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A Well-Designed Business®

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Now displaying: Page 5
Oct 15, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

Bria Hammel

PRINCIPAL DESIGNER & CEO

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

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

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236, #270

Tools that Bria's team uses:

Asana

Slack

Links:

Bria Hammel Interiors

Facebook: Bria Hammel Interiors

Instagram: Bria Hammel Interiors

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

Link for LuAnn's book LuAnn Nigara

Books recommended for learning about the EOS System:

Traction by Gino Wickman

Get A Grip by Mike Paton and Gino Wickman

Oct 11, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

About The FabricShield:

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

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

Bios:

Scott Schleicher

Co-Founder

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

Rene Schleicher

Co-Founder

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

Links:

Website: The Fabric Shield

Facebook: The Fabric Shield

Twitter: The Fabric Shield

Instagram: The Fabric Shield

Oct 8, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

John McClain Home

John McClain Design

Instagram: @johnmcclainhome

Facebook: John McClain Home

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

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

Oct 4, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Peter Lang #349 and #464

Links:

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

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

To learn more about working with Window Works

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

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

Oct 1, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Website: Form And Field

Instagram: Form And Field

Pinterest: Form And Field

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Judith Taylor #340

Eileen Hahn #363

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

Sep 28, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

 

Links:

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

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

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

Sep 27, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Meadowbank Team: #302

Do Not Let Us Design For You: #346

Eileen Hahn: #363

Links:

True North RA

Well Designed Article

Free Checklist & Unlimited Access To Our Business Valuation Tool

Alex: One Minute Retirement Tip: Subscribe on iTunes

Blog: True North Retirement Advisors

Website: rue North Retirement Advisors

Facebook: rue North Retirement Advisors

LinkedIn: Ashley Micciche

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

Sep 24, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

Links:

Website: Taylor Spellman

Facebook: Taylor Spellman

Instagram: Taylor Spellman

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

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Elissa Grayer #451

Wendy Glaister #386

Sep 20, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Website: Curio Electro

Instagram: Curio Electro

LinkedIn: Nicole Heymer

Facebook: Curio Electro

Nicole's Course for Interior Designers: Branding Discovery

Get the Goodies from Today's Episode

For Claire Jefford's courses

Nicole will be at the Power Talk Friday Tour High Point

Nicole's Previous Episodes: #125 & #317

Previous Episodes Mentioned in the Show:

Pulp Design Studio #176

Savour Partnership  #209 and #458

Claire Jefford #237 and #325

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

Sep 17, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

Links:

Website: Jan Showers

Jan Showers & Kravet Inc

Instagram: Jan Showers

Facebook: Jan Showers Associates

Twitter: Jan Showers

Glamorous Rooms

Glamorous Retreats

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Joe Cariati #197

Nate Berkus #433

Candice Olson #74

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

Sep 13, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

Links:

Website: The Designer CPA

Power Talk Friday Tour

Peter's Courses: Classes For Designers

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

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Instagram: The Designer CPA

Facebook: The Designer CPA

Twitter: The Designer CPA

Previous Shows Mentioned:

Peter Lang #349

Sep 10, 2019

Welcome! Today, Sara Lynn Brennan joins us on the show. Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Eighteen months ago, Sara contacted LuAnn, telling her that she wanted to go to High Point Market, but she wasn't sure what to do or where to go. So LuAnn arranged to meet her there, and Sara spent two days with LuAnn and Sara Daniele, the CEO of Mydoma Studio, going from event to event, hanging out, talking, and allowing Sara to get to know some significant and influential people in the design industry. Since then, Sara has become the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who specializes in Transitional Designs, where she and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable, and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish. Listen in today, to find out what Sara has to share.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows.  In today's episode, Sara talks to us about the extra layer that she's added to her design business, and she explains how she's put the lessons that she's learned from the guests on the podcast into action. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

Links:

