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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: 2018
Dec 28, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Nancy Ganzekaufer, one of the co-authors of Luann's soon-to-be-launched new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, with us today. Nancy is a really smart lady and she has appeared on the podcast number of times before to share her spot-on, expert advice. (#377, #256, #159, and #15) Today, Nancy is going to be talking to us about her new product, The Interior Design Profit Formula, an online course that she has really poured her heart and soul into creating. This is really the most affordable way to add a huge amount of value to your interior design business, so listen in to find out more!

Nancy Ganzekaufer partners with creative entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses, get more sales, get over their fears and go for what they want in work and in life. Through a series of coaching calls, emails, and exercises, she helps entrepreneurs reframe their doubts and indecisions, work through challenges with more confidence, and ultimately to grow their sales. Listen in today, to find out about the incredible kind of impact that Nancy's new course, The Interior Design Profit Formula, could have on your business.

Show highlights:

  • There are many different things that an interior designer needs to manage and it's one of the most difficult service industries that Nancy's coached.
  • Running an interior design business takes balance and really knowing what to do.
  • Nancy explains her motivation for putting this course together.
  • You will need to have stickability, and the right kind of personality to go the distance with Nancy's course.
  • Nancy explains what you will find in her course.
  • Describing your business in words is the beginning of your branding process.
  • The way that Nancy presents her information, and the examples that she gives, will really open up your mind and give you clarity.
  • The benefits of having lifetime-access to Nancy's course.
  • Nancy talks about growing your business.
  • The importance of getting creative.
  • Designers often come to Nancy for her help when they're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Nancy gives the simplest tip that really makes the biggest difference!
  • Becoming the leader in your relationship, and in charge of the process with your clients right from the outset.
  • Being alert to the subtle messages that a potential client is giving out during the consultation.
  • Ways to introduce your services in order to protect yourself.
  • Nancy explains the benefits of her Ladder of Services model.
  • Make sure that the people that you hire are dedicated to the growth of your company.
  • The goal of Nancy's course is to make everyone feel confident in extending their reach, gaining more clients, and doubling or tripling their income.
  • Nancy talks about the guest coaches in her course.
  • Nancy's course costs $997 at this point in time and she is offering a free, one-on-one, half an hour coaching consultation to everyone who purchases her course, through this link Luann Nigara, from now until 30th June 2019.

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Eileen Hahn # 363

Resources:

To get Nancy's Interior Design Profit Formula, go to Luann Nigara

Links:

Nancy's website: Nancy Ganzekaufer

You can also reach Nancy through her forum, or through her Facebook group, The Interior Design Business Forum at Interior Design Business Forum

Dec 25, 2018

I have another outstanding show for you today! Corey Damen Jenkins is with me today and he is no exception to the amazing people I have been meeting. What you will learn from is that he is one of the good guys. He is the kind of person that everyone would agree is very open, sincere, humble and giving. What you may or may not know about Corey is that he is the principal of Corey Damen Jenkins Associates which is located in Birmingham, Michigan. In 2011 the television audiences voted him the winning design star of HGTV’s Show House Showdown. Since then it has been a whirlwind of accomplishments! Today we are going to talk about how his lifelong dream came true in 2016 with his launch of his first couture collection of furniture, Corey Damen Jenkins exclusively for leathercraft. This collection was nominated for the prestigious 2017 arts award for the best product design. Once you start to listen to this episode it will be no surprise to you that Corey Damen believes in giving back to the design community. His firm generously donates to several charities.

Show Notes:

  • What was the process like to get Corey to decide to get on HGTV’s Show House Showdown?
  • What were the reasons that Corey was cast for HGTV’s Show House Showdown?
  • How has Corey learned to deal with his past insecurities and reconstruct the way he deals with things?
  • How does he get the most out of his projects?
  • Does he use PR firms?
  • When working with a PR firm how should a design firm behave and be organized?
  • How did Corey decide to design his furniture through Leathercraft?
  • What is Leathercraft?
  • How did Corey decide what fabrics to use on his furniture collection?
  • Who did Corey name a piece of his furniture in his new collection after?
  • How does he come up with his designs for his furniture?

Resources:

Leather Craft Furniture

Corey Damen Jenkins

Dec 21, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! LuAnn has a special announcement to make on the show today. As most of you know, her second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, is coming out soon. It was initially going to be released in February next year, but this has changed. On the show today LuAnn explains why the plans have changed and she talks about the big event, LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation, that has been planned instead, for the launch of the book on the 30th of March. She also explains what the book will be like, and the kind of information you can expect to find in it. Listen in to find out all about the really remarkable event that LuAnn has planned.

LuAnn invited twelve of the Power Talk Friday experts to collaborate with her in creating a go-to book to run your interior design business. She invited each of them to write a chapter for the book about their specific zone of genius. The book is full of really useful information for interior designers about attracting luxury clientele, creating a design process, charging what you're worth, building an exceptional team, defining your brand, and much, much more. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The kind of information that you will find in the book.
  • At the beginning and end of every chapter, LuAnn will do an intro and outro, just like she does on the show.
  • The twelve experts, that LuAnn invited to write a chapter each, for the book.
  • Our birthday party will be happening at the Kravet showroom, at the D and D Building in New York City, on the 5th of February 2019.
  • About the Power Talk Friday Tour.
  • Doing a thorough analysis of every project, after completion.
  • LuAnn talks about the planned launch for her book in March.
  • Thinking about ways to make the Power Talk Friday Tours a really amazing experience.
  • On March 30th, 31st, and April 1st, 2019, at the Hilton in Short Hills, New Jersey, LuAnn will be gathering all twelve of her co-authors to do live discussions.
  • In addition to the twelve experts, LuAnn has also invited twelve savvy interior design principals that have appeared on the podcast.
  • The insane, intense, invigorating, and absolutely amazing book launch event that has been planned.
  • The ticket price, and what the VIP experience is all about.
  • Why the third day will be limited to only 50 or 75 designers.
  • LuAnn is bringing the exact podcast format to her live event.
  • Some of the incredible designers that have already committed to being at the event.
  • You can get onto LuAnn's email list by texting 444999 and putting design biz into the field.
  • You can get early bird tickets for the event for only $395 from today until January 8th. After that, the price will go up to $595. (The VIP ticket is $200 extra.) If you sign up between December 21st and January 8th, your name will go into a draw to win a one-on-one coaching session with LuAnn, her husband, Vince, or one of the co-authors of the book.
  • About the VIP experience. (Go back and listen to episode #14 with Malene B)
  • Why LuAnn invites the sponsors to be part of the VIP experience.

The twelve experts who each wrote a chapter for the book:

Fred Berns, Sarah Danielle, Nancy Ganzekaufer, Eileen Hahn, Nicole Heymer, Claire Jefford, Peter Lang, Marc McDonough, Stacy Brown Randall, Shawna Lynne Simon, Kaye Whittaker, and Michelle Williams

Some of the sponsors that are supporting the event are:

Designer Inc.

Kravet

MyDoma Studio

Wingnut Social

Schwartz Design Showroom

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Malene B #14

Links:

Luann's website, to sign up for the event: Luann Live

Dec 18, 2018

Welcome! We are really happy to have Wendy Glaister, of Wendy Glaister Interiors, here with us today! Wendy is a really sweet, kind, and cheerful lady with a million-dollar smile, and it's very clear that being involved with philanthropic organizations, and giving back to her community are a big feature of Wendy's design firm. On the show today we have a really wonderful and very inspiring conversation with Wendy where she shares some things that may surprise you and will certainly make you appreciate her. You're in for a very different episode today! Listen in now to find out more!

Wendy Glaister Interiors is located in Modesto, California. And Wendy is an interior designer who has mastered the art of listening. She listens to her clients, to understand the things that will make their homes feel uniquely special, she listens to architects, to help make their vision come to fruition, and she listens to contractors, collaborating with their craftspeople and artisans to bring out the very best in every member of the team. Wendy is a delightful speaker, whether to an audience of design students or a seasoned group of interior design professionals. She is engaging, using self-deprecating humor to immediately disarm and warm her audience. She is currently serving as president of the Central Californian Nevada chapter of the ASID. Listen in to find out what Wendy has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Growing up, Wendy always really wanted to be a member of the ASID- and now she's the ASID president!
  • Being involved with philanthropic organizations, and giving back to her community is a big feature of Wendy's design firm.
  • Wendy talks about the three organizations that she patronizes and some of the things she does for them.
  • What the Genesis 50/20 Foundation is all about.
  • Wendy shares, for the very first time, about a profound challenge that she had to deal with in her life.
  • Talking about difficult things really can really help people to get their power back.
  • What it took for Wendy to realize that she wasn't 'the problem'.
  • Wendy talks about her compulsion to do well and to help people.
  • Why Wendy doesn't think it's fair to quit.
  • Wendy's business has grown a hundred percent, year over year, for three years!
  • Ensuring that her son has a good life has been a huge motivator for Wendy.
  • The help that she got from her gutsy pastor.
  • How Wendy developed so much compassion for other people.
  • From living in 'survival mode' to learning to trust again.
  • That positive change she's experienced in her business since talking on a partner.
  • Wendy does boxing to release her pent-up tension.
  • God has always shown up for Wendy and that has allowed her to remain optimistic.
  • It's really okay to be kind and helpful.
  • How Wendy has managed to grow her business by a hundred percent a year, for three years in a row.
  • Some business lessons that Wendy has learned along the way.
  • It takes a lot of work to remain brave, take full responsibility, and be accountable for your business.

Links:

Website: Wendy Glaister Interiors

Facebook: Wendy Glaister Interiors

Instagram: Wendy Design

Pinterest: WKG Design

Twitter: WKG Designer

To support Wendy in her mission to provide mothers who are victims of domestic violence with the funds to obtain the therapy necessary to heal, you can do it through The Haven Women's Center, Crickets Hope and Arts Therapy Program for children, and the Genesis 50/20 Foundation, which raises and distributes funds for trauma therapy. You can reach these organizations through Wendy's website Wendy Glaister Interiors.

Dec 14, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! We're really excited to have Amber De La Garza, The Productivity Specialist, here with us today! We all know that things, like being productive and efficient, getting our systems in order, and managing our time, are crucial to running a successful business. Although these things may seem simple, they are often a lot more difficult than they need to be. Amber's goal is to simplify everything and make it easier for entrepreneurs. One of the things that she loves to teach people about is time-blocking. If you have tried it before, and it didn't seem to work for you, you will really gain a lot from today's show. Because Amber's goal for today is to get you to to the place where you love time-blocking and you see that it's the best thing that has ever happened to your business. Listen in to find out more!

Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast, and creator of S.T.O.P.! The Entrepreneur’s Success Solution. She helps driven entrepreneurs execute actionable solutions to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most! Listen in to find out what Amber has to share with you on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • Amber is going to teach you how to love time-blocking!
  • There are two different types of time-blocking- task-based and project-based.
  • Amber gives her definition of what time-blocking is: It's investing your best time into your best activities.
  • Getting really clear about the few activities that will have the biggest impact on you achieving your goals, if done consistently.
  • Once you've created a schedule you will need to keep showing up consistently for the things that have to be done.
  • Busting the myth that some people are designed to be more structure than others.
  • Using your goals as a motivating factor to learn new skills.
  • Some excellent tips for effective time-blocking.
  • Amber shares her seven-step process of creating your ideal block schedule.
  • Creating boundaries for your ideal schedule.
  • Creating purposeful routines to set yourself up for success.
  • It's often the smaller things that will get you to where you want to go.
  • Finding what really works for you helps when creating routines that are sustainable.
  • We all have different priorities for our daily schedules.
  • The benefits of having weekly power lunches.
  • Another way to do time-blocking.
  • Reclaiming money by creating high-value activity blocks.
  • You don't have to be available all the time!
  • There's never enough time to do everything, so your job is to create the time and carve it down on your schedule for the things that matter most.
  • Amber talks about the free template download that she has for you, to help you create your ideal schedule. Go to The Productivity Specialist to download it now!

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Monique Holmes #365

Links:

Website: The Productivity Specialist

Podcast: Productivity Straight Talk

Facebook Page: The Productivity Specialist

Facebook Group: Productivity Straight Talk

Instagram: Amber De La Garza

For your free template download: The Productivity Specialist

Dec 11, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We're really glad to have Sarah Magness, of Magness Design, with us today. Eight years ago, Sarah hatched as a 'baby designer' and launched right into the luxury market.

Today she talks to us about the real-life experience she gained during this time, before opening her own firm. She also talks about the "New Heights" program at Marymount that she came to spearhead through her involvement with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. And today we also have an excellent conversation with Sarah about the best way to talk budget with clients. This is often a really tricky area of business, so listen in to get Sarah's very straightforward and clear advice.

Magness Design began in 2010 with a focus on residential design. It is located in New York City and its current focus is on the preservation of historic properties, by saving them and making them livable. Their major projects are in New York City, the Hudson Valley area, and on Long Island.

Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and her graduate degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute. She is a House Beautiful "Next Wave" designer and she's also been featured in Architectural Digest for a very large townhouse project that she saved and renovated. Listen in to find out more.

  • Show highlights:
    Working for three or four different design firms is a great way to learn the business aspect of running your own design business.
  • The different people that Sarah first worked for, to gain real-life experience.
  • The type of apprenticeship that architecture undergraduates are required to do.
  • Sarah's recommendations for getting to work for the best firms, after graduating from school.
  • New York has a really supportive and talented design community.
  • Budget is always an issue with clients.
  • How Sarah approaches budget conversations with her clients.
  • How to estimate a budget for your client on the spot.
  • The importance of having really clear communication with your clients.
  • It is often the clients' choices that cause a project to go over budget.
  • Giving the client an itemized list with the cost of each item on it.
  • How to talk to your client about going over the budget for certain items.
  • When and how to discuss fees with a high-end client.
  • The language to use in order to get the best response from clients when dealing with multi-faceted projects.
  • Sarah discusses the passion-projects that she's involved with.
  • Sarah has created a twelve-minute documentary called The
  • Town Home, about a seven-story
  • 1911 New York townhouse renovation project that she did.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Andrew Suvalsky #28
Christie Leu # 182
Dr. Ellen Fisher #71

Links:
Website
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Reference:
Click the ICAA organization link find your local chapter.

Dec 7, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really delighted have Jeff Tippett, aka Mr. Persuasion, with us today. Jeff is a subject matter expert in persuasive communications. And on the show today he will explain some of the principals that lie right at the heart of persuasion. This is really an important and valuable skill to learn for any business. And there's so much you can accomplish after acquiring this skillset! So grab the opportunity now, and listen in to hear Jeff's message.

Jeff helps people increase their effectiveness, gives them powerful tools for attaining goals and dreams, and helps them positively impact their organization—all as they learn techniques for communicating persuasively with others.

When results mattered most, renowned brands like Airbnb, The National Restaurant Association, The League of Women Voters, The League of Conservation have trusted Jeff to develop and implement communications plans to persuade elected officials, the media, and the general public. And as an expert on persuasive communications, Jeff continues to deliver results for influential clients.

Other industry experts have validated Jeff’s work through numerous awards including the prestigious The American Advertising Awards.

Jeff has impacted thousands of lives through over 500 presentations including keynotes and seminars. Others feature Jeff’s expertise in persuasive communications through articles, podcasts, and blogs.

Jeff’s highly anticipated second book, Unleashing Your Superpower: Why Persuasive Communications is the Only Force You Will Ever Need is scheduled for completion in January 2019. Listen in to find out what Jeff has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Jeff shares the story of how he adopted his baby daughter in Haiti.
  • The really valuable lesson Jeff learned from his experience in Haiti.
  • Changing your mindset from one of manipulation to one of persuasion.
  • The two words that indicate that you've successfully persuaded somebody.
  • Showing someone a new vision of how things could be.
  • Getting what you want by helping others to get what they want.
  • Three ways to get to know what someone really wants.
  • Some tools to use when making a real connection with a potential client, and getting them to like you.
  • People will remember how you made them feel, so make them feel heard and understood, and valuable.
  • Placing yourself firmly in the shoes of a potential client.
  • Putting a lot of thought into what you say and the language you use.
  • Jeff shares 3 strategies to create better online influence.
  • Helping people to trust you.
  • Figuring out your only-ness, to really stand out and set yourself apart.
  • Staying consistent with who you are and what you do.
  • Three tips to help you to position your message so that people will say "yes".

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nancy Ganzekaufer #15, #159 and #256

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

Sponsored episodes by Article.Com #301 and #367

Links:

Website: Jeff Tippett

Twitter: Jeff Tippett

Facebook: Jeff Tippett Speaker

LinkedIn: Jeff Tippett

YouTube: Jeff In Cary

Book: Pixels Are the New Ink: 3 Steps to Digital Domination In Your Industry

To look into Article.com: Well Designed Article

Text the word PERSUADE to 66866, to be informed when Jeff's new book, Why Persuasive Communications is the Only Force You Will Ever Need, becomes available. You will also get a free chapter of the book right away.

Dec 4, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we have Alyce Lopez with us. She is one of LuAnn's real-life friends, and also the principal of The True House in Tula Vista, California. Although Alyce is still a 'baby designer', she's a really smart lady! She knows that being an interior designer is her business and not a hobby. She is also very clear on what she does and how she does it. On the show today Alyce talks to us about the way she runs her business and how she's built it up to profiting six-figures in under three years. There is so much you can learn from Alyce on today's show! Listen in to find out more!

Alyce Lopez owns and operates The True House, a full-service interior design firm that specializes in residential design for busy, young families. She began her career in interior design after purchasing a fixer-upper with her husband. The two navigated through renovations on a 1950's rambler maximizing their creativity and pocket change. The True House came about organically after documenting their home renovations on social media.

Alyce grew up in southern California in Aliso Viejo, CA.  Growing up near some of the most beautiful beaches, she was always inspired by natural textures and elements. Alyce graduated with a degree in education.  In 2006, she married her husband who teaches kindergarten locally in Chula Vista.  Today, Alyce is mother to two young children (ages 5 & 7) and her pug, Mochi.

TTH focuses on bringing a transitional aesthetic to the common builder grade home in south San Diego.  Alyce prides herself in making each home more functional and livable for young families while respecting her clients' budgets.  She believes your home should be a reflection of your personal style and provide customized features that make life more enjoyable.  The True House recognizes that your home is your largest financial investment and it should be treated with the proper care and attention.    

The True House is the top reviewed interior designer in south San Diego. Alyce has been featured as a style spotter for industry shows and is a brand ambassador for Revolution Performance fabrics. You can find her work published by SD Voyager and Furniture Today. Listen in to find out what Alyce has to share about her interior design business.

Show highlights:

  • Some of the things Alyce has established as important parameters in her business.
  • Establishing a really good relationship with a limited number of selected vendors.
  • Tula Vista has organically become Alyce's niche area.
  • Alyce's family-based approach to running her business.
  • The importance of having a good work/life balance.
  • Some tips for having a debt-free life and business.
  • The type of design that Alyce focuses on and the services she provides.
  • The benefits of offering clients blocks of time.
  • The kind of value that Alyce provides for her clients.
  • Alyce uses Acuity Scheduling to keep things organized.
  • Where Alyce sources her furniture and accessories.
  • Providing limited options when too many options could be confusing.
  • How Alyce shares her trade-show experiences with her clients.
  • The step-by-step process that Alyce uses with her clients.
  • The way that Alyce structures her charges.
  • The importance of planning ahead for your business.

Resources:

Books by Dave Ramsey

Links:

Website: The True House

Facebook: The True House

Instagram: @thetruehouse

Nov 30, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! As most of you know, on Fridays LuAnn talks to people, from any industry, who can share something with us that will enhance, grow, or make our business or personal lives make sense. Today we are very happy to have Julie Broad, an Amazon Overall Number 1 Best-Selling Author, join us on the show. Julie has a background in real estate and in branding. Having generated over six figures in revenue from her book sales alone, she now teaches authors how to build their brand and boost their business through her new company, Book Launchers.Com. Listen in today to find out how Julie could help you make a bigger impact with your interior design business by writing, publishing, and selling a top-quality book.

Julie was born in Canada. She grew up in rural Alberta in a house attached to a 20 room Motel. Collecting the pop cans and beer bottles from the motel rooms, she used the money to invest in gold stocks which she used to pay for her first year of undergraduate education. When it was time to do her MBA, she used her savings to buy investment properties instead of fund her education. Student loans paid for school, and then the seven properties she owned by the end of her MBA paid off her student loans. Julie continued to apply the entrepreneurial lessons she learned from her parents (not her MBA, because that degree was pointless) as she grew her real estate portfolio, launched a real estate training and education company, and began to write books. She became an Amazon Overall Number 1 Best Selling Author, an International Book Award Winner, and recipient of the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Sales book. Listen in to find out how Julie helps people achieve their goals.

Show highlights:

  • The benefits of self-publishing.
  • Producing a book to give clients will really benefit small business owners or designers.
  • Producing a book really demonstrates that you're an expert in your field and it can earn you tons of media as well!
  • How much content has to be in your book for Amazon to sell it and provide you with printed copies of it.
  • You can increase the content of your book by spacing it out and filling it in with pictures.
  • How getting some assistance with structure, from someone like Julie, can really help to bring out of you what you already know.
  • Friends and family probably won't tell you if your ideas really suck.
  • The ways that Julie helps people position their book to appeal to their ideal reader.
  • Putting your own flair into ordinary things.
  • Some things to help you get to the heart of your brand.
  • Some mistakes people make in communication that deludes their message.
  • A tip about body language to help you become more confident.
  • With self-publishing, it's 100% your book.

Links:

Website: Book Launchers

YouTube: Julie Broad

Facebook: Book Launchers

Instagram: @juliebroad @booklaunchers

Twitter: Book Launchers

Nov 27, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy to have John and Theresa Dorlini, the dynamic duo behind Circle Design Studio, with us today. The idea of CIRCLE was born in 2001 when, on their first official date at a sushi restaurant in downtown Tempe, John and Theresa made a pinky promise to build a design empire. On the show today we have a really great conversation with them about how they built their business and the way that they run it. Listen in today, to find out what they have to share with you.

Circle Design Studio is located in Roanoke VA. Since its inception in 2005,  John and Theresa have expanded the CIRCLE family to encompass full-service design, including architecture and general contracting.

John is the principal architect and he holds professional licenses as a Certified Interior Designer, Class A Contractor, and Architect in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Those qualifications, combined with his background in design and construction administration for large-scale public projects, ensure a thorough drawing set that leads to accurate bidding and execution.

