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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Mar 13, 2018

Welcome to today's show! It really looks like our guest for today, Rachel Cannon of Rachel Cannon Limited Interiors, is doing some good things down in Baton Rouge Louisiana! What really gets LuAnn going is Rachel's promise on her website of a structured process and a step-by-step method, when it comes to her design. On today's show, Rachel talks about the fifteen-step the ten-step processes that she uses with her clients and how she came to develop them. She also discusses the way that she changed her marketing in order to attract the right client. Listen in to find out more.   

The specialty of Rachel Cannon Limited is designing a space where you'll feel happiest and at peace, that's both practical and uniquely beautiful, and that also tells the story of who you are. Rachel is known for creating classic, fresh, and smart interiors, with details that are both livable and deluxe. As an experienced and licensed interior designer, she leads a team of creative minds who effortlessly mix subtle color and rich architectural features, weaving in the meaningful details of your life. Listen in today to find out about Rachel's design processes and how she markets her business.

Show highlights:

  • Rachel discusses her systems and the way that she works with her clients.
  • Rachel's ideal client profile.
  • How Rachel's fifteen-step process
  • About Rachel's Ten-Step New Construction package.
  • What Rachel's VIP Day and her One Week Room Rescue is all about.
  • Why the process keeps refining.
  • How Rachel changed her marketing to attract the right client.
  • A good way of dealing with difficult clients.
  • The value of having a really good contract with your client.
  • Teaching your clients how to work with you.
  • Rachel's document of 'rules' for her clients-why she uses it and what it has in it.
  • The real cost of interruptions when you're working.
  • What brought about a turning point for Rachel, regarding the fees she charges.
  • Discovering your real value.
  • Why it's important to know who your ideal client is.
  • How Rachel's VIP Day came about.
  • Getting clear on charging the right amount for your services.
  • How Rachel vets her potential clients to see if they're a fit for her.
  • Why you really need to document everything that happens with your clients.


Her website and social:
Rachel Cannon Limited
Facebook: RCL Interiors
Linkedin: Rachel Cannon
Mar 9, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We are introducing a new feature on the show today, called The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business- Listener Shows. This show will be intermingled with our current Power Talk Friday feature and either one or the other will air each Friday.

There have been a number of designers who have emailed LuAnn over the years and shared with her their lists of all the things that they have learned from the podcast and then applied directly to their businesses.  It then occurred to LuAnn that if you, the listener, actually hear your peers explaining the results of taking those actions, it may just give you the extra push that you need to take action on all the information that you have received from the show. That is what has motivated LuAnn to start this new feature for the show so listen in today to find out more!

Our guest for today is Elizabeth Scruggs and she's the owner of Superior Construction And Design in Tennessee. She is the mid state's only female general contractor and designer. She's been in business since 2000. Recognising a love of construction when building her own home at the age of twenty-four, she knew that coupling that knowledge with her interior design skill was a service that few could provide. Elizabeth and SC and D have won numerous awards over the years and she believes that continuing education is vital for success. Elizabeth attends industry trade events and market events each year and she was a member of the Modenus Blog Tour of K-biz in January of 2018. She currently serves on the national board of directors for the Real Estate Staging Association, the board of directors for the Nashville chapter of the Nashville Association of Women in Construction, she's the vice-president of the virtual chapter of the Interior Design Society and the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Elizabeth's clients are busy working professionals in the age range of forty-five to fifty-five, looking to upgrade their current home, but lacking the time and desire to oversee it. She finds her sweet spot in handling these full-home renovations from inception to completion. Elizabeth has been a contributing writer for Wilson County's premier magazine, Wilson Living, for six years and she's been featured in The Lebanon Democrat, The Wilson Post, and The Mount Juliet Chronicle. Elizabeth resides in Tennessee, just east of Nashville, with her husband of twenty-six years and their twin daughters and young son. Listen in to find out what Elizabeth has to share with you today.

Show highlights:

  • Elizabeth shares about what it was about Brittany and her company that moved her to action.(#149)
  • Elizabeth's 'aha moment' with Gavin Zuchlinski of Acuity Scheduling and how Acuity has really worked for her. (#241)
  • All about Elizabeth's 'pick your brain' thirty-minute phone calls.
  • How Elizabeth has benefited from getting to know about Kate The Socialite. (#104)
  • What Elizabeth has learned about systems from Kimberley Seldon. (#112)
  • Why Elizabeth really loves Nancy Ganzekaufer's Business In Words so much! (#256)
  • What she learned from The Prepared Performer- Molly Mahoney. (#247)
  • Elizabeth's awesome takeaway from the Facebook Live Queen- Jessica Brace. (#250)
  • What Kate O'Hara had to teach Elizabeth about Pinterest. (#215)
  • What she took away from the episode with Summer Tannhauser. (#292)
  • How much Elizabeth learned from the episode with Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson of the Savour Partnership. (#209)
  • The effect that the episode with Adam Japko, of the Design Blogger's Conference, had on her. (#95)
  • Time chunking with Darci Hether. (#220)
  • Lessons learned from Carla Aston (#242), Fred Berns (#174), and Tabitha Carro (#235).
  • About Elizabeth's relationship with her good friend and designer bestie Kristi Barnett aka The Decorologist.


Elizabeth's website:
Superior Construction and Design 
Elizabeth on social:

You can get your free PDF of The Things I Learned From Elizabeth Scruggs at

Mar 6, 2018

Welcome to today's show where we feature another husband and wife team, Jill and Steve McKenzie. They are the owners of McKenzie Design Llc and also Steve McKenzie's, a home décor business which is located in the heart of Atlanta's west-midtown design district. Steve does the interior designing and runs the product design side of the business, while Jill predominantly oversees the running of the store and does the buying for the business.  Recently, they have also been doing a lot of product design and creation and also the licensing of certain products. Listen in today, to find out how they work together as a team, to run the retail end of their interior design business.

Steve started Steve McKenzie's in 2012 after his tenure of more than twenty years with Berkshire-Hathaway owned Larson-Juhl, a custom frame manufacturer, and distributor, where he served most recently as the company's president and CEO. Through practicing as an artist for more than twenty-five years, Steve has developed a unique technique of painting with walnut ink and focusing on organic composition. His studio is located in the upper loft space of Steve McKenzie's. Jill and Steve have three children and three Springer Spaniels. Listen in today, to find out more about the ethical and service driven way that they run their business.

Show highlights:

  • It all started with Steve's art- the fabric collection being the genesis of both the store and the design business.
  • The community that has developed as an offshoot of their showroom.
  • How it happened that Steve ended up taking the route he did, creating and selling his own textile line in showrooms across the country.
  • How Steve found the right experts to help him with getting his product line manufactured and launched.
  • Getting really clear about your expectations with mentors and mentees.
  • Some tips for getting your product line known 'out there'.
  • The Jill works (and hustles) with Steve to get his products out there.
  • The grounding effect of Steve's corporate background.
  • What went into Steve and Jill's decision to open their own showroom and retail lifestyle store.
  • The idea of creating a personality around Steve's fabrics.
  • Jill's style of marketing their product lines.
  • Jill and Steve's approach to their lifestyle brand of products.
  • How the design side of their business was born.
  • Evaluating whether or not to start a showroom.
  • How Steve and Jill cope when their opinions differ in their business.
  • Creating healthy boundaries and a good work-life balance.
  • Covering all the hours in the showroom.
  • Jill and Steve's real commitment to really great customer service.
  • Why the customer is always (Even when they're not!)


