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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: 2019
Aug 23, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We have a very special show for you, sponsored by Savour Partnership, which is owned by principals Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson. Leslie and Sam both appeared previously in episode #209 when they first launched their company and they spoke to us about the importance of email marketing. Today, Leslie joins us. She is a visionary who has had a significant impact on our industry and she really knows how to help designers pivot and then come out of the change far stronger than ever before. Currently, Leslie and Sam have a new mission- to create awareness around the changes that are happening within the design industry and to help designers thrive in this new environment. Whether you are an interior designer, a retailer, or a brand, Leslie and Sam have the answers to successfully navigating the changes that are coming. Tune in today, to find out what Leslie has to share.

Leslie's strengths are in strategic planning, online copyrighting, social media campaign execution, content marketing, and advertising.  Sam's strengths lie in graphic design, video production, and e-commerce photography. Listen in today, to find out about this dynamic partnership, which is fully committed to helping you understand that you need to build and design wealth right into your interior design business.

Show Highlights:

  • Taking e-commerce matters into your own hands by designing wealth into your website.
  • There are ways to continue making money selling products one-on-one to clients.
  • Leslie invites you to join her Design Wealth Facebook group. Design Wealth
  • Leslie explains how to design wealth into your website.
  • Leslie talks about how you can thrive with the changes.
  • Building your business from the foundation.
  • Why you need to have digital products available on your website.
  • Creating your own online magazine is a great way to make money.
  • Leslie talks about her business partner, Sam, who is a master graphic designer.
  • The products that Leslie and Sam provide for their clients.
  • To see the fabulous mini-magazine that Leslie and Sam created for Window Works, go to Window Works.
  • Leslie explains how her Email Opt-in Mini Magazine will help you make money.
  • Making a little extra with affiliate marketing.
  • About Leslie's special offer for her very comprehensive online course called Design Wealth- How To Design And Market Your Own Online Courses For 24/7 Passive Income.

Info on Savour:

Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson, Savour Partnership's principals, came together to form their business collaboration based on their complementary strengths: Sam's in graphic design, video production and e-commerce photography and Leslie's in strategic planning, online copywriting, and social media campaign execution, content marketing, and advertising.

They are convinced that beautiful design in online visual communications is a key competitive advantage and helps businesses build a valuable business asset with long term financial value.

Savour Partnership produces magazine quality, custom-designed, downloadable e-publications, each of which can include ( but doesn't have to include) affiliate marketing links to help businesses generate revenue 24/7.

Our publications help our clients: 1. Elevate the visual experience of their brand, online, to help them gain a competitive advantage. 2. Build their email lists. 3. Build a sellable business asset. As income is generated 24/7  via our beautifully presented affiliate product links, a recurring revenue stream is created. As this revenue stream increases over time, it leads to a financially valuable, sellable business asset. 

Our service packages include options for:

Affiliate marketing set up and training.

Uniquely branded 3-5 page magazines, (scroll to Package 2 and click to see our brochure) to use as free email opt-ins to help build your company's email list.

Completely custom branded downloadable catalogs, e-books, online magazines, look books, portfolios, of any size. These can include video, custom animations, etc. ( see an example of a custom magazine Sam designed,  here. )

 Custom e-newsletters.

 Custom media kits.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Megan Molten #455

Brea Hammil

Carla Aston #242

Leslie Price #413

Links:

Website: Savour Partnership

Instagram: Savour Partnership

Facebook: Savour Partnership

Groups: Design Wealth

Price Style and Design

Leslie's email - leslie@savourpartnership.com

Leslie's very comprehensive online course, called Design Wealth- How To Design And Market Your Own Online Courses For 24/7 Passive Income, is available to you for only $297 if you go to Design Wealth and use the code LUANN. (The normal price is $497)

Aug 20, 2019

Welcome! Today, Dane Austin, of Dane Austin Design, joins us on the show. Dane founded his award-winning, full-service interior design firm, which specializes in luxury residential interiors throughout New England and North America, in 2009.

Dane has a signature design process, which he calls the Dane Austin Design. He created this highly-organized process because he truly understands the value in building profit centers around creating packages. This customer-driven plan delivers custom solutions for full-service, turnkey projects and Dane uses the packages feature from Mydoma Studio to explain, quantify, and smoothly sell his services to his clients. Listen in, to hear what Dane has to share on the show today.

Dane is the artist, interior design his medium, and the client his muse. Today, we have a conversation with him about finding yourself, both as an individual and as a business person. He talks to us about how he found his Fred Berns 'only', about the significance of the ladybugs on his website, and about finding your voice within your career journey. Dane is a delightful, warm, and generous person, so tune in today, and enjoy this opportunity to get to know him!

Show Highlights:

  • It takes time to figure out who you really are.
  • It's important to dress the part.
  • Your attitude is the most crucial thing.
  • A lot goes into making your way to the top in the design industry.
  • The human connection matters the most in the end.
  • Helping each other be better and grow.
  • Dane discusses his approach to his work.
  • Bold and daring use of color really works for Dane.
  • Identifying a thread through all his projects.
  • Marketing yourself in a way that will attract the people you'd really like to be working with.
  • Investing in really good images is very important.
  • Finding the right element to create the wow factor.
  • Delivering beyond the level of the client's imagination.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer - Curio Electro #125 and #317

Nate Berkus - #433 

Links:

Dane Austin Design

Email: Dane Austin Design

Facebook: Dane Austin Design

Instagram: A Colorfull Life

Twitter: Dane Austin Design

Ask me anything” coaching Strategy Session

Aug 16, 2019

Welcome to the second episode of Window Treatment Friday! Starting this new series has rekindled a lot of excitement for LuAnn around window treatments! And she and Vita are both very excited to share with you that on the 24th of September, at the Design Trade Resources in Devon, Pennsylvania, they will be presenting a Continuing Education Unit, sponsored by Stout, on demystifying window treatments for interior designers. In today's episode, this dynamic duo will be discussing the pros and cons of using custom, versus ready-made window treatments. This show will set the scene for all the following episodes of WTF, so 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 with you.

Show Highlights:

  • Vita explains the main differences are between custom and ready-made window treatments.
  • Custom is not necessarily the only way to go because different situations call for different things.
  • When you would use ready-made, rather than custom window treatments.
  • The way that Vita supports the designers she works with.
  • When you would need to use custom window treatments.
  • When the budget allows for it, custom will always be the better choice.
  • Leading the conversation with your client to where you want it to go.
  • Why most interior designers would prefer to do only custom window treatments.
  • Some important things designers need to be aware of when they're faced with a situation where they have to use ready-made window treatments.
  • Ready-made drapes often take a lot of work to make them look like the picture on the package.
  • Some ways to improve ready-made drapery.

