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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

 

Jan 17, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have one of our early guests back on the show. Diane Gardener, known as The Tax Coach (Episode #54) is back with us to talk about the specific niche of seven-figure interior design firms. Although LuAnn has done a lot of shows about getting a design business off the ground, she realized that she's done way fewer shows about what to do when you are in the seven-figure bracket. And there are very specific challenges that come with this area. When moving into the seven-figure bracket, business owners frequently experience higher expenses, cash flow problems, and higher taxes. So be sure to listen in today even if you're still a #babydesigner because LuAnn fully intends for you to become a seven-figure interior designer someday.

Diane Gardner is a Certified Tax Coach, a Quilly award recipient, and a best-selling author whose expert planning approach has saved her clients over three-million dollars in taxes. Her expertise lies in the area of tax planning. And her goal is to make sure that successful entrepreneurs across the United States are paying the least amount of income tax that they can legally pay. She aims to save taxes, one business at a time, through the use of pro-active tax planning. Diane has been featured on popular podcasts such as CEO Warrior, For the Love of Money, Listen Money Matters, Investing in The U.S, Cashflow Ninja, SharkPrenuer, Wealth Formula and Profit Boss. Tune in today, to learn about what you need in your seven-figure business to mitigate risk, increase your profits, and legally decrease your taxes.

Show Highlights:

  • Diane is a certified Profit First coach.
  • Planning ahead to pay less tax when moving into the seven-figure tax bracket.
  • Increased income often means increased expenses.
  • Becoming an active partner with your CPA or Business Coach.
  • The tax planning strategies that seven-figure businesses need to implement to keep more money
  • A great way to incentivize your people and lessen your tax load.
  • It takes a different set of skills to run a bigger business.
  • How to increase your cash flow to leverage growth from multi-six-figures to seven-figures.
  • Diane explains how a tax coach can be your ultimate advocate and partner in growth.
  • Doing an entity analysis for your business.
  • An amazing strategy for saving money by investing in your own insurance company.

Other guests mentioned in this show:

Michele Williams #180, #395 

Peter Lang # 349, #464 

Diane Gardner was on the show before in episode #54

Links:

Diane's website: Tax Coach 4 You

Diane's offer: Planning guide for the new tax law vs old tax law.

Diane’s Facebook handles:      
@taxcoach4you
@AdeptBusinessServices  

 

 

 

Jan 14, 2020

Welcome to the epic 500th episode of A Well-Designed Business! So far, it's been a wild ride, and we've fully enjoyed every minute of it! Even LuAnn, the consummate positive thinker, ever-optimistic dreamer, and earnest believer in the truth, could not foresee all the joy she has experienced, and the delightful connections she has made, because of this podcast! Join us today, for this truly memorable episode!

Recently, LuAnn has been spending time reflecting on all the pleasure that this podcast has brought her. She's been thinking about all the people she's met, the invaluable relationships she's formed, the opportunities she's been given, and the ones she has helped to create through this podcast. She has also taken the time to break down the various business strategies she's used in running this platform. In today's episode, she shares the five things that she learned behind the scenes, from doing this show. Be sure to tune in today, to hear about the 5 Keys that LuAnn believes were essential for her to have in place, to allow for her calling to happen.

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn talks about the 5 essential keys to success.
  • Talking about passion.
  • How LuAnn realized that she needed to do a podcast.
  • Looking for something to light her up, back in 2013.
  • Lessons learned from golf lessons, surfing lessons, and 46-mile bike rides.
  • Never looking back, only ahead for what was to come.
  • LuAnn shares her true passion.
  • Even the hard days have been an absolute joy for LuAnn.
  • Creating a business plan with cold, hard facts.
  • Making clear decisions, based on facts and up-front agreements.
  • Clarity creates calm and purpose because when you have a plan, you are more likely to get to where you want to be.
  • Having an unrelenting, single-minded, and focused commitment to getting things done.
  • Every business is always a work in progress.
  • What you need, to be successful.
  • Commitment is showing up on schedule, being prepared to do what you said you would do, and doing the work.
  • What it takes, to run a village.
  • LuAnn has been blessed by the most amazing village of the brands who believe in this show.
  • It has been through the village of guests, sponsors, co-authors, and listeners that LuAnn has grown, and learned so much, in the last four years.
  • Some valuable lessons were learned from doing LuAnn Live.
  • Paying other people to deal with the details and fill in the gaps.
  • Having the support of our amazingly gifted podcast village.
  • The sad loss of a dear friend, Liza Jones.
  • Treasuring the support of all her co-authors.
  • Make someone's day, and decide to be excellent!

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467

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

Sarah Daniele #91, #119, and #177

Jenny and Greg Madden #332

Corey Damon Jenkins #388

Eileen Hahn #363

Wendy Glaister #386

Links:

LuAnn Nigara

My Doma Studio

Kravet

Article

Kirsch

Revel Woods

 

Jan 10, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Shauna Lynn Simon with us today. She is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, and she's also one of the co-authors of LuAnn's second book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. Shauna Lynn is seriously committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success in their businesses. In today's episode, she explains how to become unforgettable to your clients. She shares several ways to make yourself memorable so that you're always the first person that your clients think of when they need an interior design or a window treatment service. Be sure to listen in, to find out what this exceptional businesswoman has to share with you today. You're really going to love her!

Shauna Lynn Simon is dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships between like-minded professionals. She partners with CEOs, executives, and solo-preneurs to grow their brands. Shauna Lynn has built a thriving home staging and design business. She has designed a comprehensive and systematic program for teaching the technical and the business side of the home staging world. She also offers core and continuing education for home staging professionals through Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Making yourself stand out uniquely.
  • It's all about understanding who you are and owning it.
  • Shauna Lynn's company has been branded with the color pink.
  • You need to know who you are and what you represent.
  • People often forget the names of people they have worked with before.
  • You need to find something to make yourself memorable.
  • Owning every part of your image.
  • You have to be one in a million.
  • Figuring out what makes you the best.
  • What fires up your passion?
  • Finding your purpose by looking at what makes you happy.
  • Positioning yourself well in the marketplace.
  • Give people a reason to remember you.
  • Figure out your "thing" is and steer yourself in that direction.
  • Everything you do should reflect your business in some way.
  • Creating an effective About You page.

Bio:

Shauna Lynn Simon is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, committed to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve success in their business. After building a thriving home staging and design business, she founded Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy, a comprehensive and systematic program providing core and continuing education training for home staging professionals.

Analyst turned home stager, Shauna Lynn combines creativity with logic and problem solving to achieve incredible results. Dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships, Shauna Lynn partners with CEOs, executives and solo-preneurs in the creative field to grow their personal and professional brands, providing real-world insights and actionable tips for conquering their business dreams.

Links:

Website: Beyond The Stage Homes

Facebook: Beyond The Stage Homes

YouTube Channel

Pinterest: BTSHomes

Exciting Windows

IWCE

PowerHouse Smart Luxury Conference - phs20.com

Goodies

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shauna Lynn Simon # 76, #84, and #102

Moniomi Design #193

Dane Austin #457

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

 

 

Jan 7, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Claire Staszak back on the show with us. Claire, who was previously in episode #166, is the principal of the Chicago-based firm, Centered by Design. Claire is a kind and genuine lady, and LuAnn has always had a very soft spot for her. In today's episode, she explains how to create excellent, top-quality content for social media. She and LuAnn also talk about how they met at the Design Influencer's Conference in 2017, and they discuss how Claire's blog, Centered by Design, was honored with an award for Best Design Writing. Be sure to listen in, to hear what Claire has to share about creating quality content for social media.

Centered By Design, is known for its holistic design process, which combines Claire's passion for wellness with her well-trained eye for interiors.

Claire studied interior design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she holds a Certificate of Kitchen and Bath Design from Harper College.  

She is also a certified yoga instructor with more than 500 hours of training.

Claire's work has been featured by The Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, HGTV, Domino, Architectural Digest online and more. Tune in now, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Claire will be speaking at The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference that LuAnn will be headlining, in February, in Chicago.
  • Why The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference is unique and well worth attending.
  • Claire talks about winning the Best Design Writing Award at the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017.
  • The Design Influencer's Conference was a turning point for Claire. It boosted her and gave her a lot of confidence.
  • Claire has a degree in journalism so writing comes very naturally to her.
  • Helping as many people as possible, as effectively as possible.
  • Claire came to the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017, asking whether or not she should continue writing her blog.
  • Claire shares her biggest takeaway from her experience of winning the Best Design Writing Award.
  • Claire has created a workbook, called Authentically You, for interior designers and creatives looking to create content for their websites and social media.
  • Claire has a social media following of 18 000 people, and she gets more than a million views a month on Pinterest. She shares some tips and strategies.
  • Creating opportunities for brand ambassadorship.
  • Claire's best apps for pre-planning and creating content.
  • Growing your #following on Instagram.
  • You attract the right kind of clients when you're authentic on social media.
  • Claire has an awesome giveaway for you today!

Links:

Claire's online shop pages:

Centered By Design

Centered By Design

Claire's Instagram and Pinterest:

Instagram: Claire Staszak

Pinterest: Claire Staszak

Claire's blog

Claire's giveaway - Social Media Prompts for Seasonal & Evergreen Content Goodies

Process Leads To Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

What Would Lu Do

LuAnn and Claire will be speaking at the Power House Smart Luxury Conference this February 5, 2020

For tickets

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Claire’s 1st episode #166

Kelsey Grose- The Farmer’s Daughter #167 - Winner of Best New Design Blog 2017 by Design Influencers Conference

Shea McGee - episode #’s: 236, 270 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Amber Lewis – episode #’s: 168, 184 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Wendy Cohen: #483 - Organizer of the 2020 Power House Smart Luxury Conference

 

 

 

Jan 3, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have a business strategist, Kim Dawson, joining us. Kim enjoys working with business owners, helping them earn more and grow their businesses into successful enterprises. Her superpower is helping the owners of service-based businesses work out their ideal pricing formula. In other words, she guides them through a process of figuring out how much they should be charging, either per hour or for an entire project, to be profitable. Kim's advice is to always start with the numbers so that you can plan and strategize to accomplish your goals, rather than wishing for them to happen. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what she has to share.

Kim is a lifelong entrepreneur. She has started many businesses of her own, including a local health and fitness studio, and she has also co-founded a software setup. Kim's experience lies both in locally-focused, service-oriented businesses, and in online product-based businesses. Tune in now, to find out how to set and track your yearly financial goals, and make more profit from your business.

Show Highlights:

  • Kim works with many different industries.
  • Running a business is not for everybody.
  • Owning a business does not mean that you know how to run one.
  • Making a plan to earn your money.
  • Getting your priorities in order.
  • Looking at your numbers.
  • Kim shares a formula for working out how much money you need to bring in each year.
  • You need to know your market.
  • Evaluating the whole situation before deciding to take something on helps you stay on target.
  • Kim advises charging a flat fee, rather than an hourly fee.
  • Working out your hourly rate.
  • Finding the right market for the rate you're charging.
  • Using a strategic plan to get where you want to go.
  • Tracking your time makes your billing easier.
  • Kim used to have The Sassy Strategist Podcast.

The shows to go with this show:

Krista Coupar #60

Kim Merlitti #361 and #442

Alinda Morris #429

Cheryl Clendenon #482

Michele Williams #395

Kae Whitaker #114

Links:

Kim Dawson

LuAnn Nigara

Profit With Window Treatments

Kirsch

My Doma Studio

Kravet

Well Designed Article

IWCE Vision

 

 

Dec 31, 2019

Welcome to the last podcast for 2019! Today, we have Sally Williams, the owner of Colorful Concepts Interior Design, based in Raleigh, New York, with us on the show. Sally knows who she is, what she is capable of doing, and what sets her apart from other designers. And this comes across very distinctly in her carefully thought-out and exceptionally well-written bio. Listen in today, to hear what Sally has to share about the way she markets and grows her design firm.

Sally is very clear about what she will do and what she won't do in her business. And she knows precisely what to say when she has to have difficult conversations with her clients. This is Sally's secret sauce because certain conversations can be very hard to have if you're not prepared. In today's show, Sally explains how she's equipped herself for having these hard conversations with clients, and she talks to us about two changes that she made in her firm, which have resulted in a 40% increase in her gross sales in just one year. Be sure to tune in today, to find out more!

We wish you the happiest and most successful of years in 2020!

Show Highlights:

  • Sally explains how she achieved a 40% growth in her business this year, by making two changes.
  • Changing to charging an hourly rate, rather than a flat fee.
  • Sally explains how she estimates the cost of a design project.
  • Sally's mechanism for billing her clients for additional work.
  • Sally explains how she and her team track their hours.
  • Sally walks us through her strategy wall for new projects.
  • Setting things up for a new project.
  • Sally explains how she persuades new clients to hang in there, and bear with her until she's ready to start with their project.
  • How Sally and her team coped with a 40% growth this year.
  • Creating touchpoints for keeping the communication with the client open throughout a project.
  • The wrapping-up process.
  • Susan Brunstrum (#36) has developed a great process for wrapping up a design project.
  • Charging the same mark-up percentage on products across the board.
  • Sally explains how she builds her pipeline and markets her business.

Bio:

Sally Williams, the Owner and Principal Designer of Colorful Concepts Interior Design has a design aesthetic that is timeless and free of stylistic premises working in contemporary and traditional spaces alike.

Sally is a CQRID-certified Interior Designer who has also earned an Accounting degree from the College of William and Mary.  She worked in Corporate Accounting Management prior to following her life-long passion for Fine Art and Craft by opening a Gallery in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.  During her seven years of Gallery ownership, Sally’s eyes were opened to the world of Interior Design.  With the encouragement of Gallery clients, friends, and family, she pursued vigorous self-study of the field. In 2002, Sally closed the Gallery and Colorful Concepts was born. 

The gallery and artists Sally worked with continue to inspire her design approach today.  She begins her designs with the color palette, which sets the tone for the entire project.  Sally transforms a space artistically, providing balanced composition and soulful color schemes set in crisp optimistic environments.  She has a strong philosophy that environments impact peoples’ daily lives, and she works with the client to deeply understand what they want and need in their space.

​As the daughter of a United States Foreign Service Officer, Sally spent much of her childhood overseas.  A multi-cultural heritage of French-Canadian on her Father’s side, and Peruvian on her Mother’s, has also inspired Sally’s creativity, which is delivered beyond her client’s expectations.

Sally is a Past President of the Triangle Chapter of the Interior Design Society; a member of numerous Professional Associations including the Home Builders Association and the Remodeler’s Council; and is a volunteer with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Guild.  Sally has lived in Raleigh for thirty years, where she and her husband, Richard, raised their two daughters - Angela and Nancy.  

Colorful Concepts Interior Design is a full-service Interior Design studio providing professional services in residential renovation design, space planning, new home materials selections, custom window treatments, and furnishings, fine art and craft consulting, and more.  At Colorful Concepts Interior Design, long-term client relationships are valued, and we look forward to working with you on future projects as well. We are fortunate to serve clients in a way that truly enhances their lives.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Clendenon # 482

Susan Brunstrum # 36

Nicole Heymer # 125, #317, and #466

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460

Links:

Colorful Concepts Interior Design

Instagram

Facebook

Dering Hall

Luann Nigara

Well Designed Article

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

 

 

Dec 27, 2019

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today, we're very excited to be talking money with our guest, Gerri Detweiler! Gerri understands just how to talk to creatives like us about money in a way that we truly get it.

As designers, we need to understand that working intentionally with our business finances will ultimately allow us to bring our design talent to the world. However, many creatives struggle to understand the nuances of money and finance, so, in today's episode, Gerri talks to us about business finance and she explains how to get access to a line of credit. Be sure to listen in, to get a clear understanding of credit and financing for your business.

Gerri has been guiding individuals through the confusing world of credit for more than twenty years. Her articles have been widely syndicated, and she is either the author or co-author of five books, including her most recent, Finance Your Own Business: Get on the Financing Fast Track. Gerri is also the Education Director for Nav, which matches small business owners to their best financing options and gives them free access to their personal and business credit scores. Tune in today, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Gerri admits that she's not a numbers person. She does what she does because she loves helping people.
  • Gerri hates seeing people making bad choices.
  • Why you need to have a good financial buffer available for your business.
  • Setting your business up smartly, for success.
  • Protecting your personal finances from your business's ups and downs.
  • There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about which cards to use in your business.
  • Some clever strategies for saving on bank charges.
  • Avoiding fraud with credit cards.
  • Using business credit to benefit your cash-flow.
  • Establishing a line of credit.
  • There are many different loans available for small businesses via the SBA.
  • Checking on business credit.
  • Why you need to keep your personal credit scores separate from business credit scores.
  • Business credit- use it or you'll lose it.
  • How Nav helps business owners.
  • You can set up your business credit for free with Nav.

Links:

Nav: The coupon code for opening a premium Nav account is PODCAST.

Nav Blog

Find out which small business credit cards don't report to your personal credit: Nav

Small business credit cards that DO help you build business credit

Get Nav's free Build Business Credit Checklist at Nav Podcast

Facebook: Nav

Twitter: NavSMB

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Peter Lang #349 and #464

Kimberley Merlitti #361 and #442

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

Taylor Spellman #467

Ashley Micchice #468

 

Dec 24, 2019

Welcome! We have Mimi Goldsmith, a loyal podcast listener, and the principal owner of her referral-based business, Style by Mimi G, with us on the show today. Mimi's bio is a perfect example of the lessons that Fred Berns, and Nicole Heymer, of Curio Electro, have been teaching us. Although Mimi has only been in business for a few short years, she has created a bio that draws the reader's attention to the uniqueness of her work. In today's episode, she talks to us about her business, how she started it, and all the shows that influenced her and helped her get her business off the ground. Be sure to listen in today, to hear what Mimi has to share about her journey!

Mimi Goldsmith, an interior decorator, and stylist is the principal owner of Style by Mimi G, which she opened in 2016. Mimi provides full-service interior decorating, e-design service, interior consultations, space planning, paint color consulting and home styling packages. She specializes in creating one-of-a-kind residential and commercial interiors for her local full-service clients. She also specializes in creating tranquil therapy offices for therapists across the world through her online services. Tune in now, to find out how Mimi got her business up and running!

Show Highlights:

  • Mimi describes her spontaneous decision to start her interior design business.
  • The kind of research Mimi did when she started her business.
  • Mimi didn't know how much to charge when she started.
  • The magic of attending a LuAnn Live event.
  • Mimi explains how she found this podcast.
  • The groups that can be found via the podcast.
  • How Mimi has been growing her business.
  • Where Mimi found the necessary information to grow her business.
  • Some lessons that Mimi learned from getting her clients' feedback.
  • To work after business hours, or not?
  • Mimi takes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons off.
  • Some very valuable lessons that Mimi has learned.
  • Making use of My Doma's services.
  • It's a great idea to create various design packages.
  • Learning about vendor relationships.
  • Buying from local vendors and learning from their expertise.
  • It's essential to run your business with integrity.
  • When you charge more, you can deliver more, and you create loyalty.

Links:

Mimi Goldsmith's website: Style by Mimi G

Instagram: Style by Mimi G

Facebook: Style by Mimi G

What Would Lu Do?

LuAnn Live

Get the Goodies

LuAnn Nigara and Friends Facebook Group

Claire’s Facebook group: Interior Design Business Strategies

Veronica’s Facebook group: What They Don’t Teach You in Design School

Darla’s Facebook group: The Wingnut Social Media Lab

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Fred Berns #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, #337, #393, and #460

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro) #125, #317, and #466

Summer Tannhauser #292

Stefan Spencer  

Sandra Funk  # 02 and #145

Groups to be found in the podcast:

Claire Jefford (# 237, #325, #485) - Interior Design Business Strategies

Veronica Solomon (#50) - What They Don't Teach You In Design School

Darla Powel (#203, #330)l - Wingnut Social

Leslie Carothers (#458) - The Design Wealth Group

Cheryl Clendenon (#482) - Small Business, Think Big

Email LuAnn at info@luannnigara.com if you think she could be your partner in making 2020 your amazing year!

 

 

Dec 20, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have Vita (Vitalia) Vygovska joining us on the show. As most of you know, Vita is LuAnn's Window Treatment Friday co-host. Ever since they launched the series last summer, they have been getting awesome feedback from designers and the window treatment community. Vita is an award-winning window treatment specialist with an impressive career path. In today's episode, you will learn all about her life, her career, her business, and her superpowers, so be sure to listen in, to get to know Vita a little better!

Vita has an MBA. She is a CWFP (Certified Window Treatment Professional), an award-winning window treatment specialist, and an author. Her company, Vitalia Inc. Her company, Vitalia, Inc., provides all-encompassing concierge-level, tech-driven fabrication, measurement, installation, and project management services, exclusively for interior designers. Tune in today to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Vita talks about what her career path looked like before she started doing window treatments.
  • How Vita came to open Vitalia Inc.
  • Vita has a flair for finance.
  • The corporate world can be brutal.
  • Vita truly appreciates the skills she developed and the lessons she learned in the corporate world.
  • Why Vita decided to leave her corporate career.
  • Productivity is very important for Vita.
  • The kind of confidence that corporate gave Vita.
  • Learning the skill and finesse to stand her ground in the face of bullies.
  • Looking back to learn from your past mistakes.
  • Vita is like an extension of the team of the designers she works with.
  • Entering the window treatment world with her eyes wide open.
  • It took Vita two years to decide to leave the corporate world.
  • Being very clear about your mission and vision.
  • It's not necessary to go it alone because there's so much help and support available out there.
  • What you will learn in Vita's eight-week Profit With Window Treatments
  • Remember- your success starts with a decision.

Bio:

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.  In business for over a decade, Vita and her team are experts in their narrow field, providing designers with superb quality product and excellent communication.  Most importantly, they take off the stress, save time, and give peace of mind in the job is well-done.

A big thank you to Kirsch for sponsoring Window Treatment Fridays!

Links:

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

To learn about Mydoma Studio

 

Dec 17, 2019

Welcome! Today, Laura Umansky, the principal of Laura U, (episode # 64) joins us once again on the show. Laura very clear about her vision for her firm and she is currently guiding her company to work towards growing from a five-million-dollar firm to a ten-million-dollar firm. In today's episode, Laura explains that, for her, this kind of growth requires a team of outside expert consultants, including an outside CFO, an EOS (Entrepreneur's Operating System) consultant, and her business advisor, in addition to her internal team. Laura is a true #smartlady, so be sure to listen in today, to hear this outstanding conversation.

Laura is the Founder and Creative Director of Laura U Interior Design, which is based in Houston, Texas. Her work has been featured by esteemed media outlets, which include Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Modern Luxury Houston, Veranda, and Luxe Interiors. Laura is also in Carl Dellator's brand new book, On Style: Inspiration and Advice from the New Generation of Interior Design,

which was released in the fall of 2019. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Laura is ultra-focused and she is a major planner.
  • Nothing happens by accident so you have to be prepared to be lucky.
  • Laura talks about the intentional way that she and her plan for her business to be run.
  • Work begets work.
  • You need to put yourself out there, plan, and get involved with your community, for things to come back to you.
  • Laura is ready to take her firm to the next level. She explains what this means for her.
  • Structuring a business to scale it.
  • Laura describes the kinds of decisions she has to make in her firm.
  • For her first seven years in business, Laura worked without the assistance of any advisors.
  • Laura started working with a business coach four or five years ago.
  • Working with a virtual CFO.
  • Laura has chosen to run her business on the EOS (Entrepreneur's Operating System) system.
  • The EOS system can even be used for a family!
  • Always doing what's best for the business is vital.
  • How Laura manages to be both the visionary and the integrator for her firm.
  • Laura talks about the processes that are involved in growing her firm from a five-million-dollar company to a ten-million-dollar company.
  • Being a life-long-learners with a growth mindset is important for scaling a business.
  • Laura talks about Carl Dellator's book, On Style, which has just come out.

Bio:

Laura Umansky is the Founder and Creative Director of Laura U Interior Design, a firm based in Houston, TX. Design has always been a part of her life. From a young age, Laura was deeply influenced by her environment, constantly finding ways to arrange her possessions with meaning and purpose. Seeing her father build her childhood home in Seguin, TX was the starting point of her career. “To see that he could do that, create our home with his own two hands…that lit something inside of me,” says Laura, who went on to study art at the University of Texas and subsequently obtain her Masters in Architecture from the University of Houston.

In 2006, she founded Laura U Interior Design, bringing her unique vision for Classically Current interiors to life. “Interior design, the way we practice it, is a true luxury,” Laura says. “Every part is crafted by human hands. We take great care to find out what matters to our clients most, and then to articulate that through great design.” Every interior is an authentic reflection of our clients’ passions and values so that just like Laura, they are never without something they enjoy.

Laura’s work has been featured by esteemed media outlets, including Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Modern Luxury Houston, Veranda, and Luxe Interiors.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Laura Umansky #64

Kimberly Merlitti #361, #432

LuAnn PTF #491

Books mentioned:

Traction by Gino Wickman

Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters

Links:

Website: Laura U Interior Design

Instagram: Laura U Interior Design

Pinterest: Laura U Interior Design

Facebook: Laura U Interior Design

Article Trade Program

Mydoma Studio

Process Leads to Profits with Sara Lynn Brennan

Profit with Window Treatments with Vita Vygovska

What Would Lu Do

Design Build for Profit with Jenny Slingerland

 

Dec 13, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, LuAnn will be talking to us about the kinds of problems and obstacles that stand in the way of designers with the running of their design firms. Although everyone is unique, there are still certain themes that play out, and problems that we all tend to share, as entrepreneurs. Listen in today, to learn what you can do to overcome the challenges that we, as designers, all face in our businesses.

LuAnn has put a lot of thought into the best way to address these things in a precise way that would benefit each of you the most, as individuals. This has not been an easy task because designers are such a diverse group, with varying levels of experience. In today's episode, LuAnn will teach you how to grow your client base, increase your net profits, improve your business acumen and sharpen your sales skills. She will also talk about goal setting and great ways to expand your network. Be sure to tune in today, to find out how to grow your business in 2020.

Show Highlights:

  • You can turn your business around by listening to the podcast. It's your number one free resource!
  • Systemizing every aspect of your business.
  • About Sara Brennan's eight-week course, Process Leads to Profits.
  • How to talk confidently with your clients about window treatments, with Vita's eight-week course.
  • You need to know what you don't know.
  • LuAnn's superpower is sales, which is all about listening.
  • Creating client loyalty and lasting relationships.
  • If you'd like to get inside of LuAnn's brain, whatwouldludo.com will be meeting once a month, live, via Zoom. Go to whatwouldludo.com to sign up.
  • Jenny Slingerland's DesignBuildForProfit course will be starting in February 2020.
  • A great opportunity for #seasoneddesigners.
  • LuAnn Live is coming in November of 2020.
  • Are you going to settle for normal in 2020 or will you strive to be exceptional?

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Darci Hether #220

Darla Powell #203 and #330

Kelsey Gross #167

Kimberley Kay #234

Christine Lin #470

Sara Brennan #463

Links:

LuAnn Nigara

Process Leads to Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

Design-Build For Profit

Whatwouldludo

LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Nigara

 

Dec 10, 2019

Welcome to the show! Today, Britany Simons joins us. Britany founded her full-service design firm, Britany Simon Design House, in 2010. Her work caught the attention of national media and this helped to launch Britany into the world of television and media. In today's episode, she talks to us about her experience of being in the seventh season of the hit HGTV design challenge series, Design Star. She shares the lessons she's learned from doing the show, and how she applies them today, to her design firm. Be sure to listen in today, to hear about Britany's extensive experience of doing television shows.

For the last fifteen years, Britany's design career has covered everything from large-scale commercial renovations to budget-friendly builds, including entire home makeovers. With a degree in Business and Interior Design, Britany's professional career started with working for some of the top design firms in Arizona, where she specialized in kitchen and bath design, as well as the whole construction process, from conception to completion.

In addition to being a regular design contributor to television, digital, and print media outlets, Britany has also been the host for the Holiday House series on HGTC.com, a designer on Travel Channel's hit series, Hotel Impossible, co-host of We're Moving In, on the FYI Network, and a featured designer on Bravo Network's new design show, Best Room Wins. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Britany enjoys supporting and having the support of other designers.
  • Britany discusses how she stumbled into doing TV design shows.
  • Being on TV isn't as glamorous as it looks.
  • Why you don't make good money on TV unless you get into the fifth season of a show.
  • Some of the lessons Britany learned from being on a TV show.
  • TV challenges are very stressful and you have to be self-sufficient and savvy with your resources because you're left to your own devices.
  • You have to be highly organized to pull off a TV challenge. It's a very testing experience.
  • It's very rewarding to complete a TV challenge.
  • Being on TV is not what you would imagine because it's more exciting for the producers if the designer breaks down and falls apart.
  • What Britany learned about herself, as a designer, from being on TV.
  • Being on TV taught Britany to be more efficient and trust her gut.
  • Learning to understand the process of how things are made, and what's involved with the different aspects of a renovation process.
  • Britany gained a lot of confidence from being on TV.
  • Being on TV certainly opened doors for Britany.
  • You need to know what you want from being on TV before you start because it's a huge time commitment.
  • You need to be mindful of where you're putting your energy.
  • Television has been the marketing that Britany has used in her business.

Bio:

To Britany Simon, the foundation of good design is about the experience that it gives you. She believes in spaces that blend fashion with function and luxury with livability.  With a focus on creating a space that is a reflection of who you are, and an emphasis on how it makes you feel.  Her artistic nature, a penchant for the details, and eye for the unexpected have helped her create incredibly distinguished living spaces and striking commercial projects for her clients.

Over the last fifteen years, Britany’s experience has spanned across a vast array of projects – from large-scale commercial renovations to whole home makeovers to budget-friendly builds. Although she has had a lifelong love affair with interior design and architecture, Britany received formal training through her bachelor’s degree in Business & Interior Design. She began her professional career working for some of the top design firms in Arizona where she worked on new residential homes, specializing in both kitchen and bath design, from conception to completion throughout the entire construction process.

In 2010, she founded Britany Simon Design House – a full-service design firm. The signature style and unmatched execution of BSDH have garnered a notable client roster with projects all over the country. Additionally, her work has caught the attention of national media and helped launch Britany’s foray into the television and media world.