Website and Social:
Steve Mckenzies
Mckenzie Interior Design
Steve Mckenzies
Steve Mckenzie Art
Houzz – McKenzie Interior Design/steve mckenzie’s
Pinterest - @stevemckenzies
Instagram - @stevemckenzies
Twitter - @stevemckenzies
Facebook - @stevemckenzies
Mar 2, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Rebecca Richards joins us as our guest on the show today and she's the director of marketing for Charles Cunniffe Architects in Aspen Colorado. Rebecca is also part of the firm's management committee and one of her responsibilities within that committee is the hiring process for the firm. So today she talks to us about the process that she uses for hiring and she also shares some of the key questions that she asks and some of the things that she looks for when she interviews candidates. Whether you're a solo interior designer looking to make your first hire or you run mid-size or a larger firm and you're looking for a direct process to follow when doing your hiring, we relate this to you, so listen in to find out what Rebecca has to share with you on the show today.

Rebecca joined Charles Cunniffe Architects in 2006 and the firm widely increased their market reach while decreasing their marketing expenditure under her leadership as director of marketing. Rececca's keen eye for design has led to the complete redesign of the company's marketing materials and their website, and also to the addition of their social media outlets. Her appreciation for design and sustainable business practices has become instrumental in the operations at CCA.

CCA is quite a powerhouse of an architectural firm. They have nineteen people on their staff and they have been named as best places to work for the last four years running. Their Elk Peak Ranch project was named Home Of The Year in November  2017 by Mountain Living Magazine- and it's truly spectacular! (Check out their website or my Instagram feed today, as I will be featuring their work all day.) Listen in now to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Rebecca describes the structure within CCA and also what the various roles are, within their management committee.
  • Rebecca's holistic approach to the hiring process.
  • Rebecca goes through her entire hiring process, step by step.
  • Methodically looking at the necessary roles within the office structure, prior to the hiring process.
  • Where CCA advertise for their staff.
  • Why Rebecca likes to respond to every single resume that she receives.
  • Cross-checking the resumes, to get a bigger picture of the person.
  • It can be quite hard to stand out as an entry-level applicant, so Rebecca explains what makes someone really stand out for her.
  • Internships- how they can really make you stand out as a job applicant.
  • The best questions to ask when conducting a phone interview.
  • The importance of finding out what the applicant really wants and expects- in terms of the job and the salary.
  • Rebecca describes her process of the second interview.
  • Why it's really worth spending the time figuring out exactly where the applicant is at, and if they fit where you need them to be.
  • Why it's really important to ask for references.
  • Getting the information that you really need when doing a reference check.
  • Knowing when it's the right time to hire someone.



CCA website

Skype handle: rebeccalynnhill





LuAnn on Instagram: @luannnigara

Kravet has launched their new website and they have a new code for you, as a listener of this podcast, to get 10% off any one purchase of Kravet fabric, trimmings, or wallpaper. Go to Kravet and use the code AWDB10 at checkout.

Charles Cunniffe Architects website: Cunniffe

Feb 27, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We have Laura Buchner and Kirsten McCoy with us on the show and today we are going to be talking to them about how their interior design firm was founded in 1982 by Penny Steele, and how they purchased it from her in 2005 when she retired. Listen in as we pick apart their motivation for buying an existing business from someone else rather than starting their own business from scratch.

Laura and Kirsten are the principals of Meadowbank Designs, which is located in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area. Meadowbank Designs has completed a wide range of projects throughout the country, for generations of clients, from historic preservation to vacation homes and also additions and renovations. They are best known for residential design which combines traditional motifs with a modern sensibility, and also for providing the highest quality of design excellence and personal service. Listen in today to find out about Laura and Kirsten's decision to buy their business, and how they went about acquiring it.

Show highlights:

  • Kirsten and Laura discuss their decision to buy the business.
  • The confidence that they felt about their relationships with the existing clients.
  • The really awesome way that Penny, the previous owner of the business, worked to create a great relationship between Laura, Kirsten and the existing clients.
  • What made them decide to buy an existing business, rather than starting up one of their own.
  • The organic process of how they came to decide to buy the business from the previous owner.
  • How the previous owner arrived at the value of the business.
  • The time that it took for the business to be fully paid off and for Kirsten and Laura to begin making a profit.
  • How they worked their finances, in order to get the business paid off as quickly as possible.
  • Using professional systems, in order to run a business the right way.
  • How they overcame the difficulties that they experienced during the recession in 2008.
  • The importance of their constant and clear communication.
  • The number of clients that they typically handle during any given quarter.
  • The roles that Laura and Kirsten each play for their projects.
  • The really mature way that they handle conflict when it comes up.
  • The different, yet complimentary things that Laura and Kirsten each bring to the business.
  • Some things worth considering, when thinking about buying an existing business.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

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


Meadowbank designs can be found at:

Meadowbank Designs

Facebook: Meadowbank-Designs

Instagram: Meadowbank Designs

Twitter: Meadowbank Designs

Pinterest: Meadowbank Designs

Fred Bern's website:

Feb 23, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! We are delighted to introduce you to Duncan Blair, the director of marketing for Article, a furniture company out of Vancouver Canada, and the sponsor for today's show. Article recently approached LuAnn about getting onto the podcast to tell you about their products. LuAnn agreed to this because she thinks that it's an interesting company with great potential as a resource for you and your interior design projects. Duncan is here today to tell us all about Article, so listen in carefully as we pick it apart to see if it really is a viable option for us, as designers.                     

Article has been in business since 2013. It is an online company and an original, modern furniture brand that engineers remarkably better furniture shopping experiences. It is a dedicated, deadline orientated, people pleasing type of company, with a trade facing program, and they are currently in the midst of an initiative to spread their wings and further develop their trade program, to make it both more efficient and more effective. Listen in now, to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Duncan explains why he thinks that Article would make a really good alliance company for interior designers.
  • What Article does, to help make the designers who have a hard time ordering furniture from an online location, more comfortable.
  • Article's really generous return policy- if you don't like it, you can send it back- seamlessly, with no problem.
  • About Article's dedicated trade team, to guide you and help you to pre-purchase.
  • Jill and her team at Article are interior designers who really understand.
  • Article has a complete fabric swatch kit, which is available to designers at no cost.
  • Their really reasonable flat rate freight shipping fee, for anywhere in Canada or the USA.
  • Article's three-tiered shipping model.
  • Article's really awesome customer service.
  • Duncan explains about their free exchange service.
  • What really sets Article apart from other vendors, in terms of their delivery times.
  • Article really prides itself on its ability to always meet your deadlines.
  • The members of the team at Article are always ready to help you out with questions that are specific to the design industry.
  • All about the furniture at Article and where it is made.
  • About Article's fair trade policy and their pledge to only having a positive impact on the world.
  • What would be required in order for you to become a trade partner with Article? (Go to
  • The discounts that are available through their trade program.
  • About the quality and styling of the products which are supplied by Article.
  • Article's projected income for the next financial year.


