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A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design | Designers | Business |Interior Design Success

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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May 22, 2018

Download The Skills Assessment!

Welcome to today's episode of Design Biz Live! As many of you know, this means that I have Judith Neary and Corey Klassen with me and that we're going to have an in-depth discussion about the intricacies of running your interior design business. Listen in to find out more!

On the show today we are going to be talking about the important personality traits that you need to master in order to be really successful as an interior designer. Judith gives a fabulous description of what is and what isn't a successful interior designer and Corey discusses the specific questionnaire that he sends out to his clients before their first consultation, along with his specific eleven step 'What I will do and what I won't do' document that he attaches and goes over with them when they sign the contract. Listen in today to find out what it takes to create a smooth and easy process for your clients.

Show Highlights:

 

  • Some of the overarching traits that are really important for interior designers to have- or to develop. 
  • What adaptability means to Judith.
  • Corey's take on adaptability.
  • Why it's not okay to adapt your particular zone of genius to please a client.
  • About Corey's detailed Self Assessment Check List of Skills.
  • Working within your particular zone of genius.
  • Learning how to manage both conflict and resolution.
  • Corey's way of dealing with things that bother him.
  • Becoming willing to do the hard thing- so that everything else can fall into place.
  • Corey discusses his initial process with new clients.
  • Corey's process of knowing what he will and won't do.
  • The three things that Judith will not do.
  • How Corey works out what he will charge for each project.
  • Why Corey always presents his proposals to his clients in person.
  • Why Corey does not take any digital communication from his clients outside of their project in the MyDoma Studio platform.  
  • What Corey charges to cover his initial consultation and operation costs.
  • Being really clear with your clients about what you will and won't do. 

 

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Lee Cockerel #222

This show is also a video on our YouTube channel
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 18, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! We have Claire Jefford back on the show with us today (she was previously on #237) and we will be talking to her about how to create products, courses, and the kinds of things that designers can sell to consumers on their websites. She will explain what this looks like, how to do it, why you should be doing it, and also, some steps that you can follow in the process. LuAnn really enjoys talking to Claire and she loves having her on the show because it means that it's going to be a seriously good one, so listen in today to find out what Claire has to share with you.

Claire started her interior decorating business in 2011 and her firm specializes in 3D design as well as custom residential projects. Claire has a very keen eye for detail and she particularly loves to mix patterns and fabrics. Her company was named one of the top thirty interior design firms in Ontario in 2017 and she is very proud to be the highest reviewed design professional in the greater Toronto area on Howzz, with more than ninety reviews! Claire, not one to shy away from social media, has been creating videos on Facebook since 2013 and she started her own Youtube channel in January 2016. She also has a second business, where she coaches and helps other designers to run their interior design businesses. With her no-nonsense approach, she shares marketing ideas, proven processes and social media strategies, to help others in the field to build confidence in the way that they work. Claire also runs a free Facebook group called Interior Design Business Strategies, which is an amazing community focusing on the business of design. Listen in now to find out more. 

Show highlights:

  • Claire explains the difference between a product that you create and an affiliate link.
  • The right time to do affiliate links on your website.
  • Getting to know your audience.
  • Some steps to creating the kind of product that consumers can buy from your website.
  • Finding and recognizing opportunities to create your products.
  • Looking at your customers' pain points in order to create a valuable product.
  • Layering some affiliate links into your website.
  • The importance of building trust with your audience through your website.
  • Saving both time and money are always really important.
  • The benefits of having a Facebook group.
  • How to do a really effective pre-sale for your product.
  • The walk-through video that Claire created.
  • Being really clear about what you're offering on your website.
  • Knowing when you should throw in the towel.
  • Sometimes you're going to need to invest in what you're creating.
  • The time and effort that it took for Claire to create her 'Rock The Consult' course.
  • Categorising your blog posts.
  • The beauty of creating products that will retain their relevance over time.
  • Why you really need to charge for all the time you're using.
  • Remember to get testimonials from your customers!

Claire was also in episode #237: Claire Jefford - How to Get More Clients with Video Content

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Kae Whitaker #274

Carla Aston #242 

Links:

Claire on Instagram: @ClaireJeffordDesigns

Claire's website: Claire Jefford

Claire on Facebook

Claire on Youtube

May 15, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! I have Steven G, of Interiors By Steven G, with me today and we will be talking about how and why Steven G came to the decision to leave the first interior design firm that he partnered with and how he launched his own company, based on the lessons (or the negatives, as he calls them) that he learned there. He will also discuss how he established his company and reputation with the luxury property developers in the South Florida region. Today's show is a fantastic example of gambling on yourself and of calculating the risk vs your return on investment, so please listen in carefully to what Steven has to share with you today.

Interiors By Steven G is one of South Florida's most outstanding interior design firms. Steven leads a team of more than eighty professionals, which include licensed interior designers who are fluent in seven languages, interior design renderers, a full Autocad department, design assistants, an in-house marketing and PR department, as well as a full warehouse team with their own fleet of trucks. Their locations include a one-hundred-thousand square foot corporate office and showroom and the NOW by Steven G Showroom. These are both located in Broward County. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • How Steven intentionally, and also organically built his collaborations with the luxury property developers in South Florida.
  • Why Steven has focused his career and business on the luxury condominium market.
  • How Steven used to reach his buyers through his sales center.
  • How Steven works between seventy and eighty hours every week to remain out-of-the-box as a designer.
  • How Steven's business first began to blossom, and how he found his niche.
  • The importance of being structured in the way you do your business.
  • How Steven has never forgotten where he came from- or to say 'thank you'.
  • Steven's humble approach to his business.
  • How Steven got his foot in the door with the luxury property developers, early on in his business.
  • How Steven assesses the potential return on his investments.
  • Reaping the benefits of long-term design investments.
  • How Steven realized that the first firm that he partnered with was going to crash and burn.
  • The way that Steven built his company on 'the negatives'.
  • Steven is always reachable- this really works for him!
  • How working hard can allow you to eventually land in a really beautiful place!
  • The importance of creating your own destiny.
  • Steven is a wealth of knowledge- and he is willing to share it with you, designers!
  • Why you always need to think ahead of the game.
  • Please take the time to go to Steven's website interiorsbysteveng.com The work is really unbelievable!

Resources:

Interiors By Steven G

Steven on social media:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Linkedin
May 11, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Last Friday we started a great conversation with Ashley Hotham-Cox, the editor-in-chief of Home Design & Decor in Charlotte, about how to pitch yourself and how to get press. Today we are really happy to continue the conversation with Amy Flurry. Amy has appeared once before on the show, on episode #108 and she's really a smart lady, so if you haven't met her yet, you are really in for a treat! Listen in now to find out more!

