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A Well-Designed Business®

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Now displaying: July, 2018
Jul 31, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Taylor Dietrich and Yashlie Negron with us and they are the co-founders a firm that works both in real locations and virtually, called Do Not Let Us Design. And that's a catchy name that really piques your interest, right? On the show today Taylor and Yashlie discuss their interesting journey in the industry, starting out as interns, being promoted and eventually graduating into project managers and junior designers. They have come up with a very interesting concept, so listen in today to find out more.

DNLUD as a name comes from the misconception of misjudging someone who might look too young or easygoing. Taylor and Yashlie have embraced any negative connotations and turned these to their advantage while striving to produce really unique and stunning interiors. 

Yashlie grew up around construction zones and witnessing places transform before her eyes instilled in her a desire to create a similar kind of magic. She graduated with a BFA in Interior Design from the New York School of Interior Design. Since graduating, she has worked with various design firms.

Taylor, inspired by travel and all things foreign, became inspired to contribute to the arts through interiors after spending a semester in Florence. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in the Textile, Merchandising, and Design program, she quickly jumped into the trade. She specializes in project management.

Listen in to find out what these two really savvy ladies have to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • How DNLUD concept came about and why they decided to do it.
  • How they started their own company while still working part-time for another firm.
  • The kind of confidence they had, starting out.
  • Their process of legitimizing their brand.
  • The kind of legal assistance they used for their business.
  • Some of the things that Yashlie and Taylor do to assist designers.
  • The close attention that they pay to the details.
  • The way that they really have their systems locked down.
  • How they go about managing their projects.
  • Their way of being transparent with their processes, in real time.
  • The really organized process that they use with their clients.
  • The fees that they charge and the way that they get paid.
  • How they create a visual package for their clients.
  • How they understand the design holistically.
  • The way that they protect their clients' confidentiality.

Links:

Yashie and Taylor's website: DNLUD

Email Yashlie and Taylor at yashlieandtaylor@dnlud.com

Yashlie and Tayor on Instagram: dnlud

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Brittany Ems #149

Danielle Liss #171

Jul 27, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We have Chris Ramey, the president of The Home Trust International and Affluent Insights/Retail-Rescue, on the show with us today. Chris is a marketing professional who is very well versed in both our industry and the habits and traits of affluent people and he truly understands all there is to know about the client and the consumer base, particularly within the affluent consumer market. He's pointed out to us that research has shown that the biggest problem that interior designers are facing lately is finding clients. So today Chris, who really knows the kind of pain that many interior designers are experiencing right now, explains what luxury really means and how to interact with the extremely wealthy market. Listen in to find out more.

The Home Trust is an aggressive marketing agency with hyper-focused marketing programs to help them really penetrate the market. It is best known for its rich consumer-facing website which is aimed at high net-worth families, where they find the world's best products and services for their homes. Chris is a consultant and a speaker, consulting and speaking to organizations with all luxury categories. He is the most quoted independent authority in the luxury segment and he has, in the past,  been president of The Luxury Marketing Council Miami and The Luxury Marketing Council Palm Beach, as well as president and founder of Savvi Formalwear, and president of International Design Guild.

Chris is a member of National Speakers Association, a columnist for Hearst Business Publications' Floor Covering Weekly, and he has earned the 'Top 5% appellation' from Gerson-Lehrman for his work with private equity firms investing in home and luxury segments. He also sits on the Retail Wire Brain Trust panel and he is a director for Domestic Estate Management Association Palm Beach.

Chris, originally from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, now resides with his wife in Palm Beach County, Florida. Listen in to find out what he has to share with you on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • How Chris came to understand the affluent market so well.
  • What you, as a designer, need to understand in order to be successful in reaching the affluent market.
  • You don't sell to the affluent market- you fascinate them!
  • What it takes to connect with the affluent market.
  • Creating something that is uniquely yours.
  • Why you need to constantly be honing who you are and what you do.
  • Why it is really so important for you to have the courage to express your own, singular point of view.
  • How Chris helps designers.
  • Chris explains his 'Laws of Luxury'.
  • Why you should not align your brand with fashion.
  • The different kind of business model and sales strategy that is applied to the luxury market.
  • Evoking desire for your brand.
  • Having money doesn't necessarily make you a luxury consumer.
  • How to market to the truly affluent.
  • Scarcity is another pillar of luxury.
  • How logos define you.
  • Ways to get known within the really affluent market.
  • Collaborating is always a pillar of luxury- but you really do need to have enough money to advertise.
  • Why you really don't want to be perceived as isolated.
  • Surprising and delighting your client in a way that will drive loyalty to your brand.