Article on Instagram: @article

Apply for the Article Trade Program: Article
Article: Article
Linkedin: Article 
Houzz: Article 
Instagram: Article 
Facebook: Article
Feb 21, 2018

A very warm welcome to the three hundredth episode of A Well-Designed Business today- and happy birthday to us! February the 15th was the second birthday of the podcast and we are having our birthday party tonight (21st February) at Lefroy Brooks in New York City. Today is a really big day for the podcast and there's lots of awesome news too, so listen in now to find out more.

It really takes a lot of effort from many people to get this podcast aired each week and I'm truly grateful to everyone involved! I'm especially grateful to you, my designer friends, who show up and listen in to the show every single week! Listen in today as I share some news and express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has played their part in making this show so successful!

Show highlights:

  • A special mention of thanks to everyone that works so hard to get this show ready and aired!
  • Special thanks to our featured sponsors- Kravet Inc and MyDoma Studio.
  • How we know that Kravet is truly in the business of helping you to run a better business.
  • Why I really love MyDoma Studio so much!
  • A shout out to all our other sponsors.
  • Thanks to all the wonderful guests who have been on the show!
  • A really HUGE thank you to you, my designer friend, who listens to this show every week- It's because of you that I show up each week!.
  • How my world has expanded tenfold because of my designer friends, who follow me, interact with me on Instagram and Facebook, and give me really valuable feedback.
  • The changes that are happening with the show.
  • Why we will be airing our shows just twice a week, as of next week.
  • We will be adding more video content to the podcast as we go forward.
  • How the Well-Designed Business Fan Club got started.
  • The details about the first meeting of the fan club. You're welcome to join!
  • How you can really benefit from joining the fan club.
  • About my book- The Making Of A Well-Designed Business. It's finally out!
  • The biggest lesson that's in my whole book!

If are just hearing about this and you'd like to join us at our birthday party, there's still time for you to get in, so go on over to Party.

To get our amazing newsletter every Wednesday, simply text 444 999 and enter the word designbiz.

The first meeting of the Well-Designed Business Fan Club will be on Friday 23rd February at noon (eastern time). To join, email Deborah at and put LuAnn Fan Club in the subject line.

My book, The Making Of A Well-Designed Business, is available in e-book form and in paperback. The paperback is $14.95 and the e-book is $7.99, but from 21st February until 28th February 2018 the e-book will only be $3.00- in honor of our 300th episode! Go to The Making Of A Well-Designed Business.

Feb 19, 2018
The interior design industry was recently rocked with the news that acquired IvyMark for a reported $30 to $40 million dollars. There have been panel discussions on Facebook Live and other podcasters have addressed it on their shows as well. These discussions have covered, among other things, the motivations of both the Ivy team and of, the ramifications of the purchase to the interior designers who are using the IVY platform and the ripples this news is making through our industry.
I agree wholeheartedly that all of these discussions are important and valid and they have been well addressed. But today I want to address the lessons we can learn from this situation and talk about how and why it is so important for us as business owners to understand how Ivy and Houzz might have avoided some of this significant backlash from the design community. It begins and ends with you as a business owner, your conduct, your philosophy and your leadership.
Feb 16, 2018

Welcome to A Well Designed Business! Today we have Rich Rogers as our guest and he is the sales manager for the exterior side of Window Works. Rich is someone who has really been making LuAnn's life a whole lot easier in many ways and for many years and he is a real asset to the team at Window Works, with his experience in the trade and his knowledge about product lines. On the show today he will be talking about awnings and discussing some awesome solutions to almost impossible situations. Listen in to find out more.

Before coming to work at Window Works Rich was the senior regional manager for K E Dorosoil Awnings Inc., an Italian based company and the primary awning supplier that Window Works have used since 1985. They really provide an enormous range of outdoor shading solutions, with a slightly European, outdoor restaurant feeling. Listen in now to find out about a shady way of offering savvy solutions and making more money in your design business!

Show highlights:

  • Rich's thoughts on where designers tend to miss the boat with outdoor shading solutions for their clients.
  • Understanding both the products and the solution.
  • Creating amazing awnings for awkward spaces.
  • The lasting quality of the products that Rich works with.
  • The awnings are so awesome that people even take them with when they move house!
  • Creating awareness about quality, unique awnings, and their features.
  • Offering solutions using exterior products.
  • Operating automated products with your smartphone.
  • Automated products are not only functional, they're really beautiful too.
  • Some high-end options for you to offer your clients.
  • The featured 'Genius Project' and how this product line differs from others.
  • The unbelievable size of the awning that was put onto Nomad Pizza in Princeton.
  • Creating shady solutions at the Life Hotel.
  • The benefits of starting out with the Genius range of products.
  • Why you really need not be intimidated by this kind of product.


The Dorosol website: KE Outdoor Design

The Window Works website: Window Works NJ

Feb 14, 2018

Welcome to another episode of A Well Designed Business! We have Mikel Welch, of Mikel Welch Designs, as our guest on the show and today we pull back the curtain to find out what the lifestyle of a celebrity interior designer is really all about. And guess what? It turns out it's not at all the way we think it is. It involves a lot of risk-taking situations, unforeseen bumps in the road, sleeping on sofas at other people's houses and even asking friends for some help. Mikel, who is a really hard worker with a very clear vision for himself, grew up in Southfield Michigan. Today, he works as an on-air personality and design expert for Pickler and Ben TV show and he is also the brand ambassador to Inspire Closets. All this, in addition to running his own interior design projects. On the show today Mikel shares his really remarkable and encouraging success story. Listen in to hear about a turning point with Steve Harvey and other ways that doors keep on opening for Mikel.

Mikel worked as a set designer for the Steve Harvey Show in 2012, where he created lavish green rooms for prominent people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Joan Rivers, Halle Berry and Tyler Perry, just to name a few. In 2012, before joining the Steve Harvey Show, he was on the HGTV Design Star's season seven, where he finished as a top-four contender. Before that, in 2011, he was behind the camera, as a set designer for Style Network's hit reality show, Jerseylicious. He has appeared as a design expert on WGN TV, CBS-TV's The Talk and he has made special guest appearances on behalf of West Elm, CB2 and Pottery Barn. His designs have been featured in The Huffington Post, HGTV Magazine, Essence Magazine, Chicago's NBC-TV, HGTV's Shop This Room and The Fabulist on E! Network and Splash Magazine. Mikel was also recently profiled in CS Magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors and Crain's Chicago Business. It all sounds so exciting and Mikel really sounds like a lucky guy, doesn't he? Listen in today, as we pick his incredible career apart and find out the truth behind how it all really happened!

