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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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Apr 9, 2020

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business! LuAnn is so excited to finally be able to introduce this new sponsor to the show by chatting with none other than the CEO of Jaipur Living, Asha Chaudhary!

In this episode, you’ll be learning about Jaipur’s beauty, value, and social responsibility, as well as their customer-centric trade partner program and their easier-than-ever to browse website with stunning images.

Listen in to the conversation and please welcome Jaipur Living to the family!

As president and CEO of Jaipur Living, Inc., Asha Chaudhary brings a personal perspective to the rug industry: “I grew up around rugs all my life; it’s a part of me.”

From a childhood spent observing weavers and designers, Chaudhary has grown into a powerful design force within the industry. As the rare female CEO, Chaudhary has built a thriving business across rug constructions and textile accessories. Chaudhary’s father NK founded Jaipur Rugs, India’s largest manufacturer of hand-knotted rugs. She watched as he took the company from nine weavers in the family home to a global presence that employs more than 40,000 artisans. 

Chaudhary came to the U.S. in 1997 to attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 2001 as a Dean’s List scholar with a Bachelor of Business Administration, and a concentration in Finance. Chaudhary just graduated with a certificate from the Owner/ President Management program at Harvard Business School. She is also an active member of the Entrepreneurs Organization, Young Presidents Organization, Nest and ASID. 

After taking over leadership of the company’s U.S. operations in 2005, Chaudhary set out to expand on her father’s original vision to create beautiful lives through great design and respect for artisans. Today, she has broadened the company’s range of products and its customer base. 

Chaudhary has overseen new product launches of pillows, poufs, and throws, and a major restructuring and re-branding of the company to Jaipur Living, Inc. Jaipur Living’s customer base has expanded to include a broad mix of retailers, e-commerce dealers, and a sizable, loyal interior design following. 

Looking towards the future, Chaudhary wants to help bridge the world of handmade artistry with the end consumer. “I’d like them to understand and appreciate the harmony of the design process and their part in it - with the first spark of an idea, through the hands of an artisan, and ultimately into their home. And always with the intent to create beautiful lives.”.

Show Highlights:

  • Asha shares the compelling story of her childhood and her incredibly visionary parents.
  • Jaipur Living is a family enterprise and Asha’s Father is known as “the Ghandi of the rug business”.
  • Jaipur Living has a handmade, custom line of rugs and has award-winning designs and team: they were the winner of the last 2 Dallas ARTS Awards and 3 design awards in 2020 at Domotex in Germany.
  • 95% of interior designers rate Jaipur Living as better than other rug companies when it comes to products and customer service.
  • Asha praises the 40,000 artisans in more than 600 villages in India for the beautiful work that they do. These artisans earn a sustainable wage that far surpasses the industry average, and also receive access to healthcare, education, and social development opportunities, in partnership with the Jaipur Rugs Foundation.
  • Asha’s personal favorite features on their newly-designed WEBSITE includes real-time inventory, Pantone color matching, instant quotes, and the ability to customize the size and shape of more than 600 rugs.
  • Jaipur Living has a comprehensive swatch program: free swatches are available on every single product that they offer. Touch and feel, and share with your customers!
  • They have THOUSANDS of products in stock and ready to ship, and orders ship within 4-6 hours of receipt of order.
  • Jaipur Living works hard to design beautiful things across all price points, and they are proud of their dedicated customer service!
  • Creating beautiful lives is the mission of Jaipur Living, and they strive to keep the art of weaving alive. The art of weaving is passed down from generation to generation.
  • Asha shares how each and every rug has a story behind it.
  • LuAnn addresses the designers listening to the show regarding the value and practical reasons that it makes sense to work with Jaipur Living.
  • In future episodes, LuAnn will be sharing more about the value, features, and benefits of working with Jaipur Living, so stay tuned!
  • Thank you, Asha and Jaipur Living, for sponsoring this podcast!

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Sara’s Blog post onLuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

Luann Live

LIVE CLASS with Sara Lynn Brennan, Starting April 22!

If you need help with your processes, in getting your business systemized so you can scale, you can hire, you can finally be confident in your projects, Process Leads to Profits is back! To find out all about this live class, taught over 6 consecutive weeks starting April 22, go to Process Leads To Profits.

Please Extend A Warm Welcome to Our New Sponsor By Visiting Their Links!

Jaipur’s Purpose Is To Create Beautiful Lives! Get Started Creating Yours, Now!

Jaipur Living’s Website - Easy to Browse, Custom Calculator, Products Ready to Ship!

Jaipur Living’s Instagram: #jaipurliving

Jaipur Living’s Facebook

Jaipur Living’s Pinterest

Book Mentioned:

The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World  by Raj Sisodia and Michael J. Gelb

 

Apr 7, 2020

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business! Today is a special episode because it features a #smartlady that LuAnn has come to know over the last several months and has been impressed by how thoughtfully and purposefully she runs her interior design firm. Traci Connell joins LuAnn and weaves in info not only about how she designs, but how she delivers the design process to her clients.

You’re going to learn how Traci reflected, analyzed, and documented what she did, how she did it, and what worked and what didn’t, all in the face of tremendous anguish and hardship.

Traci is the combination of a sweet, southern lady with the grit and fortitude it takes to not only survive but to thrive and to provide for herself, her family and her staff.

Traci Connell is an award-winning creative entrepreneur whose business sense and design skills are combined with a passion for delivering interiors that are at the heart of livable style. Her well-edited spaces feature functionality for a distinctive aesthetic she calls Ease of Glamour. She gives you luxury you can live in along with an innovative customer service experience that saves you time and money. High-end design, business savvy and a simplicity-driven approach — that’s what makes Traci one of leading interior designers in Dallas and the surrounding areas. Traci’s projects have been featured on the cover of Luxe Interiors and Design as well as projects showcased in Traditional Home, among numerous other publications. She has been named D Home Best Designer of 2018, 2019, and 2020 and was included in the 2018 Gold List by Luxe Interiors and Design.

Her latest endeavor is her consulting business to teach other designers how to get unstuck and scale their business just like she did using her proven system that she tested and developed over the past 8 years. She is really excited to share this system with others. Check out her website Traci Connell for more details.

Show Highlights:

  • Traci shares her story and describes how she was trying to up-level her business during a trying time but couldn’t get any straight answers to the questions she had.
  • This experience gave her the desire to help other designers who are experiencing setbacks to get unstuck.
  • Remember that you have a choice!
  • Get vulnerable and accept help from coaches, mentors, or whoever it takes. There’s no reason to go it alone.
  • Put your business under a magnifying glass and take a hard look at your finances, margins, and revenue streams. Evaluate your pipeline and run your projections for the year.
  • Create processes and systems for your business. As Traci explains, this is KEY in being able to confidently deliver an excellent client experience, to be able to scale, and to be able to take time off from your business when you need it to take care of yourself, especially if you may be in crisis like she was as she built her business.
  • It is critical to build the right team. You must surround yourself with a team that can execute and help grow and run your firm profitably.
  • Traci shares her concept of “Ease of Glamour”, which is livable luxury, and tips on how she streamlined her own personal life.
  • The confidence behind finding your niche is super-important.
  • Always deliver more than what is expected. This communicates value to the client.
  • Traci is coaching and teaching other designers like you to go from setbacks to success using her proven system that she has tested and developed over the past 8 years. For more info go to Traci Connell.

Links :

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Sara’s Blog post onLuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

LIVE CLASS with Sara Lynn Brennan, Starting April 22!

If you need help with your processes, in getting your business systemized so you can scale, you can hire, you can finally be confident in your projects, Process Leads to Profits is back! To find out all about this live class, taught over 6 consecutive weeks starting April 22, go to Process Leads To Profits.

Is Chairman of the Board Right for Your Business?

LuAnn Nigara

Connect with Traci!

Traci’sEmail 

Traci’s Coaching Website

Traci’s Interiors Website

Traci’s Instagram

Traci’s Facebook

Traci’s Pinterest

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

If you are listening in real-time, we are on the 2nd day of our epic online summit hosted by Mydoma Studio. It is called 19Hours.

A huge thanks to Mydoma Studio as well as our other sponsors: Kravet, Article, Kirsch, Jaipur Living, Monogram, IDS, Revelwoods, Summer Classics, and Gaby Home.

Traci will be on LuAnn’s panel Thursday, April 9th, along with Sandra Funk, Monica Wilcox, and Tobi Fairley. Don’t miss it!!

  • Event: 19hours
  • Hosted by: Mydoma Studio
  • Monday, April 6th - Thursday, April 9th
  • This is a FREE VIRTUAL EVENT!
  • Presentations Each Day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm EST.
  • It will be recorded for later viewing.
  • This Is The Industry’s Answer to Covid-19 and Contains Much of the Content That Was Planned for HP Market.
  • DON’T MISS the Solo Presentations by Some of the Industry’s Top Business Leaders and Panel Discussions with Some of the Industry’s Top Designers!
  • To Sign Up, Go to 19hours

Thank You to This Podcast Sponsor:

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

Kirsch

Other Shows Mentioned:

LuAnn #491 Chairman of the Board Opportunity

Nancy Ganzekaufer #15, #159, #256, #389

Nicole Cole #509

Kim Merlitti #361, #442

Michele Williams #137, #180, #395, #424

Denise Wenacur #513

For conversation about the importance of reciprocal mentoring and paid coaching, go to Rasheeda Gray #267, Christina Bruce #486, Laurence Carr #484 and Laura Umansky #492

For a good conversation about taking a hard look at your finances, go back and re-listen to Cheryl Clendenon’s show #482 as well as Kimberly Merlitti #442.