 Links:

Chris Websites: The Home Trust

Email Chris at:
cpr@affluentinsights.com

cpr@thehometrust.com

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nicole Heymer #125 and #317

Studio Thomas #314

Nancy Ganzekaupher #9

Jo Buckerfield #320

Jul 24, 2018

Welcome! Today we have a very smart lady, Lori Paranjape, of Mrs. Paranjape Design and Interiors with us. As well as being a really talented designer, Lori, affectionately known as Mrs. Paranjape, is also an excellent businesswoman and on the show today she's going to be offering lots of really practical advice for designers. She has had her work featured in People, HGTV Magazine, and Domino, as well as in many other publications. Listen in today to find out what Lori has to share with you.

Mrs. Paranjape Design and Interiors, which specializes in luxury residential and new construction projects, was started in 2008. Lori is a self-taught and extremely motivated designer. She started out helping friends and acquaintances with their homes. As time went by, referrals continued to pour in and Lori began working as the in-house designer for Redo Home and Design, the well-loved home retailer to generations of families based in Nashville. Listen in today as Lori discusses the really innovative relationship she has with Redo Home and Design, and she also encourages designers and retailers to build awesome partnerships, just as she has done with Redo.

Show highlights:

Lori's explains the details of her 'Design Collective' business model that she has set up in Nashville.

The wonderful, symbiotic relationship that Lori has with her business partner.

The clear distinctions between the different aspects of her partnership.

What constitutes a 'commissionable' sale within her partnership.

How Lori's commission is paid to her.

The intentional way that Lori sources everything that she needs.

How Lori's retailer provides everything that she needs.

The awesome and mutually beneficial kind of partnership that can be formed between a designer and a retailer.

The way that Lori and her partner work to utilize a relatively small showroom space to their best advantage.

Lori's unique, practical and real-life approach to designing a home for her clients.

The way that Lori really takes care of her clients.

Why you, as designers, really need to cultivate the skill of asking,  listening, and then going a little deeper.

Lori's special way of discovering the personal details about her clients, without making them feel uncomfortable.

Lori's innovative ways of encouraging clients to spend more money on a project, if it's necessary.

Some tips for overcoming difficulties with clients around the cost of a project in a comfortable way.

The conversations that Lori has with her clients right at the beginning of their relationship.

When to simply say 'no' to a client.

Using candles and music to transform a room and create the right atmosphere.

Ways of gaining a client's cooperation in using their home for a photo shoot.

How to Find Lori:

Website - Mrs. Paranjape

Instagram - @mrsparanjape

Pinterest - Mrs. Paranjape

Jul 20, 2018

Welcome to this week's Power Talk Friday! We have Raquel Langworthy, a lifestyle, and interiors photographer, with us. Rachel's philosophy is one of partnering very closely with her clients, so today we are going to be talking to her about how she does that with her designer clients, by creating with them a thorough and detailed relationship, working with them side by side and supporting them all the way. Listen in to find out more.