Show highlights:

  • What Mikel had in mind, and how things fell into place for him when he made the move to New York from Atlanta.
  • What has happened as a result of Mikel donating his time and services.
  • How Mikel used Craig's List to start his career as an interior designer.
  • The unglamorous start to his New York life.
  • Creating unbelievable opportunities by working strategically for free.
  • Getting set design experience while building a portfolio.
  • Mikel's first real experience of a reality show.
  • What he had to go through working on Jerseylicious.
  • Pushing through the fear and just doing it!
  • The benefits of boot-camp with a celebrity coach.
  • The challenges of working on television.
  • The really lucky break with Steve Harvey.
  • Why Steve Harvey liked and helped Mikel.
  • Mikel's way of working smarter, not harder!
  • An awesome new opportunity at Inspired Closets.
  • Taking the right kind of risks.


A soon as the new Kravet website goes live, you can use the promo code AWDB10, for a 10% discount on any Kravet fabric, trim and wall covering order.

Feb 12, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Ruthie Staalsen with us today and she's someone who is really loved by many! Ruthie operates out of the Dallas Fort Worth area in Texas, she has had more than fourteen years of experience as a designer and she's also on the board of the Design Blogger's Conference. Ruthie focuses on making homes look collected rather than decorated and there is a European flair to her personal design style- with an eclectic twist. She views her privilege of having had the opportunity to experience many different lifestyles as the greatest gift of her childhood. Listen in today to hear our awesome conversation with Ruthie about the value of mentorship, the value of attending conferences and Ruthie's way of running her business.

Ruthie was born and raised overseas  and many of her influences come from Europe, Africa and Central and South America. She is an internationally published interior designer and she has built her business from the ground up. She was awarded the 2016 Designer Of The Year from the National Interior Design Society for a kitchen renovation project and she was nominated as one of the top fifteen decorators in Dallas. Her work has been published in Elite Monde- a lifestyle and fashion magazine in Dubai and also in Traditional Home Magazine Great Kitchens. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • The incredible kind of connections that can be made with others at the Design Blogger's Conference.
  • Ruthie's daunting first experience of a Design Blogger's Conference, about seven years ago.
  • The way that your business will benefit from your attending conferences.
  • Things that will keep you going and really spur you on with your business.
  • Ruthie's awesome relationship with her mentee, Cheryl Luckett. (Episode #291)
  • How you can really benefit from being a mentor.
  • Some of the things that newbie designers tend to struggle with.
  • Ruthie's take on charging the right fee, as a new designer.
  • What happened when Ruthie started to hire people to help her.
  • The huge responsibility- and benefits of hiring new people.
  • Some interesting things about the way that Ruthie has set her business up.
  • Ruthie's Away For The Day design service.
  • Mistakes will happen- just get up and carry on!
  • Living a really purposeful life as a designer.
  • Ruthie's personal approach to decorating people's homes.
  • How Ruthie finds the very best vendors to work with.
  • How Ruthie really manages to express her authentic self through her blog.


Her website and social:
Facebook Ruthie Designer
Instagram : Ruthie Designer
Linkedin : Interiors
Twitter : Ruthie Designer
Youtube : Ruthie Staalsen

To join us at our birthday party go to the RSVP at Luann Nigara Party.

Feb 9, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! There have been perhaps a dozen times in the last two years that someone has suggested to LuAnn that she does a show about vendors and what it's like working with them. Then, something quite incredible happened in a Facebook group recently, where a vendor spoke out very directly to a particular designer about his experience with other designers. This brought about mixed reactions from designers in the Facebook group. Some were incensed at his misdirected wrath, saying that it was ridiculous, while others felt it was better to just walk away. LuAnn's opinion, however, was that this was really a vendor to hang on to for dear life, because although he had been both blunt and less than politically correct, he was honest without being mean, cutting or personalizing his opinion- really epitomizing what it is that vendors have to go through. Listen in today, to find out what LuAnn has to tell you about how designers are directly affected by whatever their vendors are going through at that time.

For the last two years on this podcast, LuAnn has championed you, as designers, standing in your space and helping you to teach your clients how to do business with you. So when the vendor stands in their own space and wants to teach you how to do business with them, you really cannot take offense to that, now can you? Listen in today and learn as LuAnn explains how to work with your vendor and also, how you can express your needs to your client about how you want them to work with you.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn reads the Facebook post from the very straightforward vendor.
  • Ways that you can learn to think from the point of view of the vendor.
  • The difference between your relationship with your client and the relationship that your vendor has with you.
  • The kinds of difficulties that vendors tend to have and how they usually deal with them when they are not yet standing firmly in their own space.
  • Why it's actually easier for a vendor to have “the hard conversation” upfront- even at the risk of losing the whole project.
  • What Lee Cockerell, the senior vice president of Disney World, had to say in episode #222 about doing hard things.
  • Becoming empowered, setting boundaries and teaching your clients how to do business with you.
  • Learning from your mistakes- without throwing your vendor under the bus.
  • What inevitably ends up happening to you when you try to blame your vendor.
  • It's really all about very good communication.
  • Some great tips for working really well with your vendors.
  • Protecting your vendors from information overload.
  • The benefits of using a project management software like MyDoma Studio.
  • Really valuing the kind of vendor that makes it clear to you how to work successfully with them.
  • Giving your vendor the benefit of the doubt. 


To be on our email list: Text the number 444999 and enter the word designbiz.

To come to our birthday party, generously hosted by Lefroy Brooks, on Wednesday, February 21st go to Luann Nigara Party 

On Monday, February 19th Blanch Garcia will be doing a Lunch And Learn at out New Jersey showroom on running your design business.

Feb 7, 2018

If you are facing new challenges in your interior design business or are just starting out with the podcast, then you might be a bit overwhelmed by all the information the Well Designed Business Podcast has accumulated over the past two years. If you are in need of a jumping off point, then look no further than this episode! It’s a solo show today as I organize and highlight the episodes that have made a real impact on me and the audience. The show is nearing 300 episodes, and that means if you are just now joining the party that you have quite a bit of info to sift through. Luckily, I am giving you a jumping off point so that the party can begin right away.

I have gathered together the best of the best into 5 different categories. You’ll hear my recommendations for practical business advice, building up a pipeline, understanding your YOU and your ideal client, creative inspiration, and the quick starter designers that have inspired me. If you are listening to the podcast, you are the kind of person who will work hard and be successful in your design business. I am celebrating the success of the show by helping you on that road to success. Consider this episode the fast track!

If you are just now joining us, welcome! If you are a longtime listener, I sincerely hope you enjoy re-listening to these episodes. You are on the path to success just by showing up for your business today.