Links:

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc: Vitalia Inc  

To learn more about working with Window Works: Window Works  

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

To attend our upcoming event in PA, De-Mystifying Window Treatments go to: events@designertraderesources.com

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia_inc

LuAnn's website: Luann Nigara

LuAnn's email: info@luannnigara.com

The information about the upcoming CEU on the 24th of September, at the Design Trade Resources in Devon, Pennsylvania, will be on Luann's website, under 'Events and Coaching'.

Aug 13, 2019

Welcome! Today we are really excited to have Megan Molten on the show with us. Megan reached out to LuAnn in an email a while ago, telling her that she learned everything she knows about the business of interior design from this show, and it's changed her life. She went on to explain that after twelve years of being in health-care sales and having listened to the podcast every day for the last year, she finally quit her day job to become an interior designer. Listen in today, to hear Megan's story.

Before quitting her job, Megan managed to have an incredible 29 interior design clients on the side, over six months, while still working full-time, for fifty hours a week! Now, a year later, she has a full-time business manager, a full-time designer, she has leased warehouse space, she has a studio space, she has an e-commerce business, and she has 19 000 followers on Instagram! In her first year, Megan brought in $600 000 in revenue, and she also planned her wedding and got married last May! She has been featured on eighteen different sites, from Serena and Lily to Apartment Therapy and Bungalow. Megan has achieved all of this because she truly understands that to make her dreams a reality, she has to actually do the things that she learned from the different guests on this show. In today's episode, she talks to us about the things she learned and how she's applied them. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Megan talks to us about the moment that she finally decided to quit her day job.
  • It all began with social media, with Instagram in particular, for Megan.
  • One of the first things that Megan did was to hire a photographer.
  • Starting afresh, both professionally and personally.
  • Having the support of her entrepreneurial parents really helped Megan a lot.
  • Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.
  • Making her first hire was one of the best decisions Megan has ever made.
  • E-commerce makes so much sense but it really takes a lot of work.
  • Using the services of a purchasing agent.
  • Having conversations and making connections.
  • The importance of finding the blind spots in your processes.

Bio:

Megan's love for all things interiors has been around for as long as she can remember and soon became a reality after she purchased her first home in Charleston, South Carolina and started the design process herself. She began sharing with the world all of her favorite finds and amazing transformations on social media and the world responded! It was this incredible response to Megan's designs that encouraged her to start helping friends, then friends of friends and eventually clients transform their spaces too. This exciting new "hobby" she devoted every hour to while not working her very full-time job in medical sales quickly turned into a business. She quit her 12-year career in corporate America to chase a dream-a dream that was her true passion in life-helping others achieve beautiful spaces they love.  Her passion for light and airy design, go-getter attitude and attention to detail has quickly created a strong following and brand for #designsbymeganmolten and she can't wait to continue to watch her big dream grow!

Links:

Megan's email: megan@meganmolten.com

Website: Megan Molten

Shop: Megan Molten Shop

Instagram: Megan Molten

Facebook: Megan Molten

Pinterest: Megan Molten

Houzz:  Designs By Megan Molten

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236

Cheryl Luckett - Dwell by Cheryl #291 and #397

Aug 9, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Jamie Lieberman is with us today. Jamie is an attorney, a podcaster, and an entrepreneur. She is also the owner and founder of Hashtag Legal, and she's dedicated to making the legal field accessible to creative professionals just like you. Jamie is down-to-earth, easy to get along with, and she is passionate about sharing the message that legal doesn't have to be scary. Listen in today, to find out how and why she does this.

Jamie draws on her experience working with influencer marketing professionals, creatives, business owners, and interior designers, to help and protect them as they grow their businesses. She leads an all-female virtual team with a focus on providing clients with advice on all kinds of subjects, like intellectual property, contracts, privacy, FTC, and general business law, as well as negotiation strategies. Jamie is the co-host of the Fear Less Business Podcast and she's an outstanding speaker with tons of energy! There are so many insights to be gained from today's conversation. Tune in now, to find out how to gracefully dismantle a business partnership, keep your eyes wide open, and make sure that your contracts and agreements are all clear.

Show Highlights:

  • Daniele Liss (#171) used to be Jamie's partner in Hashtag Legal.
  • Jamie really gets the intricacies of running a creative business.
  • Jamie makes it very easy for people to access her talents.
  • Managing the challenging nuances of running an interior design business.
  • Everything changes when money comes into play.
  • Negotiating towards a common goal, which is building a successful business.
  • Partnership agreements can be changed.
  • Covering vendor liability could put designers at risk.
  • A contract is actually a gift, it's not a bad thing.
  • It's perfectly acceptable to negotiate a contract before signing it.
  • You have to learn from the things that come up.
  • It's all about clear communication.
  • Jamie is learning from her clients all the time. She likes it when her clients challenge her.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Daniele Liss #171

Amanda Berlin #420

Jenny Maddon #332

Peter Lang- The Designer CPA #349

Tori Alexander #445

Links:

Jamie's website: Hashtag Legal

Jamie's email: jamie@hashtag-legal.com

Jamie on Instagram: Hashtag-legal

Jamie on Facebook

Jamie on Linked-In

Aug 6, 2019

Welcome to the show! Today, Carolyn Flannery, the principal of Carolyn Rebuffel Designs joins us on the show. Apart from designing interiors, Carolyn also heads up Workroom C, a textile company which offers pillows, drapery, bespoke soft goods, and fabric by the yard. Carolyn built her design business in a rather unusual way and she has a really organized approach to running it. In today's episode, she shares with us how she intentionally focuses on families with children, who understand the value of having family-friendly spaces with durable, multi-functional furnishings which are also beautiful. Listen in today, to hear about Carolyn, her business, and how she markets specifically to her ideal clients, using one strategy that has been keeping her pipeline full for more than 10 years.

With over a decade of hospitality experience under her belt, Principal Designer Carolyn Rebuffel Flannery brings a thoughtful approach to each project she completes. At her namesake design firm, established in 2006, Carolyn believes that your home should be a retreat that provides you with a sense of ease and calm. After building a career as an antique store owner, buyer, and merchandiser, Carolyn transitioned to interior design, crafting practical yet beautiful interiors that reflect her clients' unique lifestyles.