Amy has two decades of editorial experience, conceiving ideas for stories, producing shoots, and writing copy for magazines and online publications. These include Country Living, In Style, Refinery 29, Conde Nast Traveller, Better Homes and Gardens, and Lucky Magazine. Amy authored Recipe For Press- Pitch Your Story and Create A Buzz, (which we spoke about in episode #108) after being inspired by her career in publishing. She has now written her second book, Recipe For Press- Designer Edition. This book is filled to the brim with tools for interior designers, architects, landscape planners, and product designers who need to take advantage of any new media opportunities which are available. Amy applies her collective expertise- from trend direction to product and brand development, working with companies to expand their marketing strategies and to connect businesses to the interior design trade. Listen in to find out what she has to share with you on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • The really great advice that Amy gave to LuAnn when they first met.
  • About Amy's fabulous new book, Recipe For Press- Designer Edition.
  • The overarching points that Amy wanted to get across in her new book.
  • Why designers need to create a strategy for getting press.
  • The shift that Amy has seen lately, in the design industry.
  • The new opportunities that are available now, for designers to get their names out there.
  • Why you need to have a really good pitch.
  • How to create a killer pitch.
  • Why you really need to know what you want to get from the press.
  • Remember that all publications need content!
  • The amount of work that you're going to be in for when you engage with a publicist.
  • Why it makes more sense to pitch for publications in your neighborhood.
  • Press is not about ego- it's actually about business!
  • Working your way up- starting with your local press and local market.
  • About Amy's layering strategy.
  • The way that Amy creates events that are really worthwhile for everyone in the room.
  • Why retailers really want you, as interior designers, in their showrooms.
  • The importance of sharing- and recycling images.
  • Celebrating the things that set you apart from other designers.
  • Some of the fabulous resources that are available on Amy's website- Recipe For Press.
  • About Amy's incredible company- Paper-Cut-Project. You can see it on Instagram.

 Links:

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Laura Thurman #272

Claire Staszak #166

Lynn K Leonidas #179

And Amy Flurry appeared before on episode #108

 

To order your copy of Amy's book go to Recipe For Press.

Go to Luann Nigara, to the 'live events' tab, to find the RSVP link for the opening night, at Lefroy Brooks, of the ICFF at the AND Building on 22nd May. The first 25 people will receive a free book from LuAnn!

To figure out all the things that you can do with MyDoma Studio go to My Doma Studio.

To get onto LuAnn's email list text the word designbiz to 444 999, or go to her website www.luannnigara.com and go to the events page.

May 8, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! On the show today we are going to be having an in-depth conversation with Deborah Von Donop, an interior designer, and well-known blogger. We will be talking to Deborah about monetizing your blog and also about how and why it is really important to create a content-rich blog, in order to drive readers and design enthusiasts to your website for the opportunity to monetize through affiliate links and sponsored content. Listen in to find out more about networking as your biggest resource for growth.              

Deborah is the principal of DVD Interiors in Connecticut and she is the editor and founder of the national blog DVD Interior Design. Deborah also guests blogs for a number of other sites, including Westchester Magazine, I blog Magazine, Blissfully Domestic.Com and more. She writes weekly posts about design resources, highlights from industry events and also interior design topics which are aimed to educate and inspire her readers. Deborah's experience includes a BFA in Interior Architecture from Cal State University in Long Beach, a CCIDQ certification, an NCIDQ certification and a LEED GA credential. All of this combines really well to bring an in-depth knowledge to all of her projects. Listen in now to find out what Deborah has to share about upping your game in social media.

Note- This show with Deborah pairs very nicely with the upcoming show featuring Claire Jefford, which will air next week. It follows up on today's show with how to create your own content to sell through your website and blog, so be on the lookout for that!

Show highlights:

  • Deborah discusses her evolution from interior designer to online media marketing expert.
  • How Deborah really got to grips with the online marketing space from the inside out.
  • How the online marketing space has really widened Deborah's opportunities.
  • How Deborah is now applying her experience from her blog, over the last few years, to her interior design business.
  • Why Deborah really loves to teach people about the importance of republishing their work.
  • Why you really have to give a lot before asking for anything back in the online space.
  • Three good places to start with monetizing your blog.
  • How advertising has evolved to become more sophisticated.
  • Making money through affiliate marketing.
  • Why middle bloggers are rising in the online space.
  • Why you should always be consistent with your message in the online space.
  • About word of mouth marketing.
  • Ten great online environment options.
  • Getting your blog to the point where you can monetize it.
  • How much traffic you need to be a successful affiliate marketer.
  • The benefits of using evergreen content in your blog.
  • Creating income through sponsored content.
  • Why you have to be really passionate about blogging to make it.

Links:

To contact Deborah, or to get her Visibility Package go to DvD Interior Design 

Book mentioned on the show: Jab Jab Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck.

To get all the details about the Kips Bay show-house go to Kips Bay show-house

May 4, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We are really happy to have Ashley Hotham Cox with us and she's going to be a really hot topic on the show today!  Ashley comes with a significant level of experience. She used to be with Traditional Home and now she is the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Home Design & Decor. Listen in today to find out what Ashley has to share about promoting your design work through features in interior design magazines.      

Ashley is a long-time Charlotte local- with a twist. As a North Carolina native, she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor of arts degree in fashion and a master's degree in journalism before earning her experience as a writer at Charlotte, Charlotte Wedding, and Charlotte Home & Garden magazines, and also as an editor at Traditional Home in New York. She is also a designer, having earned her certificate in interior design from the Parsons School of Design. Ashley returned home in 2016 to join the team of Home Design & Decor. Listen in now to find out more about how to pitch successfully, to be featured in design publications.

Show highlights:

  • Ashley discusses the big differences between what she was doing at Traditional Home and what she's doing now as an editor-in-chief at Home Design & Decor.
  • Ashley discusses an overview of the editorial calendar and what she's looking out for, and how this affects you, as designers.
  • Finding the cut-off dates for specific features.
  • What you can do if you miss the cut-off date for a certain feature to promote some work that you've done.
  • Weighing up if you should publish on Instagram or not if you have missed a deadline.
  • Everything is always subject to change in time.
  • Becoming really familiar with a specific publication before pitching your work to them.
  • Ashley discusses what her front-of-book looked like for last year.
  • The exceptions to the rule of featuring new design projects only.
  • The kind of pitch that really gets Ashley's attention.
  • What you need, in order to be considered for a magazine feature.
  • Why you shouldn't be discouraged if you get a 'no' from an editor.
  • Photography is not cheap, so should you supply your own photos for a magazine feature, or not?
  • Why you need to turn the lights off when taking pictures for a publication.
  • Photographing interiors is very different to taking real estate shots.
  • Why Ashley doesn't really buy into trends.
  • Why you need to really get to know about a publication before pitching them.
  • Ashley's favorite thing about her job.
  • Things that will really make your project different, bring life to an interior- and a great story!