Conversations about creating processes and systems for your business include: Sara Brennan #463, Darci Hether #220 and Christine Lin #470.

For shows about building the right teams, go to Eileen Hahn #363, Janelle Photopoulus #364, Rebecca Richardson #303, and Chad James #68.

 

Apr 3, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, it’s Power Talk Friday! Sara Lynn Brennan joins  LuAnn to chat about faith or fear. Earlier this year, Sara wrote a blogpost titled, “Are You Operating Your Design Business Out of Faith or Fear?” and in the midst of the current pandemic, it seems like a great time to re-visit her reflections. Although her original intent had nothing to do with the Corona Virus, there are lessons in the article that are certainly timely and applicable to our current situation.

Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Sara has become the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who specializes in Transitional Designs, where she and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable, and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows.

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn’s interview with Candy Scott in Episode 279 was the inspiration behind Sara’s blogpost, “Are You Operating Your Design Business Out of Faith or Fear?”.
  • A lot of drama stems from fear, and this was Sara’s epiphany that even the design experts have the same doubts as everybody.
  • Be prepared for problems, but having the right processes in place will give you confidence that you’ve covered all of your bases. Problems that might occur will not be because you weren’t following through.
  • Drama in projects can stem from lack of communication, expectations, mistakes, personalities, etc. How you handle it is what makes all of the difference. Look for common ground where your clients feel heard and happy.
  • If you’re working from home during this outbreak, explain upfront to your client that your kids are home and there may be some interruptions during a phone call.
  • Conversely, if you’re talking with a client and their kids are home and interrupting, don’t roll your eyes or express frustration. Let them know it’s ok because you’re both in the situation together. Offer to reschedule if that is better for them.
  • This quarantine is slowing us all down and giving us common ground, and opening up opportunities to have hard conversations.
  • LuAnn addresses fear and the ways it can impact our business relationships.
  • Sara offers ideas to make things happen during this downtime. Know your worth!
  • Doing your best isn’t just what you showed up that day, doing. Doing your best is being prepared to do your best and doing extra.
  • Gather your best resources, and spend your time sourcing so that you have the opportunity to provide your finest services.
  • Showing up with a plan, some knowledge, and a background will separate you from the others who are just showing up. This is what Sara means when she says, “Showing up is not enough.”
  • Are you going to be the person who deflects and doesn’t want to look bad? Or are you going to be the person that owns it because you can see where it went wrong and you’re going to make it better?
  • Take this time to re-organize and streamline your business.
  • The more informed the client is, the further along you can get with them, faster.
  • Clarity is key and comes from preparation.

Links: 

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Sara’s Blog post onLuAnn’sBlog

Power Talk Friday

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

  • Event: 19hours
  • Hosted by: Mydoma Studio
  • Monday, April 6th - Thursday, April 9th
  • This is a FREE VIRTUAL EVENT!
  • Presentations Each Day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm EST.
  • It will be recorded for later viewing.
  • This Is The Industry’s Answer to Covid-19 and Contains Much of the Content That Was Planned for HP Market.
  • DON’T MISS the Solo Presentations by Some of the Industry’s Top Business Leaders and Panel Discussions with Some of the Industry’s Top Designers!
  • To Sign Up, Go to 19hours

Interior Design Standard

IWCE 2020

Connect with Sara!

Sara’s Website

Sara’sInstagram

Process Leads to Profits- Starts April 22nd! Get Your Early Bird Pricing Now!

Sara’s Blog post onLuAnn’sBlog

Thank You to These Podcast Sponsors:

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Monogram - Work with Us

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.comHere!

Article

Previous Shows Mentioned:

Nancy Ganzekaufer: 15, 159, 256, 389

Nicole Heymer: 125, 317, 466

Candy Scott: 227

Sandra Funk: 02, 145

Sara Lynn Brennan: 463, 514

 

Mar 31, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn brings you a very special conversation today, one that may hit very close to home for many of us; mental illness. Bearing that in mind, I must also say that this show was recorded months ago before the word COVID 19 was even legitimately on our radar. Even though the topic of mental illness can be sensitive, it’s important to talk about it.  Whether mental illness affects us personally or affects one of our loved ones, you’re not going to want to miss this intimate talk.

LuAnn’s guest is Leah M. Meyer Perez, and Leah will be sharing how she overcame her own internal struggles while trying to run a business. She wants to share her story and bring it out in the open so that we as a community don’t have to feel embarrassed about asking for help. She encourages an environment of support and care for each other.

Leah M. Meyer Perez is the CEO/Principal Designer of Leah May Interior Design. Like so many of you, from an early age Leah was creative and had a natural talent for interiors. From her artistic flair in art class to tinkering in the garage with her Father, Leah’s path was destined for design.

Leah has earned an extensive knowledge of fabrics and furniture by working for several boutique interior firms including a custom furniture workshop and drapery workroom.

In 2014, taking a leap of faith, Leah opened her residential interior design firm and as you will learn today, Leah has had to overcome more than simply understanding marketing, bookkeeping, and pipeline building in order to be successful.

If you are listening and you are struggling with serious thoughts of anxiety, depression, hopelessness, or isolation, there is no podcast for that. Please reach out, and have a friend help you find qualified help. You deserve to be happy and fulfilled and like Leah, with true professional therapy, it IS possible.

Show Highlights:

  • First: It’s Ok to have fears and insecurities. You just have to find the courage to talk to somebody about them and work through them.
  • Leah shares how her symptoms of mental illness manifested in her personal and business lives.
  • Understand self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors by learning to be self-aware.
  • Therapy can help you discover the heart of the issues.
  • Learning that she was a negative person and realizing that she had to start being grateful was a turning point in Leah’s life.
  • Appreciate all of the things you’re good at doing.
  • Leah strives to push past the fear of talking about mental illness.
  • What other people think of you does NOT define you.
  • You must be open to help.
  • You cannot change another person, but you can learn to change how you respond to a person.
  • You never know what another person is going through.
  • Share a high-five with someone who you think could use it, and if you’re inclined, tell someone you talk with today something nice so that they have a positive thought in their head when you part.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

WCAA

Exciting Windows

IWCE-Vision

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Connect with Leah!

Leah’s Website

Leah’s Facebook

Leah’s Instagram

Thank You to This Podcast Sponsor:

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Other shows mentioned to link to and tag in Social Media

Alex Gourlay # 447

Wendy Glaister # 386

Desi Creswell # 475

 

 

Mar 27, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, it’s Power Talk Friday! Peter Lang joins LuAnn on today’s show to discuss accounting that is specific to design firms. Peter is a CPA that works exclusively with interior designers, and he will be covering the nuances of the industry. He is also a co-author of LuAnn’s latest book, A Well-Designed Business: The Power Talk Friday Experts.

If you’re a business owner and concerned about how this current COVID-19 pandemic will impact your taxes, you will not want to miss this episode!

Peter Lang is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  He is the founder of The Designer CPA, a CPA firm that works exclusively with business owners in the design industry.  He has worked in public accounting since graduating from Providence College in 2002.  After working for several larger size firms in Boston and Rhode Island, Peter realized his true passion was to start a firm that specifically focused on designers.  

Peter currently resides in Rhode Island with his wife Carmen and their identical twin boys, William and Matthew.  He enjoys running and golfing outside of work.

Show Highlights:

  • The IRS expects you to file your 2019 income tax return by April 15th, or apply for an extension.
  • If you have a Federal or state tax payment that is due, they expect that by the April 15th deadline.
  • Technically you are responsible for Q1 2020 estimated payments by April 15th, as well.
  • HOWEVER, due to the pandemic, the IRS has reset all of the April 15th deadlines to July 15th for the 2019 filing year.
  • This gives everyone an additional 90 days to get all of your information to them.
  • The IRS has NOT changed the Q2 2020 estimated payments deadline of June 15th, so this WILL still be due.
  • Peter addresses which deadline might be better to consider, and why; HSA’s, and sales tax.
  • Peter and LuAnn discuss the stimulus package, how much we might expect to receive, and when it will be sent.
  • What you need to know if you’re receiving unemployment compensation and receive a stimulus payment.
  • Your business may be eligible for relief in the form of a relaxed-rules small business loan. Listen for details!
  • Payroll tax credits, deferments, and managing your cash flow.
  • Things you can do now to be ready in the event another disaster strikes:
  • Get your books in order.
  • Make sure you understand your numbers.
  • Set aside cash for quarterly tax payments.
  • Don’t mingle sales tax collected from customers with your operating cash.
  • Build a reserve of three months fixed operating expenses in a savings account.

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

  • Event: 19hours
  • Hosted by: Mydoma Studio
  • Monday, April 6th - Thursday, April 9th
  • This is a FREE VIRTUAL EVENT!
  • Presentations Each Day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm EST.
  • It will be recorded for later viewing.
  • This Is The Industry’s Answer to Covid-19 and Contains Much of the Content That Was Planned for HP Market.
  • DON’T MISS the Solo Presentations by Some of the Industry’s Top Business Leaders and Panel Discussions with Some of the Industry’s Top Designers!
  • To Sign Up, Go to 19hours

Connect with Peter!