Upon being selected on the seventh season of the hit HGTV design challenge series, Design Star, Britany discovered a new passion for television and video production. Her natural talent for design and on-camera presence earned her the accolade of “Fan Favorite” from her season. In addition to being a regular design contributor to television, digital and print media outlets, she has also been the host for the Holiday House series on HGTV.com, a designer on Travel Channel’s hit series, Hotel Impossible, co-host of We’re Moving In on the FYI Network, and a featured designer on Bravo Network's new design show, Best Room Wins airing May 2019.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

#420 Amanda Berlin

#478 Amber Roy

#297 Mikel Welch

#338 Orlando Soria

#127 Corey Damen Jenkins

#255 Anne Rue

#220 Darci Hether

#258 Lisa Escobar

#182 Christie Leu

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#291, #397 Cheryl Luckett

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#486 Christina Bruce

#376 Cat French

#463 Sara Brennan

Links:

Website: Britany Simon

Pinterest: Britany Simon

Instagram: BRITANY SIMON

Facebook: Britany Simon Design

 

Dec 6, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Brad Clinard, a certified financial planner from High Point, NC, joins us on the show today. Brad, like Peter Lang, the Designer CPA, (episodes #349 and #464) specializes in working with interior designers. He has a very real desire to help the people in our industry, and his approach to finances is different from any other financial planner. He knows that every designer needs to plan for life’s financial challenges, and for their retirement, so he helps them maximize their earnings over their lifetime. He refers to this as intentional planning for abundant living. Be sure to listen in today to find out what Brad does to help designers plan for a life and future that they deserve to have. 

Brad graduated from UNC Charlotte, Magna Cum Laude, majoring in Economics with a concentration in Psychology. He was the senior team captain of the tennis team and worked closely with the NCAA advocating for student-athletes. Brad has earned the designation CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Brad is married to Hope, a pastry chef. They attend Wesley Memorial Church in High Point, and they have a passion for missions and service, most recently supporting Youth with a Mission, Casey Cares Foundation and the Old North State Boy Scouts Board. In his “spare” time, Brad enjoys reading, movies, travel, time outdoors and eating great food. His adventures have included hiking the northern half of the Appalachian Trail and the Laugavegur in Iceland. Tune in now, for more.

Show Highlights:

  • Brad helps designers with their personal financial planning.
  • We need to learn to understand how to use our money to empower us to live an abundant life.
  • Brad’s parents were in the traditional wealth management industry and they focused on investing.
  • Brad’s experience of growing up in High Point.
  • Brad explains what financial design is all about.
  • Starting with people’s values, rather than with their financial goals.
  • The Designer’s Dozen are twelve challenges that designers face when working with traditional financial planners.
  • Goals are future-focused and temporary, and values are present-focused and permanent.
  • Understanding your values is the first point in getting to know yourself.
  • Brad spends a lot of his time trying to understand how our psychology affects us.
  • From a professional perspective, there are four types of money scripts that everybody falls into- money avoidance, money worship, money status or money vigilance.
  • It can be very challenging for creative-minded designers to find professionals to give them advice and guidance.
  • There are generally four different communication styles.
  • Bridging the gap between the different styles of communication.
  • Why Brad decided to focus on interior designers.
  • How to know when you need the services of a financial planner.
  • Brad gives you the Ten Keys to Financial Foundation.
  • The plans that Brad will create for you.
  • Follow your bliss and plan for an abundant life.
  • A formula for having a less stressful experience of life.
  • Brad has a three-stage process to help clients going through transitions in their lives.

Other shows related to finances to go with this show:

Peter Lang #349, #464 

Kimberly Merlitti #361, #442 

Ashley Micciche #468 

Diane Gardner #54 

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

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

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467

Links:

Website:  High Point Financial Design 

Quiz to learn your money script: High Point Financial Design

 

Dec 3, 2019

Welcome! We have Monica Wilcox, the principal of M Wilcox Design, joining us today. Monica is a #seasoneddesigner. She's dynamic, entertaining, and she's on the show to share some of her killer inspiration. She talks to us about coming to grips with her "business midlife crisis", her decision to be on TV, diversifying revenue streams, and setting the rules for yourself first, and then for your clients, to ensure your success as an interior design business owner. Monica is often called on for her advice. She is full of energy and her approach to business and life is truly authentic. You're really going to love her, so be sure to listen in, to hear what she has to share!

M Wilcox Design is an award-winning design firm with an emphasis on collaboration. Monica's impeccable eye for design and her in-depth knowledge about project management really sets her apart from other design companies. She has very well-established systems, from the initial design phase all the way through to the final install, and every project is executed with precision and exceptional quality. Tune in today, to find out more about Monica and the efficient way that she runs her design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Monica did not start out in business with a foundation for success. She had to teach herself the business side of her business.
  • Some of the core things that designers should be paying attention to when they start a business.
  • Monica started out with a career in the military. There, she learned about determination and discipline.
  • Monica is a believer in staying in her own lane and always hiring people who are good at what they do, to help her get to the top of her game.
  • It's important to hire the top people.
  • Monica explains what she looks for when hiring people.
  • What caused Monica's business mid-life crisis, ten years ago.
  • Finding a new sense of purpose.
  • Transformation is powerful.
  • Figuring out a deeper meaning to what you do.
  • Monica shares her strategies for diversifying revenue streams.
  • Getting on TV happened very easily for Monica.
  • Preparation plus opportunity leads to success.
  • Running with a structured system.
  • There's so much to be learned from events and other designers.
  • Monica explains her fee structure.
  • All about Monica's Design Mecca classes and education.

Bio:

Interior Designer Monica Wilcox is an expert in delivering unique designs with functionality in mind. Her award-winning design firm creates gorgeous interiors that also offer livable-style with a California twist.

With an emphasis on Collaboration, Monica is able to realize the vision of her clients and bring them to life. She has the unique ability to connect with her clients and radiates a tremendous passion for what she does which is contagious to everyone around her.

Her impeccable eye for design combined with her in-depth knowledge of project management sets her apart from other interior designers. From initial designs to the final install, each project is executed with precision and exceptional quality.

Monica is frequently called upon for advice for everything from interior design to business growth to lifestyle tips. She enjoys the art of living fully and completely and is happy to share that with others. With boundless energy, an honest and direct approach, and an infectious spirit, it’s possible that this creative visionary may someday be in every household in America.

Monica Wilcox is the founder of Design Mecca, an online learning center that teaches interior designers how to start a successful business. Along with her colleague Nikki Chu, Monica teaches at the accredited online university which features a course broken up into 36 videos and 12 modules that students can work through at their own pace.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Tobi Fairley #419, #440

Nancy Ganzekaufer #389 

Ann Rue #255 

Sara Brennan #463 

Janelle Photopoulos #363 

Stacey Brown Randall #93  

Links:

Website: M Wilcox Design

Design Mecca

Nikki Chut

LuAnn Live

Sara Lynn Brennan Course

LuAnn's Favorite Resources

 

Nov 29, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Vanessa Shepherd, the owner of She's Got Vision, on the show with us today. Vanessa is all about efficiency. She has won awards, she has been recognized in her community and she knows just how busy most creative business owners are. In today's episode, she talks to us about how hard it is for creative entrepreneurs to find the time to get everything done in their businesses, especially if they have a family to manage as well. She shares strategies for growing your design business through Pinterest and some really helpful tips for managing your time so that you can live a little too. She also explains what you need to do to really stand out from the crowd, so be sure to tune in, to find out more.

Vanessa graduated from NAIT with honors for her degree in Business Administration. She is a content marketing professional and she helps business owners to be seen, increase the traffic to their websites, and build lasting relationships. Her specialty is social media marketing, and she loves to use Pinterest as a platform for visibility. Listen in today, to benefit from Vanessa's wisdom and experience.

Show Highlights:

  • Vanessa loves to be as efficient as possible.
  • There's a big update coming for Pinterest.
  • Vanessa explains what a pin title is, on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest wants to make titles more purposeful.
  • Later is a great scheduling tool.
  • Pinterest is an important search engine.
  • Some strategies for using Pinterest to drive potential clients to your website.
  • Allowing someone else to help you have the time to do what you do best.
  • Video is big everywhere on social media right now.
  • Pinterest can be used as a good cross-promotion tactic.
  • Some tips to capture people's attention in the first three to fifteen seconds of a video.
  • Good quality photos are a must on social media.
  • The process of pinning.
  • Find content that can educate, inspire, or entertain your audience.
  • Showcasing your work in multiple ways to drive more traffic to your website.
  • Being consistent with your pins is very important.
  • Vanessa has a Pinterest audit that you can download for free on her website. Go to She's Got Vision
  • How Vanessa helps people improve their strategies for social media.

Bio:

Vanessa Shepherd is a content marketing professional at She's Got Vision, helping business owners to get visible, drive traffic to their websites, and build lasting relationships with their audiences. Vanessa specializes in social media marketing, and her favorite platform for visibility is Pinterest! She graduated with honors from NAIT with a degree in Business Administration and from the University of Alberta with a master's in Communications and Technology. When she's not creating strategies, running ads or pinning her heart out, you can find Vanessa traveling and gardening with her husband and their two Airedale Terriers.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Amber De La Garza #385

Summer Tannhauser #292

Allison Fannin #223

Kate Ahl # 331

Links:

Website: primary: She's Got Vision Blog 

course microsite: learn.shesgotvision.com 

Blog: She's Got Vision Blog

LuAnn Live

Article: welldesigned.article.com

Kirsch: kirsch.com

Instagram: She's Got Vision

Facebook: She's Got Vision

Pinterest: She's Got Vision

Free Pinterest audit checklist: She's Got Vision

 

Nov 26, 2019

Welcome! Today, we have Christina Bruce, the principal of Christina Bruce Interiors in Vero Beach, Florida, with us on the show. Christina was one of the VIP attendees at the LuAnn Live, It's About the Conversation event, earlier this year. LuAnn asked each VIP to let her know, in the months following the event, what they have done and achieved based on what they learned, and the people they met there. So, Christina messaged LuAnn recently, with a long list of the positive things she identified in herself and her business, from the event. In today's episode, she shares the serious questions she had been asking herself about her business, before attending LuAnn Live. She then goes on to describe the things she put into action and the remarkable 180 degrees turn around that she created in her business, as a result of attending the event. Listen in, to hear about the incredible way that Christine transformed her business.

Christina started her company in Savannah, in 2009. She then completed several residential and commercial projects in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Christina received an award for excellence for the work she did on a medical center from the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce during this time, and she was also invited to be a guest designer on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The love of her hometown, Vero Beach, drew her back there in 2012. Christina has had the opportunity to further her experience and influence by working with some of the most established communities in Vero Beach, and by helping to complete residential and commercial projects in Texas, New York, and internationally. Tune in today, to learn about the lessons that Christina has learned and the actions she's taken to transform her business.

Show highlights:

  • Christina explains why she decided to go to the LuAnn Live event.
  • Attending LuAnn live pulled Christina out of the negative head-space that she had been in before attending the event.
  • LuAnn Live was like a designer's support group for Christine.
  • Christina talks about the significant conversation she had with Taylor Spellman.
  • Learning to look at her motivation, rather than her goals.
  • Parenting always takes priority.
  • Cat and Christine keep on learning together.
  • Some of the actions that Christine has taken.
  • Christine's experience is in high-end residential design.
  • Becoming successful within the demographics of where you live.
  • What Christine learned from Dala al Fuwaires.
  • There will always be times when the things we do don't work.
  • You have to risk failure to succeed.
  • There are some things you should never fake.
  • Christina describes the Christina Bruce Collection, for David Francis Furniture.
  • Talking about partnerships.
  • Podcast green is a wonderful color!

Bio:

Christina Bruce graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The Interior Design program at SCAD has been consistently ranked as the number one program in the nation. It is here that Christina not only formed a strong foundation of design principles, but also a true passion for interior design.  She formed her own company in Savannah in 2009 and completed several residential and commercial projects in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. During this time, she received an award for excellence for her work on a medical center from the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. She was also invited to be a guest designer on ABC’s Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition where she helped complete the design of the dining room and master bedroom of the home being featured. Savannah’s charm enriched her experience, but the love of her hometown of Vero Beach drew her family home in 2012.

In her time in Vero Beach, she has worked with some of the finest architects and builders which has helped to shape her corporate philosophy and relationship with clients. She has had the opportunity to further her experience and influence by not only working with some of the most established communities in Vero Beach but also helping to complete residential and commercial projects in Texas and New York, as well as internationally. She looks forward to many years of successful relationships and projects with the clients and communities with which she is fortunate to work.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Vanessa DeLeon # 18

Dala al Fuwaires # 392

Taylor Spellman #467, 106

Shauna Lynn Simon #76, 84, 102

Cat French #376

Nancy Ganzekaufer- Niche is Rich #15

Nicole Heymer #125, 317, 466

Kae Whitaker #114, 259, 274

Michele Williams #180, 395   

Carolyn Flannery #453

Links:

LuAnn Live

LuAnn Nigara Book

Power Talk Friday

Link to IG post announcing color collection PodGreen named for me

David Francis Furniture

Clem Schaub Architect Vero Beach Florida

Christina Bruce Interiors

 

 

Nov 22, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Claire Jefford joins us on the show once again today! Claire is an interior decorator, business coach, leader of the designer Facebook group Interior Design Business Strategies, a vlogger, and author of a chapter called Managing Client Expectations in LuAnn's second book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power talk Friday Experts, Volume 1. In today's episode, Claire takes us through her initial process. She shares her wealth of information about the best practices for handling all aspects of consultations with clients. Listen in today to learn how to set the tone for success right from the outset.

Claire started her award-winning decorating firm in 2011, and in 2017, she started a second business as a business coach. She is passionate about having organized processes, marketing, and creating videos. She was voted #3 Top Influencer in 2018, and she runs an active Facebook group called Interior Design Business Strategies, with more than 3000 design professionals from around the world. Tune in now for more!

Show highlights:

  • Being upfront about the way that you work.
  • Managing your clients' expectations, educating your clients, and communicating effectively.
  • Claire talks about her templated email system.
  • Setting the tone right from the start.
  • Claire always asks for payment upfront for consultations.
  • Keeping clear logs of everything.
  • 3-D design is the way to go!
  • Claire talks about what she brings with her to consultations.
  • Helping people as much as possible in two hours.
  • Clients like structure.
  • You have to let your clients know what you do.
  • Little things can go a long way.
  • Confidence is key!
  • Claire has some fabulous packages available.
  • Claire explains what WidWil is all about.

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Maria Killam #58

Fred Berns #174

John and Theresa Dorlini (Circle Design Studio) #380

Claire was previously in episodes #237 and #325

Links:

Website - https://clairejefford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clairejefforddesigns/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/interiordesignbusinessstrategies/

Blog post Claire mentioned in the show: https://clairejefford.com/3d-renderings-for-interior-designers/

The Initial Phone Call: 5 Must-Ask Questions - https://clairejefford.com/initial-phone-call/

Kirsch: kirsch.com

Article: welldesigned.article.com

LuAnn Live: luannlive.com

LuAnn's Favorite Resources: luannnigara.com/resources

Nov 19, 2019

Welcome! Today, we have Laurence Carr, the CEO of Laurence Carr Design, with us on the show. Although Laurence opened her design firm just a short eighteen months ago, she is already running it with the clarity of a seasoned CEO. She has a very well-structured business plan and her goals are right in front of her. In today's episode, she explains how she managed to get her business up and running so quickly and she also shares with us her well-thought-out business plan. Laurence is truly an impressive businesswoman so be sure to listen in today, to learn about the clear and intentional way she runs her business.

Laurence is helping to shape our cultural dialogue through her work, her speaking engagements, and her blog, "Beyond Aesthetics". Her focus is on combining sustainability with quality, and she is a GREEN Leaders Accredited Professional, and a Member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council. She is is a leading voice in the field of Holistic Interior Design and she's been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business of Home, Domino, Apartment Therapy, Sotheby’s Home, House Tipster and Style Matters. Laurence won the BUILD awards from Homes and Gardens UK in 2019, and she was nominated for the ASID National Awards 2019 for “Design for Humanity”. In March of this year, she was invited to be one of the 30 speakers of the Circular City Week in New York. And this summer, Laurence Carr Design successfully unveiled "The Restorative Room", in Southampton New York, for the Hampton Designers Showhouse 2019. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Laurence talks about the advisory board that she recruited to help with business strategy.
  • It helps to get advice from people outside of your industry.
  • Everything that Laurence does is done with clear intention.
  • Laurence wanted to build a business with multiple revenue streams.
  • Thinking about the impact of stress on people's lives.
  • Considering not only how things look, but also how they feel, when making choices.
  • Working with Leslie and Sam, of Savour Partnership.
  • About the immense value that Laurence found in creating her e-boutique.
  • How Laurence grew her email list.
  • Working with freelance designers.
  • Laurence talks about her interview process.
  • The systems and processes she uses in making selections for her e-boutique.
  • Earning money on the side, from affiliate marketing.
  • It all comes down to the systems you use.
  • It's very important to keep your goals in front of you.

Bio:

Born in France and now living in NYC, Laurence Carr has an inherent appreciation for art and design—she is a natural aesthete. Before launching her interior design practice, Laurence was a professional ballet dancer, singer,  stage director, and fashion event manager. Today, she is recognized for her application of wellbeing principles and ancient techniques in high-end residential interior design.

Laurence believes luxury interiors don’t have to be sterile and soulless. Instead, her projects encourage mindful living and create harmony, whilst attaining a level of sophistication that develops from layering modern art, furniture, antiques, and accents.

Having lived, worked and traveled in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US, Laurence’s design aesthetic is influenced by her love of different cultures and deep appreciation of art. She brings an international approach to each project—whether its sifting through antique galleries in Paris or sourcing hand-woven rugs from the villages in Nepal, Laurence’s knowledge and network allows her to find and assemble unique items for you.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #466, #317, #125

Andrew Joseph #39

Dennis Scully #459

Savour Partnership #209 and #458

Links:

Website: Laurence Carr

Facebook: Laurence Carr Design

Instagram: Laurence Carr Design

YouTube: Laurence Carr

 

Nov 15, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are delighted to introduce you to Wendy Cohen today. Wendy is the founder and CEO of a suite of Powerhouse Companies comprising of PowerHouse Advisors, a consulting firm, PowerHouse SMART, a luxury industry education and networking leadership community, and PowerHouse Recruiting, which is a division of the consultancy, PowerHouse Advisors. This expert group of companies is committed to serving the best people in the luxury industry by teaching and speaking to them about luxury, and educating them about new luxury technologies. Wendy herself is a powerhouse lady, and in today's episode, she talks to us about building a company culture, creating a complete customer experience, and what it takes to get ahead in business. She also discusses the Luxury Home Conference that is coming up in Chicago, in February, where she has invited LuAnn to be the keynote speaker. Listen in today, to find out what this dynamic and special lady has to share!

The family of PowerHouse Companies was formed in 2006. It is recognized most for successfully guiding hundreds of luxury industry brands and firms in the fields of design, build, and development, across the US and in Canada. PowerHouse SMART was also formed in 2006. It was intended to power-up the very best leaders in the luxury market by creating a platform for elite relationship building, to lead to business collaborations, new business development, referrals, knowledge sharing, and cutting-edge education. Then, in 2015, PowerHouse Recruiting was created as a division of PowerHouse Advisors, to continue with the exceptional recruiting and placement guidance that was established under the consultancy umbrella. Tune in today, to learn what it takes to win in the arena of luxury design, build.

Show Highlights:

  • Wendy started her career as a realtor.
  • Wendy was part of a four-person team in a building company that grew the company from having ten employees to eventually having 120 people working there.
  • Creating a culture in her company.
  • Great success for builders doesn't come overnight but it is possible.
  • Growing the design, build concept.
  • Teaching her sales team about the complete experience was the thing differentiated from any other builder that a consumer might be going to, in 1989.
  • You don't brand yourself. Your audience brands you.
  • Treating sub-contractors, tradespeople, and suppliers with respect, as if they are part of your company.
  • In 1995-1996, Professional Builder Magazine named Wendy's company one of the best eight companies to work for in the nation.
  • Being selected by Custom Builder Magazine as Custom Builder of the Year.
  • The satisfying way that Wendy's vision for the company became contagious.
  • Consulting with other companies to teach and advise them about systems, processes, and how to replicate Wendy's success.
  • For ten or eleven years, Wendy's main focus was on business development.
  • Consulting about recruiting, and helping everybody grow, is where Wendy finds herself today.
  • Wendy views the placements that she makes within other companies as a reflection of her reputation.
  • Wendy talks about PowerHouse Smart. This is how she gives back to her community.
  • Wendy is all about sharing and giving.
  • Every month, PowerHouse Smarts had one big event, called the Builder Architect Hard-Hat Tour.
  • PowerHouse Smart is always looking to grow like-minded individuals. This is why they host a Luxury Conference every year.
  • The next PowerHouse Smart Luxury Home Conference is being held on February 5th, 2020, in Chicago. LuAnn has been invited to be the keynote speaker.
  • Wendy explains what will be happening at the upcoming Luxury Home conference.

Bio:

Wendy Cohen CEO

PowerHouse Companies

PowerHouse Advisors, LLC

PowerHouse SMART®

PowerHouse Recruiting, LLC

Wendy Cohen is the CEO and Founder of the PowerHouse Group of Companies comprised of PowerHouse Advisors™, a consulting firm, PowerHouse SMART®, a luxury industry education & networking leadership community and PowerHouse Recruiting, a division of the consultancy PowerHouse Advisors™ LLC.

The family of PowerHouse Companies was formed in 2006 where it is most notably recognized for successfully guiding hundreds of luxury industry brands and firms in the design, build and development arena across the nation and in Canada. PowerHouse Advisors’ profound impact is working with owners and senior managers in refining business development efforts, implementing process improvement platforms, developing operating systems and procedures, properly managing and executing manpower and creating strategic growth plans.

PowerHouse SMART® also formed in 2006 was intended to power-up the best of the best leaders in the luxury market by creating a platform for elite relationship building leading to business collaborations, new business development, referrals (give and get), knowledge sharing and cutting-edge education. From the onset, the goal was to bring all the talents needed to create an ultimate luxury project and educate on the value of collaboration at the highest level. Today PowerHouse SMART® supports leaders in the industry in growing their businesses with over 30 events a year, an Annual Luxury Conference and a robust online connection website. While PHS operates in the United States Midwest Market, there has been discussion for future plans for expansion via franchise opportunities tying other local luxury market chapters to the headquarters in Chicago.

PowerHouse Recruiting™ was created as a division of PowerHouse Advisors in 2015, to continue the exceptional recruiting and placement guidance established under the consultancy umbrella. PHR as a dedicated division can help more employers and career-minded candidates find the perfect fit for continued success and growth.

PowerHouse Recruiting is unique in that recruiting services are performed as if the employer owner was personally conducting the screening and recruitment process. PowerHouse Recruiting has proven results in supporting trusted colleagues in the luxury design, build, develop and real estate industry in hiring top talent from CFO to Design Assistant. Wendy Cohen has over 30 years of luxury industry experience and is often referred to as the ultimate power connector, with an exceptional network among top-tier professionals. PHR connects the right people (top talent candidates) to the right career opportunities (employer client’s job openings). PHR believes there is such a thing as a perfect fit.

The PowerHouse Group of Companies is dedicated to being experts in the luxury industry by teaching luxury, speaking about luxury, educating on new luxury technologies, building new relationships every day, and proudly serving the best people in the industry.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Claire Staszak #166

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Links:

Conference Registration: Power House Smart

Instagram: Power House Smart

Facebook: Power House Smart

LinkedIn: Power House Smart

PowerHouse Smart

 

Nov 12, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Cheryl Clendenon, the CEO of the Florida-based design firm, In Detail Interiors, with us on the show. Cheryl is one of our industry’s boldest, smartest, and funniest ladies, and she’s always willing to generously share her business expertise and advice with those who would like to learn from her. In today’s episode, she offers some very valuable advice about crafting conversations and steering them to where you want them to go. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what she has to share.  

Cheryl is a master of sales. She's a truly outstanding professional who has been in business for more than 19 years. She operates a full-service design firm, a retail location, and a business Facebook group and she understands she has to make her money intentionally, rather than with luck or by accident. Tune in today, to get some priceless tips from Cheryl.

Show Highlights:

  • The copy on Cheryl’s website is awesome!
  • You need to know your audience.
  • Carefully considering what your website says about you.
  • Learning to guide your clients down your path.
  • There are many people are too timid to reveal their personalities on their website. This is very limiting.
  • Cheryl has an incredible Facebook group, called Small Business Think Big.
  • How to best position your design firm.
  • It all starts with the way you present yourself on your website.
  • Learning to not be afraid to talk about money.
  • Projecting your income.
  • People tend to be a little resistant to the idea of minimum expenditure at first.
  • The nuances of how to get what you want.
  • Sales is a win-win game.
  • Positioning yourself in the very best way possible.
  • Giving added value is a formula for success.
  • Cheryl explains what her training focuses on.
  • Cheryl looks at how much money she’s going to make on every job she does.
  • For Cheryl, the words have to be right.
  • Cheryl helps you think big about your small business.
  • Cheryl’s fees are based on a combination of design fees + a contracted minimum expenditure on products

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Chris Ramey #345

Links:
LuAnn Nigara Resources

Vita’s course link: Profit With Window Treatments

Sara’s course link: Process Leads to Profits

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Well Designed Article

In Detail Interiors

Cheryl’s FB Group: Small Business Think Big

Cheryl's Instagram: In Detail Interiors

Cheryl's Pinterest: In Detail Interiors

LuAnn’s FB Group

Nov 8, 2019

Welcome to Window Treatment Friday! Today’s show is brought to you by Kirsch.com, our newest sponsor. Last week, we learned from Matt Johnson, the National Sales Manager, and  Sarah Frost, the Brand Manager, for Kirsch Drapery Hardware, how the Kirsch team is on a mission to breathe new life into their company, which is more than a hundred years old. And today, we have some big news! If you would like to learn more about window treatments so that you can incorporate them into your business as an added revenue stream, Vita and LuAnn have the answer for you! Vita will be teaching an eight-week course, called Window Treatments and Profits for Designers, starting in January. Listen in, to find out more.

Vita and LuAnn know just how profitable window treatments are. They want to share their knowledge and experience with you so that you can also develop the skills and confidence you need to make a profit from window treatments. The Window Treatments and Profits for Designers course will meet via Zoom so this means that you can be anywhere in the world to do it. You either can join Vita live, in real-time, or you can watch the replay at your convenience, and still get all the magic. The course will be run in conjunction with a private Facebook group, for support and extra time to answer questions. We will be opening the course in the next week or two, so go to Luann Nigara Profit With Window Treatments or Profit With Window Treatments, and leave us your email address so that you can be first in line when the registration opens.

In today’s episode, we will be talking about the different types and categories of window treatments. There’s a myriad of different custom window treatments available out there, so Vita’s way of simplifying things is to break everything down into two main categories- hard and soft window treatments. Vita and LuAnn will then give us an overview of the different types of window treatments in each category, listing and explaining the various types of treatments and the pros and cons of each one. Be sure to tune in today, to hear what they have to share.     

Show Highlights:

  • Vita gives her personal take on hard window treatments overall, as a category.
  • Generally, hard treatments consist of blinds, shades, and shutters.
  • The main purpose of hard treatments is functionality, which is usually light control, privacy, or glare control.
  • Vita explains what soft treatments are.
  • Although soft treatments are generally there to add to the aesthetic value of a room, they can still be functional.
  • The pros and cons of blinds.
  • The rebirth of roller shades.
  • Comfortex will supply cellular shades in any color.
  • Talking about shutters.
  • Woven wood shades are very popular with designers.
  • The different types of soft treatments in the category.
  • LuAnn explains what she likes about drapery panels.
  • Roman shades are very versatile.
  • Some useful resources for you.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Kirsch #479

Links:

LuAnn Nigara

Vitalia Inc

Kirsch

Kravet Inc

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Exciting Windows

WCAA

Window Fashion

IWCE Vision

Window Works

To sign up for the Window Treatments and Profits for Designers course, go to Profit With Window Treatments or Profit With Window Treatments

For a free PDF download of this episode, go to LuAnn Nigara.

Nov 5, 2019

Welcome! Today, Julia Marcum, half of the dynamic duo of Chris Loves Julia, joins us on the show. Julia started blogging more ten years ago, and her readership has grown to include millions of people. In 2016, Chris left his day job to join Julia as a blogger on a full-time basis. With their blog, this remarkable couple shares their original, authentic, and sincere perspective on the daily coups and challenges of their DIY home renovations. People follow them to learn how to improve their space and to get inspiration, tips on trends, and motivation to get things done. In today’s episode, Julia explains that they know exactly why they’re doing what they do, and they know who they do it for. This particular component is vital to your success as a business owner, so be sure to listen in today, to hear what Julia has to share.

Chris and Julia are a fresh, honest, and creative DIY duo, blogging about the daily feats and failures of renovation. They offer their loyal readers a mix of large-scale renovations, quick DIY projects, budget-friendly ways to revamp their spaces, and items to splurge on, as well as a few personal stories to remind their readers that they’re real people, too. They were named as one of Better Homes & Gardens’ Top 10 DIY bloggers. Tune in today, for more.

Show Highlights:

  • Julia explains how she and Chris came to realize that they should combine their talents and work on the blog together, on a full-time basis.
  • Creating the right kind of content to post on Instagram.
  • Knowing what you want to be known for.
  • What you’ll find on their blog, and what you’ll find in their Instagram stories.
  • There are zero downsides to growing your Instagram presence.
  • Creating consistent, quality content based around your niche.
  • Consistency and quality content is key to getting lots of Instagram followers.
  • Julia doesn’t have a photography background and yet she took all her own photos until three months ago.
  • Figuring out photography.
  • Educating your photographer about what you want.
  • Being intentional about the look that you’re creating in your photos.
  • Julia explains why people are following her.
  • The difference between just posting a picture, and creating content.
  • Choosing where to best utilize your energy.
  • The best way to connect with your Instagram Stories audience.
  • Julia talks about the two courses she teaches, Working With Brands and Growing Your Influence.

Links:

Website: Chris Loves Julia

Instagram: Chris Loves Julia

Propertee: Chris Loves Julia

Facebook: Chris Loves Julia

Pinterest: Chris Loves Julia

Youtube: Chris Loves Julia

Good Influencer

Good Influencer on Instagram

Link Previous Shows Mentioned:
Shea McGee #236, #270
Amber Lewis #169, #184
Nicole Heymer #125, #466
Jamie Lieberman #454
Fred Berns #22, #174

People who inspire Julia:

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Instagram: Josh young Design House

Don’t forget when you place your next order on any Kravet fabric, wallpaper, or trim, to use the code AWDB10 at checkout, to get 10% off any one purchase.  Go to Kravet to place your order.

Nov 1, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Window Treatment Friday! Today, we're introducing you to Kirsch, our newest sponsor for A Well-Designed Business. Kirsch has been an industry leader in drapery hardware for more than one hundred years, and they also have a custom window coverings program. For today's episode, we have Matt Johnson and Sarah Frost with us to talk to us about the latest innovations that Kirsch is bringing to the design and window treatment community, so tune in, to find out more!