As a mother of four, Carolyn understands the value of creating family-friendly spaces with durable, multi-functional furnishings. Her work highlights unconventional lighting, savvy design solutions, and a healthy mix of high and low pieces. In addition to designing artful interiors, Carolyn helms WorkRoom C, a textile company that offers fabric by the yard, pillows, drapery, and bespoke soft goods. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a MPS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. Tune in now to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • How Carolyn started with her unusual business strategy.
  • Carolyn explains her free, and her paid consultation processes.
  • Carolyn has grown her business so that she's in a position to direct it in any way that she chooses.
  • It's not always the swankiest private schools that make the best clients for Carolyn.
  • Some clients tend to experience some fear when using the services of an interior designer for the first time.
  • Being really clear when explaining your processes and pricing to new clients.
  • Staying on track with the amount of time that's been allocated for a consultation.
  • You don't have to have children to be able to tap into the schools' PTA donation market.
  • It may take some time to tap into Carolyn's kind of market.
  • Carolyn talks about how she started with the fabrics that she's designing.
  • The complicated reality of providing exactly what clients want.
  • What Carolyn learned from Amy Flurry about PR.
  • You have to have an intention behind everything that you do in your business.

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Andrew Joseph # 39

 Krista Coupar #24 #45 #60 #81 #150

Links:

Carolyn Rebuffel Designs: Workroom C

WorkRoom C

Aug 2, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is a special episode, sponsored by American OEM,  one of our nation's leading hardwood flooring manufacturers.

We're really fortunate to have Allie Finkell, the executive vice president of American OEM, with us on the show. This past spring, Allie and American OEM asked Revel Woods to invite several designers for a tour of their factory in Nashville. LuAnn and Vin were lucky enough to be included. This remarkable Tennessee-based factory is called the Prison Industry Enterprise because it operates within a penitentiary. In today's episode, Allie talks about their unique prison-based business model, she gives us a breakdown of the difference between hardwood floors made in the US and those made in China, and she discusses the relationship that American OEM has with Revel Woods, and why and how that had brought Allie and LuAnn together. Listen in today, to find out what Allie has to share about this unusual enterprise.

Allie is known as royalty in the wood flooring industry because she is the great-granddaughter of L. W. Anderson, who was the founder of Anderson Hardwood Floors, and she has spent her life immersed in the hardwood flooring industry. Following early career sales and marketing experience in New York City, Allie eventually joined the family business, taking on a sales position covering the Northeastern US. During that time, Anderson was acquired by Shaw Industries, and Allie helped lead the introduction of hardwood, laminate, ceramic and vinyl into Shaw’s commercial product offering. In 2013, Allie took on the role of Director of Marketing for Mohawk Industries, building another commercial hard surface program from the ground up.

Allie followed her family roots back to hardwood in 2014 when she joined American OEM as executive vice president, helping grow the Anderson-Finkell legacy of beautiful, enduring American-made flooring for the next generation.

A graduate of Furman University, Allie holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Allie talks about the remarkable prison industry enterprise.
  • How hardwood floors are made within a prison environment.
  • The benefits of this unique business model to all concerned.
  • How the landscape of the hardwood flooring industry has changed over the last ten to fifteen years.
  • The way that the Chinese have begun to erode the hardwood flooring industry.
  • The difference between the quality of the Chinese and the American product.
  • Allie discusses the quality of the product that her company produces.
  • The difference between hardwood and LVT flooring.
  • Some things that designers could ask builders about hardwood flooring.
  • Character does not have to mean rustic.
  • Designers can purchase American OEM flooring via Revel Woods.
  • Allie explains what makes Revel Woods so special.
  • Hearth Wood is Allie's family flagship brand. It's her family's way to leverage their history and continue their legacy in the industry.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

John Dupra of Revel Woods #329

Links:

Revel Woods

American OEM

Hearth Wood Floors

Instagram - Revel Woods

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.

Jun 28, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to have Kimberly Merlitti, one of our favorite Power Talk Experts, back on the show today. Many people are really in the dark about how much money is actually going in and out of their businesses. Kimberly, who first appeared in episode #361, loves teaching people to understand accounting in a way that makes them an active partner in their finances. Talking in really simple language, she helps people figure out the really important financial side of their businesses. In today's episode, you will learn about the billable hours, rates between the principal designer and junior designers, how to know your cash on hand, how to know your 'cost to be open' number, how to budget to hire a junior designer, and how to prepare for a recession. Listen in, to find out how to get to know your numbers.

Kimberly Merlitti owns KMM Consulting based out of Washington, D.C. She 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 Washington D.C. Kimberly'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. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Kimberly shares a really simple calculation for you to get to know how much of the money in your business account is actually yours.
  • Using the best software to calculate your vendor liability.
  • Keeping an eye on your cash flow.
  • How to know your cash on hand.
  • It only takes five minutes a month to know your cash on hand.
  • Budgeting to hire a junior designer.
  • Working out your time-billing rates and budgets.
  • Being upfront and straightforward with your clients.
  • Telling your clients what to expect with every stage of the design process.
  • Things to consider when working out your 'cost to be open' number.
  • How to prepare for a recession.
  • Building cash reserves for difficult times.

Other episodes mentioned in today's show:

Alinda Morris: #429

Michele Williams #180 and #395

Peter Lang #349

Links:

A Well Designed Business

Kimberly's website: KMM Consulting

Kimberly's email: kimberly@kmmsf.com

Need to schedule time with KMM? KMM Consulting

Jun 25, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're excited to be interviewing Laura and Cliff Muller today. Laura and Cliff are the husband and wife team behind Four Point Design Build, an award-winning full-service multi-disciplinary residential and commercial high-level interior and architectural design, project management, and construction firm, based in Los Angeles. The landscape of interior design is changing, so design-build has become an incredible opportunity for interior designers to have control over their projects and to enjoy the fruits of a multi-dimensional process. In today's episode, Cliff and Laura share some of their winning design-build processes, and Laura gives some great advice about mentorship and collaborating with build professionals. Tune in now, to find out more.

Four Point Design Build is owned and led by interior designer and general contractor, Laura and Cliff Muller, and with over sixty years of combined experience, FOUR POINT’s boutique hands-on style of design and project management from concept to turnkey, specializes in highly customized client-centered projects with an experienced and immaculate focus on whole home remodels, kitchens, baths, and office spaces. Cliff and Laura’s work has been seen Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Metropolis, Hospitality Design, and CA Home & Design to name a few. Listen in today, to find out about what it takes to run a successful design-build business.