Peter’s Website

Book Mentioned:

A Well-Designed Business: The Power Talk Friday Experts by LuAnn Nigara & Friends

Thank You to These Podcast Sponsors:

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.comHere!

Article

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

My Doma studio: A Well Designed Business

Kravet

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

Kirsch

Sponsors You’ll Be Learning More About in the Future:

Jaipur

Monogram

Shows Mentioned:

Michele Williams - Certified Profit First Coach #180

Peter Lang previous episodes: #349, #464

#519 finances at Window Works

 

Mar 24, 2020

Welcome to this episode of A Well-Designed Business! Gabriela Gargano joins LuAnn in this episode to caution us as entrepreneurs about being careful not to apply reasons and rationale to decisions that we are facing because we are reluctant to take the risk.

Gaby also shares some very specific strategies that she is employing as the CEO of her design firm in light of the Corona Virus, which you will likely find very smart and useful! You are going to love these ideas!

After graduating from college with degrees in Art History, Hispanic Studies, and Business Economics, Gaby spent more than a decade at Goldman Sachs, as a sales trader and relationship manager. She simultaneously grew her passion for interior design through real estate investing, renovation, and staging of her properties in Manhattan.

In 2016, she decided to leave finance and establish Grisoro Designs, a full-service interior design firm located in New York City. Gaby’s style blends clean lines with rich textures and eclectic pieces, referencing art, and vintage design. The team's process is anchored in a deep understanding of each client's design goals, functional needs, and lifestyle.

By implementing a transparent process, clear communication, and active project and budget management, they can provide a seamless experience, resulting in a beautiful and functional space that truly feels like home. 

Grisoro Designs has been featured in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Domino, and several other publications. Services offered include interior design, full-scale renovations, project management, budget management, art curation, and real estate advisory. 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

  • Event: 19hours
  • Hosted by: Mydoma Studio
  • Monday, April 6th - Thursday, April 9th
  • This is a FREE VIRTUAL EVENT!
  • Presentations Each Day at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm EST.
  • It will be recorded for later viewing.
  • This Is The Industry’s Answer to Covid-19 and Contains Much of the Content That Was Planned for HP Market.
  • DON’T MISS the Solo Presentations by Some of the Industry’s Top Business Leaders and Panel Discussions with Some of the Industry’s Top Designers!
  • To Sign Up, Go to 19 Hours

Show Highlights:

  • Gaby was at Goldman Sachs during the 2008 recession.
  • Decide what you want your business to look like.
  • The indicators that Gaby used to evaluate when it was time to grow:
  • Assessing her past, current, and projected pipeline. She made sure that she was attracting the type of clients that will take her into the future.
  • She recognized that she was so fatigued that she was jeopardizing her ability to deliver her creative best to her clients.
  • She realized that she and the employees she had on board were consistently being pushed to their limits, and this was leaving a lot of room for errors.
  • Working from home is fine, but getting space brings an elevated sense in having your own studio. You’re able to have your full-time employees there, bring on an intern, and have your vendors and clients meet you there.
  • Remember that this Covid-19 crisis isn’t forever.
  • Take this time to learn to work better remotely.
  • Find more ways to be collaborative and keep the lines of communication open.
  • As entrepreneurs, we have to figure out a way to work through this.
  • Focus on business planning in greater detail, such as business expenses, hurdles, goals, targets, etc.
  • Most importantly, do not delay in responding and looking at what changes you need to make in order to protect your cash flow.
  • Make rational, unemotional decisions when you are calm. Make decisions based on thoughtful evaluation with your CFO or whoever helps you with your finances in your business.
  • Commit to taking the actions that you make a decision on.
  • This planning and effort will help to provide you with a peace of mind, which is very important subconsciously for your team. When you’re calm and positive, your team will feel that.
  • Don’t overreact. But don’t NOT act!

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Gaby!

Design Firm: Grisoro Designs

Principal: Gabriela Gargano

Gaby’s Instagram

Gaby’s Website

Do YOU Need Help with Your Past, Current, or Projected Pipeline?

Michele Williams: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Kim Merlitti:  KMM Consulting

Thank You to These Podcast Sponsors:

Kravet

For 10% off any Kravet Wallpaper, Fabric, or Trim Enter at Checkout This Promo Code: awdb10

Kirsch

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

Mentioned Episodes

#519

 

Mar 20, 2020

Welcome to this episode of A Well-Designed Business, it’s Power Talk Friday! LuAnn chats with Sandra Funk about Sandra’s amazing new program for the interior design community.

Her program is called “The Interior Design Standard”. Just wait until you hear about it, you’re going to LOVE this!

Sandra Funk is the CEO and Principal Designer of House of Funk, a greater New York area design firm working wherever great clients need us.

This is interior design with a soul and a sense of place; reflecting your desires, personality, and style.

House of Funk creates thoughtful homes with an emphasis on clean lines and soulful touches, all rooted in tradition.

Sandra is an Accredited Professional for the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Sandra’s award-winning design work has been featured in publications such as Elle DecorHouse BeautifulThe Huffington PostApartment TherapyAspire Design & Home, and Luxe Interiors + Design.

With almost two decades in the interior design industry, Sandra is launching the Interior Design Standard in the spring of 2020 – a template for designers to utilize her streamlined processes and business structure to bring joy and profit to their own design business.

Show Highlights:

  • Sandra’s program is targeted towards interior designers to guide them on the path of business success.
  • The Interior Design Standard is a program comprised of Sandra’s templates, systems, and processes, delivered in a digital format to help designers run a more efficient, joy-filled, and profitable business.
  • The program includes:
  • Sandra’s design fee calculator - confidently calculate flat design fees in moments.
  • House of Funk’s design agreement, that both clients and designers love.
  • The exact process that each interior design project follows, from the first potential client contact to pitching the photos to press.
  • Four designers beta-tested the program for three months and gave the program rave reviews.
  • LuAnn and Sandra discuss the lessons learned from beta-testing.
  • There’s a lack of standards in the industry.
  • Depending on your situation, the time of implementation will vary but is expected to take approximately 3 months.
  • Sandra asks: Do you want to spend another year wondering if you should edit your terms, update your fees, pass along your trade discount or make a profit on furnishings, or manage client expectations better?
  • The Interior Design Standard purchase is a lifetime membership and 100% guaranteed, but you have to fully implement from start to finish.
  • Sandra’s program costs $3,989, plus any applicable tax.
  • This program streamlines your methods of business management and execution!
  • Sandra wants to see the industry become more professional and profitable. The more profitable the designer the better work you can all do as an industry, and the better high-quality customer service you can offer to your clients.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Sandra!

House Of Funk

Sandra Funk is a game changer for our industry. In April, she’s launching the Interior Design Standard - a digital program that covers everything you need for running an efficient and joyful business. Click here to take her FREE Demo Module to get a taste of what’s to come: Interior Design Standard

April 8th: Registration opens

Note: If designers register before April 22nd, they receive VIP access which grants them 3 group Zoom calls with Sandra.

April 22nd: VIP Access closes and general enrollment begins

May 5th: Enrollment closes at 11:59 PM

May 6th: Module 1 is released and the program begins

FREE Trial! A One-Stop Shop to Keep Everything Organized!

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

 

Mar 17, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn has been considering adding a Wednesday show answering straight-up questions that you ask her via email and SM, and with everything happening in the world right now, she thought this was the perfect time to debut “What Would Lu Do?”

On today’s episode, she will be discussing doing business through a crisis. In the 40 years, she’s been in business, she has had to weather all kinds of crises, such as recessions, acts of terrorism, and viral pandemic scares.

Listen in to learn how you can be smart, strategic, and patient to help you get your business to the other side of this!

Be sure to join her next Wednesday as she shares some additional tips to help you through this difficult time.

Show Highlights:

  • This is critical: 1) Don’t overreact. 2) Don’t NOT act.
  • Cash flow is KING. Everything in your business will depend on your cash flow.
  • The first-level action plan:
  • Focus on sales.
  • Monitor cash flow and keep your vendors paid.
  • Review all money owed to you and collect any outstanding balances.
  • Go through your expenses with a fine-toothed comb.
  • Owner’s pay cuts as loans to the company.
  • Other ideas for consideration:
  • Consider working remotely.
  • Work on projects that you have been ignoring, especially if they generate revenue.
  • Keep a routine.
  • Find your mentors, your peers, set up phone calls, zoom meetings, brainstorm ideas on how to stay productive, how to maintain your clients and how to build your pipeline for when this is a bad nightmare for all of us down the road.
  • LuAnn’s favorite tip from an emergency virtual meeting with her colleagues at Exciting Windows is from Steve Wishnow, who said, “Get Smart - Get Market Share.” He urged the allocation of money to marketing during this time and to not make the mistake of curbing this expense. Don’t go into debt, do everything with common sense. But now is the time to let people know you are here, you will be here and you can be depended on.
  • Find a way to stay positive through this!

Links:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

WCAA

Exciting Windows

IWCE Vision

Carla Aston

Tips for Building Future Success When Your Interior Design Business is Slow

Episode Mentioned:

episode #242 Carla Aston

 

Mar 13, 2020

Welcome to A Well Designed Business! It’s WTF, Window Treatment Friday! In today’s episode, LuAnn and her friend and co-host of WTF, Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska, cover effective communication between the interior designer and the workroom to ensure a successful project.

