog “The Design Connector” where she is currently kicking off a new series which will chronicle the renovation of her own home sharing all her favorite kitchen and bath products and as well as the renovation process with her readers.

Jeanne Chung is a luxury interior designer and retailer based in Southern California. In addition to heading up her own interior design firm, Jeanne owns a retail and to the trade showroom in Pasadena, CA which has become a favorite go-to destination for both designers and design enthusiasts who seek a unique and artfully edited selection of new and vintage home furnishings and accessories.  Through her design blog Cozy Stylish Chic, Jeanne has become recognized as an influencer in the industry and frequently collaborates with brands and manufacturers. She is a regular speaker on trade show designer panels and has served as a High Point Market Style Spotter. Jeanne participated in the Pasadena Showcase House of Design in 2017 and in 2018, served on the Board of the ASID Pasadena Chapter.

About the High Point Market:

In October and April each year, the High Point Market attracts more than 75 000 retailers, interior designers, and service providers from more than 100 countries. There are nearly 2000 exhibitor showrooms across 180 buildings, covering twelve million square feet of space.

High Point Market was founded in 1909, in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It is the world's longest running home furnishings event and it is the driving force in the home furnishings industry. It is unrivaled in both its size and scope.

High Point Market features more Made in the USA furnishings than any other trade show, as well as a wide variety of imported goods, spanning every style, category, and price point.

Links and resources: 

High Point Market Digital Press Kit

Website: High Point Market

Ashley's email: ashley@highpointmarket.org

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Registration opens mid-July, 2019 for the fall market

Fall Market: October 19th-23rd, 2019

When you do go to High Point, please be sure to stop by Kravet’s showroom, located at Market Square, #217 on the 2nd floor.

This show was previously aired as #406.

Jun 7, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're turning things around a bit and sharing a replay of LuAnn being interviewed by Amber De La Garza, aka the Productivity Specialist, a while back, when LuAnn was a guest on Amber's show, Productivity Straight Talk. Listen in today, to hear their conversation.

In today's episode, LuAnn talks to Amber about the way that she's blended structure, systems, and processes into her business, Window Works, to help it grow to become a two-million dollar company. She talks about her success and her challenges, she shares ways to create structure in your business, and she also gives some questions to ask yourself before making any big decisions.

Tune in now to find out what LuAnn has to say about her business
which has been thriving in the interior design space since 1982.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn describes what her business and her support structure look like.
  • Luann discusses the roles that she, her husband, and their partner each
  • play in their business, and the synergistic way they work together.
  • How the Window Works team came together.
  • LuAnn describes her life before structure.
  • How structure equals freedom and success.
  • How LuAnn woke up to the value of structure.
  • Why you must embrace systems in order to scale.
  • LuAnn and Amber discuss the perils of disorganization.
  • How organization ties into productivity.
  • How time-blocking has really worked for LuAnn.
  • The administrative system that has had the biggest impact on LuAnn's business.

Links:

A Well-Designed Business Podcast
Window Works
Original Episode
Amber’s Website: Amber Delagarza
Amber's Facebook
Amber's Instagram
Email: Amber@TheProductivitySpecialist.com

Book mentioned:
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Jun 4, 2019

Welcome! Today, we have Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Artigas on the show with us. Juan Carlos is an accomplished architect and interior designer with extensive experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant, commercial, and residential design. He is currently the design director of the London Studio of the global interior architecture firm, Wilson Associates. Juan Carlos's position is multi-faceted, and in today's episode, he discusses his role and responsibilities, as the firm's design director, where he oversees the day-to-day operations and projects of the London studio. In addition to creating beautiful projects, he has been in charge of the hiring and building of a cohesive and talented team, which he has then had to lead and guide. Also, a large part of his job involves finding, meeting, and creating opportunities for new business for the firm, and he explains that this all starts with relationships and with connecting to people. Tune in now to find out more. 

Wilson Associates is a collection of 10 design firms around the world whose work encompasses interior architectural design, architecture, art consultancy, concept development, branding, and food and beverage design. Their portfolio includes some of the most prestigious hospitality projects in the world. Listen in today, to hear what Juan Carlos has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • Juan Carlos shares some of his experiences from the past year while building the London studio.
  • The pros and cons of first working for a small firm, and then jumping to a big firm.
  • Juan Carlos shares what he was looking for when hiring his team members.
  • Starting out with a small team and growing organically.
  • When building his team, he was looking for flexibility and team players. That's his secret to creating a small, winning team.
  • Running a small office has involved wearing a number of different hats.
  • Juan describes the difference between his last position and his current one, with Wilson Associates.
  • Creating a strong foundation with the team he built.
  • The kind of skill set that Juan Carlos required his team members to have.
  • Why Juan Carlos prefers working in hospitality, rather than in residential.
  • Having to take into account what the operations team is telling you when designing for hospitality.
  • Juan Carlos describes his superpower and the superpower of Wilson Associates.
  • The way that all the offices of Wilson Associates collaborate and support each other.
  • Even though Wilson Associates is a global team, each studio has its own identity.
  • How Juan Carlos, personally, cultivates a pipeline of hospitality projects.
  • The event that Juan Carlos would recommend for everyone to go to.
  • The biggest challenge that Juan Carlos has faced, that has also been a great lesson for him.
  • Some advice for keeping a pressured team happy and moving.

Bio:

Role & Responsibility:

Juan is an architect and interior designer with an extensive and

holistic international experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant,

commercial and residential design.

Combining strengths in architecture and interior design, Juan worked

eight years as an independent designer and creative consultant on

different high end commercial and residential projects in Spain and

abroad.

He was Designer Director at Rockwell Group Europe, managing a

variety of projects in Asia and the Middle East for some of the most

prestigious hospitality brands.

He currently leads the recently open Wilson associates London office.

In charge of this edition sleep & eat theater.

Juan Carlos says:

“People ignore design that

ignores people”

Education:

College Degree in

Architecture at Universidad

Anahuac Mexico City, Mexico

Interior design degree/

Instituto Europeo di Design

Madrid, Spain

Master degree in project

management & design

Universidad San Pablo Ceu

Madrid, Spain

Links and resources:

Wilson Associates website:  Wilson Associates

Designer Questionnaire

Basics

  • Title: Design Director London Office
  • Languages spoken: English / Spanish and a bit of Italian
  • Education: College Degree in Architecture/ Universidad Anahuac Mexico City
  • Professional accreditations and/or memberships:- Interior design degree/ Istituto Europeo di Design Madrid, Spain –Master degree in project management & design Universidad San Pablo Ceu Madrid, Spain.
  • Tenure at Wilson: March 2018
  • Quote you live by or your design mantra: “People ignore design that ignores people”

Beyond the Basics:

  • What attracted you to Wilson Associates? What do you enjoy most about working here?

I’ve always loved a challenge; opening an office for such as important and reputable firm like Wilson Associates in a city like London has been one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges in my career to date.

  • When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

I don’t think we ever really know what we want to be, but we do begin doing things we love, and by finding our passion you realize it is something you want to do and be forever.

  • Where do you find your design inspiration?
    Everything is inspiring if you look and pay attention.

  • Do you have any advice for young designers? Is there any piece of advice you were given early in your career that sticks with you?

Don’t be afraid to fail; defend your ideas, but never fall in love with them and always listen to different points-of-views.

  • What are some of your career accomplishments? What projects are you most proud of?

Some of my career accomplishments within design come from participating in projects like the recently opened W Suzhou and Hotel Ingles in Madrid, which opened Spring 2018. I have a special affection for high-end residential design, especially a recent penthouse project in Madrid before I entered the hospitality field.

  • What is the most rewarding part of the job? The most challenging?

Any project that ends with a shake of hands and smile from a client is an accomplishment. In hospitality, I find the most challenging part of the job is not only working as a designer but as a mediator between a hotel operator and ownership when they have very opposite visions for a project. It is our job to find that common ground and present an end result that pleases all parties.

  • What are your hobbies outside of your work? Any guilty pleasures?

I think the best thing you can spend your money on is travel; experiences stay with you forever. I like yoga, meditation and to hit the gym as much as I can. My guilty pleasures include tacos with tons of salsa verde. You can also put poison into strawberries with chocolate and I would never notice!

  • What is your favorite restaurant, hotel and overall destination to visit?

My favorite restaurant is a classic Spanish restaurant in Madrid called El Paraguas.

From a designer perspective, The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium is always worth visiting and I most recently visited a small boutique hotel in Paris called Maison Breguet that was just lovely.  My favorite hotel and destination are a hidden place off the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico called Zipolite, but please don’t spread the word! Mallorca in Spain is also always a good idea.

  • Which designers and/or artists inspire you?

Luis Barragan, Piet Boon, Carlo Scarpa, Lázaro Rosa Violán

  • If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?

Definitely an interior designer.

  • Topics or aspects of design you’re comfortable discussing with the media or on a panel?

F&B, Changing trends in the hospitality area, hotel room experiences.

  • What are some panels, events/conferences, colleges/professional groups and events, blogs/media you would like to participate in?
    Anything related to interior and hospitality design.

List three lessons, systems or business techniques you learned at previous positions in and out of the industry.

  • You need to get the right players on your team. Great ideas come from various minds, so it’s important to recruit the best team members and invest in the growth and empowerment of your team.
  • Don’t fall in love with your ideas and always be ready to alter them, especially in hospitality design where revenue plays an important role.
  • Remain optimistic while maintaining realistic expectations as to what you are capable of delivering by a specific deadline with the resources you have. Sometimes it’s better to have quality results than quantity. Finally, I would also make sure that what you are able to deliver what is written in the contract.

Name 2-3 challenges in running a design firm?

