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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Feb 18, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Join LuAnn and her guest, Victoria Sanchez, in this thought-provoking conversation about changing things up in the way we educate interior designers. Her concern is if we don’t start to make changes in the design curriculum, then we, as an industry, are at risk.

At one time, Victoria served as in interior design professor at Marymount University and this is where the conversation begins today. As LuAnn will tell you, this is a totally new idea to her and many of us, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know! Just wait until you hear what Victoria proposes!

Victoria Sanchez, one of America’s premier design professionals, has been creating one-of-a-kind interiors for hundreds of prominent clients over the past three decades.

Dubbed a home décor “style maker” by Luxe magazine, Victoria is an award-winning designer who offers services ranging from project management and space planning to kitchen and bath design and furniture selection. She and her team are backed by the region’s leading contractors, painters, architects, kitchen and bath pros, flooring specialists, audio-visual experts, and other professionals.

Victoria, whose work has appeared in publications nationwide, is known for her extraordinary customer service, fee integrity and ability to help clients get the highest return on their design investment. She has designed multiple homes for the same clients and has worked with companies to design the interiors of apartment buildings, boutique hotels, and law offices.

Victoria spent the majority of her career in Alexandria, Virginia, providing design services to Fortune 500 executives, lobbyists, military generals, doctors, lawyers, investment specialists and other professionals throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and along the east coast. While there, she also ran her ‘Victoria at Home’ shop, the area’s leading source of elegant home furnishings and accessories. Her collection of the finest upholstery, furniture, art, lighting, and pillows was carefully and proudly curated from an international network of vendors and suppliers.

Now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Victoria is keeping busy in ways she had never imagined. From charitable design work to the restoration of heritage buildings, the depth and breadth of her work have expanded while her style becomes more and more influenced by the new colors and nature that surround her. She continues to travel back to the East Coast on a regular basis, taking on projects across the country.

Victoria also speaks at design industry events across the United States. She is currently active in the American Society of Interior Designers and holds Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees in Interior Design from Marymount University. She also previously served as an interior design professor and was a board member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association.

Show Highlights:

  • The internet and all the design centers being opened to retail now both present concern to interior designers, because consumers now have the same access as designers.
  • A bigger cause for concern is that we are not producing business-minded interior designers when they graduate from their programs.
  • The top ten schools in the country have the same curriculum due to certification requirements.
  • Victoria explains that colleges are trying to pack far too much information into a 4-year program.
  • Students must learn residential design, commercial design, sustainability, and technical presentation skills, in addition to the general education classes.
  • The solution offered by Victoria is to take the programs, pull them apart, and offer three separate interior design programs: residential, commercial, and technical presentation.
  • This would allow schools to offer more courses, such as business law, accounting, marketing, and professional practices.
  • We are moving forward in our profession when we can offer a student the opportunity to be a designer with a business brain.
  • Interior design is very tactile; therefore, a designer misses the basics when rushing through courses and doing work digitally.
  • It’s not that industry leaders are apathetic to change, but they are tasked with the traditional models of teaching the student all of the aspects of interior design.
  • Changing the curriculum to product business-minded interior designers represents a challenge to CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation).
  • LuAnn and Victoria discuss ideas for implementation.
  • LuAnn points out that those running the most successful interior design firms come with experience or training in running a business. It’s a business first, and a design firm second.
  • The younger generation of designers understand that they need business skills, and are currently turning to podcasts to learn what schools aren’t teaching them.


LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Victoria!

Victoria’s Website

Victoria’s Pinterest

Victoria’s Facebook

Victoria’s Instagram

Podcast Sponsor:


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Mentioned Episodes:

Dr. Ellen Fisher Ep #71

Ashlina Kaposta Ep #109


Feb 14, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Today, LuAnn shares her findings on coaching a diverse group of entrepreneurs. As it turns out, they have several tangible things in common that she was so impressed by that she decided to dedicate a podcast to complimenting these special people and laying out for you what she has discovered in their time together.

As she relates, this has been an ‘A-ha!’ moment for her, and she hopes it will be for her listeners, as well. If you don’t already see yourself in these descriptions, perhaps it’s time that you do something to work toward them.

Additionally, LuAnn brings you exciting news of her upcoming LIVE events that she will be attending spring and summer, and invites you to join her because she LOVES meeting you in person!

Show Highlights:

  • The 3 Traits of Smart Business Owners:
  1. They come to every session with a truly open mind. They listen, ask great questions, and take action on ideas that are new to them and that sometimes even make them a bit nervous.
  2. They understand the importance of having a coach because it is an investment in their business. A coach can help you grow beyond what you imagine for yourself and shorten the learning curves.
  3. They have hope. Hope for themselves, hope for their business, and hope for the industry. They seek out new ideas and new ways to make a profit, to succeed and service a client where the client needs it the most.
  • Companion questions to ask yourself:
  1. Are you open to taking advice? Even advice that you think might not work for you?
  2. If you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time what, how does that make you look? What does your crew look like? Do you create opportunities through mentoring, coaching, and eduction that increase your value and your business acumen?
  3. Do you believe in yourself? Do you know your value and how you enrich other peoples’ lives? Do you take your talent and your abilities serious enough to invest in them?
  • March 19this the 4th birthday party for this podcast! Thanks to Kravet Inc. and 200 Lex for hosting this. Please join us 5:30- 7:30 pm at the Kravet Work Space Showroom at 200 Lexington Ave NYC. You can find the RSVP on EventBrite as well as on the website under the events tab.
  • March 21stto 24th Exciting Windows and IWCE / March 25th to the 27th
  • Teaching the Professional Window Coverings 7 Step Process, which is open to the public. Go to Exciting Windows. At the IWCE, Luann will be doing Closing the Sale Begins with Hello, as well as moderating some panels on Profitability with the Vin Man and Michele Williams. Next, LuAnn has a panel with Sara Brennan on Packaging your Process and Working with Window Treatment Professionals with Sara Brennan and Vita. Please visit IWCE-Vision.
  • April 2nd, Thursday, East End Interiors is celebrating 30 years in business this year and they have invited LuAnn to speak at their showroom in Long Island NY. If you were at LuAnn Live last year, then you know Sal and Enza and you already know what a fantastic family business they run. If you are in the NY Metro area, especially LI, you must make the time to join us so you can see everything they have to help you complete all of your design projects. They are a strictly to the trade showroom featuring furniture, lighting, accessory and more. LuAnn is also delighted to share that they are the Exclusive VIP Experience Sponsor for LuAnn Nigara Live 2020.
  • High Point Market in April. It all starts with LuAnn’s PTF Tour on Friday, April 24th, 8 am to 11:00 pm. Yup, all day, this event is jam-packed, loaded-to-the-gills, with eye-opening A-ha’s and advice specific to your business. LuAnn brings you 3 of her PTF Experts and one of them is Sandra Funk, the CEO of HOF. Sandra will be on an upcoming PTF where you will learn how she truly runs the back end of her business. And then, get to spend the whole day picking her brain? Uhmmm, the price of admission is worth it right there, no question. During the next few days at HP, LuAnn will have several presentations and panels. Saturday April 25th,she’ll moderate a panel at the showroom of the newest sponsor to join the show, Jaipur, which will be co-hosted by Revelwoods and the Interior Design Society. They will be talking about the Design Build Process and how to navigate the big-ticket projects.
  • On Sunday, LuAnn will be in the HP Theater at 12:00 noon for a very special one-on-one conversation with a very special friend, designer, and all around outstanding human being…not sure if ASID wants the proverbial beans spilled yet…so just put LuAnn on your dance card! Here’s a hint: If you were at LuAnn Live, you could probably make a good guess as to his name… Sunday at 4:00 pm you can always find LuAnn at the Kravet showroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to see and meet the incredible leadership team at Kravet. Later at 6:00 pm Sunday, there will be a special VIP party with Mydoma Studio. YOU are the special VIP :) This is a kickoff event to celebrate this new collaboration, so please join us.
  • Monday morning, LuAnn will moderate a panel all about Process Leads to Profits. LuAnn’s friend and Process Leads to Profits course teacher, Sara Lynn Brennan will be there along with a few others yet to be announced. This is also hosted by Mydoma Studio. Check LuAnn’s Website later this month for all of the locations and details.
  • Wednesday April 29th LuAnn will be back in NYC and NYSID has invited her to do a solo presentation and book signing. This is open to the public and is an evening event.
  • On May 20th, the Philadelphia Chapter of IFDA has asked LuAnn to speak and her friends at the Kravet showroom are hosting. Please join us.
  • June 4,5,6, ASID California is having their annual conference in Santa Barbara this year and they have invited LuAnn to do a solo presentation and moderate a panel. Currently, they are finalizing the designer speakers and panelists and so far, it’s looking like A-List all the way!
  • A minute later on Jun 9th LuAnn may be confirming an event with the NKBA NJ Chapter, so stay tuned on that.
  • June 16th, LuAnn’s friend, Vita, her co-host from their WTF episodes is having a grand opening party at her brand-new work room and she will be there for this celebration. Hope you will come too!
  • We will get as many of these as we can on my website but if one in particular is right for you and it is not on my site, reach out to the hosting event for the details. LuAnn’s website is LuAnn Nigara.
  • And of course, in the fall there will be LuAnn Nigara Live, It’s About the Conversation again, here in NJ. Please be on the email list for when she announces ticket sales are open—go to LuAnn Live.
  • For now, keep early November open and plan your budget for tickets, flights, and hotels. The announcement will be later this month for sure!
  • Want to make LuAnn’s day? She really does love to take her friendships from virtual to real, so please plan to attend at least one of these events.


LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Special Thanks to Podcast Sponsor:



Feb 11, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Nicole Cole joins LuAnn today for a chat about a-ha moments and the ensuing mindset shifts.

Nicole will be sharing five takeaways she’s learned from both Power Talk Friday and her time with business coach, Nancy Ganzekaufer.

You’ll want to listen in to hear her tips on how she accomplished her mindset shift to being a CEO so that you can implement these ideas for your business, too!

Nicole Cole is the CEO and Principal Designer at vestige HOME, a Philadelphia based residential interior designer firm focused on creating spaces that are interesting, engaging, and that encourage people to live well. As a young adult, Nicole served in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer before leaving to pursue work in the corporate world. With her new-found freedom outside the military, she realized that she missed the curiosity and creativity she enjoyed as a child, and decided it was time to build a creative business. Thus, vestige HOME was born!

Nicole and her team provide turnkey design services, which include trade resource coordination, sourcing expertise, creation of detailed plans, and open communication with her clients. With her many years of project management experience, she consistently delivers her projects in the most streamlined fashion with clear goals and expectations and a plan that provides the least amount of disruption possible to her client’s lives.  

Nicole studied interior design at Monterey Peninsula College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Information Systems from the University of Kansas. She believes in creating beauty and exercising a little creativity wherever possible, whether designing a room in a client’s house, picking the perfect pairing of plants for the garden, or just setting the table for breakfast on a Wednesday morning.  Nicole’s greatest joy is helping clients to create homes that reflect their lives and personalities while honoring the buildings that contain them.

Show Highlights:

  • Systems and processes are fundamental to the way you run a business.
  • Confidence is the reward when systems and processes are used consistently.
  • This confidence spills over to the client and they become confident in you.
  • When you know what you will and will not do, and the why, you will be more selective about who you work with.
  • When you refer a job because you know someone else can do it better than you can, it makes saying ‘no’ so much easier.
  • Nicole’s Five Takeaways:
  1. She realized she was no longer “just” a designer, but the CEO. As CEO, she had responsibilities to herself, her team, and her clients.
  2. It’s important to build a team.
  3. Create the systems and processes, and teach them to your staff.
  4. Focus on the details of the client experience.
  5. Focus on profit, and don’t feel guilty!
  • Lu Ann covers some additional obstacles that she has observed in speaking with designers.
  • How there’s power in using the phrase, “In my experience”.
  • LuAnn provides a designer perspective on how much work gets packed into each billing hour.
  • When you truly explain what details go into what you do, that’s when the client can buy in to your charges.
  • When you understand your own value for the work you do, you can then feel confident in either what you charge or raising what you charge.


Join us for The Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point Market

Friday, April 24th, 2020 from 8am - 11am!

Sign Up For Updates HERE!


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Mydoma Studio- Your On-Stop Client & Project Management Tool!


A Well Designed Business Podcast® 4th Birthday Party

New York City, New York

Thursday, March 19th

5:30 – 7:30pm 

Kravet Workspace, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 210


LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Nicole!


Nicole’s Instagram

Nicole’s Facebook

Podcast Sponsor:


Open Your Trade Account with Here!

Links to other shows mentioned:

Nancy Ganzekaufer #389

Michele Williams #180

Ashley Uhl #412

Bethany Mabee #450

Sarah Durnez #418

Brittanie Elms #149

Taylor Dieterich & Yashlie Negron #346

Kimberly Merlitti #442

Sara Lynn Brennan #463

Wendy Wolshchuk #316

Mikel Welch #297



Feb 7, 2020

Welcome to today’s episode of Power Talk Friday, where LuAnn chats with Nikki Rausch, a fellow seasoned sales guru with a passion for the art of selling.

Nikki has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood process of selling into techniques, tools, and tips that can successfully be incorporated into a duplicatable process.

Nikki Rausch is the Founder and CEO of Sales Maven, where she leverages her 25 years of sales experience to help entrepreneurs learn to sell in an authentic way. As a sales coach, trainer, author, and speaker, Nikki teaches her clients how to authentically move people through the selling process in a way that builds relationships, creates true connection, and results in more closed deals and long-term clients.

Her latest book, Selling Staircase, is sure to leave you feeling confidently equipped to develop a genuine sales process that gets those deals closed.

Listen in to this jam-packed conversation to find out more about how showing up from a place of credibility and being more strategic will help you to reach your sales goals.

Show Highlights:

  • Sales is really about creating strong relationships with people.
  • LuAnn likens closing a sale with being on a first date.
  • Interior Designers often classify themselves as an introvert and therefore don’t develop sales skills.
  • Using your own personality is the best way to grow your business.
  • Nikki helps clients learn how to use language to attract ideal clients.
  • It’s important to be the expert and provide recommendations. You need to be able to explain the “why” so that communication is clear.
  • You can talk people out of buying from you if you don’t recognize a buying signal.
  • LuAnn and Nikki share personal pet-peeves they have when they’re on the receiving end of a sales pitch.
  • Nikki’s 5 Steps of the Selling Staircase:
  1. Introduction: Establish yourself as a credible source and make a powerful first impression.
  2. Creating Curiosity: Is this a potential client or colleague? Tip: Are you answering questions in a way that spurs people to want to know more about you? Nikki explains the difference between using a ‘cat-calling’ and ‘dog-calling’ technique to create curiosity.
  3. The Discovery Phase: Find out what their want/need/problem is, and ask questions that lead to people hiring you.
  4. The Proposal: As the expert, recommend the services that you think your client needs, and not what you think they can afford.
  5. The Close: Use closing language and then zip it! Let your prospect respond first. If they raise an objection, be ready to uncover and overcome the “real” objection.
  • You, as the salesperson, are not allowed to skip any of these steps. Your client, however, can!


Join us for The Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point Market

Coming Spring 2020!

Sign Up For Updates HERE!

A Well Designed Business Podcast® 4th Birthday Party

New York City, New York

Thursday, March 19th

5:30 – 7:30pm 

Kravet Workspace, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 210


LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Nikki!

Nikki’s Website - Free E-Book ‘Closing the Sale’! Learn why you might be fumbling sales calls and what to do instead, how you can establish yourself as the expert and language to use when asking for the sale.

Nikki’s Sales Maven SocietyFor 10% Off Membership, Use COUPON CODE: luann

Nikki’s Selling Strength Assessment

Nikki’s Facebook

Nikki’s Instagram

Nikki’s Linkedin

Nikki’s YouTube

Nikki’s Books<— Get Them Here!

Podcast Sponsor:


Open Your Trade Account with Here!

Recommended Previous Shows

Stephanie Chung # 277

Kwame Christian #129

Madeline McCray #315


Feb 4, 2020

Welcome! On today’s show, the creative force behind the Barclay Butera Design Firm, joins us on the show for the second time on the podcast. We pick up with Barclay today, where we left off with him in our previous conversation in episode # 122. He talks to us about his corporation, how it has changed, how he vets potential licensing partners, and what his responsibilities are, in terms of his relationships with his licensing partners. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what Barclay has to share.

Barclay has been the creative force behind his prestigious design firm since 1994, and he is well-known for his approachable elegance and glamorous coastal-chic interiors. He has showrooms in New Port Beach, California, Corona Del Mar, California, and Park City, Utah.