Raquel is a Lifestyle and Interiors photographer based in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. She services mainly the east coast but she's traveled the country for various photography assignments for both documentary storytelling and interiors. Raquel has recently been published in NY Cottage & Garden, for their cover story, as well as in many other online publications such as Domino.com and Architectural Digest online. Raquel moved to New Jersey two years ago, and although she still feels new to the NJ market she has had the pleasure of working with a host of talented interior designers and architects to capture their work and portraits. Her focus in photography is naturally lit bright spaces. Her goal when photographing interiors is not only to capture the overall space but captivate an audience through visual storytelling and well-styled compositions. Listen in to find out what Raquel has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • How Raquel starts her relationship with a new client.
  • The importance of using the right styling to create the perfect composition.
  • Why Raquel does not email her clients.
  • How Raquel prepares for a shoot.
  • Raquel also assists with the styling at times.
  • Photographing a full house really takes a whole lot of styling!
  • Raquel and Charlotte's work was featured recently on the cover of NY Cottage and Garden, and also in a ten-page article.
  • How to tell if it's really worth investing in a talented stylist for a photo shoot, or not.
  • What Raquel has learned from previous episodes of the podcast.
  • Why you really have to be ready, to work nationally.
  • The different specialties and skill sets of photographers.
  • Some things to look out for when taking photos with your iPhone.
  • Some tips for working with a photographer.
  • Some tips for designers, when thinking about hiring a photographer for a project.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show.

Charlotte #138

Ashley Hotham Cox #321

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Links:

Website - Raquel Langworthy

Instagram - Raquel Langworthy Photography

Facebook - Raquel Langworthy Photography

Jul 17, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We have Laurel Bern, of Laurel Bern Interiors on the show with us today.

Laurel Bern is an award-winning New York Interior Designer, blogger, brand ambassador and speaker. Her design work has been featured in national as well as Westchester County shelter magazines. She is known for a having a young-traditional aesthetic and is one to buck many of the current trends unless they happen to be classic favorites.
However, after 21 years as the principle designer in her firm Laurel Bern Interiors, she has turned her focus to blogging as a full-time occupation. Her award-winning blog, Laurel Home has drawn a large following – and by large- I mean with page views in the multiple hundreds of thousands every month- due to her candid style of writing, useful information and warm community of readers. You can see for yourself right on her website, laurelberninteriors.com she earns over $33,000 per month from her blog.

Laurel's Rolodex is a comprehensive shopping guide for home furnishings with links to the vendor/manufacturers and features a list of some 180 designer-friendly vendors for interior designers. No professional confidences are divulged. Laurel's goal is to help you make your home more beautiful, personal and a really comfortable place in which to live.  You will want to savor every moment of today’s show, so join us today to discover more about Laurel ’s incredible, entrepreneurial journey.

Show highlights:

  • How to blog effectively, in order to attract your ideal client.
  • Steps you should take right from the start in order to create a successful blog.
  • Your blog needs to live on a really well-built website.
  • What your 'about' page is truly all about.
  • The nuts and bolts of creating a successful website.
  • Why you need to have a navigation menu on every page of your website.
  • Selecting the most appropriate font for your website.
  • How to avoid overwhelming your readers.
  • How to use primary keywords
  • People want a lot of knowledge, but they also want to be entertained.
  • Figuring out your special secret sauce, and your own, unique voice.
  • Your content has to be rich with relevant information.
  • The importance of having your blog posts indexed.
  • Some things that will help you to create magic in your blog.
  • You can even take your own photos with your phone.
  • Some tips to enhance your photos.
  • Awesome ideas for free gifts for your readers of your blog.
  • Why Laurel loves using Wordpress.com.
  • Selecting information to place in your sidebar.
  • Ways to keep your readers on your website for as long as possible.
  • Learn about the $250 000 that Laurel left on the table for five years of her blogging career.
  • Why you should get yourself onto an advertising network.
  • The importance of blogging consistently.
  • Ways to encourage people to take your surveys.
  • Laurel has written a document called Six-figure Income Blogger, and it's really simple and full of the strategies that she's used, and lessons that she learned the hard way. Go to her website laurelberninteriors.com to get your copy for $199. It's in the first link in the main menu on the left-hand side.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show.