Social Media:

Instagram:

@AshleyHCox

@Clt_homedesigndecor

@tri_homedesigndecor

May 1, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy to have Jo Buckerfield with us today. She is the designer and project manager for the UK based design firm Your Space Living and her husband, Mike Buckerfield, is their studio manager. Mike has been Jo's champion in getting her onto the podcast and it's been no easy task because it's just not her thing to go out and be interviewed! Mike emailed LuAnn a few months back, saying that he'd been listening to the show and that he loves it! He explained that having Jo on the show would really bring it so much value because she is truly an amazing designer in the UK, so listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

When the home design company that Jo had been working for as a furniture designer for many years went out of business unexpectedly in 2012, she wanted to ensure that the clients who had been left with unfinished projects still got their dream homes. That was when Your Space Living was born. Working tirelessly and out-of-pocket for six months, Jo and Mike completed every one of the abandoned projects, and so they laid the foundations for the successful company that they are still running today! Jo's design expertise, creativity, and vision allow them to go beyond the standard and create beautiful spaces that meet the needs of modern-day families. Listen in now to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Jo is a full-service interior designer who leads with her kitchen design- she explains how this really works for her interior design firm.
  • Jo explains all about her great reward-based client referral system, which is also an awesome marketing tool.
  • How Jo evolved to becoming a project manager.
  • Jo's really rewarding personal approach to her clients.
  • The lovely gift hampers that Jo gives her clients to say 'thank you' at the end of a project.
  • The little touches that serve as reminders to Jo's past clients.
  • The intentional way that Jo keeps a positive spin about kitchen design on her website.
  • The massive difference between kitchen design and interior design.
  • How Jo manages to have enough time to spend with her clients through doing mainly kitchen design.
  • The recent evolution of kitchen design.
  • Why it really helps to understand the construction aspect of design.
  • How Jo really puts her heart and soul into the industry.
  • Jo's way of dealing with potential clients who are not the right fit for her business.
  • Constantly tweaking her website to ensure that the right message is being put out there.
  • Adding value for clients by giving them the right advice.
  • Ways to be able to work with your ideal client with no worries.
Social Media:
Your Space Living
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram: @yourspaceliving
Apr 27, 2018

There is a new landscape to how consumers are shopping for design products. More and more design clients are choosing products and features online. It might seem like the heyday of the local Design Center is over, but that is far from the truth. Your local design center is an ever-evolving resource for you and all of your design products. How can you properly utilize a design center to keep up with a changing industry? How do they remain a designer-focused tool, rather than a consumer-focused tool? My guest, Kristan McLaughlin, is going to answer all of this and more!

Kristan McLaughlin is the General Manager of Leasing & Partnerships at the Boston Design Center (BDC), the region’s preeminent destination for luxury interior furnishings. For the last 4 years, she has been overseeing the massive 350,000 sq. ft. space that houses 70 home and contract showrooms. Kristan is also the President of the Design Centers International, a Board Member of the Decorative Furnishings Association and a partner to many such as Boston Home, Design New England, and New England Home to name a few. Kristan is a proud mom of 5 humans and 2 Golden Retrievers - Hula and Finn - who keep her from becoming a true empty-nester. She and her family look forward to moving back to Boston in the future and decorating their “grown-up home.”

I am excited for you to hear so much more about how the Boston Design Center is ahead of the curve in innovation and style. You won’t want to miss out!

More in this episode:

  • Why a Design Center is still an important part of the new landscape of consumer purchases.
  • Why a Design Center is the place for the most “Aha” moments!
  • Design Centers across the country are absolutely evolving to the new market and new consumer.
  • Event spaces and conference rooms are just another way the Centers are utilizing their spaces well.
  • Clients don’t have to come in with a designer.
  • Discover the product search engine that was designed within the industry!
  • The new offerings that Design Centers are doing to make their services even more accessible.
  • Being a part of the Design Center can be a good way to keep your foot in the field.
  • Engaging with the internet is good for business.

Resources:

Boston Design

@bostondesigncenter

Facebook: Boston Design Center

@kristanmclaughlin

Apr 24, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are delighted to introduce you to our guest for the show, Jill Zarin. Jill is a  veteran of the TV show Real Housewives of New York, and wife of the late Bobby Zarin, owner of Zarin Fabrics in New York. We will be talking to Jill today about Zarin Fabrics, about the rug line that she has recently launched with Unique Loom, and about her luxury ladies lunch that she hosts every year in the Hamptons for charity. Jill has also promised to give us a tour of her apartment in New York City, which boasts some pieces from DXV for the faucets, and all her rugs are there, too! Listen in to find out more!

Last fall, Unique Loom, one of the most plentiful sources of handmade and power loomed rugs in the world, teamed up with Jill to create their very first rug collaboration. It's a vibrant collection, offering bold, colorful options with an airy and modern feel. This collection delivers quality design at an attainable price, which is a priority shared by both Jill and Unique Loom. The collection was inspired in part by Jill's personal style, as well as the various motifs found in the history of Manhattan's urban design. Listen today to find out more about this awesome collaboration.

We're sure that every single person who knows Jill is thinking about her and everything that she went through recently, with the loss of her beloved husband, Bobby.

Show highlights:

  • The tedious way that advertising used to be done in the past.
  • A little about the way that Zarin Fabrics used to be run in the past.
  • Surprisingly enough, Zarin Fabrics is actually a fabric warehouse!
  • Zarin Fabrics is the only drapery and upholstery supply company in the city of New York.
  • Jill's experience with Macy's Training Program.
  • Some of the projects and products lines that Jill developed prior to her collaboration with Unique Loom.
  • Respecting the expertise of those who are in the know- unless your gut tells you otherwise!
  • Jill's past jewelry lines and some mistakes she made with them.
  • The wonderful partners that Jill has for her current line of rugs.
  • The fantastic fabrics that Jill's rugs are made of.
  • Jill discusses her fabulously affordable rug lines.
  • How Jill has learned to go with the designs that she likes.
  • All about Jill's luxury charity lunch this year, at Topping Rose House Hotel in the Hamptons.
  • The valuable swag bags that Jill gives away at her charity lunches.
  • The celebrities that show up for Jill's charity lunches.
  • The entrepreneurial aspect of Jill's charity lunches.
  • Enjoy the tour of Jill's apartment.
  • The phenomenal DXV design pieces in Jill's apartment.

Links:

Jills website: Jill Zarin

eSale Rugs

Jill on Social Media:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Kravet has a new code for you. You can get 10% off any one project using Kravet fabric, trims or wallpaper—specify Kravet fabric, trim and wallpaper for your next interior design project and use the code AWDB10 at checkout!!

MyDoma Studio is a software platform that helps you manage your client projects easily and efficiently. Go to MyDoma Studio to learn more.

Apr 20, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very excited to have Nicole Heymer back on the show today! Nicole is the owner of Curio Electro, a boutique creative agency that specializes in branding and websites for interior design firms and other interesting and creative businesses. Nicole is the genius behind my LuAnn Nigara website- and I really love it! There are certain things that we do that really represent who we are and what we do and my website is one of those things for me! And one of the reasons for Nicole coming back on the show is rooted in my own experience of being part of her company and going through the whole discovery process of building my website with her.  Listen in today as Nicole takes us through her entire, really organized and actionable process- it's just like therapy for your business!