  • One of the main challenges of running a design firm today with all the constant stream of communication and information from the media is creating a space that not only makes a difference but offers some sort of engagement for the user in order to create brand loyalty. How do we as designers create an emotional link between the user and the space? We have to think about what would draw them in and how do we design an area that will become a part of their lives and experiences. There’s a lot of competition out there and you need to question if what are you offering is unique. Design? Customer service? Or both?
  • The second biggest challenge one might encounter when running a design firm is ensuring your team is happy and engaged with what they do. You want to pull out their very best work without forgetting the human component; there is nothing worse than a burned-out team and it will ultimately affect deadlines and the bottom line.
  • Build an individual identity for your brand. There is always a lot of competition within the field but creating a brand and positive reputation will go a long way.

Do you have a superpower…what makes your firm different?

With 10 global offices in various parts of the world, our designers speak over 30 languages and offer backgrounds and cultures that complement one another. We live and think outside the box, enabling us to design for every kind of client and market. Although each office has its own identity to some degree, we all live under the Wilson Associates umbrella and work as a team. 

Do you have a client onboarding process?

Having been in the business for nearly 50 years, we have a legacy for upholding the highest standard in client customer service. We analyze their needs and offer a wide range of services that make for a tailor-made and unique experience. As we’ve grown, we’ve continued to evolve and reinvent ourselves within the hospitality and F&B industries, while still maintaining that same level of top-notch service.

List the steps critical for successfully running a client project.

  • Connect with the client from the very beginning by listening to their needs, making them feel comfortable and heard, and building trust.
  • Be honest and upfront about budget
  • Set realistic timelines and don’t overpromise if you know you can’t deliver

Have you ever received a piece of advice regarding running a business that was truly valuable?

The best contribution you can make to your client is to be as authentic as possible. Stay grounded and true to who you are. Also remain open to new ideas and sources, gathering as much data collection as possible, not just digital sources like Pinterest. I find looking outside interior design exhibitions and at the real world is the most inspiring. Inspiration does not necessarily come from beauty.

May 31, 2019

Welcome to another solo Power Talk Friday! We hope you're ready for a really out-of-the-box episode today! This morning, as on most weekday mornings, LuAnn was reading the Dear Abby column. She's often thought about it and wondered why she reads it because it's such a crazy, mindless column. People write in with very real and heartbreaking problems and yet they are willing to wait for months to get an answer. That really boggles LuAnn's mind! So, this morning, she was talking out loud and ranting about it, in the very same way she did at the LuAnn Nigara Live event last month when she got really upset about designers not charging their worth. Then she had an idea! Tune in now, to find out what she came up with.

Sometimes, in our businesses, when we know that things aren't quite right, we pretend that it's just not that big of a deal. So we avoid having the hard conversation or doing the hard thing. Today, LuAnn has come up with some of the top things she has found that we, as business owners, tend to convince ourselves are okay when they really are not. She has listed all the shows that go with these difficulties, so listen in today, to find out which action to take to correct each these problems.

Show Highlights:

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Alinda Morris #429

Andrea Schumacher #86

Peter Lang #349

Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl # 291 and #397

Kimberley Kay #234

Cat French #376

Alyce Lopez #382

Shauna Lynn Simon #84

Taylor #106

Arianne Bellizaire #20

Claire Jefford #237

Michele Williams # 180 and # 395. Her Podcast, Profit is a Choice Listen Notes: Profit Is A Choice Michele Williams

Kimberley Merlitti #361

Kae Whitaker #259 and 274

Kristen Thomas #314

Sandra Funk #145

Lori Weitzner #308

Caitlyn Waite #284

Joni Vanderslice #101

Janelle Photopoulos #364

Eileen Hahn #363

Madeleine MacRae #315

Last Friday's Solo Show #432

Links:

LuAnn's sales course: Sales For Creatives  

LuAnn's new book: LuAnn Nigara: Book2 

May 28, 2019

Welcome to a very special episode of A Well-Designed Business! Today Nate Berkus joins us on the show! We really have lots to talk to him about, and at the top of the list is his first collection with Kravet Inc. This collection, called Well-Traveled, launching in June 2019 is a luxurious mix of chenille’s, statement cotton and linen prints as well as intricate embroideries, and velvet. In today's show, Nate describes how his love of organic, rich, earth-tones is incorporated in the color palette he designed for this collection. Nate's travels have been the inspiration for this collection. Each of his exclusive fabrics possesses a global point of view and the fabric collection, as a whole, represents his distinctly individual perspective, which blends history, architecture, and artwork from all around the world. Listen in to find out about Nate's approach to his business, his perspective on color and design, and how he came to work with Oprah.

Show Highlights:

  • Nate talks about his new venture, in collaboration with Kravet Inc, which launches in June 2019.
  • Nate has really enjoyed working with the passionate, creative team at Kravet Inc!
  • LuAnn is looking forward to featuring some of Nate's collection in her newly-renovated showroom at Window Works.
  • Nate explains what inspired him to start his own interior design firm at the age of twenty-four.
  • Nate talks about what he set out to do when he first started out on his own.
  • The impact that social media has had on the interior design industry.
  • Running his business like a Fortune 500 company with systems, procedures and cross checks.
  • Nate explains why creating an exceptional client experience has always been as important to him as the creativity their team produces.
  • Why you can't separate who you are professionally from who you are personally.
  • The importance of being honest and transparent- and owning your mistakes.
  • Always remember that you can't change your reputation. It follows you wherever you go.
  • Nate talks about his creative director, Lauren Buxbaum Gordon, the team she leads, the way that they support one another and their process for managing interior design projects. Nate explains why he decided not to close his design firm in 2006.
  • The magical way that Nate got to meet and work with Oprah.
  • Even when faced with a one of a kind opportunity, Nate made decisions based on sound business principles, exemplifying true professional leadership as an interior design firm owner.
  • The moment when Oprah told America to remember Nate's name.
  • Nate personal work ethic is to work as hard or harder than anyone he collaborates with. He feels it shows respect and creates an environment for more collaboration.
  • His dear friend, former Co-President of Oprah Winfrey Network and President of Harp Productions, Sheri Salata, married Nick and Jeremiah Brent.
  • Nancy Hala, Sheri’s business partner, and co-host on their podcast, Sheri and Nancy, is a previous guest on A Well-Designed Business, episode #377
  • Sheri Salata, Nancy Hala, Nate and Jeremiah partner in a media company called Story.
  • Nate discusses how he and Jeremiah work together on interior design projects and how important it is when you are in business with your spouse to respect each other's opinions.
  • Nate gives his best advice for growing a profitable design firm.

Bio:

Since designer Nate Berkus established his award-winning interior design firm at the age of 24, his approachable and elevated philosophy has transformed countless homes around the world through his design work, home collections, books, television shows, and media appearances. Ever since Berkus’ first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. His work has been featured in publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, VOGUE, InStyle, O Magazine and People. He is included on the ELLE DÉCOR “A-List” of the world’s top designers and was named to the AD100 list in 2018. 

Links:

Website: Nate Berkus

Instagram: Nate Berkus

Facebook: Nate Berkus

Pinterest: Nate Berkus

Nate And Jeremiah By Design is on TLC on Saturday nights.

Nate’s fabric collection with Kravet Inc. is called Well-Traveled.

In spring 2019 Nate and Jeremiah launched a new line of furniture, with over 300 pieces, for Living Spaces, a retailer on the west coast of the US.

Recommended book:

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

May 24, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we're talking about what to do when you know the client is wrong. For the health and success of your business, it's really critical that you know how to handle conflicts successfully. In episode #430, we talked about what to do when you are wrong. In today's episode, you will learn what to do when you do everything right but the client doesn't like it. Listen in, to get LuAnn's expert advice.

Do you want to be right or do you want to get what you want? Over the years, this little phrase has really helped LuAnn navigate conflicts with clients, vendors, employees, and even with the people closest to her. And Window Works is also very clear about their core values and their commitment to 110% customer service. The team doesn't always know how each of them will handle a given situation, but they all know that they will do whatever it takes to make the client happy. Tune in now, to find out what to do when the client just isn't happy with what you've done.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn gives an example of something that happened at Window Works this past winter.
  • In a conflict situation with a client, be calm, non-confrontational, and let them know that you will do whatever it takes to make them happy.
  • It's important to know what you're striving for and what your goals are.
  • LuAnn explains why she, as the owner of the company, decided not to make the first phone call in the situation that happened with Window Works.
  • There are subtle nuances to successfully handling difficult situations.
  • Why Luann called the client only on the second day.
  • LuAnn explains how she read the situation.
  • It's very important to remain real, and not play any games.
  • It's another thing if the client decides not to play by the rules.
  • Setting up reminders and putting all the previous agreements in front of the client in a conversational way.
  • Sometimes, it's best to honestly agree with the client.
  • LuAnn shares the solution she proposed to the client.
  • Carefully placing the message of excellent customer service in between the lines.
  • Applying pressure in a very nice and subtle way.
  • LuAnn explains her clear reason for creating an opportunity for a phone call the next day.
  • Why it was so important for LuAnn to have the first order paid for right away.
  • Selling is about listening, being on your feet, and being willing to get to the bottom of whatever is upsetting the client.
  • Using your rationale to get the client to buy into the solution that you want to happen.
  • Why you need to be very clear about how the payments for each section of the project must happen after agreeing to a solution.
  • Remember that you are the leader of the transaction, so be the leader!
  • The ultimate goal is not to win. It is to leave the client 100% satisfied.
  • You need to know what the net cost of the project is.
  • Paying close attention to what your client is saying is really very important.

Links:

To find out about LuAnn's group sales coaching course, Sales For Creatives, head over to

Sales For Creatives

To get onto LuAnn's email list, text the word designbiz to 444999.

May 21, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We have Debbe Daley, an interior designer in the New England area, on the show with us. Debbe is also an installed designer in the Boston Design Center’s Designer On Call program, now called Design Services program. In today's episode, Debbe talks to us about the way she handles her initial consult, about the items that she puts in a folder for her clients, and how she provides suggestions for her clients. She also talks about the book she is writing, Monetizing Your Passion- Turning Your Hobby into A Business, which is due to be launched in the fall of 2019 and she discusses the two-day seminar that she will be running in Portsmouth, in June, for interior designers. Listen in, to find out what Debbe has to share on the show today.