Show Highlights:

  • There's a fine line between professionalism and personal expression in the world of business today.
  • Why Laura and Cliff make such an excellent husband and wife team.
  • Celebrating all the different people involved in a project at the end.
  • How they developed the name of their business.
  • Cliff and Laura's four-step business-process.
  • Understanding what goes into a design-build project.
  • The best way for a new designer to start out in the design-build world.
  • Laura suggests that new designers find a design-build mentor to oversee their first small design-build project.
  • The best way for a young designer to approach someone they would like to become their mentor.
  • Laura explains how to make the right kind of connections.
  • What has to happen at the beginning of a successful design-build project.
  • The investigation and analysis that is necessary before the start of a design-build project.
  • Knowing your self-worth and value, and the essence of the truth of your business is really empowering.
  • Some websites that provide good information for designers and consumers to understand what to expect from a design-build project.
  • Laura discusses the really well-received presentation that they did at the Las Vegas market, around the changing landscape of interior design.

Short Company Bio:

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC

LAURA MULLER – CEO, OWNER + PRINCIPAL

CLIFF MULLER – SENIOR CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANT

June 20, 2019

For Immediate Release

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC is an award-winning full service multi-disciplinary residential and commercial high-level interior and architectural design, project management, and construction firm based in Los Angeles, serving clients nationwide. Owned and led by Interior Designer and General Contractor, Laura and Cliff Muller, and with over sixty years of combined experience, FOUR POINT’s boutique hands-on style of design and project management from concept to turnkey specializes in highly customized client-centered projects with an experienced and immaculate focus on whole home remodels, kitchens, baths, and office spaces. From high-rise and mixed-use design-build to executive offices and luxury custom homes, Cliff and Laura guide and oversee every detail and project process with systems and teams in place that allow their Clients to relax and enjoy the blessings of designing and building a custom luxury #CleanFreshModernTM space. [137]

Cliff and Laura’s work has been seen Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Metropolis, Hospitality Design, and CA Home & Design to name a few. Laura is the former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID/2016) and has the distinct honor of being selected to the prestigious 2018 DXV Design Panel and the elite 2019 Designer Council for Monogram Appliances. Cliff has collaborated on award-winning and highly celebrated projects with such renown architects as Patrick Tighe and Morphosis. [90]

Link to HIGH RES IMAGES: A WELL DESIGNED BUSINESS_PODCAST ASSETS

SERVICES INCLUDE

> Full Service Interior Design

> Architecture and Detailing

> Custom Furniture Design and Fabrication

> Construction Documents and Permit Acquisition

> Full Service Project and Construction Management and Administration

PROJECT TYPES

> Residential

> Commercial

> Tenant Improvement

> Retail

> Restaurant

> Multi-Family and Mixed Use

TO LEARN MORE about us, our team, and our work, visit Four Point Design Build and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter #The4ptReport

for tips and trends, means and methods, things we love, inspiration, resources and tools, and more. FOLLOW US @4ptDesignBuild on

Instagram Facebook Pinterest and Twitter.

C O N T A C T U S

Project Inquiries - Info@4ptdb.com

Media and Speaking Inquiries - Andrew@andrewjosephpr

S T U D I O

22048 Sherman Way, Suite 205 Canoga Park, CA 91303 | T 818.914.8826

LIC. B #982460

 

Links:

Website: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Instagram: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Twitter: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Facebook: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Pinterest: 4 Point Design Build Inc

The Design-Build Institute of America: DBIA

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.

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

Jun 21, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is sponsored by our guest, Tobi Fairley, who previously appeared in episode #419. Tobi has been one of our industry leaders for many years, mentoring interior designers and helping them become better business persons. She is an accomplished luxury interior designer with her business based in Arkansas. She's a fabric designer, a business coach, a life coach, and she has her own podcast called Design You. Tobi has also created a unique and really effective coaching course called Tobi Fairley's DesignYou Coaching Program and in today's episode, she explains how her coaching program differs from all the rest. Tobi loves nothing more than helping people really thrive and love their business so listen in today, to learn from Tobi how to cast a wider net and start making money while you sleep.

Tobi Fairley is known for her bold use of color in interior design, but she’s also one of the nation’s most progressive-thinking entrepreneurs. She is passionate about her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm which are focused on helping clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives, with a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEOs, and creatives. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Tobi explains what's different about her coaching.
  • Getting out of your own head and out of your own way.
  • Unlocking your old mindsets.
  • Why the course is a yearly program.
  • Tobi explains what the coaching course covers.
  • Finances can be scary for creatives.
  • The kind of real-time support that you will get from Tobi.
  • The benefits of abundant thinking.
  • The three different courses that Tobi will be re-doing, live, that are also included in her yearly course.
  • Tobi is very straightforward with her coaching clients.
  • Tobi explains why it's in her best interest to pour all her support into you.
  • Why you need to be doing business differently now to how you did it in the past.
  • Digital marketing for interior designers.
  • Understanding the value ladder in a digital marketing system.
  • Opening your mind to working differently.
  • Creating a system from your design process.
  • Becoming niche-specific.
  • Meeting your clients right where they are.
  • How coaching, content, and community can help you reach your goals.

Bio:

Traditional Home predicts “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah, one of those women for whom one name says it all.”

Tobi Fairley is known for her bold use of color in interior design, but she’s also one of the nation’s most progressive-thinking entrepreneurs. Tobi is passionate about her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm which are focused on helping clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives, with a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEOs, and creatives.

Tobi established her firm more than 19 years ago and her projects have spanned the nation and beyond. Her award-winning interior design, product design and ideas have been featured on television and in publications worldwide including House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Huffington Post, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Southern Cottages, Creative Live, the Chicago Tribune, and MSNBC. In 2017, Tobi was a columnist for Traditional Home magazine with a feature in each issue chronicling her own home renovation and reveal.

Tobi’s design goal is to create interiors that will assist her clients in reaching their big, personal, and entrepreneurial dreams, while supporting their health and wellness. She designs functional homes and beautiful environments that will foster personal growth, balance, and connection for all who use them.

Tobi was at the forefront of the design blog movement when she launched her blog over 10 years ago, and it’s currently read in more than 125 countries worldwide. She has been a trusted coach for over 10 years for interior designers and creatives through her live events, design and business courses, and online programs.

