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A Well-Designed Business®

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Now displaying: July, 2019
Jul 30, 2019

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today, we have Elissa Grayer joining us on the show. Elissa is here today, just like so many of our guests over the years, to share her lessons in business. Today's show is a little different, however. Because, often, our colleagues have shared with us the lessons they've learned in hindsight or the past difficulties that they experienced in their careers, that they weren't sure they would ever manage to overcome. Yet today, Elissa, who is going through an unusual season in her business, bravely shares something with us that she is knee-deep in, right now. In today's episode, she talks to LuAnn about what she's been going through over the last six months, some of the lessons she's learned, and the action steps she is taking to remedy the situation. Listen in, to hear her story.

After graduating from Amherst College with a B.A. in Psychology, Elissa spent 10 years in the fields of education and business, earning three masters degrees along the way. It took the joining of two individual apartments into one family-friendly space to convince her to turn her passion for interior design into a business. She was then asked to oversee another major renovation project on the Upper West Side, and thus her career began. To further her education, Elissa also studied at both the New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Interior Design.

Launched in 2001, Elissa Grayer created her namesake design firm and quickly become the go-to talent for young families transitioning from New York City to the idyllic suburbs of Westchester County. Since then, the firm has also become known for its mastery in the planning, design, and project management of grand estates, luxury apartments, and vacation retreats across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida. Tune in now, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Elissa's business has changed significantly because, since January, her turnover has taken a drastic downturn.
  • Elissa describes what she's been going through over the last six months.
  • Elissa recommends outsourcing your business management to Studio Webware.
  • The value of working with an excellent business coach and having the support of like-minded business owners.
  • It's really important to keep checking your numbers consistently. And to act timeously, if necessary.
  • It's all about setting goals and being accountable.
  • Elissa has never worked for anyone else, so she hasn't had the opportunity to learn business fundamentals from a seasoned business owner.
  • Today, you have to actively market your business.
  • The great incentive gifts that Elissa has been giving to realtors.
  • Waiting for the right time to approach realtors to introduce your services to them.
  • Building the skill of rainmaking.
  • Elissa has been building time-blocking into her schedule.
  • If you ever have downtime in your business, you can make good use of it to get started with some new processes.
  • Learning to trust and use your intuition.
  • Looking for the lessons in the hard times.

Bio:

After graduating from Amherst College with a B.A. in Psychology, Elissa spent 10 years in the fields of education and business, earning three masters degrees along the way. It took the joining of two individual apartments into one family-friendly space to convince her to turn her passion for interior design into a business. She was then asked to oversee another major renovation project on the Upper West Side, and thus her career began. To further her education she has also studied at the prestigious New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Interior Design.

Launched in 2001, Elissa Grayer created her namesake design firm and quickly become the go-to talent for young families transitioning from New York City to the idyllic suburbs of Westchester County. Since then, the firm has also become known for its mastery in the planning, design, and project management of grand estates, luxury apartments, and vacation retreats across New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida. She strives to create beautiful and functional spaces that reflect each client’s personality in an elegant and comfortable way; Classic luxury design for modern living.

Elissa subscribes to the belief that creating a home should be a partnership between the designer and homeowner. Educating her clients and exposing them to the exclusive access that only an expert can bring, Elissa Grayer Interior Design creates smart solutions that fit within the homeowners’ budget and lifestyle.

Links:

Website: Elissa Grayer Design

Instagram: Elissa Grayer Interior Design

Facebook: Elissa Grayer Interior Design

Pinterest: Elissa Grayer

Exciting Windows

Jul 26, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Have you ever wished that you could outsource your procurement process to a proven professional? If so, you will gain a lot from today's show because we have Bethany Mabee with us, and Bethany is your lady if you ever want to outsource the procurement process of any interior design project! She makes it possible for you to work with her whether you're a small interior design firm looking for some help with the procurement process of a one-off project, or you're a larger firm with several projects going on at the same time, consistently. In today's episode, Bethany explains the way that she assists designers, and she discusses the kind of accountability that she has built into her process. Listen in today, to find out how Bethany could mean real magic for you and your design business.

Before opening her firm, Interior Procurement Group, Bethany worked behind the scenes in the Interior Design industry for nearly 20 years. Her career began in 2001, at Eastern Accents, a Chicago-based textile manufacturer where she oversaw custom trade orders by communicating their specifications through to production. This was a perfect learning experience and stepping stone for transitioning to Gary Lee Partners, where she worked as the Architecture Firm’s Procurement Director from 2005 - 2009. Since opening her Procurement Group, Bethany has worked with dozens of designers, on a project-by-project basis, acting as an agent on their behalf. Her goal is to eliminate all non-design-related items for the designer during the furniture purchasing process so that they are free to focus on the other areas of the project that demand their attention. Tune in now, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Bethany loves swimming in details and finding organization in chaos.
  • Bethany works with different size firms and projects.
  • Bethany works with designers only during the procurement phase of their projects.
  • It's great for designers not to have to train someone up in the area of procurement.
  • The vast range of procurement services that Bethany supplies.
  • The kind of admin that Bethany covers.
  • Why Peter Lang, the Designer CPA, specializes in the design industry.
  • About Kimberly Merlitty's specialty.
  • Bethany discusses the monthly check-in that she does with designers.
  • Bethany supports interior designers at an expert level.
  • Sending regular status reports to her clients.
  • Confidentiality is really important to Bethany.
  • Bethany's files are available to the designers at all times.
  • Keeping the designers up to date with the status of their purchases.
  • Working on the finer details.
  • Bethany offers her support, on-site, on installation day.
  • Bethany really respects designers. She sees them, she hears them, and she understands their value.