After obtaining a business degree, Debbe took a slight detour and taught herself how to sew custom window treatments. She also spent some time doing hands-on work in the paint, wallpaper, and furniture industry. In doing this, she gained valuable knowledge and she also expanded her industry network of friends and colleagues. Now, some thirty years later, Debbe is well-respected in the industry and she is often invited to speak at industry conferences. She also writes a weekly lifestyle column for the Lowell Sun, where she covers topics about design, travel, DIY, and cooking, for the Merrimack Valley audience. Tune in now for more.

Show Highlights:

  • The five-day course in decoration and interior design that Debbe teaches to the non-design professional who is hoping to become a design professional.
  • Debbe gives an overview of the two-day course she teaches, called Design For Today, that is geared towards professionals in the design industry. The next course will be in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on June the 27th and 28th.
  • Debbe's two-day workshop was developed at the request of some of Debbe's seasoned colleagues from the Association of Design Education.
  • Debbe's clients are looking for software platforms that they can use to enhance their businesses, to make their lives a bit easier.
  • Debbe uses Design Files, a platform that is designed to do e-design.
  • The thing that really got Debbe going in the right direction and gave her the motivation for the book she's writing.
  • Why sharing her knowledge is so important to Debbe right now.
  • Some of the lessons that Debbe learned from Fred Berns.
  • Debbe's take on whether or not to put your packages on your website.
  • How Debbe handles her initial client consultation.
  • The mechanism that Debbe uses to stay on time.
  • What the folder that Debbe gives her clients initially contains.
  • Why Debbe always has her clients sign a photo release form.
  • Debbe talks about her initial consultation rate and her hourly rate.
  • About Debbe's Pick Your Brain segment.
  • How Fred Berns helped Debbe to increase her rates.
  • Debbe has set things up so that there's a package for everyone.
  • Attracting the client that is right for you.
  • The importance of putting yourself out there, introducing yourself to your local reps, and setting up your vendor accounts.
  • Debbe talks about her new book, Monetizing Your Passion- Turning Your Hobby into A Business, and she explains who it is geared towards.
  • It takes a lot of hard work to be an interior designer.
  • As a new designer, any kind of store experience is valuable.
  • People notice it if you're driven and you really know what you're doing, as a designer.

Bio:

Debbe Daley, an award-winning interior designer with more than 30 years’ experience, is known for the extraordinary service she provides prominent homeowners in New England and around the country.

She supplies a complete range of design services for new and existing homes nationwide, but she focuses on working with clients in the Boston Back Bay, the North Shore of Massachusetts, Cape Cod, coastal Maine, and the New Hampshire seacoast as well as the Merrimack Valley. In addition, she is a gifted professional speaker who delivers programs to both interior design and general audiences nationwide. She presents keynotes, seminars, and workshops on topics ranging from design business success practices to the Power of Positive Energy.

Debbe is the winner of numerous Houzz customer service awards and gets 80% of her business from referrals. She designs multiple homes for the same clients and works with different generations of the same family. Clients use words like “fantastic,” fabulous,” “exceptional,” “impeccable,” “outstanding,” and “a pleasure to work with” to describe her. Debbe has designed new homes and remodeled existing residences for more than 700 clients, including Fortune 500 executives, CEOs, high tech leaders, medical specialists, business owners, and other successful professionals. Her commercial design projects include funeral homes and professional offices.

Debbe Daley Designs is based in an elegant design studio in the historic Abraham Shaw House in Portsmouth, NH. The firm is backed by a team of some of the region’s premier contractors, carpenters, painters, flooring specialists, cabinet experts, electricians, and other professionals, as well as a nationwide network of vendors and suppliers.

Debbe, who earned interior design degrees at three leading institutions, shares her extensive design expertise in her weekly lifestyle column in the Lowell Sun, the Huffington Post and her own blog. She keeps current on the design industry through her involvement with the American Society of Interior Designers and the International Furnishings and Design Assn. and the National Speakers Association. Her clients today benefit from the customer service, problem-solving and administrative skills, and the product knowledge she gained during her highly successful earlier career working in the industry through retail establishments, an interior design firm and four leading New England companies.

Debbe has an office in the Boston Design Center, where she is involved in the Design Services, Designer on Call program as well as the new office location in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, serving regions of the Merrimack Valley, Boston, and the Portsmouth seacoast.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Fred Berns: #289, #226, #174, #96, #48, #22

Darla Powell #330, #203

Wendy Glaister #386

Kristan McLaughlin #319

Barbara Sallick owner of Waterworks #131

Wendy Woloshchuk #316

Links and resources:

Debbe Daley Designs LLC

379 State Street - #1

Portsmouth NH 03801

Daley Designs

Instagram: Debbe Daley

Facebook: Debbe Daley Designs

May 17, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we're talking about when things go wrong and how to fix them. If you'd like your business to be really successful, with loyal, long-term clients who keep coming back year after year, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest. There are two kinds of situations where you can make this happen if you're willing to conduct yourself in the way that LuAnn advises and if you're willing to spend the time perfecting the necessary skills to do so. Listen in today, to learn what LuAnn has to teach you about what to do when you've made a mistake.

Sometimes, your client isn't happy with an outcome. You see their point and you agree, however, you can also see that the solution is going to be expensive for you, either in terms of time or money. So you might feel that you can't afford to fix it. The truth is, however, that you cannot afford not to fix it. Because good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster- and further. Tune in now to find out what LuAnn has to share about what to do when something goes wrong.

 Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn describes a typical scenario of something going wrong.
  • Often, we worry that if we tell a client that we've made a mistake we will be at a disadvantage with them because it could cost us money or our expertise could be questioned.
  • Why you're not fooling anybody by pretending.
  • When you price your projects properly you will have the money to clean things up if you need to.
  • If it really is your mistake, just say so. It's important to acknowledge what your client is feeling.
  • Mistakes are going to happen. So at the start of a project, explain to your client how you take care of mistakes.
  • The first thing is to acknowledge your mistake, and the second thing is to own it. Then you tell your client what the solution is.
  • When it's okay, and when it's not, to charge your client for the mistake.
  • Listen to your inner voice.
  • Listen carefully and be real with your client.
  • Don't ignore a problem.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your client what will make them happy.
  • You will know when your client isn't happy, so ask them about it. It will be okay.
  • Next week, we will talk about what to do when there's a problem, but there isn't really a problem. But you still have a problem because you have to fix it.
  • LuAnn talks about the group sales coaching course that she has decided to run.
  • LuAnn gives some details about the group sales coaching course and she talks about the topics that she will be covering.

Links:

To find out about LuAnn's group sales coaching course, head over to

Sales for Creatives - (If the link is not working Friday when this airs, it will be working by Tuesday, 5/21.)

To get onto LuAnn's email list, text the word designbiz to 444999.

May 14, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Alinda Morris, of Alinda Morris Interior Design, located in Gig Harbor, Washington, with us. Although her firm is small, with Alinda and just one other employee, she's running it like a bigger firm. She has her systems down, she has her practices binder, and she's tracking her hours. In today's episode, Alinda explains how she has become very clear and focused, in the last couple of years. This has really made a big difference for her in terms of peace of mind, profitability, project management, and the experience her clients have when working with her firm. Listen in today, to find out what Alinda has to share about the way that she's set herself up for success with builders and other trades, and how she ensures the success of anyone that works for her.

Alinda Morris is a nationally published, award-winning interior design professional, habitual remodeler, adventurous creative, specializing in full service, luxury residential interior design. These include custom furnishings, unique kitchens & artfully designed bathrooms, attention to details, and clean, updated spaces are her specialties.

She is committed to her clients having a wonderful experience. She is widely admired for her ability to create, invent, explore, and innovate.

In addition to Alinda's impressive versatility, ranging from minimalist restraint to traditional chic, client’s find Alinda's passion for design infectious so that collaborating with her is a thrilling process as she works her creative magic in both visual appeal and functionality. Tune in now, for more.

Show highlights:

  • Alinda has her systems down pat, and her portfolio is really amazing!
  • Some of the habits that Alinda has instituted in her firm.
  • The challenges that Alinda faces.
  • Great communication has always been very important for Alinda.
  • The trail and error process that Alinda went through, for a few years, to find the best systems for her business.
  • How Alinda helps her clients get a grasp on their design budget.
  • Starting the design process with Alinda, through her questionnaire.
  • Alinda's firm is very client-based.
  • The way that Alinda communicates with the builders she works with.
  • Alinda talks about her detailed special best practices binder, for her interns, with examples of how she likes things to be done.
  • Choosing the right font for your brand.
  • About the check-lists Alinda uses.
  • The things she brings in for photo shoots.
  • Alinda shares her thoughts on the way she tracks her billable hours.
  • Alinda knows exactly how many hours she needs to bill in order to cover her costs each month.
  • Alinda describes her magnificent small boutique studio on the waterfront at Gig Harbour, Washington.
  • Reinvesting profits back into her business.
  • How Alinda creates the very best experiences for her employees.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Charlotte Safavi #138

Raquel Langworthy #343

Stephen Karlisch #369

Links:

Alinda Morris Interior Design

 

Houzz

Instagram

Facebook

May 10, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday.  Today, we're having a solo show because LuAnn has some things to share about her event, LuAnn Nigara Live, which was held in New Jersey a month ago. She would also like to talk about some of the things you can do to take action in your business, in order to do better and become more profitable. Luann's event was a really special experience and an outstanding success! Almost 200 designers, speakers, panelists, sponsors, as well as LuAnn's team, attended the event and for two-and-a-half days, the room was filled with an electric atmosphere and they all really rocked it! Listen in today, to find out more.