Among Tobi’s latest ventures is Design You, a monthly coaching program, where interior designers and creatives can get all of Tobi’s best course content, along with live coaching from Tobi in the areas of business, health and wellness, and mindset for a monthly or yearly subscription. In April 2018 Tobi launched her new podcast, The Design You Podcast, where she helps Interior Designers and Creatives say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. In her podcast episodes, Tobi shares best business practices, her personal journey as a working mom and her beliefs about personal development for creating your best life, business, and home.

For the last 3 years, Tobi has had great success in product design with her licensed collections from Soicher Marin (art), Duralee (fabrics), CR Laine (upholstered furniture), Woodbridge Furniture (case goods and outdoor furniture), New River Artisans (rugs), and recently signed a license with C2 Paint which will debut late 2018.

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Tobi's first appearance on the show was in episode #419

Links and resources:

Tobi's details:

Tobi Fairley, ASID

17200 Chenal Parkway Suite 300 #330

Little Rock, AR 72223

tobifairley.com

info@tobifairley.com

501-868-9882

Tobi's website: Tobi Fairley

Tobi's podcast, Design You

Mighty Networks

 

Tobi’s Freebie for LuAnn’s Audience:

The Digital Marketing Primer e-Course--this 12-part email course teaches you the basics of what a digital marketing strategy is and why you MUST have one in your business.  Get it at Digital Primer

Tobi Fairley’s DesignYou Coaching Program:

DesignYou is a monthly coaching program for Interior Designers and Creative Entrepreneurs that costs $279 per month or $2799 per year.

Features:

  • 2 live monthly coaching calls with Tobi (2 hours each)
  • Tobi’s Book Club bi-monthly book selections and group calls for discussion
  • Access to Tobi’s 3 signature courses included in your membership. These courses (listed below) have transformed thousands of creatives and the way they run their businesses.
  • Designer MBA Course
  • Digital Marketing For Creatives Course
  • Financials for Creatives Course (Tobi is teaching this live July 16-17)
  • You also get a very active peer community in DesignYou built on the Mighty Networks platform. Thanks to the features of Mighty Networks, DesignYou is organized by topics and is easily searchable.
  • There are groups on specific topics in DesignYou including:
  • Interior Design Group
  • Tobi’s Book Club
  • 3 Accountability Groups for the Digital Marketing for Creatives Course depending on your level of implementation.
  • Digital Marketing Assets Group where you can post your digital marketing deliverables for review by Tobi and Team Tobi.

If you buy at the Insiders Level of DesignYou (pay for a full year when joining), you also get:

  • A live call with one of Tobi’s top team members or experts with a Q and A--these are on topics like marketing, podcasting, writing email campaigns, creating a course or program, website design and more.
  • A monthly flash mastermind where you and your peers do a live collaborative mastermind session on a specific topic lead by Team Tobi.
  • A behind the scenes look at what Tobi is working on in her business and what programs courses she is currently creating.

Benefits:

In DesignYou we teach Designers and Creatives how to:

  • Transform your mindset to bring about real change in your business and personal life and understand what’s holding you back/keeping you stuck so you can find a solution.
  • Transform your business model to be profitable, scalable and future ready.
  • Implement consulting-only offerings like Strategy Sessions into your service offerings to start making more money for your time and intellectual property TODAY!
  • Transform your schedule from flying by the seat of your pants to organized structure. This means finally accomplishing goals but on the timeline you create.
  • End the feast or famine nature of business by teaching members how to create a digital marketing strategy.
  • Have more health, wealth, and joy while running your creative business.
  • Identify burnout and all of the action steps to overcome it or prevent it.
  • Build systems and processes to get your business running smoothly and consistently with less stress - and then we dive into how to automate these systems to create more time in your day.  
  • Target your Ideal Client and Niche so that you are working with the group of people that light you up every day and who are most willing to pay you your worth. We also teach you how to develop a following or tribe of these like-minded clients.
  • Learn to delegate and run a team of in-person, contract, and virtual employees so that you spend 80% of your time in your Zone of Genius.
Jun 18, 2019

Welcome! Today, Beth Smith, the owner and principal designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, based in New Jersey, joins me on the show. For Beth, the interior design came years after pursuing her degrees in business and accounting to fulfill her love of processes and business strategy. In today's episode, Beth talks to us about budgets, managing situations, and expectations, and also about sexual harassment and she explains to us why she now has a clause in her contract to cover it. They also discuss the power and benefits, to both your business and your self-development, of attending industry events. Tune in now, for more!

After completing her M.B.A., Beth spent more than ten years in corporate finance, with companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom, honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, and budgeting, and sharpening her attention to detail. Beth's work and her design advice have been featured on television and also in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV, Vogue, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and the New York Times. Listen in today, to hear Beth's story.

Show Highlights:

  • Leaning into your skills and expressing them to your potential clients.
  • The skills that Beth moved over from her corporate life to her design business.
  • Working strategically around budget issues with clients.
  • Keeping the client's expectations realistic.
  • What 'don't save your client's money' really means.
  • Dealing with clients who have unreasonably low budgets.
  • Listening to your gut and having your client trust that you know what is best for them.
  • Coping with situations where a client does not go along with your advice.
  • Beth takes her contracts very seriously. After signing, she sends the client a letter highlighting the important points.
  • What Beth outlines in her welcome letter.
  • Being responsive while still sticking to business hours.
  • Beth explains why she does not feel the need to present her contract to her clients in person.
  • How Beth protects herself and the team she works with.
  • Dealing with sexual harassment.
  • Beth talks about the great press that she has had in her design career.
  • Beth shares some suggestions for running a design firm in a way to prepare yourself to get lucky and be noticed by Open House NYC.
  • Most of Beth's press has come from relationships and networking.
  • Networking from a place of giving.
  • About Kavet's past Blogfests and how they have really helped Beth to grow her business.

Bio: Beth Diana Smith is the Owner and Principal Designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, a New Jersey-based interior design company. Beth, her work, and her design advice have been featured on television and in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV, Vogue.com, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and The New York Times. But know that interior design came years after pursuing degrees in business and accounting to satiate her love of processes and business strategy. After completing her M.B.A., she spent more than a decade in corporate finance in companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, budgeting, and keen attention to detail. 

Links and resources:

Beth's Website: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Instagram: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Facebook: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Pinterest: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's LinkedIn: Beth Diana Smith

Luann Nigara

Luann Nigara Book2

Well Designed Article

Window Fashion Vision

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Nate Berkus #433

Erika Ward #6 and #278

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.