Theresa is the principal interior designer and creative director. Her strength is seeing the “big picture”.  She has 20 years of interior design experience practicing in Arizona, Florida, and Virginia, and she works closely with all their clients, both residential and commercial, to develop a cohesive design concept that reflects their personal style or branding. Theresa is passionate about design education and she's taught at James Madison University, and also at her alma mater, Arizona State University. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Their way of explaining to a client why they would do well to make use of a designer, as well as a builder and an architect.
  • Why they invest so much in their 3D visualizations.
  • The programs that they prefer to use for their 3D visualizations, and why.
  • How 3D modeling can help prevent disconnect with the various players working on projects.
  • How it really helps to have an architect on board with their projects.
  • The benefits of having a large body of work to show their clients.
  • Words are just words, so images really help!
  • They are busy creating a coffee table book.
  • What they do to make projects easier to understand for their clients.
  • Following the steps of a tried-and-true-process.
  • Explaining to their clients, when discussing fees, that they're paying for John and Theresa's expertise.
  • Everything about design comes really easily to Theresa.
  • Designing seems really easy for some people, so it's easy for them to underestimate what actually goes into it.
  • A book that John recommends is The Business of Design by Keith Granet.
  • All about the vision statement they are busy creating.
  • Being at the glorious point of being able to recognize the really valuable clients and let the others go.
  • Realizing that it's all about serving the client.
  • You have to be really good at what you do to work with the luxury market.
  • Learning to be honest enough to just say 'no'.
  • Putting things in writing can save your butt!
  • Setting boundaries with clients.
  • Creating a dual-purpose welcome-packet for clients.
  • Ways to protect yourself from customers who tend to take advantage.

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Darla Powell #330

Jason Byrne #311

Charles Pavarini #113

Resources:

Book mentioned: The Business of Design by Keith Granet

Links:

Website: Circle Design Studio

Facebook: Circle Design Studio

Pinterest: Circle Design Studio

Instagram: Circle Design Studio

Blog: Curata Home

Nov 23, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Samantha Parker and Kathy Rasmussen, the partners in the Badassery Community, with us on the show today. Samantha and Kathy are the co-founders of Badassery Magazine, the co-hosts of the Badassery Podcast, and they also have a book out, called Badassery Styled Community. These ladies are very real. They are trailblazers and they are on a mission. Together, they are creating an ultra-engaged community of women entrepreneurs who are fully committed to living bold and passion-filled lives. On the show today they share some great guiding principals on being authentic and doing things your way. Listen in to find out about the very significant work that these two dynamic ladies are doing.

Badassery Magazine is a resource for female business owners to navigate and embody the Badassery Lifestyle. The magazine features articles written by their community of contributors on topics including Entrepreneurship, Branding, Marketing, Mindset, Self Care, Health & Beauty, Home, Family, Travel, Food & Drink Recipes, Entertainment, Music, and lots more.

Samantha is ridiculously passionate about living a life of true Badassery. She believes that we all rise together and she puts community over competition. She has been featured on NowThis, The Daily Vee, Bold TV, and numerous interviews and podcasts.

Kathy is an idea cultivating machine and can strategically birth your idea to life. When she’s not busy connecting other entrepreneurs with fabulous experiences, you can find her being featured on NowThis, Bold TV, numerous interviews and podcasts. Kathy is passionate about owning who you are and stepping into the spotlight. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • The backstory of how the Badass Community was started.
  • How Samantha and Kathy first met.
  • Kathy explains what she does, as an implementation strategist.
  • Knowing your where your passion lies and what fulfills you.
  • About the brand pillars of the Badass Community.
  • Some pillars that would benefit designers.
  • Embracing who you are and letting your authentic personality shine through.
  • Thinking about what you want to be known for.
  • Creating consistency throughout all your messaging.
  • Determining what your brand pillars should be.
  • The process of welcoming people to a community.
  • Growing your design business through a Facebook community.
  • Cultivating conversations within a Facebook community.
  • Giving value and sharing your expertise within a Facebook community will get people to hire you.
  • Getting loyalty from the personality brand you're creating.
  • Things that are necessary, but not obvious about the backend of running a community.
  • Some of the things they do that really make the members feel special and want to stay in the community.
  • To restrict your community or not?

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Nancy Holla #377

Colleen Prim #359

Nicole Heymer #125 and #137

Claire Jefford #237 and 325

Rachel Moriarty #55 and #214

Dixie Willard #273

Links:

Website: Badassery Magazine

Facebook: Badassery Magazine

Instagram: Badassery Magazine

Badassery Mag: Badassery Magazine

Badassery Podcast: Badassery Podcast

Nov 20, 2018

Welcome to the show! You're really in for a royal treat today! We're very excited to share LuAnn's interview with Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, as he unveils the Royal Funiture line for Theodore Alexander. LuAnn did this interview live, in person, at the Theodore Alexander Showroom in High Point, North Carolina. Lord Spencer is the younger brother of Diana, Princess of Wales. He is also a British nobleman, peer, author, journalist, and broadcaster. The Althorp Living History furniture collection was designed in partnership with Theodore Alexander. And it encompasses replications of furniture found in the 500-year-old Althorp Estate where Lord Spencer and Diana grew up. Listen in today to find out what Lord Spencer has to share about the Althorp Living History furniture collection.

For five centuries, Althorp - a sprawling English estate in bucolic Northamptonshire - has served as the primary residence of the Spencers, one of the most distinguished, aristocratic families in England with ties to Winston Spencer Churchill and the ancestors of George Washington.

It was this combination of rich legacy and the home’s warm, beautiful interiors that drew fine furniture maker Theodore Alexander to Althorp. The resulting collection of furniture and upholstery pieces in Althorp Living History draws inspiration from treasures gathered during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries by Althorp’s famous inhabitants.

Theodore Alexander is renowned for unmatched craftsmanship, exquisite finishes, and extraordinary design. Covering a diversity of periods and styles, their collections encompass thousands of unique lighting, home accents, case goods, and upholstered furnishings. Theodore Alexander and its licensed collections (Althorp Living History, Keno Bros. for Theodore Alexander, Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander, Michael Berman for Theodore Alexander, and Steve Leung for Theodore Alexander) are available throughout the world at fine furniture galleries and design centers. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The “Spencer heritage” — 500 years of history in the Althorp Estate and how that history is captured in the furniture.
  • The wonderful responsibility of being heir to the Althorp Estate.
  • Retaining Althorp as a place of entertainment.
  • For Lord Spencer, history is about people- not about dusty, dry facts.
  • How the relationship between Lord Spencer and Theodore Alexander began.
  • Lord Spencer enjoys the passion that Theodore Alexander has for the heritage of the furniture collection.
  • Lord Spencer is able to provide the backstory of every single piece of furniture in the Althorp Living History line.
  • How Theodore Alexander has helped to preserve the Althorp history and heritage through the furniture line.
  • Lord Spencer talks about his favorite pieces in the collection.
  • What buyers can expect when purchasing an Althorp/Theodore Alexander piece.
  • Owning a cherished piece of history with the opportunity to create your own heritage with pieces with a rich history.
  • What designers should know about the value of the Althorp Living History furniture collection, and also of Theodore Alexander, as a company, when considering introducing the furniture line into their projects.

Links:

Theodore Alexander's website:  Theodore Alexander.

Furniture Collection:

Email: c@clairemontcommunications.com / msmiley@theodorealexander.com / ostrowski.anna97@gmail.com

The video of this interview is available on LuAnn's Youtube channel: Youtube

Nov 16, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are very happy to introduce you to Nancy Hala today. Nancy is a branding expert and she's also co-host of the podcast This Is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. LuAnn truly loves and enjoys what Nancy and her co-host Sheri Salata are doing! Nancy and Sheri joined forces when they were both in their mid-fifties, to launch their company, start their podcast, and begin living The Pillar Life. They decided at the time that it's never too late to make the rest of their dreams come true. And both still had a ton of dreams left that they really wanted to come true! On the show today, apart from picking Nancy's expert brain, as a brand strategist, we will be talking to her about The Pillar Life, and leaning into starting a new life with career changes. Because sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and trust that the universe will support you. So listen in today to find out what Nancy has to share with you.

Nancy is a chief visionary of The Pillar Life. And This Is Fifty with Sheri + Nancy is a popular podcast about redefining and rebranding the middle of life. Sheri Salata and Nancy are lifelong soul-sister friends. And on their podcast they’re having conversations with experts, teachers and uplifters about fueling their imaginations and igniting the eight most important pillars of their lives: Health + Wellness, Spirituality + Happiness, Romance + Sex, Friends + Family, Creativity + Innovation, Adventure + Discovery, Sanctuary + Beauty, and Money + Abundance.

Nancy is also the innovator behind BrandStory, a trademark combination of brand strategy, storytelling and audience building, helping organizations articulate who they are, what they stand for, and where their brand’s spirit meets its mission. Nancy extends her business brand practice into personal brand development, working with individuals and groups in bespoke workshops designed to help participants understand and express their own personal brands. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Nancy shares her (and Sheri's) core beliefs.
  • Nancy believes that taking the risk and trusting in the support of the universe will open doors for you.
  • Learning to dream without limitations.
  • Most people really love their brand, or their organzation, as an extension of themselves.
  • Their first mantra, when Sheri and Nancy started their company, was 'dream big'.
  • Shedding old beliefs about safety and security creates fun and excitement!
  • Starting your own company or creating your own brand is one of the most creative things you can do as a business owner.
  • Having a business is all about connecting with people- so you have to speak to them in a way that they can hear and understand you.
  • The stories we tell ourselves make our dreams come true.
  • Creating a really great narrative for your brand.
  • Nancy's four v's: vision, values, virtues and voice.
  • A vision is the foundational component of a brand story.
  • Your virtues set you apart from your competitors or your peers.
  • Your voice is the energy behind your brand.
  • You need to be interested in something in order to be successful at it.
  • Getting to the core of what really sets you apart from the rest.
  • Getting into the virtue of what you do with authenticity and fearlessness.
  • The Pillar Life consists of eight areas of life (or pillars) that we need to focus on, expand our energy over, and elevate our experience around.
  • Nancy discusses her and Sheri's reckoning moment.
  • Content has to have a framework. And The Pillar Life has become the framework for Nancy and Sheri's narrative.
  • Finding your own, unique point of view on each pillar.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Amber Lewis #169 and #184

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro) #125 and #317

Links:

The Pillar Life 

10 Easy Steps to Launch The Pillar Life

Nov 13, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Catherine French, the founder of Catherine French Design, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with us today. Cat has been listening to this podcast since it first started, about two-and-a-half years ago. This was around the same time that she started her design business. Recently, Cat sent LuAnn a really nice email, telling her about the things she had learned from A Well-Designed Business. In the letter, she listed the things that she has really taken seriously from the podcast and implemented in her business. And right from the start, she has really been tremendously successful! Cat's firm is currently approaching half-a-million dollars in gross revenue per year- in under two-and-a-half years! So listen in today, as Cat talks to LuAnn about her business, and gives some context to the way that it all began for her.

Cat loves color, pattern, texture, form, and has a passion for working with people. She focuses on color and balance to make rooms more warm, inviting and habitable. Her design is a unique blend of psychology, culture, color, and function with an emphasis on the principals of design and art taken from her formal Arts education and training.  Embracing full collaboration in creating a harmonious space, she spends time in the spaces with her clients developing their vision and then guiding them through the full process of a turn-key installation.

After obtaining her Bachelors in Psychology from Wake Forest University, Cat later went on to pursue her Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While teaching the Environmental Design Studio at UNCG, she presented her work at several State and National conventions as an expert on Interior Design and Historic Preservation. Now Cat leads a passionate and enthusiastic team of design professionals that guide inspirations into reality at Catherine French Design. Listen in to find out what Cat has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Cat talks about the beginning of her business, two-and-a-half years ago, and everything that happened at the time.
  • Enlisting the help of a stylist for the first time.
  • Taking advice from this podcast turned out to be one of the best things she ever did.
  • Cat enlisted some help from a neighbor, Jamie, and he's still with her business now, almost two years later.
  • Now, Cat's team is really diverse and wonderful!
  • How Cat came up with how much to charge her first clients.
  • Cat explains why she mostly still charges an hourly rate.
  • All about how Cat managed to have the hard conversation with one of her very first clients and hire someone to get the project finished on time.
  • Cat had to make time to be with her family, or her business would have been pointless for her, so her whole firm does not work in the evenings or over weekends.
  • Cat's way of dealing with unforeseen problems.
  • Hiring the right person at the right time.
  • What happened when Cat realized that she couldn't make payroll one month.
  • How Cat learned that you have to always have to show up and put your team first.
  • How Cat first started marketing her firm with blog posts to get SEO exposure.
  • Showing her team that she wasn't giving up!
  • Dealing with accounting problems in her business.
  • Working out how much needs to be brought into the business, in order to keep things running smoothly.
  • Talking to Caroline Hipple, co-author of Pathway To Profit.
  • Making everyone in the team feel important.
  • Maintaining boundaries and being brave enough to only work with clients that are the right fit.
  • Untangling from projects that aren't the right fit.
  • The importance of maintaining an attitude of professionalism and respect.
  • LuAnn's second book, co-authored by Michele Willaims of The Scarlet Thread, will be launched at the next birthday celebration in February, next year.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Dina Holland #354

Michele Williams #137 and #180

Resources:

Book: A Pathway to Profit by Caroline Hipple, Anita Pugh, Chris Matthies, and Dixon Bartlett

Links:

Website - Catherine French Design

Instagram - Catherine French Design

Pinterest - Cat French Design

Facebook - Catherine French Design

Nov 9, 2018

Welcome to today's Power Talk Friday! We have Bonnie Fahy with us on the show. Bonnie is the creator of Source It!, which Forbes once called "the world’s premier education in online hiring and outsourcing for entrepreneurs". Although outsourcing is the obvious thing for a number of businesses to do, LuAnn wasn't a hundred percent sure that it would be transferable to the design industry. After having a conversation with Bonnie, however, she decided that it was viable for us. Because there are so many things that go into running a business and you really don't have to do it all yourself. So you could consider employing a virtual assistant. And Bonnie specializes in helping people understand the best process for hiring VAs. Listen in today to find out what Bonnie has to share with you.

From her humble beginnings as a balloon artist, Bonnie Fahy has grown to become the ultimate hiring guru, helping hundreds of overwhelmed business owners balance their dreams with a work lifestyle that suits them best. She stumbled on outsourcing early in her internet marketing career and she was amazed to see her profits quadruple in only three short months! This really inspired her, so she began consulting with, and helping other entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to six and seven figures using the same strategies and methods. Bonnie has helped a roster of prominent entrepreneurs take back their time by leveraging high-quality virtual assistants, web developers and graphic designers for a fraction of the cost. Her business insights are based on the foundations of personal development and human psychology, and the shortcuts she teaches her mentees have helped them spectacularly transformed their lives. Listen in to hear about Bonnie's powerful strategies.

Show highlights:

  • Why Bonnie thinks that a VA is such a viable resource for a small business owner.
  • You can hire a much higher level person from the Philippines at a fraction of the cost.
  • Hiring the right person for the task.
  • Taking responsibility for clear communication.
  • Systematizing things is vital.
  • Your VA can actually help you to create and document systems.
  • Where hybrid sourcing comes into the picture.
  • People are often unsure about which tasks to delegate.
  • Bonnie has loads of free content on her website.
  • The kind of tasks an online assistant could do for you, as an interior designer.
  • Mastering the art of communication through conflict.
  • Tools for protecting passwords while allowing someone else to use them.
  • Freeing yourself up to do the things you do best.
  • The kind of person to look for as a VA.
  • Where to go, find the best VA.
  • Writing a really compelling job ad.
  • Testing for agreeableness.
  • Finding the perfect person for the perfect price.
  • Doing 'get to know you' calls.
  • Resources for finding online assistance outside the US.
  • Remember that it's always about the process.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Madeleine MacRae # 315

Resources for finding online assistance in the US:

Craig's List

Indeed.com

Facebook

Recommended resources for finding online assistance outside the US:

International Facebook groups for VAs.

OnlineJobs.ph

VirtualStaff.ph

Links:

Bonnie Fahy

Bonnie Fahy

Get Source It

Bonnie's Free Training

For the automated webinar go to The Live More Formula

Nov 6, 2018

Welcome! Today you're in for a treat! We have Ellie Mroz joining us, and she's a really talented designer and also an astute businesswoman. We're very fortunate here at Window Works to be doing the window treatments for all Ellie's projects. Today, Ellie discusses her niche with us. And get this- her niche isn't a particular style of design or even an ideal client. It's it's the town where she and her husband grew up, fell in love, and started their family! On the show today we also take a look at the hard conversations that you will need to have with vendors and clients when unforeseen things happen. Listen in to find out more.

Ellie’s passion for interiors began in the world of fashion. After she graduated from Cornell University, she enjoyed several years of internships in ready-to-wear and jewelry design, merchandising, and public relations. Finally, her love of beautiful things brought her into interior design. This transition was natural for Ellie because her husband’s residential home remodeling business, Michael Robert Construction, started growing. And his clients started asking Ellie for her help in choosing all the finishes. From there, the husband and wife design/build team grew and a boutique interior design firm was born.

Since 2015, Ellie has been asked to appear in several episodes of George Oliphant's show, George to the Rescue NBC, as the on-air talent who helps families in need create beautiful spaces. And these beautiful spaces really improve the quality of the lives of these families, as well as the quality of their homes. Listen in to hear what Ellie has to share with you today!

Show highlights:

  • Ellie talks about her involvement with George To The Rescue.
  • Why it's really worth investing in a receiving warehouse where they hold all your goods until you're ready for the majority install.
  • Designers really need to be there when the delivery for an installation happens.
  • Setting expectations with a new client right in the beginning.
  • Ellie and her husband, Mike, have two separate companies and they don't always work together.
  • Ellie talks about her really unique niche.
  • Ellie prefers to take on few jobs and really make them profitable.
  • Ellie has recently added a new service called Design Therapy.
  • Ellie tailor's her style to each client.
  • Some really great advice that Ellie received from a photographer.
  • The joy of owning your niche fully.
  • How to deal with it when things go wrong working on a project with contractors, subcontractors, and vendors.
  • Some tools and tactics for avoiding dramas.
  • Why you should never ditch old emails.
  • The value of spending real time on site with your contractors.
  • Developing the skill set to have the hard conversation with clients.
  • What's coming up for Ellie in the future.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Raquel Langworthy #343

Links:

Website - Ellie Mroz Design

Instagram - Ellie Mroz Design

Pinterest - Ellie Mroz Design

The custom home-building project that Ellie is documenting on Instagram: #Shadowlawndrive

Michael, Ellie's husband's website: Michael Robert Construction

Nov 2, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to introduce you to two very interesting women today. We have Susan Whalen, the president of Pollack, and Rachel Doriss, Pollack's design director, with us on the show. These women have both been in the design industry for decades and on the show today they talk to us about the types of opportunities that are available in the industry, other than doing interior design. They also talk about the leadership at Pollack and their company culture of encouraging creativity, loyalty, and longevity in their entire team. Listen in today to find out what it takes to create and lead a really exceptional business.

Susan earned a BA from The University of Arizona in 1996. She was appointed as president of Pollack/Weitzner in 2017 due to her forward-thinking vision. She began her career at Polack in 1999 as studio manager, working alongside the founding creative director, Mark Pollack. There she learned every aspect of design and product development for contract and residential textiles. In 2004 she shifted to the business side to work under Rick Sullivan, the founding president. Then, in 2006, she was appointed as vice president and chief operating officer. In the position of COO, Susan took the led role in Pollack's merger with Weitzner in 2011. She is currently spearheading the implementation of a new operating system and the development of improved digital platforms to support the future growth and adaptability of Pollack/Weitzner. Susan now resides in Brooklyn, NY. In her free time, she enjoys traveling internationally and renovating her weekend home in rural Pennsylvania.

Rachel has textile design in her DNA. She studied printmaking and painting and even taught batik workshops when she first entered college. But it was in the Textile Design department at the Rhode Island School of Design that she realized, for the first time, the practical application of her beloved woven and printed textile techniques. She graduated with a BFA from RISD in 1999 and designed printed silk scarves at Echo before joining the Pollack Studio in 2000. In 2007, Rachel was appointed Vice President, Associate Design Director. She took the helm as Pollack’s Design Director in 2012, overseeing the Studio and guiding the creative vision for each textile collection. In the Studio, she and her team always begin a pattern by first creating artwork by hand. Rachel’s designs for Pollack have been featured in national magazines, including Architectural Digest, Interior Design and Elle Décor, and she has been profiled on such sites as Apartment Therapy and House and Home TV. Two of her creations, “Mod” and “Curlycue,” are in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Join us today and get the inspiration do things in your firm to make it the kind of place people really want to be engaged with!

Show highlights:

  • Other kinds of career opportunities within the design industry.
  • What really goes into textile manufacture.
  • What it takes to become a textile designer.
  • You get involved in the textile industry for the love of what you do, not for the money!
  • The partnership between Pollack and Lori Weitzner.
  • How having a collaboration, or a licensed collection works.
  • Working with Gary Graham, a New York-based fashion designer.
  • The need for inspiration when creating a collection.
  • A quick run through the development of a fabric.
  • The whole chain of love and pain that goes into the design and development of a beautiful fabric.
  • About the really terrific "Pollack culture".
  • Some great tips for cultivating a really successful team.
  • Inspiring employees towards longevity with longer vacations.
  • Really creative "First Fridays" at Pollack.
  • An "Ugly Sweater" contest at the office!
  • Supporting employees through difficult times.
  • Pollack has their product in showrooms in most of the major territories.
  • Pollack has worldwide distribution- in Asia, the UK, and France.

Links:

Website: Pollack Associates

Instagram: @pollacktextiles

Facebook:  Pollack Textiles

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Lori Weitzner #308

Eileen Hahn # 363

Janelle Photopoulos # 364

Candace Olsen #74

Amber Lewis #184

Shea McGee #236 and 270 with Syd

Corey Damen Jenkins #127

Oct 30, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We know that you're really going to love it! We have Laura Michaels with us today and she is an experienced and insightful designer who knows how to tell it like it is. On the show, we have a very straightforward conversation with her about talking budget with clients. Laura is very confident in her process and in the service she offers, and she really knows how to hold her ground in these conversations. Listen in today, become inspired, and learn from Laura's expertise, and her really confident way of dealing with clients.

Laura Michaels Design is a full-service design firm specializing in residential and commercial interiors out of Greenwich CT. Having started her career as a fashion designer, Laura Michaels is no stranger to developing complete collections filled with layers of textures, patterns, and colors. Laura thrives on the challenge of finding the perfect combination of textiles and other materials, then integrating them in unique and unexpected ways. Laura spends much of her time sourcing fabric, carpet, lighting and more...from all over the world and prides herself on her thorough knowledge of the market. Laura is also proud of her ability to source the "right" item at the ''right'' price. If cost, size or availability become an issue, her design skills allow her to create the perfect piece in one of her many custom factories.  Her extensive knowledge of the market makes the design process quick and easy, but never routine. Her artistic vision transforms the space into warm and inviting interiors and it is Laura’s goal to provide a warm, inviting environment that is enjoyed by her homeowners and will last the test of time. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Developing the skill set to really understand your ideal client.
  • Some red flags to look out for with a client.
  • The kind of client that Laura works with.
  • Looking at a potential client's expectations before their budget.
  • There are millions of different supplier websites for all budgets.
  • Laura's way of dealing with clients who are not clear about their budget.
  • Managing your client's expectations.
  • Laura loves the challenge of fulfilling a client's expectations on a limited budget.
  • Things that people don't understand about hiring an interior designer.
  • Hiring a designer can really be price effective.
  • Establishing the ground rules around the budget upfront.
  • Laura's way of obtaining art for her clients.
  • Having the budget conversation with clients.
  • Referrals are really important.
  • You need to be confident and know your value to avoid being taken advantage of.