Kirsch was started in 1907 when Charles Kirsch invented the first curtain rod and telescoping rod. His goal was to connect with people around his fantastic products. Soon after inventing his innovative curtain rods, Charles published his first style book,  to guide purchasers of drapery hanging specialties.  The first Kirsch patented lace curtain rod was created in 1923, and then Charles designed the deluxe cut-to-measure drapery, which was one of the most important developments in drapery hardware history. For the next fifty years, the Kirsch brand continued to incorporate many more innovative advancements that would change our industry forever.

Matt Johnson is the National Sales Manager of Kirsch Drapery Hardware. He leads a team of experienced sales professionals representing over 100 years of the Kirsch brand. Over his 22 years in the window coverings industry, Matt has sales experience in multiple channels of business including National Retailers, Independent Retailers, Builders, Contract and Commercial Accounts and Distributors.  His rich background and understanding of the window coverings industry have allowed him to apply his passion for working with business owners and designers to develop sales and marketing strategies to improve sales and service.

Sarah Frost is the Brand Manager for Kirsch Drapery Hardware. She oversees a talented team that creates conceptual designs and implementation of the marketing initiatives for the drapery hardware launches and projects. Sarah has experience in hard window coverings as well as drapery hardware from her previous positions as a product manager and in sales. Listen in today to find out what Matt and Sarah have to share about our newest sponsor, the Kirsch brand.

Show Highlights:

  • Matt gives us a synopsis of Kirsch, and it's long and rich history in the window coverings industry
  • Sarah has lots of fresh, new ideas for the Kirsch brand.
  • Breathing new life into the brand through engaging with the trade.
  • There are currently so many new and improved drapery hardware options available.
  • Kirsch provides great resources to educate the design community about their complicated product.
  • Sarah discusses how she and her team are revising and revamping the way their products are produced and presented.
  • It all starts with the numbers.
  • Keeping abreast of the latest trends.
  • Creating a digital price list has made all the difference.
  • The new styles and colors that Kirsch is coming out with are very different from what people are used to seeing in their Buckingham collection.
  • The texture of natural wood products is really beautiful.
  • The craftsmanship of their new finishes is really impressive.
  • Matt explains the features of their new and improved motorized drapery tracks.
  • Sarah discusses all the aspects of the business that have been redone.
  • Their brochures have been redone for the designer to the client.
  • What the resource library is all about.
  • You will be able to see Kirsch's new products at the IWCE Expo in Charlotte in March 2020.

Links:

Website: Kirsch

Instagram: Kirsch

Twitter: Kirsch

Facebook: Kirsch

Oct 29, 2019

Welcome to the show! Today, Amber Roy, the principal of the recently launched design firm, Amber Dawn Interiors joins us. Amber's approach to design is to find a balance between old and new, and between trends and timelessness. Her goal is to get to know her clients and understand what makes their hearts sing so that she can turn their homes into a reflection of who they truly are. In today's episode, Amber shares an 'aha' moment she experienced while listening to LuAnn being interviewed on Amber de la Garza's podcast, The Productivity Specialist. She talks to us about her first design project and the ingenious way she launched herself as an interior designer at the end of it. She also shares the intentional things she did just before, and in the weeks immediately after opening her business, to make herself known to potential clients, build relationships both within and outside of the design industry, and get her new business off the ground. Listen in today, to find out about Amber and how she got her successful new business up and running.

Amber, who is also a realtor, has been passionate about interior design since she was a very young girl. As she grew, her interest in interior design also continued to grow and she eventually realized that she needed to put her passion to work. And so Amber Dawn Interiors was born. Amber has always been drawn to all things old, including houses and architecture. She feels that bringing in old pieces gives a place soul, and that warmth and balance are created by mixing old with new, so she loves to use heirloom pieces and incorporate antique and salvaged building materials. It is very important to Amber to create carefully and thoughtfully curated spaces, and she will go the extra mile to find the finishes and pieces that will give her clients the unique look that they really want. Be sure to tune in today, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Amber explains what it was that moved her to email LuAnn.
  • Amber talks about her first project, to showcase her abilities as a designer.
  • Reaching out to potential collaborators, including Ethan Allen and Coastal Furniture.
  • Staging an open house in collaboration with a realtor.
  • The great benefits of collaboration.
  • Realtor's are good to partner with because they are an influential group of people.
  • Networking is Amber's current strategy for building relationships.
  • What it takes to create a successful relationship-building event.
  • Discovering her mission and values.
  • An awesome opportunity that has come Amber's way.
  • You need to put yourself out there to become known.

Bio:

My passion for interior design began when I was a very young girl. I remember drawing floorplans for my "dream house" on the lined pages of my spiral-bound notebook. I remember staring out the window of the school bus, scoping out the houses that were down and out, imagining how beautiful they'd be if I could just fix them up. My interest grew as I did, and through the years I began to realize that I needed to put my passion to work. So, it is with immense pleasure and gratitude that I present Amber Dawn Interiors.

My approach to design is to find a balance between old and new, between trends and timelessness. It is so important to me to create a space that is carefully and thoughtfully curated- going the extra mile to find the finishes and pieces that will give you the look you want, but that won't be the same as your neighbor.

My goal is to really get to know my clients: their lifestyle, their likes, and dislikes, the way they use their space, the things that make them happy, what makes their souls sing! I want your home to be a reflection of you. I want you to turn every corner and see something that makes you smile.

I love to use heirloom pieces and incorporate antique and salvaged building materials. Having always been drawn to all things old, including houses and architecture, I feel that bringing in old pieces gives a space soul, and mixing old with new creates balance and warmth.

When I'm not designing spaces, you will find me with my two boys, Turner and Pierson, their Dad, my husband Tim, and my other family and friends. I may be singing some karaoke. I may be gardening. I may be traveling. I may be enjoying the sunshine or a glass of wine. Probably both. I may very well be admiring an old truck or a historic building. If you see me, say hello :)

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Amber De La Garza #385 and #436

Stephen Karlisch #369

Dala Al-Fuwaires #392

Nancy Ganzekaupher #15, #159, #256, #377, and #389

Carolyn Flannery #453

Jana Platina Phipps (The Trim Queen) #293

Darla Powell (Wingnut Social Media) #203 

Rebecca Richardson #330

Links:

Website: Amber Dawn Interior

Instagram: @amber.dawn.interiors

Facebook: Amber Dawn Interiors

Oct 25, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Laurel Palmer with us today. Laurel is the New England Sales Territory Manager for Comfortex, one of the premier sponsors for the LuAnn Live event last March. Laurel is a pro when it comes to the art of selling. She has many years of experience, having worked for furniture manufacturers, commercial office furniture dealerships, building materials suppliers, and ultimately, a window treatment company, where she first sold window treatments to retail consumers before landing on the wholesale side of the trade. Laurel grew up in Northern California and now resides happily in the Greater Boston area. She is committed to helping her window treatment dealers make more money, so tune in today, to hear what she has to say.

Comfortex was founded in 1986 and soon became known as a provider of innovative cellular shades. The company grew, and their product offering expanded to include roller shades, sheer shades, wood, and faux wood blinds, as well as cellular shades in every shape and configuration. Then, in 2000, Comfortex was acquired by Hunter Douglas.

Comfortex is known for constantly innovating and improving. An example of their innovation is Color Lux, which marries an unlimited color choice with green production processes and game-changing materials. Comfortex blinds and shades have won more than 100 Window Covering Manufacturing Association awards and they are distributed currently in more than 50 countries. Most of their products are manufactured in upstate New York. Listen in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Laurel talks about the incredible amount of color choices that are available with Comfortex's Color Lux.
  • How Color Lux came about.
  • You can now get solar screens in any of Color Lux's 800 colors!
  • As a designer, using Color Lux will give you the freedom to confidently offer your clients the exact color of their choice or to match any color that they already have.
  • Beautiful relationships are formed between interior designers and many of the window treatment dealers that Laurel works with.
  • The benefits of working with a window treatment pro.
  • Window treatments are a viable way for designers to add a terrific layer of profitability to their revenue stream.
  • The importance of creating partnerships.
  • Laurel has a unique approach to being a representative of Comfortex.
  • Laurel shares her sales philosophy and her sales process.
  • If you ask the right questions and listen carefully people will tell you exactly what they need.
  • People don't always buy what you think they're going to buy, so you owe it to your customers to show them all of the available options.
  • LuAnn shares some pointers from the seven-step sales-course that she teaches.
  • Confidence is a key component to your success.
  • Why it's important to sell value, not price.
  • LuAnn explains what makes a good salesperson.
  • An expert is someone who has made every mistake in their field.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

WTF episode numbers #462 and #471

Links:

Comfortex Window Fashions

IWCE Vision

To get in touch with Comfortex, send an email to customercare@comfortex.com and put LuAnn Nigara in the subject line.

Link to RSVP for November 5th at Exclusive Flooring Concepts 

Or

Luann Nigara: Live Event

Oct 22, 2019

Welcome to the show! Today, we're featuring #risingdesigner Amanda Hamilton. Amanda's bold and unorthodox approach to design and business has made her one of the most sought-after designers in Western Canada. She is driven, focused, and has truly achieved a lot during her fifteen years of experience in the design industry. LuAnn is certain that the secret sauce to Amanda's success is that she is a first businesswoman and then an interior designer. In today's episode, Amanda talks to us about what goes into running a medium-sized business and creating extra revenue streams. Be sure to listen in to find out what she has to share.

Amanda has her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Interior Design from Mount Royal University, she's earned her status as a Licensed Interior Designer through the National Council for Design Qualifications, and she is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional. Amanda is dedicated to the career development of young women, so she mentors through the Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship Program. She has also mentored for the Women in Leadership and the National Council of Interior Design Education, and she is the current chair for the World of Choices committee for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, which focuses on career mentoring for young women. Amanda was the recipient of the 2012 Mount Royal University Horizon Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of alumni early in their careers. In 2016, Amanda launched a Travel Scholarship through her alma mater to promote design exploration. She was named as one of the 20 Most Compelling Calgarians by the Calgary Herald for 2018, n 2017, she was awarded the Top 40 under 40 by the Calgary Edition of Avenue Magazine and she received the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of Canada. And to top it all, her design studio was awarded Best in Calgary in the Interior Design category and received the Ones to Watch award by Western Living Magazine. Tune in, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Amanda talks to us about the time when she decided to build her firm up and take on employees.
  • Amanda started her business in the middle of the recession. She has doubled her numbers since that year.
  • Some of the lessons Amanda has learned about hiring.
  • Developing awareness around the energetic effect you're having on others.
  • Stress doesn't go away. You learn to deal with it.
  • The challenge of creating an ideal team.
  • Finding the right person for the right position.
  • What Palette Archives is all about.
  • The logistics behind Palette Archives.
  • The goal of Palette Archives is to be like Amazon Prime.
  • Tapping into a growing market.
  • Pricing Palette Archives to make it accessible to even more people.
  • Amanda explains how much went into the development of Palette Archives.

Links:

Amanda’s website

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Email

Palette Archives

Article Trade Program

Oct 18, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are delighted to introduce you to Desi Creswell today. Desi and LuAnn speak a lot of the same language! They both know that it takes more than just talent for you to be in a position to share your gift with the world because, as a designer, you need your business to be profitable. This could mean having to improve your systems, processes, or even your education to inspire you and enhance your natural aptitude. Also, the way we think often prevents us from sharing our superpowers because of our mindset problems and limiting beliefs get in the way. So we are very happy to be talking to Desi today because she is skilled and able to deal with many of these issues with the coaching she does. In today's episode, she talks about how to create more time in your day by learning to identify the emotions you are trying to avoid. She explains how to eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed, clarifies how to take action, and she discusses emotions and how they hold us back. Desi also shares a fantastic exercise to help you create more time. Be sure to tune in to learn how to use this valuable tool.

Desi is a certified life and business coach who specializes in interior designers. She teaches her clients to become more profitable, productive, and confident while reducing the stress and overwhelming feelings that often comes with running your own business. Before turning thirty, Desi has already built two successful companies. She offers a unique blend of entrepreneurial expertise and effective mindset teachings. Desi is also an award-winning interior designer and her work has been featured both in print and online publications. She has been a guest presenter and panelist at events such as Midwest Home Design Week. Listen in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • You can start creating more time by using a coaching tool called 'The Model' to become aware of your thinking and your feelings.
  • Desi explains why it is important to understand what neutral facts are.
  • Indulgent emotions; although they can sometimes feel justified or even productive, tend to keep people stuck because they don't produce any results.
  • You can create efficiency by simply changing the way you think.
  • Setting a schedule that creates results and saves time.
  • Desi describes how to create thoughts and feelings that will serve you.
  • How a coach can help you to create new thoughts and beliefs.
  • Desi discusses the way she works with her clients.
  • Buffering is one of the ways that we tend to waste a lot of time. Desi explains what it is, how we use it to distract ourselves, and how we can overcome the urge to use it.
  • Creating intentional models that serve you.
  • Take a moment to think about the emotions that you usually try to avoid during the day.
  • Learning to move out of the emotion and to see and accept the neutral facts.
  • Desi shares an exercise to help you to marry your mindset with a strategy. (Start, Stop, Keep.)
  • Start, stop, keep will give you some perspective for looking at what you want to start doing, in terms of planning for future projects.
  • Desi has a free guide on her website that will be helpful for you to take this work a little further and implement it in your life.
  • You can schedule a free mini-session with Desi. Go to her website to take advantage of this offer.

Links:

Instagram: Desi Creswell

Website: Desi Creswell

Link to download the free guide:  Time And Profit

Previous show mentioned in this episode:

Amber De La Garza: #385

-Buffering:

The activities you do when avoid doing what you know you should be doing. (hand up) I learned that my constant checking of emails is my buffering technique.

Oct 15, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Bria Hammel, the Principal Designer and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors, the CEO of Brooke & Lou, and the Co-Creator of Hammel House & Co., with us on the show. Bria leads a team of sixteen highly-skilled women who run thirty to forty significant projects each year. The company has two design teams working on the details and execution of all their projects. In today's episode, Bria explains the particulars of the way she runs her firm, she talks to us about how she learned to operate a well-managed company, and she shares the keys to scaling your interior design firm. Listen in, to find out more about Bria and the way she runs her highly-organized and very successful business.

Bria's work has been featured in national publications like Traditional Home, Magnolia Journal, Good Housekeeping, HGTV Magazine, My Domain, Style Me Pretty, and also in many other local shelter regional magazines. She was awarded the 'Fresh Faces of Design' award from HGTV in 2015 and 2018, and she's been nominated for an international design award. Bria was also selected as a 2018 Style Spotter by High Point Market Authority. Tune in now, find out what to do to make your design firm a whole lot better.

Show Highlights:

  • Bria has almost 100 000 followers on Instagram.
  • Bria talks about the specific roles played within her team of sixteen talented women.
  • Pricing things accurately is very important for interior designers.
  • It's very important to keep your clients regularly updated about their projects.
  • Bria explains why she loves listening to podcasts.
  • Businesses go stale when they stop growing because they think they know how to do everything perfectly.
  • You can gain a lot from working for somebody else before starting your own design firm. Bria cut her teeth at Ethan Allen and she even became their Design Manager because they believed in her.
  • Bria explains the phases of her design process.
  • How Bria's teams are run.
  • The way that Bria's trust in her team engenders her clients' trust in her firm.
  • Bria talks about the Friday reports that she gets from her team each week.
  • Asana helps Bria and her team to coordinate their projects and Slack helps them to communicate in a very organized way.
  • Organization is key to scaling your business.
  • Bria has added a retail component to her business with Brooke & Lou and their exclusively designed, Life Friendly products.
  • Bria explains what the EOS system is about and how it works.

Bio:

Bria Hammel

PRINCIPAL DESIGNER & CEO

Bria is the Principal Designer and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors, the CEO of Brooke & Lou and Co-Creator of Hammel House & Co. She leads a fresh, talented team of women who are dedicated to designing beautiful, inviting homes for clients. For Bria, every project is about creating a home filled with surprising, thoughtful spaces that lead to unexpected moments. She has an incredible eye for detail and has a passion for designing spaces that tell her clients’ stories.

Bria’s work has been featured in national publications such as Traditional Home, HGTV Magazine, Lonny Magazine, Style Me Pretty, as well as many other local shelter magazines. She received the “Fresh Faces of Design” award in 2015 and 2018 from HGTV, has been nominated for an International Design Award and was selected as a 2018 Style Spotter for High Point Market Authority.

Bria was intrigued by design at a young age and grew up visiting wallpaper stores and furniture showrooms, as her mother was an “in-the-closet” designer. Bria has been fortunate enough to travel the world, which has given her a unique perspective on how people live, as well as a deep understanding of how different spaces can come together in incredible ways.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236, #270

Tools that Bria's team uses:

Asana

Slack

Links:

Bria Hammel Interiors

Facebook: Bria Hammel Interiors

Instagram: Bria Hammel Interiors

If you are interested in using Bria's Life Friendly products, be sure to set up your trade account today. Go to Brooke And Lou

Link for LuAnn's book LuAnn Nigara

Books recommended for learning about the EOS System:

Traction by Gino Wickman

Get A Grip by Mike Paton and Gino Wickman

Oct 11, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's episode is sponsored by The FabricShield, a company that cleans, protects, and performs emergency spot-cleaning for the times when accidents happen. The FabricShield is owned and operated by Rene and Scott Schleicher. Rene and Scott are passionate about their business and they know how much money your clients are spending on investing in furniture, carpets, area rugs, window treatments, and wall coverings. They truly understand the advantage you have, as a designer, when you're able to offer your clients a service to help them protect their investment for many years to come. Listen in today, to find out what Rene and Scott have to share about their unique product and the way that it adds value to any design business.

Rene and Scott are a remarkably well-matched couple, both in life and in business. Rene has a background in retail furniture sales and Scott's background is in growing national business networks. This places them in a unique position to excel at both sides of their business. Their first-hand understanding of the value and pride that designers place in their clients and their homes, coupled with the astute way they run their business, makes everything happen very smoothly. This means that you can rely on them completely, and refer or hire them without any reservation. Tune in today to learn all about The FabricShield and what it does for fabrics.

Show Highlights:

  • The FabricShield makes regular fabrics perform like performance fabrics.
  • Dealing with accidents and offering protection for any soft surface.
  • About their complimentary spot cleaning service.
  • You can first test a sample of your fabric, just to put your mind at ease.
  • The water test will immediately show how well this product performs.
  • This product never changes the feel of a fabric.
  • The FabricShield is completely non-toxic and it dries extremely quickly, leaving no smell at all.
  • Applying the product is a straightforward process and the technicians are very conscientious about cleaning up before they leave.
  • Anything natural almost always comes out.
  • Protecting your fabrics for your peace of mind.
  • They schedule their day to leave themselves windows of opportunity to react to your stains.
  • How interior designers can work with The FabricShield.
  • The way that designers are rewarded for their referrals.
  • Talking about pricing.
  • They provide complimentary spot cleaning for 18 months.
  • The business is now a franchise. Scott explains what makes their franchise unique.
  • The quality of the product is the key to their business.
  • Why Rene and Scott are uniquely positioned to lead their company.
  • Starting a start-up business within a Fortune 500 company.

About The FabricShield:

The FabricShield is an in-home application to be applied to upholstery, area rugs, carpets, to any other soft surface you'd like to protect. It dries within an hour and there is no aerosol mist or haze. The FabricShield won't alter the texture or the look, feel, or color of the furnishings and its protection will keep your furnishings looking like new for longer.

The FabricShield company provides complimentary spot cleaning care for 18 months once a client's furnishings have been protected with The FabricShield.

Bios:

Scott Schleicher

Co-Founder

Scott Schleicher is a co-owner of The FabricShield. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD with a B.S. degree in Mathematics. Upon graduation, he served for 5 years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He has spent the majority of his professional career in the industrial gas industry working for Air Products, Inc. in Allentown, PA. While at Air Products, he had the opportunity to start-up their MicroBulk business serving as the National Business Manager. The MicroBulk business served over 30 locations in the United States and grew rapidly under Scott’s leadership with revenues of $200K in Year 1 and growing to revenues of over $20MM in Year 10 when Scott departed the company.   He then joined Airgas, Inc. and served as the President of Airgas National Carbonation (ANC). Under Scott’s leadership, ANC grew from $48MM in revenue and a 17% profit margin to $75MM in revenue and a 24% profit margin in 3 years. Scott departed Airgas in 2018 to join Rene Schleicher in establishing FabricSeal, LLC. the predecessor to The FabricShield.

Rene Schleicher

Co-Founder

Rene Schleicher is a co-owner of FabricSeal, LLC. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, MD with a B.A. degree in Government and Politics. She received her Paralegal degree from the University of San Diego, CA. Rene has been an entrepreneur since graduating from college and has spent the last 20 years serving the legal and design trade industries. Rene has worked as a paralegal in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Rene formed her first start-up company as an interior decorator while living in Allentown PA. Her business grew and she eventually opened a boutique furniture store serving the design trade called Haven Home Furnishings, LLC. Haven Home Furnishings was eventually sold and continues to flourish in the Lehigh Valley under a new name, Beautiful Home by Quentin Eshleman. In 2012, Rene joined an upholstery protection company as a sales professional. She departed in 2017 to begin developing the business model for FabricSeal, LLC the predecessor to The FabricShield with her husband and now business partner Scott Schleicher.

Links:

Website: The Fabric Shield

Facebook: The Fabric Shield

Twitter: The Fabric Shield

Instagram: The Fabric Shield

Oct 8, 2019

Welcome to the show! We have John McClain joining us today. John is the owner and Principal Designer for John McClain Design, and he is also an ASID Associate. For John, a successful design project involves combining the client’s needs and wishes with his own natural instinct. John McClean Design has offices in Florida and Los Angeles, and in today's episode, John talks to us about his superpower, which is organizing the systems and tools that he and his team utilize to manage their projects from two locations in two different time zones. Tune in now, to learn how to set your firm up with a strong foundation.

John McClain is an accomplished interior designer who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others. Shortly after launching his career, John appeared on HGTV, which allowed his personality and design perspective to become visible to a larger audience. He then joined a prestigious interior design firm/furniture design company in Los Angeles, CA, which eventually led to him starting his own home furnishings company, John McClain Home.

John McClain Design is a well-crafted blend of John's past design experience, education, and innovative-forward thinking. His projects have received numerous awards and have appeared in many publications including Traditional Home and Elle Décor. John now also shares his passion for interior design through speaking engagements, television appearances, articles, and events. Listen in today, to find out what he has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • John has a degree in business management. He has always been an entrepreneur with a keen interest in learning systems and ways to make businesses run more efficiently.
  • Systems are always evolving and changing, so you have to keep learning and growing.
  • John talks about the structure of his business and the roles that his employees play.
  • Synergy is really important to John, so he is always aware of what's going on with all of his firm's projects.
  • John explains how he works and how he organizes his projects within his company.
  • Transparency is very important, for both employees and clients.
  • John has started using MyDoma Studio to coordinate his projects and it's made things so much easier!
  • John explains what he likes about MyDoma Studio.
  • Some of the tools that John and his team use to communicate and to coordinate their projects.
  • The way that John manages his business finances.
  • Learning the ins and outs of QuickBooks.
  • Keeping a keen eye on your finances is key to running a successful business.
  • John explains how he keeps his finger on the pulse of his business.
  • Using a questionnaire to get information about potential new clients.
  • John talks about his involvement in the consultation process.
  • Coping with a three-hour time difference.
  • Knowing when you have to step in as the leader.
  • Keeping his team inclusive.

Links:

John McClain Home

John McClain Design

Instagram: @johnmcclainhome

Facebook: John McClain Home

Go to A Well Designed Business to sign up for your trial with MyDoma Studio.

On November 1st, 2019, LuAnn will be speaking at the Portland Interior Design Society Chapter's event, the Elevate Conference. Then, the following week, on November 9th, 2019, she will be speaking at the thirtieth-anniversary celebration of the NKBA Portland Chapter. Both the IDS of Portland, Oregon, and the NKBA of Portland, Maine, are inviting you, the design professional, to join us! You don't have to be a member of IDS or NKBA to attend. Go to LuAnn's website, Luann Nigara, and click on the 'Attend A Live Event' tab to find the RSVP and registration info for these events. (And for any other event that LuAnn will be attending over the next few months.)

Oct 4, 2019

Welcome to another episode of our Window Treatment Friday series with LuAnn and Vita. In this series, we're talking about window treatment services and we're sharing some viable business models with you. We explain how you can incorporate a window treatment business into your interior design business and we help you find the business model that's the best fit for you. Today, we're continuing our conversation from the last episode in this series (# 462) where we outlined the framework for the 'Do It Yourself' model. In today's episode, we will be covering the 'Done For You' model, where the interior designer partners with a window treatment specialist. In this model, the interior designer is the primary creator of the vision and the plan, and takes care of the more fun aspects of the service, while all the 'behind the scenes' aspects are taken care of by the window treatment specialist.  Listen in, to find out more.

Vita is the CEO and founder of Vitalia Inc., a nationally recognized authority on quality window treatments and soft furnishings, located in the Metro Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania. Vitalia Inc. is your workroom and your partner for custom window treatments. Their mission is to provide value to their clients and improve their lives.

Vita and LuAnn have been getting some outstanding feedback about this series, so tune in today, to learn from them how to make window treatments a profitable center of revenue for your interior design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Vita gives a recap of what she and LuAnn covered in the previous episode of this series, #462.
  • With the 'Done For You' model, the window treatment expert expects you to call them in right at the beginning of a new project.
  • Devising the strategy for window treatments is the first step.
  • The designer remains the leader and the window treatment expert helps the designer understand how to find the best solutions.
  • The importance of honing your communication skills.
  • The way that the window treatment experts can help you, the designer.
  • Coming up with the design is usually the most fun step for designers.
  • An expert is someone who has made every possible mistake in their field.
  • The role of the designer and the role of the window treatment expert.
  • Window treatment experts use systems to keep the designers in the loop.
  • Dealing with delays.
  • Creating efficiency with systems.
  • Vitalia Inc. uses Air Table, a very robust web-based project-management system that outlines every step of the project.
  • What it means to take responsibility.
  • The value you get from partnering with a window treatment expert.
  • This model is a win-win for the designer and the client.
  • Vita shares the questions that you need to ask, to find the best window treatment model that's the best fit.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Peter Lang #349 and #464

Links:

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

Vita would love to talk to you. Share your feedback, questions, problems, and challenges with her, and also your wins. You can email her at vita@vitaliainc.com

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

To get the PDF with the Goodies from today's episode: Luann Nigara If you join LuAnn's mailing list, you can access any information that we have uploaded relating to all the previous episodes of the podcast via this link.

Oct 1, 2019

Welcome! Today, Christine Lin, the founder of San Francisco-based Form + Field, joins us on the show. Christine sent LuAnn an email a while back, explaining how well her brand new interior design firm is doing due to all the strategies and tactics she's learned from listening to the podcast. Christine really has a lot going on for herself. She's a multi-disciplinary creative with degrees in architecture, engineering, and business, from MIT and UC Berkeley. After spending a successful decade in the tech industry, she has now returned to her true passion of interior design. Christine's rigorous training in corporate and startup environments gave her expert communication, management, and execution skills. She brings these skills, together with her well-honed eye for seeking out new art, design, and architecture, to her firm and all her design projects. Listen in today, to find out what Christine has learned, and how she successfully applies these lessons to her business.

Form + Field creates original interiors that honor the identity, history, and surroundings of their clients. With an emphasis on art, architecture, and eclectic modernism, they cultivate every project as a partnership. Form + Field has been widely recognized by publications such as Domino, Rue, California Homes, and Hospitality Design. Tune in now, to hear Christine's story.

Show Highlights:

  • Christine shares her takeaways from her experience of working part-time for another designer, and from listening to the podcast.
  • Running your business as if it's already a big business.
  • Christine didn't want to be putting out fires in her business.
  • The salary that Christine paid herself last year.
  • When she first started out, Christine paid herself a salary of $5000 per month.
  • Establishing your company's revenue goals.
  • Doing whatever it takes to reach your goal.
  • Some of the key things that Christine did to get clients, when she started out on her own in business.
  • Setting professional boundaries and treating friends as formal clients.
  • A contract protects both the designer and the client.
  • Boundaries create freedom.
  • Christine shares some of the growing pains from her first year in business.
  • Systemizing your hiring process will save you money in the long run.
  • Cleaning up your accounting system is very important for your business.
  • A hard lesson that Christine learned.
  • Talking about estimates and fees.
  • Learning to keep every aspect of your business within your control.

Links:

Website: Form And Field

Instagram: Form And Field

Pinterest: Form And Field

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Judith Taylor #340

Eileen Hahn #363

At 10 am on October 10th, 2019, LuAnn will be at the Stanford Waterside Design District, in Connecticut for her free, full-day event. This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Waterside Design District and Aspire Design and Home. Please join us there! You can find the RSVP on the EVENTS page of LuAnn's website. LuAnn Nigara

Sep 28, 2019

Welcome! We're bringing you this extra little episode of A Well-Designed Business today because, over the past months, many of you have told LuAnn that you don't know what the Power Talk Friday Tour is. And a number of you have expressed just how much you need it, after finding out what it's all about. In light of this, LuAnn decided to take some time to explain exactly what the Power Talk Friday Tour is. Tune in now, to find out!

Over the nearly forty years that LuAnn has been in business, she's learned a lot about creating a successful business from the deeper conversations she's had with other business owners. Almost every other owner of a thriving business that she's spoken to has had some or other sort of business coaching throughout their career. This is why LuAnn believes in business coaches and business coaching. And why she believes in business mentors and mentees, and business besties. In today's episode, she defines each of these roles, and she explains how all of this ties into the Power Talk Friday Tour. Listen in today, to find out what the Power Talk Friday Tour is, and how it happened.

Show highlights:

  • How the Power Talk Friday Tour happened.
  • One-on-one business coaching is at the top of the food chain but not everyone can afford it.
  • Sometimes you need someone to help you implement the new things you've learned about.
  • Perhaps you just need someone to talk to about a new idea you've had for your business. 
  • LuAnn has selected the coaches that she respects and admires for the Tours, and she rotates them for each Tour.
  • Why the PTF Tour is enough of an investment to make you think.
  • Most of the experts typically charge between $400 and $700 per hour for one-on-one coaching.
  • The conversations will be geared to hit the points that are relevant to everyone in the room.
  • There will be small, round-table discussions with the experts after lunch. If the group is really small, you might even get a one-on-one.
  • This event is small for a very good reason.
  • Every single tour is different.
  • The day always ends with a celebration dinner!