Apart from his thriving interior design business, Barclay is also a stand-out leader in our industry for developing and earning licensing agreements. His licensing partners include Kravet, Jaipur, Bradburn Home Lighting, Castell Outdoor Furniture, Eastern Accents, Leftbank Art, Lexington Home Brands, Mirror Image, Napa Home and Garden, and many others. Barclay also has a long list of esteemed press and media publication credentials. Tune in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Barclay talks about his new, sophisticated fabric collection at Kravet.
  • Every license relationship wants Barclay to push to the next level.
  • Barclay discusses what he has coming in 2020with Jaipur.
  • Barclay has recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his business.
  • His next book could be out within the next year.
  • Barclay discusses the real estate revenue stream that he has recently added to his corporation.
  • How his whole licensing empire has grown organically to where it is today.
  • Some tips for capitalizing on licensing opportunities.
  • A lot of hard work goes into Barclay's licensing partnerships.
  • Barclay discusses the kinds of people he has to sell to.
  • Barclay informs everything he does with the very same thought processes he uses to manage his very large design firm.
  • Barclay's company has been built on good personal relationships and he promotes from within.
  • Learning to run a business well.
  • Barclay was raised in a sales environment. His parents were both salespeople.
  • Managing with kindness, not fear.
  • Some things to consider when thinking of growing your business.
  • Barclay shares his thoughts about sharing, caring, and supporting charities, and his mechanisms for doing it.
  • Barclay explains why e-commerce is the most difficult revenue stream.

Previous Episode Mentioned:

Nate Berkus #433


Barclay Butera

My Doma Studio: A Well designed Business


Jan 31, 2020

Welcome! We have Natalie Norcross, the CEO and Founder of A Design Partnership, back on the show today. (She was previously in episode #162.) Natalie started her career as an interior designer. She then built a highly successful residential and hospitality design firm, and after she sold it in 2008, she was repeatedly approached by interior design and architectural firms to assist them with their marketing and business development. And this was how A Design Partnership was born. In today's episode, Natalie talks about the four areas you need to focus on when going after press for your design firm. She also discusses how to make PR more accessible to designers, and she shares her strategies for goal setting, running her firm, and achieving success. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what this #smartlady has to share!

A Design Partnership has grown to become a dynamic group of experts who are passionate about helping clients transform their brands and evolve their businesses. From content curators to data-obsessed experts, Natalie leads a dynamic team of design-savvy people who know the industry, love their craft, and are fanatical about helping brands grow.

Natalie has more than nineteen years of experience, working for interior designers, architects, builders, developers, and hotel and home brands. Her firm has a proven track record of driving exposure and placements through their PR. Natalie is an Official Member of Forbes Agency Council as well as a regular speaker and panelist in both the communications and design industries. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Having systems in place will allow you to sell your business.
  • How Natalie's agency was born.
  • Systems lead to success.
  • Locking things down and getting things organized in your business.
  • Focus on your goals to achieve your dreams.
  • Ninety days of intention.
  • Focus on becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Success is all about service.
  • Natalie talks about her superpower.
  • Natalie describes her wonderful team.
  • Working with success metric for each client.
  • Accountability is a great mirror.
  • Developing a growth mindset and surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Everything in your life is figure-outable.
  • Some advice about PR.
  • Great tips for getting press!
  • Getting published with Interior Design PR in 2020.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Natalie Norcross 1st show #162

Ren Miller #12

Ashley Hotham Cox #321

Amy Flurry #108, #323

Alex Gourlay # 447


Website: A Design Partnership

Instagram: A Design Partnership

Pinterest: A Design Partnership

Facebook: A Design Partnership

New Launch: Interior Design PR


Jan 29, 2020

Welcome to our special bonus show! Today, as promised, we will be sharing our conversation with Eric Ross about his business philosophy, his process for selling accessories, and the way he manages his reveal install day. Eric's process is unique and very unusual. Be sure to listen in, to hear what he has to share.

Eric has been a professional decorator for more than twenty years. Although his preferred design style is traditional, he listens to his clients, to help them discover what they love, and what they respond to because he believes that everyone's home should represent who they are on their best day. Tune in today, to get some great advice from Eric!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric doesn't deliver a project piecemeal. He only reveals it when it's ready.
  • Eric takes risks when making purchases for his clients but they seldom ask to return items.
  • It is important to look at what you're trying to achieve, and the value you're bringing to people, and stick to that.
  • Know that your job is to make things beautiful and if something gets returned you have still done your job.
  • Eric loves to wow people at the install.
  • People who appreciate Eric's value and want a beautiful home will be willing to pay the price he's asking.
  • It's Eric's job to design a room to completion. It's the client's job to decide on the budget.
  • The designer needs to learn what makes the client tick.


Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party



Jan 28, 2020

Welcome! Today, Eric Ross joins us on the show. Eric is a charming southern gentleman and a well-experienced design professional. He is also a seasoned businessman who has figured out how to run his firm in a unique way that really works for him. In today's episode, he describes how he runs his private interior design studio like a retail store. He explains that he no longer feels the need to change, apologize or adjust the way he works to conform to a client’s expectations. Eric knows himself well, he understands his passions, and he is very clear about what he will and will not do. Be sure to listen in today, to find about his very interesting business model.

Eric is from Nashville. He has been in love with the traditional living design style since he was a child. He has more than twenty years of design experience and his work has been published in Traditional Home, Southern Style, Southern Lady, The Cottage Journal, as well as in many other publications. Eric's passion is to fan the flame of traditional decorating with a deeply Southern esthetic. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric explains what he means when he says that he is running his design firm like a store without a storefront.
  • What the decorating track of Eric's business is all about.
  • Eric's margins are hefty, just like those in a storefront, and all of his design services are included in that pricing.
  • The way that Eric educates his clients about his philosophy and the way he works.
  • Talking about transparency.
  • People will happily pay Eric for his product rather than his time.
  • Trust is a key issue.
  • Eric's business model allows him to have total control over the whole process.
  • Eric's advice is to start small with clients. It makes your business more manageable.
  • The biggest motivator for Eric is seeing the result of what he has created.
  • Eric's qualifying process for his new clients.
  • Eric explains why he does not do discounts.
  • The opportunities you're losing by being overworked.
  • Eric's goal is to monetize his passion.
  • Our industry is too high-touch to make it high volume.
  • It's okay to mark up because of the value you add to the project.
  • You don't have to explain your "no".
  • Eric has a new book out, called Enduring Southern Homes.


Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party



Jan 24, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Traci Reuter, the founder, and CEO of Divine Social joins us today. Traci loves to uplift and inspire business owners, entrepreneurs, or anyone with an amazing idea! She has a knack for uncovering just the right strategy for everyone and then helping them map things out to make the execution simple and easy. In today's episode, Traci shares tons of ideas, strategies, and tips for paid marketing on social media. Be sure to listen in to find out more about the paid advertising aspect of Instagram and Facebook. 

Traci has twenty-five years of experience in sales and marketing. She is passionate about supporting businesses and growing their brands through real and meaningful social media advertising. She has a special gift for mapping out the perfect strategy to get a brand in front of the right people at the right time. Traci truly knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. She also co-hosts the Social Media Happy Hour podcast with Dawn Marks. Tune in today, to learn what she has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • The power of paid advertising on social media.
  • Traci explains how she started with her business.
  • Traci gives her team incredible training.
  • Sometimes, it takes just a tiny thing to make all the difference in your profitability.
  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • The customer journey.
  • Never spend money on ads. Rather invest in your business.
  • Consideration is not the same as pre-purchase.
  • Why Traci is against boosting Facebook posts.
  • It takes time to build up enough trust to invest in advertising.
  • Thinking about what to put your ads, to get your prospects to want to know more.
  • Branding is about telling your story so that business comes out of it.
  • Creating engagement with your prospects.
  • Building audiences of people who have watched your Facebook video.
  • Traci shares the EDIE formula for creating a great video.
  • All your ads must be congruent with your end-goal.
  • Video out-performs everything else on social media.
  • What to do if you only have the budget to run one thing.
  • The Three Pillars to Successful Social Ads.
  • Should you focus on Facebook or Instagram?