Nicole's clear and actionable approach to branding has been featured by some of the design industry's favorite resources and organizations. From ASID's Tech Talk series to the New Jersey chapter and also to the Window Coverings Association of America, Nicole is an active ASID partner and she currently serves as the editor of the New Jersey chapter's Blueprint Magazine. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Stepping back to get an overview of what you're doing.
  • Starting out with a very clear plan.
  • How Nicole developed her process.
  • The whole planning process.
  • Looking ahead to the goals that you want to accomplish- then doing things in the correct order.
  • Some of the goals that designers could aspire towards.
  • Getting to grips with the messaging on your website.
  • Clearly showing people who and where you are, and what you do, on your website.
  • Being truthful with your messaging when creating your brand.
  • Taking your budget into account when planning your website.
  • Getting really clear about who you want to take action on your website.
  • Getting clear about the kind of action that you would like to be taken on your website.
  • Some things to consider when setting up your website.
  • Nurturing your clients' needs with lead magnets.
  • Telling the story of a project with your portfolio.
  • Ways of driving more traffic to your website.
  • Coming up with content for a blog.
  • About Nicole's Brand Discovery Class that's coming up shortly. Go to brandingdiscovery.com to find out more.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125 How To Brand Your Interior Design Business

Rachel Cannon #306

Sandra Espinet #287

Kae Whitaker #259

Marina Umali #248

Nancy Ganzekaupher #256

Apr 17, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Wendy Woloshchuk with us today and she's the principal of Details Full Service Interiors located in rural western Massachusetts.

Wendy is a real inspiration for designers! She lives and works in a rural area almost two hours away from the nearest design center and yet she's killing it!

This is because she knows exactly who her ideal client is and she's claimed it without wasting any time on ideas and pursuits that are not authentic to her client base and all her marketing is intentionally created to attract this client to her every day.

It was really no easy task starting an interior design business in a very small community, in the middle of a recession! Wendy is known for her no-nonsense approach and for her creative style with it's attention to detail.

Nothing makes her happier than when her clients see how she's managed to infuse their personalities into the design and they love the finished space! Listen in today and become inspired by Wendy, her business model, and her awesome business acumen.

Wendy opened Details in 2007 after going back to school to learn interior design as her second career in 2005. Details Full-Service Interiors specializes in designing comfortable, personalized homes for busy families who want to make the most of their family time and resources.

Wendy has been using Facebook as her primary marketing tool for the last five years. She shares fun tips and decorating ideas on her Facebook daily live show, The Daily Details, and she has recently started a consumer-facing Facebook group, called The Details Design & Decorating  Club, in order to keep her following and her business growing. Listen in now to find out more about Wendy and the way she runs her rural design business.

Just to let you know- this show is also available as a video presentation on LuAnn's Youtube channel, A Well- Designed Business.

Show highlights:

  • How Wendy first got into using Facebook Live consistently for her marketing.
  • Wendy walks through her whole process of pushing through with Facebook Live.
  • Ways to come across naturally and authentically in your videos.
  • How Wendy creates the content for The Daily Details.
  • How Wendy prepares herself for her Monday videos.
  • Ways for you to emulate what Wendy has been doing on Facebook Live.
  • When she really began to experience engagement on Facebook Live.
  • There are people watching you on Facebook that you don't even know about!
  • Why Wendy chose Facebook as her primary marketing tool.
  • Finding where your ideal client is hanging out on social media.
  • How Wendy found her niche within her community.
  • How Facebook Live makes you more accessible to your ideal market.
  • What it's like- and some tips for doing business in a rural area.
  • The benefits of building a great relationship with your reps.
  • Some free- and some for-purchase downloads that are available on Wendy's website. (Some of them are even MyDoma Studio packages.)
  • You can arrange for a consultation with Wendy and you can also purchase pre-paid furniture packages and even accessories via MyDoma Studio.
  • The benefits of having affiliate sites.
  • The DIY package that's available on Wendy's website.
  • Ways to build a portfolio on your website.

LuAnn has done a six-show series on the how, the why and the technical aspects of Facebook for business. These shows can be found on her website (www.luannnigara.com) in the Social Media and Marketing collection.

For more FB marketing tips please search social media on LuAnn Nigara

Kravet has a new code for you. You can get 10% off any one project using Kravet fabric, trims or wallpaper—specify Kravet fabric, trim and wallpaper for your next interior design project and use the code AWDB10 at checkout!!

MyDoma Studio is a software platform that helps you manage your client projects easily and efficiently. Go to My Doma Studio to learn more.

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Claire Jefford #237

Rachel Moriarty #55 and #214

Dixie Willard #273

Links:

Details Full-Service Interiors
 
Facebook: Details Full Service Interiors
 
Instagram: Details Full Service Interiors
Apr 13, 2018

Are you ready to harness the secrets of the best in the industry to create consistently amazing results in your business? this Power Talk Friday is Madeline MacRae. Madeline was LuAnn’s guest in episode 283, and returns for this episode.

Madeline is the CEO, founder and chief innovator for MM MacRae, a national learning, coaching and consulting firm. MM MacRae specializes in the development and growth of pros and companies specializing in the home professionals industry. She is such a high energy, driven person, and she shares a wealth of knowledge on this episode. If you’re ready to do what it takes to achieve freedom and long-term growth in your business, you will want to absorb Madeline MacRae’s information like a sponge! 

 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Madeline and LuAnn led a seminar on goal setting at the International Window Covering Expo in Tampa, FL, and discovered their ideas on goal setting are identical!
  • 5 Day Sales Challenge (see 5 Day Sales Challenge Facebook Page) to help you learn the need for peer accountability, mindset and to give you concrete tools, that usually cost $3000.00 in our program, to help you tweak things in your business to make it more successful. It will also  make you a better salesperson. In addition, you will have a call to action each day. The 5 Day Sales Challenge will include Madeline making a live appearance in the group every day and will share ideas, inspiration, and to answer your questions. Madeline will do some episodes of Facebook Live leading up to the challenge and will let you know when she will appear in the group. Topics will include:
  • Day 1: Master your Metrix
  • Day 2: Confidence is King
  • Day 3: Systems Make Sales
  • Day 4: The Fortune is in the Follow-up
  • There is Gold in your Nose!
  • Discover your inner creativity in relation to sales.
  • Learn the importance of getting a definite yes or no answer when selling.
  • Utilize effective listening skills when listening to your clients’ needs.
  • Learn when a client is really a client, not a potential client or lead.

 

Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

mmmacrae.com for consulting and coaching

Fasttrackmember.com for Madeline’s Bootcamp landing page

5 Day Sales Challenge on Facebook

The 5 Levels of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell

Now Discover Your Strengths, by Donald O. Clifton and Marcus Buckingham

Strengths-Based Leadership, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

To get access to some of Madeleine’s goals training absolutely free go to Fast Track Sales Systems.

Apr 10, 2018

What does it look like to be so committed to the success of your business that failure simply CANNOT be an option? For some, there is a crutch to fall back on, but for others, the welfare of their family depends on the level of commitment—and there is no Plan B. Today’s guest is passionate about her design business and there is no doubt about her commitment to success and claiming her niche.