Bio:

Bethany has been working behind-the-scenes within the Interior Design industry for nearly 20 years.   In 2001, her career began at Eastern Accents, a Chicago-based textile manufacturer where she oversaw custom trade orders by communicating their specifications through production. This was a perfect learning experience and stepping stone for transitioning to Gary Lee Partners, where she worked as the Architecture Firm’s Procurement Director from 2005 - 2009.

In 2009 after having her first child, Bethany wanted a chance to continue doing the work she loves, while also being more available to her son.   Noticing that many designers in the industry were juggling the purchasing process on their own and that most dreaded this time-consuming, archaic process.   Bethany decided to branch out on her own as a consultant and provide residential furniture procurement solutions to design clients.  Bethany has been able to work with a variety of clients across the country, from small boutique firms to independent designers.  Bethany works with designers on a project-by-project basis and acts as an agent on their behalf.   Her goal is to eliminate all non-design related items for the designer during the furniture purchasing process so that they are freed up to focus on other areas of the project that demand their attention.

Bethany remotely manages all aspects of the procurement process including purchasing, billing, and warehousing.   Once a designer’s specifications are finalized, Bethany takes over by generating client proposals, processing purchase orders, and communicating custom specifications and sample approvals to manufacturers/vendors as needed.  Throughout the purchasing process, Bethany tracks all costs and markups for designer profitability and maintains communication and records with the designer’s accountant.  Bethany also manages the installation process for her clients by facilitating vendor correspondence throughout production, communicating material timeframes to workrooms, maintaining project production status sheets, submitting regular updates to the design team, coordinating local and long-distance shipments with carriers, recording warehouse receiving reports, tracking freight and warehousing costs, coordinating damage claims, repairs and replacements, coordinating building installation arrangements and insurance requirements, attending and supervising project installations and handling any post-installation follow up and coordination.

Bethany has a unique understanding of the creative process.   Her office doubles as an art studio for her other work as an abstract artist.  As a painter, she understands that projects are the designers’ own works of art and that they deserve to be handled with the utmost attention to detail.    For years, Bethany would not even share with her procurement clients that she was also a painter.  She worried that it would discredit her abilities to manage the logistical tasks of their projects.  Over the years, Bethany has learned that these two roles ebb and flow together perfectly and some procurement clients have even become painting commission clients. She is grateful to interior designers for allowing her to fulfill her own calling to express both her logistical and creative sides.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Peter Lang, The Designer CPA #349

Kimberly Merlitti # 361 and #442

Links:

LuAnn's email: info@luannnigara.com

Interior PG

Bethany Mabee Art

For your MyDoma Studios trial, go to A Well Designed Business

LuAnn is running her Power Talk Friday One-Day Coaching Event on July 27th, 2019 in Las Vegas. If you'd like to get in, email LuAnn.

LuAnn will be at the Las Vegas Market on Monday, at 3 pm, at Uttermost.

Nancy Ganzekaufer will be in the seminar space at 11 am, with IDS, doing a presentation about body language.

The event is sponsored by MyDoma Studio and Interior Design Society (IDS).

Jul 23, 2019

Welcome another episode of Power Talk Friday and Design Biz Live, with Judith Neary and Corey Klassen. It's been several months since the last episode of the Design Biz Live series and today's show is really going to be fun, especially if you were one of the 200 people attending LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation, last March, where Corey and Judith were both guest designer panelists. Tune in to today's episode of Design Biz Live, to find out why everyone really needs a Vin man!

Judith and Corey are usually the ones to come up with the topics for the Design Biz Live episodes, and their topics are mostly about the things they're facing in their businesses or the things that their colleagues are struggling with, in theirs. For today's episode, however, they have decided to talk about the things that they learned from LuAnn Live. Corey and Judith both have tons of experience in the design industry, so listen in today, to hear what they learned.

Show Highlights:

  • Corey really enjoyed connecting with other like-minded individuals and sharing stories and experiences with them.
  • Judith, as a tenured professional in the industry, really loved the amount of information that was available at LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation.
  • Everyone needs a Vin man!
  • Corey talks about a moment of clarity that he experienced.
  • LuAnn explains where the magic happens.
  • Judith lists five of her take-aways.
  • Corey uses spreadsheets to track everything, so he really loved Michele William's Profit First method.
  • What Judith loved so much about Fred Berns.
  • Your existing client base is the fastest, shortest way to putting money in your pocket.
  • The incredible value of referrals.
  • The power of adversity.
  • Judith gives a shout-out to MyDoma Studios.
  • The benefits of using MyDoma Studio's packages.
  • Corey explains what horizontal revenue is.
  • LuAnn shares what she learned at LuAnn Nigara Live.