 

Links:

To find the information about the next tour that's coming up, go to www.powertalkfriday.com.

If you'd like to find out if the Power Talk Friday Tour is right for you at this time, email LuAnn at info@luannnigara.com, put Power Talk Friday Tour in the subject line, leave your phone number, and LuAnn will call you within 24 hours. 

Thank you to MyDoma Studio and Revel Woods for committing to sponsor every Power Talk Friday Tour!

Sep 27, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Ashley Micciche, the CEO of True North Retirement Advisors, on the show with us today, and we're talking exit strategies. This is a very important topic because you will need an exit strategy when you get to the point in your business career where you begin thinking about whether your business is viable to sell, why you should sell it, how to sell it, and what it's worth. Everything you do in your business is about building it and setting yourself up for success. So, even if you've only been in business for a short while, you have no intention of selling in the foreseeable future, and you feel that your retirement is still a long way away, you will still benefit from this podcast. Listen in to find out more.

Ashley started her career as a financial advisor in 2007, after graduating, magna cum laude, with a bachelor of science degree in business finance, from Portland State University. True North Retirement Advisors is an independent financial advisory firm,  located just outside of Portland Oregon, that manages two-hundred-and-thirty-million dollars in client assets. In today's episode, Ashley explains to us how she specializes in designing, building, and implementing business exit plans to help business owners secure their final and most important business decision- their exit strategy. Ashley's mission is to transition 300 small business owners successfully into retirement in ten years, so tune in today, to find out what she has to share about planning smartly for your future.

Show Highlights:

  • Most businesses revolve around their owners, and that impacts negatively on the value of the business.
  • Creating a thriving, systemized, well-oiled machine.
  • Thinking about how your business could go on after you, or be sold when you are ready.
  • Preparing for your exit as if you are going to do it.
  • Where to start with thinking about exiting.
  • What drives the value of your business?
  • Ashley dispells a myth about valuing a business.
  • Some things you should be aware of that decrease the value of a business.
  • Ashley has a valuation tool and checklist on her website that you can use to value your business in just a few minutes.
  • Some things to safeguard against.
  • Getting unstuck and exiting your business with three universal steps.
  • It's very important to get an expert to guide you through the process of selling or buying a business.
  • Go to Value My Business to value your business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Meadowbank Team: #302

Do Not Let Us Design For You: #346

Eileen Hahn: #363

Links:

True North RA

Well Designed Article

Free Checklist & Unlimited Access To Our Business Valuation Tool

Alex: One Minute Retirement Tip: Subscribe on iTunes

Blog: True North Retirement Advisors

Website: rue North Retirement Advisors

Facebook: rue North Retirement Advisors

LinkedIn: Ashley Micciche

LuAnn will be at the IDS Elevate Conference in Portland Oregon on Friday 1st November. RSVP link: ID Sport Land

Sep 24, 2019

Welcome to the show! We have another one of those rare shows today, where our guest bravely pulls back the curtain and talks to us openly about what it's like to be an entrepreneur, and to go through very tough times where everything is on the line. Taylor Spellman, the CEO and Creative Director of Taylor Spellman New York, previously appeared on the podcast in episode #106. She's back with us today to talk about an eye-opening lesson she recently learned about running a business. Taylor wanted to share this lesson with you so that you might not have to make the same mistake in your business. Tune in now, to learn something very important from Taylor.

Taylor is a #smart lady, and she's really funny too! Her firm specializes in a concierge level of project management. At any one time in her business, Taylor has upwards of fifty million dollars of real estate interior architecture and design under her direction, as well as all the press and the Bravo TV shows that she has. Tune in today, to hear about the grave challenge that she recently faced and overcame.

Show Highlights:

  • Taylor explains what happened when LuAnn called to ask her to do LuAnn Live.
  • Taylor talks about the things that caused the very difficult time that her business went through.
  • Why you have to be very clear about what you want to do with your money.
  • The importance of being prepared.
  • Learning to trust the right people.
  • Why you need to have a finger on all your accounting systems.
  • There's a fine line between negligence and malicious intent, but the results are often the same.
  • How Taylor's ability to value the privilege of having a home has shaped her work.
  • Taylor learned the value of money the hard way.
  • Taylor tells a cautionary tale about the hazards of hiring friends.
  • Learning to run her business from her brain, rather than her heart.
  • Getting rid of all her staff and hiring new people.
  • The importance of tracking and checking everything in your business.
  • Protecting your business, and your staff, with accountability.
  • Keeping up with your goals as they unfold.
  • Realizing who you are and moving forward.

Bio:

As CEO and Creative Director of Taylor Spellman New York, Taylor’s client-centric focus is bold and eclectic, showcasing the personality of the inhabitants of the spaces she creates. At any given moment, Taylor has upwards of fifty million dollars of real estate interior architecture and design under her direction. The firm specializes in a concierge level of project management with TSNY’s team of designers, contractors, and architects directing each phase of production from conception to completion at the top commercial, residential and new development properties throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Taylor has been featured in The Real Deal, Architectural Digest, The New York Times, E! News, Elle Décor and People Magazine in addition to hosting her own design show on BRAVO.

You can meet Taylor, in person, at High Point, with LuAnn, Sandra Funk, and Lori Paranjape, on Sunday, October 20th, 2019, at Suria, at 2 pm. This panel, titled Confidence Sells, is co-sponsored by MyDoma Studio and Suria.

Links:

Website: Taylor Spellman

Facebook: Taylor Spellman

Instagram: Taylor Spellman

Would you like to meet Luann in Connecticut on the 10th of October, 2019? This outstanding full-day event is co-sponsored by The Stanford Waterside Design District and Aspire Design and Home.

The first 100 RSVPs that also show up will receive a free copy of LuAnn's second book. To RSVP, go to Luann Nigara, and look for the event in the Events and Coaching tab.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Elissa Grayer #451

Wendy Glaister #386

Sep 20, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Nicole Heymer, the owner and founder of Curio Electro, back with us today. Nicole is our website designer and developer, she's our branding guru, and she's also a co-author and the book-cover designer for LuAnn's new book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts, Volume One. Nicole's chapter in the book is about the questions you need to be asking yourself and your clients, to discover, establish, and make very clear what your brand is. In today's episode, she will be taking the concept of defining your brand a step further by explaining how to express the uniqueness of your brand in every aspect of your business and giving you an exercise to help you to get this done. Tune in now, to find out what Nicole has to teach you about visual branding, brand voice, and messaging.

Curio Electro was founded in 2011. It is the go-to for businesses seeking smart and practical digital branding that gets results. They are experts in curating your brand voice and finding the aspects of your business that will draw in new clients by creating compelling websites and thinking through what happens after everything goes live. The collaboration with Nicole and her team is outstanding, so even after the website has been built, she and her team continue to provide marketing materials and social media graphics. We truly respect Nicole for her expertise and her business acumen. Listen in today, to learn how to express the uniqueness of your brand in every aspect of your business.

Show Highlights:

  • What you need to know about what shapes people's beliefs about your brand.
  • Knowing what it takes to make people believe something about a brand.
  • Creating moments for people, and telling stories.
  • The little things that are very important to deliver to your clients.
  • Using every aspect of your business to tell people exactly what they can expect from you.
  • Your message has to align with what you're doing.
  • People subconsciously judge you on your visual branding.
  • Demonstrating to the consumer how you stand out from the rest.
  • How you make more money when you have your brand clearly defined.
  • Nicole shares some ways to tell your brand story, to make it real for people.
  • Some ways to delight and surprise people with the technology you use in your business.
  • Talk about your charitable contributions. They say a lot about your brand.
  • Video is a really powerful way to tell your story.
  • How to organize and prioritize your systems and your marketing.
  • The different courses that Nicole offers to assist designers.

Bio:

Nicole Heymer is the founder of Curio Electro, a boutique creative agency specializing in intuitive branding, compelling design, and actionable plans. Since 2011, Curio Electro has worked within a multitude of industries and with a wide variety of clients at every stage in their development, from nationally known interior design firms to local craft breweries. Nicole's clear, practical take on creating a memorable brand has been featured in print, on podcasts, and as the framework for branding workshops. She is an active ASID Industry Partner and has served as the Editor of NJ ASID's Blueprint Magazine.

Links:

Website: Curio Electro

Instagram: Curio Electro

LinkedIn: Nicole Heymer

Facebook: Curio Electro

Nicole's Course for Interior Designers: Branding Discovery

Get the Goodies from Today's Episode

For Claire Jefford's courses

Nicole will be at the Power Talk Friday Tour High Point

Nicole's Previous Episodes: #125 & #317

Previous Episodes Mentioned in the Show:

Pulp Design Studio #176

Savour Partnership  #209 and #458

Claire Jefford #237 and #325

Kae Whitaker #26, #66, #114, #259, #274

Sep 17, 2019

Welcome to today's show, sponsored by Kravet Inc. We have the privilege today of having the Dallas-based interior designer, Jan Showers, join us on the show. As a successful entrepreneur, Jan understands the value of collaboration, which is a very important element of her business. In today's episode, she discusses her multi-faceted career, and she talks to us about the full lifestyle collection that she's created for Kravet, what it includes, and how her collaboration with Kravet came to be. Tune in now, to find out more!

Jan's career spans three decades, and during this time, she has received many of the highest honors awarded to design professionals. Her magazine credits include Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Veranda, House Beautiful, InStyle, Traditional Home, British Home and Garden, Harper’s Bazaar, and Luxe. For the last five years, Architectural Digest has added Jan Showers and Associates to the AD100, their preeminent directory to the world of design. Jan has also written two books, Glamorous Rooms and the follow-up to that, called Glamorous Retreats. She's currently working on her third book, which is due to be released in the fall of 2020. Jan is truly one amazing lady! Listen in today, to hear about her insights and her reflections on her career.

Show Highlights:

  • Working hard, getting published, and having great photographs are all key to being noticed for the Architectural Digest's AD100.
  • Where the inspiration for her book came from.
  • The most challenging part of her business.
  • Twenty years ago, Jan couldn't find what she wanted in the trade showrooms so she began creating a collection of her own, the Jan Showers Collection.
  • Being prepared to get lucky!
  • To do what Jan has done, you'd need to have strong systems in place, and an amazing team behind you.
  • Jan talks about her collaboration with Kravet.
  • Jan's impressive portfolio supplied most of the photographs for her book.
  • Jan's third book, Glamorous Living, is coming out in September of next year.
  • How Jan's mother influenced her life and career.
  • High-level clients expect and deserve perfection.
  • Jan discusses her history with Kravet.
  • It's a good idea to start out working for someone else or to have a mentor.
  • Jan shares her key to success.

Bio:

Jan Showers is a Dallas based interior designer and has been designing for clients for over 25 years. Her magazine credits alone place her in the highest echelon of designers. Aside from Jan’s interior design business, her career spans three different businesses. Jan has a to-the-trade custom furniture line, Jan Showers Collection, which is sold in eight showrooms across the U.S. Showers also has an antique showroom in the Dallas Design District, where she sells vintage items, as well as her new collection, 1308 Collection.

Showers’ partnerships include a full lifestyle collection with Kravet Couture, a furniture collection with Kravet Furniture, which debuted at High Point 2019, a hand-knotted rug series for Moattar, Inc., a lighting series with L.A. based designer Joe Cariati and a cowhide rug collection for Kyle Bunting.

Jan has written two books: Glamorous Rooms and her follow-up, Glamorous Retreats, both published by Abrams. She is working on writing a third book with Abrams to be released in fall 2020.

Links:

Website: Jan Showers

Jan Showers & Kravet Inc

Instagram: Jan Showers

Facebook: Jan Showers Associates

Twitter: Jan Showers

Glamorous Rooms

Glamorous Retreats

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Joe Cariati #197

Nate Berkus #433

Candice Olson #74

LuAnn and Jan will be at the Kravet showroom in the Boston Design Center on Wednesday, Oct 2nd, 2019. Please join them there!

Sep 13, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to have Peter Lang, the Designer CPA, on the show with us today. Peter is one of the co-authors of LuAnn's book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. He wrote chapter two of the book, called 'Find The Best Accountant For Your Firm' because, as a creative, it can be really hard to lock down the financial side of your business. Today, Peter, who previously appeared in episode #349 of the podcast, talks to us about how he teaches designers to understand everything they really need to know about their finances. Listen in, to find out more.

Peter is The Designer CPA and he genuinely loves working exclusively with design professionals just like you. He has a really strong desire to help creatives, and his goal is to help you to become a confident partner with him around the financial side of your business. Peter is based in Rhode Island but he works remotely with designers all over the USA. Tune in now, to find out what he has to share. 

Show Highlights:

  • Peter and LuAnn are going to be doing Power Talk Friday together, at High Point, in October of this year.
  • What Peter learned from the LuAnn Live event, last March.
  • Having a great team does not mean that you should stop paying attention to your business.
  • How Peter started teaching people about the right way to be looking at their finances.
  • Why Peter won't work with certain people.
  • Peter chooses to work with people who care.
  • Peter talks about the different classes he teaches.
  • The design industry is not straightforward when it comes down to finances. Peter understands this and he teaches you how to run your books accordingly.
  • You want everyone on your team to be on the same page.
  • Peter explains what his second course is all about, and how it was created specifically for the design industry.
  • How these courses will prevent you from becoming marginalized by your CPA.
  • Peter teaches you what you need to know about taxes.
  • About the next course that Peter will be doing.
  • About LuAnn's Power Talk Friday Tours.

Bio:

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.

Links:

Website: The Designer CPA

Power Talk Friday Tour

Peter's Courses: Classes For Designers

A Well-Designed Business®️: The Power Talk Friday Experts

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Instagram: The Designer CPA

Facebook: The Designer CPA

Twitter: The Designer CPA

Previous Shows Mentioned:

Peter Lang #349

Sep 10, 2019

Welcome! Today, Sara Lynn Brennan joins us on the show. Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Eighteen months ago, Sara contacted LuAnn, telling her that she wanted to go to High Point Market, but she wasn't sure what to do or where to go. So LuAnn arranged to meet her there, and Sara spent two days with LuAnn and Sara Daniele, the CEO of Mydoma Studio, going from event to event, hanging out, talking, and allowing Sara to get to know some significant and influential people in the design industry. Since then, 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. Listen in today, to find out what Sara has to share.

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.  In today's episode, Sara talks to us about the extra layer that she's added to her design business, and she explains how she's put the lessons that she's learned from the guests on the podcast into action. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • How MyDoma Studio inspired Sara to create packages.
  • Sara shares a mind-blowing story about selling packages.
  • Why you really need to go and look at Sara's website.
  • Sara describes her really smooth process.
  • Getting clear about the steps that are involved in any process.
  • Coming up with a flat-rate fee.
  • The great reward of instant gratification.
  • Sara describes her consultation process.
  • The way that Sara personalizes her packages.
  • The discovery call is a very important part of the process.
  • Creating an approachable package to reach more people.
  • Coming up with a detailed DIY package.
  • A package called 'DIY with an option to buy'.
  • Sara talks about how she presents her e-design package.
  • Creating these packages been a labor of love for Sara.

Bio:

Sara Lynn Brennan is an award-winning Entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors, the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina who specializes in Transitional Design. 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. Sara’s confident, unique and fearless approach to business and design make her an inspiration to those who work with and around her.

Sara is known for her recognizable “Romantic Transitional” design aesthetic, but her award-winning design team is not just about creating pretty spaces. It is Sara’s mission to educate and expose clients to the beauty and functionality of transitional design. She and her team pride themselves on creating practical, beautiful, and timeless homes that families can really LIVE in for years to come.

Links:

Website: Sara Lynn Brennan

Design Packages and Free E-Book: Sara Brennan

Blog Post: Luann Nigara Baby Designer

IG: @saralynnbrennan

FB: Sara Brennan

Soft Design Lab HPMKT Experience

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Wendy Woloshchuk #316

Mr. Inkredible #417

Kimberly Kay #234

Kelsey Grose #167

Megan Molten #455

Darla Powell #203 and #330

Deb Barrett #53

Tobi Fairley (1st one)

Lori Paranjape #34

Tori Alexander #445

Sep 6, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Window Treatment Friday, with LuAnn and her friend and co-host, Vita. Since starting the WTF series, they have been getting lots of emails from designers, asking questions related to their businesses. Finding the best business model for window treatment services was at the top of the list, so in today's episode, we will be outlining the framework for the 'Do It Yourself Model'. In this model, the designer takes all the risk and the responsibility- but gets all the money. In the following episodes, we will share different business models, so that you can choose the one that's the best fit for you. Today's show is an important one, so tune in now, to find out more!

Vita is a class-act lady! She's the CEO and founder of Vitalia Inc., which is your workroom and your partner for custom window treatments in the Philadelphia Metro area. Vita has been taking the lead in responding to all the emails and having the conversations with you, the listeners, about the things that really matter the most to you. After getting all your feedback to the first two episodes in this series, it made a lot of sense to address some of the more pressing topics that are on your minds. Listen in today, to find out what Vita and LuAnn have to say about finding the best business model for your window treatment services.

Show Highlights:

  • On September 23rd, the Lunch and Learn events will be kicking off once again for the season. LuAnn explains what the exciting first event, called Showroom Showdown, will be all about.
  • Helping you to find the best business model to pursue.
  • What the 'Do It Yourself' Model' looks like, and how it works.
  • You will need to learn how to measure. LuAnn suggests finding information from the WCAA about certification courses in window treatments.
  • Coming up with what the window treatment is, and learning to fill out the work and the production orders, with all the specifics.
  • As a designer, you need to have a vision and an understanding of the practical, functional needs.
  • Your lingo has to be very specific when communicating with the workroom.
  • You will have to keep track of the work in progress, and you will have to follow it up.
  • Different workrooms have different cultures.
  • Selecting the appropriate fabrics for the treatment you've selected.
  • Developing good relationships with the workroom.
  • Next week we will be discussing the business model where you work with a window treatment specialist, or a project management company.

Announcements:

On September 23rd, the Window Works showroom, in Livingstone, New Jersey is re-igniting and kicking off the Lunch and Learn events for the season. The first Lunch and Learn event for the season is called Showroom Showdown.

Reminder:

LuAnn and Vita will be presenting Demystifying Window Treatments For Interior Designers, at The Design Trade Resources Showroom, in Devon, Pennsylvania, on September 24th at 12 pm. This event is free and it is sponsored by Stout Fabrics. RSVP at events@designtraderesources.com.

Links:

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

To learn more about working with Window Works: windowworks-nj.com 

To RSVP for the Window Works Showroom Showdown

To learn more about WTF on A Well-Designed Business®️: Luann Nigara

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

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

To learn more about the Interior Design Society

To learn more about Stout: Stout.com

Sep 3, 2019

Welcome to another episode of our Design Biz Live series with Corey Klassen and Judith Neary! Today, Corey and Judith will be discussing five fatal errors that people tend to make in their businesses. Judith and Corey run their own design firms and they have both had years of experience in the design industry, so they know what it takes to create a successful business, and they understand what you need to do to avoid the pitfalls. Listen in today, to get their expert advice.

Corey is the owner of Corey Klassen Interior design, based in Vancouver. He provides professional interior design services for residential and commercial interior design projects while specializing in high-end kitchen and bath projects. Judith owns Roadside Attraction Design Studio, based in Vashon Island, Washington. She provides professional design services for kitchens, baths, and other fun living spaces. Tune in now, to find out how to avoid making these five fatal errors in your interior design business.

Show Highlights:

  • Judith talks about making the first fatal error- basing business models on demographics.
  • Your profit margin comes from how you do your business.
  • It's all about product, people, and place.
  • The peril of making a value call, or a judgment about someone, without first engaging with them.
  • Lead from selling in alignment with your business goals.
  • Being clear with your clients about what you will do and what you will not do.
  • Finding the right clients based on a psychographic rather than on a demographic.
  • Sometimes it's okay to do things for the greater good even though you're not being paid for it.
  • Being clear in your communication will be your biggest asset.
  • The difference between a customer and a client.
  • It's not about what you like. It's about what your client likes.
  • A true design professional will recommend rather than offer their advice or opinion.
  • You need to know your capacity and your capability.
  • Internalizing your external values with a code of ethics for yourself, for your contractors, and your clients.

Links:

Goodies Link: Luann Nigara

Corey's Website: Corey Klassen

Judith's Website: Road Side Attraction Studio

Aug 30, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Fred Berns is back on the show with us, and if you're a regular listener, you will know that he's one of our most repeated guests. Fred is a really powerful copywriter and he is also one of the co-authors of LuAnn's most recent book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. The topic for today's episode is Get Ready To Go Steady, so today, Fred will be explaining how to turn single sales into long-term sales. He really has a passion for helping designers to avoid leaving money on the table, so listen in, to find out what he has to share!

Fred Berns is a coach and a copywriter, and he brings more than twenty-five years of experience to the table, helping designers from Dallas to Dubai create their online profiles, their websites, and social media copy for their blogs, their marketing forms, and whatever else they may require. Fred offers a wide selection of coaching services, ranging from his High-Performance Coaching Program to his Bio-Briefing, and his Website Onceover. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Fred talks about his passion for helping designers to avoid leaving money on the table.
  • It costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
  • It's your fault if your client does not know all that you can do.
  • It's so much nicer to work with people you've worked with before.
  • Learning to develop partnerships with your clients.
  • Fred shares a great marketing strategy.
  • Expanding your marketing network.
  • Sending out a "Guess what" email to your clients.
  • Planting the seeds of long-term relationships with your clients.
  • Dealing with conflict in the best possible way.
  • It's not about the quantity of your client relationships. It's about the quality of your relationships.

Fred's Bio:

Fred Berns is the only interior design industry business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promotional materials for design professionals worldwide.

Fred has more than 25 years experience training design professionals from Dallas to Dubai and creating their online profiles, website, and social media copy, blogs, and marketing forms. In addition, he offers a wide range of business coaching services, ranging from his High-Performance Coaching Program to his Bio Briefing and Website Onceover.

As one of the biggest names in the business of interior design, he speaks at design conferences and other events throughout the U.S. and around the world. He also develops sales and marketing programs for international franchise organizations and companies within the interior design industry, and trains manufacturers, retailers, and others on how to increase sales to design professionals.

Fred focuses on his keynote speeches and seminars on how designers, kitchen and bath specialists, window fashion experts and other professionals can dramatically increase sales, and market themselves more effectively.

He has appeared at the International Window Coverings Expo; Neocon events; the High Point Market; Surfaces; design symposiums; home and design expos; furniture, gift and accessory shows; and national conferences of such groups as ASID, NKBA, IDS, and IFDA.

Fred’s blog is read by design professionals the world over, and he regularly writes guest blog posts and articles for online and print media.  He also is a frequent guest on design industry podcasts.

His Interior Design Business Library includes a vast collection of books, audio and video programs and other business-building resources that he has developed for the design industry. His learning tools cover topics ranging from setting and getting higher fees and overcoming price objections to branding and million-dollar marketing on a shoestring budget.

Fred’s clients today benefit from the communication and copywriting skills that he acquired during his highly-successful earlier career as a broadcast and print journalist. In that career, he founded one of Washington, D.C.’s largest and longest-established independent news bureaus.

Links:

Fred's Website: Interior Design Business

If you'd like help with your personal promotion profile, go to Bio Briefing

A Well-Designed Business®️: The Power Talk Friday Experts

Sales for Creatives

Article Trade Program: Well Designed Article

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Fred's Previous Episodes on A Well-Designed Business ®:

#22#48#96#174#226#289#337#393

Lee Cockerell #222

 

Aug 27, 2019

Welcome! Today, we're delighted to introduce you to Dennis Scully, the host of the Business of Home Podcast where each week, he interviews interior design industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives, to explore the changes and the challenges faced by the design community. In today's episode, Dennis and LuAnn talk tech. They discuss the way that technology is changing how business is done, and the adaptions that we have to consider making in our businesses. We all need to grow, innovate, and figure out new ways to make money and be profitable, so listen in today, to find out what Dennis has to share about the shifts that are happening within our industry.

The Business of Home Podcast is a production of Business of Home which, for the past ten years, has been the leading publication covering the home industry, delivering essential business news, analysis and insights to a dedicated readership of interior design professionals, including residential, contract and hospitality designers, retailers, makers and manufacturers, executives and entrepreneurs. With a career in marketing, advertising, and business development in the home furnishings space that spans more than 20 years, Dennis has helped some of the finest companies in the industry to manage their teams and grow their brands. Tune in now, to find out how to lean into the changes that are coming.

Show Highlights:

  • Technology is changing everything!
  • The design industry is adjusting to what today's customer is looking for.
  • Dennis shares one of his core beliefs.
  • People are more excited about design right now than ever before.
  • You need to think about what you're bringing to your clients that they cannot get online.
  • Designers today have to work even harder at educating their would-be clients about their talents and value.
  • The undeniable issue around technology is the impact that it's going to have on all our lives and all of our businesses. So we need to figure out how we are going to deal with it.
  • The incredible new workspace that Kravet has created to support the way that designers are now doing their business.
  • Learning to run with the way that technology is going.
  • It's worth experimenting with new and improved ways of doing things.
  • It's challenging today to know where and how to put your message forward.
  • Material Bank is a great example of a company that has taken the initiative to change with the times.
  • Designers have not yet made the complete shift into the world of e-commerce.
  • Designers need to understand that although there are pros and cons to technology, it is here, and it's going to keep coming our way with more innovations, at an ever-increasing pace.
  • You, as a designer, need to know who you are, and you need to be confident with your skills and keep on honing them.
  • Learning to lean into the changes that are coming.
  • Things are shifting so quickly that if you don't keep up with the change you will end up going backward.

Bio:

Dennis Scully is the host of the weekly BOH podcast, where he explores the changes and challenges facing the interior design community through interviews with industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives. He is also the vice president of sales and marketing at luxury textiles company Castel.

With a marketing, advertising, and business development career in the home furnishings space that spans more than 20 years, Scully has helped some of the finest companies in the industry to manage their teams and grow their brands.

After wrapping up his tenure as the President of the luxury custom upholstery company Avery Boardman, Dennis returned to Business of Home, where he had previously served as the V.P. of Business Development.  This time it was to launch a new column for the site, Market Report, based on Scully’s financial insights, as well as a business-focused podcast, Business of Home.

Dennis began his career in the homeworld running a small retail advertising agency that created branding and marketing campaigns for many of New York’s great furniture retailers of the day.  As the grandson of the founders of Scully & Scully on Park Avenue, New York retail was a world he knew well.

He later joined the luxury kitchen and bath company Waterworks, ultimately serving as the New York Director of Sales and Marketing.  From there he landed a job at Condé Nast, joining the launch team of Domino Magazine as its Home Furnishing Director.

Dennis worked with the luxury textile brand Twill as Sales and Marketing Director, and he later worked with the Chicago-based interior designer who founded Twill, Suzanne Lovell.

He joined Castel in May of 2018 to help them launch their first-ever flagship showroom in New York City’s famed D&D Building.

Business of Home:

For 10 years, Business of Home has been the leading publication covering the home industry, delivering essential business news, analysis and insights to a dedicated readership of interior design professionals—residential, contract and hospitality designers, retailers, makers and manufacturers, executives and entrepreneurs.

BOH has built a loyal national and international subscriber base of more than 100,000 professionals, for whom it is the go-to source for top-notch industry reporting, trade show guides, job openings, event listings, expert sourcing, educational seminars.

Our tagline “Home is Everywhere” emphasizes that home, the fastest-growing category in the economy, encompasses all of the spaces—private and public—that surround us.--

Links:

Event: Future Of Home

Website: Business Of Home

Instagram: @dennisscully

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Jesse Lazarus #446

Jean Brownhill # 422

Anna Brockway #79, #186

Nicole Gibbons # 411

Aug 23, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Info on Savour:

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

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

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

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

Our service packages include options for:

Affiliate marketing set up and training.

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

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

 Custom e-newsletters.

 Custom media kits.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Megan Molten #455

Brea Hammil

Carla Aston #242

Leslie Price #413

Links:

Website: Savour Partnership

Instagram: Savour Partnership

Facebook: Savour Partnership

Groups: Design Wealth

Price Style and Design

Leslie's email - leslie@savourpartnership.com

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

Aug 20, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer - Curio Electro #125 and #317

Nate Berkus - #433 

Links:

Dane Austin Design

Email: Dane Austin Design

Facebook: Dane Austin Design

Instagram: A Colorfull Life

Twitter: Dane Austin Design

Ask me anything” coaching Strategy Session

Aug 16, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

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

To learn more about working with Window Works: Window Works  

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

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

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia_inc

LuAnn's website: Luann Nigara

LuAnn's email: info@luannnigara.com

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

Aug 13, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Megan's email: megan@meganmolten.com

Website: Megan Molten

Shop: Megan Molten Shop

Instagram: Megan Molten

Facebook: Megan Molten

Pinterest: Megan Molten

Houzz:  Designs By Megan Molten

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236

Cheryl Luckett - Dwell by Cheryl #291 and #397

Aug 9, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Daniele Liss #171

Amanda Berlin #420

Jenny Maddon #332

Peter Lang- The Designer CPA #349

Tori Alexander #445

Links:

Jamie's website: Hashtag Legal

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

Jamie on Instagram: Hashtag-legal

Jamie on Facebook

Jamie on Linked-In

Aug 6, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Andrew Joseph # 39

 Krista Coupar #24 #45 #60 #81 #150

Links:

Carolyn Rebuffel Designs: Workroom C

WorkRoom C

Aug 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

John Dupra of Revel Woods #329

Links:

Revel Woods

American OEM

Hearth Wood Floors

Instagram - Revel Woods

Jul 30, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

Links:

Website: Elissa Grayer Design

Instagram: Elissa Grayer Interior Design

Facebook: Elissa Grayer Interior Design

Pinterest: Elissa Grayer

Exciting Windows

Jul 26, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Peter Lang, The Designer CPA #349

Kimberly Merlitti # 361 and #442

Links:

LuAnn's email: info@luannnigara.com

Interior PG

Bethany Mabee Art

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 23, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

LuAnn Live 2 will be coming out in 2020.

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

Jul 19, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Vita’s Website: Vitalia Inc

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia Inc

Exciting Windows

WCAA

ASID

IWCE

The Window Fashion Vision Magazine

Mentioned in the show:

Sew Much More Podcast

Jul 16, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

Mentioned on the show:

Steve Berson: The leader of Exciting Windows

Book: Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Miller (Design New Jersey) #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Shea McGee #236 and #270

Amber Lewis #169 and #184

Power Talk Friday

Jul 12, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Website: Kravet

Instagram: Kravet

Facebook: Kravet

Pinterest: Kravet

Twitter: Kravet

Mydoma

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

Jul 9, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

 

Tori Alexander- Bio

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

Links:

Alexander Interiors

Instagram: Alexander Interiors Nashville

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

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

This event is sponsored by Revel Woods and MyDoma Studio.