Website: Sara Lynn Brennan

Design Packages and Free E-Book: Sara Brennan

Blog Post: Luann Nigara Baby Designer

IG: @saralynnbrennan

FB: Sara Brennan

Soft Design Lab HPMKT Experience

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Wendy Woloshchuk #316

Mr. Inkredible #417

Kimberly Kay #234

Kelsey Grose #167

Megan Molten #455

Darla Powell #203 and #330

Deb Barrett #53

Tobi Fairley (1st one)

Lori Paranjape #34

Tori Alexander #445

Sep 6, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Announcements:

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

Reminder:

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

Links:

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

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

To RSVP for the Window Works Showroom Showdown

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

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

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

To learn more about the Interior Design Society

To learn more about Stout: Stout.com

Sep 3, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Goodies Link: Luann Nigara

Corey's Website: Corey Klassen

Judith's Website: Road Side Attraction Studio

Aug 30, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Fred's Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

Fred's Website: Interior Design Business

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

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

Sales for Creatives

Article Trade Program: Well Designed Article

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

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

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

Lee Cockerell #222

 

Aug 27, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Business of Home:

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

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

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

Links:

Event: Future Of Home

Website: Business Of Home

Instagram: @dennisscully

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Jesse Lazarus #446

Jean Brownhill # 422

Anna Brockway #79, #186

Nicole Gibbons # 411

Aug 23, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Info on Savour:

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

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

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

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

Our service packages include options for:

Affiliate marketing set up and training.

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

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

 Custom e-newsletters.

 Custom media kits.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Megan Molten #455

Brea Hammil

Carla Aston #242

Leslie Price #413

Links:

Website: Savour Partnership

Instagram: Savour Partnership

Facebook: Savour Partnership

Groups: Design Wealth

Price Style and Design

Leslie's email - leslie@savourpartnership.com

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

Aug 20, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer - Curio Electro #125 and #317

Nate Berkus - #433 

Links:

Dane Austin Design

Email: Dane Austin Design

Facebook: Dane Austin Design

Instagram: A Colorfull Life

Twitter: Dane Austin Design

Ask me anything” coaching Strategy Session

Aug 16, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

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

To learn more about working with Window Works: Window Works  

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

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

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia_inc

LuAnn's website: Luann Nigara

LuAnn's email: info@luannnigara.com

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

Aug 13, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Megan's email: megan@meganmolten.com

Website: Megan Molten

Shop: Megan Molten Shop

Instagram: Megan Molten

Facebook: Megan Molten

Pinterest: Megan Molten

Houzz:  Designs By Megan Molten

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236

Cheryl Luckett - Dwell by Cheryl #291 and #397

Aug 9, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Daniele Liss #171

Amanda Berlin #420

Jenny Maddon #332

Peter Lang- The Designer CPA #349

Tori Alexander #445

Links:

Jamie's website: Hashtag Legal

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

Jamie on Instagram: Hashtag-legal

Jamie on Facebook

Jamie on Linked-In

Aug 6, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Andrew Joseph # 39

 Krista Coupar #24 #45 #60 #81 #150

Links:

Carolyn Rebuffel Designs: Workroom C

WorkRoom C

Aug 2, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

John Dupra of Revel Woods #329

Links:

Revel Woods

American OEM

Hearth Wood Floors

Instagram - Revel Woods

Jul 30, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

Links:

Website: Elissa Grayer Design

Instagram: Elissa Grayer Interior Design

Facebook: Elissa Grayer Interior Design

Pinterest: Elissa Grayer

Exciting Windows

Jul 26, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Peter Lang, The Designer CPA #349

Kimberly Merlitti # 361 and #442

Links:

LuAnn's email: info@luannnigara.com

Interior PG

Bethany Mabee Art

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 23, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

LuAnn Live 2 will be coming out in 2020.