LuAnn Live 2 will be coming out in 2020.

To get onto the email list, so that you can know what's happening and when text the word 'designbiz' to 444999.

Jul 19, 2019

Welcome to the first episode of Window Treatment Friday! For some time now, designers have been reaching out to LuAnn and asking her to share some of her window treatment expertise, because the window treatment business is a pretty complicated area of business for many designers. So about once a month, LuAnn and Vita Vygovska will be producing an episode of Window Treatment Friday, where they will explain how designers can increase their bottom line by incorporating custom window treatments into their projects. In each episode, they will break down and unravel the intricacies of an aspect of the window treatment business, as it relates to interior designers. They will be giving you content-driven education which is unbiased, truthful, and open, to educate baby designers and inspire the more seasoned and experienced designers to have more confidence, talk to their clients with more authority, and, ultimately, make more profit. Tune in now, to find out more.

Vitalia (Vita for short) Vygovska is the award-winning window treatment specialist.  Her company, Vitalia, Inc, is an all-encompassing fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management service exclusively for interior designers.  In business for over a decade, Vita and her team are experts in their narrow field, providing designers with superb quality product and excellent communication.  Most importantly, they take off the stress, save time, and give peace of mind in the job is well-done. Listen in today, to hear what LuAnn and Vita have to share about the value of incorporating custom window treatments into your design projects.

Show Highlights:

  • There are some valuable resources out there for window treatments. There's the WCAA (Window Coverings Association of America), Exciting Windows, ASID, the IWCE Expo, and Window Fashion Vision Magazine.
  • The goal of Window Treatment Friday is to provide designers with just enough of the right kind of information to help them feel more confident in the world of window treatments.
  • LuAnn explains which designers this show is talking to.
  • Window treatments make up a large portion of interior design projects.
  • Mistakes are part of learning, but they are costly when it comes to window treatments.
  • LuAnn and Vita are here to share their lessons learned, and the mistakes they have made.
  • There are pros and cons to adding window treatments to your ladder of services, as an interior designer.
  • Window treatments make a huge difference to any interior design project. They are like jewelry for the room.
  • There's profit to be made from including window treatments in a design project.
  • Your number one way to make a profit is to sell more things to the same people.
  • Some of the more nuanced points about the value of offering your clients window treatments.
  • In the episodes coming up, LuAnn and Vita will be talking about everything, from custom versus ready-made, to specifying the differences between ready-made rods and custom-made rods, and why and when it matters.
  • Please share with us any questions that you may have about window treatments or the challenges that you face with window treatments, in the comments on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Vita has already come up with 25 different window treatment topics to cover in this show.

Links:

Vita’s Website: Vitalia Inc

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia Inc

Exciting Windows

WCAA

ASID

IWCE

The Window Fashion Vision Magazine

Mentioned in the show:

Sew Much More Podcast

Jul 16, 2019

Welcome! Today, Alex Gourlay joins us on the show. Eighteen months ago, Alex took LuAnn and Nancy Ganzekaupher's Money Mindset and Sales Course. Then recently, she contacted LuAnn to say that she wanted to share what she's learned since taking the course, and the things she's done since then to build her business, with all of you, her designer colleagues out there. For Alex, this has all been around mindset and about breaking through some of the patterns that she noticed in herself. Listen in today, to hear what Alex has to share.

Alex Gourlay is the owner of Vellum Interiors, a high-end residential interior design studio in Sydney. Founded in 2016, Vellum Interiors has quickly gained a reputation for creating beautiful, feel-good homes. Alex’s work has been featured in multiple publications, and she was recognized as a Finalist in the 2019 Dulux Colour Awards. Tune in now for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Alex always knew that she had potential, but she also knew that there was something holding her back.
  • Alex explains what she discovered about mindset issues and her business.
  • Some examples of the mindset issues that Alex has managed to overcome.
  • Two sentences that are really powerful informing how you think.
  • Being confident without acting like a jerk.
  • Growth mindset and fixed mindset.
  • The fear of failure often prevents people from attempting something new.
  • The key that has unlocked so many things for Alex.
  • It feels uncomfortable to look in the mirror, go deep, and get to the next level.
  • It helps to have a really supportive partner in life.
  • The people that you surround yourself with will inevitably influence you. And some of them will try to hold you back because they're scared.
  • The positive impact that Alex's new awareness has had on her business.
  • You have to know what you want in order to create it.
  • Once you know what you want, your brain looks for ways to make it happen.
  • So many people really underestimate the power of their thoughts.
  • Getting comfortable with your own beliefs.
  • It's actually easier than you think to get published in magazines, as long as you do it the right way.
  • It's all about standing in your space, staying in your lane, and being who you are.
  • Giving yourself permission to be your best self.

Bio:

Alex Gourlay is the owner of Vellum Interiors, a high-end residential interior design studio in Sydney. Founded in 2016, Vellum Interiors has quickly gained a reputation for creating beautiful, feel-good homes. Alex’s work has been featured in multiple publications, and she was recognized as a Finalist in the 2019 Dulux Colour Awards. Tune in now for more!