LuAnn had a vision for the event, and she really knew what she had to do. And she did it! The conversations after the panel discussions were so interactive that it felt as if there were only twenty people in the room, even though there were almost 200 people there! It was really intense in the very best way possible so we're working on doing it again, probably in eight months to a year's time. In the meantime, there's a lot of stuff coming up, like the smaller one-day events and the Power Talk Friday tours. Tune in now, to find out how to turn your inspiration into action.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn thanks everyone and gives a quick recap of her event, LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation.
  • You can go to the blog post on LuAnn's website LuAnn Nigara to see the pictures and get an overview of everything that happened at the event.
  • LuAnn talks about her new book, A Well-Designed Business- The Power Talk Friday Experts. It can really help you to up your game in business.
  • LuAnn shares some of the keys to upping your business game.
  • Watch your mindset, and be careful not to be closed to new ideas for success.
  • Look at the stories you tell yourself about money.
  • Examine your own mindset about numbers. Michele Williams, in LuAnn's new book, says not to play the song in your head: I’m creative so I’m not good at numbers.
  • Examine your mindset about your fees and don't pretend your rates are about the area you live in. Your rates are related only to your confidence as a designer and business person.
  • What it means to not save your client's money.
  • It is your job to make your clients aware of the best solution for their challenge or problem. They don’t have to do as you suggest but, as the expert, you must make them aware of it.
  • Not saving your client's money also means that when they can’t afford something, they don’t get it. You don’t lower the price to meet their budget.
  • Customer service is critical in creating a successful business.
  • Satisfied clients return. Dissatisfied don’t always tell you, they just don’t return.
  • Own your mistakes. Clients know when you are lying and lying is worse than making a mistake.
  • Take action!
  • With so much information from the live event and the podcast, overwhelm becomes a real possibility, so you have to break things down and work on your business, to get better and to become more profitable.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Fred Berns #289

Vincere #356

Chris Ramey #345

Sandra Espinet #287

Links and resources:

Kravet is having a sale at their outlet. And on any regular Kravet fabric, wallpaper or trim order get 10% off with the code AWDB10 at checkout.

Mydoma Studio for project management, time tracking, invoices, communication and saving time: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts

May 7, 2019

Welcome to the show! We have Christina Samatas and Renee DiSanto, the founders of Park and Oak Interior Design Studio, located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with us today. These ladies work on new construction, renovation, and furnishing projects across the US, and you may even know them from their Instagram, with 130 000 followers. The way that they handle themselves and speak about their firm really conveys the confidence that they have in what they're doing. And the success they've had in their first three years in business is not at all typical. In today's episode, Renee and Christina pull back the curtain and boldly share with us their experiences and the lessons they have learned over the last three years. Listen in today, to find out what they have to share.

Christina Samatas and Renee DiSanto founded the Park & Oak interior design studio in 2015. They are known for creating homes that are visually stunning, yet functional and comfortable. Their work, rooted in the art of timeless style, is driven by the belief that design can be used to create feelings of comfort and happiness. It combines the best of their individual aesthetics for a unique look. Christina and Renee have a creative energy that is engaging to work with. Using beautiful and unexpected sources of inspiration, they work collaboratively with clients to create spaces that thoughtfully honor the spirit and traditions of their owner. Tune in now for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Renee and Christina talk about what each of them brought to the table when they started out, and about what attracted them to each other, as business partners.
  • Some of the one-year and five-year goals that they established when first starting out.
  • Renee and Christina's approach to the individual roles that they have in the business.
  • Renee describes the really special way that she and Christina work together.
  • From a park bench to a studio.
  • The first person that they hired was a bookkeeper.
  • What kept them powering through in the beginning, when they were sacrificing a lot and there were many challenges to face.
  • Struggling with balancing family life and business.
  • It took some time to bring their really awesome team together.
  • In year two, they experienced a turning point in the business.
  • They use a finite system to prevent problems and execute their projects efficiently.
  • Learning from their mistakes and gaining the courage to stand up for themselves.
  • Creating the right systems, in order to protect themselves.
  • There's really a lot going on behind the scenes too.
  • How they find the time to keep their systems in order and their projects running smoothly.
  • Renee is behind their really impressive Instagram following.

Links:

Park And Oak

Facebook: Park And Oak Design

Twitter: Park And Oak

Instagram: Park And Oak Design

Pinterest: Park And Oak

May 3, 2019

Welcome! Stacey Brown Randall joins us on the show today. Stacey, a three-times repeat guest on the podcast, is one of the co-authors of LuAnn's new book, A Well-Designed Business, the Power Talk Friday Experts. Stacey really has a lot to share, to teach, and to give that is of genuine value, and she does some wonderful work with entrepreneurs. In her first and second episodes, she talked to us about Employee Management (#69), and the Client Experience (#93). In today's episode, she will explain How To Get Referrals Without Asking. Tune in now, to find out more.

Stacey, who has a Master’s in Organizational Communication, provides a roadmap for small business owners and solopreneurs to generate referrals without asking through her Growth By Referrals program. She is the author of the book, Generating Business Referral- Without Asking, and she also hosts her own podcast, Roadmap to Grow your Business. Stacey lives in Charlotte NC with her husband and three kids. Listen in today, to find out what Stacey has to share about building relationships and planting the seeds of referral.

Show highlights:

  • Janelle Photopoulos changed certain things in her business, to up the client experience, based on her working with Stacey.
  • Stacey talks about her work with Janelle.
  • Stacey explains how she got to understand interior designers so well.
  • Why Stacey hated asking for referrals.
  • Stacey is debunking the advice that we've all been given, that we have to ask everyone for referrals at the end of a project.
  • Asking for referrals generally makes people feel really uncomfortable.
  • Changing the way we think about referrals.
  • Looking for ways to fill a funnel after failing in her business.
  • Stacey started unpacking the psychology and the human dynamic behind why referrals happen.
  • Referrals actually happen because they are triggered.
  • Why manufactured triggers are not successful.
  • Making yourself look like a hero by offering a solution to a problem is the best way to get referrals.
  • Stacey shares the trigger for making a referral happen.
  • How to trigger always being top of mind in a referral source.
  • What constitutes a great referral.
  • Taking great care of the relationships with your referral sub-set.
  • Identifying your referral sources. These are gold!
  • How baby designers can start building relationships with referral sources.
  • Using the right language.
  • Taking care of your referral sources year after year.
  • It all comes down to authentic relationships.

Stacey's bio:

Stacey Brown Randall is a member of the business failure club, a contrarian on how to generate referrals and a supporter of the entrepreneurial dream. Through her programs, she provides a roadmap to take control of your business.

Stacey’s quest to crack the code on how to generate referrals without asking began after her first business failed. When she started her second business – a business and productivity coaching practice – she knew keeping her pipeline full of new clients would be one of the biggest differentiators from her business failure. She honed-in on referrals as the main source of prospects for her second business but wasn’t satisfied with the conventional advice which is to receive referrals you must ask.

Stacey has taught her “no asking” referral generation strategy to hundreds of companies including Bank of America, Carroll Financial, International Minute Press, Dogtopia, O’Connor Insurance Associates, ACC Associates (Mortgage Advisor), Slater Interiors, Real Living Real Estate, Milazzo Webb Law Firm, Wells Fargo Advisors, Success Institute, HM Properties, Ameriprise, Farris Cooke CPA, Keller Williams, LearningRX and more small businesses and solopreneurs.

She is a three-time entrepreneur, author of Generating Business Referrals...Without Asking, and host of the Roadmap to Grow your Business podcast.

Stacey received her Master’s in Organizational Communication and is married with three kids, a 10-year- old son, 8-year-old daughter and she and her husband are raising their 11-year-old nephew. 

 Links:

Stacey Brown Randall

Facebook

LinkedIn

Youtube

Twitter

Instagram

Previous episodes Stacey has been on:

#69 Employee Management

#93 The Client Experience

Other episode mentioned in today's show:

Janelle Photopoulos, Blakely Interior Design #364

Stacey is a co-author in LuAnn's new book:

LuAnn Nigara

Apr 30, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We have Misty Maxey, the Bachelor Pad Designer, on the show with us today. Misty has decided to fully niche her business into designing strictly for bachelors. After spending some time doing hobby designing, she finally made the decision to get serious and look for the help she needed to learn the difference between a hobby and a business. On the show today, she explains how she knew that she had to reach out to coaches and other accomplished designers, in order to be successful. Misty really understands that by pushing through fear and doing things that scare you, you level up and make things happen. She really has her eyes wide open, and her website, (Misty Maxey) with its clear and authentic copy, describes very distinctly what she does, how she does it, and who she does it for. Listen in today, to hear what Misty has to share about the really intentional way she set up her business.

Misty Maxey has always loved interior design. With two artistic parents, her creative path was written in the stars. Always seeking to grow in her knowledge and understanding of the interior design field, she regularly sought out the experience from successful designers.

With knowledge and life experiences forming her understanding of the importance of interior design, she opened her business with the goal of inspiring bachelors to live their best life ever by co-creating their home that reflects who they are and to become.

As a survivor of domestic violence, Misty regularly gives back by providing complimentary design services to survivors and their families. This restores dignity and gives back to her community. Tune in now, for more!

Show highlights:

  • Misty's website is really clear and specific about what she does.
  • Tapping into the metrosexual market in Portland.
  • Misty explains why she likes to work with bachelors.
  • The underlying message in Misty's approach to interior design.
  • Guys like to have their outdoor hobbies reflected in their home.
  • Misty honors the way the guys she designs for like to live.
  • Letting her clients know in a really fun way that they will be making an investment.
  • How Misty learned that guys are comfortable talking about money and business.
  • Transparency and communication are the two main things for Misty.
  • What transparency means for Misty.
  • Where Misty sources her products.
  • The retail markup that Misty adds to her products.
  • Misty explains where her money is coming from.
  • The different packages that Misty offers.
  • Misty's way of dealing with damaged deliveries.
  • Misty hired the services of a market research company in Portland.
  • Misty talks about the business coaches she has worked with.
  • The book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, really helped Misty push past her fear.

