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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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.


Amanda’s website





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.


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


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.


Bria Hammel


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:




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.


Scott Schleicher


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


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.


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.


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


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

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.


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!



To find the information about the next tour that's coming up, go to

If you'd like to find out if the Power Talk Friday Tour is right for you at this time, email LuAnn at, 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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

To learn more about working with Window Works: 

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

To learn more about the Interior Design Society

To learn more about Stout:

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.


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.


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 ®:


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.


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.--


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


Website: Savour Partnership

Instagram: Savour Partnership

Facebook: Savour Partnership

Groups: Design Wealth

Price Style and Design

Leslie's email -

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 


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.


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:

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia_inc

LuAnn's website: Luann Nigara

LuAnn's email:

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.


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!


Megan's email:

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


Jamie's website: Hashtag Legal

Jamie's email:

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


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


Revel Woods

American OEM

Hearth Wood Floors

Instagram - Revel Woods

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