Alex’s design ethos focuses on the character of the houses and clients she works with, with an emphasis on simplicity and laid-back sophistication. She specializes in creating beautiful homes by the harbor or ocean, that her clients can love for many years. Alex’s previous experience in events and client services in global advertising firms has shaped how design projects are run at Vellum, and she is passionate about delivering a highly-organized and smooth experience for her clients. She loves to ‘surprise and delight’ her clients to keep things interesting too! A key value of Alex’s business is creating incredible relationships with clients, her suppliers, and trades, and she has garnered a reputation for being a force to be reckoned with.

Alex works with people who are down-to-earth, high-net-worth Sydney-siders who have a desire to create a long-term home or holiday home.

Vellum Interiors has been published in Australia House & Garden, InsideOut, Home Beautiful, and has been featured online in The Local Project, Homes to Love and Interiors Addict.

Mentioned on the show:

Steve Berson: The leader of Exciting Windows

Book: Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Miller (Design New Jersey) #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Shea McGee #236 and #270

Amber Lewis #169 and #184

Power Talk Friday

Jul 12, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, Jesse Lazarus, the Chief Process and Innovation Officer for Kravet Inc. joins us on the show. Jesse is a deep thinker, with a BA in philosophy, and in his role, at Kravet he plays an integral part in the discussion around the technology and innovations that the company chooses to partner with and embrace. Jesse spearheads Kravet's strategic plans and he implements their new digital initiatives, which include e-commerce projects, in-store experience concepts, and groundbreaking virtual design tools. Listen in today, to find out what Jesse has to share about the ongoing evolution of Kravet.

Kravet is a smart company and they are guided by their mission to support you, the interior designer, in your efforts to run a really profitable business. Kravet has been a show sponsor since the beginning and, in today's episode, Jesse talks to LuAnn about how this happened. He discusses the way that technology has advanced during his time working in the interior design industry, and how the industry is changing, as a result. He also talks to us about Kravet's new showroom which opening up at the New York Design Center, the way that Kravet is evolving,  and where they are heading, in terms of innovation and technology. Tune in now for more!

Show Highlights:

  • How LuAnn's collaboration with Kravet began.
  • For Jesse, Kravet is a really great and innovative place to work.
  • The criteria that Jesse uses to decide whether or not to partner with tech companies.
  • One of Kravet's core mission values is to always be in support of interior designers.
  • Although many of the new tech companies are not yet geared for the interior design industry, designers are now involved in helping those companies evolve to meet the needs of the industry.
  • Kravet has been partnering with MyDoma Studio since the spring of 2019. Jesse discusses the reason for this partnership.
  • Jesse discusses his perception of the two flavors of the marketplace.
  • Being transparent and as accessible as possible is another one of Kravet's core mission values.
  • There's so much research and product discovery happening online, currently. This has started feeding through into the design industry.
  • The way that Jesse sees the evolution of interior design showrooms, going forward.
  • The way that Jesse has built the digital experience into the concept for Kravet's new pilot showroom, as a subtle, supportive tool for designers.
  • Kravet's pilot showroom is meant to be a relaxed workspace for collaboration, where designers can feel comfortable enough to come in and use their sample library as if it was their own.
  • Kravet's pilot showroom is a way to honor their relationships with interior designers.
  • Some new technological innovations that are destined to become a part of the design industry.
  • Recently, designers have been collaborating to form buying groups. Jesse sees this as a natural evolutionary step.
  • The evolution of technology has made it possible for designers to now work in any way that fits their individual business.

Bio:

Jesse Lazarus is Chief Process and Innovation Officer for Kravet Inc., a high-end home furnishings supplier to the interior design trade. In this role, Jesse plays an integral part in spearheading strategic plans and implementing new digital initiatives, including e-commerce projects, in-store experience concepts, and innovative virtual design tools. He received his BA in Philosophy from the State University of Stony Brook and resides in West Sayville, NY with his wife and two daughters.

Links:

Website: Kravet

Instagram: Kravet

Facebook: Kravet

Pinterest: Kravet

Twitter: Kravet

Mydoma

Code for 10% of Kravet fabric, wallpaper or trim: AWDB10

Jul 9, 2019

Welcome to the show! We have Tori Alexander with us today. Tori is a Nashville native and she's a Harpeth Hall alumna with a B.S. in Furnishings and Interiors from the University of Georgia. After graduating, Tori set herself apart as a designer with her uniquely broad understanding of architecture, while honing her skills at a boutique architecture firm in Nashville.

In 2012, Tori launched her own company, Alexander Interiors, in Sacramento California, when her husband's career took their family there. Then they returned to Nashville in 2016 and Tori started her business all over again. In today's episode, she talks to us about the systems she uses to keep her projects extremely well organized. And she mentions how moving and starting over twice, and experiencing a different culture and aesthetic, really broadened her design skills and helped her become a better businesswoman. Listen in today, to find out more!

Spaces you can live in. That’s Tori Alexander’s design philosophy – a vision that is top of mind as she dreams up new creations for her clients. “I design every space with the assumption that adults will spill red wine and children will spill their juice,” Tori explains. “That being said, it can still be beautiful! It is about knowing when and where to use each material.” When it comes to understanding those critical details, Tori’s credentials are truly impressive. Alexander Interiors has been featured by Southern Living, Today, Style Blueprint and more. Tune in today, to hear what Tori has to share about how to run a design-build project.