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

Jul 19, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Vita’s Website: Vitalia Inc

Facebook: Vitalia Inc

Instagram: Vitalia Inc

Exciting Windows

WCAA

ASID

IWCE

The Window Fashion Vision Magazine

Mentioned in the show:

Sew Much More Podcast

Jul 16, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

Mentioned on the show:

Steve Berson: The leader of Exciting Windows

Book: Mindset by Dr. Carol Dweck

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Miller (Design New Jersey) #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Shea McGee #236 and #270

Amber Lewis #169 and #184

Power Talk Friday

Jul 12, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Website: Kravet

Instagram: Kravet

Facebook: Kravet

Pinterest: Kravet

Twitter: Kravet

Mydoma

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

Jul 9, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

 

Tori Alexander- Bio

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

Links:

Alexander Interiors

Instagram: Alexander Interiors Nashville

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

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

This event is sponsored by Revel Woods and MyDoma Studio.

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

Jul 5, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Website: Sarah Winchester Studios

Instagram: Sarah_W_Studios

Austin Mill PR

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Stephen Karlisch # 369

David Livingstone # 51

Raquel Langworthy # 343

Sarah Winchester Studios - Pitch for LuAnne Nigara Podcast

About Sarah Winchester

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

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

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

OVERVIEW:

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

photographers who listen to the podcast)

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

traditional print media can’t go

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

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

IN DEPTH BREAK DOWN

  1. Photographers

- How to choose one?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Trust the photographer but also speak up.

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

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

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

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

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

- Consulting - Social Media v. Website/Portfolio

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

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

talking bout Houzz. Where should designers be?

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

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

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

- Instagram Engagement

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

- Posts v. Stories

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

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

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

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

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

- Giffs and video type images.

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

traditional print media can’t go

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

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

- What is the difference between usage rights and copyrights?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- 2 - 3 Companies Usage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Win-win for all.

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

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

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

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

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

  1. ART

- Art sourcing - Art is SUPER important.

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

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

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

- Local/Regional press and print is still amazing

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

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

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

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

Jul 2, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links and Resources:

Website: Jared Hughes Design

Instagram: Jared Hughes Design

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

This event is sponsored by Revel Woods and MyDoma Studio.

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

Jun 28, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Other episodes mentioned in today's show:

Alinda Morris: #429

Michele Williams #180 and #395

Peter Lang #349

Links:

A Well Designed Business

Kimberly's website: KMM Consulting

Kimberly's email: kimberly@kmmsf.com

Need to schedule time with KMM? KMM Consulting

Jun 25, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Short Company Bio:

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC

LAURA MULLER – CEO, OWNER + PRINCIPAL

CLIFF MULLER – SENIOR CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANT

June 20, 2019

For Immediate Release

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

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

Link to HIGH RES IMAGES: A WELL DESIGNED BUSINESS_PODCAST ASSETS

SERVICES INCLUDE

> Full Service Interior Design

> Architecture and Detailing

> Custom Furniture Design and Fabrication

> Construction Documents and Permit Acquisition

> Full Service Project and Construction Management and Administration

PROJECT TYPES

> Residential

> Commercial

> Tenant Improvement

> Retail

> Restaurant

> Multi-Family and Mixed Use

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

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

Instagram Facebook Pinterest and Twitter.

C O N T A C T U S

Project Inquiries - Info@4ptdb.com

Media and Speaking Inquiries - Andrew@andrewjosephpr

S T U D I O

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

LIC. B #982460

 

Links:

Website: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Instagram: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Twitter: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Facebook: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Pinterest: 4 Point Design Build Inc

The Design-Build Institute of America: DBIA

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

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

Jun 21, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

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

Links and resources:

Tobi's details:

Tobi Fairley, ASID

17200 Chenal Parkway Suite 300 #330

Little Rock, AR 72223

tobifairley.com

info@tobifairley.com

501-868-9882

Tobi's website: Tobi Fairley

Tobi's podcast, Design You

Mighty Networks

 

Tobi’s Freebie for LuAnn’s Audience:

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

Tobi Fairley’s DesignYou Coaching Program:

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

Features:

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

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

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

Benefits:

In DesignYou we teach Designers and Creatives how to:

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

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

Links and resources:

Beth's Website: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Instagram: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Facebook: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Pinterest: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's LinkedIn: Beth Diana Smith

Luann Nigara

Luann Nigara Book2

Well Designed Article

Window Fashion Vision

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Nate Berkus #433

Erika Ward #6 and #278

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

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

Jun 14, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Extract from Sarah's website:

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

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

And she goes on to say:

There are a few things I’m good at:

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

Oh, and I'm an Introvert.