Links:

Website: Laura Michaels Design

Instagram: The Laura Michaels Design

Pinterest: Pinterest

e-mail: Laura@Lauramichaelsdesign.com

Find Luann on Instagram

Oct 26, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Everything is happening online these days, so we are really very happy to introduce you to Jason Berkowitz, of Break The Web Inc., a company that specializes in digital marketing and PR for businesses. Jason's business is an inbound marketing agency and their goal is to generate traffic which could ultimately turn into leads, sales, and customers. On the show today, Jason talks about the services that his company provides, that may be of interest to interior designers. He also explains what you, as interior designers, need to have in place, in order to come to the table. Listen in to hear what Jason has to say about digital marketing and public relations.

Jason started out as a business owner at the age of nineteen. He quickly came to recognize the importance of marketing and brand security. And he also realized that he had to take matters into his own hands because the available information was all so contradictory.

Jason's digital journey started in 2010 and his mission that year was to learn the ins-and-outs of digital marketing and more specifically, of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Through extensive networking, he had the opportunity to surround himself with some of the greatest and brightest minds in the industry. So he began utilizing and designing frameworks that led to a successful search-engine presence, spending hours analyzing algorithms and reading patent documents in an attempt to understand metrics for online visibility.

Jason launched his first SEO agency out of New York City in mid-2010. They launched SEO campaigns for more than 300 businesses, secured over 50 000 Page 1 rankings and worked with some of the largest brands in the world. Then, in 2016, they launched their parent company, Break The Web, Inc., with a focus on Digital Marketing services and business acquisitions. Since then, they have acquired 2 successful digital marketing agencies out of San Diego, California, and New York City. Listen in to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Jason explains what his company does.
  • The value in targeting your local area for marketing your business.
  • Where and how digital marketing and PR is taking place.
  • Jason's approach to digital marketing.
  • Paid advertising campaigns can be a little budget heavy.
  • Spending money on a digital marketing campaign pays off.
  • Teaching in-house teams to make the whole marketing process seamless.
  • How Jason structures his pricing.
  • A typical management fee that Jason charges for an ads campaign.
  • The SEO myths that Jason thinks really ought to be busted.
  • Using click-bait with the best intent.
  • Working with SEO really effectively.
  • Creating search tags for Youtube videos.
  • Google algorithms have become very smart- they can understand what's semantically relevant and what's not.
  • Keeping things natural within an SEO campaign.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Andrew Joseph #39

Links:

Websites -

Break The Web 

SEO Services New York 

Jason Berkowitz

LinkedIn: Jason Berkowitz SEO

Facebook: Jason Berkowitz NYC 

Twitter: J Berkowitz SEO

YouTube: Jason Berkowitz SEO

Oct 23, 2018

Welcome! Today's show was recorded live from the High Point Market on Friday, October 12th, 2018, as part of the Designer Viewpoint Series. We are very happy to introduce you to Kesha Franklin today, the principal of Halden Interiors, based in Greenbrook, New Jersey. Kesha has a background in the fashion world. And as a designer, she started out on a path that initially appeared to be destined for failure, which really rocked her world, but then things took an interesting turn for her. Listen in today as Kesha candidly shares her story, offers valuable insights, discusses the growth of her firm and explains her really intentional way of framing her conversations with potential clients.

Kesha's intuitive sense of style, creativity, and harmony goes back to her formative years, where luxurious interiors and fine men's wear captivated her creativity, through her father's vast collection of Architectural Digest and the renowned GQ Magazine. Kesha continued expressing the artist within her through various creative means, but only after an encounter with a New York City architect, who recognized her eye for interior design and complimented her on it, did she take the leap and start The Beautiful Experience, a boutique design firm specializing in residential and special events design and planning, in 2006.

Kesha spent years immersed in the exclusive world of couture fashion as a backstage production manager and wardrobe stylist for the iconic Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Surrounded by the work of well-known designers such as Vera Wang, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, Donna Karen, and Lanvin…Kesha sharpened her attention to detail, distinct eye for exquisite styling and sensibility to craftsmanship.

The spaces Kesha reinvents today are impeccable. However, her striking aesthetic as an interior designer is not only shaped by her ability to curate color palettes, balanced textures, and distinct furnishings but is also influenced by her ability to understand and connect with people. Every single design project begins with a heart-to-heart. Listen in today to hear what Kesha has to share about how she supplies her clients with a full experience, from the ground up, that goes way beyond just beautiful things.

Show highlights:

  • Kesha shares the great story of how she started out with design in 2003.
  • She began with very small projects.
  • Moving from doing jobs for free to starting a business and attracting clients from the luxury market.
  • Kesha learned a lot- the hard way.
  • She had to learn to understand her true worth.
  • Reading books really helped Kesha to understand the processes and the business side of the world of interior design.
  • When things started to pick up in 2011, Kesha realized she really needed to figure out what her niche was.
  • Kesha's process of rebranding to become Holden Interiors took three years.
  • In 2013 Kesha was really fortunate to be a part of the Goldman Sachs 10 000 Small Businesses Program. And that really set her rebranding in motion!
  • It really is okay to charge a higher price that truly reflects the level of service that you're giving.
  • Not all consumers really understand interior design.
  • Kesha gets excited about the kind of job that makes her nervous.
  • Kesha explains the rates she charges her clients.
  • Some things that need to be highlighted in the service agreement with a client.
  • Kesha's approach to clients about her contract.
  • Kesha explains her weekly project update.
  • Teaching her clients to trust the process.
  • Be careful of becoming a 'client pleaser'.
  • Time management is still a challenge.
  • Presentation is everything, so it's very important to invest in really good, high-quality pictures.
  • Kesha's work will continue to change as time goes on.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Adam Urbanski #192 and #280

Links:

Kesha's website: Halden Interiors

Oct 19, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we are really very happy to introduce you to photographer Stephen Karlish, from Dallas, Texas. Stephen began his career pre-internet, so he has seen the rise of social media and online sharing either make or break the careers of numerous designers. He has learned that the key to any creative environment is collaboration. We live in an image-based society today and designers really need to create a strong online presence. So they need to collaborate with experienced photographers to get the kind images that will be sure to drive traffic their way. Listen in today to find out what Stephen has to say about how a great photographer can really help you, as a designer, to build your brand identity and your online presence.

Stephen started out in the world of photography assisting commercial photographers in the late 90's. In the early 2000's he started photographing interiors for both local and national publications like Southern Accents, Veranda, Elle Decor, and AD, mainly focusing on documenting local Texas designers' work for their portfolios and ads. Based on his experience, Stephen really wants to help designers to take the photography aspect of their projects seriously. Listen in today to get some really helpful advice and tips from Stephen.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome business partnership that Stephen has with his wife.
  • Pulp Design Studios really inspires Stephen!
  • It really takes a lot of practice to get your personality to really come through on a video.
  • What it takes to create a really great a photo shoot on location.
  • Working seamlessly as a team for incredible outcomes.
  • Really great shots can be used for years.
  • As a young designer, it's really worth investing in your brand imagery right now.
  • Doing it right!
  • Some tips for getting the best shots on a regular budget.
  • Working with stylists and floral designers.
  • The importance of doing pre-shoot scout shots.
  • The benefits of working with a stylist for your photos.
  • How to find the right stylist to work with.
  • Designing projects to completion.
  • Creating portfolio shots on a studio wall.
  • Some tricks that a photographer can do to create incredible shots.
  • The best business advice that Stephen has ever been given.

Links:

Stephen's Website - Stephen Karlisch

Studio Website: Karlisch Studio

Instagram: @stephen_karlisch_photo

Facebook: Karlisch Studio

Twitter: Stephen Karlisch

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Pulp Design Studios #176 and #310

Charlotte Safavi #138

Oct 16, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we are excited to introduce you to Jessica Duce, the principal of J Duce Design in Colorado. With a lot of hard work, and a little good luck, Jessica discovered her ideal client and so today she specializes in VRBO and Air BnB Design. On the show today, Jessica tells the story of how she saw an opportunity to follow a completely new path in her business and jumped right in. Listen in today to learn about the joys and the challenges of designing for VRBO properties.

J Duce Design has won multiple best of Houzz awards and has been featured in Parker Lifestyle Magazine, Highlands Ranch Lifestyle Magazine, and Omaha Family Magazine.  Jessica was honored as Volunteer of the Year for her work for Habitat for Humanity. In 2018, J Duce Design is launching the Denver chapter of Savvy Giving by Design launched by Susan Wintersteen of Savvy Design. The goal of the non-profit chapter is to help families in crisis improve their current living environment for health and wellbeing at no charge to them. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • The story of what has happened to Jessica's company in the last three years.
  • How Jessica launched into the world of designing for VRBO properties.
  • The scheduling challenges that come with VRBO designing.
  • Jessica's awesome team.
  • The one home that Jessica worked on has led to her working on five other homes in the last three years.
  • Jessica discusses her connection in property management.
  • Times are changing with vacation homes and Air BnB.
  • Being creative when spending money to create the 'wow' factor.
  • Jessica's goals when meeting with the housekeeping staff.
  • Dealing with the 'flips'.
  • Some important things that Jessica has learned about designing for VRBO homes.
  • Some things that need to be considered when designing for the VRBO market.
  • The story of the really successful Captain Arnold's house.
  • Designing to appeal to the holiday market.
  • Experimenting with the best ways to invest money in VRBO properties.
  • Creating a photo spot in every house.
  • Learning lots of new ideas from the BDNY.
  • The biggest lesson that Jessica has learned in the last three years.

Links:

JDuce Design

Instagram: JDuce Design

Facebook: JDuce Design

Oct 12, 2018

Welcome! It's Power Talk Friday and we have a special show today, sponsored by Article.com! We are very happy to have Jillian Cross,  their trade program manager, joining us on the show. The passionate team at Article.com has a very strong understanding of the world of interior design and their trade program is run entirely by committed people from the design industry. Today Jill explains what it is about Article.com that really makes interior designers want to work with them. Listen in to find out more.

Jillian has had an amazing ride in the industry! She was born and raised in a construction and development family, so it's in her blood. She has a degree in project management as well as a background in interior design. Jill has been with Article for about one-and-a-half-years and she came to them with nine years of industry experience behind her. Prior to joining Article, she worked at several different firms in the industry, and also with some big-box retailers- helping them to build out their trade and their pro programs. She spent a number of years doing millwork design and also working in her family's business, where she got to experience residential and multi-unit design. Listen in to find out what Jillian has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • The people on the team at Article have a strong understanding of the world of interior design.
  • The importance of really understanding who you're talking to.
  • Article really understands the pain points of interior designers.
  • The team at Article takes a strong stand when something goes wrong and they get onto resolving it as quickly and effectively as possible.
  • The benefits of having a small team.
  • Following up with genuine care and concern.
  • Relationship building.
  • Striving to create a personal service for online trade partners.
  • The positives and negatives to working in the online space.
  • The discount structure at Article.com.
  • The great value that Article.com is offering their customers.
  • com is very competitive in its market.
  • Understanding transparency.
  • Article will send you swatches of fabric and samples with no shipping costs.
  • Jill walks you through Article's fantastic return/exchange policy.
  • Article will deliver anywhere in America.

Links:

Apply for the Article Trade Program: Article Trade

Article: Article

Linkedin Article

Houzz: Article Modern

Instagram: Article

Facebook: Article

Oct 9, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We have a really smart lady joining us on the show today! She is Nicole White, the president, and principal designer at the award-winning design firm, Nichole White Designs Interiors, based in Sunrise, Florida. On the show today we talk to Nicole about how she came to learn her particular skill set in the renovation process, and what her intentions are with that going forward. We talk to her about her experience as a journalist, in her previous career, and how she leverages that to earn press for her projects. And we also discuss confidence, how it develops mostly through the mistakes we make over time in our businesses, and how very important that is, when being an entrepreneur. Listen in to find out more.

Nicole, known for her renovation prowess, has had her design work featured in various magazines including, Better Homes and Gardens, Ocean Drive, Modern Luxury Interiors; Huffington Post, HGTV and Domino online magazines. She’s twice been noted as an emerging designer to watch by the Black Interior Designers Network and is a brand ambassador/influencer for The Home Depot, Purple Drywall, and City Furniture. An award-winning writer, Nicole writes about the behind the scenes process of her projects on her popular blog LiveLaughDecorate. Nicole, lover of red wine and travel, is also mom to a busy 6-year-old, Xavier - a budding artist and self-proclaimed VP of NWD Interiors. Listen in to hear what Nicole has to share on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • Nicole talks her decision to direct her business towards working with the renovation process.
  • Nicole has learned to get her hands dirty- working hands-on with the renovation process.
  • Nicole really enjoys the whole process of renovation.
  • What makes Nicole so successful with what she does.
  • Nicole is getting ready to do her GC license in the next year or so.
  • What obtaining a GC license involves.
  • Nicole talks about her game-changing questionnaire, what it deals with, and how it came about.
  • The questionnaire has literally transformed Nicole's business.
  • Working realistically with a budget with clients.
  • Nicole has the confidence to know that clients will be better off working with her.
  • Fifteen years in, Nicole still clearly remembers not knowing how she was going to pay her bills.
  • Standing in your experience and fully understanding what your needs are.
  • Nicole has made some deliberate changes in her life since having her son.
  • Nicole makes the amount of time that she has available very clear to her clients.
  • It can take some time to develop the confidence, as a new designer, to charge a consultation fee.
  • As a former journalist, Nicole really understands publications and how they work- so she knows how to build and grow press.
  • Start building press by pitching the smaller publications first.
  • Nicole has learned to build relationships- they really matter!
  • It's really important to stay in touch- you cannot treat your clients and relationships as a one-night-stand.
  • You have to enter the contests to win the awards.
  • Go after companies and brands that fit your strengths.
  • The goals that Nicole is stretching herself towards right now.

Links:

Nicole's website: NWD Interiors

Nicole's blog: Live Laugh Decorate

To sign up for your trade account with Article.Com: Well Designed Article

Oct 5, 2018

Send me the Source Like a Pro Video!

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! We have Monique Holmes (Duarte) with us again today and she's bound to inspire you to re-think the way that you approach sourcing for your interior design firm. Monique started Duarte Decor, a global interior design firm, in 2012, after successfully working in the marketing and advertising world for more than ten years. Using her marketing experience, she managed to generate $50 000 in profit in her first year, working part-time while still holding down a full-time job. Monique saw that there was a huge gap in our industry and that design schools don't teach the business side of the industry. So, she came up with her 8 Steps To Profitability Program and launched her own, private coaching firm,  Duarte Consulting, in 2016. Today's show is packed with tons of information and Monique generously shares some of her awesome resources! Listen in to today to learn about Monique's key strategies for sourcing like a pro.

Monique Holmes is a Certified Interior Decorator, Business Coach, and an active member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), International Interior Design Association (IIDA),  Central NJ & Brooklyn, NY Chapter President of the distinguished Interior Design Society (IDS) as well as a Certified member of CID (Certified Interior Decorator Association).   She also holds several degrees, including a career degree in Interior Decorating & AutoCAD Design, a Bachelor’s in International Business with a specialization in Economics & Marketing, and a Master’s Degree in Interactive & Direct Marketing.   Monique Holmes was awarded "Woman of the Year for Interior Decorating for NJ" in 2013 by NAPW, in addition, her design work has been featured online & in print publications including "Your Decorating Resource" and Moxie Woman Magazine. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The first thing to think about, as interior designers, in order to source and sell products like a pro.
  • Monique likes to focus on helping designers to figure out strategies to do things effectively and efficiently.
  • Monique explains her 4 easy steps to sourcing like a pro.
  • The benefits of sourcing through trade-only vendors.
  • The key to shopping with online retailers.
  • The great thing about the Article.com trade program.
  • It's really important to be transparent with your clients.
  • E-design or full-service?
  • Monique has trade programs with all the retail stores that she shops with.
  • The percentage of her discount that Monique shares with her clients.
  • The way that Monique charges clients for her design services.
  • Some things to consider, about sourcing.
  • Doing your research about sourcing ahead of time really helps to prevent any unnecessary stress.
  • Being aware and knowing your product is very important.
  • Always have a price-point scale of the vendors that you deal with.
  • It's important to bear the location of vendors and their rep support in mind when making a purchase.
  • Knowing your product and your customer is a vital ingredient.
  • The importance of building sourcing and selling into the foundation of your business ahead of time.
  • A lot of Monique's coaching is strategy-based.
  • Building your sourcing repertoire list of vendors- it takes time but it's really worth it in the end.

Links:

Website: www.8STP.com

8STP FB Group

Master Class (Launching September 30th, 2018)

Instagram: Monique Nicole Holmes

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Monique's 1st appearance on the show: #178   (note she has since married- she was Monique Duarte- she is now Monique Holmes)

Deb Barrett #53

Gary Inman #154

Article.com #301

Dina Holland Honey & Fitz #354

Heather McManus #357

Oct 2, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, the owner and principal of Blakely Interior Design, with us today for another episode in our series of The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business. Janelle recently sent us an awesome letter explaining all the lessons, improvements and systems that she's applied to her business since listening to the podcast. She is really a great example of a thoughtful business owner in that she listens, she learns, and she takes action. Join us today to find out what Janelle has to tell you about the way that she leads her team and runs her business.

Janelle earned a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Syracuse University. Then, after honing her management skills with the corporate giant, AT&T, she realized her true calling and attended the Rhode Island School of Design to learn the technical aspects of interior design. Janelle started her residential interior design business in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in 2010. Since then she has grown the business and established a reputation for creating really beautiful, livable interiors. Janelle has built a support team that reflects her vision and commitment to their clients. Her success is deeply rooted in her ability to collaborate and communicate adeptly with her clients and industry partners. In addition to the exponential growth of her design business, Janelle was recently nominated for Rhode Island’s 2018 Small Business Woman of the Year. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Janelle talks about her passion for leading her team.
  • The first time Janelle hired someone.
  • The importance of tracking time.
  • Shifting people into roles that are suited to their particular strengths.
  • Taking the time to see your employees for what they're really good at.
  • The team-wide assessment that Janelle had done to discover the specific strengths of each member of her team.
  • You're only as good as the team that supports you.
  • About the Client Concierge Experience.
  • The small things that you do for the client really make all the difference.
  • Some of the things she's learned along the way.
  • The biggest takeaways that Janelle gained from the podcast.
  • Janelle is a big believer in self improvement.
  • The impact that Stacy Brown Randall has had on Janelle.
  • Setting your client's expectations realistically in case something goes wrong.

Links:

Janelle's website: Blakely Interior Design

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Susan Wintersteen- #164

Chad James - #68

Caitlyn Wait - #284

Eileen Hahn - #363

Candy Scott- #279

Sep 28, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we're happy to introduce you to Luann's exceptional cousin, Eileen Hahn! Eileen's superpower is helping people to intentionally build outstanding and exceptional teams- whether they have a dozen employees, or only one! On the show today Eileen will explain some of the layers and deep processes and that are required for you to become a really good leader. Listen in to hear what Eileen has to tell you about building a really extraordinary interior design team!

Eileen is a principal at Organization Effectiveness Consultants, a San Diego based management consulting firm. She partners with leaders of organizations to establish new levels of performance, financial results, teamwork, and employee work passion. Eileen achieves this by first examining current processes and systems, and then collaborating with the company leaders to apply changes which improve productivity and profitability. Eileen works extensively with organizations which are going through rapid growth, downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, and cultural transitions. She facilitates succession planning, strategic planning, organizational change, joint problem solving, leadership development, and team building. In addition, Eileen also designs C suite selection and evaluation processes and she works with boards of directors to develop, implement, and facilitate these processes. Eileen is also a professional speaker and a university instructor. Some of her national and international clients include H.G. Fenton Company, The Wonderful Company, San Diego Padres, Ericsson Wireless Communications, Qualcomm, Pfizer Inc., General Atomics, Occidental College, Brooklynn Museum, General Motors, Anheuser Busch Corporation, The Venetian & Palazzo Hotels, Sea World Parks and Entertainment, and LEGOLAND. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Eileen is part of Luann's second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business- The Power Talk Friday Experts, which is coming out at the beginning of 2019. (Eileen's chapter is called The Care and Feeding of Exceptional Employees.)
  • What Eileen means when she talks about exceptional employees.
  • Hiring someone who has the specific skills you're looking for.
  • Eileen explains the selection process that she used to help a certain company to hire exceptional employees.
  • The special ingredient in every sales call.
  • What makes someone exceptional.
  • The type of kindness, care, and feeding that's necessary for exceptional employees.
  • Employees really present a big challenge to employers.
  • Placing people orientation before task orientation in a business.
  • Establishing trust and care with your employees.
  • Some of the key principals behind hiring (and keeping) exceptional employees.
  • Determining for yourself, as a principal, what an exceptional performance really looks like.
  • People are willing to pay for exceptional!
  • Taking the time to learn to be an exceptional leader.
  • The exceptional benefits of taking the time to care for, and feed your employees.
  • The importance of thorough training for employees.

Links:

Website: OEC Strategic Solutions

LinkedIn: Eileen Hahn

Email: ehahn@oecstrategicsolutions.com

Sep 25, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We are very happy to introduce you to Breegan Jane, a unique and fun individual who is a super-high achiever! Thirty-three-year-old Breegan is an interior designer who also has a successful blog, a high following on Instagram, and she's a podcast/radio host. She previously worked as a creative director in the luxury yacht business and as a property manager for multi-international million-dollar homes. Listen in today to find out about Breegan's vast experience and how it informs her currently, as an entrepreneur and interior designer. 

Multifaceted entrepreneur Breegan Jane does it all.  A full-time businesswoman, interior designer, blogger, and popular podcast host of Mom Life Yo, all in all, her spare time. Her most recent project is the design of the new, buzz-worthy Los Angeles restaurant, NATIVE, spearheaded by award-winning Chef Nyesha Arrington of Top Cheffame. A single mom from Southern California, Breegan Jane credits her boys for pushing her to break down walls and test boundaries. She uses her powerful voice to inspire others and bring joy to people’s lives. Listen in to find out what Breegan has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • How Breegan's experience, managing international real estate projects with full staff and working as a creative director and marketing professional for a luxury yacht manufacturer, translates to her current interior design business.
  • The importance of great leadership.
  • Great lessons from great bosses along the way.
  • Utilizing every opportunity to the best of your ability.
  • Feeling more at home in Dubai than in Texas.
  • The importance of visual representation.
  • Being given the space to run with your ideas.
  • Transitioning to the design world.
  • How Breegan developed through her experience.
  • The kind of project Breegan enjoys the most.
  • Identifying 'no-win' situations with clients.
  • What being a mom and entrepreneur mean to Breegan.
  • The way that Breegan was raised to be empowered.
  • The power of turning negatives into positives.
  • Breegan's dreams and aspirations for the future.