Show Highlights:

  • Tori explains where to start with a design-build project.
  • Implementing the production list was a turning point in Tori's business. It has led to more opportunities, such as management and construction management of larger projects.
  • Running a business in California was a constant uphill battle for Tori and this really helped her to develop an edge.
  • Tori talks about the production list and what it entails.
  • The management tool that has really improved the profitability of Tori's business.
  • Tori has four categories of projects: Renovation, full design, e-design, and consulting.
  • Projects have to make sense for Tori, first financially and then creatively. If they don't fit any of these categories, she turns them down.
  • Tori explains the kind of project that is not a good fit for her.
  • The way that Tori packages her consultation times.
  • Laying the seeds in the right places.
  • A production list documents every single task that needs to be done, no matter how large or small.
  • How trackable goals tie into the production list.
  • Implementing separate cross-checks for completion and accuracy.
  • Coming up with systems to prevent unforeseen installation problems from arising.
  • Tori shares some of the checklists that she uses. Using checklists helps to bring calmness to a potentially chaotic industry.
  • Rewarding the team at the end of a project for a job well done.

 

Tori Alexander- Bio

Spaces you can live in. That’s Tori Alexander’s design philosophy – a vision that is top of mind as she dreams up new creations for her clients. “I design every space with the assumption that adults will spill red wine and children will spill their juice,” Alexander explains. “That being said, it can still be beautiful! It is about knowing when and where to use each material.” When it comes to understanding those critical details, Alexander’s credentials are impressive. The Nashville native and Harpeth Hall alumna earned her B.S. in Furnishings and Interiors from The University of Georgia’s esteemed program in 2008. Upon graduating, she continued to hone her skills at a boutique architecture firm in Nashville, setting herself apart as a designer with a uniquely extensive understanding of architecture. In 2012, her husband’s career took Alexander to Sacramento, Ca., where she launched her own design company, Alexander Interiors. “I think being in a new and unfamiliar city encouraged me to finally take the leap and begin working for myself,” Alexander shares. Since the launch, clients have eagerly sought out Alexander’s impeccable expertise for their own homes. Describing her style as fresh and classic all at once, Alexander creates timeless interiors with layers of color, texture, and pattern. “I love a good pattern,” Alexander says. “That’s what I feel truly sets me apart — my ability to pair pattern on pattern within the same space.” In 2016, Alexander brought her thriving business back home to Nashville – a trending city with an ever-growing design scene. But with years of experience in California and clients across the country, Alexander offers a unique perspective for clients. “I’ve been able to draw inspiration from the quirks and trends in various regions and cities,” Alexander explains. Or sometimes, the inspiration is close to home – like an antique bracelet from her grandmother serving as the muse for a hand-painted ceiling in a charming nursery. Alexander’s creativity and heart help give clients unforgettable, one-of-a-kind spaces they can live in. Alexander Interiors has been featured by Southern Living, Today, Style Blueprint and more. To learn more, visit Alexander Interiors

Links:

Alexander Interiors

Instagram: Alexander Interiors Nashville

Will you be joining LuAnn in Las Vegas for her one-day Power Talk Friday Tour? LuAnn is repeating her Power Talk Friday Tour this year in Las Vegas. It is a one-day coaching event and it will be held on Saturday, July 27th, and it will run from 8.00am to 11.00pm. It will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, discussions with LuAnn's PTF experts, and four hours of round table discussions, in groups of three or less, with each expert individually. Go to Power Talk Friday to reserve your seat.

if you are not sure if it’s right or you—email LuAnn at info@luannnigara.com, put powertalkfriday LV in the subject line, and give LuAnn your phone number. She will call you and together you'll see if this one-day event will benefit you and your business. 

This event is sponsored by Revel Woods and MyDoma Studio.

To get onto LuAnn's email list to get the info, text the word DESIGNBIZ to the number 444999.

Jul 5, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Sarah Winchester with us today! Sarah is a Boston based photographer specializing in interiors and fine art photography. Social media has really raised the bar for photographers over the last few years, and as a result, the world of interiors photography has been getting a lot of recognition. So investing in an excellent professional photographer has become a valuable way for new interior designers to become known. In today's episode, Sarah talks to us about styling, copyright, what it takes to be a great interiors photographer, and she also explains what you, as an interior designer, need to look for when hiring a photographer. Listen in today, to get Sarah's practical tips and advice for showing yourself in the way that you want to be seen.

Raised in Atlanta, GA Sarah brings her southern sensibility and style to her work.  After years in the corporate world as a creative director, brand manager, and in-house photographer, Sarah opened her own studio in 2009. Sarah’s strengths lie in blending the needs of the client with her own unique and artistic approach, to create beautiful and effective images. Sarah graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor’s in Art and Art History and received her Masters in Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was also able to spend time studying art in Florence, Italy. Tune in now for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Sarah believes that you have to have a script, or a shot list to know where you're going, where to start and to keep things organized.
  • Amazing photographs are essential for interior designers.
  • Social media has raised the bar for photographers.
  • Finding the right photographer.
  • Photographic shoots are creative and fun, and also exhausting!
  • What to look out for when choosing a photographer who will be the right fit.
  • Getting as much out of a photo shoot as you possibly can.
  • Copyright versus usage right... it can all be very confusing.
  • Paying for usage rights for the images you've shared.
  • Having the conversation about who owns the rights to the images on social media.
  • There's safety in integrity so it's important to be clear right from the beginning.
  • Partnering with local brands in order to style a project.
  • Developing relationships with local businesses and highlighting their products in your photo shoots.
  • Using images to sell a feeling.