One of the private Facebook groups that Vita belongs to is the “Soft Furnishings & Upholstery” group. Prior to this show, she posted a query asking for their stories on the topic of communication, both good and bad, that members’ workrooms have had with their designers.

She received some really good feedback on what worked and what didn’t work, and she and LuAnn will be sharing their collective wisdom with you today.

Listen in to take advantage of what others have learned from their experiences, and remember the most important thing of all: communication is key with everything!

Vitalia Vygovska (Vita for short!), CWFP, MBA, is an award-winning window treatment specialist, author, speaker, mom, wife, and a ballroom dance enthusiast. 

Her company, Vitalia, Inc, provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services exclusively for interior designers.

Show Highlights:

  • Vita explains the difference between the detailed estimate and the top-line budget estimate and discusses the proper information that is required from the designer.
  • The right questions contribute to a successful site visit to take measurements and discuss project specifics. It is important for the designer to be present at this visit.
  • If you’re a designer or a workroom new to window treatments, make sure meetings happen when all of the important parties are there.
  • Considerations when choosing types of fabric.
  • You must take ownership and read the detailed estimate, question it, and correct if needed. Some workrooms require the designer to sign it.
  • Vita shares her recommendations for managing outstanding issues on the detailed proposal.
  • LuAnn offers further suggestions on ironing out all the details.
  • Additional communication tips:
  1. Be clear on who is responsible for what.
  2. Be clear on terms.
  3. Use only one way of communicating, preferably email. Be sure to follow up a verbal conversation with a summary email.
  4. Thank your workroom! And keep them in the loop.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

WCAA

Exciting Windows

IWCE Vision

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Vitalia Inc. Grand Opening!

All are invited to join us for Vita's grand opening!

June 16th, 4-7pm

LuAnn is excited to be there and all are invited to join!

RSVP at Vitalia Inc Events

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

To learn more & register for Vita's course: Profit With Window Treatments

Thank You to This Podcast Sponsor:

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Mentioned Shows:

Links to previous WTF episodes #462, #471

Sandra Funk #02, 145

 

Mar 10, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! LuAnn’s guest today is Melissa Lindsay, Co-Owner of Pimlico Interiors, located in Westport, CT. She will be sharing some of the methods and tactics that she and her partner, Jill Kakaletris, use when dealing with difficult conversations and difficult clients.

As #seasoned designers, Melissa and Jill have had their share of difficult conversations with clients and together they have developed a personal philosophy for handling these as well as some actual tips to help you navigate them, too.

Whether you are crafting an email or having a hard person-to-person discussion, there are some strategies here that you can most certainly find useful!

Melissa brings 20 years of luxury residential design experience and award-winning interiors to the firm. Named at home Magazine’s A-list award winner multiple years over, she has been lauded by industry professionals from Celerie Kemble to Bunny Williams.

Show Highlights:

  • Be truthful with kindness and grace!
  • Listen more than talk. This is the only way to truly know what the obstacle is for the client. And if you are reading an email from a client--- read it closely and consider only what it says; don’t make up stuff in your head.
  • Keep to your talking points and be clear and focused.
  • Keep the conversation respectful and unemotional.
  • Know your value and be confident in it.
  • Have a value statement prepared that you are ready to say when you are in a situation that is getting tricky.
  • Keep re-stating your points, rephrasing if necessary, and don’t get dragged into details that are irrelevant. This distracts from the solution.
  • Keep a cache of pre-written emails that you can go to in the tough moments. You can tweak as needed for the present client. This helps in both diffusing your emotion of the current situation as well as saving not having to start from scratch over and over.
  • Stop talking once you have made your points. By continuing to talk it opens the conversation to points that are not core to the current conflict.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

Connect with Melissa!

Pimlico Interiors

Interior Design Standard

East End Interiors Trade

Mydoma Studio: Well Designed Business

Kirsch

Stamford Waterside Design District

March 19this the 4th birthday party for this podcast! Thanks to Kravet Inc for hosting this. Please join us 5:30- 7:30 pm at the Kravet Work Space Showroom at 200 Lexington Ave NYC. You can find the RSVP on EventBrite as well as on the website under the Events Tab.

March 21stto 24th Exciting Windows and IWCE  / March 25th to the 27th

Teaching the Professional Window Coverings 7 Step Process, which is open to the public. Go to Exciting Windows. At the IWCE, Luann will be doing Closing the Sale Begins with Hello, as well as moderating some panels on Profitability with the Vin Man and Michele Williams. Next, LuAnn has a panel with Sara Brennan on Packaging your Process and Working with Window Treatment Professionals with Sara Brennan and Vita. Please visit IWCE-Vision.

April 2nd, Thursday, East End Interiors is celebrating 30 years in business this year and they have invited LuAnn to speak at their showroom in Long Island NY. If you were at LuAnn Live last year, then you know Sal and Enza and you already know what a fantastic family business they run. If you are in the NY Metro area, especially LI, you must make the time to join us so you can see everything they have to help you complete all of your design projects. They are a strictly to the trade showroom featuring furniture, lighting, accessory and more. LuAnn is also delighted to share that they are the Exclusive VIP Experience Sponsor for LuAnn Nigara Live 2020.

High Point Market in April. It all starts with LuAnn’s PTF Tour on Friday, April 24th, 8am to 11:00 pm. Yup, all day, this event is jam-packed, loaded-to-the-gills, with eye-opening A-ha’s and advice specific to your business. LuAnn brings you 3 of her PTF Experts and one of them is Sandra Funk, the CEO of HOF. Sandra will be on an upcoming PTF where you will learn how she truly runs the back end of her business. And then, get to spend the whole day picking her brain? Uhmmm, the price of admission is worth it right there, no question. During the next few days at HP, LuAnn will have several presentations and panels. Saturday, April 25th, she’ll moderate a panel at the showroom of the newest sponsor to join the show, Jaipur, which will be co-hosted by Revelwoods and the Interior Design Society. They will be talking about the Design-Build Process and how to navigate the big-ticket projects.

On Sunday, April 26th, LuAnn will be in the HP Theater at 12:00 noon for a very special one-on-one conversation with a very special friend, designer, and all around outstanding human being…not sure if ASID wants the proverbial beans spilled yet…so just put LuAnn on your dance card! Here’s a hint: If you were at LuAnn Live, you could probably make a good guess as to his name… Sunday at 4:00 pm you can always find LuAnn at the Kravet showroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to see and meet the incredible leadership team atKravet Inc. Later at 6:00 pm Sunday, there will be a special VIP party with Mydoma Studio. YOU are the special VIP :) This is a kickoff event to celebrate this new collaboration, so please join us.

I THINK THIS IS THE PART IN QUESTION

Monday morning, LuAnn will moderate a panel all about Process Leads to Profits. LuAnn’s friend and Process Leads to Profits course teacher, Sara Lynn Brennan will be there along with a few others yet to be announced. This is also hosted by Mydoma Studio. Check LuAnn’s Website later this month for all of the locations and details.

 

Mar 6, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s Power Talk Friday! On today’s show, Jude Charles joins LuAnn for a chat about videos, and how important they are to our websites.

He is here to explain that compelling video is achieved through storytelling, and how we can’t have video just for video’s sake. It must be compelling and it must do the heavy lifting of attracting our ideal client to us.

Jude is talented and clearly passionate about helping business owners tap into their unique value by creating the videos that help your clients feel like they already know you.Don’t miss this insightful and inspiring episode! 

Jude Charles is a story-driven filmmaker, brand strategist & speaker. For over 13 years, he has been producing documentaries & videos for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. He lives and breathes YOUR brand. He digs deep to find the compelling stories that no one else knows & then leverages those stories to scale your business.

Show Highlights:

  • Jude shares how storytelling is pivotal to captivating video.
  • The “why” creates the thread for your story.
  • It’s essential to “cut out the fat” of a 3-minute video to focus on the one core story.
  • A great storyteller is also a great editor.
  • LuAnn draws an interesting parallel between filmmaking and design.
  • The Road Mapping Session: Jude explains his strategy when working with a client.
  • Hearing something said a thousand times is not as convincing as seeing it once for yourself.
  • Clients are searching for silver but are sitting with gold. The gold is the content that they’ve already created, but haven’t yet figured out a way to re-purpose.
  • Jude relates some success stories for a closer look at the process and the results.
  • You are invited to check out some of the work Jude has done on his Website.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

Check Out LuAnn’s Second Book!

A Well-Designed Business - The Power Talk Friday Experts

Window Coveringsu

Connect with Jude!

Jude’s Website

Thank You to This Podcast Sponsor:

Kravet

Other guests mentioned for Shownotes and to tag in SM:

Marie Flanigan #89

Pulp Design Studios #176

Arianne Bellezaire # 30

Fred Berns #174

Claire Jefford #237

Nicole Heymer #125

 

 

Mar 3, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! In this episode, LuAnn chats with Jaclyn Lankiewicz, the woman behind the Instagram handle, Jaclynmari_.

She is the principle of Jaclyn Marie Interiors based in Long Island, NY.

Her journey into interior design, like many, has not been a direct line. Basically, Jaclyn created an Instagram page that was getting so much attention that it prompted person after person to ask her if she would design their space. As you will hear today, her response was, “I finally said to myself, ok, let me do this”.