Links:

Breegan Jane

Facebook: Breegan Jane

Breegan Jane Blog

Instagram: Breegan Jane

Twitter: Breegan Jane

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Amber Lewis # 184

Vanessa DeLeon # 18

Sep 21, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we have Kimberly Merlitti, the owner of KMM Consulting, with us. In her experience, Kim has found that accounting and finances seem to scare most interior designers. So she helps them by going into their businesses and taking on the role of CFO. From there she teaches them how to really understand what they need to do in order to become successful as entrepreneurs as well as interior designers. Kim's specialty is helping designers with what she calls Project Revenue Accounting, which is how to manage the revenue of a project that is already in process. Listen in today to find out how Kim helps interior designers to really get to grips with their finances and advance their businesses.

KMM Consulting takes on clients from around the United States. Kimberly has 20 years of experience working in accounting for companies such as Swinerton Builders, WRNS Studio and Martin Group. She has her Masters in Accounting from Golden Gate University located in San Francisco, CA. KMM Consulting’s clientele includes a diverse group of service based companies, with the main focus on small interior design, construction, and architectural firms. The goal of her firm is to make the businesses she works for as profitable as they can be by educating them on accounting, cash flow management, tax deductions, project reporting, and business management. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Kim explains the difference between accounting and projection.
  • What Kim has learned the hard way, about the difference between general contracting and interior design.
  • Creating a contract and coming up with the budget for a client.
  • Unknown factors that need to be taken into account when working out a budget.
  • Why you need to start tracking your time.
  • How Kim uses a payroll calculator to help designers come up with budgets.
  • Working out the billing for your client.
  • Restructuring things when necessary, after tracking your hours.
  • Taking the time, as a principal, to teach your staff about efficiency.
  • The importance of understanding regulations.
  • Working out the cost of employees.
  • How to know if it's time to hire somebody.
  • The process of doing the projections.
  • Kimberly works with designers in all states. 

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

krista Coupar # 150

Links:

Website - KMM Consulting

Facebook - KMM Consulting

LinkedIn - Kimberly Merlitti

Sep 18, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We're really excited to have the celebrated and influential David Phoenix, of David Phoenix Interior Design in Los Angeles, with us on the show! David is a self-taught designer and today we're looking forward to talking to him about how he found his way, his passion and his point of view, as a designer. And we also talk to him about the new fabric line he recently developed and launched with Kravet Inc. Listen in to find out more!

David Phoenix Interior Design gives each project a singular ambiance that wholeheartedly embraces, uplifts and celebrates its inhabitants. And David is known for thoughtful, modern luxury and livability. David finds inspiration from a myriad of styles, looking back through history as he creates spaces for today. His work personifies his own approachable, self-assured manner—gracious and considerate. In juxtaposing modern and traditional elements, his aesthetic conveys an easy welcoming sensibility, rich with classic haberdashery details and nuance. David draws from his experience and instinct in the all-important matters of style and function. David enjoys an international clientele of celebrities, royalty, business magnates and discerning homeowners, including Maria Shriver, former Los Angeles Mayor, Richard Riordan and actor Rob Lowe, whose home was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. He believes in living each day to the fullest, delivering personal, sophisticated and thoughtful environments. Join us today and find out what he has to share.

Show highlights:

David explains how he sees a quintessential American point of view

It all started for David with really great architectural designs in America

David's day at design school

David's journey to becoming an interior designer

How David ended up in Los Angeles, California

David's first job in Los Angeles

How the loss of a friend led David to start out as an interior designer

David's remarkable shopping encounter with Maria Shriver

Doing worthy things to become worthy

What it's really all about for David

David's tagline is "Think big and you'll be big"

A description of the fabric line that David's recently developed

The labor-of-love process of David developing his handsome fabric line

David's appreciation of the Kravet family and their 'culture of Kravet' 

Links:

Website: David Phoenix

Link to his collection with Kravet: Kravet Fabric Designer

Link to his furnishings collection with Hickory Chair: Hickory Chair Furniture

Instagram: David Phoenix

Pinterest: David Phoenix

Facebook: David Phoenix

Come and meet Luann and David in person, on Wednesday, October 3rd, at the Kravet Showroom in Chicago, for Chicago Design Week. Go to Luann Nigara for more information.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

345: Chris Ramey

Sep 14, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy to have a new designer, Colleen Primm, joining us today. Recently Colleen decided to start a client-facing Facebook group to share her expertise, to get her name out there, and also to get some clients into her pipeline. Although she only started the group at the beginning of June this year, she already has more than 640 members, almost all of whom are potential clients! On the show today she will be talking to us about her Facebook group and she will also explain exactly what she puts in there. Listen in to find out how Colleen has managed to attract so many potential clients to her group in such a short space of time.

Colleen, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration (management) from The University of Toledo, an M.B.A. from Averett University and has also attended Cuyahoga Community College for Interior Design, has taken a pretty unconventional path to interior design.  Before deciding to make the change, she worked in the banking industry for twelve years, where she first underwrote commercial loans, and then a little later, mortgage loans. After a few years, she became a trainer, teaching people how to write mortgage loans. While working on residential loans, Colleen got to see a lot of homes, because she was reviewing home appraisals. That's where her love of design, and wanting to help people achieve better-looking homes came from. She finally decided to turn her passion into reality and quit her banking job to go back to school for Interior Design. So Colleen is the rare interior designer who can not only decorate your home but also talk to you about your mortgage! Listen in to find out more!              

Show highlights:

  • Why Colleen chose this particular method to market her firm.
  • What it will take for you to join Colleen's facebook group.
  • Colleen wants to have only members who will bring value to the group.
  • What inspired Colleen to start her Facebook group.
  • The importance of getting constructive feedback.
  • The precise message that Colleen sent out when she started her Facebook group.
  • Getting lots of engagement with Facebook groups.
  • Colleen's strategic way of attracting mainly local clients to her group.
  • All about Colleen's Facebook contests.
  • The number of paid consultations that Colleen has done as a result of the group.
  • Colleen explains and clarifies the amounts she charges.
  • The amount of preparation that Facebook Live requires.
  • The kind of questions that Colleen deals with.
  • The events that she's created as a result of her Facebook group.
  • Making connections- and making money at the same time!
  • The kind of preparation that Colleen does and how she manages her time.
  • The importance of being really well organized.
  • How to learn more about lenders and the programs that they have to assist designers.

Links:

Facebook: Colleen Primm

Instagram: Colleen Primm Design

Website: Colleen Primm Design

Private Facebook Group: Primm and Proper Design Talk with Colleen Primm

Sep 11, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We are delighted to have Karen Mooney, Taryn Schwartz, and Caroline McDonald with us on the show today. They are the three women responsible for the designer program at Ballard Designs and they are also behind the Ballard Designs' podcast, How To Decorate. Today they will be sharing their experience of interviewing celebrity interior designers for the podcast and also some of what goes on behind the scenes with the celebrity designers. Listen in today to find out what it really takes, and what really happens, when you get the opportunity, and then make the commitment to being a celebrity designer for a company as large as Ballard Designs.

Karen, Taryn, and Caroline are the hosts of the Ballard Designs' How To Decorate podcast. And their goal is to help you to unleash your 'inner decorator'. Outside of the podcast, they work in different departments at Ballard Designs. Karen has a background in graphic design and she's the senior vice-president of Brand management. Taryn is an industrial designer in the Product Design department. And Caroline manages content marketing, specifically the blog How To Decorate, and also art producing digital marketing photography. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Why they prefer doing their interviews in-person.
  • How the relationship between Ballard Designs and their celebrity designers works.
  • Why Ballard Designs chose to work with Suzanne Kasler, Bunny Williams, and Miles Redd.
  • Making their celebrity designs affordable to their customers.
  • The level of creative involvement of the talented celebrity designers.
  • What it really takes to become selected as a celebrity designer.
  • Why it takes what it does to become selected as a celebrity designer.
  • Why it really takes such a lot of work to be a celebrity designer!
  • Finding the right kind of vendor.
  • Why a long-term business relationship is actually a lot like a marriage.
  • Bringing Suzanne onboard.
  • Then bringing Bunny and Miles onboard.
  • The way that the designers earn their money.
  • The way that people respond to Miles' dramatic pieces.
  • Using inspiration to grab the imagination of the customer.
  • Ways of making tried-and-trusted products look fresh again.
  • Some ways that designers could get to become the celebrity designers.
  • Doors always open as a result of relationships- so be nice!

Big name designers discussed on today's show:

Bunny Williams, Miles Redd and Suzanne Kasler

You can find the How To Decorate podcast on iTunes.

Note: This show will also be on video on Luann's Youtube channel.

Links:

Ballard Designs

How To Decorate

Instagram: Ballard Designs

Facebook: Ballard Designs

Sep 7, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today we're having a Where Are They Now episode, featuring Heather Mc Manus, our very first guest ever on the show! Heather is an award-winning designer from New Jersey and the principal of Artistry Interiors. She is also the author of the book Love Where You Live- Dream Homes Made Real, which is available on Amazon. On the show today Heather will be telling us all about her latest venture, Collaborate To Win, a buying group that she started for you, her designer colleagues, to become stronger together and make more profit through having access to products that may normally have been unavailable to you due to buy-in minimums and yearly volume quotas. Join us on the show today to hear Heather explain her really interesting idea!

Heather started Artistry Interiors in 2012, after having worked in the design industry for a decade. Her first job, after graduating from the Pratt Institute, was at a high-end workroom where she gained really invaluable experience and learned everything about how quality window treatments and upholstery are made. From there she went on to further broaden her knowledge and expertise about furniture construction and quality through working at both Ethan Allen and Bograd's Fine Furniture. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Heather's concept of a video tip per day that she discussed in her interview on our very first show.
  • All about Heather's innovative concept, Collaborate To Win, and why it was born.
  • Some of the growing pains that helped Heather grow.
  • Collaborate To Win even works nationally.
  • Dealing with breakages.
  • How the concept actually works.
  • The level of trust that is required for this unique concept.
  • Keeping relationships intact is a key requirement for the group.
  • How the payment for the orders works.
  • Heather is constantly creating educational videos to explain the rules of the game.
  • When an order actually becomes an order.
  • The importance of working systematically.
  • How Heather uses videos to explain her pricing.
  • The constant teaching, mentoring and masterminds that Heather does to assist people with her concept.
  • The cost for the membership of the group.
  • How you will really save money by being a member of the group- one order through the group could cover your entire annual membership buy-in!
  • Why you really need to be responsible to be a member of the group.
  • To learn more about Collaborate To Win, there will be a website up and running by this fall. In the meantime, you can email Heather at collaboratetowin@gmail.com- an email address dedicated specifically for this group.
  • The details that you will need to send to Heather in order to apply to join her group.
  • To meet Heather in person, she will be at Windowworks, in Livingstone New Jersey, for the October Lunch and Learn on October 29th. RSVP via Instagram (@windowworks)

Raquel Langworthy will be at Windowworks on September 17th for the September Lunch and Learn.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro #235 #317)

 Links:

Book - Love Where You Live: Dream Homes Made Real
Collaborate to Win - Collaborate To Win 
Collaborate to Win Facebook page
Facebook -  Artistry Interiors LLC
Instagram - Artistry Interiors 
Website - Artistry Interiors 
Sep 4, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we are very happy to introduce you to Vincere, an influential, Chicago-based, full-service interior design firm,  founded in 2007 by Micheal Stornello and Tom Konopiots. Vincere is a business fully committed to the principals of precision, proportion, scale, and form. They have completed projects throughout the Midwest, California, and Europe and their wide range of enterprises include everything from the pre-construction stage, through the interior design phase, to the acquisition and placement of the art and accessories. The team at Vincere firmly believe that the key to success lies in careful listening and clear communication. Join us on the show today to find out what Michael and Tom have to share with you.

Both Tom and Michael have very strong business backgrounds. Michael used to be in the television industry where he served as executive vice president, development, for King World Productions (now CBS Television Distribution). Tom was previously COO and CEO of two futures brokerage companies. Listen in today to find out how their previous business experience has informed the way that they run their full-luxury interior design business.

Show highlights:

  • Some background on Mike and Tom's previous careers.
  • How their shared passion brought them to start an interior design business.
  • How they learned their design skill set through their real-life experience.
  • Some of the mistakes they made and lessons they learned through trial and error.
  • Creating impact for their clients and closing deals with three-dimensional floor plans.
  • The way that they work with their vendors and contractors using 3-D models.
  • The importance of being well-prepared and paying close attention to detail.
  • All their clients are really value-conscious, regardless of their wealth.
  • Their approach to addressing budget-related issues with their clients.
  • The way that technology helps them to overcome certain client issues.
  • Managing a million-dollar budget so that it looks like a million-and-a-half-dollar budget.
  • They are fully transparent with their clients, in terms of the cost of things.
  • In certain circumstances, it's necessary to tell the client that they're not the right fit.
  • Avoiding traps and pitfalls with clients and adding the appropriate markup.
  • Creating the kind of contract that can be put away and not thought about again.
  • Finding the right balance within a partnership.

Links:

Website - Vincere

Facebook - Vincere

Instagram - Vincere Interiors

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Sandra Espinet #287

Fred Berns #289

Chris Raney #345

Aug 31, 2018

Are you ready to crush the last quarter of 2018? And are you really ready to make this the very best quarter of this year? Well, if you're the rare designer who is deciding to act, rather than to stay with the status quo, and to do, rather than wish, today's show is just for you! We have two very specific opportunities for you, and two different ways that we're making it possible for you to be the best you can be. Listen in now to find out how to take your game to the next level.

The first opportunity is the second stop on the Power Talk Friday Tour. (It's happening on Saturday 13th October 2018 in High Point, North Carolina.) For the High Point tour, Luann has gathered some of the new Power Talk Friday experts including Claire Jefford (#325 and #237), Stacey Brown Randall (#93) and Michele Williams (#137 and #180). The second opportunity is the two masterminds that Luann is offering, Foundation and Transition. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • On the tour, Claire will be talking about managing client expectations, something fundamental to running a successful project.
  • Pinpointing the challenges that tend to come up with new projects.
  • Most problems with new projects are rooted in something that wasn't clear in the initial agreement.
  • Claire will walk you through the best practices for setting up your project to succeed.
  • Stacey has proven techniques for building your pipeline through referrals- without asking your clients for them.
  • Stacey is a business coach with a recently-launched podcast called Roadmap To Grow Your Business.
  • Stacey will teach you methods to attract new clients into your pipeline- immediately.
  • Michele Williams, principal of Scarlet Thread Consulting, will also be with Luann on the tour.
  • Michele coaches designers and window-treatment professionals on the financial methods and systems for running a profitable business.
  • Michele is about to launch her new podcast, Profit Is A Choice.
  • Michele is also a certified Profit First coach.
  • What you have to understand, in order to really be successful with your business.
  • Why you really need to come to the High Point Tour.
  • How Luann will use her superpower to help you.
  • How the High Point Tour will be structured.
  • What you will gain from attending the tour.
  • The price for the tour and what it includes.
  • Having the chance to get to know the awesome sponsors.
  • About the Foundations and Transitions Masterminds.
  • Foundations is group coaching for new designers.
  • What you will learn in the Foundations Mastermind.
  • The Transitions Mastermind is for the more seasoned designer.
  • What you will get from the Transitions Mastermind.

Links:

Go to Luann's website Luann Nigara to get the early episodes.

To find out more about the tour go to Luann Nigara and click on the 'coaching' tab.

The landing page for the masterminds: Luann Nigara

Sponsors: The Power Talk Friday Tour is sponsored by MyDoma Studios, Revel Woods, and Bijou Wall Coverings.

Luann's second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, will be coming out in February of 2019.  This book is for the designer who wants to be intentionally focused, efficient and profitable. Luann has gathered 12 of the Power talk Friday experts and together they have created the go-to book for you to get detailed explanations, advice, and clarity about the ideas and concepts that have been discussed on the podcast, over the past two-and-a-half years.

Aug 28, 2018

Welcome! We have Dina Holland with us on the show today. And she's someone you may already know from her Instagram stories, with her really down-to-earth, likable and engaging approach. On today's show, we talk to Dina about the importance of finding your personal voice and the value of being real and authentic in everything you do- with your blog, your social media, and your website. Listen in today to find out how this can really help you to find clients who are just the right fit for you. 

Dina is the founder and principal of Dina Holland Interiors, but you might know her through her blog and Instagram account name, Honey, and Fitz.  It all started with a blog about eight years ago when Dina chronicled her own adventures in home decor and DIY projects. What started out as just a personal creative outlet quickly grew into a following of thousands with readers tuning in to see her own projects and those for neighbors and friends. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, Dina has grown her business far beyond the reaches of her blog and turned it into a successful full-service interior design firm with clients all over the country. Listen in today to find out what Dina has to share.

Show highlights:

  • How Dina's authentic voice on her website is a pre-qualifier to the clients that are reaching out to her.
  • The importance of being true to yourself.
  • The list of questions that Dina has on her website.
  • How Dina's questions help potential clients to find just the kind of help that they're looking for.
  • The really clever content to be found on Dina's website.
  • Why Dina has put pricing on her website.
  • The really great copy on Dina's website.
  • How Dina learned all she knows about design.
  • How Dina started out as an e-designer.
  • Dina's shift towards Instagram.
  • How, as a designer, to start charging friends and acquaintances.
  • The importance of having really good photos.
  • Charging appropriately for the managing, sourcing, ordering, and shipping of products.
  • Why charging an hourly rate is simply not enough.
  • How Dina managed to figure out the next level of trade sources.
  • How Dina managed to do floor plans when she first started out without any training.
  • How Dina dealt with her branding- from Honey and Fitz to Dina Holland Interiors.
  • Dina is getting ready to launch a small online shop.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Gail Davis #47

Carly Waters #211

Links:

Website - Dina Holland Interiors

Shop (launching later this summer) - Dina Holland Interiors

Instagram - @HoneyandFitz

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

Aug 24, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! You're in for a huge treat today! We have Virginia Muzquiz, the Referral Diva, on the show with us! Virginia is a connector with a real passion for teaching people how to cultivate referrals. And on the show today she explains how she teaches people to be referral-ready so that they can go out and get the referrals they need to grow their businesses. Listen in to find out more.

Virginia is the owner and chief connection officer at Master Connectors Incorporated and she is the executive director of B & I in America. She has over thirty years of experience in teaching six-figure companies and solopreneurs how to build a sustainable and profitable business.

Virginia believes that referrals are built out of relationships- and that requires people to like and trust you. This is why she really knows that learning how to create and leverage social capital is crucial in building businesses. Her numbers don't lie and Virginia's methods grew the contract service division of a nationally known education franchise from zero to 2.5 million dollars specifically, and only, by word-of-mouth. Today Virginia shows more than 1400 entrepreneurs how to redirect the time and money spent in non-productive networking into leveraged word-of-mouth strategies that produce measurable improvements in their ROI. Virginia is also the host of the Passion + Purpose = IMPACT podcast. Listen in to find out what she has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Virginia explains where she starts when teaching people how to be referral ready.
  • Simply showing up with your skill-set, as a designer, is not enough.
  • The key to creating really effective referrals.
  • The gift that you need to bring along to your potential client.
  • The importance of being really clear.
  • Getting your clients to align with your core values.
  • Knowing who you are and what you love.
  • Giving to givers who give.
  • How Virginia helps business owners to discover their own, unique core values.
  • The importance of finding what you're really passionate about.
  • Virginia's four-step plan to succeeding at networking events.
  • What you need to read and listen to, in order to really be prepared for networking events.
  • The right way to get someone's business card.
  • Knowing what your niche is so that you can connect with your tribe.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Article.com #301

Links:

LinkedIn: Virginia Muzquiz

Website: Master Connectors

Twitter: The Referral Diva

Facebook: Master Connectors

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

To get the info about Luann's mastermind go to Luann Nigara and click on the coaching tab.

Aug 21, 2018

Welcome to today's show. We have Shannon Claire, a designer that Luann discovered on Instagram, with us on the show today. Shannon has a really beautiful Instagram feed and on the show today she will be talking about it and she will also share some tips from the perspective of someone whose career is not an Instagram marketer but has utilized the tool in a really effective way.

Shannon Claire is an interior designer and stylist based in Washington, DC, specializing in

creating beautiful spaces so that your home feels uniquely and comfortably you, but elevated. Shannon Claire offers many services that include full-service interior design by the hour, e-design projects for clients who do not live locally but still need design help, and event and space styling. She has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Domino, The Washington PostBuzzfeed, The Everygirl, Glitter Guide, The Charlotte Observer, CNN, Forbes, Style Me Pretty, House Beautiful Magazine, and Style At Home Magazine. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • The first thing to think about, as an interior designer, if you want to really start taking your Instagram seriously.
  • It can be hard to switch from using Instagram as a personal, or social tool, to use it as something that can funnel back into your business.
  • The importance of identifying what your particular brand looks like on paper, or in a photo.
  • Shannon explains why she only shares things on Instagram that fit into the specific aesthetic that she has created there- like pink walls.
  • The way that Shannon's before and after pictures really draw you in.
  • Shannon discusses her 'wake-up point'.
  • The benefits that she has seen from really dedicating herself to her particular style and aesthetic- and the kind of content that she was posting.
  • All the pictures on Shannon's feed are from her own home or her own projects.
  • The way that Luann's Instagram feed has changed recently.
  • The things that will really make your Instagram feed uniquely yours.
  • Choosing your Instagram photos intentionally.
  • The way that Shannon uses visual landmarks to let people know that she is in DC.
  • Some things that you can do to reach out to the people in your area, to let them know where you are.
  • Some information about the way that Instagram's algorithms operate.
  • The importance of having an engaged following on Instagram and building a community.
  • Effectively using captions on your photos.
  • Learning to be authentically yourself!
  • Ways to get your work featured out there.
  • What comment pods are-and how to use them.

Links:

Instagram - @shannonclaire

Blog - Shannon Claire Interiors

Pinterest - Shannon Claire Interiors

Shannon's website: Shannon Claire Interiors

Aug 17, 2018

Welcome to today's episode. We have Jane Dagni, the new editor-in-chief of Designers Today Magazine with us on the show today. Jane is a really well-regarded and true professional and today she will be talking to us about her new position as editor-in-chief, her take on the design industry, and also her future plans for the magazine. Listen in today to find out how Jane has really earned her respect in the design community.