More in this episode:

  • Hear my vision for the Well Designed Business Archives.
  • For practical business advice, listen to episodes 2, 36, 45, 68, 180, 233*.
  • Need help building your pipeline? Check out episodes 40, 245, 266
  • To understand your YOU, your ideal client, head over to episodes 15, 256, 22, 26, 125.
  • Several of you have listened to episode 192 multiple times! It’s so full of good info.
  • Time to dig into episodes for creative inspiration! Try episodes 21, 18, 165, 169, 184.
  • These designers really blew me out of the water. Here are your best places for Quick Starts episodes—167, 179, 211, 203.
  • I want you at the podcast birthday party!



Your Business in Words

Feb 5, 2018

Today we have Jana Platina Phipps, affectionately known as the “Trim Queen” by her clients, as our guest on the show. Jana and LuAnn met each other in person last year at the IWCE in Charlotte, where they were both speaking, and this year Jana will be speaking again at the IWCE in Tampa Florida. Jana is an embellishment expert, a designer and she's also an agent for Classical Elements. She develops custom trimmings for NYC-based fashion companies and she also designs made-to-order home and fashion accessories, using trimmings and vintage jewelry. Jana teaches other people her technique of Trim Alchemy, which involves turning something ordinary into something really extraordinary, using trimmings to express their personal creativity. Listen in to find out more about what Jana will be doing at the IWCE this year.             

Jana started a blog in 2013 and she uses her social media channels to keep an account of how the design community uses trimmings creatively. She lectures at The New York School of Interior Design, Continuing Education Seminars and on Webinars to the interior design community, drawing on her knowledge of the history of passementerie and also on her hands-on experience with fabrication. She is a regular contributor to WF Vision and Designers Today Magazines, and Universal Furniture’s Smartstuff Social Station blog. She also conducts DIY workshops and stages a Trim Alchemy Show at the Country Living Fairs across the country. Jana is planning a Trim Queen Maker Tour of Venice Italy for Spring 2018. Listen in now to find out what she has to share with you on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • Jana talks about what she has going on at the IWCE this year.
  • How Jana's college education has come into play for her in her career.
  • The details of what's happening with Jana's workshops in the Construction Zone at the IWCE this year.
  • Why Jana really loves going to the IWCE!
  • What you, as an interior designer, can gain from the community on the Construction Zone floor at the IWCE.
  • About Jana's work with Classical Elements.
  • How the blog post- Trim Queen came about, and the mission behind it.
  • The new avenue of creativity and business that Jana has created with Trim Queen.
  • The power of getting great feedback.
  • The fine line between giving people advice and being taken advantage of.
  • About Jana's really helpful peer mentoring group.
  • How Jana moved Trim Queen into becoming a really viable business.
  • Jana's really intentional way of starting out with doing video.
  • The magic of developing your business through the creative process.
  • Something that has really helped Jana with her creative process this year.
  • All about Jana's Trim Queen Maker Tour in Venice Italy next year.
  • What Jana's awesome concept of maker tourism is all about.
  • What's coming up with Jana and the WCAA, out of Connecticut. All the info will be on the events page of Jana's website. (


Trim Queen







Feb 2, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! I’m excited to introduce you to Summer Tannhauser, and I’m eager to hear what she can teach us about using Pinterest to grow an interior design business. She’s a Pinterest expert, a business coach, Mastermind leader, and a business/marketing mentor to female entrepreneurs who want to create an impact online through their personal brand and business. She has some really cool things going on now, like her Live More, Work Less business model, and blog series.

We have touched on the world of Pinterest in earlier episodes: Ep. 209 with Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson of Savour Partnership, and Ep. 223 with Allison Fannin. Today’s episode focuses on the ins and outs of this important platform and pulls back the curtain on Pinterest to show how web designers can use it to build our brand.

Show highlights:

  • Why Pinterest is a vehicle for growing your business locally
  • Summer’s advice about using keywords about your location to draw people in and showcase your brand
  • Setting up your Pinterest account and profile---Do’s and Don’t’s
  • How to set up “rich pins” and validate them
  • How rich pins bring people back to your website
  • Start off with your business name in your profile, use keywords, location, your website, and a description of your business
  • Have a minimum of 15 boards to show that your profile is complete
  • Creating board titles using important keywords
  • Going from a personal to business account: how to clean up or delete existing boards that don’t fit or promote your business
  • How to fill your boards with a combination of other people’s boards and your own content
  • Why some pins should be on multiple boards
  • See what people are looking for to get great ideas for blog topics
  • Change your perspective and think of Pinterest as a search engine and NOT a social media platform
  • Summer’s advice for pinning people’s pins and following accounts to increase your engagement, if you have less than 100 followers
  • “The first step is to make sure your website is updated and presents your brand well. There is no sense spending hours on Pinterest driving people to a website that’s a hot mess.”
  • Focus more on your state name than city name, but include local town names on your profile and on boards
  • Your Pinterest content will have people engaging long-term over time, so don’t focus on short-term events and happenings
  • Getting consistent and active on Pinterest: Consider investing in a scheduling program so it can pin for you on a consistent basis
  • Which platform is best for interior designers if you have limited time?
  • Summer’s Live More, Work Less blog series, highlighting entrepreneurs who are making it work


Her website:

Summer Tannhauser

Her free course:

Free Pin Course

Summer’s social media:

Twitter - @summerktann




Tail Wind App (To use for Pinterest and social media scheduling)

Jan 31, 2018

Cheryl Luckett is the principal of Dwell by Cheryl, her interior design company. She has two areas of expertise that I’m interested in sharing with you today. She has taken her side hustle into a full-time profession, leaving the security of her corporate job. She actively engages in the business mentor/mentee relationship. Loyal listeners might remember a few weeks back, in Episode 267, with Rasheeda Gray of Gray Space Interiors. She described then how her mentor has helped her through the challenges of having a corporate job while working hard on the side in interior design. Cheryl is that mentor that Rasheeda spoke about.

Southern Home describes Dwell by Cheryl as “opulence in reach, with vintage treasures and ingenious restyles.” Cheryl believes her clients should dwell in a home they love. She describes her design as “sophisticated but approachable.” She launched in 2012 and continues to grow, with clients raving about her ability to transform a space on a realistic budget. It’s also her professionalism and attention to detail that earns her high praise. She shares with us about her 15-year career at a Fortune 500 company, along with her beginnings as a registered dietician and human resources professional. It was here that she developed her service skills and business acumen. I’ll remind you of Episode 6, where Erika Ward told us to “make sure that you think about and utilize your transferable skills when you open your interior design firm.” Cheryl will tell us how she has accomplished that.

Cheryl’s work has been published in Charlotte Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, Queen City Exclusive, and Hoffman Media’s Southern Spaces, to name just a few. She is a five-time recipient of Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction, and in 2015, she was named one of the 15 best designers in Charlotte by Build Direct. Cheryl also believes in giving back, and she has partnered locally with agencies such as Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont and Metrolina Habitat Restores to promote non-profit retailers and their missions. Join me for this conversation with Cheryl!