Traci Reuter is the founder/CEO of Divine Social. She’s passionate about supporting businesses in growing their brands through authentic, meaningful social advertising. Traci has an uncanny gift for looking at any business’s mission, vision, and message, and mapping out the right strategy to get their brand in front of the right people at the right time. With 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Traci knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. Combined with her tactical knowledge of social advertising, Traci can write the recipe for any brand’s success, and she would love to share some of her greatest secrets behind mapping out your own powerful social advertising strategy.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466


Website: Divine Social

Instagram: Traci Reuter

Facebook: Traci Reuter Social

Youtube: Traci Reuter

Please take advantage of Traci’s gifts:

For the 15-minute audit, if you are spending more than $3000 a month on social media marketing, email Traci at

For Traci's free mini-course, 3 Pillars To Successful Social Ads, go to A Well Designed Business

Big announcement - The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet’s new workspace center at 200 Lexington NY NY on March 19, 2020, at 5:30 pm

Book mentioned:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey


Jan 21, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Lisa Haude, of Paradigm Design Group, joining us! Lisa built her firm from ground zero to a firm with gross revenues exceeding fifty-million dollars. And she showed her relentless commitment by doing that the old-fashioned way, by calling on her contacts week after week. In today's episode, Lisa talks to us about how she runs her business, and she explains how all her success can be attributed to her commitment to delivering an exceptional project, regardless of the situation. Tune in today, to find out how planning to exceed your clients' expectations in every aspect of a project will always bring about a successful result.  

As the lead designer and founder of Paradigm Design Group for the last fifteen years, Lisa Haude is an expert in livable luxury. She has built Paradigm Design Group into a hospitality design powerhouse. With projects ranging from The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria in New Orleans to the award-winning Portland Marriott Downtown, to boutique hotels and numerous Hilton hotels across the United States, Lisa prides herself on her design versatility. Be sure to listen in today, to find out more about Lisa, and her work ethic, and her successful design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Lisa spent time working at high-end hospitality firms, for architectural design firms, and in the hotel and hospitality industry, on the inside, on their design teams, before opening her firm. She talks to us about how this great learning experience informs the way she runs her firm.
  • Lisa gives us some insight into the way her firm looks.
  • Taking care of the details and all the moving pieces on multiple-million dollar projects.
  • The way that Lisa's whole team collaborates to bring about an awesome project.
  • Dealing with the documentation.
  • Talking about accountability.
  • The whole team is detail-oriented.
  • Open discussions are vital for growing and improving.
  • Taking responsibility, as a leader, for whatever happens with a project.
  • Sometimes it's hard to find your humor when you're in the trenches.
  • Some advice for landing and keep long-term hospitality accounts.
  • Owning up if you mess up is very important.
  • People like to do business with people who have similar ideals and values.
  • Lisa has an amazing village of co-workers.
  • How Lisa created her opportunities and made things happen when she started her firm.
  • Lisa offers some awesome advice.
  • Thinking outside the box to make things happen.
  • The background and skills that Lisa looks for when hiring a junior designer.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Meryl Santopietro #40

Mikel Welch #297

Corey Damen Jenkins #127

Claire Jefford #237

Vanessa DeLeon #18


Website: Paradigm Design

Facebook: Paradigm Design Group

Instagram: Paradigm Design Group

The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet's new workshop center at 200 Lexington New York on March 19, 2020, at 5.30 pm. Use this link to RSVP -  Event Brite


Jan 17, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have one of our early guests back on the show. Diane Gardener, known as The Tax Coach (Episode #54) is back with us to talk about the specific niche of seven-figure interior design firms. Although LuAnn has done a lot of shows about getting a design business off the ground, she realized that she's done way fewer shows about what to do when you are in the seven-figure bracket. And there are very specific challenges that come with this area. When moving into the seven-figure bracket, business owners frequently experience higher expenses, cash flow problems, and higher taxes. So be sure to listen in today even if you're still a #babydesigner because LuAnn fully intends for you to become a seven-figure interior designer someday.

Diane Gardner is a Certified Tax Coach, a Quilly award recipient, and a best-selling author whose expert planning approach has saved her clients over three-million dollars in taxes. Her expertise lies in the area of tax planning. And her goal is to make sure that successful entrepreneurs across the United States are paying the least amount of income tax that they can legally pay. She aims to save taxes, one business at a time, through the use of pro-active tax planning. Diane has been featured on popular podcasts such as CEO Warrior, For the Love of Money, Listen Money Matters, Investing in The U.S, Cashflow Ninja, SharkPrenuer, Wealth Formula and Profit Boss. Tune in today, to learn about what you need in your seven-figure business to mitigate risk, increase your profits, and legally decrease your taxes.

Show Highlights:

  • Diane is a certified Profit First coach.
  • Planning ahead to pay less tax when moving into the seven-figure tax bracket.
  • Increased income often means increased expenses.
  • Becoming an active partner with your CPA or Business Coach.
  • The tax planning strategies that seven-figure businesses need to implement to keep more money
  • A great way to incentivize your people and lessen your tax load.
  • It takes a different set of skills to run a bigger business.
  • How to increase your cash flow to leverage growth from multi-six-figures to seven-figures.
  • Diane explains how a tax coach can be your ultimate advocate and partner in growth.
  • Doing an entity analysis for your business.
  • An amazing strategy for saving money by investing in your own insurance company.

Other guests mentioned in this show:

Michele Williams #180, #395 

Peter Lang # 349, #464 

Diane Gardner was on the show before in episode #54


Diane's website: Tax Coach 4 You

Diane's offer: Planning guide for the new tax law vs old tax law.

Diane’s Facebook handles:      




Jan 14, 2020

Welcome to the epic 500th episode of A Well-Designed Business! So far, it's been a wild ride, and we've fully enjoyed every minute of it! Even LuAnn, the consummate positive thinker, ever-optimistic dreamer, and earnest believer in the truth, could not foresee all the joy she has experienced, and the delightful connections she has made, because of this podcast! Join us today, for this truly memorable episode!

Recently, LuAnn has been spending time reflecting on all the pleasure that this podcast has brought her. She's been thinking about all the people she's met, the invaluable relationships she's formed, the opportunities she's been given, and the ones she has helped to create through this podcast. She has also taken the time to break down the various business strategies she's used in running this platform. In today's episode, she shares the five things that she learned behind the scenes, from doing this show. Be sure to tune in today, to hear about the 5 Keys that LuAnn believes were essential for her to have in place, to allow for her calling to happen.

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn talks about the 5 essential keys to success.
  • Talking about passion.
  • How LuAnn realized that she needed to do a podcast.
  • Looking for something to light her up, back in 2013.
  • Lessons learned from golf lessons, surfing lessons, and 46-mile bike rides.
  • Never looking back, only ahead for what was to come.
  • LuAnn shares her true passion.
  • Even the hard days have been an absolute joy for LuAnn.
  • Creating a business plan with cold, hard facts.
  • Making clear decisions, based on facts and up-front agreements.
  • Clarity creates calm and purpose because when you have a plan, you are more likely to get to where you want to be.
  • Having an unrelenting, single-minded, and focused commitment to getting things done.
  • Every business is always a work in progress.
  • What you need, to be successful.
  • Commitment is showing up on schedule, being prepared to do what you said you would do, and doing the work.
  • What it takes, to run a village.
  • LuAnn has been blessed by the most amazing village of the brands who believe in this show.
  • It has been through the village of guests, sponsors, co-authors, and listeners that LuAnn has grown, and learned so much, in the last four years.
  • Some valuable lessons were learned from doing LuAnn Live.
  • Paying other people to deal with the details and fill in the gaps.
  • Having the support of our amazingly gifted podcast village.
  • The sad loss of a dear friend, Liza Jones.
  • Treasuring the support of all her co-authors.
  • Make someone's day, and decide to be excellent!

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467

Michele Williams #137, #180, #395, and #424

Sarah Daniele #91, #119, and #177

Jenny and Greg Madden #332

Corey Damon Jenkins #388

Eileen Hahn #363

Wendy Glaister #386


LuAnn Nigara

My Doma Studio




Revel Woods


Jan 10, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Shauna Lynn Simon with us today. She is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, and she's also one of the co-authors of LuAnn's second book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. Shauna Lynn is seriously committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success in their businesses. In today's episode, she explains how to become unforgettable to your clients. She shares several ways to make yourself memorable so that you're always the first person that your clients think of when they need an interior design or a window treatment service. Be sure to listen in, to find out what this exceptional businesswoman has to share with you today. You're really going to love her!

Shauna Lynn Simon is dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships between like-minded professionals. She partners with CEOs, executives, and solo-preneurs to grow their brands. Shauna Lynn has built a thriving home staging and design business. She has designed a comprehensive and systematic program for teaching the technical and the business side of the home staging world. She also offers core and continuing education for home staging professionals through Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Making yourself stand out uniquely.
  • It's all about understanding who you are and owning it.
  • Shauna Lynn's company has been branded with the color pink.
  • You need to know who you are and what you represent.
  • People often forget the names of people they have worked with before.
  • You need to find something to make yourself memorable.
  • Owning every part of your image.
  • You have to be one in a million.
  • Figuring out what makes you the best.
  • What fires up your passion?
  • Finding your purpose by looking at what makes you happy.
  • Positioning yourself well in the marketplace.
  • Give people a reason to remember you.
  • Figure out your "thing" is and steer yourself in that direction.
  • Everything you do should reflect your business in some way.
  • Creating an effective About You page.