Jane Dagni became an assistant editor at Country Living Magazine, a B2B magazine for professional interior designers, decorators and related businesses twenty-six years ago. She spent fourteen years at Country Living, where she wrote and produced at least a hundred-and-fifty feature stories and wrote countless columns. For the next eight years, she worked on writing gigs, short projects, and substitute teaching to support her family. Her clients included Benjamin Moore, Bob Vila, the Cottage and Gardens Magazines and Fort Lauderdale Magazine. In 2014 her colleague, Amy Flurry, recommended Jane as a communications manager at a tech startup that was creating a project management sourcing software for small boutique interior design firms. When the company closed Jane was hired as the editorial director at Steel Yard. Then, in December of 2017, Jane became editor-in-chief of Designers Today Magazine. Jane also participates in industry panels and Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • What makes Designers Today such an awesome magazine.
  • Jane's mission for the magazine.
  • Designers Today is becoming a subscription magazine. Go to Designers Today to sign up.
  • Jane explains what's happening with her magazine at the moment.
  • What makes Designers Today really stand out from other magazines.
  • The thrust of the magazine.
  • Some fun and unexpected things about Designers Today.
  • Building trust is really a big thing for Jane.
  • What Jane looks for in new designers.
  • The way that Jane is changing the structure of the magazine.
  • How Jane plans the issues of the magazine.
  • How Jane would like designers to communicate their journeys with her.
  • Why Jane really doesn't want people to feel intimidated.
  • Bypassing the small talk.
  • The kind of inspiration that Jane gets from vintage magazines.
  • The way that Jane is bringing the magazine back to life.
  • All about Jane's Designer Experience. Go to Designer Experience.
  • Jane's blog is a great way for designers to find out what she's looking for.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Laurel Bern #342

Amy Flurry #323 and #108

Laura Thurman # 272

Judith Taylor #340

Links:

Designers Today's website: Designers Today

Instagram: Jane Dagmi

LinkedIn: Jane Dagmi

Twitter: Jane Dagmi

Jane's email: jdagni@designerstoday.com

Books Mentioned on the Show:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recipe for Press: The Designer Edition by Amy Flurry

Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry

 

Aug 14, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have the pleasure of introducing you to an Australian designer today, Belinda Nihill, the principal of Nest Design Studio. After the birth of her first child, and working as a qualified interior designer for more than fifteen years, Bel started a blog focused on children's spaces. On the show today she explains how her really small, niche blog, Nest, progressed to becoming a really successful boutique design firm with clients in Australia, USA, France, Ireland, Dubai, Canada and many more places around the world. Listen in today to discover how Bel managed to really set herself apart from other Australian designers.

Nest Design Studio was founded in 2010 and is known for its classic and creative style. Recognised both nationally and internationally, Nest has been featured in more than 25 magazines worldwide and has also been profiled on a number of other media outlets. Nest was included in the House and Garden Top Fifty Rooms of 2015 and in 2016 Bel released her first book, Beautiful Babies Rooms. Building on her reputation for being a leader in the children's interior field, and due to demand from her clients, Bel has now extended Nest to include residential and commercial interiors as well. Bel is a member of the Design Institute of Australia. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • How Bel's blog was born, soon after the birth of her child.
  • How Bel went about creating her blog.
  • Bel has completed nearly 500 nursery and children's room projects in the eight years that she's been in business.
  • What helped Bel's blog to grow and feed her business.
  • What Project Nursery is all about and how it helped Bel to grow her business.
  • Finding what you're really passionate about as a way to grow your business.
  • It took about six months for Bel's blog to gain some traction.
  • Some of the things that really helped Bel grow her blog.
  • What prompted Bel to start doing e-designing.
  • How Bel worked out how much to charge for e-design.
  • What Bel has learned about systems in the eight years since she's been in business.
  • What Bel learned from the episode with Chaney Widmer (#327).
  • Bel explains how her business has grown.
  • The kind of budget that Bel works with for children's rooms.
  • What's to be found in Belinda's book.
  • Belinda's plans for the future.
  • The steps that Belinda is taking towards her future plans.
  • How Belinda sources her products.
  • Belinda's advice for new designers.
  • Some tips for building community on Instagram.
  • Some of the challenges Belinda has faced with running her business out of her home.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Cheryl Janis #41

Laurel Bern #342

Chaney Widmer #327

Christina Perry #05

Rachel Moriarty #55 #214

To register to become an Article trade member go to Well Designed Article. Well Designed Article

If you would like to be in Luann's mastermind, email her assistant at Christie@luannnigara.com to set you up for a chat.

Aug 10, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to introduce you to Peter Lang today. Peter is a really smart CPA who has niched his business around helping designers with their unique financial challenges, like unconventional sales tax situations and budgeting around the massive upfront payments from clients. Many designers and artistic professionals find that ordinary CPA's are simply not equipped to cope with their specific needs. Peter, however, is a proven expert in helping interior designers with the kinds of financial duties that they weren't taught in art school. On the show today Peter discusses the years he spent learning how to help our constantly under-served industry and he also explains why he chose to follow his dream of starting a firm of his own. Listen in find out more.

Peter started out at a large firm in Boston, where he became aware of the kind of problems that artistic professionals, like interior designers, were facing. He moved to a smaller firm but soon became bored with being a traditional CPA. He noticed that interior designers were constantly being under-served by standard CPAs, so he followed his heart and started his own business in Rhode Island, where he now lives with his family. Listen in today to find out what Peter has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • Peter's experience of being told that he helped people too much while working at a cut-throat firm in Boston.
  • The importance of being comfortable enough with your accountant to ask him whatever you need to know.
  • How it happened that Peter started helping interior designers.
  • The difference between gross profit and net profit.
  • Why you need to keep track of your expenses in order to set your goals.
  • Financial mistakes that designers often tend to make.
  • How Peter helps new designers to really understand their financial situation.
  • The way that Peter helps designers to increase their profit margins.
  • Situations and ideas that could get designers into financial trouble.
  • Peter explains how putting your money into a number of different bank accounts can help you to better manage your finances.
  • Why you really need to trust your accountant.
  • How Peter helps designers navigate their way to success by finding the right software for their business.
  • Choosing the legal entity that best fits your specific business.
  • When it makes sense to change your business to become an S-Corporation.
  • Understanding more about taxation.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Michelle Williams #180

Fresh Books #265

Links:

Peter's website: The Designer CPA

Peter's email: peter@thedesignercpa.com

Peter on Facebook: The Designer CPA

Peter is also on Instagram

Aug 7, 2018

Welcome! We have Albie Buabeng with us on the show today and she's one smart lady! Albie will be sharing with us her journey into interior design, which has lead her to becoming exclusively an e-designer. She will also explain how the success she's enjoyed as an e-designer inspired her to produce a conference and a community called the E-Design Experience. The E-Design Experience was created specifically to help designers, just like you, on their journey to becoming a more efficient e-designer. Listen in today to find out more about Albie and her community.

After creating a comfortable, stylish, and functional home for her family of three in her NYC Hell's Kitchen studio apartment, Albie made the transition from retail visual merchandising to interior styling and design. And she hasn't looked back! She helps creatives and influencers in their fields decode their spaces and create beautiful dreamscapes. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

  • Show highlights:
    Why Albie has chosen to follow the e-design path.
  • The importance of having well-structured systems in place in your business.
  • The way that Albie has refined her processes.
  • Albie uses an automated email platform to ensure a smooth process for her clients from start
    to finish.
  • How Albie moved into teaching e-design to her colleagues.
  • Where the biggest challenges that Albies students are facing lie.
  • Albie's business model for the E-Design Experience.
  • The kind of designers that Albie attracts to her E-Design Experience community.
  • Where the different e-designers source their products.
  • The way that e-designers market their businesses.
  • How Albie managed to find her voice as an e-designer.
  • The social media platforms that Albie dropped out of while figuring out her specific path.

Albie describes her ideal client.
Other shows mentioned in this episode:
Article.com #301
Chaney Widmar #260
Nicole Hymar (Curio Electro) #125 #317
Links:
To become an Article trade member go to Well Designed Article to register. http://welldesigned.article.com
The E-Design Experience
Website: Albie Knows Design
YouTube: Albie Knows Design
Instagram: Albie Knows Design

Aug 3, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power talk Friday! Today we have Mikael Dia, a digital marketing expert and the founder of Funnelytics, with us on the show. Funnelytics is a software company that helps entrepreneurs and marketers to convert traffic into more profit. And Mikael is a really extraordinary entrepreneur and marketing expert who is really passionate about helping business owners, just like you, to get your message out in a way that is more impacting, more direct and way more focused. On the show, we talk with Mikael about his Growth Accelerator program with its nine phases towards success in growing your business online. Listen in today to get Mikael's really helpful advice.

Mikael has two master's degrees- an MBA from the Hult International Business School, and a master's degree in civil engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, with a specialization in project management. Mikael's first venture was a Mandarin language school that he started in London in 2012. It grew quickly and Mikael and his business partner were able to exit from it successfully within eight months. Mikael has since grown his marketing agency, White Coat Digital, to over a million dollars in just eighteen months. He is known for his expertise in scaling online businesses very quickly and this has allowed him to raise over a million dollars in angel and seed funding for his ventures. Mikael,  originally from Montreal, now lives in Toronto with his wife and eighteen-month-old daughter. Listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • The best way to look at sales funnels.
  • Guiding the conversation with your potential clients.
  • How to start the process.
  • Finding the top of your mountain.
  • Discovering your ideal client and appealing to them in the right way.
  • Getting to understand your ideal client.
  • Putting out the right message to attract the right person.
  • The power of your marketing message.
  • Finding the emotional reasons for people's motivations.
  • Measuring what's working and what's not.
  • Creative ways to work with the numbers.
  • Mapping things out in a colorful, visual way.
  • Ways of keeping track of your Facebook ads.
  • All about Mikael's 16-week Growth Accelerator program.
  • The awesome support that Mikael's program will be offering.
  • Mikael's process is all about growth.
  • Why you really need to simplify everything.

 Links:

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Adam Urbanski #280

Nancy Ganzekaupher #256

Kae Whitaker #274

Kae Whitaker #259

Claire Jefford #325

To find out more about Mikael's Growth Accelerator program go to The Dia Project

Mikael's other website is  Funnelytics

You can reach Mikael's PR representative, Ester (Pinky) Kiss, on (323)770 3530 or find her at Born To Influence

To find out more about LuAnn's group coaching program or mastermind group starting on September 12, email Christie at christie@luannnigara.com to make the necessary arrangements.

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

Jun 29, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to have Fred Berns back on the show today! Fred has been our guest many, many times before and he continues to bring value every time, getting right to the point with his really actionable topics. If you're new to the show, Fred has been on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, and #289 of the podcast. He is the only interior design industry business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and promotional material for design professionals all over the world, so listen in to find out what he has to share today, about how to set and get higher fees for the work you do.

Fred has more than 25 years experience training design professionals from Dallas to Dubai and creating their online profiles, website, and social media copy, blogs, and marketing forms. In addition, he offers a wide range of business coaching services, ranging from his High-Performance Coaching Program to his Bio Briefing and Website Onceover. As one of the biggest names in the business of interior design, he speaks at design conferences and other events throughout the U.S. and around the world. He also develops sales and marketing programs for international franchise organizations and companies within the interior design industry, and trains manufacturers, retailers, and others on how to increase sales to design professionals. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Why Fred really loves what he does so much.
  • Why so many designers, who work so hard, just aren't realizing the abundance and the prosperity that they deserve.
  • It's been Fred's passion over the years to convince designers to increase their fees dramatically.
  • The number one obstacle that's preventing designers from charging higher fees.
  • What Fred has discovered about some of the most financially successful, high-end designers in the world.
  • High-end clients are used to paying designers high-end fees.
  • Making the decision to make more money- and then focusing on that.
  • Why earning more is all about your mindset.
  • Having the guts to appreciate your value and raise your fees accordingly.
  • Create a list of twenty reasons why you can actually double your fees.
  • You can raise the standard of the whole design industry by charging higher fees.
  • Learning to run your own business by your own rules.
  • Explaining your value to your clients.
  • People with money always have money, regardless of the current financial climate.
  • Focusing on the pain points of your high-end clients, then painting yourself as a caregiver.
  • Positioning yourself as a partner to your high-end clients.
  • What you have to do to double your fees.
  • How to deal with any objections to your price.
  • Small thinking brings about small results.
  • Give yourself permission to earn what you really deserve, and to enjoy financial prosperity!
  • All about Fred's new Platinum Package.

Links and contacts:

Fred's website: Interior Design Business.net

Bio Briefing
Website Onceover

Fred's email: fred@fredberns.com

Fred's phone number: 3035893013

Jun 26, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have a special episode today, with Kim Hoegger, the award-winning owner, and designer of Kim Hoegger Home. On the show today Kim talks to us about her passion for antiques, retail store ownership, her days as a restaurateur, and also about her thirty plus years of experience in residential and hospitality design. Listen in to find out more.

Kim's business sense, her Southern charm, and her hospitality have all helped her create a design firm that delivers sophisticated, yet livable interiors to clients that return project after project. She is a designer with an eye for fresh, personally curated interiors and she brings a sense of warmth to each and every interior project she creates. With her classic, yet eclectic style, she easily mixes the old with the new in a refreshing way. From coastal to cottage, rustic to chic sophisticated, Kim creates interiors where her clients feel at home in spaces that enhance the lives they lead. Listen in to find out what she has to share on today's show!

Show highlights:

  • About the exciting launch of Kim's new textile designs!
  • What to expect when you dive right in and go after your dreams.
  • Where to go after working out your initial design concept.
  • Some things to think about that may not have occurred to you before.
  • Having to wear many different hats, as a designer.
  • The awesome advice that Kim received, that really took her to the next level.
  • How Kim managed to align with just the right person!
  • What it really takes to build a platform with your brand- and recognition too.
  • What Kim has accomplished in a really short time, by hiring a publicist.
  • Finding the right balance with a new endeavor.
  • Why you should really get your work professionally photographed.
  • Going after your dreams with your eyes wide open.
  • How Kim handles the sale of her fabrics.
  • Having a licensed product is no sideline- it's another whole business!
  • All about Kim's new retail showroom.
  • Kim really knows her clients well, so her buying process is very streamlined.
  • What's coming up for Kim in the future?
  • Kim's way of re-branding her products.
  • Kim has also started coaching new designers and business owners.

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323
Andrew Joseph #39
Steve and Jill McKenzie #304

Jun 22, 2018

Welcome to Power talk Friday! Today we're talking organization and we're really happy to introduce you to our guest, Jane Stolly. Jane is a Lifebizz Organizer, author and university Instructor who found her passion in decluttering spaces, business processes, and closets. The Structure Strategist loves to help companies and individuals getting more organized.  Pretty impressive, right! Listen to today’s episode to find out more!

Where Jane's organizing knack comes from? She believes it must be her Swiss roots. Jane's love for organizing began when she was six years old: As a young girl she was often found happily lining up her cats by size, her stuffed animals by color, her books by publication date. What makes Jane's organizing approach unique is her holistic method. She starts redefining your office and continues at your home - or vice versa. The end results of her seminars, coaching and/or consultations? Reduced stress, increased happiness and productivity. "Organizing is a lifestyle, that will help you conquering anything."Jane strongly believes that custom-tailored organizing systems and routines will massively enhance your work and life. By now, she did not only convince numerous friends and her family but also various clients of this mantra. Listen to today’s show to hear Jane’s awesome advice!

Show highlights:

  • Learn how to makeover your home or business!
  • Declutter your home and your life to reduce stress.
  • Make your system work for your lifestyle.
  • Learn how to set things up so that you make the most of your time.
  • Learn how Jane’s passion of organizing evolved to a different level of helping clients organizing their businesses with sustainable systems.
  • Reaching out for help with organization is crucial for individual and personal growth.
  • Learn how valuable “outside eyes” looking at your business can be.
  • Re-organizing your business systems or marketing can save you time and money.
  • Jane shares how to look at physical things from a different perspective.
  • Organizing your priorities can save you time.
  • Learn the importance of starting small when organizing.
  • Jane shares how she markets her business outside her circle of influence.
  • Jane shares how she overcomes fear in her own business.
  • Jane shares how she has time to help others pursue their dream businesses.
  • LuAnn encourages designers who are thinking of starting their own businesses to realize they have a lot to offer others and to get started.

Links:

Order your copy of Organizing for Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases is Jane’s book.

Website: Organizing for Your Lifestyle

Instagram: Organized Jane Stoller

Facebook: Organizing Jane

Twitter: Organizing Jane

Linkedin: Jane Stoller

Jun 19, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we have a great opportunity to showcase another career you might consider if you're looking for a slightly different angle within the design industry. We have Debbie Pegher, a long-time listener who is also an all-around amazing cheerleader of this podcast as our guest! Debbie is the showroom manager of   Century Furniture, in the Washington Design Center and she has more than thirty years of experience as a designer working in retail, a design studio, and having her own design firm before she became the manager at Century. Listen in to find out more.

Debbie serves as the board of directors of The Washington Design Center and she regularly hosts events for the design community in the 5000 square foot Century showroom. She served as membership director of the ASID Washington Metro Chapter from 2014 to 2016. Century Furniture was awarded Best Made in America, in 2012, by  Made, a non-profit which honors excellence in American design, with Debbie's expertise. Furniture from Century was featured at the National Reagan Airport, and this honor culminated in an invitation to the US Capital, to watch the fireworks show, on 4th July. Debbie's leadership has earned her and the DC team at Century Showroom of the Year twice, most recently in 2017, with the best sales record recorded, for their showroom! Debbie credits and shares this with her co-worker, Gloria Domingez, a seasoned and talented design-oriented member of this two-person team. Listen in to find out what Debbie has to say today!

Show highlights:

  • Debbie gives a detailed explanation of how being an interior designer for so many years has informed her ideas and decisions at Century Furniture.
  • The wonderfully welcoming approach of the staff at the Century Furniture showroom towards designers.
  • About the fantastic team at Century- including those based at the factory in North Carolina.
  • The real human kind of client experience that's to be found at the Century Furniture showroom.
  • The willingness of Century to customize items, if required.
  • The importance of treating all designers, including the young and junior ones, really well.
  • Some of the things that Debbie has instituted at the showroom to welcome, and also to teach designers.
  • Although it's a trade-only showroom, they still encourage the public in to come in and browse.
  • How it really pays off for designers to create great relationships with design showrooms.
  • The awesome events that Debbie hosts at the showroom at the Washington Center.
  • The new and exciting events that Debbie has coming up for the Summer season.
  • It's all about who you know- and who knows you!
  • How Century services work 'the Century way', to avoid any problems.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Kristen McLaughlin #319

Links:

Century Furniture
Instagram: Century Furniture
Facebook: Century Furniture
Linkedin: Debbie Pegher
Instagram: Wash Design Ctr
Facebook: The Washington Design Center
Twitter: Wash Design Ctr
Pinterest: The Washington Design Center
Twitter: Century Furniture
Pinterest: Century Furniture
Jun 15, 2018

Welcome to today's show! Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the zillions of ideas running through your head about how to improve your business? If so, you are not alone! We have heard so many of you saying in coaching, mastermind or one-on-one sessions that as much as you love the podcast, it can sometimes be the at the root of that feeling of panic. Running your own business is crazy and when you come to the podcast for help, you get it and then you land up with a notebook full of everything that you should be doing in your business.  But, this can really be daunting if you don't have someone to help you prioritize and execute those ideas, so listen in today, to find out how we've been inspired to help you with this.

The Power Talk Friday Tour is one of the solutions that LuAnn has come up with. She is inviting you to spend the day with her and with four selected experts from the Power Talk Friday shows and they will all deliver their very best to you. As long as you have a genuine desire to do the work, we promise to help you figure out the plan that is best for you. And it really doesn't matter if you're six months, six years, or even thirty-six years into your business! If you're interested in working hard and working smart, we're interested in working alongside you and we want to give you the tools to make it possible. Listen in now to find out more about the Power Talk Friday Tour -Las Vegas!

Show highlights:

  • For the Power Talk Friday Tour- Las Vegas you will spend time with Vince Nigara, Sarah Daniele, Nancy Ganzekaupher and Mark McDonough.
  • What you can expect at the Power Talk Friday Tour.
  • A great opportunity for you to access real-time advice and create relationships of quality and merit.
  • Why we have included small breakout groups.
  • An added bonus that you can expect from the sponsors.
  • In addition to Sarah Daniele, Grace McNamara and John Dupra will be joining us too!
  • What you can learn from Grace McNamara.
  • How Revel Woods can help you be more profitable and serve your clients better.
  • The awesome kind of connections that you will make with your fellow attendees.
  • Re-listen to some of the shows to get to know your Las Vegas team of experts a little better: #78 Vin Nigara, #91 Sarah Daniele, #15, #159 and #256 Nancy Ganzekaupher, #110 Mark McDonough.
  • LuAnn will be doing what she always does- break it all down, summarize it and give you ways to think about the new information.
  • About the four books that LuAnn had in mind to support this endeavor.
  • How the Power Talk Friday experts can really help you.
  • The real beauty of the Power Talk Friday Tour!
Jun 12, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have another in the series of husband and wife teams today and our guests are Jenny and Greg Madden, of Jenny Madden Design in Hoboken New Jersey. Today's interview is packed with valuable insights about knowing when it's the right time to employ an operations manager, how to work out if you can actually afford it, and the results that you could expect to get after placing someone in that role. Jenny and Greg truly are the real deal and they really have it together, so listen in today to find out what they have to share today.

In the interview, LuAnn makes a point of complimenting Jenny and Greg on their About Us page, so we have decided to give you their company bio here, so that you can have an opportunity to see for yourselves just how deftly it conveys Jenny's skill and expertise, how it calls to their ideal client and expresses the way that they handle their projects with respect to budget, time, and the overall client experience. Listen in to find out more!

Jenny Madden Design Bio

At Jenny Madden Design, we take great pride in our client focus. We will not push a cookie cutter, signature-style onto your home. Instead, we’ll listen to your unique needs, dreams, and goals to create spaces that align with your design style and enhance your lifestyle. We also understand the importance of sticking to a budget. We specialize in mid-to-high-end furnishings, which will be of lasting quality and uncommon design. To that end, we’ve built relationships with a wide range of trade-only vendors, allowing us to bring you those sources at an exceptional value, making the most of each client’s budget.

Jenny Madden Design has been in business designing beautiful spaces since 2011. Prior to founding Jenny Madden Design, Jenny acquired formal training from top-tier programs in both Architecture (BA, Columbia University) and Interior Design (MS, Drexel University). She then gained invaluable professional experience across multiple facets of the industry, including construction management, architecture, furniture sales and interior design. The years she spent working for a general contractor, managing large-scale construction projects, are particularly unique within the interior design industry. This breadth of experience places Jenny Madden Design in the distinctive position to not only design beautiful interiors but to successfully manage projects through to completion. Jenny is able to speak the language of the broader industry and build successful partnerships with architects, builders, and vendors. She understands that a smooth, professional project experience is as important to her busy clients as an excellent aesthetic design.