Jaclyn created an Instagram that has created a design business, and since you already have a design business and want to create more clients through Instagram, perhaps you’ll find her tips to be very helpful.

Listen in to see what we can learn about how to attract clients through Instagram!

Show Highlights:

  • Keep your feed neutral, bright, and uncluttered.
  • Edit your pictures properly, paying close attention to wood tones.
  • Be strategic about what and where you’re posting.
  • Keep an eye on your nine squares.
  • A picture of herself, a zoomed-in picture of styling, and a larger picture, such as a whole living room or whole kitchen is another tactic that Jaclyn likes to use.
  • Sharing a little of her personal life through Instagram helps people feel connected to her.
  • Another tip that Jaclyn offers is tagging retail vendors because they re-post a lot.
  • Jaclyn likes to share designers on her story (but not on her feed), and details the reasoning behind this.
  • Answering every message and comment from followers is a great way of engaging with them and inspiring trust.
  • How to identify someone whose work you’d like to share, and how to reach out.
  • Understanding your “why” and saying no to those you don’t wish to collaborate with.
  • Posting new content every day shows your followers that you’re reliable.
  • Jaclyn mentions apps that she finds helpful: Videoshop, Unfold, rewardStyle, VSCO, Snapseed, Retouch, and Planoly.

Resources: 

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

The Power Talk Friday Tour

LuAnn Live

Connect with Jaclyn!

Jaclyn’s Website

Jaclyn’shouzz

Jaclyn’s Instagram

Wingnut Social

East End Interiors Trade

Thank You to These Podcast Sponsors:

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

Kirsch

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Article

Other guests mentioned from previous episodes:

Sara Lynn Brennan #’s: 463, 514

Darla Powell #’s: 203, 330

Kim Merlitti #’s: 361, 442

Sandra Funk #’s: 2, 145

 

Feb 28, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! In this episode, LuAnn recounts the way that Sara Lynn Brennan, from Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors, went from being a stranger to her, to someone she treasures as a friend, all in less than two years.

As an entrepreneur, Sara stands out as one of the most unusual LuAnn has met during her entire business career and her podcast journey.

You may have noticed lots of collaboration with Sara over the last few months, and wondered why.

There’s a lesson to be learned here, and LuAnn is eager to share it with you! It has to do with investing in your success.

One of the ways that LuAnn noticed Sara investing in her success was that she steps outside the box by working on things that may have been intimidating or scary. Another way is that Sara has put in the blood, sweat, and tears. A third way that Sara has brought her business to a place of success so quickly is that she invested her dollar bills. When she made money, she evaluated it, and invested money back into her business.

Listen in today to find out what Sara has to share concerning success!

Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Sara has become the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who specializes in Transitional Designs, where she and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable, and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows.

Show Highlights:

  • Sara shares how listening to LuAnn’s podcast helped her learn to run her business.
  • Aligning yourself with the people you love and respect and want to be like is pivotal in becoming successful, because you are like the five people you spend the most time with.
  • Understanding the value that you bring to the table inspires confidence.
  • It all comes down to what you planned and what you didn’t plan for, and the expectations that you set. You can look back to see where things went wrong.
  • Sara relates her favorite saying and what it means: “The package is the promise of the process.”
  • Sara takes her own discovery calls because she wants to be the first person a client talks to about her process.
  • Whoever is in this with you - a business partner, a coach - can’t stroke your ego; they have to give you the insights and pushback you need.
  • Hard times in life can teach us the greatest lessons.
  • Understanding yourself as a person will help you to find your passion. This sometimes takes therapy or soul-searching.
  • Learn to “edit” your space and business to create a balance that is sustainable.
  • FYI, LuAnn and Sara will be in Charlotte at the IWCE in March! LuAnn details all the other shows that she and Sara will be showing up at in the coming months.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Power Talk Friday

LuAnn Live

The Power Talk Friday Tour

Interior Design Standard

IWCE Vision

Connect with Sara!

Sara’s Website

Sara’s Instagram

Process Leads to Profit!

Big Thanks to ThisPodcast Sponsor:

My Doma Studio

Book Mentioned:

Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman

Other shows mentioned:

Michele Williams: 137, 180, 395, 424

Nancy Ganzekaufer: 15, 159, 256, 389

Nicole Heymer: 466, 317, 125 

Wendy Woloshchuk: 316

Sandra Funk: 02, 145

Sara Lynn Brennan: 463

 

 

Feb 25, 2020

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! On this episode, LuAnn sits down for a chat with Denise Wenacur, the principle of DW Design & Décor in Croton on the Hudson, which is a beautiful community just outside of NYC.

Design-build is the hot topic of the day, and you’ll learn the importance of having an interior designer as the point person for the client between the architect, the builder and themselves. She discusses the ways having an interior designer on their team from the outset truly benefits the process and the result of the project.

If that wasn’t enough, Denise will share tips for connecting with people who can introduce you to the type of projects you are looking for.

Tune in to this engaging and informative conversation!

Show Highlights:

  • Denise recounts why and how she changed her business model to include the construction part.
  • She is always the first point of contact as the interior designer. She rounds out each team with an architect, contractor, and whichever trades need to be added, as well.
  • Each team member has their unique perspective and experience that they bring to the job, all working together for the good of the client and a perfect outcome.
  • Making a 3D version of the architect’s plans can assist in both the design and the build in amazing ways.
  • Denise has a video on her website explaining the pros and cons and importance of having a designer involved at the beginning of construction.
  • One big successful project will generate referrals.
  • Sharing on social media tips and ways that your services have made a positive impact will further help you to get noticed.
  • Denise also holds a Construction Manager certificate from Pace University. This helps build confidence when she’s working with the rest of the team.
  • Communication is everything, and it’s all about the client.
  • Denise feels like she’s doing a good job when she gets new clients from her referral partners.
  • Denise shares some ideas on how to meet architects and builders in the area.
  • It’s important to create the relationship first.
  • A CFO surprise!
  • When you know your numbers, it instills confidence and that comes across to your clients.
  • Potential clients will know if you know what you’re doing.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Power Talk Friday

LuAnn Live

Connect with Denise!

Denise’s Website

Denise’s Facebook

Denise’s Instagram

Denise SINGS!The 1-4-5's YouTube Channel

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

Open Your Trade Account with ARTICLE.com Here!

Other episodes mentioned:

#380 Circle Design, John and Theresa Dorlini

#361, #442, Kimberly Merlitti

#441 4Pt Design Build, Laura and Cliff Muller

#181 H2 Design Build, Angela Rasmussen

#202 Enoch Sears

#292 Jana Phipps

 

Feb 21, 2020

Welcome to A Well Designed Business! It’s WTF, Window Treatment Friday! It’s been a while since LuAnn has had a window treatment episode, so she’s super-excited to have her co-host of WTF, Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska back on the show.

Hardware is the subject of today’s show, and if talking about ripple folds, pinch pleats, stationary rods, rod pockets, and rods with c-rings make your heart beat a little faster, then you’ve found your people!

Drapery rods can be a super-complicated thing, but LuAnn and Vita have a way of making this a fun conversation. Join them in this educational and insightful journey into the world of window treatment hardware.

Vitalia Vygovska (Vita for short), CWFP, MBA, is an award-winning window treatment specialist, author, speaker, mom, wife, and a ballroom dance enthusiast. 

Her company, Vitalia, Inc, provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services exclusively for interior designers. 

Show Highlights:

  • The more knowledge you have on hardware enables you to sell more window treatments.
  • There are four main components to drapery hardware: the rod, the finials, the brackets, and the rings.
  • The types of rod (or pole) is a basic traverse rod, a decorative traverse rod, and a pole that doesn’t move.
  • Vita explains more about each rod and how it functions with drapery.
  • LuAnn and Vita sing the praises of Kirsch and its Architrac Ripplefold track.
  • Motorized draperies? Yes, it’s a thing!
  • Provide your client with ALL of the options, and let them decide what they want.
  • LuAnn and Vita address drapery issues that designers run into.
  • How to counter a client who asks for a lower price.
  • Drapery hardware can add a lot of profit to a job, but it is its own beast in the world of window treatment professionals.
  • Distributors are there to help you.
  • Familiarize yourself with Kirsch’s website and other drapery hardware websites.
  • Window treatments are a great way to make your company more profitable.
  • Check out LuAnn’s Live Events! She would love to meet you! 

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Kravet

To learn more & register for Vita's course: Profit With Window Treatments

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

To learn more about working with 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)

To learn about Exciting Windows

Podcast Sponsor:

Kirsch

Connect with Your Local Kirsch Distributor Now!

 

 

Feb 18, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Join LuAnn and her guest, Victoria Sanchez, in this thought-provoking conversation about changing things up in the way we educate interior designers. Her concern is if we don’t start to make changes in the design curriculum, then we, as an industry, are at risk.

At one time, Victoria served as in interior design professor at Marymount University and this is where the conversation begins today. As LuAnn will tell you, this is a totally new idea to her and many of us, and sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know! Just wait until you hear what Victoria proposes!

Victoria Sanchez, one of America’s premier design professionals, has been creating one-of-a-kind interiors for hundreds of prominent clients over the past three decades.

Dubbed a home décor “style maker” by Luxe magazine, Victoria is an award-winning designer who offers services ranging from project management and space planning to kitchen and bath design and furniture selection. She and her team are backed by the region’s leading contractors, painters, architects, kitchen and bath pros, flooring specialists, audio-visual experts, and other professionals.