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

Jul 5, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Website: Sarah Winchester Studios

Instagram: Sarah_W_Studios

Austin Mill PR

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Stephen Karlisch # 369

David Livingstone # 51

Raquel Langworthy # 343

Sarah Winchester Studios - Pitch for LuAnne Nigara Podcast

About Sarah Winchester

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

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

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

OVERVIEW:

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

photographers who listen to the podcast)

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

traditional print media can’t go

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

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

IN DEPTH BREAK DOWN

  1. Photographers

- How to choose one?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Trust the photographer but also speak up.

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

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

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

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

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

- Consulting - Social Media v. Website/Portfolio

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

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

talking bout Houzz. Where should designers be?

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

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

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

- Instagram Engagement

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

- Posts v. Stories

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

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

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

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

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

- Giffs and video type images.

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

traditional print media can’t go

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

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

- What is the difference between usage rights and copyrights?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- 2 - 3 Companies Usage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Win-win for all.

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

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

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

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

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

  1. ART

- Art sourcing - Art is SUPER important.

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

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

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

- Local/Regional press and print is still amazing

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

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

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

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

Jul 2, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links and Resources:

Website: Jared Hughes Design

Instagram: Jared Hughes Design

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

This event is sponsored by Revel Woods and MyDoma Studio.

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

Jun 28, 2019

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

Kimberly Merlitti owns KMM Consulting based out of Washington, D.C. She has 20 years of experience working in accounting for companies such as Swinerton Builders, WRNS Studio, and Martin Group. She has her Masters in Accounting from Golden Gate University. Located in Washington D.C. Kimberly's clientele includes a diverse group of service-based companies, with the main focus on small interior design, construction, and architectural firms. The goal of her firm is to make the businesses she works for as profitable as they can be by educating them on accounting, cash flow management, tax deductions, project reporting, and business management. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

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

Other episodes mentioned in today's show:

Alinda Morris: #429

Michele Williams #180 and #395

Peter Lang #349

Links:

A Well Designed Business

Kimberly's website: KMM Consulting

Kimberly's email: kimberly@kmmsf.com

Need to schedule time with KMM? KMM Consulting

Jun 25, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Short Company Bio:

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC

LAURA MULLER – CEO, OWNER + PRINCIPAL

CLIFF MULLER – SENIOR CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANT

June 20, 2019

For Immediate Release

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

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

Link to HIGH RES IMAGES: A WELL DESIGNED BUSINESS_PODCAST ASSETS

SERVICES INCLUDE

> Full Service Interior Design

> Architecture and Detailing

> Custom Furniture Design and Fabrication

> Construction Documents and Permit Acquisition

> Full Service Project and Construction Management and Administration

PROJECT TYPES

> Residential

> Commercial

> Tenant Improvement

> Retail

> Restaurant

> Multi-Family and Mixed Use

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

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

Instagram Facebook Pinterest and Twitter.

C O N T A C T U S

Project Inquiries - Info@4ptdb.com

Media and Speaking Inquiries - Andrew@andrewjosephpr

S T U D I O

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

LIC. B #982460

 

Links:

Website: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Instagram: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Twitter: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Facebook: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Pinterest: 4 Point Design Build Inc

The Design-Build Institute of America: DBIA

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

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

Jun 21, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

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

Links and resources:

Tobi's details:

Tobi Fairley, ASID

17200 Chenal Parkway Suite 300 #330

Little Rock, AR 72223

tobifairley.com

info@tobifairley.com

501-868-9882

Tobi's website: Tobi Fairley

Tobi's podcast, Design You

Mighty Networks

 

Tobi’s Freebie for LuAnn’s Audience:

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

Tobi Fairley’s DesignYou Coaching Program:

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

Features:

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

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

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

Benefits:

In DesignYou we teach Designers and Creatives how to:

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

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

Links and resources:

Beth's Website: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Instagram: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Facebook: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Pinterest: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's LinkedIn: Beth Diana Smith

Luann Nigara

Luann Nigara Book2

Well Designed Article

Window Fashion Vision

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Nate Berkus #433

Erika Ward #6 and #278

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

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

Jun 14, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Extract from Sarah's website:

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

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

And she goes on to say:

There are a few things I’m good at:

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

Oh, and I'm an Introvert.

Links and resources:

Sarah's website: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's podcast

Sarah's LinkedIn: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's facebook: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's lead magnet: Sarah's Templates

LuAnn's Webinar:

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

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

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

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

Webinar: My Doma Studio

Jun 11, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bios:

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

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

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

About the High Point Market:

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

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

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

Links and resources: 

High Point Market Digital Press Kit

Website: High Point Market

Ashley's email: ashley@highpointmarket.org

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Registration opens mid-July, 2019 for the fall market

Fall Market: October 19th-23rd, 2019

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

This show was previously aired as #406.

Jun 7, 2019

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

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

Book mentioned:
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Jun 4, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

Role & Responsibility:

Juan is an architect and interior designer with an extensive and

holistic international experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant,

commercial and residential design.

Combining strengths in architecture and interior design, Juan worked

eight years as an independent designer and creative consultant on

different high end commercial and residential projects in Spain and

abroad.

He was Designer Director at Rockwell Group Europe, managing a

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

prestigious hospitality brands.

He currently leads the recently open Wilson associates London office.

In charge of this edition sleep & eat theater.

Juan Carlos says:

“People ignore design that

ignores people”

Education:

College Degree in

Architecture at Universidad

Anahuac Mexico City, Mexico

Interior design degree/

Instituto Europeo di Design

Madrid, Spain

Master degree in project

management & design

Universidad San Pablo Ceu

Madrid, Spain

Links and resources:

Wilson Associates website:  Wilson Associates

Designer Questionnaire

Basics

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

Beyond the Basics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Which designers and/or artists inspire you?

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

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

Definitely an interior designer.

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

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

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

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

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

Name 2-3 challenges in running a design firm?

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

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

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

Do you have a client onboarding process?

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

List the steps critical for successfully running a client project.

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

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

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

May 31, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Alinda Morris #429

Andrea Schumacher #86

Peter Lang #349

Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl # 291 and #397

Kimberley Kay #234

Cat French #376

Alyce Lopez #382

Shauna Lynn Simon #84

Taylor #106

Arianne Bellizaire #20

Claire Jefford #237

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

Kimberley Merlitti #361

Kae Whitaker #259 and 274

Kristen Thomas #314

Sandra Funk #145

Lori Weitzner #308

Caitlyn Waite #284

Joni Vanderslice #101

Janelle Photopoulos #364

Eileen Hahn #363

Madeleine MacRae #315

Last Friday's Solo Show #432

Links:

LuAnn's sales course: Sales For Creatives  

LuAnn's new book: LuAnn Nigara: Book2 

May 28, 2019

Welcome to a very special episode of A Well-Designed Business! Today Nate Berkus joins us on the show! We really have lots to talk to him about, and at the top of the list is his first collection with Kravet Inc. This collection, called Well-Traveled, launching in June 2019 is a luxurious mix of chenille’s, statement cotton and linen prints as well as intricate embroideries, and velvet. In today's show, Nate describes how his love of organic, rich, earth-tones is incorporated in the color palette he designed for this collection. Nate's travels have been the inspiration for this collection. Each of his exclusive fabrics possesses a global point of view and the fabric collection, as a whole, represents his distinctly individual perspective, which blends history, architecture, and artwork from all around the world. Listen in to find out about Nate's approach to his business, his perspective on color and design, and how he came to work with Oprah.

Show Highlights:

  • Nate talks about his new venture, in collaboration with Kravet Inc, which launches in June 2019.
  • Nate has really enjoyed working with the passionate, creative team at Kravet Inc!
  • LuAnn is looking forward to featuring some of Nate's collection in her newly-renovated showroom at Window Works.
  • Nate explains what inspired him to start his own interior design firm at the age of twenty-four.
  • Nate talks about what he set out to do when he first started out on his own.
  • The impact that social media has had on the interior design industry.
  • Running his business like a Fortune 500 company with systems, procedures and cross checks.
  • Nate explains why creating an exceptional client experience has always been as important to him as the creativity their team produces.
  • Why you can't separate who you are professionally from who you are personally.
  • The importance of being honest and transparent- and owning your mistakes.
  • Always remember that you can't change your reputation. It follows you wherever you go.
  • Nate talks about his creative director, Lauren Buxbaum Gordon, the team she leads, the way that they support one another and their process for managing interior design projects. Nate explains why he decided not to close his design firm in 2006.
  • The magical way that Nate got to meet and work with Oprah.
  • Even when faced with a one of a kind opportunity, Nate made decisions based on sound business principles, exemplifying true professional leadership as an interior design firm owner.
  • The moment when Oprah told America to remember Nate's name.
  • Nate personal work ethic is to work as hard or harder than anyone he collaborates with. He feels it shows respect and creates an environment for more collaboration.
  • His dear friend, former Co-President of Oprah Winfrey Network and President of Harp Productions, Sheri Salata, married Nick and Jeremiah Brent.
  • Nancy Hala, Sheri’s business partner, and co-host on their podcast, Sheri and Nancy, is a previous guest on A Well-Designed Business, episode #377
  • Sheri Salata, Nancy Hala, Nate and Jeremiah partner in a media company called Story.
  • Nate discusses how he and Jeremiah work together on interior design projects and how important it is when you are in business with your spouse to respect each other's opinions.
  • Nate gives his best advice for growing a profitable design firm.

Bio:

Since designer Nate Berkus established his award-winning interior design firm at the age of 24, his approachable and elevated philosophy has transformed countless homes around the world through his design work, home collections, books, television shows, and media appearances. Ever since Berkus’ first appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002, he has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers. His work has been featured in publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, VOGUE, InStyle, O Magazine and People. He is included on the ELLE DÉCOR “A-List” of the world’s top designers and was named to the AD100 list in 2018. 

Links:

Website: Nate Berkus

Instagram: Nate Berkus

Facebook: Nate Berkus

Pinterest: Nate Berkus

Nate And Jeremiah By Design is on TLC on Saturday nights.

Nate’s fabric collection with Kravet Inc. is called Well-Traveled.

In spring 2019 Nate and Jeremiah launched a new line of furniture, with over 300 pieces, for Living Spaces, a retailer on the west coast of the US.

Recommended book:

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

May 24, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we're talking about what to do when you know the client is wrong. For the health and success of your business, it's really critical that you know how to handle conflicts successfully. In episode #430, we talked about what to do when you are wrong. In today's episode, you will learn what to do when you do everything right but the client doesn't like it. Listen in, to get LuAnn's expert advice.

Do you want to be right or do you want to get what you want? Over the years, this little phrase has really helped LuAnn navigate conflicts with clients, vendors, employees, and even with the people closest to her. And Window Works is also very clear about their core values and their commitment to 110% customer service. The team doesn't always know how each of them will handle a given situation, but they all know that they will do whatever it takes to make the client happy. Tune in now, to find out what to do when the client just isn't happy with what you've done.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn gives an example of something that happened at Window Works this past winter.
  • In a conflict situation with a client, be calm, non-confrontational, and let them know that you will do whatever it takes to make them happy.
  • It's important to know what you're striving for and what your goals are.
  • LuAnn explains why she, as the owner of the company, decided not to make the first phone call in the situation that happened with Window Works.
  • There are subtle nuances to successfully handling difficult situations.
  • Why Luann called the client only on the second day.
  • LuAnn explains how she read the situation.
  • It's very important to remain real, and not play any games.
  • It's another thing if the client decides not to play by the rules.
  • Setting up reminders and putting all the previous agreements in front of the client in a conversational way.
  • Sometimes, it's best to honestly agree with the client.
  • LuAnn shares the solution she proposed to the client.
  • Carefully placing the message of excellent customer service in between the lines.
  • Applying pressure in a very nice and subtle way.
  • LuAnn explains her clear reason for creating an opportunity for a phone call the next day.
  • Why it was so important for LuAnn to have the first order paid for right away.
  • Selling is about listening, being on your feet, and being willing to get to the bottom of whatever is upsetting the client.
  • Using your rationale to get the client to buy into the solution that you want to happen.
  • Why you need to be very clear about how the payments for each section of the project must happen after agreeing to a solution.
  • Remember that you are the leader of the transaction, so be the leader!
  • The ultimate goal is not to win. It is to leave the client 100% satisfied.
  • You need to know what the net cost of the project is.
  • Paying close attention to what your client is saying is really very important.

Links:

To find out about LuAnn's group sales coaching course, Sales For Creatives, head over to

Sales For Creatives

To get onto LuAnn's email list, text the word designbiz to 444999.

May 21, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We have Debbe Daley, an interior designer in the New England area, on the show with us. Debbe is also an installed designer in the Boston Design Center’s Designer On Call program, now called Design Services program. In today's episode, Debbe talks to us about the way she handles her initial consult, about the items that she puts in a folder for her clients, and how she provides suggestions for her clients. She also talks about the book she is writing, Monetizing Your Passion- Turning Your Hobby into A Business, which is due to be launched in the fall of 2019 and she discusses the two-day seminar that she will be running in Portsmouth, in June, for interior designers. Listen in, to find out what Debbe has to share on the show today.

After obtaining a business degree, Debbe took a slight detour and taught herself how to sew custom window treatments. She also spent some time doing hands-on work in the paint, wallpaper, and furniture industry. In doing this, she gained valuable knowledge and she also expanded her industry network of friends and colleagues. Now, some thirty years later, Debbe is well-respected in the industry and she is often invited to speak at industry conferences. She also writes a weekly lifestyle column for the Lowell Sun, where she covers topics about design, travel, DIY, and cooking, for the Merrimack Valley audience. Tune in now for more.

Show Highlights:

  • The five-day course in decoration and interior design that Debbe teaches to the non-design professional who is hoping to become a design professional.
  • Debbe gives an overview of the two-day course she teaches, called Design For Today, that is geared towards professionals in the design industry. The next course will be in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on June the 27th and 28th.
  • Debbe's two-day workshop was developed at the request of some of Debbe's seasoned colleagues from the Association of Design Education.
  • Debbe's clients are looking for software platforms that they can use to enhance their businesses, to make their lives a bit easier.
  • Debbe uses Design Files, a platform that is designed to do e-design.
  • The thing that really got Debbe going in the right direction and gave her the motivation for the book she's writing.
  • Why sharing her knowledge is so important to Debbe right now.
  • Some of the lessons that Debbe learned from Fred Berns.
  • Debbe's take on whether or not to put your packages on your website.
  • How Debbe handles her initial client consultation.
  • The mechanism that Debbe uses to stay on time.
  • What the folder that Debbe gives her clients initially contains.
  • Why Debbe always has her clients sign a photo release form.
  • Debbe talks about her initial consultation rate and her hourly rate.
  • About Debbe's Pick Your Brain segment.
  • How Fred Berns helped Debbe to increase her rates.
  • Debbe has set things up so that there's a package for everyone.
  • Attracting the client that is right for you.
  • The importance of putting yourself out there, introducing yourself to your local reps, and setting up your vendor accounts.
  • Debbe talks about her new book, Monetizing Your Passion- Turning Your Hobby into A Business, and she explains who it is geared towards.
  • It takes a lot of hard work to be an interior designer.
  • As a new designer, any kind of store experience is valuable.
  • People notice it if you're driven and you really know what you're doing, as a designer.

Bio:

Debbe Daley, an award-winning interior designer with more than 30 years’ experience, is known for the extraordinary service she provides prominent homeowners in New England and around the country.

She supplies a complete range of design services for new and existing homes nationwide, but she focuses on working with clients in the Boston Back Bay, the North Shore of Massachusetts, Cape Cod, coastal Maine, and the New Hampshire seacoast as well as the Merrimack Valley. In addition, she is a gifted professional speaker who delivers programs to both interior design and general audiences nationwide. She presents keynotes, seminars, and workshops on topics ranging from design business success practices to the Power of Positive Energy.

Debbe is the winner of numerous Houzz customer service awards and gets 80% of her business from referrals. She designs multiple homes for the same clients and works with different generations of the same family. Clients use words like “fantastic,” fabulous,” “exceptional,” “impeccable,” “outstanding,” and “a pleasure to work with” to describe her. Debbe has designed new homes and remodeled existing residences for more than 700 clients, including Fortune 500 executives, CEOs, high tech leaders, medical specialists, business owners, and other successful professionals. Her commercial design projects include funeral homes and professional offices.

Debbe Daley Designs is based in an elegant design studio in the historic Abraham Shaw House in Portsmouth, NH. The firm is backed by a team of some of the region’s premier contractors, carpenters, painters, flooring specialists, cabinet experts, electricians, and other professionals, as well as a nationwide network of vendors and suppliers.

Debbe, who earned interior design degrees at three leading institutions, shares her extensive design expertise in her weekly lifestyle column in the Lowell Sun, the Huffington Post and her own blog. She keeps current on the design industry through her involvement with the American Society of Interior Designers and the International Furnishings and Design Assn. and the National Speakers Association. Her clients today benefit from the customer service, problem-solving and administrative skills, and the product knowledge she gained during her highly successful earlier career working in the industry through retail establishments, an interior design firm and four leading New England companies.

Debbe has an office in the Boston Design Center, where she is involved in the Design Services, Designer on Call program as well as the new office location in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, serving regions of the Merrimack Valley, Boston, and the Portsmouth seacoast.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

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

Darla Powell #330, #203

Wendy Glaister #386

Kristan McLaughlin #319

Barbara Sallick owner of Waterworks #131

Wendy Woloshchuk #316

Links and resources:

Debbe Daley Designs LLC

379 State Street - #1

Portsmouth NH 03801

Daley Designs

Instagram: Debbe Daley

Facebook: Debbe Daley Designs

May 17, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we're talking about when things go wrong and how to fix them. If you'd like your business to be really successful, with loyal, long-term clients who keep coming back year after year, you have to differentiate yourself from the rest. There are two kinds of situations where you can make this happen if you're willing to conduct yourself in the way that LuAnn advises and if you're willing to spend the time perfecting the necessary skills to do so. Listen in today, to learn what LuAnn has to teach you about what to do when you've made a mistake.

Sometimes, your client isn't happy with an outcome. You see their point and you agree, however, you can also see that the solution is going to be expensive for you, either in terms of time or money. So you might feel that you can't afford to fix it. The truth is, however, that you cannot afford not to fix it. Because good news travels fast and bad news travels even faster- and further. Tune in now to find out what LuAnn has to share about what to do when something goes wrong.

 Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn describes a typical scenario of something going wrong.
  • Often, we worry that if we tell a client that we've made a mistake we will be at a disadvantage with them because it could cost us money or our expertise could be questioned.
  • Why you're not fooling anybody by pretending.
  • When you price your projects properly you will have the money to clean things up if you need to.
  • If it really is your mistake, just say so. It's important to acknowledge what your client is feeling.
  • Mistakes are going to happen. So at the start of a project, explain to your client how you take care of mistakes.
  • The first thing is to acknowledge your mistake, and the second thing is to own it. Then you tell your client what the solution is.
  • When it's okay, and when it's not, to charge your client for the mistake.
  • Listen to your inner voice.
  • Listen carefully and be real with your client.
  • Don't ignore a problem.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your client what will make them happy.
  • You will know when your client isn't happy, so ask them about it. It will be okay.
  • Next week, we will talk about what to do when there's a problem, but there isn't really a problem. But you still have a problem because you have to fix it.
  • LuAnn talks about the group sales coaching course that she has decided to run.
  • LuAnn gives some details about the group sales coaching course and she talks about the topics that she will be covering.

Links:

To find out about LuAnn's group sales coaching course, head over to

Sales for Creatives - (If the link is not working Friday when this airs, it will be working by Tuesday, 5/21.)

To get onto LuAnn's email list, text the word designbiz to 444999.

May 14, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Alinda Morris, of Alinda Morris Interior Design, located in Gig Harbor, Washington, with us. Although her firm is small, with Alinda and just one other employee, she's running it like a bigger firm. She has her systems down, she has her practices binder, and she's tracking her hours. In today's episode, Alinda explains how she has become very clear and focused, in the last couple of years. This has really made a big difference for her in terms of peace of mind, profitability, project management, and the experience her clients have when working with her firm. Listen in today, to find out what Alinda has to share about the way that she's set herself up for success with builders and other trades, and how she ensures the success of anyone that works for her.

Alinda Morris is a nationally published, award-winning interior design professional, habitual remodeler, adventurous creative, specializing in full service, luxury residential interior design. These include custom furnishings, unique kitchens & artfully designed bathrooms, attention to details, and clean, updated spaces are her specialties.

She is committed to her clients having a wonderful experience. She is widely admired for her ability to create, invent, explore, and innovate.

In addition to Alinda's impressive versatility, ranging from minimalist restraint to traditional chic, client’s find Alinda's passion for design infectious so that collaborating with her is a thrilling process as she works her creative magic in both visual appeal and functionality. Tune in now, for more.

Show highlights:

  • Alinda has her systems down pat, and her portfolio is really amazing!
  • Some of the habits that Alinda has instituted in her firm.
  • The challenges that Alinda faces.
  • Great communication has always been very important for Alinda.
  • The trail and error process that Alinda went through, for a few years, to find the best systems for her business.
  • How Alinda helps her clients get a grasp on their design budget.
  • Starting the design process with Alinda, through her questionnaire.
  • Alinda's firm is very client-based.
  • The way that Alinda communicates with the builders she works with.
  • Alinda talks about her detailed special best practices binder, for her interns, with examples of how she likes things to be done.
  • Choosing the right font for your brand.
  • About the check-lists Alinda uses.
  • The things she brings in for photo shoots.
  • Alinda shares her thoughts on the way she tracks her billable hours.
  • Alinda knows exactly how many hours she needs to bill in order to cover her costs each month.
  • Alinda describes her magnificent small boutique studio on the waterfront at Gig Harbour, Washington.
  • Reinvesting profits back into her business.
  • How Alinda creates the very best experiences for her employees.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Charlotte Safavi #138

Raquel Langworthy #343

Stephen Karlisch #369

Links:

Alinda Morris Interior Design

 

Houzz

Instagram

Facebook

May 10, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday.  Today, we're having a solo show because LuAnn has some things to share about her event, LuAnn Nigara Live, which was held in New Jersey a month ago. She would also like to talk about some of the things you can do to take action in your business, in order to do better and become more profitable. Luann's event was a really special experience and an outstanding success! Almost 200 designers, speakers, panelists, sponsors, as well as LuAnn's team, attended the event and for two-and-a-half days, the room was filled with an electric atmosphere and they all really rocked it! Listen in today, to find out more.

LuAnn had a vision for the event, and she really knew what she had to do. And she did it! The conversations after the panel discussions were so interactive that it felt as if there were only twenty people in the room, even though there were almost 200 people there! It was really intense in the very best way possible so we're working on doing it again, probably in eight months to a year's time. In the meantime, there's a lot of stuff coming up, like the smaller one-day events and the Power Talk Friday tours. Tune in now, to find out how to turn your inspiration into action.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn thanks everyone and gives a quick recap of her event, LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation.
  • You can go to the blog post on LuAnn's website LuAnn Nigara to see the pictures and get an overview of everything that happened at the event.
  • LuAnn talks about her new book, A Well-Designed Business- The Power Talk Friday Experts. It can really help you to up your game in business.
  • LuAnn shares some of the keys to upping your business game.
  • Watch your mindset, and be careful not to be closed to new ideas for success.
  • Look at the stories you tell yourself about money.
  • Examine your own mindset about numbers. Michele Williams, in LuAnn's new book, says not to play the song in your head: I’m creative so I’m not good at numbers.
  • Examine your mindset about your fees and don't pretend your rates are about the area you live in. Your rates are related only to your confidence as a designer and business person.
  • What it means to not save your client's money.
  • It is your job to make your clients aware of the best solution for their challenge or problem. They don’t have to do as you suggest but, as the expert, you must make them aware of it.
  • Not saving your client's money also means that when they can’t afford something, they don’t get it. You don’t lower the price to meet their budget.
  • Customer service is critical in creating a successful business.
  • Satisfied clients return. Dissatisfied don’t always tell you, they just don’t return.
  • Own your mistakes. Clients know when you are lying and lying is worse than making a mistake.
  • Take action!
  • With so much information from the live event and the podcast, overwhelm becomes a real possibility, so you have to break things down and work on your business, to get better and to become more profitable.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Fred Berns #289

Vincere #356

Chris Ramey #345

Sandra Espinet #287

Links and resources:

Kravet is having a sale at their outlet. And on any regular Kravet fabric, wallpaper or trim order get 10% off with the code AWDB10 at checkout.

Mydoma Studio for project management, time tracking, invoices, communication and saving time: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts

May 7, 2019

Welcome to the show! We have Christina Samatas and Renee DiSanto, the founders of Park and Oak Interior Design Studio, located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with us today. These ladies work on new construction, renovation, and furnishing projects across the US, and you may even know them from their Instagram, with 130 000 followers. The way that they handle themselves and speak about their firm really conveys the confidence that they have in what they're doing. And the success they've had in their first three years in business is not at all typical. In today's episode, Renee and Christina pull back the curtain and boldly share with us their experiences and the lessons they have learned over the last three years. Listen in today, to find out what they have to share.

Christina Samatas and Renee DiSanto founded the Park & Oak interior design studio in 2015. They are known for creating homes that are visually stunning, yet functional and comfortable. Their work, rooted in the art of timeless style, is driven by the belief that design can be used to create feelings of comfort and happiness. It combines the best of their individual aesthetics for a unique look. Christina and Renee have a creative energy that is engaging to work with. Using beautiful and unexpected sources of inspiration, they work collaboratively with clients to create spaces that thoughtfully honor the spirit and traditions of their owner. Tune in now for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Renee and Christina talk about what each of them brought to the table when they started out, and about what attracted them to each other, as business partners.
  • Some of the one-year and five-year goals that they established when first starting out.
  • Renee and Christina's approach to the individual roles that they have in the business.
  • Renee describes the really special way that she and Christina work together.
  • From a park bench to a studio.
  • The first person that they hired was a bookkeeper.
  • What kept them powering through in the beginning, when they were sacrificing a lot and there were many challenges to face.
  • Struggling with balancing family life and business.
  • It took some time to bring their really awesome team together.
  • In year two, they experienced a turning point in the business.
  • They use a finite system to prevent problems and execute their projects efficiently.
  • Learning from their mistakes and gaining the courage to stand up for themselves.
  • Creating the right systems, in order to protect themselves.
  • There's really a lot going on behind the scenes too.
  • How they find the time to keep their systems in order and their projects running smoothly.
  • Renee is behind their really impressive Instagram following.

Links:

Park And Oak

Facebook: Park And Oak Design

Twitter: Park And Oak

Instagram: Park And Oak Design

Pinterest: Park And Oak

May 3, 2019

Welcome! Stacey Brown Randall joins us on the show today. Stacey, a three-times repeat guest on the podcast, is one of the co-authors of LuAnn's new book, A Well-Designed Business, the Power Talk Friday Experts. Stacey really has a lot to share, to teach, and to give that is of genuine value, and she does some wonderful work with entrepreneurs. In her first and second episodes, she talked to us about Employee Management (#69), and the Client Experience (#93). In today's episode, she will explain How To Get Referrals Without Asking. Tune in now, to find out more.

Stacey, who has a Master’s in Organizational Communication, provides a roadmap for small business owners and solopreneurs to generate referrals without asking through her Growth By Referrals program. She is the author of the book, Generating Business Referral- Without Asking, and she also hosts her own podcast, Roadmap to Grow your Business. Stacey lives in Charlotte NC with her husband and three kids. Listen in today, to find out what Stacey has to share about building relationships and planting the seeds of referral.

Show highlights:

  • Janelle Photopoulos changed certain things in her business, to up the client experience, based on her working with Stacey.
  • Stacey talks about her work with Janelle.
  • Stacey explains how she got to understand interior designers so well.
  • Why Stacey hated asking for referrals.
  • Stacey is debunking the advice that we've all been given, that we have to ask everyone for referrals at the end of a project.
  • Asking for referrals generally makes people feel really uncomfortable.
  • Changing the way we think about referrals.
  • Looking for ways to fill a funnel after failing in her business.
  • Stacey started unpacking the psychology and the human dynamic behind why referrals happen.
  • Referrals actually happen because they are triggered.
  • Why manufactured triggers are not successful.
  • Making yourself look like a hero by offering a solution to a problem is the best way to get referrals.
  • Stacey shares the trigger for making a referral happen.
  • How to trigger always being top of mind in a referral source.
  • What constitutes a great referral.
  • Taking great care of the relationships with your referral sub-set.
  • Identifying your referral sources. These are gold!
  • How baby designers can start building relationships with referral sources.
  • Using the right language.
  • Taking care of your referral sources year after year.
  • It all comes down to authentic relationships.

Stacey's bio:

Stacey Brown Randall is a member of the business failure club, a contrarian on how to generate referrals and a supporter of the entrepreneurial dream. Through her programs, she provides a roadmap to take control of your business.

Stacey’s quest to crack the code on how to generate referrals without asking began after her first business failed. When she started her second business – a business and productivity coaching practice – she knew keeping her pipeline full of new clients would be one of the biggest differentiators from her business failure. She honed-in on referrals as the main source of prospects for her second business but wasn’t satisfied with the conventional advice which is to receive referrals you must ask.

Stacey has taught her “no asking” referral generation strategy to hundreds of companies including Bank of America, Carroll Financial, International Minute Press, Dogtopia, O’Connor Insurance Associates, ACC Associates (Mortgage Advisor), Slater Interiors, Real Living Real Estate, Milazzo Webb Law Firm, Wells Fargo Advisors, Success Institute, HM Properties, Ameriprise, Farris Cooke CPA, Keller Williams, LearningRX and more small businesses and solopreneurs.

She is a three-time entrepreneur, author of Generating Business Referrals...Without Asking, and host of the Roadmap to Grow your Business podcast.

Stacey received her Master’s in Organizational Communication and is married with three kids, a 10-year- old son, 8-year-old daughter and she and her husband are raising their 11-year-old nephew. 