Links:

Website: Misty Maxey

Instagram: Misty Maxey Designs

Pinterest: Misty Maxey

Twitter: Misty Maxey

Books mentioned:

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Apr 26, 2019

Today on the show I have yet another fabulous business coach who specializes in our industry! Michele Williams is with me! Michele is the founder of Scarlet Thread and Consulting in Atlanta, Georgia. Today we will learn about Michele’s background which includes the financial software industry as well as a business in soft window treatment fabricator. She also has a BS in business administration, a diploma in Christian life coaching and she is one of the few certified profit first coaches in the United States. Michele was also the communication director and editor in chief of the Drapery and Designs Professional Magazine from 2009 to 2012. She is a member of The Design Collective in Atlanta, the Designers Work Club Council and the Window Covering Association of America. After talking to Michele I realized that there are so many things I could talk with her about but after we talk about her background a little bit we are going to pull apart work scheduling and chunking our day to have more productivity.

Show Notes:

  • What is her background in the financial software industry?
  • When did she decide to start her window treatment business?
  • Did she start with a business plan?
  • How did she start to make her business bigger?
  • What is the Design Collective in Atlanta?
  • What is a round table discussion and how is it helpful?
  • How is the Window Coverings Association helpful to Michele and her business?
  • What are some of things that you can expect Michele to talk about the expo IWCE in Charlotte?
  • Why is it important to listen to different people say the same things?
  • Why is important to be able to chunk your time for productivity?
  • Is it better to be proactive or reactive?
  • How should you plan your calendar?

Resources:

Website: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Facebook: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Instagram: Scarlet Thread

LinkedIn: Michele Williams

Twitter: Michele Williams 

Financial Health Checklist PDF: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Previous shows mentioned:
#104 Kate the Socialite
#94 Debi Pinelli (A& J Interiors)
#69, #93 Stacey Brown Randall
#128 Grace McNamara
#125, #317 Nicole Heymer
#141 Jim Riviello

Links:

WCAA

IWCE Vision

Window Fashion Vision

Luann Nigara Book 2

Apr 23, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're talking to Tiffanie White today, the creator of The Nappy Bohemian, located in Oakland, California. Tiffanie is a blogger, an interior stylist, and an e-designer and she also has a full-time position as a design consultant at  Fireclay Tile. After spending many years as a career sales professional, The Nappy Bohemian was born in 2017 because Tiffannie wanted to merge her architecture education, her love for tile and ceramics, and her desire to showcase the real black experience in the world of interior design. Tune in today, to hear about Tiffanie's business, what she's doing, and the lessons she's learned from running her business.

Tiffanie's job with Fireclay Tile has allowed her an inside look on the world of artisan makers, and it has also connected her with terrific designers in her East Coast territory. In today's episode, she describes how much she loves her job, she talks openly about the lessons and challenges she experienced in her first year in business, and she shares her goals for the year to come. Listen in now, to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Tiffanie talks about her traumatic experience of taking her daughter to the hospital and how her daughter really loved the decor there. This showed Tiffanie just how important interior design really is in people's lives.
  • Creating a holistic space is really important for Tiffanie.
  • About Tiffanie's personal and unique 'only'.
  • Tiffanie is proud of the lessons she's learned.
  • Tiffanie talks about her first eighteen months in business.
  • Being focused and clear in her vision.
  • All about Tiffanie's e-design packages.
  • Tiffanie's e-design is driven mainly through her Instagram and word-of-mouth.
  • Settling on a name.
  • Going with the flow and trusting.
  • Some of the challenges she's faced.
  • You have to value what you do to have a thriving business.
  • Being careful not to compromise in too many areas when starting out in a business.
  • Work for free only if it's worth your while.
  • Some tips about blogging.
  • Tiffanie's business goals for the next year.

Links:

Instagram: The Nappy Bohemian

The Nappy Bohemian

The Nappy Bohemian

Tags for SM:

FireClay Tile

Beth Diana Smith

Savvy Giving by Design

Kesha Franklin- Halden Interiors

Ballard podcast: How to Decorate

Previous shows mentioned:

Albie Buabeng #348

Chaney Widmer #260, #327

Cheryl Janice #41

Sue Firestone #404

Apr 19, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really thrilled to have Jean Brownhill, founder, and CEO of Sweeten, on the show with us today. Jean, who has almost 500 000 followers on Instagram, is onto something that you, as designers, really need to know about. She has a designer trade VIP program where she connects interior designers with the really well-screened, well-vetted general contractors that her company has worked with over the years. Right now, Sweeten has thousands of these contractors on their books. This means that whatever kind of project an interior designer brings to them, they can match it. Listen in today, to find out all about Jean's really awesome designer trade VIP program and how it can really benefit you, as a designer.

After earning an Architecture degree at The Cooper Union, Jean spent a decade in design and construction, including in Global Architecture at Coach, where she won the Chairman’s Award for designing web platforms to streamline retail construction worldwide. After a challenging renovation of her own home, she saw the need for a free service to match people to vetted general contractors, providing support throughout the process. So Sweeten was launched in 2011. The concept earned Jean a prestigious Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. Tune in to find out what Jean has to share about the really unique platform that she's created.

Show highlights:

  • Jean explains how Sweeten assists interior designers.
  • Finding the right general contractor to suit the design project.
  • Jean talks about where she started with Sweeten.
  • Jean wanted to figure out how to get high-quality construction and design resources to regular people.
  • How Designers get matched a contractor through Jean's website.
  • What's included in the service that Jean offers.
  • Sweeten has a vetted group of contractors that have all committed to working transparently.
  • The kind of data that they re able to collect as a result of staying with all their projects to completion.
  • They do an original content piece on their blog every single day.
  • Sweeten can hold their contractors accountable based on the fact that their communications, signed contracts, and estimates are all on the Sweeten platform.
  • Sweeten is always working on ways to get everybody on the path to completion.
  • How the contractor's ratings on the Sweeten platform affect the number of projects Sweeten will send their way.
  • The way that the contractors are incentivized to stay with Sweeten and deliver great service.
  • Treading lightly in the process of learning what works best for everybody.
  • Jean shares her contractor vetting process.
  • Jean gives some tips for interior designers to work successfully with contractors.
  • Sweeten charges interior designers no fee at all.
  • Jean offers an awesome incentive of $500 for a referral.

Bio:

Jean Brownhill, Founder, and CEO of Sweeten

After earning an Architecture degree at The Cooper Union, Jean Brownhill spent a decade in design and construction, including in Global Architecture at Coach, where she won the Chairman’s Award for designing web platforms to streamline retail construction worldwide. After a challenging renovation of her own home, she saw the need for a free service to match people to vetted general contractors, providing support throughout the process.

Sweeten (as in “home, sweet home”) launched in 2011; the concept earned Jean a prestigious Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Today, Sweeten has more than $1B of construction projects in the pipeline. The service has been called a “Renovation Game-Changer,” with Jean hailed as “The Contractor Whisperer” by New York Magazine as well as one of Inc. Magazine’s “Most Innovative Women Founders in America.”  Sweeten brings trust, technology, and transparency to the $340B+ residential renovation industry, allowing consumers to renovate fearlessly. The company expanded to commercial projects—restaurants, retail, offices, etc.—in 2017.

Just as Sweeten sets new standards for contractors, Jean is taking on traditional barriers for diversity and women in tech. She's a female founder disrupting a male-dominated industry. She’s co-founder of the African American Student Union (AASU) at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, an organization supporting African Americans in architecture, real estate, and urban planning. She’s a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. And she’s one of few black female entrepreneurs to raise $1M+ in venture capital, as featured in Vanity Fair.

For more info, please contact Randi MacColl at randi@sweeten.com or 212-671-1713.

Links:

Sweeten

Blog Sweeten

Design Trade VIP Program: Sweeten Architects Designers

Instagram: @sweeten_home

Facebook: @theSweeten

Pinterest: Sweeten

Twitter: @sweeten home

Apr 16, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Melissa Hryszko, the award-winning design brain behind Veranda Estate Homes Inc., join us on the show. For the past eighteen years, Melissa and her husband, Rob, have owned and operated one of Calgary's most successful and versatile luxury home building companies. Today, Melissa shares some of her best tips for growing her firm's Instagram following to an incredible 80 000 followers, and she also explains that she and Rob are crystal clear about who they will work with, and about the kinds of projects that they will do and will not do. Listen in today, to find out what it takes to consistently build between seven and ten custom homes per year, from the ground up.

Melissa's formal education is in graphic design and advertising and yet it's really clear that she belongs in the world of interior design. She brings a meticulous level of detail to each and every project that Veranda is involved in, and she does all her designs by hand. Melissa also tackles each project on an individual basis to ensure that each one is unique and representing the Veranda brand. Tune in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Melissa talks about Veranda's unique business model.
  • Melissa is involved with every single home.
  • How Veranda has the edge.
  • Learning from past mistakes.
  • Working with the best architect.
  • Veranda only works from word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Talking budget with clients.
  • Working out ball-park prices.
  • How Melissa's firm works with the different trades on each project.
  • What it takes for a project to get off the ground.
  • They have only five people on their team!
  • About the weekly site meetings that happen every Tuesday morning.
  • They use a program called Buildertrend to coordinate projects.
  • Melissa shares some good practices for growing your Instagram following.
  • Melissa spends more than two hours per day on Instagram.
  • Instagram is about building relationships.
  • Melissa tells us all about her podcast, Modern Design Minds.

Links and resources:

Melissa's Podcast: Modern Design Minds with her co-host Amy Kearns (from the Boston area).