Kristen Thomas is the principal designer and owner of Studio Thomas, a full-service interior design firm based in Denver. With a degree in interior design and a background in real estate and home building, Kristen has spent the past 20 years honing her ability to transform homes into spaces that truly enhance and elevate the lives of her clients. When you hear Kristen on the show today, you will understand how the term “elevating and enhancing the lives of clients” is a true goal for her—a true mission. She has given careful and thorough thought to knowing very clearly who her ideal client is, what her ideal project is, and what the Studio Thomas aesthetic is. It’s because of this self-discovery that she made a very bold move this past January, and I’ll let her explain exactly what transpired.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The growth of Studio Thomas in just 5 years
  • When failure is NOT an option, so you MUST make it work
  • “I’m really concerned with infusing value into my clients’ homes.”
  • The emotion behind the hard work and commitment
  • Creating the culture where employees are empowered and valued
  • Kristen’s goal: to have a company that people love to come and work for and where everyone’s voice is valued
  • The “slow” hiring process in creating chemistry and culture on the team
  • In January 2018---the complete overhaul because Kristen “didn’t want to be everything to everyone”
  • Deciding who you are, finding your best value, and being comfortable in your philosophy
  • Being the best at what you do and making the highest contribution, facing the fear of turning down the jobs that aren’t WHO you are
  • “You have to run your business and not let it run you.”
  • After acquiring 16,000 Instagram followers, Kristen erased it all and started over with intention at every step
  • Revamping, rebranding, and narrowing the focus
  • “Our favorite color is texture.”
  • The story behind the K. Thom lifestyle brand
  • Vetting the client—how it’s done
  • Why clients are willing to trust Kristen and Studio Thomas
  • Kristen’s husband’s role in Studio Thomas and how he helps the growing business
  • The visions, systems, and processes that make the business work and grow as you take bold steps in claiming your niche

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Camp Chroma

WCAANJ

Kristen's Website: Studio Thomas
Kristen's Instagram: Studio Thomas
Kristen's Facebook: Studio Thomas
Apr 6, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Financial planning may seem boring, however, the results of it certainly are not! Today we're very happy to introduce you to Hilary Hendershott, a CFA (certified financial adviser) with a lot of street cred. Hilary, who has been nicknamed The Investor's Voice of Reason, is the founder of Hilary Hendershott Wealth Management, a leading financial advisory firm for women and her mission is to motivate women and their loved ones to be financially empowered through wealth building. On the show today Hilary explains why you really don't need to feel intimidated, as a woman, at the thought of consulting with a financial adviser, so listen in to find out what she has to share with you today about money mindset and the importance of proper financial management.

Hilary is also the host of Profit Boss Radio, a weekly podcast where she and her guests offer inspiration, advice, and support for women in their financial journey. She's a TedX speaker, she's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NBC, ABC, Fox, Daily Worth, Forbes, and Investopedia. Hilary was recognized in 2014 as a Top Forty Under Forty Entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley. She's had more than thirty television appearances and she is considered the go-to personal finance expert in the Silicon Valley for NBC. Listen in now to find out why it's really critical for you to understand your finances.

Show highlights:

  • The right time to bring in a professional financial adviser.
  • The importance of saving money.
  • Why it really is well worth spending the money on getting some professional financial advice.
  • Why Hilary sees wealth building as the last female frontier.
  • Why you don't actually have a business until you're paying yourself a CEO's salary.
  • About Hilary's course Money Blueprint For Business Owners.
  • Being well compensated for the liability of running a business.
  • Some financial facts that everyone should know.
  • Not having to feel intimidated by your financial adviser.
  • Not throwing the baby out with the bathwater when dealing with a financial adviser.
  • The functions of a fiduciary.
  • Why Hilary avoids using 'Wall Street speak'.
  • Hilary explains the way that she does her business.
  • Understanding the type of business that you're in.
  • The difference between a lifestyle business and a sellable business.
  • Smart ways to save on taxes by forcing yourself to save.
  • Simple tweaks to help you to build a strong and profitable business.

Links:

Hilary's website: www.hilaryhendershott.com

Other episodes mentioned in today's show:

Danielle Liss #171

Jody Padar #229

Apr 3, 2018

I recently received an e-mail from Colleen from Colleen Knowles Interiors in Mercer Island, WA. Colleen says she is in the process of getting her back of the house systems more organized, and requests that we do a show on purchasing. So, on today’s show, Judith, Corey and I will address all the winding trails you may find yourself on when dealing with all the many facets of purchasing.

For many designers just starting out in the industry, purchasing and pricing can sometimes be a volatile topic. Industry norms along with the best practicing of purchasing can overwhelm you if you don’t have good systems in place. 

Show Highlights:

    Corey explains three different models for purchasing and pricing.

    Learn some of the pitfalls of the kickback model. 

    Steering away from legal problems.

    A designer can act as a sales consultant.. 

    A professional approach to pricing 

    Project minimum, flat fee and hourly pricing

    Collecting retainer and consultation fees

    How to incorporate pricing for online vendors

    Judith discusses managing purchased items onsite.

    Avoid discussing net purchase pricing with clients. 

*    The better you handle the contract and front end, the smoother the back end will be.

    LuAnn and Judith say there is no substitute for personal touches.

 

Resources:

This episode is available on A Well-Designed Business YouTube Channel.

 Corey Klassen Designs

 Judith Neary, Roadside Attractions Design Studio

 

Mar 30, 2018

Welcome! Jason Byrne of Jason Byrne Design joins us today for the second airing of The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business- the listener version. Jason has been a really kind supporter of the show over the last few months and he's been keeping in touch regularly via email. One time he sent an email with a list of the things that he's done in his business based on what he learned from listening to this podcast and he has sent others, with the specifics about the shows that he really liked and what he gained from listening to them. He particularly enjoyed the solo show about vendors and he sent LuAnn the most amazing, heartfelt email the next day to thank her for the show and to tell her how well it resonated with him! Listen in today to find out more.

On the show today Jason starts out discussing his mission statement- Delivering excellence through communication and design- and what it really means to him, because sometimes mission statements can be quite a stumbling block for new designers. Jason, who used to teach Design Technology at Sydney Design School, also shares some of his expertise about the best kind of technology to use for either commercial or residential design and he explains some of the ways that he has made use of what he's learned from the podcast. Listen in to find out what Jason has to share today!

Show highlights:

  • Jason talks about his mission statement- how he arrived at it and what it means to him.
  • He explains why he is so focused on clear communication.
  • Why it's so important to Jason that less-than-good news really needs to be delivered in person.
  • Jason explains how this show helped him to develop his 'schedule of fees' and his 'job run sheet' documents.
  • Jason discussed some of the specifics around the documents that he has developed.
  • How Jason ensures that he and his client are really on the same page when discussing design.
  • A document that Jason developed and little exercise he designed to help his clients to understand where they are in the process.
  • The importance of maintaining a really clear connection with your client.
  • How the idea of a weekly client email has really helped Jason. (Laura Umanksy #64)
  • The various design technologies that Jason would recommend for both commercial and residential designers. (He used to teach Design Technology at Sydney Design School.)
  • How to get up and running with Autocad.
  • About some of the more advanced design tech products.