 Links:

Stacey Brown Randall

Facebook

LinkedIn

Youtube

Twitter

Instagram

Previous episodes Stacey has been on:

#69 Employee Management

#93 The Client Experience

Other episode mentioned in today's show:

Janelle Photopoulos, Blakely Interior Design #364

Stacey is a co-author in LuAnn's new book:

LuAnn Nigara

Apr 30, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We have Misty Maxey, the Bachelor Pad Designer, on the show with us today. Misty has decided to fully niche her business into designing strictly for bachelors. After spending some time doing hobby designing, she finally made the decision to get serious and look for the help she needed to learn the difference between a hobby and a business. On the show today, she explains how she knew that she had to reach out to coaches and other accomplished designers, in order to be successful. Misty really understands that by pushing through fear and doing things that scare you, you level up and make things happen. She really has her eyes wide open, and her website, (Misty Maxey) with its clear and authentic copy, describes very distinctly what she does, how she does it, and who she does it for. Listen in today, to hear what Misty has to share about the really intentional way she set up her business.

Misty Maxey has always loved interior design. With two artistic parents, her creative path was written in the stars. Always seeking to grow in her knowledge and understanding of the interior design field, she regularly sought out the experience from successful designers.

With knowledge and life experiences forming her understanding of the importance of interior design, she opened her business with the goal of inspiring bachelors to live their best life ever by co-creating their home that reflects who they are and to become.

As a survivor of domestic violence, Misty regularly gives back by providing complimentary design services to survivors and their families. This restores dignity and gives back to her community. Tune in now, for more!

Show highlights:

  • Misty's website is really clear and specific about what she does.
  • Tapping into the metrosexual market in Portland.
  • Misty explains why she likes to work with bachelors.
  • The underlying message in Misty's approach to interior design.
  • Guys like to have their outdoor hobbies reflected in their home.
  • Misty honors the way the guys she designs for like to live.
  • Letting her clients know in a really fun way that they will be making an investment.
  • How Misty learned that guys are comfortable talking about money and business.
  • Transparency and communication are the two main things for Misty.
  • What transparency means for Misty.
  • Where Misty sources her products.
  • The retail markup that Misty adds to her products.
  • Misty explains where her money is coming from.
  • The different packages that Misty offers.
  • Misty's way of dealing with damaged deliveries.
  • Misty hired the services of a market research company in Portland.
  • Misty talks about the business coaches she has worked with.
  • The book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, really helped Misty push past her fear.

Links:

Website: Misty Maxey

Instagram: Misty Maxey Designs

Pinterest: Misty Maxey

Twitter: Misty Maxey

Books mentioned:

Do the Work: Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Apr 26, 2019

Today on the show I have yet another fabulous business coach who specializes in our industry! Michele Williams is with me! Michele is the founder of Scarlet Thread and Consulting in Atlanta, Georgia. Today we will learn about Michele’s background which includes the financial software industry as well as a business in soft window treatment fabricator. She also has a BS in business administration, a diploma in Christian life coaching and she is one of the few certified profit first coaches in the United States. Michele was also the communication director and editor in chief of the Drapery and Designs Professional Magazine from 2009 to 2012. She is a member of The Design Collective in Atlanta, the Designers Work Club Council and the Window Covering Association of America. After talking to Michele I realized that there are so many things I could talk with her about but after we talk about her background a little bit we are going to pull apart work scheduling and chunking our day to have more productivity.

Show Notes:

  • What is her background in the financial software industry?
  • When did she decide to start her window treatment business?
  • Did she start with a business plan?
  • How did she start to make her business bigger?
  • What is the Design Collective in Atlanta?
  • What is a round table discussion and how is it helpful?
  • How is the Window Coverings Association helpful to Michele and her business?
  • What are some of things that you can expect Michele to talk about the expo IWCE in Charlotte?
  • Why is it important to listen to different people say the same things?
  • Why is important to be able to chunk your time for productivity?
  • Is it better to be proactive or reactive?
  • How should you plan your calendar?

Resources:

Website: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Facebook: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Instagram: Scarlet Thread

LinkedIn: Michele Williams

Twitter: Michele Williams 

Financial Health Checklist PDF: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Previous shows mentioned:
#104 Kate the Socialite
#94 Debi Pinelli (A& J Interiors)
#69, #93 Stacey Brown Randall
#128 Grace McNamara
#125, #317 Nicole Heymer
#141 Jim Riviello

Links:

WCAA

IWCE Vision

Window Fashion Vision

Luann Nigara Book 2

Apr 23, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're talking to Tiffannie White today, the creator of The Nappy Bohemian, located in Oakland, California. Tiffannie is a blogger, an interior stylist, and an e-designer and she also has a full-time position as a design consultant at  Fireclay Tile. After spending many years as a career sales professional, The Nappy Bohemian was born in 2017 because Tiffannie wanted to merge her architecture education, her love for tile and ceramics, and her desire to showcase the real black experience in the world of interior design. Tune in today, to hear about Tiffannie's business, what she's doing, and the lessons she's learned from running her business.

Tiffannie's job with Fireclay Tile has allowed her an inside look on the world of artisan makers, and it has also connected her with terrific designers in her East Coast territory. In today's episode, she describes how much she loves her job, she talks openly about the lessons and challenges she experienced in her first year in business, and she shares her goals for the year to come. Listen in now, to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Tiffannie talks about her traumatic experience of taking her daughter to the hospital and how her daughter really loved the decor there. This showed Tiffannie just how important interior design really is in people's lives.
  • Creating a holistic space is really important for Tiffannie.
  • About Tiffannie's personal and unique 'only'.
  • Tiffannie is proud of the lessons she's learned.
  • Tiffannie talks about her first eighteen months in business.
  • Being focused and clear in her vision.
  • All about Tiffannie's e-design packages.
  • Tiffannie's e-design is driven mainly through her Instagram and word-of-mouth.
  • Settling on a name.
  • Going with the flow and trusting.
  • Some of the challenges she's faced.
  • You have to value what you do to have a thriving business.
  • Being careful not to compromise in too many areas when starting out in a business.
  • Work for free only if it's worth your while.
  • Some tips about blogging.
  • Tiffannie's business goals for the next year.

Links:

Instagram: The Nappy Bohemian

The Nappy Bohemian

The Nappy Bohemian

 

Previous shows mentioned:

Albie Buabeng #348

Chaney Widmer #260, #327

Cheryl Janice #41

Sue Firestone #404

Apr 19, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really thrilled to have Jean Brownhill, founder, and CEO of Sweeten, on the show with us today. Jean, who has almost 500 000 followers on Instagram, is onto something that you, as designers, really need to know about. She has a designer trade VIP program where she connects interior designers with the really well-screened, well-vetted general contractors that her company has worked with over the years. Right now, Sweeten has thousands of these contractors on their books. This means that whatever kind of project an interior designer brings to them, they can match it. Listen in today, to find out all about Jean's really awesome designer trade VIP program and how it can really benefit you, as a designer.

After earning an Architecture degree at The Cooper Union, Jean spent a decade in design and construction, including in Global Architecture at Coach, where she won the Chairman’s Award for designing web platforms to streamline retail construction worldwide. After a challenging renovation of her own home, she saw the need for a free service to match people to vetted general contractors, providing support throughout the process. So Sweeten was launched in 2011. The concept earned Jean a prestigious Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. Tune in to find out what Jean has to share about the really unique platform that she's created.

Show highlights:

  • Jean explains how Sweeten assists interior designers.
  • Finding the right general contractor to suit the design project.
  • Jean talks about where she started with Sweeten.
  • Jean wanted to figure out how to get high-quality construction and design resources to regular people.
  • How Designers get matched a contractor through Jean's website.
  • What's included in the service that Jean offers.
  • Sweeten has a vetted group of contractors that have all committed to working transparently.
  • The kind of data that they re able to collect as a result of staying with all their projects to completion.
  • They do an original content piece on their blog every single day.
  • Sweeten can hold their contractors accountable based on the fact that their communications, signed contracts, and estimates are all on the Sweeten platform.
  • Sweeten is always working on ways to get everybody on the path to completion.
  • How the contractor's ratings on the Sweeten platform affect the number of projects Sweeten will send their way.
  • The way that the contractors are incentivized to stay with Sweeten and deliver great service.
  • Treading lightly in the process of learning what works best for everybody.
  • Jean shares her contractor vetting process.
  • Jean gives some tips for interior designers to work successfully with contractors.
  • Sweeten charges interior designers no fee at all.
  • Jean offers an awesome incentive of $500 for a referral.

Bio:

Jean Brownhill, Founder, and CEO of Sweeten

After earning an Architecture degree at The Cooper Union, Jean Brownhill spent a decade in design and construction, including in Global Architecture at Coach, where she won the Chairman’s Award for designing web platforms to streamline retail construction worldwide. After a challenging renovation of her own home, she saw the need for a free service to match people to vetted general contractors, providing support throughout the process.

Sweeten (as in “home, sweet home”) launched in 2011; the concept earned Jean a prestigious Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.

Today, Sweeten has more than $1B of construction projects in the pipeline. The service has been called a “Renovation Game-Changer,” with Jean hailed as “The Contractor Whisperer” by New York Magazine as well as one of Inc. Magazine’s “Most Innovative Women Founders in America.”  Sweeten brings trust, technology, and transparency to the $340B+ residential renovation industry, allowing consumers to renovate fearlessly. The company expanded to commercial projects—restaurants, retail, offices, etc.—in 2017.

Just as Sweeten sets new standards for contractors, Jean is taking on traditional barriers for diversity and women in tech. She's a female founder disrupting a male-dominated industry. She’s co-founder of the African American Student Union (AASU) at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, an organization supporting African Americans in architecture, real estate, and urban planning. She’s a member of the 2018 Class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute. And she’s one of few black female entrepreneurs to raise $1M+ in venture capital, as featured in Vanity Fair.

For more info, please contact Randi MacColl at randi@sweeten.com or 212-671-1713.

Links:

Sweeten

Blog Sweeten

Design Trade VIP Program: Sweeten Architects Designers

Instagram: @sweeten_home

Facebook: @theSweeten

Pinterest: Sweeten

Twitter: @sweeten home

Apr 16, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Melissa Hryszko, the award-winning design brain behind Veranda Estate Homes Inc., join us on the show. For the past eighteen years, Melissa and her husband, Rob, have owned and operated one of Calgary's most successful and versatile luxury home building companies. Today, Melissa shares some of her best tips for growing her firm's Instagram following to an incredible 80 000 followers, and she also explains that she and Rob are crystal clear about who they will work with, and about the kinds of projects that they will do and will not do. Listen in today, to find out what it takes to consistently build between seven and ten custom homes per year, from the ground up.

Melissa's formal education is in graphic design and advertising and yet it's really clear that she belongs in the world of interior design. She brings a meticulous level of detail to each and every project that Veranda is involved in, and she does all her designs by hand. Melissa also tackles each project on an individual basis to ensure that each one is unique and representing the Veranda brand. Tune in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Melissa talks about Veranda's unique business model.
  • Melissa is involved with every single home.
  • How Veranda has the edge.
  • Learning from past mistakes.
  • Working with the best architect.
  • Veranda only works from word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Talking budget with clients.
  • Working out ball-park prices.
  • How Melissa's firm works with the different trades on each project.
  • What it takes for a project to get off the ground.
  • They have only five people on their team!
  • About the weekly site meetings that happen every Tuesday morning.
  • They use a program called Buildertrend to coordinate projects.
  • Melissa shares some good practices for growing your Instagram following.
  • Melissa spends more than two hours per day on Instagram.
  • Instagram is about building relationships.
  • Melissa tells us all about her podcast, Modern Design Minds.

Links and resources:

Melissa's Podcast: Modern Design Minds with her co-host Amy Kearns (from the Boston area).

Amy Lynn Interiors

Veranda Estate Homes

Instagram: Veranda Interior

Facebook: Veranda Estate Homes

Modern Design Minds on Instagram: modern design minds

Buildertrend: Builder Trend

Modern Craftsman Podcast

amylynn_interiors

Visual Comfort

Currey & Co

Wingnut Social Podcast

Modern Design Minds Podcast

Previous guests mentioned in this episode:

Circle Design #380

Judith Neary - Design Biz Live #170, #264, #326, #399, #410

Shea McGee #236, #270

Additional episodes about building your IG:

Amber Lewis #184

Shea McGee #236, 270

Mr. Inkredible# 417

Mark McDonough #110

Darla Powell #203 and #330

More episodes about doing full design and build:

Circle Design Studio with husband and wife team John and Theresa Dorlini #380

Angela Rasmussen of H2H Design+Build #181

Apr 12, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really delighted to introduce you to Amanda Berlin today. Amanda is a communications consultant specifically for entrepreneurs. She teaches visibility strategy, to help people to be seen and appreciated for their uniqueness. She tells us that what she does daily, in her PR niche, is much the same as every one of us, as entrepreneurs, has to do when marketing our businesses. It's about creating a story around a business or a product that really connects it with an audience. On the show today, she and LuAnn talk about the kinds of pitches that designers need to write, the types of media that are the right fit for designers, and how to create relationships with writers and reporters to get yourself and your projects featured more easily and more often. Tune in today, to find out how to be seen and appreciated!

Amanda studied journalism at George Washington University. She interned at CNN, wrote for a local paper, and spent a decade writing media pitches for companies like Disney, Dove, Brawny, Baskin Robbins, Colgate, and Campbell’s. The pitches Amanda wrote resulted in appearances on almost every level of local television outlet in the country and on every national cable and network morning show at one time or another. Amanda has been featured on Carol Cox's Speaking Your Brand and she also has a podcast, The Empowered Publicity Podcast. Listen in today, to hear what Amanda has to share!

Show highlights:

  • Amanda has a really awesome 'about me' page.
  • Starting with goals.
  • Thinking about goals when considering media and visibility.
  • Amanda explains what a PR opportunity looks like.
  • Working out what's most important.
  • Unearthing the evergreen and newsworthy opportunities.
  • The two kinds of pitches that every designer needs to write.
  • Why you need to be really specific about what you have to teach.
  • Different pitches for different kinds of media.
  • Looking at mainstream consumer media.
  • Twitter is an excellent source of information about the media.
  • The Profile Pitch. To get you deeper in with your niche audience.
  • Telling your own story.
  • Why you need to be willing to own your story.
  • Going back to who you were before you became who you are.
  • Pitching for podcasts.
  • Making it as easy as possible for media to say 'yes'.
  • The services that Amanda offers. Go to her website Amanda Berlin

Bio:

I’m a New Yorker by way of New Jersey with stints in Washington, DC and Madrid, Spain.

I’m told my Jersey often shows through, whatever that means. I’m a mama of an only. I’m obsessed with my family as well as finding the exact right word to complete my thought in every conversation (it can get annoying). And peanut butter. I’m also obsessed with peanut butter.

I was born to make sure we are all heard and seen and appreciated for our unique genius.

I about died when I got a poem published in my high school literary magazine.

I studied journalism at The George Washington University, interned at CNN, wrote for a local paper, and then came back to New York City.

For a decade, I wrote media pitches for companies like Disney, Dove, Brawny, Baskin Robbins, Colgate, and Campbell’s. Clients would come to me with a spokesperson and some message points and I’d package it up and create a story that would get pitched to news outlets across the country. The pitches I wrote resulted in appearances on nearly every local television outlet in the country and every national cable and network morning show at one time or another.

My day-to-day in this niche of PR is exactly what every last entrepreneur is tasked with doing when marketing their business. Take a spokesperson (themselves) and a message (their business or product) and create a story that connects with an audience.

Amanda Berlin was referred to LuAnn by Amber De La Garza #385.

Shows that correlate with this one:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Millar #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Jane Dagney #351

Andrew Joseph #39

Jenny Madden #332

Links:

Amanda's website: Amanda Berlin

Amanda's podcast: Amanda Berlin

Find Amanda on Facebook: Amanda Berlin Coaching

Follow Amanda on Twitter: Amanda Berlin

Valerie Fund Designer Showhouse April 23- May 19, 2019

Previous guests participating in the showhouse:

Gail Davis

Tina Ramchandani

Blanche Garcia

Marina Umali

WindowWorks is supporting several designers in the Valerie Fund Showhouse by providing window treatments for their rooms.

Kips Bay Showhouse May 2- May 30, 2019

Previous guest participating in Kips Bay:

Corey Damen Jenkins

Links to LuAnn's books:

Book 1: Luann Nigara

Book 2: Luann Nigara

Apr 2, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Mr. Inkredible on the show with us. Don Ricardo Massenburg, Jr, known for his use of bright and bold patterns and colors in home decor, is the principal of Design Inkredible in Durham, North Carolina. Don believes that interior design should be and could be attainable by everyone, even though it's considered a luxury service. In today's episode, he talks to us about his design business and about his work in early childhood education. He also explains how he runs his design firm in conjunction with his full-time position in the education field. Listen in to find out more.

For a long time, it has been Don's dream to do something that he loves so much that it doesn't feel like he's working. Interior design has been his answer to this. Don's firm has grown so fast and has become so successful that it's hard to believe that technically, it's his side-hustle. He really understands what it takes to maintain a successful interior design business, and he's always adding to his education in interior design. Tune in to find out about Don and how his love for art, music, furniture, and anything bold and creative really fuels his passion for interior design.

Show highlights:

  • How Don started his design firm while doing his career in education.
  • How he runs his design business around his full-time job.
  • Don is so passionate about interior design that it doesn't feel like work.
  • How he uses social media to get clients.
  • Posting on social media at peak times for maximum engagement.
  • Don's strategies for attracting followers on social media.
  • Joining Instagram pods, or groups are still effective as a strategy for marketing a business.
  • Don's use of bold and bright colors and patterns.
  • The importance of engaging, on social media.
  • A lot of Don's current clientele comes from luxury new construction.
  • Don's focus is on textiles.
  • Maintaining a following on social media really takes a lot of work.
  • The importance of your first six photos on Instagram.
  • The value of hiring a really good photographer.
  • Converting Instagram admirers into clients.
  • Weeding out the tire-kickers.
  • How to obtain the help of a mentor.
  • How MyDoma Studio has really changed Don's life.
  • Don used to create his own custom designs.

Don's Bio:

Recognized for his use of bright, bold patterns and colors in home décor, Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr. seeks to show that although interior design is considered a luxury service, it can be attainable to everyone. His love for art, music, furniture, and anything bold and creative fuels his passion for interior design.  It has been a lasting dream of Ricardo’s to do something that he loves and enjoys so much that it doesn’t feel like he’s working, and Ricardo believes that he has experienced that dream with interior design.

Ricardo received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from North Carolina Central University and started his first interior design venture while he served as a teacher. Some of his earliest and favorite projects were children’s spaces where he enjoyed pulling bright, vibrant colors together, along with fun patterns. Ricardo continues to work in the field of education by day and acknowledges the value of the transferable skills gained through his experiences.

The growth of DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC has been so exciting and through his, work Ricardo has developed other gifts and talents such as sewing, upholstery, and creating abstract art. Ricardo recognizes that although style and a good design eye are important, it takes much more to maintain a successful interior design business and he is currently continuing education in interior design.

For more episodes on how to grow your Instagram following:

#184 Amber Lewis

#110 Mark McDonough

#203 and #330 Darla Powell / Wingnut Social

For more episodes on mentorship:

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#291 Cheryl Luckett

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#272 Laura Thurman

#91 and #177 Sarah Daniele- Mydoma Studio

Links:

Design Inkredible

Instagram: Design Inkredible

Facebook: Design Inkredible

Join LuAnn at High Point Market

Facebook Groups:

Mark McDonough:

Interior Design Marketing

Darla Powell:

The Wingnut Social Media Lab

LuAnn:

LuAnn Nigara and Friends

Mar 29, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! Today’s episode is a conversation with the founder of Digital Everything, Susana Yee. Susana is a marketing expert in social media and influencer marketing who has cultivated major engagement for companies through her innovative work, such as her Guess “color me inspired” campaign. Within her company, Susana helps individuals with their own social media campaigns, twitter and facebook ad management, influencer marketing, rebranding, content creation, retargeting campaigns, and so much more.

Digital Media is a company that helps others build and market their own personal brands in order to reach out and work with top-notch influencers, or become an influencer themselves. This episode includes techniques and strategies that will help you create and promote yourself on any social media platform. Tune into today's episode of A Well-Designed Business to learn more about Digital Everything and how its program can help you build your social media empire.

Show Highlights:

  • Reaching out and working with influencers
  • Making sure your brand is cohesive and looks promotable
  • Tagging and promoting other brands that are relevant to you
  • Strategies to grow your business through social media
  • How affiliate and brand deals work
  • Being selective about what you advertise
  • Redirecting people to other platforms to avoid exposing secrets
  • Building an email list
  • Being easily contactable and accessible
  • Posting consistently and strategically
  • Putting a value on your services
  • Using people’s needs to your benefit
  • Paying people fairly for their expertise
  • Playing the role of the brand and the influencer
  • A roadmap for how to target and work with influencers
  • Creating campaigns that include and reach a big audience
  • Apps that easily regulate marketing
  • Establishing your personal niche
  • Properly labeling and hashtagging posts

About Digital Everything:

Digital Everything is a Los Angeles based digital marketing firm that works with brands directly and teaches them how to build and make the most out of relationships with influencers.

  • Founded over 20 years ago
  • Services include: social media campaign management, influencer marketing, twitter and facebook ads management, social media strategy, content creation, retargeting campaigns

Links:

Sign Up for Susana's Course:  The Influencer Marketing Roadmap 

Web and social:

Digital Everything

Facebook: Digital Everything

Twitter: Shopping And Info

Previous Shows Mentioned:
Shea McGee of Studio McGee #236 
Shea and Syd McGee #270
Natalie Hurst # 172
Mar 26, 2019

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! We have Tina Ramchandani, a really smart lady and the founder of Tina Ramchandani Creatives, with us on the show today. Tina is another interior designer who started her career by training at a well-established and well-run New York design firm and we know that it really makes a difference when young designers cut their teeth this way. Tina started her own design business in 2014 and in four short years, she has managed to establish herself as an interior designer on the rise. She was recently named one of House Beautiful Magazine's 2018 Next Way Designers and she has been featured in Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottage and Gardens, and more. Listen in today, to find out about Tina and her really successful design firm.

In today's episode, Tina talks to us about her experience of working for the top-tier New York firm, Vicente Wolf and Associates, prior to opening her own design business. She discusses some of the practices that she has instituted in her firm, like her strategy for establishing monthly tasks in her business, to ensure that she's paying attention to the experience she's giving her clients. Today, Tina and LuAnn also talk about their involvement in the upcoming Designer Showhouse, Grace's House, by the Valerie Fund. LuAnn is on the committee, and Tina is one of the designers. Many of the designers selected to participate in bringing this really special home back to its former glory have been featured on this show, so we're giving all of them a special shout-out today, in appreciation for all that they are doing for our children! Tune in now to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Window Works will be working with Tina and the other designers, doing window treatments and pillows for the Valerie Fund showhouse, Grace's House.
  • Tina talks about her amazing experience and the confidence she gained from working for Vincente Wolf for five years.
  • What Tina learned from working for Vincente Wolf, that she's brought to the way she runs her own firm, Tina Ramchandani Creative.
  • The way that Vincente Wolf managed to inspire Tina's confidence.
  • The natural way that Tina empowers her junior designer, Kay, in the same way, that she was inspired by Vincente.
  • Learning to trust the people you have hired.
  • How Tina knew that it was the right time for her to leave her mentor, Vincente.
  • How interior design principals gain from giving their all to their junior designers.
  • The systems that Tina initially took away from Vincente's firm.
  • The way that Tina tweaked and changed some of Vincente's business systems, to work with the way she works.
  • Tina and Kay sit down at the beginning of each year and assess the things that are not working and the things that need to change in the business.
  • Tina discusses the goals that she and Kay set for each month.
  • Tina and Kay meet each week to discuss what needs to be done in the business.
  • Having outside help has really assisted Tina in running her own business.
  • Tina has built in specific times of the month to address her business operations.
  • The pressure that comes with being driven in business.
  • Tina talks about the awesome Valerie Fund.
  • All about the showhouse, Grace's House which is going to open on April 25th, 2019.
  • There are many special events which will be happening at the opening of Grace's House.
  • Tina talks about the colorful room that she is is designing in Grace's house.
  • Benjamin Moore has kindly sponsored all the paint for Grace's House.
  • Getting things to run smoothly when the pressure is on.
  • Tina discusses the event that she is going to be doing with a women's group on the 15th of May, to raise money for the Valerie Fund.
  • LuAnn is having a book signing for her new book, on the 30th of April, at 6 pm, at Grace's House.

Tina's bio:

Tina Ramchandani Creative (TRC) is a full-service design firm that creates modern, sophisticated and relaxed interiors. TRC's turn-key service makes it easy for clients to move into a completed home with minimal stress. Tina Ramchandani incorporates her vast experience and global perspective into her signature style that delivers a warm layered aesthetic, enhancing your lifestyle and inviting you to truly “live” in your bespoken space. Tina places a strong emphasis on artwork, couture pieces, and custom elements, within the client's budget. While creating a unique, livable environment for clients, Tina incorporates local artists and artisans to bring spaces to life, and showcase clients' personalities in their homes.

TRC has developed a complete and individual onboarding process, which allows Tina to get to know clients and their needs in depth. Clients will share their inspirations with Tina, while also sharing details of how they live in their space, what they are looking to improve or change, as well as what they are interested in aesthetically. Tina and her team then create two complete design presentations for clients. First, the team offers a preliminary meeting, with floor plans and layouts, furniture styles, lighting pieces, fabrics, colors, and art inspirations. After honing in on the direction, TRC develops a comprehensive presentation for clients, soup to nuts. Tina and the team present every item in the space, from furniture to lighting and floor covering to window treatments. This allows clients to see the design vision in its entirety. Once approved TRC takes care of everything, so clients can sit back, relax, and watch their space come together.

Tina Ramchandani developed her design expertise with several top tier, high-end residential and commercial interior design firms in Manhattan, including Frank & Marcotullio Design Associates and Vicente Wolf Associates, which led to the formation of Tina Ramchandani Creative in 2014. Ms. Ramchandani is deeply appreciative of good design and passionate about the impact social awareness can have on one’s life. Tina’s work has been nationally recognized by publications including Elle Décor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottages & Gardens, Lonny, Gotham, Cover, she was most recently named a “2018 Next Wave” designer by House Beautiful.

She is also the founder of Life in Sketch, an internationally recognized interior design blog where she shares what inspires her in the world of design at large, from her daily experiences in New York to her extensive travels abroad.

Press Release for Grace's House, presented by the Valerie Fund:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund presents Grace’s House, A Designer Showhouse Restoration of historic Plainfield mansion will benefit children in our area battling cancer and blood disorders

Maplewood, N.J. January 14, 2019 – In May of 2018, nine-year-old Grace received a devastating diagnosis: she had a Germ Cell Brain Tumor. Grace’s treatment brought her to The Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Newark Beth Israel and after rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, she is recovering well. Her grateful family sought ways to give back to the organization that was taking such good care of their daughter and granddaughter. Last June, they spearheaded an extraordinary fundraising effort during The Valerie Fund’s annual 5K Run and Walk in Verona Park, Verona, NJ raising close to $32,000. Grace’s grandfather, Dan Reichard, a builder and principle of ER Development was interested in collaborating further with The Valerie Fund. He and his partners Thomas and George Allen purchased a 7,000+ square foot Colonial Revival in Plainfield, NJ restoring original elements and preparing it for featured designers to showcase their visions.

Christened Grace’s House, the mansion is located in the historic Hillside Avenue district and will eventually be for sale, but in Spring 2019, the public will have the opportunity to tour approximately 20 of the house’s rooms, nooks, stairways and landings, and other spaces across three floors.

Interior Design businesses selected to participate in bringing this very special home back to its former glory include:

AK Design Studios, Monsey, NY

ANEW Kitchen and Bath Design, Plainfield, NJ

B-garcia designs, Montclair, NJ

Butter and Velvet Home Designs, Denville, NJ

California Closets, Fairfield, NJ

CD Interiors, Manalapan Township, NJ

The French Martini, Westfield, NJ

Gail Davis Designs, South Orange, NJ

Global Home Interior Design, Princeton, NJ

Images in Design, Cranford, NJ

JAB Design Group, Penn Valley, PA

JMW Interiors, Millburn, NJ

Liepold Design Group, Millburn, NJ

Marina V. Design Studio, Ridgewood, NJ

Mendham Interiors, Mendham, NJ

Mimi & Hill, Westfield, NJ

Samuel Robert Signature Spaces, Millburn, NJ

Swati Goorha Designs, New Providence, NJ

Tina Ramchandani Creative, New York

“Building a Brighter Future for The Valerie Fund Kids.” Proceeds from public and private tours of the showhouse as well as ad journal sales and sponsorships will benefit The Valerie Fund’s Green Light Initiative, a $5,000,000 Capital Campaign. This initiative is the most ambitious chapter in The Valerie Fund’s history to date, poised to extend “next generation care” to thousands of children fighting life-threatening diseases. The Valerie Fund is proud to recognize Design NJ as a media sponsor, Holby Valve, Coughlin Duffy LLP, Stephen and Tina Squeri as sponsors and Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings as a sponsor and a designer resource. Generous in-kind sponsors already committed to the project include Benjamin Moore, Dente Trading Classic & Luxury Stone, Swarovski and Window Works.

At The Valerie Fund each year, Grace and 6,000 other precious children benefit immeasurably by receiving their medical treatment close to home in a child-centered environment. Individualized support from an entire psychosocial team – Integrative and Palliative Care Specialists, Psychologists, Social workers, Child Life specialists, and Educational liaisons -- makes sure their quality of life is the best it can possibly be without regard to insurance reimbursements. And Grace’s favorite – Camp Happy Times, is a free one-week overnight summer camp for children with cancer.

To see the amazing house transformation, Grace’s House will be open to the public every Thursday through Sunday beginning Thursday, April 25th through Sunday, May 19th. Tickets for the house tours are $30 on The Valerie Fund website The Valerie Fund and $35 at the door.

About The Valerie Fund: After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer, founders Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive superior medical care. Along with a group of close friends, they began fundraising efforts from their living room---tireless work that would lead to the 1977 opening of New Jersey’s first pediatric oncology facility at Summit Overlook’s Hospital. More than 40 years later, The Valerie Fund’s mission remains that of supporting comprehensive health care for children battling cancer and blood disorders. Seven Valerie Fund Children’s Centers are located in the metropolitan New York and Philadelphia areas.

For more information, please contact Bunny Flanders, Director of Marketing and Communications at bflanders@thevaleriefund.org

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Century Furniture and Carrier and Co. Launch at High Point Market #407

Links:

Tickets for the Valerie Fund showhouse: The Valerie Fund Specials Show House

The Valerie fund showhouse:

The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund

Tina’s event at the showhouse as discussed in the show:

Eventbrite Lady Drinks Cocktails And Private Tour with Interior Designer Tina Ramchandani In Support of Graces Tickets

Tina's website and social media links:

Tina Ramchandani

Instagram: Tina Ramchandani

Pinterest: Tina Ramchandani Creative

Linkedin: Tina Ramchandani

Mar 22, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is sponsored by  Bellacor, and we have Sara Saferstein, the director of the Bellacor Pro Division, with us on the show. Bellacor is an online company, established in 2000. They have all the top brands in lighting, decor, and furniture, and they have commercial products as well as residential. In today's episode, Sara will be talking to us about the Bellacor Pro Division, which is their resource for you, as an interior design professional. Listen in today, to find out how Bellacor Pro can make your life easier and your next project a little less of a project.