What you’ll hear in the episode:

  • How I met Cheryl at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles in 2017
  • Insights on running an interior design firm while working a full-time corporate job
  • Cheryl’s path as a registered dietician, then in school foodservice, then human resources
  • Following her love of design and décor to start a blog and take design classes at the local community college
  • “I never treated this design business as merely a side hustle. I wanted to be ALL IN.”
  • How a Design Bloggers Conference in 2012 changed everything for Cheryl: “I felt like I was finally with MY PEOPLE.”
  • Planning an exit strategy from the corporate world
  • How Cheryl’s blog grew and spread to become an effective marketing tool
  • Looking for one YES
  • Juggling a full-time job while designing for clients and taking design classes
  • Why Cheryl had a “waiting list”
  • Finding interns through a design program for students
  • The criteria for leaving her corporate job, making the decision, and setting a time frame
  • The 36-month plan and Cheryl’s financial advisor
  • “Preparing for D-day”---building a website and putting systems in place
  • Cheryl’s relationship with Rasheeda and why she wanted to be a mentor
  • The guidelines and boundaries to the mentor/mentee relationship
  • Cheryl’s mentor and friend, Ruthie Staalsen, a designer in Dallas
  • Cheryl’s plans for this year’s Design Bloggers Conference
  • “Social media: the best money you’ll never spend on marketing.”


Curated Kravet (Use code “ck podcast” for 10% off your first order!)

Her website and social:
Her website: Dwell by Cheryl
Her Blog: Dwell by Cheryl Blog
Her Instagram: Dwell by Cheryl/
Her Facebook: Dwell by Cheryl/
Her Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl
Her Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl/
Her Linkedin: Cheryl Luckett/
Jan 29, 2018

Today we are very happy to have Warren Pearl, the president of Lefroy Brooks, as our guest on the show. If you are a regular listener you may already know that Mr. Pearl has invited us to celebrate our second year birthday of the podcast on 21st of February, at his New York City showroom! Listen in today to get the details.

Lefroy Brooks has been in business for the last twenty-five years and they have showrooms in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. They are known as the Rolls Royce of bathroom and plumbing fixtures and on the show today you will hear how and why they got this name. Lefroy Brooks create plumbing fixtures who's design would compliment any decor, from any era, from early 20th century all the way to the end. Cooper and Graham take it from there, with their elegant and forward-thinking designs for the 21st century.  In addition to having a really outstanding line of plumbing fixtures which are renown for their superior quality, Lefroy Brooks are a company who really believe in and support interior designers with their education and customer service. Listen in today to find out what Mr. Pearl has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • What earned Lefroy Brooks their reputation as the Rolls Royce of the plumbing fixtures industry.
  • The philosophy behind the Lefroy Brooks product.
  • How Lefroy Brooks became known as the Rolls Royce of bathroom and plumbing fixtures.
  • The selection of 21stcentury designs that can be accessed through Cooper & Graham.
  • Some really awesome and interesting background info about Warren Pearl and the really famous people that he has dealt with.
  • The special kind of customer service that Lefroy Brooks provides to the trade.
  • The role of interior designers in Mr. Pearl's vision for Cooper & Graham.
  • Why interior designers who haven't yet broken into the high end, luxury market should not be intimidated by the Cooper & Graham product line.
  • The CEU's that Lefroy Brooks provide for interior designers.
  • The fantastic new plumbing technology that's coming up in the future for Cooper & Graham.
  • The classic elegance and authenticity of the Lefroy Brooks fixtures.
  • The unique way that Lefroy Brooks approach their marketing.
  • About the different Lefroy Brooks classic collections, many of which were designed in the 1940's.
  • The Lefroy Brooks presence, outside of the USA.

Go to My Doma Studio to find out about your special offer, as a listener of the podcast.

Link to RSVP for Birthday Party:


Lefroy Brooks

Cooper And Graham





Jan 26, 2018

We have some really happy news today! We have Fred Berns back on the show! Since the beginning of this podcast he has appeared on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174 and #226 and if you are a new listener, Fred is one of our favorite returning guests because his advice is really so actionable. Today Fred will be talking to us about the seven habits of highly effective luxury interior designers. Listen in now to find out more!

Fred is the only interior design business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promo materials for design professionals worldwide. He has more than twenty-five years of experience training design professionals, from Dallas to Dubai. He helps to create their online profiles, their websites, their social media copy, blogs, and marketing forums. In addition, he also offers a wide range of coaching services which include his High-Performance Coaching Program, his Bio Briefing, and his Website Once Over. Listen in to find out what he has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • What Fred is currently up to and how got to the information about how the really successful, top designers and architects got to where they are today.
  • The kinds of projects these really top designers and architects work on, and the famous people that they work for.
  • Some of the characteristics that these top designers and architects have in common.
  • Strangely enough, the top designers are not always the best designers- Fred discusses what actually makes them so successful.
  • The mindset of a lot of the high end, really successful design professionals.
  • How the really successful design professionals managed to tap into the high-end market.
  • Fred discusses some of the onlys of the top design professionals.
  • Optimising your
  • Pinpointing the pain points, problems and challenges of the high-end market.
  • Ways of creating really relevant blog posts, or videos for great marketing.
  • Positioning yourself in order to break into the luxury, high-end market.
  • What you really want to emphasize in your bio.
  • The seven common habits that the really top, successful designers seem to share.
  • Why it's important to get some price objections.
  • The real value of being stubborn and not quitting.
  • Fred's awesome Website Once Over- to help position you in a higher place.
  • Fred's Bio Briefing coaching program- for you to really come across as someone who is highly qualified and an expert in your field.


For Fred's Website Once Over go to Website Onceover

For Fred's Bio Briefing go to Bio Briefing

Jan 24, 2018

Today we have Jason Oliver Nixon, one of the dynamic partners of Madcap Cottage, with us on the show. LuAnn has really been looking forward to this interview because she and Jason Oliver are both going to be at the IWCE (International Window Coverings Expo) Conference in Tampa Florida in March, where Jason and his partner John Loecke are going be giving a keynote address. On the show today Jason will be talking about the IWCE and also about his business, Madcap Cottage, so listen in to find out more.

There are so many parts of Madcap Cottage that have intrigued LuAnn and she really admires that way that Jason Oliver and John stand so firmly in the space of their design aesthetic. These Madcap gents are well known for their whimsical use of color and pattern, really bringing their client's story-lines to life and their out-of-the-box website really says it all! Listen in today to find out about Madcap Cottage's really unusual and fascinating approach to interior design.

Show highlights:

  • How Madcap Cottage came about.
  • The way that Madcap Cottage approaches the needs of their clients.
  • Jason Oliver explains how both his and John's former experience as magazine editors and television producers assists them with bringing their client's stories uniquely to life.
  • The way that they challenge and push their clients to bring prints and patterns into their lives.
  • Prints Charming- the really awesome book that Jason Oliver and John have written as a primer to give people permission to bring prints and patterns into their lives.
  • Why people come to Jason Oliver and John.
  • The reason why it's never a head-to-toe look from Madcap Cottage.
  • The intuitive and thoughtful way that Jason Oliver and John work with their clients.
  • How constant traveling really helps them to keep their eyes tuned and their clients well informed.
  • The evolution of the Madcap brand.
  • How Jason Oliver and John trained themselves as interior designers.
  • Where Jason Oliver finds the time to rest with his hectic schedule.
  • What luxury really means.
  • What to expect from Jason Oliver's keynote address.