Bio:

Sarah is a Boston based photographer specializing in interiors and fine art photography.  Raised in Atlanta, GA she brings her southern sensibility and style to her work.  After years in the corporate world as a creative director, brand manager, and in-house photographer, Sarah opened her own studio in 2009. Sarah’s strengths lie in blending the needs of the client with her own unique and artistic approach, to create beautiful and effective images. Sarah graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor’s in Art and Art History and received her Masters in Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was also able to spend time studying art in Florence, Italy–one of her favorite cities in the world. Sarah has worked with clients, which span the creative and professional world, from magazines and fashion houses to advertising campaigns and construction companies. Sarah feels photography is about creating, not just capturing and brings that emotion to her work.

Links:

Website: Sarah Winchester Studios

Instagram: Sarah_W_Studios

Austin Mill PR

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Stephen Karlisch # 369

David Livingstone # 51

Raquel Langworthy # 343

Sarah Winchester Studios - Pitch for LuAnne Nigara Podcast

About Sarah Winchester

Sarah is a Boston based photographer who shoots all over the country, specializing in interiors and fine art photography. Raised in Atlanta, GA she brings her southern sensibility and style to her work. After years in the corporate world as a creative director, brand manager, and in-house photographer, Sarah opened her own studio in 2009. Sarah’s strengths lie in blending the needs of the client with her own unique and artistic approach, to create beautiful and effective images. Sarah graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor’s in Art and Art History and received her Masters in Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was also able to spend time studying art in Florence, Italy–one of her favorite cities in the world.

Sarah has worked with clients, which span the creative and professional world, from magazines and fashion houses to advertising campaigns and construction companies. She also creates a series of fine art photography stemming from a passion for art and travel; creating beautiful images to live with and love.

Sarah feels photography is about creating, not just capturing and brings that emotion to her work.

OVERVIEW:

  1. PHOTOGRAPHERS - How to choose one? What sets me apart?
  2. In an increasingly growing field, how should a designer choose?
  3. In turn, how can a photographer set him or herself apart? (I know lots of interiors

photographers who listen to the podcast)

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA - Still photography, moving images, videos
  2. Social Media v. Website/Portfolio
  3. Instagram shooting tips. IPhone v. Professional
  4. Engagement, Stories, connecting with followers.
  5. CONTENT - Still photography, moving images, videos
  6. Should you be doing “more?” What does that “more” look like?
  7. Online and social media are perfect for playing with this. Places where

traditional print media can’t go

  1. COPYRIGHT - Who “owns” the images
  2. Copy Right v. Usage Rights
  3. 2 - 3 party usage - reduced rate
  4. “Other Parties” wishing to use the photos. Publications, vendors, etc.
  5. STYLING - The discussion continued…
  6. Such an important aspect of interiors photography. Could parent more discussion.
  7. Photographer as stylist…is this the new norm? Perhaps, but only if it fits the project and photographer.
  8. Partnering with a local business. Helps the shoot, the homeowner often buys the pieces and helps the designer finish out the project.
  9. I often buy or borrow, books, accessories, home goods, etc. for a shoot and let the homeowner buy the products from a shoot…unless they are from my personal collection. - The homeowner gets free shopping and styling
  10. ART + ART SOURCING
  11. Not all spaces and projects have amazing art budgets, but art is a crucial part of a finished project and creating beautiful, finished photographs.
  12. Relationship with art consultants. Finding new a artist who will lend work.
  13. A personal passion: I love finding new artists and helping them.
  14. GETTING PUBLISHED
  15. Writers - In addition to getting to know editors (which can be very challenging because they are such busy people) Develop a relationship with writers.
  16. They get paid by the story to so we all want to find amazing projects.
  17. Local/Regional press and print is still amazing.
  18. Online features - .com arm of publications, blogs. Great in that things can go viral. Also, the reason why it is important to credit everyone when you post things.

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

IN DEPTH BREAK DOWN

  1. Photographers

- How to choose one?

- I come from a fine art/art history background that is where I start, but I also have some commercial experience so that always creeps in, but first and foremost I LOVE creating a great editorial type shot. One that will draw the viewer into the space. I love the challenge of creating beautiful images but also the effectiveness of conveying the “information” the designer needs/wants to parlay.

- Photographers - Just like designers, there is the right fit for you.

  • What is their photographic style, their personality, do they assist in styling, and do they fit your budget and meet or talk to them in person.
  • Crowded field of photographers - photography is becoming more and more accessible which makes the field larger. I say great. A rising tide lifts all boats.

- Look closely at the photographer's portfolio. The feel, the lighting, the angles.