The Bellacor Pro Division is there to help you with your projects, whether you're working on single, one-client projects or on the commercial side, with multi-unit projects. Bellacor Pro has a team specifically dedicated to helping you with your orders and there are also ALA certified personal account managers, available to help you with all your questions around specifying and sourcing their products. Bellacor Pro has a special trade-pricing program with free shipping, and right now they are welcoming new interior design accounts, and other trade professional accounts to join them. Tune in today, to get all the details about the awesome Bellacor Pro Program.

Show highlights:

  • Sara talks about the Bellacor dedicated trade team, specifically for interior designers.
  • The kind of partnerships that Bellacor builds with the interior design and the builder communities.
  • It really helps to not have to worry about all the little details of a project.
  • Sara talks about her experience in the industry.
  • The wide range of lighting and furniture items and products that Bellacor has for interior designers.
  • Sara explains the advantages of using Bellacor Pro as your resource for lighting and furniture products.
  • You will get Bellacor's trade pricing with any of their manufacturers.
  • Why you really need to be part of Bellacor's trade program.
  • About Bellacor's free shipping, and their flexible 30-day return policy.
  • Bellacor is willing to think outside the box in order to help make your purchase successful.
  • The advantages of having a dedicated team on tap to help you.
  • The way that Bellacor Pro helps designers, day-to-day, with their projects.
  • Bellacor Pro offers interior designers continuing education.
  • There is a lot of complexity and detail involved in lighting.
  • Bellacor Pro really adds value for designers.
  • Bellacor Pro brings you the look you want at the price point you can afford.
  • Get the best product at the best price from Bellacor Pro.
  • Experience the Bellacor Pro Advantage of a high value, high touch relationship with their community.

About Bellacor Pro:

Unique clients require unique solutions.

As designers, you need to delight your clients, deliver on time and on budget and we understand that. We are Bellacor Pro — A trade-program designed to meet the unique requests of interior designers, architects, builders, and other trade professionals. We deliver exceptional product selection and service including:

  • Guaranteed low pricing every day: Get our best trade pricing
  • Brands you love: Select from more than 500 designer- and builder-preferred brands in lighting, furniture, and home décor.
  • Dedicated account team: Your dedicated account team of industry veterans and

ALA-certified professionals will help you find the perfect products for every

project in your portfolio.

  • Free shipping: Everyday free shipping, with no minimums for trade professionals.

Sara Saferstein, the Director of Bellacor Professional, has more than 20 years of industry experience working with manufacturers, designers, and retailers in lighting and home décor. Her team will make your next project a little less of a project while making your life as a designer easier.

Links:

BellacorPro: Bellacor

LinkedIn: Bellacor

Instagram: Bellacor Lighting

Facebook: Bellacor Lighting

Twitter: Bellacor

Pinterest: Bellacor

Telephone the Bellacor Accounts Management Team: 1877 688 7039

Mar 19, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Leslie Price, the principal of Price Style and Design, with us on the show. Leslie's superpower is sourcing and selling art for her projects and in today's episode, she explains why this is so important and personal to her. We also have a really nice conversation with her about her career and the turns it has taken, starting out in the home staging industry and then pivoting into strictly interior design. Leslie also talks to us about her studio and the wonderful setup she has in collaboration with her upholsterer, and about the pros and cons of charging for an initial consultation. Listen in now to find out more.

Price Style and Design is a San Francisco Bay Area-based design and style firm, specializing in creating colorful, comfortable, and welcoming interiors. Award-winning designer and owner, Leslie Price, has a passion for creating light-filled, open, and uncluttered spaces influenced by an appreciation for the fresh colors of nature- an instintive artistic awareness which she developed growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii. Leslie's impeccable attention to every detail will help you create comfortable and beautiful spaces that speak to your heart.

Working from the belief that you must love where you live, Leslie and her team focus on designing spaces that inspire joy and happiness. With expertise from a thirty-year visual merchandising and design career, Leslie is uniquely positioned to help you understand and refine your own style, so you can enjoy the 'art of living' in your home. Tune in to find out what Leslie has to share.

Show highlights:

  • Leslie talks about the mid-life epiphany she had about her business.
  • Leslie goes with the flow because she knows it will all work out in the end.
  • How Leslie's interior design career began with home-staging.
  • Her transition from home-staging to interior design.
  • Why Leslie moved from home-staging to interior design.
  • Some of the realtors that Leslie used to work for, doing home-staging, still send her client referrals.
  • Leslie talks about her retail space, it's a purpose, and what it means to her business.
  • The win-win situation Leslie has with the people she splits the rental for her retail space with.
  • Why Leslie doesn't charge for her initial consultation.
  • The struggle that Leslie's having with not charging for her initial consultation.
  • Leslie believes that art is a legacy that talks about your soul.
  • Leslie talks about her passion for helping clients to source their works of art.
  • Art is an asset that continues to gain value.
  • How Leslie helps her clients to make the most of their art.
  • The way that Leslie sources works of art for her clients.
  • How Leslie charges her clients for finding their art.
  • Leslie bridges that gap between artists and buyers who may be intimidated to speak to the artists.
  • Leslie talks about her mother's art and her art collection.

Links:

New podcast by Marianne Cherico launched Jan 25, 2019:

Home Stagers and Designers on Fire 

Leslie's website: Price Style And Design

Leslie's Instagram: @pricestyleanddesign 

Facebook:  Price Style And Design

Pinterest:  Price Styling

Previous episodes, with more info on home staging:

Shauna Lynn Simon #76

Yohan May Interiors #396

Marianne Cherico #123

Taylor Spellman #106

Previous episodes, for more info on selecting, selling and framing art:

Katharine Earnhardt #239

Paul Thomas & Daniel Beauchemin #291

Previous episodes, for more info on creating a lead magnet:

Savour Partnership #209

Mar 15, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have a really terrific guest, Ashley Uhl, the founder and principal of Ashley Uhl Consulting, with us on the show today. Ashley consults and teaches interior designers, just like you, how to deliver a high-end service experience. If done correctly, this will lead to more efficiency in your business, greater profit, and most importantly, client loyalty. Ashley is one smart lady and she knows the incredible impact that delivering a spectacular experience can have on a business.  In today's episode, she explains how to keep things simple in your business to uplevel it and create the kind of experience that makes clients come back. Tune in now! You're going to love it!

Ashley has a background in client relations, sales, and communications at the top leadership development company, Dale Carnegie. She's also had a number years of working with, and getting to understand the expectations of high net worth clients at the wealth management firm, Morgan Stanley. In addition, Ashley also pursued her certificate in interior design. Listen in today, to find out from Ashley how to improve the process and client experience of your business and to attract luxury, high-end clients.

Show highlights:

  • Ashley shares the three E's of high-end service experience.
  • It's the small things that count.
  • Showing your clients that you're ready to take their project on.
  • Ashley has created a pyramid to explain the levels of need of the client experience.
  • Dealing with grey areas with clients.
  • Making it easy for your clients to understand, and be part of your design process.
  • Manage the clients' expectations. They want you to lead them and they feel safer when they see that you are in control.
  • Make it easy for the client to hire you.
  • Creating loyalty that will last a lifetime.
  • The way you handle your mistakes will have an impact on your success.
  • A handwritten thank you note really makes a great impression.
  • The benefits of developing a great relationship with a restaurant.
  • A million tiny things can add up to a really incredible experience.
  • Giving high-end clients unique and awesome experiences.
  • How designers can work with Ashley and Ashley Uhl Consulting.
  • Ashley teaches systems and processes, with a touch of luxury.

Bio: Ashley Uhl, owner, and founder of Ashley Uhl Consulting know the incredible impact that delivering a spectacular experience can have on a business. That’s why her mission is to help designers learn how to deliver the type of high-end service experience that allows them to increase their profits, efficiency, and client loyalty.

Ashley’s been cultivating a love for service her entire lifetime. Traveling extensively throughout the world early on in life, she developed incredible respect, understanding, and interest in the five-star service and hospitality she encountered.

She furthered her interest in service with formal training and work in human relations, sales, and presentations for top professional development company, Dale Carnegie. This allowed her to expand her abilities to both create memorable experiences for customers, and prevent conflicts and frustrations from happening between a business and their clients.

While later serving high net worth clients at wealth management firm, Morgan Stanley, and simultaneously decorating her first home, Ashley found her other passion, interior design. But after working on projects with family and friends, she realized that design itself wasn’t her calling. So with a nudge from her husband, she decided to combine her love for both service and design. Thus, allowing her to become the first and only service consultant exclusively focused on interior designers.

Links and Resources:

Ashley's website: Ashley Uhl Consulting You can sign up here for a free download of Ashley's The Essentials of a High End Designer Experience. And Ashley is offering you, the listener, 20% off of any of her services. Please use the code WELLDESIGNED.

Ashley's blog: Ashley Uhl Consulting

Ashley on Instagram: Ashley Uhl Consulting

Ashley on Facebook: Ashley Uhl Consulting

LuAnn on Instagram: Luann Nigara

 

Ashley Uhl’s company, Ashley Uhl Consulting is one of the sponsors of LuAnn Nigara Live. To register, go to https://luannnigara.com/luann-live/

Mar 12, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We have Nicole Gibbons on the show with us today and she's an entrepreneur, interior designer, blogger, and on-air personality. Nicole spent more than a decade in the fashion industry, serving as the Global Director of PR and Events at a major woman's retailer, prior to starting her work in the interior design industry. She has appeared on the Emmy Award-winning Home Made Simple, as well as on the Oprah Winfrey Network, for three seasons as a designer helping deserving families to re-imagine their living spaces. Listen in today, to find out more about Nicole.

Almost every interior design client that Nicole worked with complained to her about the overwhelming process of selecting and buying paint and also about the lack of transparency with the paint ingredients. So now Nicole has turned her attention to the paint industry, as the founder and CEO of an innovative new resource in paint called Clare. Clare takes the pain out of paint shopping because all the paint is Premium Zero VOC and Greenguard Gold Certified. Clare is also the first ever direct-to-consumer paint brand and Nicole has a to the trade program available, just for you! On the show today, she talks to us about her journey and she shares her observations about her diverse career and explains how Clare is reinventing the way that people shop for paint. Tune in for more!

Show highlights:

  • Nicole talks about her how she created her career by design.
  • Transferring your skills from one career to the next.
  • Nicole would love to be the next Martha Stewart.
  • How Nicole's career has evolved.
  • Strategically creating a parallel path is not an easy thing to do.
  • Some tips for establishing yourself in the design industry as a recognized expert.
  • What it takes for an opportunity to get on TV.
  • TV really doesn't pay as much as you would expect.
  • How to be comfortable in front of the camera.
  • About Nicole's exciting new endeavor that came to fruition in 2018.
  • Nicole really wanted to disrupt an industry and do something that could help people solve a problem.
  • Nicole's 'aha' moment.
  • How Nicole has done to simplify the color palette.
  • The way that Nicole helps people with their color choice.
  • Nicole's product descriptions really help you to understand what the color will feel like.
  • About the features of Clare's seamless to the trade program.
  • Nicole wants people to feel as safe as possible when using her paint products.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

High Point Market Spring 2019:

Ashley Grigg, Lisa Mende and Jeanne Chung #406

Century Furniture with Carrier & Co #407

Visual Comfort with Lauren Rottet #408

Links:

Nicole's website: Clare

Article

If you are going to HP Spring 2019, please join LuAnn on Saturday, April 6th at 12 noon at the HPMKT Theater. She will be giving a keynote presentation followed by a book signing of her new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. This book is actually launching the week before at LuAnn's big event, LuAnn Nigara Live, It’s About the Conversation. To learn more, go to Luann Nigara and click on live events.

Mar 8, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Design Biz Live! Corey Klassen and Judith Neary join us once again on the show today. During the summer of 2018, Corey and Judith both experienced shifts in their businesses which really tested them as business owners, entrepreneurs, and as interior designers. In the previous episode of Design Biz Live, we spoke about what Judith went through last summer and today, we're going to be talking about Corey's experience. Listen in to find out more!

Things seemed to be going really well business-wise for Corey at the beginning of 2018. Then he experienced an unexpected shift in his business and he hit the ditch. Corey understands, however, that although change can be daunting, we still need to take responsibility for keeping a positive attitude. He knows that there are some really big problems out there in the world and it's important to recognize that our own problems are usually quite small in comparison. Tune in today to find out how Corey managed to take control, shift his mindset, lean into the change, and become the project manager of his life.

Show highlights:

  • Corey had a team of three, then, almost overnight, he was left with just himself.
  • Corey views the shift in his business as an unexpected gift.
  • The way that Corey adjusted his business to his best advantage.
  • What Corey discovered about himself.
  • Corey moved his home and his office in just two months.
  • The major life-events that Corey experienced recently.
  • The importance of staying on an even keel.
  • Getting clear about his goals.
  • Corey realized that he had to become the project manager of his life.
  • You've got to dig in and own your stuff.
  • Having the confidence to shift gears in his business.
  • Making choices based on the quality of life that you want for yourself.
  • It's hard to be a leader when you hit the ditch.
  • The clarity that Corey gained from his difficult experience.
  • You don't need a crisis to have a revelation about yourself.
  • Finding the next level.
  • Mistakes are your education. And owning your mistakes is vital.
  • Listen to your inner voice.

Links:

Corey Klassen Interior Design

Judith Neary - Roadside Attraction Studio

Previous episode of Design Biz Live Luann Nigara

Mar 5, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy today to have Candy Scott and Rachel Cannon join us on the show! In today's episode, these two smart ladies will be talking to LuAnn about the changing landscape in the business side of interior design. Candy and Rachel are both highly organized, with finite systems in place for running their businesses and they truly understand that you really need to know and sell your own value, as a designer, rather than the value of the products that you specify. Listen in, to find out what they have to share with you on the show today.

Candy is the principal of Mood Design and Build, which is located in Chicago. She has won multiple awards during her seventeen-year career in designer and she's worked with large developers and corporate clients, outfitting high-rise condominium lobbies, club rooms, and model showrooms.

Rachel is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has clients from Palm Springs to Palm Beach, with over fifteen years of experience in residential and commercial interior design. She opened her own firm, Rachel Cannon Interiors nine years ago and her work has been featured in Traditional Home, The Wall Street Journal, HGTV, My Domain.Com, and Southern Home. Tune in now!

Both Rachel and Candy are going to be at LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation.

Show highlights:

  • Business disruptions are not a new thing.
  • The future of the interior designer with the disruptive emergence of products being available online to the consumer.
  • Being a designer is not just about selling merchandise- it's so much more about the relationship.
  • As designers, you need to be the innovators!
  • Why you have to start charging for your services.
  • If you make your money on a flat fee, you don't have to focus on selling furniture.
  • Creating tracking documents for orders.
  • Surviving the changes in the industry.
  • The layer of service that Candy has added to her business, to really set it apart.
  • The value of having the designer run the project.
  • Rachel's ideas for designers to make money, going into the future.
  • The middle end of the market is going to go away.
  • Rachel's approach to design consult packages.
  • The importance of branding.
  • As an entrepreneur, you just have to be open to change.
  • Some things to consider when creating your brand.

Rachel Cannon is an interior designer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with clients ranging the nation from Palm Springs to Palm Beach. She has over 15 years of experience in residential and commercial interior design, nine of which are at her namesake interior design firm, Rachel Cannon Limited. Armed with a degree in interior design and a background in art history, Rachel joins together classic principles with a decidedly contemporary tone. She provides her clients with sophisticated interiors that exude an effortless combination of subtle color, rich architectural detail, and a beguiling mix of livable, tailored and luxe details. With a clientele of professionals and families with demanding schedules, Rachel is most praised for her ability to simplify the interior design process while paying meticulous attention to planning and detail. The finished product: a livable yet polished space the entire family can enjoy. Rachel's work has been featured in Traditional Home, The Wall Street Journal, HGTV.com, MyDomain.com and Southern Home. Her captivating wit and knowledge of art, design, and architecture have made her a favorite on television, radio, and podcasts. While always on the go, the Rachel Cannon Limited team is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In 2014, Candy Scott founded MOOD Design and Build where she continues to work with residential clients, business owners, and development partners on their homes, offices, and commercial interiors. As a designer, Candy is most inspired and intrigued by the transformation process. Both for the people who inhabit the spaces and the physical spaces themselves. She believes bringing consciousness to our spaces greatly impacts the way we think, feel, and behave.

Candy graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC with a Bachelor's of Science in Interior Design. Through the years, she has won multiple awards and has worked with large developers and corporate clients outfitting the high rise condominium lobbies, clubrooms, and model showrooms. She has worked with small to medium-sized businesses as well, transforming their lobbies and offices to places employees love to work.

Previous shows mentioned on this episode:

Candy #227

Rachel #306

Wendy Woluschuk #316

Links:

Rachel Cannon -

Rachel Cannon Limited

Instagram: RCL Interiors

Facebook: RCL Interiors

Candy Scott

Mood Design Build

Instagram: Mood Design Build

Facebook: Candy Scott

LuAnn Nigara Live- It's About The Conversation - At the event, on the 30th and 31st March, in New Jersey, Candy will be paired with Fred Berns and they will be talking about How to Find Clients and Build Your Pipeline. Rachel will be paired with Sarah Daniele and they will be talking about Why Your Business Grows When you Establish Your Systems. Go to Luann Live to sign up for the event.

To join LuAnn's facebook group, LuAnn Nigara & Friends 

Go to Luann Nigara Book2 to see the cover of LuAnn's new book.

Book mentioned in the show: Start With Why- How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Portfolio.  

 

Mar 1, 2019

Welcome to our third sponsored show for High Point Market April 2019, brought to you by Visual Comfort and Co., and featuring the new product launch designed by today's guest, Lauren Rottet. Lauren is one of the most-celebrated interior architects in the world today, with an extraordinary record of awards, publications, lectures, juries, and honors. We are really delighted to have this dynamic, innovative entrepreneur on the show with us! In today's episode, she will be talking about her career, her lessons learned, and about her latest endeavor, the stunning lighting line she has designed for Visual Comfort and Co. Tune in now!

Visual Comfort and Company is located in Houston Texas, and they have been the premier source for signature designer lighting since 1997. For more than 30 years, Visual Comfort and Company has collaborated with some of the most influential and iconic designers in the industry to produce lighting using natural materials of exceptional quality and distinctive hand-applied living finishes. Visual Comfort is proud to offer the industry’s widest range of incomparable lighting choices of extraordinary quality at a remarkable value. Previous collections have been designed by design greats including Alexa Hampton, Thomas O’Brien, Kelly Wearstler, and John Roselli among others.

Lauren is the only woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status by both the American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association. She also holds the coveted titles of Interior Design Hall of Fame and Interiors (now Contract) Designer of the Year and she is a Lifetime Appointee to the U.S. General Services Administration’s National Register of Peer Professionals for Design Excellence. In 2006, she was inducted as an Inaugural Member of the Women in Design Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named Boutique Design Designer of the Year. In 2014, Lauren was inducted into Hospitality Design magazine’s legendary Platinum Circle, the magazine’s highest honor for design professionals. Her furniture and product designs have earned her four gold medals for Best of NeoCon as well as a Chicago Athenaeum Award. Listen in to hear what she has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Lauren talks about her firm, how they started out, and how they got to where they are now.
  • Hotels specifically budget for regular renovations.
  • The way that Lauren practices diversification in her business.
  • Designing for ocean and river cruisers.
  • The way that Lauren's team was educated about designing for ships and cruise liners.
  • Everyone in Lauren's office works on all the different kinds of projects.
  • It takes a lot of homework to make a project successful.
  • Creating the brochure for Viking.
  • Breaking into a new market with hospitality.
  • Lauren talks about her new venture with Visual Comfort.
  • Lauren has always been fascinated by glass.
  • She has been designing product for about thirty years.
  • So much has opened up recently with new technology in lighting.
  • Visual Comfort doesn't skimp on quality!
  • How Lauren's relationship with Visual Comfort came about.
  • The creation of a light, from design to manufacture.
  • Lauren tells us where and when we're going to get to see her at High Point Market.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Sue Firestone #404

Links:

Website: Rottet Studio

Twitter: Rottet Studio

Instagram: Rottet Studio

Visual Comfort: Visual Comfort

Feb 28, 2019

This show is sponsored by my friends at Century Furniture and features the design team from Carrier and Company Interiors located here in NYC. 

Century Furniture is one of the world's largest privately-owned manufacturers of high-end residential furniture. Founded in Hickory, North Carolina in 1947 by Harley F. Shuford, Sr., Century is now in the third generation of family ownership and operation and remains committed to their founder’s ideal, to create furniture of such impeccable quality that it brings joy not only to the people who own it, but also to the craftspeople who build it. 

Show Highlights:

  • Craftsmanship is their expertise
  • They have furniture for all rooms
  • The company is located in Hickory, NC
  • Century has state-of-the-art woodworking facilities
  • They met at FIT 10 years ago
  • They've been inside the homes of society's most elite
  • Their best-selling book, Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors
  • The inspirations for their designs
  • Their thoughts on success in this industry

 

Links:
Website - www.carrierandcompany.com 
Book - https://amzn.to/2IBQBOO
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/carrierandco/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/carrierandco
Century Furniture - https://www.centuryfurniture.com/century-furniture-designers.aspx?d=carrier

 

Feb 26, 2019

Welcome to this week's special sponsored series! Today we're featuring High Point Market, Spring 2019. LuAnn often gets emails from designers asking about High Point- whether or not it's a good idea to go, and what to do when you get there if you've never been before. Her answer is always 'go, but not without a plan'. Going to High Point without first establishing an objective for going there can really be a waste of your time and money. On the show today we have Ashley Grigg, Lisa Mende, and Jeanne Chung and they will be talking about the logistics of going to High Point. They will also be giving us some really useful information about the various tours available and they will also explain how to become a prestigious High Point Style Spotter. Tune in today, to get the best tips for making your trip to High Point really productive.

In today's episode, you will hear High Point Market referred to as Disneyland for Designers. It really is an awesome experience! The market is comprised of 11,500,000 square feet of building after building of gorgeous furniture, rugs, art, lighting, accessories, with the added opportunity for you to meet many of the owners and execs of the brands you work with. Top it all off with a chance to meet some colleagues you may have only known before through Facebook or Instagram and you will have truly energizing experience that will really benefit your business! Listen in to find out more!

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

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

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

Show highlights:

  • Why interior designers should really invest the time and money in going to High Point Market.
  • High Point is a really energizing experience!
  • Half the business is conducted after the market is over!
  • The brand cocktail parties are awesome opportunities to meet and connect with important people.
  • The way that High Point has impacted on Jeanne's business.
  • What it took for Jeanne to become an official Style Spotter for High Point Market.
  • Keeping abreast with current trends at High Point.
  • It's really worthwhile making your application to become a Style Spotter.
  • The criteria for becoming a Style Spotter.
  • How being a Style Spotter really helped Lisa make connections with brands and PR people.
  • It really takes a lot of work to be a High Point Style Spotter.
  • How High Point Market stands out from all the rest.
  • Having the opportunity to talk to the showroom owners.
  • Ways for new designers to establish themselves with the various showrooms. The larger showrooms require you to make an appointment.
  • Some things to think about when pre-planning your trip to High Point Market.
  • Why it's a good idea to do a tour for your first trip to High Point.
  • High Point Market covers 11 500 000 square feet!
  • Jeanne talks about her Insider's Tour, which is geared towards designers seeking to offer customization and one-of-a-kind.
  • Ashley talks about all the other tours that are also available for buyers at High Point. The relevant information about all the tours is available on the High Point Market authority website. High Point Market
  • Some tips for making sure that you are able to connect with the right people at High Point.
  • The Style Spotters are expanding beyond the Twitter chat. They will be dropping content on all the social media channels throughout an entire week, called Inspiration Week. (You can go back and check all the content on their Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.)
  • Starting March 4th, everybody will be encouraged to look at the new product pics portion of the High Point website, to see all the exhibitors' new products that are coming to market.
  • There is an incredible Market Advisor Team available for you to call to answer any questions you may have prior to arriving at HP. They will also be available during the market.
  • All the great discussions that will be happening at the Spring Market.
  • Lisa's great tips and suggestions for getting ready for market.

Links:

High Point Market

High Point Market

Facebook: HPMKT

Twitter: HP Market News

Instagram: High Point Market

Email: info@highpointmarket.org

Phone:  336 869 1000

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Use the hashtags #HPMKT and #HPMKTInspired, when you put out on your social media channels what you're excited to see at Spring Market.

Feb 22, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! Today we're going tease you by sharing all the details that are coming together for LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About the Conversation. In today's episode, you will hear about LuAnn's co-authors, the awesome emcees for the event, the incredible line-up of sponsors of the show, and also the designer panelists who will be there with us for the entire weekend, for you to meet, talk to and connect with. Tune in now for all the details!

LuAnn will be leading the rock star team of experts in twelve live discussions, just the way she does right here, on the podcast. And they will be together with everyone for meals, for breaks and for fun, with music, laughter, and working harder than you ever thought was possible in two days. More than 120 designers have registered for the event so far, and we really hope that you will decide to be excellent, and choose to join us there too! Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • All LuAnn's co-authors have already finalized their travel arrangements for the event!
  • LuAnn runs through all the amazing people that are coming to spend two-and-a-half days at the event in New Jersey.
  • Fred Burns is the single most repeated guest on A Well-Designed Business.
  • Nancy Ganzekaufer is the lady who brought us Your Business in Words.
  • Nicole Heymer is the voice of figuring out your brand.
  • Michele Williams is the finance lady who teaches us how to stand up and take charge of our money.
  • Sarah Daniele knows all about systems and organization for a well-run interior design firm. She created MyDoma Studio.
  • Stacey Brown Randall is all about building, filling, and maximizing your pipeline through intention and purpose.
  • Eileen Hahn knows how to create a really exceptional team.
  • Kae Whitaker has her thumb on the heartbeat of digital marketing.
  • Shauna Lynn Simon, home staging business coach, tells us that home staging is designing for selling, not designing for living.
  • Mark McDonough is the Instagram guru and he is always dying to tell you about his latest discoveries.
  • Peter Lang is the Designer CPA and he will help you to keep more of the money you work so hard to make.
  • Claire Jefford is an interior designer, vlogging queen extraordinaire and a master at setting up your consult, your client agreements so that you are purposefully managing both your projects and your client’s expectations.
  • The emcees for the event are Darla Powell, the principle of Darla Powell Interiors, and Natalie Graff. They host the Wingnut Social podcast together and they also own and operate Wingnut Social.
  • The sponsor lineup includes Kravet, MyDoma Studio, Schwartz Designs Showroom, Merrill Landis, DesignerInc, Ashley Uhl Consulting, The WCAA, East End Interiors, Exciting Windows and Comfortex.
  • The designer panelists who will be there for you to meet and talk with are Sandra Funk- House of Funk, NJ NY, Corey Damen Jenkins, Taylor Spellman, Paula Grace, Rachel Cannon, Candy Scott, Dala Al Fuwaires, Courtney McLeod, Keisha Franklin, and also Corey Klassen and Judith Neary of the Design Biz Live series.
  • LuAnn will be leading the team in 12 live discussions, just like here, on the podcast.
  • LuAnn really hopes that you will be there to join her and all the other outstanding people at the event!

Links:

To register for the event go to Luann Nigara Live

Until March 4th you can still grab yourself 10% off any furniture order from Kravet and Lee Jofa. Use the code W710 at checkout.

Feb 19, 2019

Welcome to another episode of A Well-Designed Business! We are really excited to have Sue Firestone join us on the show today. Sue has a body of work that is truly impressive and the really happy news for all of us is that she has just launched her brand new fabric line for Kravet. One of the things that really stood out for LuAnn in Sue's bio is that she rose from her position as a designer for the firm Design 1, to become president of the very same firm in a relatively short period of time. There's a lot of really useful information in the way that she achieved that, that can help us, as business owners. Listen in now to find out about Sue and the organic way that she rose to success in the design industry.

Sue Firestone has spent more than 35 years cultivating her personal passion for design. With a client list that features the world’s premier five and six-star hotels as well as an A-list residential clientele, Sue has become a tastemaker for those seeking the ultimate luxury lifestyle.

In 1996, after nearly two decades leading Design 1, Sue turned her focus toward creating a boutique design firm, large enough to execute projects of a grand scale, yet personal enough to provide devoted and intimate attention to each client. The result was SFA Design. Today, Sue is also a designer for Kravet and A.Rudin, creating 70’s-inspired, bohemian fabrics and natural furniture that embody true Californian style.

Sue is the recipient of more than two dozen awards, including the prestigious Platinum Circle Award as well as a position on Robb’s Report’s “Top 40 Best Designers in the World.” Tune in to now find out more. 

Show highlights:

  • How Sue inadvertently started out in the design industry.
  • Sue talks about the things that she consciously did, as a hard-working designer, to become noticed in the industry.
  • Because of the way that Sue was encouraged when she first started out in the design industry, she's always looking out for new talent to nurture in her company.
  • Finding and honoring the proper place for each designer to really realize their full potential in a firm.
  • Being attuned, listening, and reflecting has always been in Sue's blood.
  • The importance of really listening carefully.
  • Sue explains how visuals are a big part of her listening process and really helpful with getting to know her clients.
  • Sue talks about her firm, Smith, Firestone and Associates Design, which started out in 1996.
  • How Sue first started out with SFA Design.
  • Sue's secret sauce for breaking into the luxury, high-end, exclusive residential market.
  • About Sue's really effective organic method of marketing.
  • Sue talks about The Malibu Collection, her recently launched new fabric line for Kravet, and how it came to be.
  • Sue talks about her joyful experience of working with the Kravet team.
  • Why you should always go beyond what is expected of you. 

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Joni Vanderslice #101

Eileen Hahn #363

Janelle Photopolous #364

Mabley Handler #173

Links:

Sue's websites: Sue FirestoneSFA Design

Sue Firestone

SF Cal Collection

SFA Design

Luann Nigara Live

Kravet

Feb 15, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's episode is sponsored by Morgan Tap and Basin and we have the founder, Nathan Davis, with us on the show. Morgan Tap and Basin is a family owned company who really understand the challenges that trades-people face when running a business. They are fully committed to offering quality, timely, and honest service to support you and your business. Listen in today as Nathan talks to LuAnn about the launch of Morgan Tap and Basin's new product, and their dedication, in both the quality of their product and the way that they are going for a strictly to the trade model. You're really going to enjoy this conversation!