Book: Prints Charming- Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors With Prints And Patterns by Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke





Prints Charming- Create Absolutely Beautiful Interiors With Prints And Patterns by Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke

Robert Allen fabric collection

Jason Oliver and John will be giving their keynote address at 8 am on 27th March the IWCE.

Jan 22, 2018

Big news! We are nearing February and the 2nd birthday for the podcast! Our 300th episode is coming on February 21; there’s a BIG party in NYC---and you’re invited! Listen to today’s show for details!

Today’s guest is Sandra Espinet, a luxury interior designer and the principal of SE Designs, based in Los Cabos, Mexico. Sandra is warm, genuine, intelligent, and a very smart businesswoman. She knows the nuances of catering to the luxury design market, and how it carries its own code and way of doing things. As a lifelong traveler, she embraces the concepts of relaxed luxury and casual international style in her designs.

Her experience and extensive travel have given her a unique perspective on her design style. Her work has been published in several international publications, and she has received numerous awards and distinctions, in addition to appearing on several HGTV shows and radio shows. Her first book is The Well-Traveled Home and her newest book is Barefoot Luxury: Mexican Resort Living, due for release in a few weeks.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How I met Sandra through Andrew Joseph PR: the similar focus on how they work with clients
  • Getting real with yourself about the client you want to work with and what you want to do
  • Why you can’t be an expert on everything, but you CAN be an expert in your field
  • Knowing what calls to you and attracts you
  • What it means to design for luxury clients
  • Understanding the client in THEIR world and in THEIR space
  • Locking down the intangibles to move to the next level
  • Finding the balance between “staying in your lane” and branching out
  • How to decline the projects that aren’t aligned with your focus and having the power to say NO
  • “If you know that you can’t lead, then be a follower, but follow the best person you can find.”
  • The other legs of SE Designs and the business positives that come from them
  • Staying conscious of your core clients, especially about social media exposure
  • How Sandra gets clients with NO advertising
  • Sandra’s recent award from AD Mexico as a Top Ten Designer in Latin America
  • How Sandra manifests her strengths in each job
  • Why Sandra works now with a smaller team and with fewer simultaneous jobs
  • The unique focus of each of Sandra’s books: one eclectic book about travel and one about casual lifestyle trends in the luxury market
  • Why Sandra LOVES to shop with her clients
  • Plan and focus: How Sandra’s shopping trips begin with a budget and a floor plan
  • Becoming fully immersed in the total experience with a client in the psychology of design
  • “I’m designing a stage for fabulous people to lead fabulous lives.”
  • The power and responsibility in spending other people’s money


Website: Sandra Espinet

Find Sandra’s monthly blog: 7 Things I Cannot Live Without

The Well-Traveled Home by Sandra Espinet

Barefoot Luxury: Mexican Resort Living by Sandra Espinet

Facebook: Sandra Espinet
Instagram: Sandra Espinet
Pinterest: Sandra Espinet
Jan 19, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday. We are really very happy to introduce Jeff Bullas, an expert social media marketing blogger, strategist and speaker from Sydney Australia, as our guest for today's show. LuAnn has been a great fan of his work for years and she has also been on his email list and following him for a really long time. Despite all the conversations that we've had on the show about blogging, there are still some things about it that continue to plague us, as designers. So today Jeff will be talking about why blogging really works and he will also be sharing some of his expertise about ways to get your audience to find you on social media and how to write killer headlines. Listen in to find out more!

Jeff is the author of the book Blogging The Smart Way- How To Create And Market A Killer Blog With Social Media. He is listed in Forbes as one of the Top Twenty Influencers of CMO's in 2017, he has been ranked by Apollo Research as the Top Twenty Influencers of Digital Marketing in the USA and he is also number one in Global Digital Marketing Influencer 2016. He has been named as one of the Top 100 Social Media Influencers in 2015 and he was featured in Inc.Com as one of the twenty digital marketing experts to follow on Twitter. Forbes ranked Jeff as number eight on The World's Top 40 Social Marketing Talent, and he gets over four million visitors to his site each year, so listen in to find out what Jeff has to share with you today about blogging and getting yourself known on social media.

Show highlights:

  • Jeff discusses his passion and philosophy and talks about how blogging can really become a positive force in your business.
  • Attracting an audience that really loves what you do.
  • Overcoming problems and challenges through writing blog posts about your pain points.
  • Why Jeff believes that content and blogging is so important.
  • Are you wanting to become an industry leader or a celebrity designer, or are you just looking for a stepping stone to creating more business for your business? Jeff explains the different tactics for the different goals.
  • Email is still the business tool of choice for communication, so Jeff explains some ways to inspire people to hand over their email addresses.
  • Creating really effective lead magnets.
  • Some awesome advice about titles and headlines.
  • What you need in order to build your distribution on the more visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Looking at what the top performers are doing in order to get some great ideas.
  • Developing the kinds of habits that will really work for you.
  • What deep work looks like and why you really need to do it!
  • Creating content of consequence.
  • A success habit that many smart people seem to ignore.
  • Some strategies to help your audience to find you.


Connect with Jeff:

Blogger at - more than 4 million people visit every year

Author of the Amazon Best Seller - "Blogging the Smart Way - How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media" 

Forbes "Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers - 2014" - Ranked #8

Huffington Post - "Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow"

Follow me on Twitter and join the community of more than 320,000 of your peers

Join us on Facebook 

Hangout with us on Google+ 

Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn

Jan 17, 2018

Welcome to today's show! Today we have another show featuring a husband and wife team and we're really excited to have Morgan and Ryan Motsinger, the owners of Lot 35 Homes as our guests. Ryan is a contractor and Morgan is a designer and until recently they each used to do their individual jobs. During the summer of 2017 however,  they combined their skills and opened a business together and now they have a really cool thing going on! Listen in today as we take apart the way that Morgan and Ryan work together as a husband and wife team.

Lot 35 Homes is a full-service residential construction and interior design company, specializing in creating spaces that are relaxing, comfortable, functional and also beautiful. Ryan and Morgan really love their local community in Tillamook, on the Oregon coast and so they align their business values as closely as possible with those of their community. Listen in now to find out more about the really awesome way that they go about their business.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome website that Morgan created for their business. ( )
  • How they came up with the name of their business.
  • What lead them to the decision to combine their businesses.
  • How the great dynamic between Morgan and Ryan really works for them as a professional team.
  • The major contract that they have recently signed.
  • Where and how their new major client managed to find them.
  • Their intentions for the marketing of their business in the future.
  • The kinds of projects that Morgan undertook for her three guinea pig clients.
  • The merits of using iPhone photos on Instagram versus using professional ones.
  • Morgan's rationale behind the recent adjustment of her fees for consultations.
  • How Morgan developed the confidence to present herself as a professional designer.
  • The great features on their website.
  • How Morgan highlights other people's creativity through the services that she offers.
  • How Lot 35 Connect can really help make the lives of parents with special needs kids more comfortable.
  • Their goal with Lot 35 Connect.
  • Their game plan for engagement on Facebook Live.