  • How do you want your work to look? Just like when people choose a designer that best suits their needs and style.

- Photo shoots are long hard days…sometimes overnight trips. You better like who you are working with and shouldn’t it be fun?

  • They should be creatively fulfilling days that give you the final images that perfectly show your work and you.

- Trust the photographer but also speak up.

  • If the leather straps on a chair really speak to your work and your design choices, make sure the photographer gets those leather straps! Or tile or built-in design.

- This is the time to get the project the way you want it because when you walk out the door and close it behind you that is it. What do you have left of the

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

project? A photo shoot is a chance to get the project the way you want it and preserve it for your portfolio.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

- Consulting - Social Media v. Website/Portfolio

- How to use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. Which platform is the best for you?

  • To expand upon what David Livingston talked about in Episode 51 when

talking bout Houzz. Where should designers be?

- How to use it for your brand/company - for most in our business Instagram is THE tool to use. I have a little PDF I like to share with my clients as an “added value.”

- Instagram shooting tips. I like giving my clients a little cheat sheet on how to use their iPhone and Instagram to their best of their ability. The iPhone is a very powerful camera. It kills me when people don’t use it to the best of their ability.

  • I also love consulting new designers in this. They may only have the budget to hire me for that one great room they “designed to completion” so I love teaching photography 101 so they can use their iPhone to create content and images for social media.
  • For website and portfolio purported I still advice to use a true professional.

- Instagram Engagement

  • Community Building, give credit.
  • Reply to comments, DM’s, etc
  • Pose questions. Ask for advice.

- Posts v. Stories

- Authenticity - “Behind the curtain”. About you as a creative/business owner.

  • Photos of travels
  • Videos - real life, behind the scenes.
  • Show your personality

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

- Give Credit - It takes a lot of people to make a beautiful space and then the image that represents that space. It makes you look better to give credit where credit is due and helps with engagement. The more the merrier!

  • Designer, architect, Builder, Stylist, Photographer. Try to credit all the people involved. It only makes you look better and it spreads the love/influence.
  1. GIFFS and VIDEOS

- Giffs and video type images.

  • I have been having fun creating gifts and stop motion images.
  • Online and social media are perfect for playing with this. Places where

traditional print media can’t go

  • If your photographer focuses on only still, the iPhone can so much.
  • Time-lapse, stop motion, videos, etc.
  1. COPYRIGHT

- Who “owns” the images. Such a huge topic these days with photo sharing and the monetizing of Instagram, shopping, etc. It seems to be a touchy subject but an important one.

- What is the difference between usage rights and copyrights?

  • It is my job a the photographer to educate the designer on the differences. I don’t expect the designer to know this.

- When I was on salary for a large corporation they “owned” all the images I took. Some of my photographs were used in national ad campaigned printed in the likes of Sports Illustrated and This Old House, but I did not receive and usage payment form my company. That was our agreement. Totally fine as I was a salaried employee and that was a part of my job description.

- Now running my own studio I “own” all my images. I maintain the copyright.

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

  • The question may be raised from a designer ”but that is my work, my project.”

Absolutely. I have been hired for my talents, my brain juice, on how to create a photograph to best showcase that work. That creation…that photograph is my work, therefore the creator maintains the copyright.

- Usage Rights - When I shoot for a designer they have unlimited “usage rights” to the images. My wording goes:

  • Unlimited digital and print usage is granted to the client. Any editorial rights (digital and print) rights should be settled between Sarah Winchester Studios LLC and the publisher. Images and their rights usage are not transferable. Rights usage by other parties may be obtained for a fee per image. Sarah Winchester Studios LLC is the sole copyright owner (only usage rights is being granted) All photography to be credited: Sarah M. Winchester

- “Other parties” includes, builders, architects, lighting companies, wallpaper, furniture company, etc who see the images and then wants to use it for an ad campaign or marketing tool they need to contact me for a usage fee.

  • Basically, if they are going to use my image to sell their product. They are usually more than happy to and understand this industry standard. Plus it is far more economical than producing their own photo shoots.
  • I had a wonderful recent experience where a project for my beloved client Cecilia Walker was featured on domino.com (a connection through written Jaci Conry). Cecilia had used a lot of Hudson Valley lighting fixtures. They then bought some usage rights from me and ended up using the images in their national advertising campaign all over their website and in print publications like House Beautiful.
  • Conversely, I had a company see a project in a publication, asked to buy some usage but the designer had such a terrible time dealing with them she asked that I not. I of course obliged. My relationship with the designer is worth much more than the money I would have gotten from this other party. I always ask…and get the permission of the homeowner.
  • So many moving parts involved, but I find being open and transparent is the best way and I pride myself in being clear and honest.

- 2 - 3 Companies Usage

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

  • Often times the designer, builder and architect all want photos of a project.

For this, I offer a slightly reduced “combined rate” for the shoot.

  • So the overall cost of the shoot might be more because there are more people “using” the images, but when split 3 ways is less expensive for each party than if they each hired me separately.

- If copyrights are wanting to be purchased it usually is a much higher cost because I am basically giving away all my rights to that image I created. That case usually only comes up when a photographer is hired by Architectural Digest or some major print publication but even then that is not always the case.