Morgan Tap and Basin offers unique sinks and faucets that you won't find anywhere else. Nathan, who is really passionate about what he is doing, comes from a background in stainless steel sheet metal fabrication and investment casting for the institutional plumbing industry. He saw an opportunity to make use of this knowledge and to bring a higher level of product quality and functionality to the residential market, by combining the best manufacturing processes and available materials with original designs. So, Morgan Tap and Basin was founded in 2017, with the goal of designing and crafting the most beautiful, functional, and durable residential sinks and faucets in the world. They strive- not to be the biggest manufacturer, nor offer the broadest selection, but to ensure that every product that they create is the very best of its kind. Nathan is the man to make this happen, so listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Nathan discusses the new products that he is bringing to be launched this month at KBIS trade show, in Las Vegas.
  • What their new workstation sink comprises of.
  • Nathan explains why he is so passionate about what he does.
  • Nathan talks about growing up, studying law, and getting involved in their family's stainless steel business.
  • Their company's goal is for everything that they produce to be the very best of its kind available.
  • Nathan explains what goes into making the very best products. Design always comes first, then functionality, and finally durability.
  • They use a very high grade, and a thicker than usual gauge of stainless steel to create sinks that really last long- even outdoors, or at the coast.
  • The redesign of their website is to make sure that it's better tailored towards functionality for trade customers, who are all trade customers.
  • Nathan walks us through their to the trade sales process.
  • Their products can all be seen on their website and a sample of the finish of their products can be seen first-hand, prior to purchasing them.
  • All their sinks have free shipping and also free return shipping, if necessary.
  • Nathan talks about the hand-wrapped foam insulating material which is unique to their sinks.
  • All their designs are original and they're all created in-house.
  • They create products that could really help designers solve certain problems for their clients.
  • Pictures really help to visually drive home the difference between quality products and inferior ones.
  • Why it actually matters whereabout in the sink the drain is placed.
  • For all the designers who are going to be at KBIS in Las Vegas, Nathan explains how to find where the Morgan Tap and Basin booth will be located. (It's booth # SL4725 in the South Hall, in the outer row, near to the KBIS Next Stage.)
  • Nathan is always happy to get feedback on products and ideas and if you need something custom made, he will work that out with you.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Revel woods #329

Announcements:

Morgan Tap and Basin's product is launching at KBIS booth # SL4725 in the South Hall from the 19th to the 22nd of February. It's near to the KBIS Next Stage.

LuAnn's panel discussion at KBIS is on Thursday, the 21st of February, at 9.30am.

KBISNeXT Stage Speaker Landing Page-LuAnn Nigara

Feb 12, 2019

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We have Christopher Grubb, the president of the Beverley Hills-based Arch-Interiors Design Group Inc., as our guest for today. Christopher has been called a style maker and expert design influencer by clients, editors, manufacturers, and producers alike and, for his entire career, he has been a sought-after speaker on what makes design compelling. He has also been a contributing writer to many media outlets as well as a guest judge for multiple design competitions. One of the things he will be talking to us about on the show today is how he began creating affordable, luxury products for the consumer market with the launch of the C.G. Collection in 2010. Although his business is more than twenty-years-old, and his projects are large and detailed, Christopher still maintains a steady eye and a firm hand on the way that his business is run. Listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today. 

The Arch-Interiors design group is recognized internationally for its interior and exterior high-end residential, commercial, medical, health and beauty, retail design projects. The firm has been featured in books, hundreds of magazines and newspapers, and Christopher has shared his design skills on multiple radio and television shows – including recurring appearances on LXTV/NBC and Martha Stewart Living Radio.

In 2015 Christopher launched a new studio, Autograph by Christopher Grubb. This line is comprised of unique, beautifully constructed products with rich features and alluring details for the most discriminating consumer clientele.

The Arch-Interiors design group has received dozens of awards and is honored to be named the best interior design firm in California by Build Magazine, in addition to being featured in an entire issue of World Architecture Magazine in Hong Kong with over 70 pages, exclusively covering the works of Arch-Interiors. Christopher has also been named one of the 50 Innovators in Kitchen and Bath Design in 2017. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Working with high-end commercial projects, compared with working with residential projects.
  • Christopher does resommercial- a blend of commercial and residential design.
  • You really need education about business before going out on your own. And you need to know what makes you stand out from the rest.
  • What makes Christopher's firm really stand out.
  • Flat fee, or an hourly fee?
  • Some of the things Christopher is comfortable with not billing for.
  • Christopher is really onto all the aspects of his business.
  • No matter how big, or how small your business, you cannot offload your responsibility around the financials.
  • The incredibly high level of service that Christopher's firm is offering his clients.
  • Christopher talks about his product development and his two different entities, the luxury Autograph by Christopher Grubb, and the affordable luxury C.G.Collection.
  • Bathrooms can be some of the most detailed rooms to do.
  • Know your specialty and target that for success.
  • Some of the nuances of bringing a product to market.
  • Why you need to look at your payables and receivables at least once every month.
  • Christopher uses Studio Designer Accounting and Project Management software, as it prints out your profit and loss, your time billing reports and your accounts receivable.
  • About Christopher's designs and creations.
  • What Christopher looks at for inspiration.
  • Christopher has devoted a whole chapter in his book to the development of a luxury product line.
  • Christopher's design firm is known for quality, a high level of hands-on, and for attention to detail.
  • Why, as a designer, you really need to like the product that you produce.
  • Fighting for your vision is really important for product designers.
  • Owning your mistakes will earn you the respect of your clients.
  • Why you never really have competition.

Links and Resources:

Christopher's website: Arch-Interiors

Studio Designer Accounting and Project Management Software: Studio Designer

To find out more about LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About the Conversation or to sign up for the event, go to Luann Live.

The sponsors who have made this event possible include: Kravet Inc, Mydoma Studio, Wingnut Social, Schwartz Design Showroom, DesignerInc, Pollack-Weitzner, Merrill Landis Drapery Workroom, the WCAA, East End Interiors in Long Island, and Exciting Windows.

LuAnn will be at KBIS on the 20th and 21st of February. For all the info on where else she'll be, go to her website Luann Nigara, and be sure to also follow her on Instagram at LuAnnNigara.

Feb 8, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Keeping things organized is often the Achilles heel of creatives, so today we are very happy to have Jennifer Burnham, an organization coach, join us on the show. Jen helps people by providing the space for them to be creative, de-clutter and get organized. She believes that organizing is about more than color-coordinated baskets and pretty labels. It's really about productivity, so she helps her clients to dive in and discover the specific experience they're looking for in the way that they want their home, office, and in their life to be organized. Listen in today to find out how you can increase productivity in your business by having an organized space.

Jennifer has appeared on Charlotte today, spoken at IKEA, at community organizations, at high-end real estate events, and she's also run home estate sales. On the show today she talks about how important it is to have your workspace organized, and she explains how to go about getting that done. Listen in and find out how an organization translates into productivity, which then translates into more business.

Show highlights:

  • Jennifer's awesome relationship with Cheryl Luckett, of Dwell by Cheryl.
  • The challenges of organizing a design studio.
  • The first step is always de-cluttering.
  • Organizing in the right way.
  • Looking at the emotional reasons for de-cluttering.
  • First, put things in a space in the middle of the room, then sort them into broad categories. (Eg. pens, paper clips, notepads, product samples)
  • Evaluate what you need and what you can get rid of.
  • After you have de-cluttered you organize what you have decided to keep, putting everything in its place.
  • The kinds of push-backs that Jen has encountered.
  • Organizing takes time, and it's never really done, so you want to get it finished as soon as possible.
  • The way that organizing changes your energy and the energy of the space.
  • Things to watch out for that can bring the de-cluttering process to a halt.
  • Donating unused items to charity can make the decision to throw things away a bit easier.
  • If necessary, get new containers, storage items, or cabinets.
  • Keep it this way by picking up each week as you go and not letting things get out of control.
  • Jennifer explains the basis of her philosophy of organizing.
  • The connection between organization and productivity.
  • The way that Jen thinks in terms of shapes.
  • If your business is feeling stagnant it's a good time to start organizing things.
  • Owning less is better than organizing more.
  • Do you respect your space?
  • Tips for working with your client's clutter.
  • Closing the loop when you're de-cluttering is important, so you need a system.
  • Keeping the balance and staying organized.
  • Looking at the things that threaten an organized space.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Luckett: #291 and #397

Kim Kuhteubl #73

Links and resources:

To see Cheryl Luckett's line of furniture: Sylvester Alexander

Jennifer's website

Jennifer is offering 20% off her services for all A Well Designed Business listeners

Our friends at Kravet Inc. are having a big furniture sale. Starting January 14th, get 10% off Kravet Furniture, Lee Jofa Furniture and Holland MacRae furniture. Start shopping now- the deal runs until March 4th! Go to Kravet and make sure to use the code W7 at checkout to redeem the offer!

Feb 5, 2019

Big Day, Big Show, lots of news!!

400 hundred shows! I’d like to say I never believed this day would come but the truth is I did believe it. And more than that, I planned for it, I set goals around it, I tracked the milestones and the steps needed to reach it. Am I bragging? No, no, I am not. I am hoping to teach and inspire you by example.

Just like you, I love what I do and as much as I love it and could do it for free for the fun and pleasure of connecting with you, meeting you in real life I understand all too well in order to be able to do those things I must intentionally run this podcast as the business it is.

And you must do the same. In order to be able to create the fabulous, functional and unique spaces for your clients, you must run your firm profitably so you can continue to do it.

What are some of the major lessons we have learned, together?

What are some of the things we have learned from A Well-Designed Business Podcast?

Welcome to our 400th episode! Today really is a big day for the show and we have lots of news! LuAnn loves what she does with this podcast so much that she could do it for free, yet she truly understands that, in order to be able to keep it going, she needs to run it intentionally, as the business that it is. Today she really hopes to inspire you, the listener, to do the same with your design business. Listen in to find out what you need to do, and the steps you need to take, in order to continue creating the fabulous, fun, and unique spaces that you do for your clients.

Although LuAnn set a very intentional plan in action to make this day happen, it still feels almost unbelievable to her! On the show today, she will be discussing some of the major lessons that we've all learned together, from A Well-Designed Business Podcast. Listen in to find out more. 

Link to LuAnn’s New Book:

Luann Nigara Book 2

 

Feb 1, 2019

Welcome to another Design Biz Live! We have the gang all together again to have a very candid conversation regarding a difficulty to which most of us can relate...how to handle a difficult client. Judith Neary and Corey Klassen join LuAnn once again and today, Judith shares a personal experience she had with a very difficult client last summer that rocked her confidence, made her life very horrible and the project was very challenging to get through. It shares the message that being self-employed is very hard and it takes a tremendous amount of grit and fortitude to power through the rough times. It is a significant message because Judith is a seasoned entrepreneur, showing how it can hit any of us at any time. You’re definitely going to want to catch this episode, so be sure to tune in.

Show highlights:

  • Designers are real people, too, and experience a myriad of emotions.
  • Judith shares about a couple of episodes she experienced last summer that rocked her from her zone of genius.
  • Judith shares that a difficult client crushed her confidence and made her question her own abilities and value.
  • The client was satisfied with work being done one day, and unsatisfied the next, which was very challenging for Judith, the contractor, and other workers.
  • Judith shares that the client’s demeanor drastically improved once the spouse came home.
  • Corey shares that he and other people he knows have had similar experiences, and tried to understand why those types of behaviors were happening in order to avoid misunderstandings.
  • LuAnn expresses that because a client had personal difficulties, doesn’t mean we should feel that we aren’t confident and capable, but should self-question in order to have better conversations with the client in the future.
  • LuAnn says that even when we have difficult clients, we still need to remain professional and meet their needs in the best way possible.
  • Judith says she is still affected by what happened last summer and felt like she was in a hostage situation.
  • LuAnn and Judith discuss the importance of diffusing difficult situations in professional ways.
  • Corey jumps in and says that sometimes a text or e-mail tone may differ from the in-person tone.
  • Judith says through the experience, she knows she has to filter what is going on rather than absorbing it herself.
  • LuAnn says it’s important to manage difficult situations so that we don’t become non-productive.
  • Judith says that as a creative, you may perceive and sense the world differently and that when she has a client, it becomes a personal relationship.
  • When Judith’s inner dialogue told her the client had personal issues and that she was not responsible for the negative behavior, it was still hard not to absorb the negativity.
  • LuAnn says that each person has something within that makes them react in a particular way.
  • LuAnn also points out that a designer’s relationship with a client may last weeks, months, or longer, which can be taxing when dealing with a client exhibiting erratic behavior.
  • Regardless of the difficulties Judith experienced with her client, she had a positive result at the end of the job, and hopes her client is enjoying the home.
  • Judith moves on and shares about another difficult client situation and how she had to fire a client.
  • Judith terminated the relationship with her client because it was just not working for her.
  • Judith shares how she terminated the relationship and about the follow-up phone call that confirmed she had made the right decision.
  • Judith shares that the client crossed the line with her, and she respected herself enough to let him go.
  • Judith shares how the two difficult clients made her bucket very full and she didn’t pay enough attention to it before it overflowed.
  • LuAnn says before we reach the level of wanting to terminate a client, maybe we should remember that it is a business transaction, rather than a personal relationship.
  • Also, LuAnn applauds the way Judith used two methods so it would leave no doubt about the situation.
  • LuAnn also says Judith did a great thing by invoking some “wait time” before responding to the client’s request for a phone call.
  • LuAnn suggests that we each need to figure out ways to keep our buckets from becoming too full. ie. a walk/run, dinner/conversation with family or friends, reading, etc.
  • Corey says he has switched from having business hours to appointment hours so that he takes appointments when he can be productive and be his best.
  • Judith suggests that designers may want to contribute time to a non-profit so that they can contribute to causes outside themselves.
  • LuAnn says to watch for signals from clients which may indicate difficult behavior. Know you can’t change the person, but you can change how you react/respond to them. Have mechanisms in place to deal with this type of client because you will encounter them.

Links:

Corey Klassen Interior Design

Judith Neary - Roadside Attraction Studio

LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the Event-Brite link at Luann Nigara.

Jan 29, 2019

Welcome to today's episode of A Well Designed Business! We have Courtney McLeod, the principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design in New York City, with us on the show today. Courtney has come to interior design as a second career. So even though she has always been passionate about the decorative arts, she first obtained a business degree from the Warden School at the University of Pennsylvania, and then pursued a successful, fifteen-year career in the financial services industry, where she rose to the role of a leading portfolio manager in real estate private equity before exercising her true passion for designing beautiful interiors. Listen in today to find out how Courtney used both the skills she gained through her experience, and her transferable skills, enhanced with her design-related studies at Parsons Pratt and the New York School of Interior Design, to confidently embark on a new career course.

An avid colorist at heart, Courtney draws from a kaleidoscopic toolbox of texture, pattern, and color to create rooms evocative of one emotion above all others - joy. Her designs express both her client's unique tastes and her vivid, collected aesthetic.  Born and raised in New Orleans, Courtney brings a sophisticated view to her rooms, informed by her Creole background and extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia. She resides in the vibrant Harlem neighborhood, a wonderful source of inspiration. She has lived in New York City for two decades but remains a Southerner at heart. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • It takes time to figure out your specific process.
  • Your confidence you will gain from having your system in place is really a huge benefit.
  • The development of Courtney's process was not a straight line from A to B- it took trial and error to figure out what really worked.
  • Working out what worked for her rather than for the client was like a magic moment for Courtney.
  • Courtney shares a really important and effective way to gain the trust of your client.
  • A softer touch works for Courtney, yet she also has to be firm.
  • Courtney also developed a lot of confidence from embracing her style clearly and entirely.
  • Happy, joyful color is really Courtney's thing.
  • Having confidence in her process allowed Courtney to develop more creative confidence.
  • The six steps of Courtney's process.
  • Courtney explains her phase one, and how to implement it.
  • About Courtney's 'Rules Of The Road' document.
  • What's to be found in Courtney's welcome packet.
  • The way that having a retainer protects Courtney.
  • The way Courtney sets up her spreadsheet.
  • It takes a lot of practice to get things right.
  • The clear way that Courtney prices her projects.
  • How to keep your clients informed and empowered.
  • What the closure meeting means to Courtney.
  • The goal of the closure meeting is to get a referral.

Previous episodes mentioned in this episode:

Erica Ward #6

Monique Holmes #365

Rachel Cannon #306

Nicole Heymer #317

Curio Electro #125

Links:

Website: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Instagram: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Twitter: Right Meets Left

LinkedIn: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Facebook: Right Meets Left Interior Design

LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the Event-Brite link at Luann Nigara.

Jan 25, 2019

Todays’ guest is Cheryl Luckett, who is not only a tenacious and creative entrepreneur but has used her talents to build a flourishing business. Within the past two years, Cheryl has fully committed to growing her design business by using her creativity to incorporate unique designs into her projects. Her work has been published in Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, and her work has been featured on many other platforms. Not only is Cheryl making headway in her business but she’s using her platform to build relationships.

Cheryl is all about establishing connections and giving back. In this episode, Cheryl talks about how to network, how to build beneficial relationships and the importance of self-promotion. If you want to learn how you can pursue your own dream and build an authentic business, join us in this episode of A Well-Designed Business, with your host, LuAnn Nigara.

Show Highlights:

  • What Cheryl has learned about the process of introducing new pieces.
  • The new product line that is being launched on Cheryl’s website.
  • Creating unique pieces and collaborating with local artists for the high-point market.
  • How Cheryl fell into her current project and first show-house.
  • Why you should keep going back and not always take no as a final answer.
  • Being consistent with your business through your personality and professionalism.
  • Cheryl shares how she uses her social media to uphold her brand.
  • Cheryl talks about why she hired a coach and getting her license.
  • How Cheryl built mutually beneficial relationships and set boundaries.
  • Analyzing strengths and utilizing them to benefit your business.
  • How Cheryl used her love for design and culture to tell a story.
  • Weaving in friends’ goals and creativity into your work.
  • The mechanics behind Cheryl’s design process.
  • Identifying people who are going to be ambassadors for your business.
  • Cheryl talks about how you build a business on self-promotion.
  • Collaborating with smaller businesses in order to reach a bigger audience.
  • Setting expectations upfront for projects as opposed to rushing for time deadlines.
  • Being honest about your abilities with potential clients.
  • How Cheryl prepares for upcoming showrooms.

Previous Guests Mentioned:

Denise McGaha #10

Kim Hoegger #336

Madcap Cottage #228

Ruthie Staalsen #296

Rasheeda Gray #267

Revolution Fabrics
Sylvester Alexander

Links:

Website: Dwell By Cheryl

Furniture: Dwell By Cheryl 

Blog: Dwell By Cheryl Blog

Instagram: Dwell By Cheryl 

Facebook: Dwell By Cheryl 

Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl 

Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl 

LinkedIn: Cheryl Luckett

Jan 22, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Amber Friederichs and Michele Atijas from the UK, a really dynamic duo and the principals of Yohan May Interiors, with us on the show. They specialize in very high-end, high-quality home staging, so Yohan May Interiors attracts clientele and projects at the very highest level of luxury real estate in London. The two primary goals with every project in this really high-pressure market are to sell the home fast and to obtain the highest possible price. On the show today, Michele and Amber discuss their turnaround times, how they cannot concern themselves with their clients' taste and design style, and also, how they position the home for sale. Listen in today to find out more about Michele and Amber's business model, and to discover their keys to be really successful with what they do.

Founded in 2015, Yohan May Interiors emerged from the collaboration of two friends, Michele Atijas and Amber Friederichs.

The company started out of necessity when Amber was unable to find a home staging agency that offered the personalization and curation she was looking for.  The pair decided to work on the project on their own and spoke with a number of developers and estate agents. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

They decided to call the company Yohan May after Amber's late father, Johann, and Michele's late mother, Maj, whom they credit with their passion for interiors. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Michele and Amber discuss the systems they use for their incredibly quick turnaround time.
  • About their free site visits and what they entail.
  • Their projects usually involve staging the entire house and they often deal with foreign investors.
  • They always try to provide a flexible service.
  • How they managed to attract so many high-end clients so early on in their business.
  • The importance of networking to attract the ideal client.
  • They talk about what went into their decision to invest in inventory.
  • Providing a look that really embodies your brand.
  • They have developed a relationship with several art agencies over the years.
  • Dealing with the tricky business of insurance for the artworks in the house.
  • The condition of all the items that they bring into a house is as new because nobody ever lives in their show-homes.
  • At this point in their business, they don't stage homes that people are living in already.
  • The number of projects they are able to deal with in one month.
  • The cost of an average project that they do, and the kind of net profit margin that they work towards.
  • They have included cancellation charges in their contract.
  • Some of the differences between interior design and home staging.
  • Home staging is a really new thing in the UK.
  • Home staging has more to do with real estate than with interior design.
  • About their go-to team for doing renovations.
  • This particular line of work is all about relationships.
  • How they manage their time, to fit it all in.
  • A small business is all about prioritizing and delegating.
  • Some of the suppliers that they work with, in the UK.
  • The work is very hands-on and either Michele or Amber will always be present on site.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Polly Williams #88

Jo Buckerfield #320

Rachel Laxer #42

Fred Berns #289

Links:

Website: Yohan May

IG: @yohanmayinteriors

Pinterest: Yohan May Interiors

For your 10% off your next purchase at Kravet, use the code W7 at the checkout. Go to Kravet.

Jan 18, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really excited to have Michele Williams back on the show for the third time today! (She previously appeared in episodes #137 and #180.) Michele is the owner of Scarlet Thread Consulting, she's a certified Profit First Coach, and she is also one of the co-authors in LuAnn's soon-to-be-launched new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business.

Michele was one of the guest-speakers at LuAnn's Power Talk Friday Tour in High Point last October. During her presentation Michele had everyone do a very eye-opening exercise, designed to help business owners dial in on what's really important with their finances so that their business can become more successful and profitable. We have decided to share this exercise with you on the show today. It's a really good thinking point and you're going to have to answer some questions. If you don't score too well with your answers, it is an indicator that you may need some help, so listen in carefully to find out how to increase the profitability and success of your business.

Having worked in the interior design industry for more than 18 years, Michele is fiercely committed to helping each business owner attain and maintain profitability. She empowers her creative clients by not only building confidence to charge what they are worth but by sharing education and systems for money management and financial awareness. With a degree from the University of South Carolina in management information systems and ten years of product development on financial software at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Michele has the ability to mix the logical and creative aspects of a business with ease. She is a Profit First certified coach and hosts the popular podcast, Profit Is A Choice. Michele is a sought after speaker and coach known for her straight forward but grace-filled approach delivered with a healthy dose of love. Listen in today to find out what to do if you really need to change the trajectory of your business.

Show highlights:

  • Don't let this exercise scare you, because if you're capable of working as an interior designer, you will be capable of getting to grips with your finances.
  • There are certain numbers and indicators in your business that will paint a very clear picture of where you are at.
  • You can download this Financial Health Check-Up exercise, at no cost, from Michele's website at Scarlet Thread Consulting.
  • It's really important to have only business transactions running through your business accounts.
  • Know your total sales.
  • Have you created a clear sales goal for the year? For the month? For the day?
  • Why Michele is such a great fan of QuickBooks accounting system.
  • Michele has a course called Understanding Your Financials. It's a tool to help you to understand where to place your focus.
  • Where you can start- right now!
  • Become the boss of your money. What is your gross profit margin? And how does it fit towards your goal?
  • Michele gives the ideal gross profit goal.
  • Are financial reports maintained and analyzed regularly?
  • The goal in all of this is to allow you to make decisions and to find errors early.
  • Defining where the money is coming in at the highest rate and allowing your company to be in alignment with that. We have defined our top two profit centers and have all company goals aligned to maintain them.
  • Who are my top two clients and income? Spending your resources in a way that brings you top dollar.
  • We have set aside funds for owner's pay. How does this fit in with your net profit goals?
  • Why Michele writes herself a salary cheque every single month.
  • We're aware of payroll expenses and have a plan to always have funds available. Just in case something unforeseen happens.
  • We know our average monthly expenses and we watch them closely. Remember that cash doesn't flow in and out at the same rate every month, so you need to be saving every month and managing your expenses well.
  • We have a bank and credit card reconciliation process that is followed monthly. Don't rely entirely on your bookkeeper. Look at every transaction, in and out of the bank and the credit card.
  • We have a process for determining the need for non-budgeted purposes in our company. Setting company values, a structure, and a determination to reduce impulse buys.
  • We have a yearly budget that we track back to regularly.
  • We have an ideal client description and a betting process that we use before we agree to work with anyone. Working with the wrong client will cost you money (or a bit of who you are) every single time.
  • We have implemented and used a cash management system. Making choices that put you in control of the money you spend. (A cash management system is something like a Profit First system and not like QuickBooks- that's a financial management system.)
  • We regularly considered the tax implications of our company financials. Knowing what your taxes are based upon.
  • Peter Lang is one of the co-authors of LuAnn's new book. He is a CPA who works ONLY with interior designers. His goal is for you, as an interior designer, to really understand your finances.
  • We have ongoing conversations with our accountant, our bookkeeper, and our financial coach. Ask for what you need and speak up if there's something you don't understand.
  • We have confidence in the achievability of our financial goals. If your confidence is low, ask yourself why. Look for the areas that you still need to work on in your business.
  • We are careful not to co-mingle funds in any way. (Between personal and business.) This will help you get a clearer picture of your financials.
  • What will be happening at LuAnn's event LuAnn Live- It's About The Conversation.

Links:

Website: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Facebook: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Instagram: Scarlet Thread

LinkedIn: Michele Williams

Twitter: Chelebelle

Financial Health Checklist PDF: Scarlet Thread Consulting

To get Kravet's generous one-time offer of  10% off your first order of any wallpaper or trim, go to Kravet and use the code AWDB10 at the checkout.

LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the event-brite link at Luann Nigara.

To find out more about LuAnn Live- It's About The Conversation, go to LuAnn Live

Jan 15, 2019

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We're really happy to have Carole Marcotte, from Form and Function, in Raleigh NC, join us on the show today. Carole followed a number of different paths while raising her three children, prior to officially starting her design business a little more than ten years ago in 2008.

In 2013 she had the genius idea to expand her business to include a storefront with classic and funky vintage pieces alongside new Made-In-America and up-cycled gift selections. On today's show, Carole talks to us about her niche, and she also explains how she was honored as one of Midtown Magazine's "Thirty People You Need To Know" for the fantastic work she's done in her community. Listen in today to find out about Carole and how she guides people, and gives them a fresh, modern spin, with things they already have.

Carole was raised in Canada and her career began in marketing and special events for a private women’s club in Toronto. After that, she worked at a radio station and she then moved to North Carolina in 1987. An old house renovation fueled her interest in architecture and design and she “unofficially” began to help friends and family with design work for many years, while also operating a catering and special events business and acting on local stages for more than twenty years. She also sat on many non-profit boards, most notably conceiving of and planning Raleigh’s largest public art project (The Raleigh Red Wolf Ramble) while Co-Chair of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission. Listen in to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Carole talks about her niche, what it means to her, and how she arrived at the clarity of it.
  • The way that Carole's firm leads with her really meaningful process.
  • Finding and reusing items from all over the house is part of Carole's process.
  • Adding the final layer and stylizing the house to completion, and then taking photographs, is important to Carole.
  • The kind of look that Carole uses in her design really varies a lot.
  • Carole guides people and gives them a fresh, modern spin on what they already have.
  • Carole always honors people's 'non-negotiable' items, and figures out a way to place them, no matter how absurd they are.
  • Reusing items is more sustainable for the planet.
  • Carol talks about her retail store.
  • The store is about sixty percent vintage and forty percent new products- and it has a really funky vibe!
  • The store is a great marketing tool for Carole's design services.
  • Talking about different kinds of design business models.
  • Shifting her business slowly towards a more sustainable model.
  • Carole talks to us about The Design District, in Raleigh, that she pro-actively put together.
  • Carole has really brought people together with her Design District map.

Links:

Website: Form And Functionraleigh

Facebook: Form And Functionraleigh

Instagram: Form And Functionraleigh

Pinterest: F And Fraleigh 

The website for the Design District map:  Design District Raleigh

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Kate Ahl #331

Fred Berns #174

Laurel Bern #342

Nancy Ganzekaufer #15

Claire Jefford #237

Nicole Heymer #125 and #317

Pulp Design Studios #176 and #310

LuAnn’s Upcoming Events:

Philly Jan 30 Lucas Alexander showroom

February 8th CEU Summit 2019 run by ASID NY Metro

Feb 12 in the Boston Design Center at Waterworks

And of course, the birthday party at Kravet.

Jan 11, 2019

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today we are really happy to have the inimitable Fred Berns back on the show with us once again! Fred has been our guest on the podcast more often than anyone else in all of the almost three years that the show has been on the air! He has previously appeared on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, and #337 and he is one of our favorite returning guests because his advice is always so intentional and actionable. Observation is one of Fred's superpowers and he always adds an extra layer by noticing the things that are done well and could be done even better, in any business process. Fred has discovered that success leaves clues, but mistakes multiply, so today he will be talking to us about The Dirty Dozen, the twelve most common things that interior designers tend to do to sabotage their own success, that they really need to avoid. Listen in today and learn about the habits that cause harm to professionals.

Fred Berns is the only interior design industry business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promotional materials for design professionals worldwide. Fred has more than 25 years experience training design professionals from Dallas to Dubai and creating their online profiles, website and social media copy, blogs, and marketing forms. In addition, he offers a wide range of business coaching services, ranging from his High-Performance Coaching Program to his Bio Briefing and Website Onceover. As one of the biggest names in the business of interior design, he speaks at design conferences and other events throughout the U.S. and around the world. He also develops sales and marketing programs for international franchise organizations and companies within the interior design industry, and trains manufacturers, retailers, and others on how to increase sales to design professionals. Fred focuses on his keynote speeches and seminars on how designers, kitchen and bath specialists, window fashion experts and other professionals can dramatically increase sales, and market themselves more effectively. He has appeared at the International Window Coverings Expo; Neocon events; the High Point Market; Surfaces; design symposiums; home and design expos; furniture, gift and accessory shows; and national conferences of such groups as ASID, NKBA, IDS, and IFDA.

Fred’s blog is read by design professionals the world over, and he regularly writes guest blog posts and articles for online and print media.  He also is a frequent guest on design industry podcasts. His Interior Design Business Library includes a vast collection of books, audio and video programs and other business-build