Morgan and Ryan's website: Lot 35 Homes

Go to Curated Kravet, select the items that you want and use the code CK Podcast at the checkout to get 10% off your entire first order.

Jan 15, 2018

Welcome to today's show. Our guest for today is Caitlyn Waite, an interior designer from Mobile Alabama. Caitlyn has been chosen to head up the very first affiliate chapter of Savvy Giving By Design, a really wonderful organization started by Susan Wintersteen (#164) with a mission to provide comfort, healing, and support to families with a child facing a medical crisis. This is done by transforming the interior space of the bedrooms of the child and their siblings, at no cost to the family. Listen in to find out more.

Also, through her interior design business, Caitlyn has developed a relationship with a builder and she already has twelve confirmed projects lined up with him for 2018. Today she talks in detail about how this relationship came about and also about the kind of things that you, as designers, really need to know if you would like to duplicate in your design firm what Caitlyn has done in hers. Listen in today to find out more about Caitlyn's approach to cultivating valuable relationships with builders in order to create a really successful design form.

Show highlights:

  • How Caitlyn initially came to hear about Savvy Giving By Design through this podcast.
  • The whole legal process that Caitlyn went through in order to become set up with Savvy Giving By Design.
  • Caitlyn talks about her very first Savvy Giving project.
  • The story of Caitlyn's daughter's Angel's Kiss.
  • How Caitlyn found Georgia, the first child who's room she will be transforming.
  • The unforeseen difficulties that Caitlyn experienced in finding nominees for the Savvy Giving project and what Susan Wintersteen has done to help overcome this.
  • The kind of fund-raising that Caitlyn has done for the project- and how you can also get involved by making a donation.
  • There are even some tradespeople who are willing to donate their time to this project.
  • The way that Caitlyn works with the children to create a space for them that they will really love.
  • How this project differs from a standard design project.
  • The way that Savvy Giving is working as a cohesive unit towards attracting national fund-raising.
  • Caitlyn explains how she developed her relationship with a local builder and she discusses her business model for 2018.
  • Caitlyn's dream solution to the general difficulty that many designers experience in finding sub-contractors to execute their work.
  • Some tips from Caitlyn about the way that her finances are handled with Joe, the builder that she works with.
  • The freedom that Caitlyn experiences through the kind of work that she does with Joe.
  • Caitlyn discusses some of the challenges that she deals within her 'spec' design projects.
  • Some awesome advice about having a successful initial conversation with a builder who you may want to build a relationship with.


If you would like to donate towards the awesome Savvy Giving By Design project, you can go to their donate page on Savvy Giving By

Go to My Doma Studio to sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial with My Doma Studio. Upon signing up for the trial, you will receive 20% off your subscription, as a listener of the podcast.


Jan 12, 2018

Welcome to today's Power Talk Friday. We are really happy to introduce you to today's guest, Madeleine Macrae. Madeleine and LuAnn are going to be co-presenters at the International Window Coverings Expo in Tampa Florida this March. Listen in today to find out more about Madeleine, why she's here on the show and why she's been invited to present at the Window Coverings Expo.

Madeleine is the highly motivated CEO, founder and chief innovator for M MacRae, a national learning, coaching and consulting firm which focuses on the development and growth of pros and companies in the home professionals industry. More than thirteen years ago Madeleine developed a time-tested process and also a language for bridging the gap between the needs and expectations of the corporate world and the needs and expectations of their greatest asset- the pros out in the field. In Madeleine's bio she says that she is connected and responsive, she has a three hundred and sixty-degree view and understanding of objectives, goals, and stakes and that she derives her energy from educating, inspiring and leading her clients. Listen in today, to find out what Madeleine has to share with you about creating really effective and manageable goals, both for your business and for yourself personally.

Show highlights:

  • The joint goal setting seminar that LuAnn and Madeleine will be doing.
  • The Five Days To Goals training that Madeleine does and offers to her clients.
  • Madeleine explains her philosophy around goal setting and she discusses how she arrived at her Five Days To Goals training.
  • Madeleine explains the steps that are involved in the goals training that she offers her clients.
  • Stop beating yourself up with the stick of blame.
  • How to do the Data Dump.
  • The value in keeping notes about the things you intend to do.
  • What you could gain by doing things as tasks, rather than as projects.
  • A sophisticated neuro-trick to use when making your lists.
  • The amount of information that comes at us, compared with what we can actually focus on.
  • Getting really clear about what you want in your life.
  • A smart way to work out what your priorities really are.
  • The hardest step for people to accept.
  • Daring to dream about what you really want!
  • The difference between a goal and a task.
  • Breaking your goal down into achievable milestones.
  • You really know so much more than you think you know!
  • Madeleine's Daily Blueprint- a really fantastic tool for attaining your goals.


To find out more information about the International Window Coverings Expo, go to: IWCE Vision

To get access to some of Madeleine's goals training absolutely free go to: Fast Track Sales Systems

Jan 10, 2018

Today's guest is Blanche Garcia, a certified interior designer with more than eighteen years of experience in commercial and residential design. Blanche is one of the principal designers featured in the Travel Channel reality series Hotel Impossible and she was also a contestant in season six of HGTV Design Star. Blanche owns a design business and she also does a lot of speaking at design industry events, where she shares her proven methods for 'surviving' her interior design business. On the show today she will be discussing how she runs the business side of things, so listen in to find out more.

Blanche is the owner of B. Garcia Designs which is based in Montclair New Jersey. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and she's also a 'Green Design' LEED Accredited Professional through the United States Green Building Commission. Listen in today as Blanche discusses her really focused approach to running a successful design business.

Show highlights:

  • How Blanche ended up doing so much public speaking for the design industry.
  • Where Blanche finds the time to do everything that she does.
  • What helped her to learn to figure everything out really quickly.
  • A simple way to teach people how to treat you.
  • Putting up parameters in order to maintain professional control.
  • Taking the pain out of the whole billing structure.
  • Having the right kind of agreement with your client.
  • Giving yourself the time to be creative.
  • How Blanche assesses what the budget of a project should be.
  • The importance of clear communication.
  • The insane amount of purchases that are going through Blanche's office.
  • Blanche's remarkable time management.
  • Her disciplined and focused approach to her work.


Her website: B Garcia Designs

Her Book Link: Empowered Design

Instagram Link: Instagram

Twitter Link: Twitter

Facebook Link: Facebook

Photo Credit: Ciara Perrone

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