Victoria, whose work has appeared in publications nationwide, is known for her extraordinary customer service, fee integrity and ability to help clients get the highest return on their design investment. She has designed multiple homes for the same clients and has worked with companies to design the interiors of apartment buildings, boutique hotels, and law offices.

Victoria spent the majority of her career in Alexandria, Virginia, providing design services to Fortune 500 executives, lobbyists, military generals, doctors, lawyers, investment specialists and other professionals throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and along the east coast. While there, she also ran her ‘Victoria at Home’ shop, the area’s leading source of elegant home furnishings and accessories. Her collection of the finest upholstery, furniture, art, lighting, and pillows was carefully and proudly curated from an international network of vendors and suppliers.

Now based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Victoria is keeping busy in ways she had never imagined. From charitable design work to the restoration of heritage buildings, the depth and breadth of her work have expanded while her style becomes more and more influenced by the new colors and nature that surround her. She continues to travel back to the East Coast on a regular basis, taking on projects across the country.

Victoria also speaks at design industry events across the United States. She is currently active in the American Society of Interior Designers and holds Bachelor of Arts and Masters degrees in Interior Design from Marymount University. She also previously served as an interior design professor and was a board member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association.

Show Highlights:

  • The internet and all the design centers being opened to retail now both present concern to interior designers, because consumers now have the same access as designers.
  • A bigger cause for concern is that we are not producing business-minded interior designers when they graduate from their programs.
  • The top ten schools in the country have the same curriculum due to certification requirements.
  • Victoria explains that colleges are trying to pack far too much information into a 4-year program.
  • Students must learn residential design, commercial design, sustainability, and technical presentation skills, in addition to the general education classes.
  • The solution offered by Victoria is to take the programs, pull them apart, and offer three separate interior design programs: residential, commercial, and technical presentation.
  • This would allow schools to offer more courses, such as business law, accounting, marketing, and professional practices.
  • We are moving forward in our profession when we can offer a student the opportunity to be a designer with a business brain.
  • Interior design is very tactile; therefore, a designer misses the basics when rushing through courses and doing work digitally.
  • It’s not that industry leaders are apathetic to change, but they are tasked with the traditional models of teaching the student all of the aspects of interior design.
  • Changing the curriculum to product business-minded interior designers represents a challenge to CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation).
  • LuAnn and Victoria discuss ideas for implementation.
  • LuAnn points out that those running the most successful interior design firms come with experience or training in running a business. It’s a business first, and a design firm second.
  • The younger generation of designers understand that they need business skills, and are currently turning to podcasts to learn what schools aren’t teaching them.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Victoria!

Victoria’s Website

Victoria’s Pinterest

Victoria’s Facebook

Victoria’s Instagram

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

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Mentioned Episodes:

Dr. Ellen Fisher Ep #71

Ashlina Kaposta Ep #109

 

Feb 14, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Today, LuAnn shares her findings on coaching a diverse group of entrepreneurs. As it turns out, they have several tangible things in common that she was so impressed by that she decided to dedicate a podcast to complimenting these special people and laying out for you what she has discovered in their time together.

As she relates, this has been an ‘A-ha!’ moment for her, and she hopes it will be for her listeners, as well. If you don’t already see yourself in these descriptions, perhaps it’s time that you do something to work toward them.

Additionally, LuAnn brings you exciting news of her upcoming LIVE events that she will be attending spring and summer, and invites you to join her because she LOVES meeting you in person!

Show Highlights:

  • The 3 Traits of Smart Business Owners:
  1. They come to every session with a truly open mind. They listen, ask great questions, and take action on ideas that are new to them and that sometimes even make them a bit nervous.
  2. They understand the importance of having a coach because it is an investment in their business. A coach can help you grow beyond what you imagine for yourself and shorten the learning curves.
  3. They have hope. Hope for themselves, hope for their business, and hope for the industry. They seek out new ideas and new ways to make a profit, to succeed and service a client where the client needs it the most.
  • Companion questions to ask yourself:
  1. Are you open to taking advice? Even advice that you think might not work for you?
  2. If you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time what, how does that make you look? What does your crew look like? Do you create opportunities through mentoring, coaching, and eduction that increase your value and your business acumen?
  3. Do you believe in yourself? Do you know your value and how you enrich other peoples’ lives? Do you take your talent and your abilities serious enough to invest in them?
  • March 19this the 4th birthday party for this podcast! Thanks to Kravet Inc. and 200 Lex for hosting this. Please join us 5:30- 7:30 pm at the Kravet Work Space Showroom at 200 Lexington Ave NYC. You can find the RSVP on EventBrite as well as on the website under the events tab.
  • March 21stto 24th Exciting Windows and IWCE / March 25th to the 27th
  • Teaching the Professional Window Coverings 7 Step Process, which is open to the public. Go to Exciting Windows. At the IWCE, Luann will be doing Closing the Sale Begins with Hello, as well as moderating some panels on Profitability with the Vin Man and Michele Williams. Next, LuAnn has a panel with Sara Brennan on Packaging your Process and Working with Window Treatment Professionals with Sara Brennan and Vita. Please visit IWCE-Vision.
  • April 2nd, Thursday, East End Interiors is celebrating 30 years in business this year and they have invited LuAnn to speak at their showroom in Long Island NY. If you were at LuAnn Live last year, then you know Sal and Enza and you already know what a fantastic family business they run. If you are in the NY Metro area, especially LI, you must make the time to join us so you can see everything they have to help you complete all of your design projects. They are a strictly to the trade showroom featuring furniture, lighting, accessory and more. LuAnn is also delighted to share that they are the Exclusive VIP Experience Sponsor for LuAnn Nigara Live 2020.
  • High Point Market in April. It all starts with LuAnn’s PTF Tour on Friday, April 24th, 8 am to 11:00 pm. Yup, all day, this event is jam-packed, loaded-to-the-gills, with eye-opening A-ha’s and advice specific to your business. LuAnn brings you 3 of her PTF Experts and one of them is Sandra Funk, the CEO of HOF. Sandra will be on an upcoming PTF where you will learn how she truly runs the back end of her business. And then, get to spend the whole day picking her brain? Uhmmm, the price of admission is worth it right there, no question. During the next few days at HP, LuAnn will have several presentations and panels. Saturday April 25th,she’ll moderate a panel at the showroom of the newest sponsor to join the show, Jaipur, which will be co-hosted by Revelwoods and the Interior Design Society. They will be talking about the Design Build Process and how to navigate the big-ticket projects.
  • On Sunday, LuAnn will be in the HP Theater at 12:00 noon for a very special one-on-one conversation with a very special friend, designer, and all around outstanding human being…not sure if ASID wants the proverbial beans spilled yet…so just put LuAnn on your dance card! Here’s a hint: If you were at LuAnn Live, you could probably make a good guess as to his name… Sunday at 4:00 pm you can always find LuAnn at the Kravet showroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to see and meet the incredible leadership team at Kravet. Later at 6:00 pm Sunday, there will be a special VIP party with Mydoma Studio. YOU are the special VIP :) This is a kickoff event to celebrate this new collaboration, so please join us.
  • Monday morning, LuAnn will moderate a panel all about Process Leads to Profits. LuAnn’s friend and Process Leads to Profits course teacher, Sara Lynn Brennan will be there along with a few others yet to be announced. This is also hosted by Mydoma Studio. Check LuAnn’s Website later this month for all of the locations and details.
  • Wednesday April 29th LuAnn will be back in NYC and NYSID has invited her to do a solo presentation and book signing. This is open to the public and is an evening event.
  • On May 20th, the Philadelphia Chapter of IFDA has asked LuAnn to speak and her friends at the Kravet showroom are hosting. Please join us.
  • June 4,5,6, ASID California is having their annual conference in Santa Barbara this year and they have invited LuAnn to do a solo presentation and moderate a panel. Currently, they are finalizing the designer speakers and panelists and so far, it’s looking like A-List all the way!
  • A minute later on Jun 9th LuAnn may be confirming an event with the NKBA NJ Chapter, so stay tuned on that.
  • June 16th, LuAnn’s friend, Vita, her co-host from their WTF episodes is having a grand opening party at her brand-new work room and she will be there for this celebration. Hope you will come too!
  • We will get as many of these as we can on my website but if one in particular is right for you and it is not on my site, reach out to the hosting event for the details. LuAnn’s website is LuAnn Nigara.
  • And of course, in the fall there will be LuAnn Nigara Live, It’s About the Conversation again, here in NJ. Please be on the email list for when she announces ticket sales are open—go to LuAnn Live.
  • For now, keep early November open and plan your budget for tickets, flights, and hotels. The announcement will be later this month for sure!
  • Want to make LuAnn’s day? She really does love to take her friendships from virtual to real, so please plan to attend at least one of these events.

Resources:

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Special Thanks to Podcast Sponsor:

Kirsch

 

Feb 11, 2020

Welcome to this episode of Power Talk Friday! Nicole Cole joins LuAnn today for a chat about a-ha moments and the ensuing mindset shifts.

Nicole will be sharing five takeaways she’s learned from both Power Talk Friday and her time with business coach, Nancy Ganzekaufer.

You’ll want to listen in to hear her tips on how she accomplished her mindset shift to being a CEO so that you can implement these ideas for your business, too!