Jenny built out her team to ensure she has the right mix of talent to enhance and support your project. Stefania and Maggie support the design and drafting phases, while Greg keeps operations and budgets tightly controlled. Our goal as a firm is to maintain boutique customization while providing the systems and support typically reserved for firms with a larger headcount.

At the end of the day, we believe our portfolio speaks for itself. We love that our work has been recognized in local and national publications, both in print and online. But we take the most pride in our ever-growing list of happy clients.

Jenny Madden Design offers luxury interior design services in the greater New York City area, based out of our Hoboken, NJ office. Whether you are embarking on a new construction project, a gut renovation or looking to furnish your existing space, our interior design team will guide you through the design process and into your dream home.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome About Us page at Jenny Madden Design.
  • Some tips from Jenny and Greg's experience of working together.
  • Making the decision to put all their eggs in one basket.
  • Why it was really necessary to have someone in an operations role.
  • Greg as a pioneer in the work/family role.
  • Greg and Jenny's really supportive relationship.
  • The evaluation process they used for crunching the numbers.
  • Their plan for dealing with their downward change financially.
  • The benefits of having a fixed agreement for the business.
  • How they've managed to keep on track with their projections.
  • The way that their relationship has developed in the business.
  • The importance of having great communication when working together.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Andrea Schumacher #86 and then a replay on #275

Links:

Contact details for Jenny Madden Design:

website: Jenny Madden Design
email: info@jennymaddendesign.com

phone: 908-273-1634
office: 50 Harrison Street, Suite 202B Hoboken, NJ 07030
showroom: W Hoboken Living Room, 225 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Jun 8, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We're very happy to finally be doing our second show on Pinterest today and we have Kate Ahl, the owner of Simple Pin Media, on the show with us. Kate teaches Pinterest marketing and she is really passionate about helping bloggers, content creators, and small business owners to grow by using Pinterest for their business. If you don't really have your Pinterest locked down as yet, you can go back and listen in to episode #292 with Summer Tannhauser to get the basics, because today, Kate and LuAnn will take you onto the next step. You're really in for a treat, so listen in now to find out more!

Kate does full-service management of people's Pinterest accounts and she also does consult calls with people who really need to get their Pinterest house in order. Kate originally started Simple Pin as a way to help her blogger friends to focus on creating content for their blogs and now, four years later, she has worked with more than four hundred accounts and she has one hundred management clients on her books.

Simple Pin was started on a whim and a prayer that it could provide for a family financially when they were living off government assistance and only $1000 per month! Kate runs Simple Pin out of her She Shed in her garden, and she even has a Pinterest board devoted to her She Shed ideas. She finds working from home a peaceful way to balance her family life, as she has three kids and also a bonus foster baby to care for. Kate and her husband are passionate about running their businesses in a way that allows them the space to do great things that can really impact their community. Kate often gets asked to speak on Pinterest and she has spoken at Build Your Blog Conference, Indulge and Blended, SNAP, and Social Media Marketing World. This year, she will be speaking at Activate, Everything Food, and Fincon. She really loves speaking about Pinterest, so listen in to find out what she has to share with you on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • Pinterest is actually a search engine- it's like a visual Google!
  • Some things that you really need to know, to make your Pinterest more effective and to drive more people to your website.
  • The importance of having the right kind of images on Pinterest.
  • Supplying the right information about your images on Pinterest.
  • The two types of people to be found on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest is a place where people go to dream and plan- and to save their ideas.
  • How to specify where you are located on Pinterest.
  • Telling your story with catchy phrases on your pins.
  • Thinking about your clients' pain points when creating your posts.
  • Earning people's trust with Pinterest.
  • Thinking of your website as a central hub.
  • Why you, as a designer, should encourage your clients to create a Pinterest board.
  • Innovative ways of creating your various Pinterest boards.
  • Why it's still really worth using Pinterest, even though it can take a while to build up steam.
  • How Pinterest is actually designed to help people take action.
  • Some tips for your best pinning practices.
  • Why it's okay to use the same images over and over again!
  • Why you really have to listen to the Simple Pin Podcast!
  • All about Kate's Full Pinterest Planner- you can download it for free at Simple Pin Media!

Other episodes mentioned on today's show:

Summer Tannhauser #292

Allison Fannin #223

Leslie Carothers (Savour Partnership) #209
Links:

Website: Simple Pin Media
Pinterest: Simple Pin Media
Facebook: Simple Pin Media
Twitter: Simple Pin Media
Podcast: Simple Pin Media Podcast
Jun 5, 2018

Welcome to today's Where Are They Now show, where we will be re-interviewing Darla Powell, from Darla Powell Interiors in Southern Florida. Darla originally appeared in episode #203, where she shared a lot of information about how she got her business off the ground and right out of the gate within the first seven months. On today's show, you will learn about everything that Darla has managed to accomplish over the last year- and she will also be announcing something brand-new, which will be making its debut on the podcast today! Listen in to find out more.

Darla has a fun, genuine and down-to-earth approach to the designing of beautiful spaces. Since she launched her career in 2016, she has grown her business almost exclusively by word-of-mouth and her clients have really fallen in love with her work!

In her past life, Darla spent almost twenty years as a Detective Sergeant in Miami Florida, so one might say that she is an expert on the importance of having complete tranquility at home after a stressful day at work! Also, her background has carried over many hidden perks- including a strong sense of integrity, accountability and a ready-for-anything-ness that is key for home renovation projects.

Darla's career transformation was fueled by her need to express her boundless creativity. She spent her childhood summers rummaging through her grandmother's antique store where she developed an extensive knowledge of antiques, collectibles and of pieces that look perfect together, so Darla's refined eye definitely sees those diamonds hiding in the rough! Above all, Darla really loves creating rooms that are gorgeous, elegant and soothing, so listen in now to find out what she has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Darla talks about some of the things she's learned over the last year.
  • The difference that the hiring of assistants has made to the growth of Darla's business.
  • How Darla re-invented herself at the age of fifty.
  • Why Darla has begun to delegate outside of her particular zone of genius.
  • Why Darla's company has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year.
  • Starting a business costs money, so you really need to have a plan.
  • Some of the more challenging moments when Darla first started out as a designer.
  • Darla's initial fears about raising her rates.
  • The kind of clients that Darla attracted when she was charging lower rates.
  • Finding your sweet spot in order to attract your ideal client.
  • How Darla managed to attract the huge number of Instagram followers that she has!
  • Keeping abreast with the latest Facebook algorithms.
  • The importance of being authentic and engaging quality followers on social media.
  • Using rich pins on Pinterest to drive traffic to your website.
  • The awesome clients that Darla has attracted through social media.
  • The benefits of sharing other people's work on social media.
  • All about Darla's exciting, soon-to-be-launched new venture- Wingnutsocial.com.

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Barbara Viteri (Designerlebrity) #155

Allison Fannin #223

Leslie Carothers #209

Summer Tannhauser #292 

Resources mentioned on the show:

Website: Darla Powell Interiors
Website: Wingnut Social
Instagram:  @darlapowellinteriors 
Instagram:  @wingnutsocial
Facebook: Darla Powell Interiors
Twitter:  @wingnutsocial

Book: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Jun 1, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have John Dupra of Revel Woods with us for an interview today and they are also the sponsor of today's show! Revel Woods' mission is to make the buying process of expert-curated, high-quality hardwood floors as easy as possible. Today, John explains the proprietary algorithm, and how it removes a large number of the technical barriers that one normally faces when sourcing a wooden floor. He also talks about the new website that they are launching, with a revamped pro-program, to help you, as designers, to make money on this sought-after, high-ticket item. Listen in today to find out about the really unique method that Revel Woods has developed specifically to enable interior designers to learn about and also to confidently specify hardwood floors on their projects.

John's father, Craig, started out in the wood-flooring business, working as an installer and a re-finisher before John was even born. Craig did this work for twenty-four years before eventually opening his own wholesale wood-flooring distribution company in Rochester, New York. While John was growing up, he spent all his summer holidays helping his father in his business. He then took a job with Saint-Gobain, a large materials manufacturing company, where he traveled the country as a sales engineer, working with flooring contractors for a period of eight years, before deciding to return home to join the family business in wholesale distribution. When John returned to the business, he joined up with the operations manager and together they developed an idea to put the boutique flooring showroom experience online. Their inspiration came from high-end fashion sites, like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, and this was how the idea for Revel Woods was born. John has been featured in a number of the publications in the industry, including being recognized in Hardwood Floor Magazine's first ever forty under forty.

Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • John talks about the supply chain in the industry.
  • Where interior designers can go to see what the Revel Woods product looks like. (Revel Woods)
  • How Revel Woods make their product equally and fairly available to everybody at the distribution level so that they are able to control the end-user experience from beginning to end.
  • Why the Revel Woods brand is really a brand of curated expertise from top to bottom.
  • The high level of care that's provided by Revel Woods.
  • What happens when you complete the Revel Woods Selector and how it works.
  • How flooring really forms the center of every design space from an aesthetic standpoint.
  • How the Revel Woods product is designed to technically empower and also to provide a financial incentive for interior designers.
  • What Revel Woods are doing with their brand-new website.
  • How the new Revel Woods website solves pain-points for designers.
  • The discount plus a rebate structure that Revel Woods has settled on for pro accounts, as an incentive for interior designers.
  • How every aspect of the way that Revel Woods operates is very well thought out.
  • How Revel Woods have closed the loop to help find qualified installers for solo or small business owners who want to source their product.
  • Getting to really understand professional installers and the way that they think.
  • The way that Revel Woods will really work well for less experienced designers.
  • The incredible kind of support that Revel Woods gives designers.
  • The awesome features to be found on the new Revel Woods website!

Links:

Website: Revel Woods

Facebook: Revel Woods

Instagram:  @revel_woods

Twitter:  @RevelWoods

Pinterest: Revel Woods

May 29, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are very happy to introduce you to Catherine Hersacher, the founder of Bespoke Fine Interiors in Aiken, South Carolina. On the show today Catherine talks to us about how she translates and brings her worldly exposure and background to the small-horse community of Aiken. Running an interior design firm in a small, tight-knit community has some very specific challenges, but there are pro's to it as well. On today's show, Catherine also talks a bit about her consultation process. She is able to achieve a design for any project that is cogent with her client's tastes and context. Listen in today to find out more about working as an interior designer in a smaller market.             

Catherine, originally from Massachusetts, founded Bespoke Fine Interiors in Aiken South Carolina in 2012, with fourteen years of design experience behind her. She previously worked for some of the top firms in the country, in the high-end residential and ultra-exclusive hospitality sectors of the design industry. Catherine gained invaluable knowledge in the luxury residential design field while working in Palm Beach, Florida. Then, moving to the Northeast, Catherine joined an exclusive hospitality design firm as an interior designer and specifications manager. Many of the projects were five-star and boutique properties, including hotels, clubhouses, residential towers and conference centers. These projects were often located all around the globe. Catherine was part of the Asia team and was frequently sent to present and conduct site visits in China and Hong Kong. Listen in to find out what Catherine has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Catherine discusses her backward approach to her career.
  • Catherine's return to school to get an undergraduate degree in architecture and a master's in product design.
  • Giving in to her horse addiction and moving to Aiken South Carolina.
  • The importance of setting your limits.
  • How Catherine manages to find the right work-life balance.
  • The type of design projects that Catherine works with, in Aiken.
  • Saying 'yes' to repeat work.
  • Catherine explains her superpower.
  • What Catherine loves the most about the market that she works with.
  • The awesome relationship that Catherine has with her current clients.
  • Working with a mid-level market.
  • All of Catherine's work comes from word-of-mouth and most of it comes from builders.
  • Why Catherine does not specialize in any particular market.
  • What Catherine finds the most challenging part of her work.
  • About Catherine's relationships with her contractors.
  • Why Catherine never thought that she would ever own her own business.
  • The way that Catherine has grown since starting her own business.
  • Catherine describes her initial consultation process.
  • Having the budget conversation in the first fifteen minutes of the consultation.

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Susan Yeley #208

Natalie Hurst #172

Blanche Garcia #282

 Links:

Website: Bespoke
Instagram: Bespoke Fine Interiors  @bespokefineinteriors
Facebook: Bespoke Fine Interiors
May 25, 2018

Welcome! Today we're really excited to have Chaney Widmer, the founder of Mix and Match Design Company, back with us- and she is also the sponsor of today's show!  (She was previously in episode #260.)  We were really impressed when we first met Chaney because she was so well-spoken, so poised, and so directed and focused about her business. We were also really impressed with the way that Chaney's whole business is completely E-design and that she doesn't do any client-facing in-the-house work at all. Listen in today to find out more about Chaney's niche.

Mix & Match Design Company was founded by Chaney Widmer in 2015 with the goal of making interior design services accessible and affordable for everyone. By harnessing the power of technology and using innovative online tools, Mix & Match has been able to help folks create homes that they love in a fun and efficient way - all online through "e-design" -while maintaining a personal touch. She wants to take the intimidation out of interior design - whether you are starting from scratch on a brand new home or redesigning a room that's ready for an update, she's ready to help!

Over the past several years, Mix & Match has grown into a multi-faceted business that serves not only clients but other interior design businesses as well. On the client side, Chaney offers one-on-one e-design packages, and also shares inspiring and educational design content to a broad audience through twice-weekly blog posts and on social media. In February 2018, she expanded into the "B-to-B" world and released an online course for designers (or aspiring ones!) who want to launch their own online interior design businesses. This self-paced course is released a few times a year and provides a "quick start" guide to getting an e-design business up and running. Enabling others to pursue their goal of starting a design business is a passion of Chaney's, and she's very excited to help them succeed! Mix & Match Design Company is based in the great city of Philadelphia and serves clients locally and nationally.

At the end of the last show with Chaney, we mentioned that she was in the process of coming up with a course for her interior design colleagues who are interested in learning about how to run a profitable and effective E-design business. She has subsequently come up with that course. It's called How To Launch An E-design Business, and it will launch on the 4th of June 2018. Today we will be talking to Chaney about exactly what is in her course and she will also explain how it works. Listen in to find out what Chaney has to share with you today.

Show highlights:

  • E-design is really flexible- it can either be your entire business or used as a side-hustle.
  • The in-depth nature of Chaney's course.
  • The way that Chaney has taken this aspect of design and systemized it.
  • How Chaney's course will really save you time.
  • How the principals in the course will be a good foundation for your design business.
  • Chaney's course is recorded, so you can do it in your own time and at your own pace.
  • The course can also be used to get the junior designers or design assistants who work for you up to speed.
  • The major topics that are in the four videos in the course.
  • Chaney really has her marketing well locked down!
  • Chaney's belief is that designers should be providing everything that their clients need.
  • Finding the right process for your clients.
  • Most people accept that Chaney is an E-designer and so she won't go and do in-person consultations.
  • The feedback that Chaney has had from designers who have purchased her course.
  • Chaney's goals for the course that she created.
  • Chaney is offering a free download from the course.
  • What you will learn from the workbook of the course.
  • Who the course is tailored for.

 Links:

To get your free download of The start-up checklist for an E-design business go to E Design Biz Checklist

You can find Chaney's course How To Launch An E-design Business at: E Design Course

To get onto Chaney's email list go to the course landing-page at E Design Course.

How To Launch An E-Design Business course:
 
Mix & Match Design Company website: Mix And Match Design
Instagram: @mixandmatchdesigncompany
Facebook: Mix & Match Design Company
May 22, 2018

Download The Skills Assessment!

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

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

Show Highlights:

 

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

 

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Lee Cockerel #222

This show is also a video on our YouTube channel
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 18, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Kae Whitaker #274

Carla Aston #242 

Links:

Claire on Instagram: @ClaireJeffordDesigns

Claire's website: Claire Jefford

Claire on Facebook

Claire on Youtube

May 15, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Resources:

Interiors By Steven G

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 Links:

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Laura Thurman #272

Claire Staszak #166

Lynn K Leonidas #179

And Amy Flurry appeared before on episode #108

 

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

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

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

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

May 8, 2018

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

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

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

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

May 4, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Social Media:

Instagram:

@AshleyHCox

@Clt_homedesigndecor

@tri_homedesigndecor

May 1, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

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

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

More in this episode:

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

Resources:

Boston Design

@bostondesigncenter

Facebook: Boston Design Center

@kristanmclaughlin

Apr 24, 2018

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Jills website: Jill Zarin

eSale Rugs

Jill on Social Media:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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

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

Apr 20, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125 How To Brand Your Interior Design Business

Rachel Cannon #306

Sandra Espinet #287

Kae Whitaker #259

Marina Umali #248

Nancy Ganzekaupher #256

Apr 17, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Claire Jefford #237

Rachel Moriarty #55 and #214

Dixie Willard #273

Links:

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

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

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

 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

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

 

Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

mmmacrae.com for consulting and coaching

Fasttrackmember.com for Madeline’s Bootcamp landing page

5 Day Sales Challenge on Facebook

The 5 Levels of Leadership, by John C. Maxwell

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

Strengths-Based Leadership, by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie

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

Apr 10, 2018

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

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

What you’ll hear in this episode:

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

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Camp Chroma

WCAANJ

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Hilary's website: www.hilaryhendershott.com

Other episodes mentioned in today's show:

Danielle Liss #171

Jody Padar #229

Apr 3, 2018

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

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

Show Highlights:

    Corey explains three different models for purchasing and pricing.

    Learn some of the pitfalls of the kickback model. 

    Steering away from legal problems.

    A designer can act as a sales consultant.. 

    A professional approach to pricing 

    Project minimum, flat fee and hourly pricing

    Collecting retainer and consultation fees

    How to incorporate pricing for online vendors

    Judith discusses managing purchased items onsite.

    Avoid discussing net purchase pricing with clients. 

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

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

 

Resources:

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

 Corey Klassen Designs

 Judith Neary, Roadside Attractions Design Studio

 

Mar 30, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Link:

Jason's website: www.jasonbyrnedesign.com

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 Links:

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

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

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

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

More in this episode:

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

Resources:

This episode is sponsored by:

Camp Chroma Online

Social Media:

Instagram: The Land of Color

Facebook: Fun Colors

Twitter

Linkedin: Lori Sawaya

Join in Online

Luann Nigara

Mar 20, 2018

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Resources:

Lori's Website: Lori Weitzner

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

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

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

Mar 16, 2018

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

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

 

Show Highlights:  

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

Mar 13, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 Links:

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

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

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

Mar 6, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

 

CCA website

Skype handle: rebeccalynnhill

Instagram

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

LuAnn on Instagram: @luannnigara

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

Charles Cunniffe Architects website: Cunniffe

Feb 27, 2018

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

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

Links:

Meadowbank designs can be found at:

Meadowbank Designs

Facebook: Meadowbank-Designs

Instagram: Meadowbank Designs

Twitter: Meadowbank Designs

Pinterest: Meadowbank Designs

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

Feb 23, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! We are delighted to introduce you to Duncan Blair, the director of marketing for Article, a furniture company out of Vancouver Canada, and the sponsor for today's show. Article recently approached LuAnn about getting onto the podcast to tell you about their products. LuAnn agreed to this because she thinks that it's an interesting company with great potential as a resource for you and your interior design projects. Duncan is here today to tell us all about Article, so listen in carefully as we pick it apart to see if it really is a viable option for us, as designers.                     

Article has been in business since 2013. It is an online company and an original, modern furniture brand that engineers remarkably better furniture shopping experiences. It is a dedicated, deadline orientated, people pleasing type of company, with a trade facing program, and they are currently in the midst of an initiative to spread their wings and further develop their trade program, to make it both more efficient and more effective. Listen in now, to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Duncan explains why he thinks that Article would make a really good alliance company for interior designers.
  • What Article does, to help make the designers who have a hard time ordering furniture from an online location, more comfortable.
  • Article's really generous return policy- if you don't like it, you can send it back- seamlessly, with no problem.
  • About Article's dedicated trade team, to guide you and help you to pre-purchase.
  • Jill and her team at Article are interior designers who really understand.
  • Article has a complete fabric swatch kit, which is available to designers at no cost.
  • Their really reasonable flat rate freight shipping fee, for anywhere in Canada or the USA.
  • Article's three-tiered shipping model.
  • Article's really awesome customer service.
  • Duncan explains about their free exchange service.
  • What really sets Article apart from other vendors, in terms of their delivery times.
  • Article really prides itself on its ability to always meet your deadlines.
  • The members of the team at Article are always ready to help you out with questions that are specific to the design industry.
  • All about the furniture at Article and where it is made.
  • About Article's fair trade policy and their pledge to only having a positive impact on the world.
  • What would be required in order for you to become a trade partner with Article? (Go to welldesigned.article.com)
  • The discounts that are available through their trade program.
  • About the quality and styling of the products which are supplied by Article.
  • Article's projected income for the next financial year.

Links:

Article on Instagram: @article

Apply for the Article Trade Program: Article
Article: Article
Linkedin: Article 
Houzz: Article 
Instagram: Article 
Facebook: Article
Feb 21, 2018

A very warm welcome to the three hundredth episode of A Well-Designed Business today- and happy birthday to us! February the 15th was the second birthday of the podcast and we are having our birthday party tonight (21st February) at Lefroy Brooks in New York City. Today is a really big day for the podcast and there's lots of awesome news too, so listen in now to find out more.

It really takes a lot of effort from many people to get this podcast aired each week and I'm truly grateful to everyone involved! I'm especially grateful to you, my designer friends, who show up and listen in to the show every single week! Listen in today as I share some news and express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played their part in making this show so successful!

Show highlights:

  • A special mention of thanks to everyone that works so hard to get this show ready and aired!
  • Special thanks to our featured sponsors- Kravet Inc and MyDoma Studio.
  • How we know that Kravet is truly in the business of helping you to run a better business.
  • Why I really love MyDoma Studio so much!
  • A shout out to all our other sponsors.
  • Thanks to all the wonderful guests who have been on the show!
  • A really HUGE thank you to you, my designer friend, who listens to this show every week- It's because of you that I show up each week!.
  • How my world has expanded tenfold because of my designer friends, who follow me, interact with me on Instagram and Facebook, and give me really valuable feedback.
  • The changes that are happening with the show.
  • Why we will be airing our shows just twice a week, as of next week.
  • We will be adding more video content to the podcast as we go forward.
  • How the Well-Designed Business Fan Club got started.
  • The details about the first meeting of the fan club. You're welcome to join!
  • How you can really benefit from joining the fan club.
  • About my book- The Making Of A Well-Designed Business. It's finally out!
  • The biggest lesson that's in my whole book!

If are just hearing about this and you'd like to join us at our birthday party, there's still time for you to get in, so go on over to Party.

To get our amazing newsletter every Wednesday, simply text 444 999 and enter the word designbiz.

