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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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Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 31, 2017

We’re back with another power talk Friday on A Well-Designed Business! I have Nancy Ganzekaufer back with me today! If you are new to the podcast Nancy was on the show in the very beginning on episode 15. On that show we talked about her background, business background and “niche is rich”. She has so much she can teach us and you should really go back listen to her episode. She is a life and business coach and the founder of “Your Business Partner”. Through her life and work she empowers women entrepreneurs to create the life and business they have always wanted.  She understands the unique challenges that women entrepreneurs face when trying to pursue their dreams and leads by example with her hard work, encouragement and her no BS leadership style.

Show Notes:

  • How does Nancy use her survey?
  • How often should you take a survey?
  • How many and what are the categories in a three-year vision?
  • What should you be asking yourself and be planning for a one year plan?
  • How many marketing outlets should you be looking at one time?
  • Why should you write things down instead of just thinking them?
  • What should be included in your 90-day strategy?
  • In what intervals, should you block out at a time on your calendars to get stuff done?
  • Why is it so important to be loud and clear about what you offer?
  • When should you walk away from a client?
  • How and what are some ways to walk away from a client that wants to hire you but not a good fit for you?
  • When should you say yes to everything?
  • What does she have coming new this summer?

Resources:

www.nancyganzekaufer.com

nancy@nancyganzekaufer.com

Mar 29, 2017

Today on the show I have Rhea Mader! Rhea is the principal of Tumbleweed Interiors in Kansas and an interior designer who specializes in health care facilities. Rhea provides sustainable designs that improve better quality of life, cost effective, eco-friendly and evidence-based design. Her goal is to see patients and residents live independently with hope and dignity. Rhea earned her BFA/IFA at the Academy of Art University in California and she is also LEED and CLIPP certified. Rhea and I met through Cheryl Janice, who if you are an avid listener of this podcast you know who Cheryl Janice is. She was one of the first guests that talked to us about how she specifically walked away from being a generalist designer into a specialist. I use her as an example a lot! If you are new to the show, please go and listen to episode 41 after this episode because it will really fill in the spaces that we take for granted that Rhea and I talk about.

Show Notes:

  • What is the name of Rhea and Cheryl’s new podcast?
  • What is the new podcast going to be about and what audience is the podcast focused towards?
  • What key elements would help create a better environment?
  • What is an evidence-based design?
  • How Rhea and Cheryl meet each other?
  • Where did Rhea work after she got out of school and what did she discover while at this job?
  • What is clip?
  • When did Rhea realize she wanted to specialize in healthcare design?
  • How did it effect Rhea not having a mentor?
  • How did joining a mastermind help Rhea?
  • What process did Rhea go through to rebrand?
  • How often does she create a newsletter for her marketing?
  • What is Rhea’s “avatar”?

Resources:

www.chairish.com

www.tumbleweed-interiors.com

www.wellnessdesignpodcast.com

www.socialitesubscribe.com

Mar 27, 2017

My guest today is Charmaine Wynter, the principal of Wynter Interiors and the owner of Bespoke Design Boutique in Texas. You may already know Charmaine because she is one very busy lady! She is a radio show host of The Living Well show, a speaker, HGTV design host pioneer and you may know her from her design advice column, Ask the decorator. In addition to all of this, Charmaine is a firm believer in paying it forward. She has been involved in several charities and has sat on universities and government advisory boards to help shape the interior design industry. Today we are going to discuss the design niches of designing for small spaces. 

Show Notes:

  • What are the particular ways to approach a small room design?
  • Why is color so important for smaller spaces?
  • What are the key questions to ask your client when designing a smaller space?
  • What size furniture should be used in these smaller spaces?
  • How can you create visual depth?
  • What is designing vertical?
  • Is there any part of the curriculum in design school that teaches how to design smaller spaces?
  • Where can designers learn more about designing these smaller spaces?
  • What is the Living Well Show about?
  • Where can you listen to Charmaine’s show?
  • What does the word boutique mean?
  • How did she get into the niche of boutique work?
  • How are her packages set up?

Resources:

www.thebusinessofdesign.com 

www.wynterinteriors.com 

www.mydomastudio.com

Mar 24, 2017

It’s time for another power talk Friday! I am happy to say that I have Carmen Torres with me today! Carmen Torres is a HR specialist. She has over twenty years in experience helping employers create equitable and safe work space environments for both employers and employees. She is a trusted advisor to many organizations and has helped many small to midsize businesses and non-profits produce reliable and stable HR departments. 