Nicole Cole is the CEO and Principal Designer at vestige HOME, a Philadelphia based residential interior designer firm focused on creating spaces that are interesting, engaging, and that encourage people to live well. As a young adult, Nicole served in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer before leaving to pursue work in the corporate world. With her new-found freedom outside the military, she realized that she missed the curiosity and creativity she enjoyed as a child, and decided it was time to build a creative business. Thus, vestige HOME was born!

Nicole and her team provide turnkey design services, which include trade resource coordination, sourcing expertise, creation of detailed plans, and open communication with her clients. With her many years of project management experience, she consistently delivers her projects in the most streamlined fashion with clear goals and expectations and a plan that provides the least amount of disruption possible to her client’s lives.  

Nicole studied interior design at Monterey Peninsula College and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Information Systems from the University of Kansas. She believes in creating beauty and exercising a little creativity wherever possible, whether designing a room in a client’s house, picking the perfect pairing of plants for the garden, or just setting the table for breakfast on a Wednesday morning.  Nicole’s greatest joy is helping clients to create homes that reflect their lives and personalities while honoring the buildings that contain them.

Show Highlights:

  • Systems and processes are fundamental to the way you run a business.
  • Confidence is the reward when systems and processes are used consistently.
  • This confidence spills over to the client and they become confident in you.
  • When you know what you will and will not do, and the why, you will be more selective about who you work with.
  • When you refer a job because you know someone else can do it better than you can, it makes saying ‘no’ so much easier.
  • Nicole’s Five Takeaways:
  1. She realized she was no longer “just” a designer, but the CEO. As CEO, she had responsibilities to herself, her team, and her clients.
  2. It’s important to build a team.
  3. Create the systems and processes, and teach them to your staff.
  4. Focus on the details of the client experience.
  5. Focus on profit, and don’t feel guilty!
  • Lu Ann covers some additional obstacles that she has observed in speaking with designers.
  • How there’s power in using the phrase, “In my experience”.
  • LuAnn provides a designer perspective on how much work gets packed into each billing hour.
  • When you truly explain what details go into what you do, that’s when the client can buy in to your charges.
  • When you understand your own value for the work you do, you can then feel confident in either what you charge or raising what you charge.

Resources:

Join us for The Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point Market

Friday, April 24th, 2020 from 8am - 11am!

Sign Up For Updates HERE!

Sponsors:

Start Your Trial Now!

Mydoma Studio- Your On-Stop Client & Project Management Tool!

Jaipur

A Well Designed Business Podcast® 4th Birthday Party

New York City, New York

Thursday, March 19th

5:30 – 7:30pm 

Kravet Workspace, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 210

RSVP HERE!

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Nicole!

Nicole’sWebsite 

Nicole’s Instagram

Nicole’s Facebook

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

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Links to other shows mentioned:

Nancy Ganzekaufer #389

Michele Williams #180

Ashley Uhl #412

Bethany Mabee #450

Sarah Durnez #418

Brittanie Elms #149

Taylor Dieterich & Yashlie Negron #346

Kimberly Merlitti #442

Sara Lynn Brennan #463

Wendy Wolshchuk #316

Mikel Welch #297

 

 

Feb 7, 2020

Welcome to today’s episode of Power Talk Friday, where LuAnn chats with Nikki Rausch, a fellow seasoned sales guru with a passion for the art of selling.

Nikki has the unique ability to transform the misunderstood process of selling into techniques, tools, and tips that can successfully be incorporated into a duplicatable process.

Nikki Rausch is the Founder and CEO of Sales Maven, where she leverages her 25 years of sales experience to help entrepreneurs learn to sell in an authentic way. As a sales coach, trainer, author, and speaker, Nikki teaches her clients how to authentically move people through the selling process in a way that builds relationships, creates true connection, and results in more closed deals and long-term clients.

Her latest book, Selling Staircase, is sure to leave you feeling confidently equipped to develop a genuine sales process that gets those deals closed.

Listen in to this jam-packed conversation to find out more about how showing up from a place of credibility and being more strategic will help you to reach your sales goals.

Show Highlights:

  • Sales is really about creating strong relationships with people.
  • LuAnn likens closing a sale with being on a first date.
  • Interior Designers often classify themselves as an introvert and therefore don’t develop sales skills.
  • Using your own personality is the best way to grow your business.
  • Nikki helps clients learn how to use language to attract ideal clients.
  • It’s important to be the expert and provide recommendations. You need to be able to explain the “why” so that communication is clear.
  • You can talk people out of buying from you if you don’t recognize a buying signal.
  • LuAnn and Nikki share personal pet-peeves they have when they’re on the receiving end of a sales pitch.
  • Nikki’s 5 Steps of the Selling Staircase:
  1. Introduction: Establish yourself as a credible source and make a powerful first impression.
  2. Creating Curiosity: Is this a potential client or colleague? Tip: Are you answering questions in a way that spurs people to want to know more about you? Nikki explains the difference between using a ‘cat-calling’ and ‘dog-calling’ technique to create curiosity.
  3. The Discovery Phase: Find out what their want/need/problem is, and ask questions that lead to people hiring you.
  4. The Proposal: As the expert, recommend the services that you think your client needs, and not what you think they can afford.
  5. The Close: Use closing language and then zip it! Let your prospect respond first. If they raise an objection, be ready to uncover and overcome the “real” objection.
  • You, as the salesperson, are not allowed to skip any of these steps. Your client, however, can!

Resources:

Join us for The Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point Market

Coming Spring 2020!

Sign Up For Updates HERE!

A Well Designed Business Podcast® 4th Birthday Party

New York City, New York

Thursday, March 19th

5:30 – 7:30pm 

Kravet Workspace, 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 210

RSVP HERE!

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Podcast - Please SUBSCRIBE, Rate & Review!

Purchase LuAnn’s Book!

Connect with Nikki!

Nikki’s Website - Free E-Book ‘Closing the Sale’! Learn why you might be fumbling sales calls and what to do instead, how you can establish yourself as the expert and language to use when asking for the sale.

Nikki’s Sales Maven SocietyFor 10% Off Membership, Use COUPON CODE: luann

Nikki’s Selling Strength Assessment

Nikki’s Facebook

Nikki’s Instagram

Nikki’s Linkedin

Nikki’s YouTube

Nikki’s Books<— Get Them Here!

Podcast Sponsor:

Article

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Recommended Previous Shows

Stephanie Chung # 277

Kwame Christian #129

Madeline McCray #315

 

Feb 4, 2020

Welcome! On today’s show, the creative force behind the Barclay Butera Design Firm, joins us on the show for the second time on the podcast. We pick up with Barclay today, where we left off with him in our previous conversation in episode # 122. He talks to us about his corporation, how it has changed, how he vets potential licensing partners, and what his responsibilities are, in terms of his relationships with his licensing partners. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what Barclay has to share.

Barclay has been the creative force behind his prestigious design firm since 1994, and he is well-known for his approachable elegance and glamorous coastal-chic interiors. He has showrooms in New Port Beach, California, Corona Del Mar, California, and Park City, Utah.

Apart from his thriving interior design business, Barclay is also a stand-out leader in our industry for developing and earning licensing agreements. His licensing partners include Kravet, Jaipur, Bradburn Home Lighting, Castell Outdoor Furniture, Eastern Accents, Leftbank Art, Lexington Home Brands, Mirror Image, Napa Home and Garden, and many others. Barclay also has a long list of esteemed press and media publication credentials. Tune in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Barclay talks about his new, sophisticated fabric collection at Kravet.
  • Every license relationship wants Barclay to push to the next level.
  • Barclay discusses what he has coming in 2020with Jaipur.
  • Barclay has recently celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his business.
  • His next book could be out within the next year.
  • Barclay discusses the real estate revenue stream that he has recently added to his corporation.
  • How his whole licensing empire has grown organically to where it is today.
  • Some tips for capitalizing on licensing opportunities.
  • A lot of hard work goes into Barclay's licensing partnerships.
  • Barclay discusses the kinds of people he has to sell to.
  • Barclay informs everything he does with the very same thought processes he uses to manage his very large design firm.
  • Barclay's company has been built on good personal relationships and he promotes from within.
  • Learning to run a business well.
  • Barclay was raised in a sales environment. His parents were both salespeople.
  • Managing with kindness, not fear.
  • Some things to consider when thinking of growing your business.
  • Barclay shares his thoughts about sharing, caring, and supporting charities, and his mechanisms for doing it.
  • Barclay explains why e-commerce is the most difficult revenue stream.

Previous Episode Mentioned:

Nate Berkus #433

Links:

Barclay Butera

info@luannnigara.com

My Doma Studio: A Well designed Business

 

Jan 31, 2020

Welcome! We have Natalie Norcross, the CEO and Founder of A Design Partnership, back on the show today. (She was previously in episode #162.) Natalie started her career as an interior designer. She then built a highly successful residential and hospitality design firm, and after she sold it in 2008, she was repeatedly approached by interior design and architectural firms to assist them with their marketing and business development. And this was how A Design Partnership was born. In today's episode, Natalie talks about the four areas you need to focus on when going after press for your design firm. She also discusses how to make PR more accessible to designers, and she shares her strategies for goal setting, running her firm, and achieving success. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what this #smartlady has to share!