Claire Jefford #325

Linda Holt #97

Carla Aston #242

Stephan Spence #238

Recommendations:

For really awesome geek help, go to Eileen Lonergan

Laurel Bern Interiors
Instagram: Laurel Bern
Free Blogger Guide: Six Figure Income Blogger Guide
Jul 13, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really happy to introduce you to Esther (Pinky) Kiss today. Pinky is the founder of Born To Influence, a boutique publicity firm that specializes in helping experts and personal brands to get more publicity, leads, and sales. We will be talking to Pinky about how to get your ducks in a row, and understanding what you need to do, in order to be properly prepared for the marketing and PR process, and to gain credibility as an expert in your field. Today's show is geared for the interior designer who is in their own market, with a successful business, who would like to access PR and media opportunities specifically to create more business for their firm. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

Pinky has worked on campaigns in a variety of industries, including software as a service, mobile apps, and digital information. She also has a podcast called Born To Influence, The Marketing Show, where although she does not air new interviews at this point, there is still a library available, on iTunes, containing tons of information. Pinky has also been involved in bringing several book launches to national bestseller and New York Times status. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The importance of having certain foundations in place, in order to be seen as an expert in your field.
  • Why you need to be really clear about your goals.
  • What you need to do to cover all the necessary bases, in order to get more clients.
  • Positioning yourself to gain more credibility through publicity.
  • The steps involved in creating an awesome bio to suit your specific needs.
  • An example of a bio containing really compelling information.
  • Creating a bio that will really earn you credibility
  • The next step towards getting some publicity, once you have your bio and website locked down.
  • How to really set yourself apart from the rest.
  • Learning to understand the problems that your potential clients would be facing, and to think the way that your potential clients would be thinking.
  • Creating your Intentional Media Message Content.
  • Creating different pitches to suit different situations.
  • Connecting your expertise to what the media is already interested in.
  • Choosing the right talking points to suit specific media situations.
  • Ways to connect with the right people in the right spaces.
  • Why you should get some local TV experience before attempting to get onto national TV.
  • Examining your underlying skill sets.
  • Looking at big, current news items and connecting to that, to get publicity.
  • All about Pinky's online study course, Publicity Empire.
  • The right time to hire a publicist.
  • Pinky has a free giveaway of her Media Positioning Checklist. Go to borntoinfluence.com/checklist to get it!

Links:

For the free training segment of Pinky's Publicity Empire online study course go to www.borntoinfluence.com/free-publicity-training

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Amy Flurry episodes #108 and #323

Pulp Design Studio episodes #176 and #310

Christy Leu episode #182

Ren Miller episode #12

Jul 10, 2018

Welcome to today's episode. We have Judith Taylor, of Judith Taylor Designs, with us on the show and today we talk to her about navigating the murky waters of working with friends and family. She also talks about the new furniture line that she is launching and her multi-generational heritage of furniture design and manufacture. In addition to studying interior design, Judith also studied at Toronto School of Art, she has a bachelor's degree in psychology and business administration and a past career in IT. These added areas of understanding have provided her with the unique ability to combine practicality, psychology, and aesthetics into her interior design projects. Listen in today to get her really spot-on advice and tips for working with family and friends in a way that won't drive you crazy!        

Judith is the founder and principal designer of her award-winning firm which specializes in residential design. She did her formal training in interior design in Toronto, where she received high honors for her work, which is inspired by broadly reaching disciplines. Judith started her career in IT, where she honed her skills in project management and developed a deep understanding of the process and an orientation to details. Today she lives in Toronto's Beaches neighborhood with her family. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • All designers have a friend that they don't want to say 'no' to, or that they wish they hadn't said 'yes' to.
  • What to do when you're approached by someone at a dinner party and they ask for some free advice about interior design.
  • How to gently lead friends to the front door of your business.
  • Using the right language to make it very clear that you are dealing with a business transaction.
  • Sometimes there could be a fair payoff from working with friends or family.
  • Establishing firm boundaries can be really tricky with friends.
  • How a small favor can quickly snowball.
  • Giving yourself a chance to reflect on the reality of the workload of a personal favor.
  • Dealing with friends and family members who push your boundaries.
  • Being clear about what you will and won't do.
  • Explaining to friends and family the amount of work that goes into what you do.
  • Handling discounts appropriately with friends and family.
  • Why you have to be willing to have the hard conversation with friends and family.
  • About the soon-to-be-launched furniture line that Judith has developed.