She has a 360 analysis of the human resource function that results in building job descriptions, policy and procedure manuals, conflict resolution, employee retention, employee termination structures, compliance, audits and standards and employee communications. This is for everybody whether you have fifty employees or just one. You need to know these procedures so that an employee can’t come back and sue you. 

Show Notes:

  • What should a business owner be looking for on a candidate’s resume?
  • Are there red flags on a resume to look for?
  • How should you approach calling references?
  • What do you do when you have a hard time trying to get in contact with a reference?
  • What can you say legally if you don’t have a great reference to give about a previous employee?
  • What are some different ways to give a reference?
  • How do you have the conversation with an employee that is not right for the job?
  • What sorts of the things should be discussed when talking to an employee that is not meeting expectations?
  • When should an employer talk to an employee about their performance if it’s not where it needs to be?

Resources:

www.myhrspecialist.com

Mar 22, 2017

Barbara Viteri is back on the show today! Get ready! Her show is one of those where your face hurts from laughing so much. Barbara was originally on the show on episode number 46. You really should go back and listen to that episode after this one because we are not going to go into all of Barbara’s twenty plus industry years of experience. Today on the show we are talking about designerlebrity. She teased us with this when she was last on the show but her website has finally launched! If you haven’t heard of this yet listen up! Barbara is here to tell us all about designerlebrity.com. When you get done listening to Barbara you will know why you want to be part of this new part of the industry. 

Also, don’t forget to listen all the way to the end after the interview to learn the new way to get on our email list!

Show Notes:

  • What are the “potentials”?
  • Where did the name “designerlebrity” come from?
  • What is the plan for the designerlebrity website?
  • How is the website set up and divided?
  • Who is included on the designerlebrity website?
  • Can a designer pitch Barbara or does she have to find them herself?
  • What is the criteria for a designer to have to be considered to be a designerlebrity?
  • Is there room for everyone?

Resources:

www.chairish.com 

www.designerlebrity.com 

www.viteristylemanagement.com 

www.socialitesubscribe.com

Mar 20, 2017

Today’s guest is Gary Inman! If you don’t know who Gary Inman is, get ready! Gary is a nationally celebrated, award-winning interior designer, author, and public speaker. He has been published in major magazines and several other places. Gary is also the vice president of Hospitality with Baskervill, which is an international giant in hospitality serving four star and five stars luxury hotels and resorts. His design métier includes handbags, women’s evening wear, textiles, lighting, rugs and furniture including his acclaimed Home Couture Collection for more counsel. He is also a High Point Style Spotter, an Instagram taste maker, the editor of Art and Fine Living and the popular guest on TV programs. 

Stay tuned after the interview. I have some important news on how you can get on our email list!

Show Notes:

  • How did Gary maximize his visibility for what he can do as a designer when starting out?
  • What are the different skill sets needed for hospitality design?
  • Who does a hospitality designer work with the most every day?
  • Why does hospitality design require so much research?
  • What would be a deal breaker to being involved in hospitality design?
  • What does he look for in a hospitality designer?
  • What kind of research should be done for this kind of design?
  • What is the “weeding out process”?
  • What is a spec writer?
  • What are some other ways that a designer can make their way into hospitality design?

Resources:

www.thebusinessofdesign.com 

www.garyinman.com 

www.mydomastudio.com

Mar 17, 2017

On this Power Talk Friday I have Casey Destefano with me! A few months back I was on Casey’s podcast. She is the host of the hit podcast “Women with Balls…in the Air”.  She coaches her audience to have more successful careers and abundant family lives without pulling their hair out. If you did hear about our episode on Casey’s podcast that’s terrific! If you didn’t, please go over to iTunes and check out Casey’s podcast especially if you are someone who is trying to run a business and manage your family and children and get it all done. Like Casey says you have balls but they are in the air! But in addition, if you haven’t heard of Casey or her podcast you might not realize that she is an accomplished director and producer with more than twenty years’ experience. Casey could be on the show to talk about any number of things but today she is going to talk her number one skill set. She is a multimedia marketing agency.  What she does for businesses is web design, video production, digital marketing and small business coaching. Casey is especially passionate about helping women and working with them to help them achieve their goals.