Shauna Lynn Simon is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, committed to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve success in their business. After building a thriving home staging and design business, she founded Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy, a comprehensive and systematic program providing core and continuing education training for home staging professionals.

Analyst turned home stager, Shauna Lynn combines creativity with logic and problem solving to achieve incredible results. Dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships, Shauna Lynn partners with CEOs, executives and solo-preneurs in the creative field to grow their personal and professional brands, providing real-world insights and actionable tips for conquering their business dreams.


Website: Beyond The Stage Homes

Facebook: Beyond The Stage Homes

YouTube Channel

Pinterest: BTSHomes

Exciting Windows


PowerHouse Smart Luxury Conference -


Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shauna Lynn Simon # 76, #84, and #102

Moniomi Design #193

Dane Austin #457

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466



Jan 7, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Claire Staszak back on the show with us. Claire, who was previously in episode #166, is the principal of the Chicago-based firm, Centered by Design. Claire is a kind and genuine lady, and LuAnn has always had a very soft spot for her. In today's episode, she explains how to create excellent, top-quality content for social media. She and LuAnn also talk about how they met at the Design Influencer's Conference in 2017, and they discuss how Claire's blog, Centered by Design, was honored with an award for Best Design Writing. Be sure to listen in, to hear what Claire has to share about creating quality content for social media.

Centered By Design, is known for its holistic design process, which combines Claire's passion for wellness with her well-trained eye for interiors.

Claire studied interior design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she holds a Certificate of Kitchen and Bath Design from Harper College.  

She is also a certified yoga instructor with more than 500 hours of training.

Claire's work has been featured by The Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, HGTV, Domino, Architectural Digest online and more. Tune in now, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Claire will be speaking at The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference that LuAnn will be headlining, in February, in Chicago.
  • Why The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference is unique and well worth attending.
  • Claire talks about winning the Best Design Writing Award at the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017.
  • The Design Influencer's Conference was a turning point for Claire. It boosted her and gave her a lot of confidence.
  • Claire has a degree in journalism so writing comes very naturally to her.
  • Helping as many people as possible, as effectively as possible.
  • Claire came to the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017, asking whether or not she should continue writing her blog.
  • Claire shares her biggest takeaway from her experience of winning the Best Design Writing Award.
  • Claire has created a workbook, called Authentically You, for interior designers and creatives looking to create content for their websites and social media.
  • Claire has a social media following of 18 000 people, and she gets more than a million views a month on Pinterest. She shares some tips and strategies.
  • Creating opportunities for brand ambassadorship.
  • Claire's best apps for pre-planning and creating content.
  • Growing your #following on Instagram.
  • You attract the right kind of clients when you're authentic on social media.
  • Claire has an awesome giveaway for you today!


Claire's online shop pages:

Centered By Design

Centered By Design

Claire's Instagram and Pinterest:

Instagram: Claire Staszak

Pinterest: Claire Staszak

Claire's blog

Claire's giveaway - Social Media Prompts for Seasonal & Evergreen Content Goodies

Process Leads To Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

What Would Lu Do

LuAnn and Claire will be speaking at the Power House Smart Luxury Conference this February 5, 2020

For tickets

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Claire’s 1st episode #166

Kelsey Grose- The Farmer’s Daughter #167 - Winner of Best New Design Blog 2017 by Design Influencers Conference

Shea McGee - episode #’s: 236, 270 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Amber Lewis – episode #’s: 168, 184 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Wendy Cohen: #483 - Organizer of the 2020 Power House Smart Luxury Conference




Jan 3, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have a business strategist, Kim Dawson, joining us. Kim enjoys working with business owners, helping them earn more and grow their businesses into successful enterprises. Her superpower is helping the owners of service-based businesses work out their ideal pricing formula. In other words, she guides them through a process of figuring out how much they should be charging, either per hour or for an entire project, to be profitable. Kim's advice is to always start with the numbers so that you can plan and strategize to accomplish your goals, rather than wishing for them to happen. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what she has to share.

Kim is a lifelong entrepreneur. She has started many businesses of her own, including a local health and fitness studio, and she has also co-founded a software setup. Kim's experience lies both in locally-focused, service-oriented businesses, and in online product-based businesses. Tune in now, to find out how to set and track your yearly financial goals, and make more profit from your business.

Show Highlights:

  • Kim works with many different industries.
  • Running a business is not for everybody.
  • Owning a business does not mean that you know how to run one.
  • Making a plan to earn your money.
  • Getting your priorities in order.
  • Looking at your numbers.
  • Kim shares a formula for working out how much money you need to bring in each year.
  • You need to know your market.
  • Evaluating the whole situation before deciding to take something on helps you stay on target.
  • Kim advises charging a flat fee, rather than an hourly fee.
  • Working out your hourly rate.
  • Finding the right market for the rate you're charging.
  • Using a strategic plan to get where you want to go.
  • Tracking your time makes your billing easier.
  • Kim used to have The Sassy Strategist Podcast.

The shows to go with this show:

Krista Coupar #60

Kim Merlitti #361 and #442

Alinda Morris #429

Cheryl Clendenon #482

Michele Williams #395

Kae Whitaker #114


Kim Dawson

LuAnn Nigara

Profit With Window Treatments


My Doma Studio


Well Designed Article

IWCE Vision



Dec 31, 2019

Welcome to the last podcast for 2019! Today, we have Sally Williams, the owner of Colorful Concepts Interior Design, based in Raleigh, New York, with us on the show. Sally knows who she is, what she is capable of doing, and what sets her apart from other designers. And this comes across very distinctly in her carefully thought-out and exceptionally well-written bio. Listen in today, to hear what Sally has to share about the way she markets and grows her design firm.

Sally is very clear about what she will do and what she won't do in her business. And she knows precisely what to say when she has to have difficult conversations with her clients. This is Sally's secret sauce because certain conversations can be very hard to have if you're not prepared. In today's show, Sally explains how she's equipped herself for having these hard conversations with clients, and she talks to us about two changes that she made in her firm, which have resulted in a 40% increase in her gross sales in just one year. Be sure to tune in today, to find out more!

We wish you the happiest and most successful of years in 2020!

Show Highlights:

  • Sally explains how she achieved a 40% growth in her business this year, by making two changes.
  • Changing to charging an hourly rate, rather than a flat fee.
  • Sally explains how she estimates the cost of a design project.
  • Sally's mechanism for billing her clients for additional work.
  • Sally explains how she and her team track their hours.
  • Sally walks us through her strategy wall for new projects.
  • Setting things up for a new project.
  • Sally explains how she persuades new clients to hang in there, and bear with her until she's ready to start with their project.
  • How Sally and her team coped with a 40% growth this year.
  • Creating touchpoints for keeping the communication with the client open throughout a project.
  • The wrapping-up process.
  • Susan Brunstrum (#36) has developed a great process for wrapping up a design project.
  • Charging the same mark-up percentage on products across the board.
  • Sally explains how she builds her pipeline and markets her business.


Sally Williams, the Owner and Principal Designer of Colorful Concepts Interior Design has a design aesthetic that is timeless and free of stylistic premises working in contemporary and traditional spaces alike.

Sally is a CQRID-certified Interior Designer who has also earned an Accounting degree from the College of William and Mary.  She worked in Corporate Accounting Management prior to following her life-long passion for Fine Art and Craft by opening a Gallery in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.  During her seven years of Gallery ownership, Sally’s eyes were opened to the world of Interior Design.  With the encouragement of Gallery clients, friends, and family, she pursued vigorous self-study of the field. In 2002, Sally closed the Gallery and Colorful Concepts was born. 

The gallery and artists Sally worked with continue to inspire her design approach today.  She begins her designs with the color palette, which sets the tone for the entire project.  Sally transforms a space artistically, providing balanced composition and soulful color schemes set in crisp optimistic environments.  She has a strong philosophy that environments impact peoples’ daily lives, and she works with the client to deeply understand what they want and need in their space.

​As the daughter of a United States Foreign Service Officer, Sally spent much of her childhood overseas.  A multi-cultural heritage of French-Canadian on her Father’s side, and Peruvian on her Mother’s, has also inspired Sally’s creativity, which is delivered beyond her client’s expectations.