The first meeting of the Well-Designed Business Fan Club will be on Friday 23rd February at noon (eastern time). To join, email Deborah at hello@vegandesign.org and put LuAnn Fan Club in the subject line.

My book, The Making Of A Well-Designed Business, is available in e-book form and in paperback. The paperback is $14.95 and the e-book is $7.99, but from 21st February until 28th February 2018 the e-book will only be $3.00- in honor of our 300th episode! Go to The Making Of A Well-Designed Business.

Feb 19, 2018
The interior design industry was recently rocked with the news that Houzz.com acquired IvyMark for a reported $30 to $40 million dollars. There have been panel discussions on Facebook Live and other podcasters have addressed it on their shows as well. These discussions have covered, among other things, the motivations of both the Ivy team and of Houzz.com, the ramifications of the purchase to the interior designers who are using the IVY platform and the ripples this news is making through our industry.
 
I agree wholeheartedly that all of these discussions are important and valid and they have been well addressed. But today I want to address the lessons we can learn from this situation and talk about how and why it is so important for us as business owners to understand how Ivy and Houzz might have avoided some of this significant backlash from the design community. It begins and ends with you as a business owner, your conduct, your philosophy and your leadership.
Feb 16, 2018

Welcome to A Well Designed Business! Today we have Rich Rogers as our guest and he is the sales manager for the exterior side of Window Works. Rich is someone who has really been making LuAnn's life a whole lot easier in many ways and for many years and he is a real asset to the team at Window Works, with his experience in the trade and his knowledge about product lines. On the show today he will be talking about awnings and discussing some awesome solutions to almost impossible situations. Listen in to find out more.

Before coming to work at Window Works Rich was the senior regional manager for K E Dorosoil Awnings Inc., an Italian based company and the primary awning supplier that Window Works have used since 1985. They really provide an enormous range of outdoor shading solutions, with a slightly European, outdoor restaurant feeling. Listen in now to find out about a shady way of offering savvy solutions and making more money in your design business!

Show highlights:

  • Rich's thoughts on where designers tend to miss the boat with outdoor shading solutions for their clients.
  • Understanding both the products and the solution.
  • Creating amazing awnings for awkward spaces.
  • The lasting quality of the products that Rich works with.
  • The awnings are so awesome that people even take them with when they move house!
  • Creating awareness about quality, unique awnings, and their features.
  • Offering solutions using exterior products.
  • Operating automated products with your smartphone.
  • Automated products are not only functional, they're really beautiful too.
  • Some high-end options for you to offer your clients.
  • The featured 'Genius Project' and how this product line differs from others.
  • The unbelievable size of the awning that was put onto Nomad Pizza in Princeton.
  • Creating shady solutions at the Life Hotel.
  • The benefits of starting out with the Genius range of products.
  • Why you really need not be intimidated by this kind of product.

Link:

The Dorosol website: KE Outdoor Design

The Window Works website: Window Works NJ

Feb 14, 2018

Welcome to another episode of A Well Designed Business! We have Mikel Welch, of Mikel Welch Designs, as our guest on the show and today we pull back the curtain to find out what the lifestyle of a celebrity interior designer is really all about. And guess what? It turns out it's not at all the way we think it is. It involves a lot of risk-taking situations, unforeseen bumps in the road, sleeping on sofas at other people's houses and even asking friends for some help. Mikel, who is a really hard worker with a very clear vision for himself, grew up in Southfield Michigan. Today, he works as an on-air personality and design expert for Pickler and Ben TV show and he is also the brand ambassador to Inspire Closets. All this, in addition to running his own interior design projects. On the show today Mikel shares his really remarkable and encouraging success story. Listen in to hear about a turning point with Steve Harvey and other ways that doors keep on opening for Mikel.

Mikel worked as a set designer for the Steve Harvey Show in 2012, where he created lavish green rooms for prominent people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Joan Rivers, Halle Berry and Tyler Perry, just to name a few. In 2012, before joining the Steve Harvey Show, he was on the HGTV Design Star's season seven, where he finished as a top-four contender. Before that, in 2011, he was behind the camera, as a set designer for Style Network's hit reality show, Jerseylicious. He has appeared as a design expert on WGN TV, CBS-TV's The Talk and he has made special guest appearances on behalf of West Elm, CB2 and Pottery Barn. His designs have been featured in The Huffington Post, HGTV Magazine, Essence Magazine, Chicago's NBC-TV, HGTV's Shop This Room and The Fabulist on E! Network and Splash Magazine. Mikel was also recently profiled in CS Magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors and Crain's Chicago Business. It all sounds so exciting and Mikel really sounds like a lucky guy, doesn't he? Listen in today, as we pick his incredible career apart and find out the truth behind how it all really happened!

Show highlights:

  • What Mikel had in mind, and how things fell into place for him when he made the move to New York from Atlanta.
  • What has happened as a result of Mikel donating his time and services.
  • How Mikel used Craig's List to start his career as an interior designer.
  • The unglamorous start to his New York life.
  • Creating unbelievable opportunities by working strategically for free.
  • Getting set design experience while building a portfolio.
  • Mikel's first real experience of a reality show.
  • What he had to go through working on Jerseylicious.
  • Pushing through the fear and just doing it!
  • The benefits of boot-camp with a celebrity coach.
  • The challenges of working on television.
  • The really lucky break with Steve Harvey.
  • Why Steve Harvey liked and helped Mikel.
  • Mikel's way of working smarter, not harder!
  • An awesome new opportunity at Inspired Closets.
  • Taking the right kind of risks.

Resources: 

A soon as the new Kravet website goes live, you can use the promo code AWDB10, for a 10% discount on any Kravet fabric, trim and wall covering order.

Feb 12, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Ruthie Staalsen with us today and she's someone who is really loved by many! Ruthie operates out of the Dallas Fort Worth area in Texas, she has had more than fourteen years of experience as a designer and she's also on the board of the Design Blogger's Conference. Ruthie focuses on making homes look collected rather than decorated and there is a European flair to her personal design style- with an eclectic twist. She views her privilege of having had the opportunity to experience many different lifestyles as the greatest gift of her childhood. Listen in today to hear our awesome conversation with Ruthie about the value of mentorship, the value of attending conferences and Ruthie's way of running her business.

Ruthie was born and raised overseas  and many of her influences come from Europe, Africa and Central and South America. She is an internationally published interior designer and she has built her business from the ground up. She was awarded the 2016 Designer Of The Year from the National Interior Design Society for a kitchen renovation project and she was nominated as one of the top fifteen decorators in Dallas. Her work has been published in Elite Monde- a lifestyle and fashion magazine in Dubai and also in Traditional Home Magazine Great Kitchens. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • The incredible kind of connections that can be made with others at the Design Blogger's Conference.
  • Ruthie's daunting first experience of a Design Blogger's Conference, about seven years ago.
  • The way that your business will benefit from your attending conferences.
  • Things that will keep you going and really spur you on with your business.
  • Ruthie's awesome relationship with her mentee, Cheryl Luckett. (Episode #291)
  • How you can really benefit from being a mentor.
  • Some of the things that newbie designers tend to struggle with.
  • Ruthie's take on charging the right fee, as a new designer.
  • What happened when Ruthie started to hire people to help her.
  • The huge responsibility- and benefits of hiring new people.
  • Some interesting things about the way that Ruthie has set her business up.
  • Ruthie's Away For The Day design service.
  • Mistakes will happen- just get up and carry on!
  • Living a really purposeful life as a designer.
  • Ruthie's personal approach to decorating people's homes.
  • How Ruthie finds the very best vendors to work with.
  • How Ruthie really manages to express her authentic self through her blog.

 Links:

Her website and social:
https://www.ruthiestaalsen.com
Facebook Ruthie Designer
Instagram : Ruthie Designer
Linkedin : Interiors
Twitter : Ruthie Designer
Youtube : Ruthie Staalsen

To join us at our birthday party go to the RSVP at Luann Nigara Party.

Feb 9, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! There have been perhaps a dozen times in the last two years that someone has suggested to LuAnn that she does a show about vendors and what it's like working with them. Then, something quite incredible happened in a Facebook group recently, where a vendor spoke out very directly to a particular designer about his experience with other designers. This brought about mixed reactions from designers in the Facebook group. Some were incensed at his misdirected wrath, saying that it was ridiculous, while others felt it was better to just walk away. LuAnn's opinion, however, was that this was really a vendor to hang on to for dear life, because although he had been both blunt and less than politically correct, he was honest without being mean, cutting or personalizing his opinion- really epitomizing what it is that vendors have to go through. Listen in today, to find out what LuAnn has to tell you about how designers are directly affected by whatever their vendors are going through at that time.

For the last two years on this podcast, LuAnn has championed you, as designers, standing in your space and helping you to teach your clients how to do business with you. So when the vendor stands in their own space and wants to teach you how to do business with them, you really cannot take offense to that, now can you? Listen in today and learn as LuAnn explains how to work with your vendor and also, how you can express your needs to your client about how you want them to work with you.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn reads the Facebook post from the very straightforward vendor.
  • Ways that you can learn to think from the point of view of the vendor.
  • The difference between your relationship with your client and the relationship that your vendor has with you.
  • The kinds of difficulties that vendors tend to have and how they usually deal with them when they are not yet standing firmly in their own space.
  • Why it's actually easier for a vendor to have “the hard conversation” upfront- even at the risk of losing the whole project.
  • What Lee Cockerell, the senior vice president of Disney World, had to say in episode #222 about doing hard things.
  • Becoming empowered, setting boundaries and teaching your clients how to do business with you.
  • Learning from your mistakes- without throwing your vendor under the bus.
  • What inevitably ends up happening to you when you try to blame your vendor.
  • It's really all about very good communication.
  • Some great tips for working really well with your vendors.
  • Protecting your vendors from information overload.
  • The benefits of using a project management software like MyDoma Studio.
  • Really valuing the kind of vendor that makes it clear to you how to work successfully with them.
  • Giving your vendor the benefit of the doubt. 

Links:

To be on our email list: Text the number 444999 and enter the word designbiz.

To come to our birthday party, generously hosted by Lefroy Brooks, on Wednesday, February 21st go to Luann Nigara Party 

On Monday, February 19th Blanch Garcia will be doing a Lunch And Learn at out New Jersey showroom on running your design business.

Feb 7, 2018

If you are facing new challenges in your interior design business or are just starting out with the podcast, then you might be a bit overwhelmed by all the information the Well Designed Business Podcast has accumulated over the past two years. If you are in need of a jumping off point, then look no further than this episode! It’s a solo show today as I organize and highlight the episodes that have made a real impact on me and the audience. The show is nearing 300 episodes, and that means if you are just now joining the party that you have quite a bit of info to sift through. Luckily, I am giving you a jumping off point so that the party can begin right away.

I have gathered together the best of the best into 5 different categories. You’ll hear my recommendations for practical business advice, building up a pipeline, understanding your YOU and your ideal client, creative inspiration, and the quick starter designers that have inspired me. If you are listening to the podcast, you are the kind of person who will work hard and be successful in your design business. I am celebrating the success of the show by helping you on that road to success. Consider this episode the fast track!

If you are just now joining us, welcome! If you are a longtime listener, I sincerely hope you enjoy re-listening to these episodes. You are on the path to success just by showing up for your business today.

More in this episode:

  • Hear my vision for the Well Designed Business Archives.
  • For practical business advice, listen to episodes 2, 36, 45, 68, 180, 233*.
  • Need help building your pipeline? Check out episodes 40, 245, 266
  • To understand your YOU, your ideal client, head over to episodes 15, 256, 22, 26, 125.
  • Several of you have listened to episode 192 multiple times! It’s so full of good info.
  • Time to dig into episodes for creative inspiration! Try episodes 21, 18, 165, 169, 184.
  • These designers really blew me out of the water. Here are your best places for Quick Starts episodes—167, 179, 211, 203.
  • I want you at the podcast birthday party!

Resources:

info@luannnigara

luannnigara.com/party

Iwce-vision.com

Your Business in Words

Feb 5, 2018

Today we have Jana Platina Phipps, affectionately known as the “Trim Queen” by her clients, as our guest on the show. Jana and LuAnn met each other in person last year at the IWCE in Charlotte, where they were both speaking, and this year Jana will be speaking again at the IWCE in Tampa Florida. Jana is an embellishment expert, a designer and she's also an agent for Classical Elements. She develops custom trimmings for NYC-based fashion companies and she also designs made-to-order home and fashion accessories, using trimmings and vintage jewelry. Jana teaches other people her technique of Trim Alchemy, which involves turning something ordinary into something really extraordinary, using trimmings to express their personal creativity. Listen in to find out more about what Jana will be doing at the IWCE this year.             

Jana started a blog in 2013 and she uses her social media channels to keep an account of how the design community uses trimmings creatively. She lectures at The New York School of Interior Design, Continuing Education Seminars and on Webinars to the interior design community, drawing on her knowledge of the history of passementerie and also on her hands-on experience with fabrication. She is a regular contributor to WF Vision and Designers Today Magazines, and Universal Furniture’s Smartstuff Social Station blog. She also conducts DIY workshops and stages a Trim Alchemy Show at the Country Living Fairs across the country. Jana is planning a Trim Queen Maker Tour of Venice Italy for Spring 2018. Listen in now to find out what she has to share with you on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • Jana talks about what she has going on at the IWCE this year.
  • How Jana's college education has come into play for her in her career.
  • The details of what's happening with Jana's workshops in the Construction Zone at the IWCE this year.
  • Why Jana really loves going to the IWCE!
  • What you, as an interior designer, can gain from the community on the Construction Zone floor at the IWCE.
  • About Jana's work with Classical Elements.
  • How the blog post- Trim Queen came about, and the mission behind it.
  • The new avenue of creativity and business that Jana has created with Trim Queen.
  • The power of getting great feedback.
  • The fine line between giving people advice and being taken advantage of.
  • About Jana's really helpful peer mentoring group.
  • How Jana moved Trim Queen into becoming a really viable business.
  • Jana's really intentional way of starting out with doing video.
  • The magic of developing your business through the creative process.
  • Something that has really helped Jana with her creative process this year.
  • All about Jana's Trim Queen Maker Tour in Venice Italy next year.
  • What Jana's awesome concept of maker tourism is all about.
  • What's coming up with Jana and the WCAA, out of Connecticut. All the info will be on the events page of Jana's website. (trimqueen.com)

Resources:

Trim Queen

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube

Pinterest

Linkedin

Feb 2, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! I’m excited to introduce you to Summer Tannhauser, and I’m eager to hear what she can teach us about using Pinterest to grow an interior design business. She’s a Pinterest expert, a business coach, Mastermind leader, and a business/marketing mentor to female entrepreneurs who want to create an impact online through their personal brand and business. She has some really cool things going on now, like her Live More, Work Less business model, and blog series.

We have touched on the world of Pinterest in earlier episodes: Ep. 209 with Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson of Savour Partnership, and Ep. 223 with Allison Fannin. Today’s episode focuses on the ins and outs of this important platform and pulls back the curtain on Pinterest to show how web designers can use it to build our brand.

Show highlights:

  • Why Pinterest is a vehicle for growing your business locally
  • Summer’s advice about using keywords about your location to draw people in and showcase your brand
  • Setting up your Pinterest account and profile---Do’s and Don’t’s
  • How to set up “rich pins” and validate them
  • How rich pins bring people back to your website
  • Start off with your business name in your profile, use keywords, location, your website, and a description of your business
  • Have a minimum of 15 boards to show that your profile is complete
  • Creating board titles using important keywords
  • Going from a personal to business account: how to clean up or delete existing boards that don’t fit or promote your business
  • How to fill your boards with a combination of other people’s boards and your own content
  • Why some pins should be on multiple boards
  • See what people are looking for to get great ideas for blog topics
  • Change your perspective and think of Pinterest as a search engine and NOT a social media platform
  • Summer’s advice for pinning people’s pins and following accounts to increase your engagement, if you have less than 100 followers
  • “The first step is to make sure your website is updated and presents your brand well. There is no sense spending hours on Pinterest driving people to a website that’s a hot mess.”
  • Focus more on your state name than city name, but include local town names on your profile and on boards
  • Your Pinterest content will have people engaging long-term over time, so don’t focus on short-term events and happenings
  • Getting consistent and active on Pinterest: Consider investing in a scheduling program so it can pin for you on a consistent basis
  • Which platform is best for interior designers if you have limited time?
  • Summer’s Live More, Work Less blog series, highlighting entrepreneurs who are making it work

Resources:

Her website:

Summer Tannhauser

Her free course:

Free Pin Course

Summer’s social media:

Twitter - @summerktann

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

Tail Wind App (To use for Pinterest and social media scheduling)

Jan 31, 2018

Cheryl Luckett is the principal of Dwell by Cheryl, her interior design company. She has two areas of expertise that I’m interested in sharing with you today. She has taken her side hustle into a full-time profession, leaving the security of her corporate job. She actively engages in the business mentor/mentee relationship. Loyal listeners might remember a few weeks back, in Episode 267, with Rasheeda Gray of Gray Space Interiors. She described then how her mentor has helped her through the challenges of having a corporate job while working hard on the side in interior design. Cheryl is that mentor that Rasheeda spoke about.

Southern Home describes Dwell by Cheryl as “opulence in reach, with vintage treasures and ingenious restyles.” Cheryl believes her clients should dwell in a home they love. She describes her design as “sophisticated but approachable.” She launched in 2012 and continues to grow, with clients raving about her ability to transform a space on a realistic budget. It’s also her professionalism and attention to detail that earns her high praise. She shares with us about her 15-year career at a Fortune 500 company, along with her beginnings as a registered dietician and human resources professional. It was here that she developed her service skills and business acumen. I’ll remind you of Episode 6, where Erika Ward told us to “make sure that you think about and utilize your transferable skills when you open your interior design firm.” Cheryl will tell us how she has accomplished that.

Cheryl’s work has been published in Charlotte Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, Queen City Exclusive, and Hoffman Media’s Southern Spaces, to name just a few. She is a five-time recipient of Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction, and in 2015, she was named one of the 15 best designers in Charlotte by Build Direct. Cheryl also believes in giving back, and she has partnered locally with agencies such as Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont and Metrolina Habitat Restores to promote non-profit retailers and their missions. Join me for this conversation with Cheryl!

What you’ll hear in the episode:

  • How I met Cheryl at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles in 2017
  • Insights on running an interior design firm while working a full-time corporate job
  • Cheryl’s path as a registered dietician, then in school foodservice, then human resources
  • Following her love of design and décor to start a blog and take design classes at the local community college
  • “I never treated this design business as merely a side hustle. I wanted to be ALL IN.”
  • How a Design Bloggers Conference in 2012 changed everything for Cheryl: “I felt like I was finally with MY PEOPLE.”
  • Planning an exit strategy from the corporate world
  • How Cheryl’s blog grew and spread to become an effective marketing tool
  • Looking for one YES
  • Juggling a full-time job while designing for clients and taking design classes
  • Why Cheryl had a “waiting list”
  • Finding interns through a design program for students
  • The criteria for leaving her corporate job, making the decision, and setting a time frame
  • The 36-month plan and Cheryl’s financial advisor
  • “Preparing for D-day”---building a website and putting systems in place
  • Cheryl’s relationship with Rasheeda and why she wanted to be a mentor
  • The guidelines and boundaries to the mentor/mentee relationship
  • Cheryl’s mentor and friend, Ruthie Staalsen, a designer in Dallas
  • Cheryl’s plans for this year’s Design Bloggers Conference
  • “Social media: the best money you’ll never spend on marketing.”

Resources:

Curated Kravet (Use code “ck podcast” for 10% off your first order!)

Her website and social:
Her website: Dwell by Cheryl
Her Blog: Dwell by Cheryl Blog
Her Instagram: Dwell by Cheryl/
Her Facebook: Dwell by Cheryl/
Her Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl
Her Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl/
Her Linkedin: Cheryl Luckett/
Jan 29, 2018

Today we are very happy to have Warren Pearl, the president of Lefroy Brooks, as our guest on the show. If you are a regular listener you may already know that Mr. Pearl has invited us to celebrate our second year birthday of the podcast on 21st of February, at his New York City showroom! Listen in today to get the details.

Lefroy Brooks has been in business for the last twenty-five years and they have showrooms in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. They are known as the Rolls Royce of bathroom and plumbing fixtures and on the show today you will hear how and why they got this name. Lefroy Brooks create plumbing fixtures who's design would compliment any decor, from any era, from early 20th century all the way to the end. Cooper and Graham take it from there, with their elegant and forward-thinking designs for the 21st century.  In addition to having a really outstanding line of plumbing fixtures which are renown for their superior quality, Lefroy Brooks are a company who really believe in and support interior designers with their education and customer service. Listen in today to find out what Mr. Pearl has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • What earned Lefroy Brooks their reputation as the Rolls Royce of the plumbing fixtures industry.
  • The philosophy behind the Lefroy Brooks product.
  • How Lefroy Brooks became known as the Rolls Royce of bathroom and plumbing fixtures.
  • The selection of 21stcentury designs that can be accessed through Cooper & Graham.
  • Some really awesome and interesting background info about Warren Pearl and the really famous people that he has dealt with.
  • The special kind of customer service that Lefroy Brooks provides to the trade.
  • The role of interior designers in Mr. Pearl's vision for Cooper & Graham.
  • Why interior designers who haven't yet broken into the high end, luxury market should not be intimidated by the Cooper & Graham product line.
  • The CEU's that Lefroy Brooks provide for interior designers.
  • The fantastic new plumbing technology that's coming up in the future for Cooper & Graham.
  • The classic elegance and authenticity of the Lefroy Brooks fixtures.
  • The unique way that Lefroy Brooks approach their marketing.
  • About the different Lefroy Brooks classic collections, many of which were designed in the 1940's.
  • The Lefroy Brooks presence, outside of the USA.

Go to My Doma Studio to find out about your special offer, as a listener of the podcast.

Link to RSVP for Birthday Party:

www.luannnigara.com/party

Resources:

Lefroy Brooks

Cooper And Graham

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Jan 26, 2018

We have some really happy news today! We have Fred Berns back on the show! Since the beginning of this podcast he has appeared on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174 and #226 and if you are a new listener, Fred is one of our favorite returning guests because his advice is really so actionable. Today Fred will be talking to us about the seven habits of highly effective luxury interior designers. Listen in now to find out more!