Amy Lynn Interiors

Veranda Estate Homes

Instagram: Veranda Interior

Facebook: Veranda Estate Homes

Modern Design Minds on Instagram: modern design minds

Buildertrend: Builder Trend

Modern Craftsman Podcast

amylynn_interiors

Visual Comfort

Currey & Co

Wingnut Social Podcast

Modern Design Minds Podcast

Previous guests mentioned in this episode:

Circle Design #380

Judith Neary - Design Biz Live #170, #264, #326, #399, #410

Shea McGee #236, #270

Additional episodes about building your IG:

Amber Lewis #184

Shea McGee #236, 270

Mr. Inkredible# 417

Mark McDonough #110

Darla Powell #203 and #330

More episodes about doing full design and build:

Circle Design Studio with husband and wife team John and Theresa Dorlini #380

Angela Rasmussen of H2H Design+Build #181

Apr 12, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really delighted to introduce you to Amanda Berlin today. Amanda is a communications consultant specifically for entrepreneurs. She teaches visibility strategy, to help people to be seen and appreciated for their uniqueness. She tells us that what she does daily, in her PR niche, is much the same as every one of us, as entrepreneurs, has to do when marketing our businesses. It's about creating a story around a business or a product that really connects it with an audience. On the show today, she and LuAnn talk about the kinds of pitches that designers need to write, the types of media that are the right fit for designers, and how to create relationships with writers and reporters to get yourself and your projects featured more easily and more often. Tune in today, to find out how to be seen and appreciated!

Amanda studied journalism at George Washington University. She interned at CNN, wrote for a local paper, and spent a decade writing media pitches for companies like Disney, Dove, Brawny, Baskin Robbins, Colgate, and Campbell’s. The pitches Amanda wrote resulted in appearances on almost every level of local television outlet in the country and on every national cable and network morning show at one time or another. Amanda has been featured on Carol Cox's Speaking Your Brand and she also has a podcast, The Empowered Publicity Podcast. Listen in today, to hear what Amanda has to share!

Show highlights:

  • Amanda has a really awesome 'about me' page.
  • Starting with goals.
  • Thinking about goals when considering media and visibility.
  • Amanda explains what a PR opportunity looks like.
  • Working out what's most important.
  • Unearthing the evergreen and newsworthy opportunities.
  • The two kinds of pitches that every designer needs to write.
  • Why you need to be really specific about what you have to teach.
  • Different pitches for different kinds of media.
  • Looking at mainstream consumer media.
  • Twitter is an excellent source of information about the media.
  • The Profile Pitch. To get you deeper in with your niche audience.
  • Telling your own story.
  • Why you need to be willing to own your story.
  • Going back to who you were before you became who you are.
  • Pitching for podcasts.
  • Making it as easy as possible for media to say 'yes'.
  • The services that Amanda offers. Go to her website Amanda Berlin

Bio:

I’m a New Yorker by way of New Jersey with stints in Washington, DC and Madrid, Spain.

I’m told my Jersey often shows through, whatever that means. I’m a mama of an only. I’m obsessed with my family as well as finding the exact right word to complete my thought in every conversation (it can get annoying). And peanut butter. I’m also obsessed with peanut butter.

I was born to make sure we are all heard and seen and appreciated for our unique genius.

I about died when I got a poem published in my high school literary magazine.

I studied journalism at The George Washington University, interned at CNN, wrote for a local paper, and then came back to New York City.

For a decade, I wrote media pitches for companies like Disney, Dove, Brawny, Baskin Robbins, Colgate, and Campbell’s. Clients would come to me with a spokesperson and some message points and I’d package it up and create a story that would get pitched to news outlets across the country. The pitches I wrote resulted in appearances on nearly every local television outlet in the country and every national cable and network morning show at one time or another.

My day-to-day in this niche of PR is exactly what every last entrepreneur is tasked with doing when marketing their business. Take a spokesperson (themselves) and a message (their business or product) and create a story that connects with an audience.

Amanda Berlin was referred to LuAnn by Amber De La Garza #385.

Shows that correlate with this one:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Millar #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Jane Dagney #351

Andrew Joseph #39

Jenny Madden #332

Links:

Amanda's website: Amanda Berlin

Amanda's podcast: Amanda Berlin

Find Amanda on Facebook: Amanda Berlin Coaching

Follow Amanda on Twitter: Amanda Berlin

Valerie Fund Designer Showhouse April 23- May 19, 2019

Previous guests participating in the showhouse:

Gail Davis

Tina Ramchandani

Blanche Garcia

Marina Umali

WindowWorks is supporting several designers in the Valerie Fund Showhouse by providing window treatments for their rooms.

Kips Bay Showhouse May 2- May 30, 2019

Previous guest participating in Kips Bay:

Corey Damen Jenkins

Links to LuAnn's books:

Book 1: Luann Nigara

Book 2: Luann Nigara

Apr 9, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We are delighted to have the one and only Tobi Fairley join us today! Tobi is a progressive-thinking entrepreneur, known for her interior design and she is focused on helping her clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives through her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm. Tobi has a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEO's, and creatives. She also has a podcast, called The Design You Podcast, which was launched in April 2018. (LuAnn was her guest on episode #37). Today, Tobi talks to LuAnn about tuning in to what you really like to do and how you really want your business to be, making more money, and getting to grips with digital services in the ever-changing online world. Tune in for more!

Tobi has been a trusted coach for interior designers and creatives, through her live events, business courses, and online programs for over ten years. More than ten years ago, when Tobi launched her blog, she was at the forefront of the design blog movement. Her blog is currently read in more than 125 countries across the globe. In 2017, Tobi was a columnist for Traditional Home magazine with a feature in each issue chronicling her own home renovation and reveal. Her award-winning interior design, product design, and ideas have been featured on television and in worldwide publications including House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Huffington Post, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Southern Cottages, Creative Live, the Chicago Tribune, and MSNBC. Listen in today, to find out from Tobi how to create a business that is right for you.

Show highlights:

  • Tobi really enjoys learning about personal development and self-help and melding that with interior design.
  • The blessing of growing up with unconditional support.
  • The kind of support that Tobi really loves giving to others.
  • Tobi discusses her philosophy on the use of digital tools for interior designers.
  • Why digital doesn't have to be associated with poor quality.
  • Tobi's take on creating revenue streams.
  • There are so many ways for designers to make really good money and still give value to the consumer.
  • Thinking creatively to create different models to suit different customers.
  • The beauty of creating a design business that is accessible online.
  • Why it gets easier to make money in other ways.
  • Creating different models to solve different problems for clients.
  • A practical strategy for design professionals looking to tap different markets.
  • How designers are creating their own competition.
  • Tobi's suggestion for maximizing your profits with what you already have.
  • Knowing what you can and cannot do successfully on the phone.
  • Using the right language to assist clients with digital products and services.
  • The industry is changing, so you need to figure out how to change and grow with it.
  • You get to decide the services that your business provides.
  • Tuning in to what you like doing, and how you really want your business to be.
  • The importance of being profitable.
  • Thinking outside the box.

Bio:

Traditional Home predicts “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah, one of those women for whom one name says it all.”

Tobi Fairley is known for her bold use of color in interior design, but she’s also one of the nation’s most progressive-thinking entrepreneurs. Tobi is passionate about her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm which are focused on helping clients design their homes, their businesses and their lives, with a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEO’s and creatives.

Tobi established her firm more than 19 years ago and her projects have spanned the nation and beyond. Her award-winning interior design, product design and ideas have been featured on television and in publications worldwide including House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Huffington Post, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Southern Cottages, Creative Live, the Chicago Tribune, and MSNBC. In 2017, Tobi was a columnist for Traditional Home magazine with a feature in each issue chronicling her own home renovation and reveal.

Tobi’s design goal is to create interiors that will assist her clients in reaching their big, personal, and entrepreneurial dreams, while supporting their health and wellness. She designs functional homes and beautiful environments that will foster personal growth, balance, and connection for all who use them.

Tobi was on the forefront of the design blog movement when she launched her blog over 10 years ago, and it’s currently read in more than 125 countries worldwide. She has been a trusted coach for over 10 years for interior designers and creatives through her live events, design and business courses, and online programs.

Among Tobi’s latest ventures is Design You, a monthly coaching program, where interior designers and creatives can get all of Tobi’s best course content, along with live coaching from Tobi in the areas of business, health and wellness, and mindset for a monthly or yearly subscription. In April 2018 Tobi launched her new podcast, The Design You Podcast, where she helps Interior Designers and Creatives say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. In her podcast episodes, Tobi shares best business practices, her personal journey as a working mom and her beliefs about personal development for creating your best life, business and home.

For the last 3 years, Tobi has had great success in product design with her licensed collections from Soicher Marin (art), Duralee (fabrics), CR Laine (upholstered furniture), Woodbridge Furniture (case goods and outdoor furniture), New River Artisans (rugs), and recently signed a license with C2 Paint which will debut late 2018.

Links:

LuAnn's Book:

A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts

Kay Whitaker is a Co-Author in the book and her episodes on digital marketing are: #259, #274

Previous shows mentioned:

Rachel Cannon #306 and #409

Tobi's website and social media:

Tobi Fairley

Facebook: Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Instagram: Tobi Fairley/

Twitter: Tobi Fairley

Youtube

Pinterest

Apr 5, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is about working with a professional Virtual Assistant, who works specifically in the field of interior design. Sarah Durnez is the founder of Loft Design in Walla Walla Washington, and she joins us today. For Sarah, it really doesn't matter where she is, or where you are for that matter because she works remotely to help designers, like you, with their design businesses. She's worked with designers all over the US and she's only ever met one of them once, in the flesh. Sarah's specialty is providing designers with drawings and renderings. Most of her clients have been with her since she started her business, which really says a lot about Sarah and her work, right? Listen in today, to find out more about Sarah and the high-quality Virtual Design Assistant services that she gives her clients.

Sarah graduated from MIU with a BFA in Interior Design. At school, she gravitated to honing her rendering skills and creating the best presentations. Competing to showcase design boards during Miami's Art Basil each year, really drove home the importance that the way that a project is presented is just as important as the design of the project. Sarah has been working remotely with designers for over six years, providing them with detailed construction documents, renderings, and presentation materials to sell their designs. With Sarah handling the technical side of a project, her designers have more time to focus on other aspects of design, grow their business, and be out of the office to spend more time with their families. Tune in for more!