Sally is a Past President of the Triangle Chapter of the Interior Design Society; a member of numerous Professional Associations including the Home Builders Association and the Remodeler’s Council; and is a volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild.  Sally has lived in Raleigh for thirty years, where she and her husband, Richard, raised their two daughters - Angela and Nancy.  

Colorful Concepts Interior Design is a full-service Interior Design studio providing professional services in residential renovation design, space planning, new home materials selections, custom window treatments, and furnishings, fine art and craft consulting, and more.  At Colorful Concepts Interior Design, long-term client relationships are valued, and we look forward to working with you on future projects as well. We are fortunate to serve clients in a way that truly enhances their lives.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Clendenon # 482

Susan Brunstrum # 36

Nicole Heymer # 125, #317, and #466

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460


Colorful Concepts Interior Design



Dering Hall

Luann Nigara

Well Designed Article

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business



Dec 27, 2019

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today, we're very excited to be talking money with our guest, Gerri Detweiler! Gerri understands just how to talk to creatives like us about money in a way that we truly get it.

As designers, we need to understand that working intentionally with our business finances will ultimately allow us to bring our design talent to the world. However, many creatives struggle to understand the nuances of money and finance, so, in today's episode, Gerri talks to us about business finance and she explains how to get access to a line of credit. Be sure to listen in, to get a clear understanding of credit and financing for your business.

Gerri has been guiding individuals through the confusing world of credit for more than twenty years. Her articles have been widely syndicated, and she is either the author or co-author of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Gerri is also the Education Director for Nav, which matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives them free access to their personal and business credit scores. Tune in today, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Gerri admits that she's not a numbers person. She does what she does because she loves helping people.
  • Gerri hates seeing people making bad choices.
  • Why you need to have a good financial buffer available for your business.
  • Setting your business up smartly, for success.
  • Protecting your personal finances from your business's ups and downs.
  • There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about which cards to use in your business.
  • Some clever strategies for saving on bank charges.
  • Avoiding fraud with credit cards.
  • Using business credit to benefit your cash-flow.
  • Establishing a line of credit.
  • There are many different loans available for small businesses via the SBA.
  • Checking on business credit.
  • Why you need to keep your personal credit scores separate from business credit scores.
  • Business credit- use it or you'll lose it.
  • How Nav helps business owners.
  • You can set up your business credit for free with Nav.


Nav: The coupon code for opening a premium Nav account is PODCAST.

Nav Blog

Find out which small business credit cards don't report to your personal credit: Nav

Small business credit cards that DO help you build business credit

Get Nav's free Build Business Credit Checklist at Nav Podcast

Facebook: Nav

Twitter: NavSMB

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Peter Lang #349 and #464

Kimberley Merlitti #361 and #442

Michele Williams #137, #180, #395, and #424

Taylor Spellman #467

Ashley Micchice #468


Dec 24, 2019

Welcome! We have Mimi Goldsmith, a loyal podcast listener, and the principal owner of her referral-based business, Style by Mimi G, with us on the show today. Mimi's bio is a perfect example of the lessons that Fred Berns, and Nicole Heymer, of Curio Electro, have been teaching us. Although Mimi has only been in business for a few short years, she has created a bio that draws the reader's attention to the uniqueness of her work. In today's episode, she talks to us about her business, how she started it, and all the shows that influenced her and helped her get her business off the ground. Be sure to listen in today, to hear what Mimi has to share about her journey!

Mimi Goldsmith, an interior decorator, and stylist is the principal owner of Style by Mimi G, which she opened in 2016. Mimi provides full-service interior decorating, e-design service, interior consultations, space planning, paint color consulting and home styling packages. She specializes in creating one-of-a-kind residential and commercial interiors for her local full-service clients. She also specializes in creating tranquil therapy offices for therapists across the world through her online services. Tune in now, to find out how Mimi got her business up and running!

Show Highlights:

  • Mimi describes her spontaneous decision to start her interior design business.
  • The kind of research Mimi did when she started her business.
  • Mimi didn't know how much to charge when she started.
  • The magic of attending a LuAnn Live event.
  • Mimi explains how she found this podcast.
  • The groups that can be found via the podcast.
  • How Mimi has been growing her business.
  • Where Mimi found the necessary information to grow her business.
  • Some lessons that Mimi learned from getting her clients' feedback.
  • To work after business hours, or not?
  • Mimi takes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons off.
  • Some very valuable lessons that Mimi has learned.
  • Making use of My Doma's services.
  • It's a great idea to create various design packages.
  • Learning about vendor relationships.
  • Buying from local vendors and learning from their expertise.
  • It's essential to run your business with integrity.
  • When you charge more, you can deliver more, and you create loyalty.


Mimi Goldsmith's website: Style by Mimi G

Instagram: Style by Mimi G

Facebook: Style by Mimi G

What Would Lu Do?

LuAnn Live

Get the Goodies

LuAnn Nigara and Friends Facebook Group

Claire’s Facebook group: Interior Design Business Strategies

Veronica’s Facebook group: What They Don’t Teach You in Design School

Darla’s Facebook group: The Wingnut Social Media Lab

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro) #125, #317, and #466

Summer Tannhauser #292

Stefan Spencer  

Sandra Funk  # 02 and #145

Groups to be found in the podcast:

Claire Jefford (# 237, #325, #485) - Interior Design Business Strategies

Veronica Solomon (#50) - What They Don't Teach You In Design School

Darla Powel (#203, #330)l - Wingnut Social

Leslie Carothers (#458) - The Design Wealth Group

Cheryl Clendenon (#482) - Small Business, Think Big

Email LuAnn at if you think she could be your partner in making 2020 your amazing year!



Dec 20, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska joining us on the show. As most of you know, Vita is LuAnn's Window Treatment Friday co-host. Ever since they launched the series last summer, they have been getting awesome feedback from designers and the window treatment community. Vita is an award-winning window treatment specialist with an impressive career path. In today's episode, you will learn all about her life, her career, her business, and her superpowers, so be sure to listen in, to get to know Vita a little better!

Vita has an MBA. She is a CWFP (Certified Window Treatment Professional), an award-winning window treatment specialist, and an author. Her company, Vitalia Inc. Her company, Vitalia, Inc., provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services, exclusively for interior designers. Tune in today to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Vita talks about what her career path looked like before she started doing window treatments.
  • How Vita came to open Vitalia Inc.
  • Vita has a flair for finance.
  • The corporate world can be brutal.
  • Vita truly appreciates the skills she developed and the lessons she learned in the corporate world.
  • Why Vita decided to leave her corporate career.
  • Productivity is very important for Vita.
  • The kind of confidence that corporate gave Vita.
  • Learning the skill and finesse to stand her ground in the face of bullies.
  • Looking back to learn from your past mistakes.
  • Vita is like an extension of the team of the designers she works with.
  • Entering the window treatment world with her eyes wide open.
  • It took Vita two years to decide to leave the corporate world.
  • Being very clear about your mission and vision.
  • It's not necessary to go it alone because there's so much help and support available out there.
  • What you will learn in Vita's eight-week Profit With Window Treatments
  • Remember- your success starts with a decision.


Vitalia Vygovska (Vita for short), CWFP, MBA, is an award-winning window treatment specialist, author, speaker, mom, wife, and a ballroom dance enthusiast.  Her company, Vitalia, Inc, provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services exclusively for interior designers.  In business for over a decade, Vita and her team are experts in their narrow field, providing designers with superb quality product and excellent communication.  Most importantly, they take off the stress, save time, and give peace of mind in the job is well-done.

A big thank you to Kirsch for sponsoring Window Treatment Fridays!


To learn more & register for Vita's course: Profit With Window Treatments

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

To learn more about working with Window Works

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

To attend the IWCE where both LuAnn and Vita will be presenting

To learn about the WCAA (Window Coverings Association of America)

To learn about Exciting Windows

To learn about Mydoma Studio


Dec 17, 2019

Welcome! Today, Laura Umansky, the principal of Laura U, (episode # 64) joins us once again on the show. Laura very clear about her vision for her firm and she is currently guiding her company to work towards growing from a five-million-dollar firm to a ten-million-dollar firm. In today's episode, Laura explains that, for her, this kind of growth requires a team of outside expert consultants, including an outside CFO, an EOS (Entrepreneur's Operating System) consultant, and her business advisor, in addition to her internal team. Laura is a true #smartlady, so be sure to listen in today, to hear this outstanding conversation.