Link:

Jason's website: www.jasonbyrnedesign.com

His website and social:
Jason Byrne Design
Facebook: Jason Byrne Design
Instagram: Jason Byrne Design
Pinterest: Jason Byrne Design - Nail Salon
Mar 27, 2018

Welcome to the show! We are really delighted today to have Beth Dotolo and Carolina Gentry back again! (Episode #176) These brilliant ladies run a truly amazing design firm, Pulp Design, both in Seattle and in Dallas and on the show today they have some really fun news to share with you! They are about to realize a dream that they've had since starting their business eleven years ago. They are super-excited to finally be launching a licensed fabric collection with S Harris! Listen in now to get the latest!

The work of Pulp Design has been recognized and published by  Architectural Digest, The Traditional Home and New York Times Magazine. Both Beth and Carolina have been recognized as rising stars in interior design by Fashion Group International and they have both won awards for their fabulous work. Listen in to find out what this dynamic duo has to share with you today.

Show highlights:

  • All about the launch of their licensed fabric collection.
  • As designers, Beth and Carolina have always wanted to have a product of their own.
  • How they were approached by the creative director of S Harris.
  • Why S Harris wanted to partner with Carolina and Beth.
  • Creating a quality brand.
  • The way that these two dynamic ladies like to think strategically.
  • What their fabric line is like.
  • Where the inspiration for the fabric designs came from.
  • The whole process of creating the patterns.
  • The inadvertent creation of the design for their fabric collections.
  • The awesome experience of being accepted to collaborate with S Harris.
  • Looking for the right kind of company to align with, as a small firm.
  • Red flags to look out for when offered an opportunity to collaborate.
  • Beth and Carolina's cautious approach to growing their business.
  • The great support that they get from their team.
  • Successfully expressing their brand through all the employees in their company.
  • Taking the time to reflect on the values of your company- before working with anyone.
  • Carolina and Beth's principal of quality completion.
  • Creating success by getting to really know yourself.
  • Get your invitation to their VIP preview event at High Point. (Details on their website pulpdesignstudios.com)

 Links:

Website and SM:
Pulp Design Studios
Facebook: Pulp Design Studios
Twitter: Pulp Design Studios
Instagram: Pulp Designs Studios
Pinterest: Pulp Design Studios
Mar 23, 2018

As Interior Designers, we spend a lot of our time thinking about and choosing color. Have you ever stopped to wonder how that color is actually made? No, we are not talking about mixing pigments at the paint store. Today, I want to dive into the amazing topic of color data. What are the measurable ways that one color is distinct from another? Is there a quantity we can use to describe why some colors work better together than others? Here to help you unravel your Color DNA is Lori Sawaya, the podcast’s newest sponsor, and my amazing guest this week.

Lori got her start in graphic design, and as color printing became more readily available, she started to become obsessed with the color management aspects of her career. This obsession turned into several years of dedicated training and study, which led Lori to a whole new understanding of color and how we measure it. From there, Lori developed a course that would teach other designers how to not just measure color data but use it within their design process.

Lori's business, Camp Chroma, is all about giving you the foundational tools you need to leverage the power of color data. Other industries rely heavily on the values and measurements surrounding color, so why not Interior Design? Listen to this week’s episode to learn all about how color functions, and how you can begin your journey with Camp Chroma. It’s a whole new world out there, and the future of color looking bright! I am delighted about the partnership between A Well Designed Business and Camp Chroma, and I know you will be too.

More in this episode:

  • Lori tells us all about why she loves color so much.
  • Learn all about how color gets made and why Camp Chroma is so powerful!
  • The tools and that you need to analyze color.
  • Now that you have data on color, you need to learn how to utilize it.
  • The actual surfaces that you can use to measure color DNA.
  • Discover the possibilities of the hue angle.
  • We are busting the super big urban legends about color!
  • Take the time to play with your data.
  • We have actually quantified how humans perceive color.
  • Dive into Lori’s design process, armed with the data values.
  • What it means for Lori to be an Architectural Color Design Expert.
  • Camp Chroma starts with the foundation and builds your skills from the ground up.

Resources:

This episode is sponsored by:

Camp Chroma Online

Social Media:

Instagram: The Land of Color

Facebook: Fun Colors

Twitter

Linkedin: Lori Sawaya

Join in Online

Luann Nigara

Mar 20, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We really have a big treat in store for you today- we have Lori Weitzner as our guest and if you're not yet familiar with her, she's the principal and creative director of Lori Weitzner Design Inc. Lori has a really unique perspective on the use and significance of color in design and she discusses this today on the show. She also talks about the choices that she's made in her business and she shares many of the big moments that have shaped her career.

Lori's latest endeavor is her book Ode To Color- The Ten Essential Palettes for Living and Design and now she's also developed The Ode To Color Analysis- a practical guide on how to find one's color world, as a compliment to the book. Listen in to find out about the windy road and some of the pivotal moments that this super successful lady has taken to get to where she is today.

Lori's career as a designer spans thirty years and she's known internationally for her contribution to the world of textiles and wall coverings under that brand Weitzner. The  Weitzner brand has been sold through highly esteemed houses, like Sahco, Larson, and Pollack. You may be familiar with Lori because of her trims, which are available through Samuel and Sons, or her rug designs for West Elm, or possibly even through her paper designs for Papyrus. Listen in now to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • A special moment that really stands out for Lori, that set her on her particular career path.
  • What a textile designer actually does.
  • The serendipitous story of what happened when a very young Lori decided to risk everything and go off to a trade show in Lyon France.
  • About Lori's big break with Jack Larson.
  • The secret to how Lori, at the tender age of twenty-two, managed to sell forty-eight of her designs in one weekend, at a trade fair in France.
  • How Lori's confidence has always worked for her.
  • Why you should go for what you really want- not just what you think is possible.
  • Lori shares about her next level of achievement after Jack Larson, with Sahco.
  • How Lori started out with her own business- with a $100 000 loan from the bank.
  • Getting the balance right between Lori's creative side and her business side.
  • How Lori instinctively knew what she was meant to be doing with her career.
  • How Lori's design for her Newsworthy wallpaper was developed.
  • Lori discusses her new book Ode To Color and how it came about.
  • How Lori discovered that her first language was actually color!
  • All about Lori's Color Analysis Test.

Resources:

Lori's Website: Lori Weitzner

To take Lori's test with her Ode To Color Analysis, or to buy her book go to Ode To Color

Lori's panel discussion on 3/23/18 at the Architectural Design show in NYC

LuAnn's book: The Making of A Well-Designed Business®

Mar 16, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! We have Carol Cox with us today and she's the founder of Speaking Your Brand. She's also LuAnn's speaking coach and LuAnn really adores her- especially for her skillful way of assisting her to pull the right content together, in order to craft a captivating and cohesive speech. On the show today Carol explains what you really need to be thinking about, and the best tactics to use if you're not yet that well-known and you're going to be taking part a panel discussion. Listen in to find out about ways to really connect with an audience.