Show highlights:

  • We all strive to be organized in the way we run our business.
  • Sarah started out by just winging it.
  • Sarah explains how she keeps her clients on their toes with their projects.
  • The kind of service and support that Sarah provides for her clients.
  • The quality of Sarah's SketchUp renderings is really remarkable.
  • Sarah discusses the information she requires from designers in order to provide them with high-quality renderings.
  • The kind of responsibility that Sarah takes on.
  • Why some people call Sarah 'The killer of dreams'.
  • How designers really benefit from Sarah's expertise.
  • Sarah will always provide a solution for every issue that she points out.
  • The way that small design firms really benefit from hiring Sarah.
  • Listen to your tradespeople. They really know what they are talking about.
  • Use your own talents for what you're really good at and hiring out for the rest.
  • The excitement that comes with the renderings.
  • When and why designers lean towards watercolor drawings.
  • Taking the time to work through the specific process of your trade.
  • About Sarah's training for designers on SketchUp and Podium.
  • The design industry is a very personal one and hiring a Virtual Assistant is really like having someone on your side.

Links:

Press Kit

Password: tacos

Loft Design

Website: Loft Design

Instagram: SarahatLoftDesign

Facebook: SarahatLoftDesign

Pinterest: SarahatLoftDesign

Mydoma Studio

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Darla Powell #330

Elizabeth Scruggs #305

Revelwoods #329

Mydoma Studio #91 and #171

Madeleine MacRae #283 and #315

Episodes that go with this one:

On VA’s

#375 Bonnie Fahy

#149 My Design Assistant

#346 Do Not Let Us Design For You

Apr 2, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Mr. Inkredible on the show with us. Don Ricardo Massenburg, Jr, known for his use of bright and bold patterns and colors in home decor, is the principal of Design Inkredible in Durham, North Carolina. Don believes that interior design should be and could be attainable by everyone, even though it's considered a luxury service. In today's episode, he talks to us about his design business and about his work in early childhood education. He also explains how he runs his design firm in conjunction with his full-time position in the education field. Listen in to find out more.

For a long time, it has been Don's dream to do something that he loves so much that it doesn't feel like he's working. Interior design has been his answer to this. Don's firm has grown so fast and has become so successful that it's hard to believe that technically, it's his side-hustle. He really understands what it takes to maintain a successful interior design business, and he's always adding to his education in interior design. Tune in to find out about Don and how his love for art, music, furniture, and anything bold and creative really fuels his passion for interior design.

Show highlights:

  • How Don started his design firm while doing his career in education.
  • How he runs his design business around his full-time job.
  • Don is so passionate about interior design that it doesn't feel like work.
  • How he uses social media to get clients.
  • Posting on social media at peak times for maximum engagement.
  • Don's strategies for attracting followers on social media.
  • Joining Instagram pods, or groups are still effective as a strategy for marketing a business.
  • Don's use of bold and bright colors and patterns.
  • The importance of engaging, on social media.
  • A lot of Don's current clientele comes from luxury new construction.
  • Don's focus is on textiles.
  • Maintaining a following on social media really takes a lot of work.
  • The importance of your first six photos on Instagram.
  • The value of hiring a really good photographer.
  • Converting Instagram admirers into clients.
  • Weeding out the tire-kickers.
  • How to obtain the help of a mentor.
  • How MyDoma Studio has really changed Don's life.
  • Don used to create his own custom designs.

Don's Bio:

Recognized for his use of bright, bold patterns and colors in home décor, Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr. seeks to show that although interior design is considered a luxury service, it can be attainable to everyone. His love for art, music, furniture, and anything bold and creative fuels his passion for interior design.  It has been a lasting dream of Ricardo’s to do something that he loves and enjoys so much that it doesn’t feel like he’s working, and Ricardo believes that he has experienced that dream with interior design.

Ricardo received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from North Carolina Central University and started his first interior design venture while he served as a teacher. Some of his earliest and favorite projects were children’s spaces where he enjoyed pulling bright, vibrant colors together, along with fun patterns. Ricardo continues to work in the field of education by day and acknowledges the value of the transferable skills gained through his experiences.

The growth of DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC has been so exciting and through his, work Ricardo has developed other gifts and talents such as sewing, upholstery, and creating abstract art. Ricardo recognizes that although style and a good design eye are important, it takes much more to maintain a successful interior design business and he is currently continuing education in interior design.

For more episodes on how to grow your Instagram following:

#184 Amber Lewis

#110 Mark McDonough

#203 and #330 Darla Powell / Wingnut Social

For more episodes on mentorship:

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#291 Cheryl Luckett

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#272 Laura Thurman

#91 and #177 Sarah Daniele- Mydoma Studio

Links:

Design Inkredible

Instagram: Design Inkredible

Facebook: Design Inkredible

Join LuAnn at High Point Market

Facebook Groups:

Mark McDonough:

Interior Design Marketing

Darla Powell:

The Wingnut Social Media Lab

LuAnn:

LuAnn Nigara and Friends

Mar 29, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! Today’s episode is a conversation with the founder of Digital Everything, Susana Yee. Susana is a marketing expert in social media and influencer marketing who has cultivated major engagement for companies through her innovative work, such as her Guess “color me inspired” campaign. Within her company, Susana helps individuals with their own social media campaigns, twitter and facebook ad management, influencer marketing, rebranding, content creation, retargeting campaigns, and so much more.

Digital Media is a company that helps others build and market their own personal brands in order to reach out and work with top-notch influencers, or become an influencer themselves. This episode includes techniques and strategies that will help you create and promote yourself on any social media platform. Tune into today's episode of A Well-Designed Business to learn more about Digital Everything and how its program can help you build your social media empire.

Show Highlights:

  • Reaching out and working with influencers
  • Making sure your brand is cohesive and looks promotable
  • Tagging and promoting other brands that are relevant to you
  • Strategies to grow your business through social media
  • How affiliate and brand deals work
  • Being selective about what you advertise
  • Redirecting people to other platforms to avoid exposing secrets
  • Building an email list
  • Being easily contactable and accessible
  • Posting consistently and strategically
  • Putting a value on your services
  • Using people’s needs to your benefit
  • Paying people fairly for their expertise
  • Playing the role of the brand and the influencer
  • A roadmap for how to target and work with influencers
  • Creating campaigns that include and reach a big audience
  • Apps that easily regulate marketing
  • Establishing your personal niche
  • Properly labeling and hashtagging posts

About Digital Everything:

Digital Everything is a Los Angeles based digital marketing firm that works with brands directly and teaches them how to build and make the most out of relationships with influencers.

  • Founded over 20 years ago
  • Services include: social media campaign management, influencer marketing, twitter and facebook ads management, social media strategy, content creation, retargeting campaigns

Links:

Sign Up for Susana's Course:  The Influencer Marketing Roadmap 

Web and social:

Digital Everything

Facebook: Digital Everything

Twitter: Shopping And Info

Previous Shows Mentioned:
Shea McGee of Studio McGee #236 
Shea and Syd McGee #270
Natalie Hurst # 172
Mar 26, 2019

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! We have Tina Ramchandani, a really smart lady and the founder of Tina Ramchandani Creatives, with us on the show today. Tina is another interior designer who started her career by training at a well-established and well-run New York design firm and we know that it really makes a difference when young designers cut their teeth this way. Tina started her own design business in 2014 and in four short years, she has managed to establish herself as an interior designer on the rise. She was recently named one of House Beautiful Magazine's 2018 Next Way Designers and she has been featured in Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottage and Gardens, and more. Listen in today, to find out about Tina and her really successful design firm.

In today's episode, Tina talks to us about her experience of working for the top-tier New York firm, Vicente Wolf and Associates, prior to opening her own design business. She discusses some of the practices that she has instituted in her firm, like her strategy for establishing monthly tasks in her business, to ensure that she's paying attention to the experience she's giving her clients. Today, Tina and LuAnn also talk about their involvement in the upcoming Designer Showhouse, Grace's House, by the Valerie Fund. LuAnn is on the committee, and Tina is one of the designers. Many of the designers selected to participate in bringing this really special home back to its former glory have been featured on this show, so we're giving all of them a special shout-out today, in appreciation for all that they are doing for our children! Tune in now to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Window Works will be working with Tina and the other designers, doing window treatments and pillows for the Valerie Fund showhouse, Grace's House.
  • Tina talks about her amazing experience and the confidence she gained from working for Vincente Wolf for five years.
  • What Tina learned from working for Vincente Wolf, that she's brought to the way she runs her own firm, Tina Ramchandani Creative.
  • The way that Vincente Wolf managed to inspire Tina's confidence.
  • The natural way that Tina empowers her junior designer, Kay, in the same way, that she was inspired by Vincente.
  • Learning to trust the people you have hired.
  • How Tina knew that it was the right time for her to leave her mentor, Vincente.
  • How interior design principals gain from giving their all to their junior designers.
  • The systems that Tina initially took away from Vincente's firm.
  • The way that Tina tweaked and changed some of Vincente's business systems, to work with the way she works.
  • Tina and Kay sit down at the beginning of each year and assess the things that are not working and the things that need to change in the business.
  • Tina discusses the goals that she and Kay set for each month.
  • Tina and Kay meet each week to discuss what needs to be done in the business.
  • Having outside help has really assisted Tina in running her own business.
  • Tina has built in specific times of the month to address her business operations.
  • The pressure that comes with being driven in business.
  • Tina talks about the awesome Valerie Fund.
  • All about the showhouse, Grace's House which is going to open on April 25th, 2019.
  • There are many special events which will be happening at the opening of Grace's House.
  • Tina talks about the colorful room that she is is designing in Grace's house.
  • Benjamin Moore has kindly sponsored all the paint for Grace's House.
  • Getting things to run smoothly when the pressure is on.
  • Tina discusses the event that she is going to be doing with a women's group on the 15th of May, to raise money for the Valerie Fund.
  • LuAnn is having a book signing for her new book, on the 30th of April, at 6 pm, at Grace's House.