  • I heard Photographer Lynsey Adario who shoots for the NY Times, National Geographic, etc. speak and she said she shoots as a freelancer for that reason. So she owns the copyrights to her photographs.
  1. STYLING

- Styling Assistance - I have rolled it into my services because I love it and I am good at it.

  • This was covered greatly in the Raquel Langworthy podcast and I thought she did an amazing job conveying the differences between stying assistance and hiring a professional stylist. It's a new way people are looking at their photographers.
  • Majority of my clients do not have the budget to hire amazing stylists like Stacy Kunstel or Charlotte Safavi. That is usually a publication level shoot.

- I have relationships with various studios and shops and after scouting with gather information on colors, flowers, accessories, books needed. I borrow a ton of stuff on my own. Inevitably the homeowner buys half the stuff we bring.

Win-win for all.

- If the homeowner isn’t on set (which is usually the case and the preferred option) we send photos and pricing while on a shoot for approval.

- A great way for the designer to finish out the project.

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

- I know what it “photogenic” I know what has been shot to death. (Ahem…Tom Ford book)I also like that “control” over the shoot. It makes us all look better.

- STORY: I recently shot a gorgeous old brownstone in historic Beacon Hill, the designer hired me to style and shoot the project. I hired my own styling assistant. We spent an entire day styling and then we shot for two days. I helped source art

  1. ART

- Art sourcing - Art is SUPER important.

  • This is also a personal passion of mine with my Art History major, I love finding new artist, I have a few art consultants I work with who lend me work. One of whom I am giving a Design Week talk with about Art + Design.
  • To Stephen Karlisch point we can hold art up. No need to bang holes in that Phillip Jeffery wallpaper. And sometimes the homeowner ends up buying a piece. Win-win!
  1. GETTING PUBLISHED

- Writers!!! - In addition to getting to know editors (which can be very challenging because they are such busy people), I have loved developing relationship with writers.

  • They get paid by the story to so we all want to find amazing projects.

- Local/Regional press and print is still amazing

- We all want national press of course but regional print has amazon coverage

- New England Home, Newspaper magazine, Modern Luxury, Atlanta Homes and Lifestyle

SARAH WINCHESTER STUDIOS. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

WWW.SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM. | SARAH@SARAHWINCHESTERSTUDIOS.COM | 404.542.2833

Jul 2, 2019

Welcome to the show! Today, we have the charming Jared Hughes, an interior designer from Atlanta, joining us. Jared's Instagram and his website are well worth paying attention to because they are unusual, warm, and beautiful, and the authentic way that he has remained true to himself and his own, personal style really shines through both. In today's episode, Jared talks to us about his solid interior design business and he explains how he has built a reputation and gained recognition as a talented designer within the interior design industry, even though his firm is still under three years old. Tune in now, to find out more!

Jared opened his firm after ten years of experience working for others in residential design and event and floral design. The experience that he gained from doing this has allowed him to hit the ground running and as a result, he's been producing projects that are timeless, classic, and with an unexpected twist. Listen in to find out what Jared has to share today. You're really going to enjoy this episode!

Show Highlights:

  • Jared talks about his confidence in presenting his work in his own, unique way in his Instagram and on his website.
  • There are some key elements that are evident in all of Jared's designs.
  • Jared explains why hints of his personal life appear regularly in his Instagram feed.
  • Jared's biggest client is from Switzerland.
  • What people are looking for in Atlanta, in terms of interior design.
  • Jared talks about his incredible number of accomplishments over the last two years.
  • Networking has really been key to Jared's success.
  • As a new designer, it's really important to present yourself in a humble and respectful manner when getting to know more experienced designers.
  • Jared advises you, as baby designers, to take the advice of more seasoned designers and let them help you.
  • We never stop learning, so Jared likes to test out processes that have worked for other people.
  • Jared is extroverted and better around other people, however, he has no problem with being alone.
  • Jared gives some unique and useful advice to help introverted designers with networking.
  • Jared explains where he gained the grounding for his specific design aesthetic.

Bio:

Jared Hughes is a globally inspired Atlanta designer with deep roots in the South. His penchant for antiques and architecture are at the heart of his work, and his fascination with fabrics is the starting point for nearly all of his design projects. He gleans inspiration from his obsession with color to rethink the past and create livable,  layered spaces. With 10 years of experience in residential, event and floral design, Hughes’ breadth of experience allows him to produce projects that feel timeless and classic with an unexpected twist.

Links and Resources:

Website: Jared Hughes Design

Instagram: Jared Hughes Design

Will you be joining LuAnn in Las Vegas for her one-day Power Talk Friday Tour? LuAnn is repeating her Power Talk Friday Tour this year in Las Vegas. It is a one-day coaching event and it will be held on Saturday, July 27th, and it will run from 8.00am to 11.00pm. It will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, discussions with LuAnn's PTF experts, and four hours of round table discussions, in groups of three or less, with each expert individually. Go to Power Talk Friday to reserve your seat.

This event is sponsored by Revel Woods and MyDoma Studio.

To get onto LuAnn's email list to get the info, text the word DESIGNBIZ to the number 444999.

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