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

Jun 14, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, Sarah Santacroce, an internationally recognized LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor, joins us on the show. Sarah helps convert your presence online into paying customers, and she is also the creative brain behind the LinkedIn Challenge, an event that has already helped more than 1900 people to improve their knowledge about using LinkedIn for business. Tune in now, to find out more.

Sarah, who lives in Switzerland, is known for her simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency mixed with a dose of Californian 'yes we can' attitude. She uses her ability to focus to help you to come up with a strategy to achieve your goals. And with her experience, her skill, her empathy, and her passion, she encourages you and helps you grow your business. She has assisted hundreds of clients from all over the world by generating leads for them via LinkedIn and social serving strategies. In today's episode, Sarah will open your eyes to the untapped potential of Linkedin. Listen in, to learn from Sarah how to breathe life into your LinkedIn profile.

Show highlights:

  • Why LinkedIn is actually a great platform for introverts.
  • How LinkedIn has changed since the millennials started showing up and changing things about two years ago.
  • Sarah suggests some strategies for successfully using LinkedIn as a platform.
  • How a great LinkedIn profile can really benefit introverts.
  • Where the power of LinkedIn really lies.
  • On LinkedIn, everything is organized by job titles so you need to figure out who you're going to be working with.
  • Adding more experiences to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Creating a special landing page and linking it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • The biggest mistake Sarah's seen people make.
  • Sarah explains where to start.
  • Your past experience counts for a lot.
  • Building relationships and networking effectively through social serving.
  • LinkedIn is about creating a human connection.
  • Posting visual content to demonstrate that you're an expert in your field.
  • LinkedIn's mission is to be the number one platform for professional content.
  • The amount of time it takes to create a meaningful presence on LinkedIn.
  • Sarah talks about her podcast, Introvert Biz Growth Podcast.

Extract from Sarah's website:

My clients like to work with me because I’m structured, focused, result oriented, ‘the real thing’. 

I’m known for my simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency, mixed with a good dose of Californian ‘yes we can’ attitude! (we lived in California from 2006 - 2010)

And she goes on to say:

There are a few things I’m good at:

  • My ability to focus on the essentials & come up with the strategy for you to achieve your goals
  • My experience(based on many failures) of getting clients online & what it takes to grow your business
  • My skill to quickly put myself into your client’s shoes & create an offer that he/she can’t resist
  • My empathy, passion& encouragement to use your uniqueness to grow your business

Oh, and I'm an Introvert.

Links and resources:

Sarah's website: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's podcast

Sarah's LinkedIn: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's facebook: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's lead magnet: Sarah's Templates

LuAnn's Webinar:

Join me on Tuesday, June 25th at 1:00 pm est for an exclusive Mydoma Studio webinar on Sales Strategies for Interior Designers!

The roles will be reversed and I will be in the hot seat talking about the strategies I have learned.

Come prepared with your questions!  You can ask me questions about your business, about tricky conversations with clients, about how to sell more to the same people, about anything you want really.

You know me, I just love hanging out with you!

Webinar: My Doma Studio

Jun 11, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! It's time to start thinking about the High Point Market again. If you're wondering why you need to be thinking about it now, you may be surprised to find out that the hotels are already filling up. Also, now is the right time to start mapping out your trip and go to the website at High Point Market to see who the brands are, make your appointments, and get onto the email list so you can be notified of the new product launches, the panels, and the keynote series in the theater, because you really won't want to miss a thing! Listen in today, to find out more.

On the show today, we have Ashley Grigg, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the High Point Market Authority, Lisa Mende, the founder and principal of Lisa Mende Design, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jeanne Chung, a luxury interior designer and retailer based in Southern California. These three ladies will explain why you need to attend the High Point Market and they will give some great tips for making the most of the experience. They will also discuss the logistics of going to High Point, explain how to make your trip really productive, and share some really useful information about the various tours that are available. You really have to know what to do before you get to High Point, so tune in now, to get all the details.

Show Highlights:

  • Why it's really important for interior designers to invest the time and money in going to High Point Market.
  • How half the business is conducted after the market is over.
  • The brand cocktail parties are awesome opportunities to meet and connect with important people.
  • The way that High Point has really impacted on Jeanne's business.
  • Making great connections at High Point Market.
  • How High Point Market stands out from all the rest.
  • Having the opportunity to talk to the showroom owners.
  • Ways for new designers to establish themselves with the various showrooms.
  • Some things to think about when pre-planning your trip to High Point Market.
  • Why it's a good idea to do a tour for your first trip to High Point.
  • High Point Market covers 11 500 000 square feet!
  • Jeanne talks about her Insider's Tour, which is geared towards designers seeking to offer customization and one-of-a-kind.
  • Ashley talks about all the other tours that are also available for buyers at High Point. The relevant information about all the tours is available on the High Point Market authority website. High Point Market
  • Some tips for making sure that you are able to connect with the right people at High Point.
  • There is an incredible Market Advisor Team available for you to call to answer any questions you may have prior to arriving at HP. They will also be available during the market.
  • Lisa's great tips and suggestions for getting ready for market.

Bios:

Ashley Grigg is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the High Point Market Authority. High Point Market is the largest home furnishings trade show in the world and Ashley manages many of their projects, including media relations, educational programming, social media, and digital promotions. Ashley has over 13 years of experience in marketing and event management

Lisa Mende is the founder and principal of Lisa Mende Design based in Charlotte, NC which opened in 1998. She has built a reputation as one of the South’s Leading Luxury Designers and her work has been featured in many well-known national shelter and lifestyle magazines. As a designer and tastemaker, Lisa works with Brands and has served as a #Authlux Design Guild Member for House of Rohl for 2018, The Thermador Design Council and the Design Council for DSV Luxury in 2016. Lisa is an Allied Member of ASID and NKBA. She also pens the popular blog “The Design Connector” where she is currently kicking off a new series which will chronicle the renovation of her own home sharing all her favorite kitchen and bath products and as well as the renovation process with her readers.

Jeanne Chung is a luxury interior designer and retailer based in Southern California. In addition to heading up her own interior design firm, Jeanne owns a retail and to the trade showroom in Pasadena, CA which has become a favorite go-to destination for both designers and design enthusiasts who seek a unique and artfully edited selection of new and vintage home furnishings and accessories.  Through her design blog Cozy Stylish Chic, Jeanne has become recognized as an influencer in the industry and frequently collaborates with brands and manufacturers. She is a regular speaker on trade show designer panels and has served as a High Point Market Style Spotter. Jeanne participated in the Pasadena Showcase House of Design in 2017 and in 2018, served on the Board of the ASID Pasadena Chapter.