Show Notes:

  • Why is it important to include video on your website?
  • How do you figure out what you should include in the video?
  • What is the most important part of the video?
  • What kind of questions should a designer ask to find their “hook”?
  • What is your about me page supposed to be about?
  • Quality is important!
  • What scenarios should you use different qualities?
  • How long should the video be?
  • What are the three steps for prepping?
  • What should a budget be for the video?
  • What advice does Casey have to give about hiring people?
  • Why did Casey start her business?

Resources:

www.d-stef.com

www.caseydestefano.com

Mar 15, 2017

Our guest today, Chris Kofitsas is the president of “New World Design Builders”. If you have ever had the pleasure of dining at Catch LA, Catch New York City or ABC Kitchen in New York City then you have had the pleasure of experiencing Chris’s work firsthand. Today Chris is going to tell us about his unique firm. Chris is the architect, builder and interior designer on all of his projects. Over twenty years of experience and training allows him to interlace these disciplines of architecture, interior, furniture and lighting design into an immersive experience paired with his discerning eye for beauty, attention to detail and commitment to excellence. Chris is one of the most sought after hospitality interior designers and the industries recognized Chris’s designs with multiple awards.

Show Notes:

  • How many businesses are there that the designer, builder and architect are all the same person?
  • After going to school what was Chris’s next step?
  • How did the relationship change between Chris and his favorite professor help him with his business?
  • Why did he reconstruct his business?
  • Where does the communication start between a builder and architecture?
  • What sort of things should you look for in good communication?
  • What does he look for when interviewing a new designer?
  • What is an important quality to have when working with someone else?
  • How many people work for Chris’s firm?
  • Advice for new people on how to get a job for a firm like Chris?

Resources:

www.chairish.com/trade

www.newworlddesignbuilders.com

 

Mar 13, 2017

I have Marina Case with me today and she is the principal of The Red Shutters located in Warwick, New York. Marina is a self-described hobby decorator who has become an accomplished interior decorator. Today you will hear Marina talk about the specific steps that she took to create the interior design business that she has today that would be envied and admired by any of us. Marina has been honored as one of the top fifty New York designers in New York spaces. She has won national acclaim for her design at the spa at Glenn Mear Mansion which was named one of the top 100 places in the world to visit by Departures Magazine. She also hosts a radio show, a live show where she interviews many people in the decorating field. Good news! She will be making that available in a podcast very soon!

Show Notes:

  • What was the “aha” moment when Marina decided she was going to go into the design business?
  • In hindsight, when did she realize that she was interested in design?
  • How is she using the Historics, Textiles and Wallpaper class that she teaches to help other designers?
  • What is the Historics, Textiles and Wallpaper class really about and where can you take the course?
  • What is the difference between a skype design and e-design?
  • What is the difference between a construction package and a builder specification package?
  • How does she charge her services?
  • How can the project's packages affect the cash flow?
  • What are some of the challenges that a new designer could face if they try to duplicate what Marina has done with her business?
  • What does it mean to be an unofficial brand ambassador for the Williamsburg brand?
  • What is the red list? 

Resources:

www.businessofdesign.com 

www.theredshutters.com 

www.mydomastudio.com/awelldesignedbusiness  

Mar 10, 2017

Welcome back to another power talk Friday! I’m very happy to let everyone know Krista Coupar is back in the house! Krista has two businesses: Coupar Communications and Studio Coupar. Coupar Communications is a public relations and market agency located in San Francisco. Studio Coupar is a full-service design support firm for interior designers, architects, contractors, and builders. On top of running two businesses, she has six children! Talk about a busy and talented lady. Today Krista is going to give us some great tips on what and how we should analyze our business starting the new year.

Show Notes:

  • What are some things that new business owners should incorporate for the new year?
  • How can you teach people to assign a financial budget?
  • Why is it important to know your baseline expenses?
  • How can you make yourself feel empowered?
  • Where is the biggest social media platform that an interior design should be on?
  • What are some tips for using Instagram to promote business?
  • What should you put on your business Instagram?
  • What are some steps to take to look out for your future?
  • How does a designer work up more business or pipeline?
  • What are some ways to get the meeting for more clients?

Resources:

www.instagram.com

www.couparcommunications.com

www.studiocoupar.com

Mar 8, 2017

Today Brittanie Elms is with me on the show. Brittanie is a smart, young go-getter who recently founded and launched her own company called My Design Assistant. Brittanie recently reached out to me because she is an avid listener of the show and she was interested in a sponsorship and wanted to know what that entailed. So, while that didn’t work out I was so impressed by her and her services and the concept of hers that I asked her to be on the show. My Design Assistant is a virtual design service specifically for interior designers. The purpose of this service is to decrease the behind the scenes work and to allow the interior design owner to focus on the business while finding time for themselves.