Laura is the Founder and Creative Director of Laura U Interior Design, which is based in Houston, Texas. Her work has been featured by esteemed media outlets, which include Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Modern Luxury Houston, Veranda, and Luxe Interiors. Laura is also in Carl Dellator's brand new book, On Style: Inspiration and Advice from the New Generation of Interior Design,

which was released in the fall of 2019. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Laura is ultra-focused and she is a major planner.
  • Nothing happens by accident so you have to be prepared to be lucky.
  • Laura talks about the intentional way that she and her plan for her business to be run.
  • Work begets work.
  • You need to put yourself out there, plan, and get involved with your community, for things to come back to you.
  • Laura is ready to take her firm to the next level. She explains what this means for her.
  • Structuring a business to scale it.
  • Laura describes the kinds of decisions she has to make in her firm.
  • For her first seven years in business, Laura worked without the assistance of any advisors.
  • Laura started working with a business coach four or five years ago.
  • Working with a virtual CFO.
  • Laura has chosen to run her business on the EOS (Entrepreneur's Operating System) system.
  • The EOS system can even be used for a family!
  • Always doing what's best for the business is vital.
  • How Laura manages to be both the visionary and the integrator for her firm.
  • Laura talks about the processes that are involved in growing her firm from a five-million-dollar company to a ten-million-dollar company.
  • Being a life-long-learners with a growth mindset is important for scaling a business.
  • Laura talks about Carl Dellator's book, On Style, which has just come out.


Laura Umansky is the Founder and Creative Director of Laura U Interior Design, a firm based in Houston, TX. Design has always been a part of her life. From a young age, Laura was deeply influenced by her environment, constantly finding ways to arrange her possessions with meaning and purpose. Seeing her father build her childhood home in Seguin, TX was the starting point of her career. “To see that he could do that, create our home with his own two hands…that lit something inside of me,” says Laura, who went on to study art at the University of Texas and subsequently obtain her Masters in Architecture from the University of Houston.

In 2006, she founded Laura U Interior Design, bringing her unique vision for Classically Current interiors to life. “Interior design, the way we practice it, is a true luxury,” Laura says. “Every part is crafted by human hands. We take great care to find out what matters to our clients most, and then to articulate that through great design.” Every interior is an authentic reflection of our clients’ passions and values so that just like Laura, they are never without something they enjoy.

Laura’s work has been featured by esteemed media outlets, including Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Modern Luxury Houston, Veranda, and Luxe Interiors.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Laura Umansky #64

Kimberly Merlitti #361, #432

LuAnn PTF #491

Books mentioned:

Traction by Gino Wickman

Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters


Website: Laura U Interior Design

Instagram: Laura U Interior Design

Pinterest: Laura U Interior Design

Facebook: Laura U Interior Design

Article Trade Program

Mydoma Studio

Process Leads to Profits with Sara Lynn Brennan

Profit with Window Treatments with Vita Vygovska

What Would Lu Do

Design Build for Profit with Jenny Slingerland


Dec 13, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, LuAnn will be talking to us about the kinds of problems and obstacles that stand in the way of designers with the running of their design firms. Although everyone is unique, there are still certain themes that play out, and problems that we all tend to share, as entrepreneurs. Listen in today, to learn what you can do to overcome the challenges that we, as designers, all face in our businesses.

LuAnn has put a lot of thought into the best way to address these things in a precise way that would benefit each of you the most, as individuals. This has not been an easy task because designers are such a diverse group, with varying levels of experience. In today's episode, LuAnn will teach you how to grow your client base, increase your net profits, improve your business acumen and sharpen your sales skills. She will also talk about goal setting and great ways to expand your network. Be sure to tune in today, to find out how to grow your business in 2020.

Show Highlights:

  • You can turn your business around by listening to the podcast. It's your number one free resource!
  • Systemizing every aspect of your business.
  • About Sara Brennan's eight-week course, Process Leads to Profits.
  • How to talk confidently with your clients about window treatments, with Vita's eight-week course.
  • You need to know what you don't know.
  • LuAnn's superpower is sales, which is all about listening.
  • Creating client loyalty and lasting relationships.
  • If you'd like to get inside of LuAnn's brain, will be meeting once a month, live, via Zoom. Go to to sign up.
  • Jenny Slingerland's DesignBuildForProfit course will be starting in February 2020.
  • A great opportunity for #seasoneddesigners.
  • LuAnn Live is coming in November of 2020.
  • Are you going to settle for normal in 2020 or will you strive to be exceptional?

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Darci Hether #220

Darla Powell #203 and #330

Kelsey Gross #167

Kimberley Kay #234

Christine Lin #470

Sara Brennan #463


LuAnn Nigara

Process Leads to Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

Design-Build For Profit


LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Nigara


Dec 10, 2019

Welcome to the show! Today, Britany Simons joins us. Britany founded her full-service design firm, Britany Simon Design House, in 2010. Her work caught the attention of national media and this helped to launch Britany into the world of television and media. In today's episode, she talks to us about her experience of being in the seventh season of the hit HGTV design challenge series, Design Star. She shares the lessons she's learned from doing the show, and how she applies them today, to her design firm. Be sure to listen in today, to hear about Britany's extensive experience of doing television shows.

For the last fifteen years, Britany's design career has covered everything from large-scale commercial renovations to budget-friendly builds, including entire home makeovers. With a degree in Business and Interior Design, Britany's professional career started with working for some of the top design firms in Arizona, where she specialized in kitchen and bath design, as well as the whole construction process, from conception to completion.

In addition to being a regular design contributor to television, digital, and print media outlets, Britany has also been the host for the Holiday House series on, a designer on Travel Channel's hit series, Hotel Impossible, co-host of We're Moving In, on the FYI Network, and a featured designer on Bravo Network's new design show, Best Room Wins. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Britany enjoys supporting and having the support of other designers.
  • Britany discusses how she stumbled into doing TV design shows.
  • Being on TV isn't as glamorous as it looks.
  • Why you don't make good money on TV unless you get into the fifth season of a show.
  • Some of the lessons Britany learned from being on a TV show.
  • TV challenges are very stressful and you have to be self-sufficient and savvy with your resources because you're left to your own devices.
  • You have to be highly organized to pull off a TV challenge. It's a very testing experience.
  • It's very rewarding to complete a TV challenge.
  • Being on TV is not what you would imagine because it's more exciting for the producers if the designer breaks down and falls apart.
  • What Britany learned about herself, as a designer, from being on TV.
  • Being on TV taught Britany to be more efficient and trust her gut.
  • Learning to understand the process of how things are made, and what's involved with the different aspects of a renovation process.
  • Britany gained a lot of confidence from being on TV.
  • Being on TV certainly opened doors for Britany.
  • You need to know what you want from being on TV before you start because it's a huge time commitment.
  • You need to be mindful of where you're putting your energy.
  • Television has been the marketing that Britany has used in her business.


To Britany Simon, the foundation of good design is about the experience that it gives you. She believes in spaces that blend fashion with function and luxury with livability.  With a focus on creating a space that is a reflection of who you are, and an emphasis on how it makes you feel.  Her artistic nature, a penchant for the details, and eye for the unexpected have helped her create incredibly distinguished living spaces and striking commercial projects for her clients.

Over the last fifteen years, Britany’s experience has spanned across a vast array of projects – from large-scale commercial renovations to whole home makeovers to budget-friendly builds. Although she has had a lifelong love affair with interior design and architecture, Britany received formal training through her bachelor’s degree in Business & Interior Design. She began her professional career working for some of the top design firms in Arizona where she worked on new residential homes, specializing in both kitchen and bath design, from conception to completion throughout the entire construction process.

In 2010, she founded Britany Simon Design House – a full-service design firm. The signature style and unmatched execution of BSDH have garnered a notable client roster with projects all over the country. Additionally, her work has caught the attention of national media and helped launch Britany’s foray into the television and media world.

Upon being selected on the seventh season of the hit HGTV design challenge series, Design Star, Britany discovered a new passion for television and video production. Her natural talent for design and on-camera presence earned her the accolade of “Fan Favorite” from her season. In addition to being a regular design contributor to television, digital and print media outlets, she has also been the host for the Holiday House series on, a designer on Travel Channel’s hit series, Hotel Impossible, co-host of We’re Moving In on the FYI Network, and a featured designer on Bravo Network's new design show, Best Room Wins airing May 2019.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

#420 Amanda Berlin

#478 Amber Roy

#297 Mikel Welch

#338 Orlando Soria

#127 Corey Damen Jenkins

#255 Anne Rue

#220 Darci Hether

#258 Lisa Escobar

#182 Christie Leu

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#291, #397 Cheryl Luckett

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#486 Christina Bruce

#376 Cat French

#463 Sara Brennan


Website: Britany Simon

Pinterest: Britany Simon


Facebook: Britany Simon Design


Dec 6, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Brad Clinard, a certified financial planner from High Point, NC, joins us on the show today. Brad, like Peter Lang, the Designer CPA, (episodes #349 and #464) specializes in working with interior designers. He has a very real desire to help the people in our industry, and his approach to finances is different from any other financial planner. He knows that every designer needs to plan for life’s financial challenges, and for their retirement, so he helps them maximize their earnings over their lifetime. He refers to this as intentional planning for abundant living. Be sure to listen in today to find out what Brad does to help designers plan for a life and future that they deserve to have. 