About the High Point Market:

In October and April each year, the High Point Market attracts more than 75 000 retailers, interior designers, and service providers from more than 100 countries. There are nearly 2000 exhibitor showrooms across 180 buildings, covering twelve million square feet of space.

High Point Market was founded in 1909, in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It is the world's longest running home furnishings event and it is the driving force in the home furnishings industry. It is unrivaled in both its size and scope.

High Point Market features more Made in the USA furnishings than any other trade show, as well as a wide variety of imported goods, spanning every style, category, and price point.

Links and resources: 

High Point Market Digital Press Kit

Website: High Point Market

Ashley's email: ashley@highpointmarket.org

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Registration opens mid-July, 2019 for the fall market

Fall Market: October 19th-23rd, 2019

When you do go to High Point, please be sure to stop by Kravet’s showroom, located at Market Square, #217 on the 2nd floor.

This show was previously aired as #406.

Jun 7, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're turning things around a bit and sharing a replay of LuAnn being interviewed by Amber De La Garza, aka the Productivity Specialist, a while back, when LuAnn was a guest on Amber's show, Productivity Straight Talk. Listen in today, to hear their conversation.

In today's episode, LuAnn talks to Amber about the way that she's blended structure, systems, and processes into her business, Window Works, to help it grow to become a two-million dollar company. She talks about her success and her challenges, she shares ways to create structure in your business, and she also gives some questions to ask yourself before making any big decisions.

Tune in now to find out what LuAnn has to say about her business
which has been thriving in the interior design space since 1982.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn describes what her business and her support structure look like.
  • Luann discusses the roles that she, her husband, and their partner each
  • play in their business, and the synergistic way they work together.
  • How the Window Works team came together.
  • LuAnn describes her life before structure.
  • How structure equals freedom and success.
  • How LuAnn woke up to the value of structure.
  • Why you must embrace systems in order to scale.
  • LuAnn and Amber discuss the perils of disorganization.
  • How organization ties into productivity.
  • How time-blocking has really worked for LuAnn.
  • The administrative system that has had the biggest impact on LuAnn's business.

Links:

A Well-Designed Business Podcast
Window Works
Original Episode
Amber’s Website: Amber Delagarza
Amber's Facebook
Amber's Instagram
Email: Amber@TheProductivitySpecialist.com

Book mentioned:
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Jun 4, 2019

Welcome! Today, we have Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Artigas on the show with us. Juan Carlos is an accomplished architect and interior designer with extensive experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant, commercial, and residential design. He is currently the design director of the London Studio of the global interior architecture firm, Wilson Associates. Juan Carlos's position is multi-faceted, and in today's episode, he discusses his role and responsibilities, as the firm's design director, where he oversees the day-to-day operations and projects of the London studio. In addition to creating beautiful projects, he has been in charge of the hiring and building of a cohesive and talented team, which he has then had to lead and guide. Also, a large part of his job involves finding, meeting, and creating opportunities for new business for the firm, and he explains that this all starts with relationships and with connecting to people. Tune in now to find out more. 

Wilson Associates is a collection of 10 design firms around the world whose work encompasses interior architectural design, architecture, art consultancy, concept development, branding, and food and beverage design. Their portfolio includes some of the most prestigious hospitality projects in the world. Listen in today, to hear what Juan Carlos has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • Juan Carlos shares some of his experiences from the past year while building the London studio.
  • The pros and cons of first working for a small firm, and then jumping to a big firm.
  • Juan Carlos shares what he was looking for when hiring his team members.
  • Starting out with a small team and growing organically.
  • When building his team, he was looking for flexibility and team players. That's his secret to creating a small, winning team.
  • Running a small office has involved wearing a number of different hats.
  • Juan describes the difference between his last position and his current one, with Wilson Associates.
  • Creating a strong foundation with the team he built.
  • The kind of skill set that Juan Carlos required his team members to have.
  • Why Juan Carlos prefers working in hospitality, rather than in residential.
  • Having to take into account what the operations team is telling you when designing for hospitality.
  • Juan Carlos describes his superpower and the superpower of Wilson Associates.
  • The way that all the offices of Wilson Associates collaborate and support each other.
  • Even though Wilson Associates is a global team, each studio has its own identity.
  • How Juan Carlos, personally, cultivates a pipeline of hospitality projects.
  • The event that Juan Carlos would recommend for everyone to go to.
  • The biggest challenge that Juan Carlos has faced, that has also been a great lesson for him.
  • Some advice for keeping a pressured team happy and moving.

Bio:

Role & Responsibility:

Juan is an architect and interior designer with an extensive and

holistic international experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant,

commercial and residential design.

Combining strengths in architecture and interior design, Juan worked

eight years as an independent designer and creative consultant on

different high end commercial and residential projects in Spain and

abroad.

He was Designer Director at Rockwell Group Europe, managing a

variety of projects in Asia and the Middle East for some of the most

prestigious hospitality brands.

He currently leads the recently open Wilson associates London office.

In charge of this edition sleep & eat theater.

Juan Carlos says:

“People ignore design that

ignores people”

Education:

College Degree in

Architecture at Universidad

Anahuac Mexico City, Mexico

Interior design degree/

Instituto Europeo di Design

Madrid, Spain

Master degree in project

management & design

Universidad San Pablo Ceu

Madrid, Spain

Links and resources:

Wilson Associates website:  Wilson Associates

Designer Questionnaire

Basics

  • Title: Design Director London Office
  • Languages spoken: English / Spanish and a bit of Italian
  • Education: College Degree in Architecture/ Universidad Anahuac Mexico City
  • Professional accreditations and/or memberships:- Interior design degree/ Istituto Europeo di Design Madrid, Spain –Master degree in project management & design Universidad San Pablo Ceu Madrid, Spain.
  • Tenure at Wilson: March 2018
  • Quote you live by or your design mantra: “People ignore design that ignores people”

Beyond the Basics:

  • What attracted you to Wilson Associates? What do you enjoy most about working here?

I’ve always loved a challenge; opening an office for such as important and reputable firm like Wilson Associates in a city like London has been one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges in my career to date.

  • When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

I don’t think we ever really know what we want to be, but we do begin doing things we love, and by finding our passion you realize it is something you want to do and be forever.

  • Where do you find your design inspiration?
    Everything is inspiring if you look and pay attention.