Tina's bio:

Tina Ramchandani Creative (TRC) is a full-service design firm that creates modern, sophisticated and relaxed interiors. TRC's turn-key service makes it easy for clients to move into a completed home with minimal stress. Tina Ramchandani incorporates her vast experience and global perspective into her signature style that delivers a warm layered aesthetic, enhancing your lifestyle and inviting you to truly “live” in your bespoken space. Tina places a strong emphasis on artwork, couture pieces, and custom elements, within the client's budget. While creating a unique, livable environment for clients, Tina incorporates local artists and artisans to bring spaces to life, and showcase clients' personalities in their homes.

TRC has developed a complete and individual onboarding process, which allows Tina to get to know clients and their needs in depth. Clients will share their inspirations with Tina, while also sharing details of how they live in their space, what they are looking to improve or change, as well as what they are interested in aesthetically. Tina and her team then create two complete design presentations for clients. First, the team offers a preliminary meeting, with floor plans and layouts, furniture styles, lighting pieces, fabrics, colors, and art inspirations. After honing in on the direction, TRC develops a comprehensive presentation for clients, soup to nuts. Tina and the team present every item in the space, from furniture to lighting and floor covering to window treatments. This allows clients to see the design vision in its entirety. Once approved TRC takes care of everything, so clients can sit back, relax, and watch their space come together.

Tina Ramchandani developed her design expertise with several top tier, high-end residential and commercial interior design firms in Manhattan, including Frank & Marcotullio Design Associates and Vicente Wolf Associates, which led to the formation of Tina Ramchandani Creative in 2014. Ms. Ramchandani is deeply appreciative of good design and passionate about the impact social awareness can have on one’s life. Tina’s work has been nationally recognized by publications including Elle Décor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottages & Gardens, Lonny, Gotham, Cover, she was most recently named a “2018 Next Wave” designer by House Beautiful.

She is also the founder of Life in Sketch, an internationally recognized interior design blog where she shares what inspires her in the world of design at large, from her daily experiences in New York to her extensive travels abroad.

Press Release for Grace's House, presented by the Valerie Fund:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund presents Grace’s House, A Designer Showhouse Restoration of historic Plainfield mansion will benefit children in our area battling cancer and blood disorders

Maplewood, N.J. January 14, 2019 – In May of 2018, nine-year-old Grace received a devastating diagnosis: she had a Germ Cell Brain Tumor. Grace’s treatment brought her to The Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Newark Beth Israel and after rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, she is recovering well. Her grateful family sought ways to give back to the organization that was taking such good care of their daughter and granddaughter. Last June, they spearheaded an extraordinary fundraising effort during The Valerie Fund’s annual 5K Run and Walk in Verona Park, Verona, NJ raising close to $32,000. Grace’s grandfather, Dan Reichard, a builder and principle of ER Development was interested in collaborating further with The Valerie Fund. He and his partners Thomas and George Allen purchased a 7,000+ square foot Colonial Revival in Plainfield, NJ restoring original elements and preparing it for featured designers to showcase their visions.

Christened Grace’s House, the mansion is located in the historic Hillside Avenue district and will eventually be for sale, but in Spring 2019, the public will have the opportunity to tour approximately 20 of the house’s rooms, nooks, stairways and landings, and other spaces across three floors.

Interior Design businesses selected to participate in bringing this very special home back to its former glory include:

AK Design Studios, Monsey, NY

ANEW Kitchen and Bath Design, Plainfield, NJ

B-garcia designs, Montclair, NJ

Butter and Velvet Home Designs, Denville, NJ

California Closets, Fairfield, NJ

CD Interiors, Manalapan Township, NJ

The French Martini, Westfield, NJ

Gail Davis Designs, South Orange, NJ

Global Home Interior Design, Princeton, NJ

Images in Design, Cranford, NJ

JAB Design Group, Penn Valley, PA

JMW Interiors, Millburn, NJ

Liepold Design Group, Millburn, NJ

Marina V. Design Studio, Ridgewood, NJ

Mendham Interiors, Mendham, NJ

Mimi & Hill, Westfield, NJ

Samuel Robert Signature Spaces, Millburn, NJ

Swati Goorha Designs, New Providence, NJ

Tina Ramchandani Creative, New York

“Building a Brighter Future for The Valerie Fund Kids.” Proceeds from public and private tours of the showhouse as well as ad journal sales and sponsorships will benefit The Valerie Fund’s Green Light Initiative, a $5,000,000 Capital Campaign. This initiative is the most ambitious chapter in The Valerie Fund’s history to date, poised to extend “next generation care” to thousands of children fighting life-threatening diseases. The Valerie Fund is proud to recognize Design NJ as a media sponsor, Holby Valve, Coughlin Duffy LLP, Stephen and Tina Squeri as sponsors and Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings as a sponsor and a designer resource. Generous in-kind sponsors already committed to the project include Benjamin Moore, Dente Trading Classic & Luxury Stone, Swarovski and Window Works.

At The Valerie Fund each year, Grace and 6,000 other precious children benefit immeasurably by receiving their medical treatment close to home in a child-centered environment. Individualized support from an entire psychosocial team – Integrative and Palliative Care Specialists, Psychologists, Social workers, Child Life specialists, and Educational liaisons -- makes sure their quality of life is the best it can possibly be without regard to insurance reimbursements. And Grace’s favorite – Camp Happy Times, is a free one-week overnight summer camp for children with cancer.

To see the amazing house transformation, Grace’s House will be open to the public every Thursday through Sunday beginning Thursday, April 25th through Sunday, May 19th. Tickets for the house tours are $30 on The Valerie Fund website The Valerie Fund and $35 at the door.

About The Valerie Fund: After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer, founders Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive superior medical care. Along with a group of close friends, they began fundraising efforts from their living room---tireless work that would lead to the 1977 opening of New Jersey’s first pediatric oncology facility at Summit Overlook’s Hospital. More than 40 years later, The Valerie Fund’s mission remains that of supporting comprehensive health care for children battling cancer and blood disorders. Seven Valerie Fund Children’s Centers are located in the metropolitan New York and Philadelphia areas.

For more information, please contact Bunny Flanders, Director of Marketing and Communications at bflanders@thevaleriefund.org

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Century Furniture and Carrier and Co. Launch at High Point Market #407

Links:

Tickets for the Valerie Fund showhouse: The Valerie Fund Specials Show House

The Valerie fund showhouse:

The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund

Tina’s event at the showhouse as discussed in the show:

Eventbrite Lady Drinks Cocktails And Private Tour with Interior Designer Tina Ramchandani In Support of Graces Tickets

Tina's website and social media links:

Tina Ramchandani

Instagram: Tina Ramchandani

Pinterest: Tina Ramchandani Creative

Linkedin: Tina Ramchandani

Mar 22, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is sponsored by  Bellacor, and we have Sara Saferstein, the director of the Bellacor Pro Division, with us on the show. Bellacor is an online company, established in 2000. They have all the top brands in lighting, decor, and furniture, and they have commercial products as well as residential. In today's episode, Sara will be talking to us about the Bellacor Pro Division, which is their resource for you, as an interior design professional. Listen in today, to find out how Bellacor Pro can make your life easier and your next project a little less of a project.

The Bellacor Pro Division is there to help you with your projects, whether you're working on single, one-client projects or on the commercial side, with multi-unit projects. Bellacor Pro has a team specifically dedicated to helping you with your orders and there are also ALA certified personal account managers, available to help you with all your questions around specifying and sourcing their products. Bellacor Pro has a special trade-pricing program with free shipping, and right now they are welcoming new interior design accounts, and other trade professional accounts to join them. Tune in today, to get all the details about the awesome Bellacor Pro Program.

Show highlights:

  • Sara talks about the Bellacor dedicated trade team, specifically for interior designers.
  • The kind of partnerships that Bellacor builds with the interior design and the builder communities.
  • It really helps to not have to worry about all the little details of a project.
  • Sara talks about her experience in the industry.
  • The wide range of lighting and furniture items and products that Bellacor has for interior designers.
  • Sara explains the advantages of using Bellacor Pro as your resource for lighting and furniture products.
  • You will get Bellacor's trade pricing with any of their manufacturers.
  • Why you really need to be part of Bellacor's trade program.
  • About Bellacor's free shipping, and their flexible 30-day return policy.
  • Bellacor is willing to think outside the box in order to help make your purchase successful.
  • The advantages of having a dedicated team on tap to help you.
  • The way that Bellacor Pro helps designers, day-to-day, with their projects.
  • Bellacor Pro offers interior designers continuing education.
  • There is a lot of complexity and detail involved in lighting.
  • Bellacor Pro really adds value for designers.
  • Bellacor Pro brings you the look you want at the price point you can afford.
  • Get the best product at the best price from Bellacor Pro.
  • Experience the Bellacor Pro Advantage of a high value, high touch relationship with their community.

About Bellacor Pro:

Unique clients require unique solutions.

As designers, you need to delight your clients, deliver on time and on budget and we understand that. We are Bellacor Pro — A trade-program designed to meet the unique requests of interior designers, architects, builders, and other trade professionals. We deliver exceptional product selection and service including:

  • Guaranteed low pricing every day: Get our best trade pricing
  • Brands you love: Select from more than 500 designer- and builder-preferred brands in lighting, furniture, and home décor.
  • Dedicated account team: Your dedicated account team of industry veterans and

ALA-certified professionals will help you find the perfect products for every

project in your portfolio.

  • Free shipping: Everyday free shipping, with no minimums for trade professionals.

Sara Saferstein, the Director of Bellacor Professional, has more than 20 years of industry experience working with manufacturers, designers, and retailers in lighting and home décor. Her team will make your next project a little less of a project while making your life as a designer easier.

Links:

BellacorPro: Bellacor

LinkedIn: Bellacor

Instagram: Bellacor Lighting

Facebook: Bellacor Lighting

Twitter: Bellacor

Pinterest: Bellacor

Telephone the Bellacor Accounts Management Team: 1877 688 7039

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