Brad graduated from UNC Charlotte, Magna Cum Laude, majoring in Economics with a concentration in Psychology. He was the senior team captain of the tennis team and worked closely with the NCAA advocating for student-athletes. Brad has earned the designation CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Brad is married to Hope, a pastry chef. They attend Wesley Memorial Church in High Point, and they have a passion for missions and service, most recently supporting Youth with a Mission, Casey Cares Foundation and the Old North State Boy Scouts Board. In his “spare” time, Brad enjoys reading, movies, travel, time outdoors and eating great food. His adventures have included hiking the northern half of the Appalachian Trail and the Laugavegur in Iceland. Tune in now, for more.

Show Highlights:

  • Brad helps designers with their personal financial planning.
  • We need to learn to understand how to use our money to empower us to live an abundant life.
  • Brad’s parents were in the traditional wealth management industry and they focused on investing.
  • Brad’s experience of growing up in High Point.
  • Brad explains what financial design is all about.
  • Starting with people’s values, rather than with their financial goals.
  • The Designer’s Dozen are twelve challenges that designers face when working with traditional financial planners.
  • Goals are future-focused and temporary, and values are present-focused and permanent.
  • Understanding your values is the first point in getting to know yourself.
  • Brad spends a lot of his time trying to understand how our psychology affects us.
  • From a professional perspective, there are four types of money scripts that everybody falls into- money avoidance, money worship, money status or money vigilance.
  • It can be very challenging for creative-minded designers to find professionals to give them advice and guidance.
  • There are generally four different communication styles.
  • Bridging the gap between the different styles of communication.
  • Why Brad decided to focus on interior designers.
  • How to know when you need the services of a financial planner.
  • Brad gives you the Ten Keys to Financial Foundation.
  • The plans that Brad will create for you.
  • Follow your bliss and plan for an abundant life.
  • A formula for having a less stressful experience of life.
  • Brad has a three-stage process to help clients going through transitions in their lives.

Other shows related to finances to go with this show:

Peter Lang #349, #464 

Kimberly Merlitti #361, #442 

Ashley Micciche #468 

Diane Gardner #54 

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Michele Williams # 137, #180, #395, and # 424

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467


Website:  High Point Financial Design 

Quiz to learn your money script: High Point Financial Design


Dec 3, 2019

Welcome! We have Monica Wilcox, the principal of M Wilcox Design, joining us today. Monica is a #seasoneddesigner. She's dynamic, entertaining, and she's on the show to share some of her killer inspiration. She talks to us about coming to grips with her "business midlife crisis", her decision to be on TV, diversifying revenue streams, and setting the rules for yourself first, and then for your clients, to ensure your success as an interior design business owner. Monica is often called on for her advice. She is full of energy and her approach to business and life is truly authentic. You're really going to love her, so be sure to listen in, to hear what she has to share!

M Wilcox Design is an award-winning design firm with an emphasis on collaboration. Monica's impeccable eye for design and her in-depth knowledge about project management really sets her apart from other design companies. She has very well-established systems, from the initial design phase all the way through to the final install, and every project is executed with precision and exceptional quality. Tune in today, to find out more about Monica and the efficient way that she runs her design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Monica did not start out in business with a foundation for success. She had to teach herself the business side of her business.
  • Some of the core things that designers should be paying attention to when they start a business.
  • Monica started out with a career in the military. There, she learned about determination and discipline.
  • Monica is a believer in staying in her own lane and always hiring people who are good at what they do, to help her get to the top of her game.
  • It's important to hire the top people.
  • Monica explains what she looks for when hiring people.
  • What caused Monica's business mid-life crisis, ten years ago.
  • Finding a new sense of purpose.
  • Transformation is powerful.
  • Figuring out a deeper meaning to what you do.
  • Monica shares her strategies for diversifying revenue streams.
  • Getting on TV happened very easily for Monica.
  • Preparation plus opportunity leads to success.
  • Running with a structured system.
  • There's so much to be learned from events and other designers.
  • Monica explains her fee structure.
  • All about Monica's Design Mecca classes and education.


Interior Designer Monica Wilcox is an expert in delivering unique designs with functionality in mind. Her award-winning design firm creates gorgeous interiors that also offer livable-style with a California twist.

With an emphasis on Collaboration, Monica is able to realize the vision of her clients and bring them to life. She has the unique ability to connect with her clients and radiates a tremendous passion for what she does which is contagious to everyone around her.

Her impeccable eye for design combined with her in-depth knowledge of project management sets her apart from other interior designers. From initial designs to the final install, each project is executed with precision and exceptional quality.

Monica is frequently called upon for advice for everything from interior design to business growth to lifestyle tips. She enjoys the art of living fully and completely and is happy to share that with others. With boundless energy, an honest and direct approach, and an infectious spirit, it’s possible that this creative visionary may someday be in every household in America.

Monica Wilcox is the founder of Design Mecca, an online learning center that teaches interior designers how to start a successful business. Along with her colleague Nikki Chu, Monica teaches at the accredited online university which features a course broken up into 36 videos and 12 modules that students can work through at their own pace.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Tobi Fairley #419, #440

Nancy Ganzekaufer #389 

Ann Rue #255 

Sara Brennan #463 

Janelle Photopoulos #363 

Stacey Brown Randall #93  


Website: M Wilcox Design

Design Mecca

Nikki Chut

LuAnn Live

Sara Lynn Brennan Course

LuAnn's Favorite Resources


Nov 29, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Vanessa Shepherd, the owner of She's Got Vision, on the show with us today. Vanessa is all about efficiency. She has won awards, she has been recognized in her community and she knows just how busy most creative business owners are. In today's episode, she talks to us about how hard it is for creative entrepreneurs to find the time to get everything done in their businesses, especially if they have a family to manage as well. She shares strategies for growing your design business through Pinterest and some really helpful tips for managing your time so that you can live a little too. She also explains what you need to do to really stand out from the crowd, so be sure to tune in, to find out more.

Vanessa graduated from NAIT with honors for her degree in Business Administration. She is a content marketing professional and she helps business owners to be seen, increase the traffic to their websites, and build lasting relationships. Her specialty is social media marketing, and she loves to use Pinterest as a platform for visibility. Listen in today, to benefit from Vanessa's wisdom and experience.

Show Highlights:

  • Vanessa loves to be as efficient as possible.
  • There's a big update coming for Pinterest.
  • Vanessa explains what a pin title is, on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest wants to make titles more purposeful.
  • Later is a great scheduling tool.
  • Pinterest is an important search engine.
  • Some strategies for using Pinterest to drive potential clients to your website.
  • Allowing someone else to help you have the time to do what you do best.
  • Video is big everywhere on social media right now.
  • Pinterest can be used as a good cross-promotion tactic.
  • Some tips to capture people's attention in the first three to fifteen seconds of a video.
  • Good quality photos are a must on social media.
  • The process of pinning.
  • Find content that can educate, inspire, or entertain your audience.
  • Showcasing your work in multiple ways to drive more traffic to your website.
  • Being consistent with your pins is very important.
  • Vanessa has a Pinterest audit that you can download for free on her website. Go to She's Got Vision
  • How Vanessa helps people improve their strategies for social media.


Vanessa Shepherd is a content marketing professional at She's Got Vision, helping business owners to get visible, drive traffic to their websites, and build lasting relationships with their audiences. Vanessa specializes in social media marketing, and her favorite platform for visibility is Pinterest! She graduated with honors from NAIT with a degree in Business Administration and from the University of Alberta with a master's in Communications and Technology. When she's not creating strategies, running ads or pinning her heart out, you can find Vanessa traveling and gardening with her husband and their two Airedale Terriers.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Amber De La Garza #385

Summer Tannhauser #292

Allison Fannin #223

Kate Ahl # 331


Website: primary: She's Got Vision Blog 

course microsite: 

Blog: She's Got Vision Blog

LuAnn Live



Instagram: She's Got Vision

Facebook: She's Got Vision

Pinterest: She's Got Vision

Free Pinterest audit checklist: She's Got Vision


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