Links:

     Judith's furniture line can be found at Silver 4 Home

     Blog "Point of View": Judith Taylor Designs

     Instagram

     Pinterest: Judith Taylor Designs

     Facebook: Judith Taylor Designs

     Houzz: Judith Taylor Designs

To find out more about LuAnn's in-person coaching seminar on 28 July in Las Vegas go to Luann Nigara

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Lee Cockerell #222

Jul 6, 2018

Welcome to Power talk Friday! Today we're talking taxes and we're really happy to introduce you to our guest, Craig Cody. Craig is a certified tax coach, a certified public accountant, a business owner and he is also a former New York City police officer with seventeen years on the force! Pretty impressive, right! Listen in to find out more!   

In addition to being a public accountant for the last fifteen years, Craig is also a certified tax coach to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country. They undergo extensive training and education on various tax-planning techniques and strategies to become (or remain) certified. With this organization, Craig has co-authored an Amazon best-seller, Secrets of a Tax-free Life. On the show today, Craig discusses the services that he offers his clients, and how he saves them money, tax-wise. He also explains how to develop the right relationship with your accountant, and how to ensure that he's the right fit for your business. Listen in today to hear Craig's awesome advice!

Show highlights:

  • Craig and his organization have a really pro-active approach to taxation.
  • Why good relationships between business owners and their accountants are really all about great communication.
  • Some questions that designers who have recently started out in business should be asking their accountants.
  • How proper communication with your accountant can significantly affect the amount of taxes that you will have to pay.
  • How to know if an accountant will be the right fit for yourself and your business.
  • Craig explains the way that he works with his clients.
  • Knowing if your business is healthy enough to hire an employee.
  • How Craig's services help his clients make informed decisions.
  • Craig's kind of pro-activity.
  • Some typical tax-mistakes that Craig comes across.
  • Some awesome tax-rebates for home-office designers.
  • Crazy tax-deductions for working kids!
  • How Craig's services differ from those of other accountants.
  • Craig talks about his book, The Ten Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands.

To get your free copy of Craig's book, The Ten Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands

Links:

Website - Craig Cody and Company
Facebook - Craig Cody and Company
Twitter - Craig Cody & Company
Book - Secrets of a Tax Free Life 
Jul 3, 2018

Welcome! Today we have Orlando Soria, the founder of the blog  Hommemaker, with us on the show. Orlando is a really charming and thoughtful interior designer, writer, and visual artist, from Los Angeles, California, with an unpretentious attitude towards the world, and his place in it. Listen in to our conversation today and find out what he has to say about the way that design, art, and writing can influence the world and the way that people think.  

Orlando got his start on HGTV as Emily Henderson‘s on-camera assistant on the home makeover series Secrets From A Stylist. A graduate of Cornell’s University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning and The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, Orlando has been a staple of the design industry for years. His first book, Get It Together!, was released in Spring 2018 and in May of this year, Domino named him as one of the top twenty-nine designers to follow on Instagram. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • All about Orlando's zany brand new book, Get It Together! An Interior Designers Guide to Creating Your Best Life.
  • The creative process that Orlando went through, writing his book.
  • Why Orlando's book really stands out from all other design books.
  • Orlando's humble and unpretentious upbringing.
  • What influenced Orlando's creativity, growing up.
  • Why Orlando really likes to make things.
  • Why Orlando loves Martha Stewart so much!
  • What it was like, being on TV, and what Orlando has learned from the whole experience.
  • Orlando's really lucky break!
  • Orlando's humble attitude towards his strokes of luck.
  • Learning to appreciate the good things that come your way, in life.
  • The struggles that Orlando has gone through, since graduating.
  • Orlando discusses his blog, Hommemaker.
  • Orlando's plans, going forward.

Links:

Hommemaker website: Homme Maker

Orlando on Instagram: Orlando Soria

Orlando on Pinterest:  Orlando Soria

Orlando on Facebook:  Homme Maker

Orlando on Twitter:  Orlando Soria

To buy a copy of Orlando's book:

Get It Together!: An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life

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