Show Notes:

  • Where are virtual assistants most known?
  • What is Brittanie’s ideal customer/client?
  • What are Brittanie’s goals with her business, My Design Assistant?
  • What are the tasks that Brittanie would help a client within a normal day?
  • What are the structures that a client can use to bill their services?
  • In her opinion, what sort of things should a designer look for when hiring an in-person or virtual assistant?
  • What are some challenges she has come across with a virtual assistant?
  • How did she come up with the idea to create My Design Assistant?

Resources:

www.chairish.com/trade

www.mydesignassistant.com

www.instagram.com/mydesignassistantbusiness

www.twitter.com/mydesignassist

Mar 6, 2017

On the show today, we have Michelle Wiebe! Michelle is the principal of Studio M in Tampa, Florida. The specialty of Michelle’s firm is luxury residential new construction. I know we have talked to quite a few designers in this field I haven’t really picked their brain as much as I did with Michelle today. 

Her firm in addition to luxury residential, new construction they also do family condominiums, corporate headquarters, medical offices and small-scale hospitality spaces. Michelle is a busy lady! In addition to all of this, she serves on the board of interior design at Florida State University her Almer mater. She also serves on the high point market authority board and she goes all over the country speaking on design social media. She is the editor of Impression, the Studio M design blog.

Show Notes:

  • How many years has Studio M been in business?
  • How does one show their specialty in luxury residential new construction on social media?
  • What should a new designer know before taking on a big project in luxury residential new construction?
  • What is a CEU?
  • How can a designer educate themselves on different codes that need to be known before going into a project?
  • What should the contract consist of?
  • Can you really learn what you need to know from classes?
  • How should make your client feel?
  • Are there times when certain “projects” in a project should be hired outside of the firm?
  • Who does Michelle have on her team at her firm?
  • What does Michelle look for when going through the hiring process?
  • What is High Point Market Authority?
  • What sort of app can you use at the High Point Market Authority?
  • How long can you serve on the board for High Point Market Authority?

Resources:

www.interiorsbystudiom.com

www.businessofdesign.com

Mar 3, 2017

I have Calvin Correli with me today and I have learned talking with him before the show that he is a very interesting man! He is an artist, entrepreneur, a CEO of a holistically focused multimillion dollar software company called Simplero. Calvin is very passion about helping online business owners do exactly what makes them feel most alive and is currently working on branching out to bring all of his talents including music, spirituality, personal growth and bring all of this into an exciting new experience.

Show Notes:

  • What is Calvin’s business, Simplero?
  • What is Calvin’s personal mission with his business?
  • What would be some business advice that he would give?
  • How long has he been self-employed?
  • What are some questions does he asks himself for his business?
  • How does he use meditation to help him with projects?
  • How can people emulate the life that he lives?
  • How can you integrate your life and work?
  • What is so great about the “fingerprinting stuff”?

Resources:

www.calvincorreli.com

Mar 1, 2017

If this is your first time, I am so happy that you found us! Today I am pleased to introduce you to Amanda Reynal! Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts at Trinity College. She then studied the masters abroad in Florence, Italy and ultimately learned her trade at the New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Design. Recently, she spent three years in London which provided the perfect venue for traveling and continuing her education in English and European decorative arts and antiques as well as contemporary art. Amanda’s introduction to interior design began in New York first at an architecture firm and then as a senior design associate at the prestigious Cullman and Kravis. You will hear today that this had a huge influence on her future success. In 2001, Amanda founded Amanda Reynal Interiors in Des Moines, Iowa which was born through a huge break with the opportunity to design the master bedroom suite at the Des Moines Symphony show house.

Show Notes:

  • What stayed with Amanda while she worked at Cullman and Kravis?
  • What is the process for an estimate to be executed?
  • What kind of transition did she go through when she went from an established firm to the beginning of her own business?
  • What characteristics or sorts of things does Amanda look for when hiring a team member?
  • What was it like to go from New York to Iowa?
  • How did Amanda reinvent her business: Amanda Reynal Interiors?
  • What are some steps that she took to make the transition?
  • What kind of thought did she put into picking her new space?
  • What should you look for when finding a space for your new business?

Resources:

www.chairish.com

www.reynalinteriors.com

www.joepeoples-photographer.com   

www.marisapellegrini.com

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