Speaking Your Brand helps high-performing and purpose-driven women entrepreneurs and professionals to shape their businesses and personal brands, share their message, and become recognized as influencers in their field. Carol is a sought-after presenter and trainer on public speaking, branding, and leadership for women. She's also a podcaster and a TEDx speaker. Carol teaches classes in business and marketing at a university and she serves as a political analyst on TV news during election seasons. She is based in Orlando Florida and she works with her clients both locally and virtually around the world. Listen in today to find out what Carol has to share about public speaking and really engaging with your audience. 

 

Show Highlights:  

  • How to be a really great panelist.
  • What a moderator could do to keep the conversation flowing if someone is dominating a panel discussion.
  • What you can do if you're a panelist and someone on the panel is really monopolizing the conversation.
  • Setting the ground rules ahead of time.
  • What you need to prepare beforehand if you're going to be a panelist.
  • Using emotion to create a really engaging story.
  • Giving careful thought to the meaningful content that you're going to be talking about.
  • Tips for being gracious and complimenting others authentically when you're in a panel discussion. 
  • Ways that you can bond with the other panelists, before the discussion.
  • Taking the opportunity to network with the other panelists.
  • Why you should give the moderator your own printed introduction before the discussion.
  • Creating the very best pitch for yourself.
  • Checking the room out beforehand, prior to the panel discussion.
  • Ways to alleviate any nervousness you may feel before the discussion.
  • Ways of getting the audience to relate to you.
  • Remember that the more you do it, the better you will get.

 

To check out the Speaking Your Brand Podcast go to www.speakingyourbrand.com/podcast  

To get the PDF for this show go to www.luannnigara.com/episode307

 

 

 

Mar 13, 2018

Welcome to today's show! It really looks like our guest for today, Rachel Cannon of Rachel Cannon Limited Interiors, is doing some good things down in Baton Rouge Louisiana! What really gets LuAnn going is Rachel's promise on her website of a structured process and a step-by-step method, when it comes to her design. On today's show, Rachel talks about the fifteen-step the ten-step processes that she uses with her clients and how she came to develop them. She also discusses the way that she changed her marketing in order to attract the right client. Listen in to find out more.   

The specialty of Rachel Cannon Limited is designing a space where you'll feel happiest and at peace, that's both practical and uniquely beautiful, and that also tells the story of who you are. Rachel is known for creating classic, fresh, and smart interiors, with details that are both livable and deluxe. As an experienced and licensed interior designer, she leads a team of creative minds who effortlessly mix subtle color and rich architectural features, weaving in the meaningful details of your life. Listen in today to find out about Rachel's design processes and how she markets her business.

Show highlights:

  • Rachel discusses her systems and the way that she works with her clients.
  • Rachel's ideal client profile.
  • How Rachel's fifteen-step process
  • About Rachel's Ten-Step New Construction package.
  • What Rachel's VIP Day and her One Week Room Rescue is all about.
  • Why the process keeps refining.
  • How Rachel changed her marketing to attract the right client.
  • A good way of dealing with difficult clients.
  • The value of having a really good contract with your client.
  • Teaching your clients how to work with you.
  • Rachel's document of 'rules' for her clients-why she uses it and what it has in it.
  • The real cost of interruptions when you're working.
  • What brought about a turning point for Rachel, regarding the fees she charges.
  • Discovering your real value.
  • Why it's important to know who your ideal client is.
  • How Rachel's VIP Day came about.
  • Getting clear on charging the right amount for your services.
  • How Rachel vets her potential clients to see if they're a fit for her.
  • Why you really need to document everything that happens with your clients.

 Links:

Her website and social:
Rachel Cannon Limited
Facebook: RCL Interiors
Instagram
Twitter
Linkedin: Rachel Cannon
Mar 9, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We are introducing a new feature on the show today, called The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business- Listener Shows. This show will be intermingled with our current Power Talk Friday feature and either one or the other will air each Friday.

There have been a number of designers who have emailed LuAnn over the years and shared with her their lists of all the things that they have learned from the podcast and then applied directly to their businesses.  It then occurred to LuAnn that if you, the listener, actually hear your peers explaining the results of taking those actions, it may just give you the extra push that you need to take action on all the information that you have received from the show. That is what has motivated LuAnn to start this new feature for the show so listen in today to find out more!

Our guest for today is Elizabeth Scruggs and she's the owner of Superior Construction And Design in Tennessee. She is the mid state's only female general contractor and designer. She's been in business since 2000. Recognising a love of construction when building her own home at the age of twenty-four, she knew that coupling that knowledge with her interior design skill was a service that few could provide. Elizabeth and SC and D have won numerous awards over the years and she believes that continuing education is vital for success. Elizabeth attends industry trade events and market events each year and she was a member of the Modenus Blog Tour of K-biz in January of 2018. She currently serves on the national board of directors for the Real Estate Staging Association, the board of directors for the Nashville chapter of the Nashville Association of Women in Construction, she's the vice-president of the virtual chapter of the Interior Design Society and the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Elizabeth's clients are busy working professionals in the age range of forty-five to fifty-five, looking to upgrade their current home, but lacking the time and desire to oversee it. She finds her sweet spot in handling these full-home renovations from inception to completion. Elizabeth has been a contributing writer for Wilson County's premier magazine, Wilson Living, for six years and she's been featured in The Lebanon Democrat, The Wilson Post, and The Mount Juliet Chronicle. Elizabeth resides in Tennessee, just east of Nashville, with her husband of twenty-six years and their twin daughters and young son. Listen in to find out what Elizabeth has to share with you today.

Show highlights:

  • Elizabeth shares about what it was about Brittany and her company that moved her to action.(#149)
  • Elizabeth's 'aha moment' with Gavin Zuchlinski of Acuity Scheduling and how Acuity has really worked for her. (#241)
  • All about Elizabeth's 'pick your brain' thirty-minute phone calls.
  • How Elizabeth has benefited from getting to know about Kate The Socialite. (#104)
  • What Elizabeth has learned about systems from Kimberley Seldon. (#112)
  • Why Elizabeth really loves Nancy Ganzekaufer's Business In Words so much! (#256)
  • What she learned from The Prepared Performer- Molly Mahoney. (#247)
  • Elizabeth's awesome takeaway from the Facebook Live Queen- Jessica Brace. (#250)
  • What Kate O'Hara had to teach Elizabeth about Pinterest. (#215)
  • What she took away from the episode with Summer Tannhauser. (#292)
  • How much Elizabeth learned from the episode with Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson of the Savour Partnership. (#209)
  • The effect that the episode with Adam Japko, of the Design Blogger's Conference, had on her. (#95)
  • Time chunking with Darci Hether. (#220)
  • Lessons learned from Carla Aston (#242), Fred Berns (#174), and Tabitha Carro (#235).
  • About Elizabeth's relationship with her good friend and designer bestie Kristi Barnett aka The Decorologist.

Links:

Elizabeth's website:
 
Superior Construction and Design 
 
Elizabeth on social:
facebook 
blog
pinterest
houzz
insta
 

You can get your free PDF of The Things I Learned From Elizabeth Scruggs at www.luannnigara.com/305

Mar 6, 2018

Welcome to today's show where we feature another husband and wife team, Jill and Steve McKenzie. They are the owners of McKenzie Design Llc and also Steve McKenzie's, a home décor business which is located in the heart of Atlanta's west-midtown design district. Steve does the interior designing and runs the product design side of the business, while Jill predominantly oversees the running of the store and does the buying for the business.  Recently, they have also been doing a lot of product design and creation and also the licensing of certain products. Listen in today, to find out how they work together as a team, to run the retail end of their interior design business.