  • Do you have any advice for young designers? Is there any piece of advice you were given early in your career that sticks with you?

Don’t be afraid to fail; defend your ideas, but never fall in love with them and always listen to different points-of-views.

  • What are some of your career accomplishments? What projects are you most proud of?

Some of my career accomplishments within design come from participating in projects like the recently opened W Suzhou and Hotel Ingles in Madrid, which opened Spring 2018. I have a special affection for high-end residential design, especially a recent penthouse project in Madrid before I entered the hospitality field.

  • What is the most rewarding part of the job? The most challenging?

Any project that ends with a shake of hands and smile from a client is an accomplishment. In hospitality, I find the most challenging part of the job is not only working as a designer but as a mediator between a hotel operator and ownership when they have very opposite visions for a project. It is our job to find that common ground and present an end result that pleases all parties.

  • What are your hobbies outside of your work? Any guilty pleasures?

I think the best thing you can spend your money on is travel; experiences stay with you forever. I like yoga, meditation and to hit the gym as much as I can. My guilty pleasures include tacos with tons of salsa verde. You can also put poison into strawberries with chocolate and I would never notice!

  • What is your favorite restaurant, hotel and overall destination to visit?

My favorite restaurant is a classic Spanish restaurant in Madrid called El Paraguas.

From a designer perspective, The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium is always worth visiting and I most recently visited a small boutique hotel in Paris called Maison Breguet that was just lovely.  My favorite hotel and destination are a hidden place off the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico called Zipolite, but please don’t spread the word! Mallorca in Spain is also always a good idea.

  • Which designers and/or artists inspire you?

Luis Barragan, Piet Boon, Carlo Scarpa, Lázaro Rosa Violán

  • If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?

Definitely an interior designer.

  • Topics or aspects of design you’re comfortable discussing with the media or on a panel?

F&B, Changing trends in the hospitality area, hotel room experiences.

  • What are some panels, events/conferences, colleges/professional groups and events, blogs/media you would like to participate in?
    Anything related to interior and hospitality design.

List three lessons, systems or business techniques you learned at previous positions in and out of the industry.

  • You need to get the right players on your team. Great ideas come from various minds, so it’s important to recruit the best team members and invest in the growth and empowerment of your team.
  • Don’t fall in love with your ideas and always be ready to alter them, especially in hospitality design where revenue plays an important role.
  • Remain optimistic while maintaining realistic expectations as to what you are capable of delivering by a specific deadline with the resources you have. Sometimes it’s better to have quality results than quantity. Finally, I would also make sure that what you are able to deliver what is written in the contract.

Name 2-3 challenges in running a design firm?

  • One of the main challenges of running a design firm today with all the constant stream of communication and information from the media is creating a space that not only makes a difference but offers some sort of engagement for the user in order to create brand loyalty. How do we as designers create an emotional link between the user and the space? We have to think about what would draw them in and how do we design an area that will become a part of their lives and experiences. There’s a lot of competition out there and you need to question if what are you offering is unique. Design? Customer service? Or both?
  • The second biggest challenge one might encounter when running a design firm is ensuring your team is happy and engaged with what they do. You want to pull out their very best work without forgetting the human component; there is nothing worse than a burned-out team and it will ultimately affect deadlines and the bottom line.
  • Build an individual identity for your brand. There is always a lot of competition within the field but creating a brand and positive reputation will go a long way.

Do you have a superpower…what makes your firm different?

With 10 global offices in various parts of the world, our designers speak over 30 languages and offer backgrounds and cultures that complement one another. We live and think outside the box, enabling us to design for every kind of client and market. Although each office has its own identity to some degree, we all live under the Wilson Associates umbrella and work as a team. 

Do you have a client onboarding process?

Having been in the business for nearly 50 years, we have a legacy for upholding the highest standard in client customer service. We analyze their needs and offer a wide range of services that make for a tailor-made and unique experience. As we’ve grown, we’ve continued to evolve and reinvent ourselves within the hospitality and F&B industries, while still maintaining that same level of top-notch service.

List the steps critical for successfully running a client project.

  • Connect with the client from the very beginning by listening to their needs, making them feel comfortable and heard, and building trust.
  • Be honest and upfront about budget
  • Set realistic timelines and don’t overpromise if you know you can’t deliver

Have you ever received a piece of advice regarding running a business that was truly valuable?

The best contribution you can make to your client is to be as authentic as possible. Stay grounded and true to who you are. Also remain open to new ideas and sources, gathering as much data collection as possible, not just digital sources like Pinterest. I find looking outside interior design exhibitions and at the real world is the most inspiring. Inspiration does not necessarily come from beauty.

May 31, 2019

Welcome to another solo Power Talk Friday! We hope you're ready for a really out-of-the-box episode today! This morning, as on most weekday mornings, LuAnn was reading the Dear Abby column. She's often thought about it and wondered why she reads it because it's such a crazy, mindless column. People write in with very real and heartbreaking problems and yet they are willing to wait for months to get an answer. That really boggles LuAnn's mind! So, this morning, she was talking out loud and ranting about it, in the very same way she did at the LuAnn Nigara Live event last month when she got really upset about designers not charging their worth. Then she had an idea! Tune in now, to find out what she came up with.

Sometimes, in our businesses, when we know that things aren't quite right, we pretend that it's just not that big of a deal. So we avoid having the hard conversation or doing the hard thing. Today, LuAnn has come up with some of the top things she has found that we, as business owners, tend to convince ourselves are okay when they really are not. She has listed all the shows that go with these difficulties, so listen in today, to find out which action to take to correct each these problems.

Show Highlights:

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Alinda Morris #429

Andrea Schumacher #86

Peter Lang #349

Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl # 291 and #397

Kimberley Kay #234

Cat French #376

Alyce Lopez #382

Shauna Lynn Simon #84

Taylor #106

Arianne Bellizaire #20

Claire Jefford #237

Michele Williams # 180 and # 395. Her Podcast, Profit is a Choice Listen Notes: Profit Is A Choice Michele Williams

Kimberley Merlitti #361

Kae Whitaker #259 and 274

Kristen Thomas #314

Sandra Funk #145

Lori Weitzner #308

Caitlyn Waite #284

Joni Vanderslice #101

Janelle Photopoulos #364

Eileen Hahn #363

Madeleine MacRae #315

Last Friday's Solo Show #432

Links:

LuAnn's sales course: Sales For Creatives  

LuAnn's new book: LuAnn Nigara: Book2 

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