Fred is the only interior design business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promo materials for design professionals worldwide. He has more than twenty-five years of experience training design professionals, from Dallas to Dubai. He helps to create their online profiles, their websites, their social media copy, blogs, and marketing forums. In addition, he also offers a wide range of coaching services which include his High-Performance Coaching Program, his Bio Briefing, and his Website Once Over. Listen in to find out what he has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • What Fred is currently up to and how got to the information about how the really successful, top designers and architects got to where they are today.
  • The kinds of projects these really top designers and architects work on, and the famous people that they work for.
  • Some of the characteristics that these top designers and architects have in common.
  • Strangely enough, the top designers are not always the best designers- Fred discusses what actually makes them so successful.
  • The mindset of a lot of the high end, really successful design professionals.
  • How the really successful design professionals managed to tap into the high-end market.
  • Fred discusses some of the onlys of the top design professionals.
  • Optimising your
  • Pinpointing the pain points, problems and challenges of the high-end market.
  • Ways of creating really relevant blog posts, or videos for great marketing.
  • Positioning yourself in order to break into the luxury, high-end market.
  • What you really want to emphasize in your bio.
  • The seven common habits that the really top, successful designers seem to share.
  • Why it's important to get some price objections.
  • The real value of being stubborn and not quitting.
  • Fred's awesome Website Once Over- to help position you in a higher place.
  • Fred's Bio Briefing coaching program- for you to really come across as someone who is highly qualified and an expert in your field.

Links:

For Fred's Website Once Over go to Website Onceover

For Fred's Bio Briefing go to Bio Briefing

Jan 24, 2018

Today we have Jason Oliver Nixon, one of the dynamic partners of Madcap Cottage, with us on the show. LuAnn has really been looking forward to this interview because she and Jason Oliver are both going to be at the IWCE (International Window Coverings Expo) Conference in Tampa Florida in March, where Jason and his partner John Loecke are going be giving a keynote address. On the show today Jason will be talking about the IWCE and also about his business, Madcap Cottage, so listen in to find out more.

There are so many parts of Madcap Cottage that have intrigued LuAnn and she really admires that way that Jason Oliver and John stand so firmly in the space of their design aesthetic. These Madcap gents are well known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, really bringing their client's story-lines to life and their out-of-the-box website really says it all! Listen in today to find out about Madcap Cottage's really unusual and fascinating approach to interior design.

Show highlights:

  • How Madcap Cottage came about.
  • The way that Madcap Cottage approaches the needs of their clients.
  • Jason Oliver explains how both his and John's former experience as magazine editors and television producers assists them with bringing their client's stories uniquely to life.
  • The way that they challenge and push their clients to bring prints and patterns into their lives.
  • Prints Charming- the really awesome book that Jason Oliver and John have written as a primer to give people permission to bring prints and patterns into their lives.
  • Why people come to Jason Oliver and John.
  • The reason why it's never a head-to-toe look from Madcap Cottage.
  • The intuitive and thoughtful way that Jason Oliver and John work with their clients.
  • How constant traveling really helps them to keep their eyes tuned and their clients well informed.
  • The evolution of the Madcap brand.
  • How Jason Oliver and John trained themselves as interior designers.
  • Where Jason Oliver finds the time to rest with his hectic schedule.
  • What luxury really means.
  • What to expect from Jason Oliver's keynote address.

Resources:

Book: Prints Charming- Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors With Prints And Patterns by Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Prints Charming- Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors With Prints And Patterns by Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke

Robert Allen fabric collection

Jason Oliver and John will be giving their keynote address at 8 am on 27th March the IWCE.

Jan 22, 2018

Big news! We are nearing February and the 2nd birthday for the podcast! Our 300th episode is coming on February 21; there’s a BIG party in NYC---and you’re invited! Listen to today’s show for details!

Today’s guest is Sandra Espinet, a luxury interior designer and the principal of SE Designs, based in Los Cabos, Mexico. Sandra is warm, genuine, intelligent, and a very smart businesswoman. She knows the nuances of catering to the luxury design market, and how it carries its own code and way of doing things. As a lifelong traveler, she embraces the concepts of relaxed luxury and casual international style in her designs.

Her experience and extensive travel have given her a unique perspective on her design style. Her work has been published in several international publications, and she has received numerous awards and distinctions, in addition to appearing on several HGTV shows and radio shows. Her first book is The Well-Traveled Home and her newest book is Barefoot Luxury: Mexican Resort Living, due for release in a few weeks.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How I met Sandra through Andrew Joseph PR: the similar focus on how they work with clients
  • Getting real with yourself about the client you want to work with and what you want to do
  • Why you can’t be an expert on everything, but you CAN be an expert in your field
  • Knowing what calls to you and attracts you
  • What it means to design for luxury clients
  • Understanding the client in THEIR world and in THEIR space
  • Locking down the intangibles to move to the next level
  • Finding the balance between “staying in your lane” and branching out
  • How to decline the projects that aren’t aligned with your focus and having the power to say NO
  • “If you know that you can’t lead, then be a follower, but follow the best person you can find.”
  • The other legs of SE Designs and the business positives that come from them
  • Staying conscious of your core clients, especially about social media exposure
  • How Sandra gets clients with NO advertising
  • Sandra’s recent award from AD Mexico as a Top Ten Designer in Latin America
  • How Sandra manifests her strengths in each job
  • Why Sandra works now with a smaller team and with fewer simultaneous jobs
  • The unique focus of each of Sandra’s books: one eclectic book about travel and one about casual lifestyle trends in the luxury market
  • Why Sandra LOVES to shop with her clients
  • Plan and focus: How Sandra’s shopping trips begin with a budget and a floor plan
  • Becoming fully immersed in the total experience with a client in the psychology of design
  • “I’m designing a stage for fabulous people to lead fabulous lives.”
  • The power and responsibility in spending other people’s money

Resources:

Website: Sandra Espinet

Find Sandra’s monthly blog: 7 Things I Cannot Live Without

The Well-Traveled Home by Sandra Espinet

Barefoot Luxury: Mexican Resort Living by Sandra Espinet

Facebook: Sandra Espinet
Instagram: Sandra Espinet
Pinterest: Sandra Espinet
Jan 19, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday. We are really very happy to introduce Jeff Bullas, an expert social media marketing blogger, strategist and speaker from Sydney Australia, as our guest for today's show. LuAnn has been a great fan of his work for years and she has also been on his email list and following him for a really long time. Despite all the conversations that we've had on the show about blogging, there are still some things about it that continue to plague us, as designers. So today Jeff will be talking about why blogging really works and he will also be sharing some of his expertise about ways to get your audience to find you on social media and how to write killer headlines. Listen in to find out more!

Jeff is the author of the book Blogging The Smart Way- How To Create And Market A Killer Blog With Social Media. He is listed in Forbes as one of the Top Twenty Influencers of CMO's in 2017, he has been ranked by Apollo Research as the Top Twenty Influencers of Digital Marketing in the USA and he is also number one in Global Digital Marketing Influencer 2016. He has been named as one of the Top 100 Social Media Influencers in 2015 and he was featured in Inc.Com as one of the twenty digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Forbes ranked Jeff as number eight on The World's Top 40 Social Marketing Talent, and he gets over four million visitors to his site each year, so listen in to find out what Jeff has to share with you today about blogging and getting yourself known on social media.

Show highlights:

  • Jeff discusses his passion and philosophy and talks about how blogging can really become a positive force in your business.
  • Attracting an audience that really loves what you do.
  • Overcoming problems and challenges through writing blog posts about your pain points.
  • Why Jeff believes that content and blogging is so important.
  • Are you wanting to become an industry leader or a celebrity designer, or are you just looking for a stepping stone to creating more business for your business? Jeff explains the different tactics for the different goals.
  • Email is still the business tool of choice for communication, so Jeff explains some ways to inspire people to hand over their email addresses.
  • Creating really effective lead magnets.
  • Some awesome advice about titles and headlines.
  • What you need in order to build your distribution on the more visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Looking at what the top performers are doing in order to get some great ideas.
  • Developing the kinds of habits that will really work for you.
  • What deep work looks like and why you really need to do it!
  • Creating content of consequence.
  • A success habit that many smart people seem to ignore.
  • Some strategies to help your audience to find you.

Links:

Connect with Jeff:

Blogger at JeffBullas.com - more than 4 million people visit every year

Author of the Amazon Best Seller - "Blogging the Smart Way - How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media" 

Forbes "Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers - 2014" - Ranked #8

Huffington Post - "Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow"

Follow me on Twitter and join the community of more than 320,000 of your peers

Join us on Facebook 

Hangout with us on Google+ 

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn

Jan 17, 2018

Welcome to today's show! Today we have another show featuring a husband and wife team and we're really excited to have Morgan and Ryan Motsinger, the owners of Lot 35 Homes as our guests. Ryan is a contractor and Morgan is a designer and until recently they each used to do their individual jobs. During the summer of 2017 however,  they combined their skills and opened a business together and now they have a really cool thing going on! Listen in today as we take apart the way that Morgan and Ryan work together as a husband and wife team.

Lot 35 Homes is a full-service residential construction and interior design company, specializing in creating spaces that are relaxing, comfortable, functional and also beautiful. Ryan and Morgan really love their local community in Tillamook, on the Oregon coast and so they align their business values as closely as possible with those of their community. Listen in now to find out more about the really awesome way that they go about their business.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome website that Morgan created for their business. (lot35homes.com )
  • How they came up with the name of their business.
  • What lead them to the decision to combine their businesses.
  • How the great dynamic between Morgan and Ryan really works for them as a professional team.
  • The major contract that they have recently signed.
  • Where and how their new major client managed to find them.
  • Their intentions for the marketing of their business in the future.
  • The kinds of projects that Morgan undertook for her three guinea pig clients.
  • The merits of using iPhone photos on Instagram versus using professional ones.
  • Morgan's rationale behind the recent adjustment of her fees for consultations.
  • How Morgan developed the confidence to present herself as a professional designer.
  • The great features on their website.
  • How Morgan highlights other people's creativity through the services that she offers.
  • How Lot 35 Connect can really help make the lives of parents with special needs kids more comfortable.
  • Their goal with Lot 35 Connect.
  • Their game plan for engagement on Facebook Live.

Links:

Morgan and Ryan's website: Lot 35 Homes

Go to Curated Kravet, select the items that you want and use the code CK Podcast at the checkout to get 10% off your entire first order.

Jan 15, 2018

Welcome to today's show. Our guest for today is Caitlyn Waite, an interior designer from Mobile Alabama. Caitlyn has been chosen to head up the very first affiliate chapter of Savvy Giving By Design, a really wonderful organization started by Susan Wintersteen (#164) with a mission to provide comfort, healing, and support to families with a child facing a medical crisis. This is done by transforming the interior space of the bedrooms of the child and their siblings, at no cost to the family. Listen in to find out more.

Also, through her interior design business, Caitlyn has developed a relationship with a builder and she already has twelve confirmed projects lined up with him for 2018. Today she talks in detail about how this relationship came about and also about the kind of things that you, as designers, really need to know if you would like to duplicate in your design firm what Caitlyn has done in hers. Listen in today to find out more about Caitlyn's approach to cultivating valuable relationships with builders in order to create a really successful design form.

Show highlights:

  • How Caitlyn initially came to hear about Savvy Giving By Design through this podcast.
  • The whole legal process that Caitlyn went through in order to become set up with Savvy Giving By Design.
  • Caitlyn talks about her very first Savvy Giving project.
  • The story of Caitlyn's daughter's Angel's Kiss.
  • How Caitlyn found Georgia, the first child who's room she will be transforming.
  • The unforeseen difficulties that Caitlyn experienced in finding nominees for the Savvy Giving project and what Susan Wintersteen has done to help overcome this.
  • The kind of fund-raising that Caitlyn has done for the project- and how you can also get involved by making a donation.
  • There are even some tradespeople who are willing to donate their time to this project.
  • The way that Caitlyn works with the children to create a space for them that they will really love.
  • How this project differs from a standard design project.
  • The way that Savvy Giving is working as a cohesive unit towards attracting national fund-raising.
  • Caitlyn explains how she developed her relationship with a local builder and she discusses her business model for 2018.
  • Caitlyn's dream solution to the general difficulty that many designers experience in finding sub-contractors to execute their work.
  • Some tips from Caitlyn about the way that her finances are handled with Joe, the builder that she works with.
  • The freedom that Caitlyn experiences through the kind of work that she does with Joe.
  • Caitlyn discusses some of the challenges that she deals within her 'spec' design projects.
  • Some awesome advice about having a successful initial conversation with a builder who you may want to build a relationship with.

Resources:

If you would like to donate towards the awesome Savvy Giving By Design project, you can go to their donate page on Savvy Giving By Design.org

Go to My Doma Studio to sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial with My Doma Studio. Upon signing up for the trial, you will receive 20% off your subscription, as a listener of the podcast.

 

Jan 12, 2018

Welcome to today's Power Talk Friday. We are really happy to introduce you to today's guest, Madeleine Macrae. Madeleine and LuAnn are going to be co-presenters at the International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa Florida this March. Listen in today to find out more about Madeleine, why she's here on the show and why she's been invited to present at the Window Coverings Expo.

Madeleine is the highly motivated CEO, founder and chief innovator for M MacRae, a national learning, coaching and consulting firm which focuses on the development and growth of pros and companies in the home professionals industry. More than thirteen years ago Madeleine developed a time-tested process and also a language for bridging the gap between the needs and expectations of the corporate world and the needs and expectations of their greatest asset- the pros out in the field. In Madeleine's bio she says that she is connected and responsive, she has a three hundred and sixty-degree view and understanding of objectives, goals, and stakes and that she derives her energy from educating, inspiring and leading her clients. Listen in today, to find out what Madeleine has to share with you about creating really effective and manageable goals, both for your business and for yourself personally.

Show highlights:

  • The joint goal setting seminar that LuAnn and Madeleine will be doing.
  • The Five Days To Goals training that Madeleine does and offers to her clients.
  • Madeleine explains her philosophy around goal setting and she discusses how she arrived at her Five Days To Goals training.
  • Madeleine explains the steps that are involved in the goals training that she offers her clients.
  • Stop beating yourself up with the stick of blame.
  • How to do the Data Dump.
  • The value in keeping notes about the things you intend to do.
  • What you could gain by doing things as tasks, rather than as projects.
  • A sophisticated neuro-trick to use when making your lists.
  • The amount of information that comes at us, compared with what we can actually focus on.
  • Getting really clear about what you want in your life.
  • A smart way to work out what your priorities really are.
  • The hardest step for people to accept.
  • Daring to dream about what you really want!
  • The difference between a goal and a task.
  • Breaking your goal down into achievable milestones.
  • You really know so much more than you think you know!
  • Madeleine's Daily Blueprint- a really fantastic tool for attaining your goals.

Links:

To find out more information about the International Window Coverings Expo, go to: IWCE Vision

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

Jan 10, 2018

Today's guest is Blanche Garcia, a certified interior designer with more than eighteen years of experience in commercial and residential design. Blanche is one of the principal designers featured in the Travel Channel reality series Hotel Impossible and she was also a contestant in season six of HGTV Design Star. Blanche owns a design business and she also does a lot of speaking at design industry events, where she shares her proven methods for 'surviving' her interior design business. On the show today she will be discussing how she runs the business side of things, so listen in to find out more.

Blanche is the owner of B. Garcia Designs which is based in Montclair New Jersey. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and she's also a 'Green Design' LEED Accredited Professional through the United States Green Building Commission. Listen in today as Blanche discusses her really focused approach to running a successful design business.

Show highlights:

  • How Blanche ended up doing so much public speaking for the design industry.
  • Where Blanche finds the time to do everything that she does.
  • What helped her to learn to figure everything out really quickly.
  • A simple way to teach people how to treat you.
  • Putting up parameters in order to maintain professional control.
  • Taking the pain out of the whole billing structure.
  • Having the right kind of agreement with your client.
  • Giving yourself the time to be creative.
  • How Blanche assesses what the budget of a project should be.
  • The importance of clear communication.
  • The insane amount of purchases that are going through Blanche's office.
  • Blanche's remarkable time management.
  • Her disciplined and focused approach to her work.

Resources:

Her website: B Garcia Designs

Her Book Link: Empowered Design

Instagram Link: Instagram

Twitter Link: Twitter

Facebook Link: Facebook

Photo Credit: Ciara Perrone

Jan 8, 2018

We have Anita Dawson with us on the show today. She is the president and owner of the Dawson Design Group, a full-service interior design firm based in San Diego Southern California. DDG specializes in all things modern, and since 2007 they have completed more than a hundred projects in Southern California, Chicago, and Atlanta. They have been awarded The Design Impact Award and Design Excellence Award by the American Society of Interior Designers; multiple Home of the Year awards from San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles and also an Award of Excellence- Architectural Rehabilitation award from the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board. Anita has a really unique and interesting story to tell, so listen in today, to find out what she has to share with you.

Anita founded Dawson Design Group to fulfill her true calling in a creative and hands-on environment after her previous successful careers in the performing and visual arts. Anita's clients gravitate towards the relaxed style and clean-lined approach that she has perfected in her design over the last decade. She and her team at DDG provide homeowners with sophisticated and interesting spaces which are unique to each client. Anita has been featured in HGTV's Professional Network and she is a Houzz.com influencer and a member of Design Trust Ltd, which is an exclusive group of leading interior designers across the country. Listen in today as Anita shares some actionable ways for you to make yourself really valuable as a member of a full-service design team.

Show highlights:

  • How Anita's firm got to be the type of firm that does the bigger projects.
  • The way that Anita's maturity has contributed towards her level of comfort around high net worth clients.
  • The importance of being able to give really clear direction to your contractor to communicate what you want to have built.
  • Developing the kind confidence that's necessary in order to get to the next level.
  • The value of not being afraid to say that you don't know something.
  • Developing collaborative relationships with experts in certain fields, so that you can give up your control in those areas in order to make for a better overall project.
  • Some lessons that Anita learned while she was leasing a workspace within the space of an architect, who ended up becoming an informal mentor to her.
  • Some of the really helpful people that Anita hired, in the beginning, to help her set her business systems up.
  • The kind of marketing that Anita did in the first three to four years of her business.
  • The value of using 'printed marketing' in conjunction with Instagram.
  • Anita's way of fast-tracking herself, while still maintaining her niche market.
  • How Anita managed to start attracting the kind of clients who are aligned with her values, through her whimsical and humorous style of advertising when she started out.
  • Some of the ways that Anita gave some value back to the architect who became her informal mentor in the beginning.
  • Some tips on how you as a designer can really bring value to the builders that you work with.
  • The importance of having a really great team for high-quality projects.
  • It's okay to boost your photo shoots with some accessories that you bring along yourself- the client may even want to buy them if they really enhance the space!
  • Why you really need to be physically present at all your photo shoots.
  • Building great relationships with your vendors is really very important for your business!

Links:

Things I learned from Anita Dawson:

https://luannnigara.com/anita/

Her website:
http://dawsondesigngroup.com

Anita's Social:
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter.com
Linkedin
Linkedin
Jan 5, 2018

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Adam Urbanski, aka The Millionaire Marketing Mentor and he's a real headliner in Online Marketing and Podcast circles! There are so many ways that Adam could really help and influence all LuAnn's Designer friends to get that extra 'something' to tweak their businesses, so today, she's decided to go with Adam's Dream Business Design Process. Listen in to find out how this process helps Designers to identify what they want to sell the most and also how to sell to the most clients.

Adam, who has been in business for seventeen years now,  is really the 'go-to guy' for Coaches, Consultants and other Service Professionals who want to attract more clients, convert more high-value sales, build an authority brand, or grow a Lifestyle Business that has more impact and generates more income. Adam's clients have often doubled, tripled and even ten times-ed their businesses, some of them in as little as ninety days! All of this and Adam started out with only $194 and limited English and he still managed to turn his first business into a seven-figure business in less than ten years! LuAnn knows that she's in the presence of a true expert with Adam, so she's very grateful that he's on the show today! Listen in now, as Adam shares some really hot tips with you, to help you to become a way better business strategist!

 

Today, Adam talks to LuAnn about:

  • Becoming a master of, and being known for a very specific approach.
  • What his six question worksheet allows you to zero in on.
  • How he discovered his ideal clients.
  • That 90% of his clients are women and this happened by design!
  • That marketing is really all about listening.
  • Adam talks you through his six questions and how to best approach working with them.
  • Finding your specific magic, as a Designer.
  • Thinking about your dream income, per client.
  • Identifying your dream project.
  • Identifying the characteristics of your dream client.
  • What you'd need to do in order to execute your project in the best possible way. (i.e. identifying your Superpower)
  • Really understanding the expectations that you have to meet with your project.
  • Expressing what you're really good at to your client.
  • Establishing systems for really clear processes in your business.
  • Knowing that everything is changing all the time, so you need to maintain a constant process of evaluation with your clients.
  • Asking yourself how much money you'd like to make from each project, per year.
  • Examining which three to six marketing activities you really need to focus on- to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
  • That you should really become a one track pony, in order to not lose sight of your core competencies.

Links:

Adam's websites: www.adamurbanski.com or www.themarketingmentors.com

Adam Urbanski is also on Facebook

Jan 3, 2018

My guest for today’s amazing show is Candy Scott, the Principal of MOOD Design + Build, based in Chicago. She gives practical advice on launching, growing, and sustaining an interior design business. Candy has 15 years’ experience in both commercial and residential design. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, with a BS in Interior Design. You’ll hear her describe how her early experience working with a large developer and with large corporate clients, outfitting high-rise condominiums, lobbies, model homes, and showrooms all contributed to some of the principles and lessons she brings to her own business. She founded MOOD Design + Build in 2014, and continues to work with residential clients and small business owners with their homes, offices, and small-scale commercial interiors.

Show highlights:

  • Candy’s background and experience after design school
  • Benefits to working at a furniture store, learning customer service and different segments of the business
  • Making mistakes in the early years: “falling down and getting back up again”
  • The consciousness it takes to “get out of the drama”
  • Finding the place of relating to clients, vendors, and contractors with a sense of mutuality
  • Meeting clients where they are: hearing their frustrations and fear
  • The range of services offered by MOOD Design + Build
  • How the design phase and the build phase differ
  • Breaking down a project into smaller increments and tracking the data
  • How to be the go-to for referrals for the business that larger firms don’t want
  • Why you must attend networking events
  • Weekly sales activity: why you can’t let this part of your business go
  • Developing relationships with realtors
  • Candy’s blog post with 7 Initial Questions for Developing a Beautiful Space and 5 Steps to Making a Beautiful Space (check out her website!)

Resources:

Candy’s website and blog:

www.modddesignbuild.com

Her Twitter:
https://twitter.com/CandyScott_

Her Social:
https://www.instagram.com/mooddesignbuild/
https://www.facebook.com/candy.scott.754
https://www.linkedin.com/in/candy-scott-049b1ba/
Jan 1, 2018

On today’s show, we have the lovely Erika Ward! Erika started out as an accountant for a design, build company. While still working in corporate settings she started her own firm called “Erika Ward Interiors”. She used her background in financing and her creative side to grow her business and has since then built her business to the greatness that it is now. Erika not only works with individual clients but also works close with retail brands like Home Depot!

Links:

Her website and social:
http://erikaward.com
https://www.instagram.com/mrserikaward/
https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-ward-09a524a/
https://twitter.com/search?q=erika%20ward&src=typd
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