Steve started Steve McKenzie's in 2012 after his tenure of more than twenty years with Berkshire-Hathaway owned Larson-Juhl, a custom frame manufacturer, and distributor, where he served most recently as the company's president and CEO. Through practicing as an artist for more than twenty-five years, Steve has developed a unique technique of painting with walnut ink and focusing on organic composition. His studio is located in the upper loft space of Steve McKenzie's. Jill and Steve have three children and three Springer Spaniels. Listen in today, to find out more about the ethical and service driven way that they run their business.

Show highlights:

  • It all started with Steve's art- the fabric collection being the genesis of both the store and the design business.
  • The community that has developed as an offshoot of their showroom.
  • How it happened that Steve ended up taking the route he did, creating and selling his own textile line in showrooms across the country.
  • How Steve found the right experts to help him with getting his product line manufactured and launched.
  • Getting really clear about your expectations with mentors and mentees.
  • Some tips for getting your product line known 'out there'.
  • The Jill works (and hustles) with Steve to get his products out there.
  • The grounding effect of Steve's corporate background.
  • What went into Steve and Jill's decision to open their own showroom and retail lifestyle store.
  • The idea of creating a personality around Steve's fabrics.
  • Jill's style of marketing their product lines.
  • Jill and Steve's approach to their lifestyle brand of products.
  • How the design side of their business was born.
  • Evaluating whether or not to start a showroom.
  • How Steve and Jill cope when their opinions differ in their business.
  • Creating healthy boundaries and a good work-life balance.
  • Covering all the hours in the showroom.
  • Jill and Steve's real commitment to really great customer service.
  • Why the customer is always (Even when they're not!)

Links:

Website and Social:
Steve Mckenzies
Mckenzie Interior Design
Steve Mckenzies
Steve Mckenzie Art
Houzz – McKenzie Interior Design/steve mckenzie’s
Pinterest - @stevemckenzies
Instagram - @stevemckenzies
Twitter - @stevemckenzies
Facebook - @stevemckenzies
Mar 2, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Rebecca Richards joins us as our guest on the show today and she's the director of marketing for Charles Cunniffe Architects in Aspen Colorado. Rebecca is also part of the firm's management committee and one of her responsibilities within that committee is the hiring process for the firm. So today she talks to us about the process that she uses for hiring and she also shares some of the key questions that she asks and some of the things that she looks for when she interviews candidates. Whether you're a solo interior designer looking to make your first hire or you run mid-size or a larger firm and you're looking for a direct process to follow when doing your hiring, we relate this to you, so listen in to find out what Rebecca has to share with you on the show today.

Rebecca joined Charles Cunniffe Architects in 2006 and the firm widely increased their market reach while decreasing their marketing expenditure under her leadership as director of marketing. Rececca's keen eye for design has led to the complete redesign of the company's marketing materials and their website, and also to the addition of their social media outlets. Her appreciation for design and sustainable business practices has become instrumental in the operations at CCA.

CCA is quite a powerhouse of an architectural firm. They have nineteen people on their staff and they have been named as best places to work for the last four years running. Their Elk Peak Ranch project was named Home Of The Year in November  2017 by Mountain Living Magazine- and it's truly spectacular! (Check out their website www.cunniffe.com or my Instagram feed today, as I will be featuring their work all day.) Listen in now to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Rebecca describes the structure within CCA and also what the various roles are, within their management committee.
  • Rebecca's holistic approach to the hiring process.
  • Rebecca goes through her entire hiring process, step by step.
  • Methodically looking at the necessary roles within the office structure, prior to the hiring process.
  • Where CCA advertise for their staff.
  • Why Rebecca likes to respond to every single resume that she receives.
  • Cross-checking the resumes, to get a bigger picture of the person.
  • It can be quite hard to stand out as an entry-level applicant, so Rebecca explains what makes someone really stand out for her.
  • Internships- how they can really make you stand out as a job applicant.
  • The best questions to ask when conducting a phone interview.
  • The importance of finding out what the applicant really wants and expects- in terms of the job and the salary.
  • Rebecca describes her process of the second interview.
  • Why it's really worth spending the time figuring out exactly where the applicant is at, and if they fit where you need them to be.
  • Why it's really important to ask for references.
  • Getting the information that you really need when doing a reference check.
  • Knowing when it's the right time to hire someone.

Links:

 

CCA website

Skype handle: rebeccalynnhill

Instagram

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

LuAnn on Instagram: @luannnigara

Kravet has launched their new website and they have a new code for you, as a listener of this podcast, to get 10% off any one purchase of Kravet fabric, trimmings, or wallpaper. Go to Kravet and use the code AWDB10 at checkout.

Charles Cunniffe Architects website: Cunniffe

Feb 27, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We have Laura Buchner and Kirsten McCoy with us on the show and today we are going to be talking to them about how their interior design firm was founded in 1982 by Penny Steele, and how they purchased it from her in 2005 when she retired. Listen in as we pick apart their motivation for buying an existing business from someone else rather than starting their own business from scratch.

Laura and Kirsten are the principals of Meadowbank Designs, which is located in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area. Meadowbank Designs has completed a wide range of projects throughout the country, for generations of clients, from historic preservation to vacation homes and also additions and renovations. They are best known for residential design which combines traditional motifs with a modern sensibility, and also for providing the highest quality of design excellence and personal service. Listen in today to find out about Laura and Kirsten's decision to buy their business, and how they went about acquiring it.

Show highlights:

  • Kirsten and Laura discuss their decision to buy the business.
  • The confidence that they felt about their relationships with the existing clients.
  • The really awesome way that Penny, the previous owner of the business, worked to create a great relationship between Laura, Kirsten and the existing clients.
  • What made them decide to buy an existing business, rather than starting up one of their own.
  • The organic process of how they came to decide to buy the business from the previous owner.
  • How the previous owner arrived at the value of the business.
  • The time that it took for the business to be fully paid off and for Kirsten and Laura to begin making a profit.
  • How they worked their finances, in order to get the business paid off as quickly as possible.
  • Using professional systems, in order to run a business the right way.
  • How they overcame the difficulties that they experienced during the recession in 2008.
  • The importance of their constant and clear communication.
  • The number of clients that they typically handle during any given quarter.
  • The roles that Laura and Kirsten each play for their projects.
  • The really mature way that they handle conflict when it comes up.
  • The different, yet complimentary things that Laura and Kirsten each bring to the business.
  • Some things worth considering, when thinking about buying an existing business.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

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

Links:

Meadowbank designs can be found at:

Meadowbank Designs

Facebook: Meadowbank-Designs

Instagram: Meadowbank Designs

Twitter: Meadowbank Designs

Pinterest: Meadowbank Designs

Fred Bern's website: https://interiordesignbusiness.net

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