A Design Partnership has grown to become a dynamic group of experts who are passionate about helping clients transform their brands and evolve their businesses. From content curators to data-obsessed experts, Natalie leads a dynamic team of design-savvy people who know the industry, love their craft, and are fanatical about helping brands grow.

Natalie has more than nineteen years of experience, working for interior designers, architects, builders, developers, and hotel and home brands. Her firm has a proven track record of driving exposure and placements through their PR. Natalie is an Official Member of Forbes Agency Council as well as a regular speaker and panelist in both the communications and design industries. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Having systems in place will allow you to sell your business.
  • How Natalie's agency was born.
  • Systems lead to success.
  • Locking things down and getting things organized in your business.
  • Focus on your goals to achieve your dreams.
  • Ninety days of intention.
  • Focus on becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Success is all about service.
  • Natalie talks about her superpower.
  • Natalie describes her wonderful team.
  • Working with success metric for each client.
  • Accountability is a great mirror.
  • Developing a growth mindset and surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Everything in your life is figure-outable.
  • Some advice about PR.
  • Great tips for getting press!
  • Getting published with Interior Design PR in 2020.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Natalie Norcross 1st show #162

Ren Miller #12

Ashley Hotham Cox #321

Amy Flurry #108, #323

Alex Gourlay # 447

Links:

Website: A Design Partnership

Instagram: A Design Partnership

Pinterest: A Design Partnership

Facebook: A Design Partnership

New Launch: Interior Design PR

 

Jan 29, 2020

Welcome to our special bonus show! Today, as promised, we will be sharing our conversation with Eric Ross about his business philosophy, his process for selling accessories, and the way he manages his reveal install day. Eric's process is unique and very unusual. Be sure to listen in, to hear what he has to share.

Eric has been a professional decorator for more than twenty years. Although his preferred design style is traditional, he listens to his clients, to help them discover what they love, and what they respond to because he believes that everyone's home should represent who they are on their best day. Tune in today, to get some great advice from Eric!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric doesn't deliver a project piecemeal. He only reveals it when it's ready.
  • Eric takes risks when making purchases for his clients but they seldom ask to return items.
  • It is important to look at what you're trying to achieve, and the value you're bringing to people, and stick to that.
  • Know that your job is to make things beautiful and if something gets returned you have still done your job.
  • Eric loves to wow people at the install.
  • People who appreciate Eric's value and want a beautiful home will be willing to pay the price he's asking.
  • It's Eric's job to design a room to completion. It's the client's job to decide on the budget.
  • The designer needs to learn what makes the client tick.

Links:

Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party

 

 

Jan 28, 2020

Welcome! Today, Eric Ross joins us on the show. Eric is a charming southern gentleman and a well-experienced design professional. He is also a seasoned businessman who has figured out how to run his firm in a unique way that really works for him. In today's episode, he describes how he runs his private interior design studio like a retail store. He explains that he no longer feels the need to change, apologize or adjust the way he works to conform to a client’s expectations. Eric knows himself well, he understands his passions, and he is very clear about what he will and will not do. Be sure to listen in today, to find about his very interesting business model.

Eric is from Nashville. He has been in love with the traditional living design style since he was a child. He has more than twenty years of design experience and his work has been published in Traditional Home, Southern Style, Southern Lady, The Cottage Journal, as well as in many other publications. Eric's passion is to fan the flame of traditional decorating with a deeply Southern esthetic. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric explains what he means when he says that he is running his design firm like a store without a storefront.
  • What the decorating track of Eric's business is all about.
  • Eric's margins are hefty, just like those in a storefront, and all of his design services are included in that pricing.
  • The way that Eric educates his clients about his philosophy and the way he works.
  • Talking about transparency.
  • People will happily pay Eric for his product rather than his time.
  • Trust is a key issue.
  • Eric's business model allows him to have total control over the whole process.
  • Eric's advice is to start small with clients. It makes your business more manageable.
  • The biggest motivator for Eric is seeing the result of what he has created.
  • Eric's qualifying process for his new clients.
  • Eric explains why he does not do discounts.
  • The opportunities you're losing by being overworked.
  • Eric's goal is to monetize his passion.
  • Our industry is too high-touch to make it high volume.
  • It's okay to mark up because of the value you add to the project.
  • You don't have to explain your "no".
  • Eric has a new book out, called Enduring Southern Homes.

Links:

Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party

 

 

Jan 24, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Traci Reuter, the founder, and CEO of Divine Social joins us today. Traci loves to uplift and inspire business owners, entrepreneurs, or anyone with an amazing idea! She has a knack for uncovering just the right strategy for everyone and then helping them map things out to make the execution simple and easy. In today's episode, Traci shares tons of ideas, strategies, and tips for paid marketing on social media. Be sure to listen in to find out more about the paid advertising aspect of Instagram and Facebook. 

Traci has twenty-five years of experience in sales and marketing. She is passionate about supporting businesses and growing their brands through real and meaningful social media advertising. She has a special gift for mapping out the perfect strategy to get a brand in front of the right people at the right time. Traci truly knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. She also co-hosts the Social Media Happy Hour podcast with Dawn Marks. Tune in today, to learn what she has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • The power of paid advertising on social media.
  • Traci explains how she started with her business.
  • Traci gives her team incredible training.
  • Sometimes, it takes just a tiny thing to make all the difference in your profitability.
  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • The customer journey.
  • Never spend money on ads. Rather invest in your business.
  • Consideration is not the same as pre-purchase.
  • Why Traci is against boosting Facebook posts.
  • It takes time to build up enough trust to invest in advertising.
  • Thinking about what to put your ads, to get your prospects to want to know more.
  • Branding is about telling your story so that business comes out of it.
  • Creating engagement with your prospects.
  • Building audiences of people who have watched your Facebook video.
  • Traci shares the EDIE formula for creating a great video.
  • All your ads must be congruent with your end-goal.
  • Video out-performs everything else on social media.
  • What to do if you only have the budget to run one thing.
  • The Three Pillars to Successful Social Ads.
  • Should you focus on Facebook or Instagram?

Bio:

Traci Reuter is the founder/CEO of Divine Social. She’s passionate about supporting businesses in growing their brands through authentic, meaningful social advertising. Traci has an uncanny gift for looking at any business’s mission, vision, and message, and mapping out the right strategy to get their brand in front of the right people at the right time. With 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Traci knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. Combined with her tactical knowledge of social advertising, Traci can write the recipe for any brand’s success, and she would love to share some of her greatest secrets behind mapping out your own powerful social advertising strategy.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Links:

Website: Divine Social

Instagram: Traci Reuter

Facebook: Traci Reuter Social

Youtube: Traci Reuter

Please take advantage of Traci’s gifts:

For the 15-minute audit, if you are spending more than $3000 a month on social media marketing, email Traci at info@divinesocial.com.

For Traci's free mini-course, 3 Pillars To Successful Social Ads, go to A Well Designed Business

Big announcement - The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet’s new workspace center at 200 Lexington NY NY on March 19, 2020, at 5:30 pm

Book mentioned:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

 

Jan 21, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Lisa Haude, of Paradigm Design Group, joining us! Lisa built her firm from ground zero to a firm with gross revenues exceeding fifty-million dollars. And she showed her relentless commitment by doing that the old-fashioned way, by calling on her contacts week after week. In today's episode, Lisa talks to us about how she runs her business, and she explains how all her success can be attributed to her commitment to delivering an exceptional project, regardless of the situation. Tune in today, to find out how planning to exceed your clients' expectations in every aspect of a project will always bring about a successful result.  

As the lead designer and founder of Paradigm Design Group for the last fifteen years, Lisa Haude is an expert in livable luxury. She has built Paradigm Design Group into a hospitality design powerhouse. With projects ranging from The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria in New Orleans to the award-winning Portland Marriott Downtown, to boutique hotels and numerous Hilton hotels across the United States, Lisa prides herself on her design versatility. Be sure to listen in today, to find out more about Lisa, and her work ethic, and her successful design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Lisa spent time working at high-end hospitality firms, for architectural design firms, and in the hotel and hospitality industry, on the inside, on their design teams, before opening her firm. She talks to us about how this great learning experience informs the way she runs her firm.
  • Lisa gives us some insight into the way her firm looks.
  • Taking care of the details and all the moving pieces on multiple-million dollar projects.
  • The way that Lisa's whole team collaborates to bring about an awesome project.
  • Dealing with the documentation.
  • Talking about accountability.
  • The whole team is detail-oriented.
  • Open discussions are vital for growing and improving.
  • Taking responsibility, as a leader, for whatever happens with a project.
  • Sometimes it's hard to find your humor when you're in the trenches.
  • Some advice for landing and keep long-term hospitality accounts.
  • Owning up if you mess up is very important.
  • People like to do business with people who have similar ideals and values.
  • Lisa has an amazing village of co-workers.
  • How Lisa created her opportunities and made things happen when she started her firm.
  • Lisa offers some awesome advice.
  • Thinking outside the box to make things happen.
  • The background and skills that Lisa looks for when hiring a junior designer.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Meryl Santopietro #40

Mikel Welch #297

Corey Damen Jenkins #127

Claire Jefford #237

Vanessa DeLeon #18

Links:

Website: Paradigm Design

Facebook: Paradigm Design Group

Instagram: Paradigm Design Group

The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet's new workshop center at 200 Lexington New York on March 19, 2020, at 5.30 pm. Use this link to RSVP -  Event Brite

 

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