Links and resources:

Sarah's website: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's podcast

Sarah's LinkedIn: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's facebook: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's lead magnet: Sarah's Templates

LuAnn's Webinar:

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

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

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

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

Webinar: My Doma Studio

Jun 11, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bios:

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

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

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

About the High Point Market:

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

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

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

Links and resources: 

High Point Market Digital Press Kit

Website: High Point Market

Ashley's email: ashley@highpointmarket.org

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Registration opens mid-July, 2019 for the fall market

Fall Market: October 19th-23rd, 2019

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

This show was previously aired as #406.

Jun 7, 2019

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

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

Book mentioned:
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Jun 4, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

Role & Responsibility:

Juan is an architect and interior designer with an extensive and

holistic international experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant,

commercial and residential design.

Combining strengths in architecture and interior design, Juan worked

eight years as an independent designer and creative consultant on

different high end commercial and residential projects in Spain and

abroad.

He was Designer Director at Rockwell Group Europe, managing a

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

prestigious hospitality brands.

He currently leads the recently open Wilson associates London office.

In charge of this edition sleep & eat theater.

Juan Carlos says:

“People ignore design that

ignores people”

Education:

College Degree in

Architecture at Universidad

Anahuac Mexico City, Mexico

Interior design degree/

Instituto Europeo di Design

Madrid, Spain

Master degree in project

management & design

Universidad San Pablo Ceu

Madrid, Spain

Links and resources:

Wilson Associates website:  Wilson Associates

Designer Questionnaire

Basics

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

Beyond the Basics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Which designers and/or artists inspire you?

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

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

Definitely an interior designer.

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

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

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

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

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

Name 2-3 challenges in running a design firm?

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

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

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

Do you have a client onboarding process?

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

List the steps critical for successfully running a client project.

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

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

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

May 31, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Alinda Morris #429

Andrea Schumacher #86

Peter Lang #349

Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl # 291 and #397

Kimberley Kay #234

Cat French #376

Alyce Lopez #382

Shauna Lynn Simon #84

Taylor #106

Arianne Bellizaire #20

Claire Jefford #237

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

Kimberley Merlitti #361

Kae Whitaker #259 and 274

Kristen Thomas #314

Sandra Funk #145

Lori Weitzner #308

Caitlyn Waite #284

Joni Vanderslice #101

Janelle Photopoulos #364

Eileen Hahn #363

Madeleine MacRae #315

Last Friday's Solo Show #432

Links:

LuAnn's sales course: Sales For Creatives  

LuAnn's new book: LuAnn Nigara: Book2 

May 28, 2019

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

Links:

Website: Nate Berkus

Instagram: Nate Berkus

Facebook: Nate Berkus

Pinterest: Nate Berkus

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

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

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

Recommended book:

The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker

May 24, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

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

Sales For Creatives

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

May 21, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

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

Darla Powell #330, #203

Wendy Glaister #386

Kristan McLaughlin #319

Barbara Sallick owner of Waterworks #131

Wendy Woloshchuk #316

Links and resources:

Debbe Daley Designs LLC

379 State Street - #1

Portsmouth NH 03801

Daley Designs

Instagram: Debbe Daley

Facebook: Debbe Daley Designs

May 17, 2019

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

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

 Show Highlights:

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

Links:

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

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

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

May 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Charlotte Safavi #138

Raquel Langworthy #343

Stephen Karlisch #369

Links:

Alinda Morris Interior Design

 

Houzz

Instagram

Facebook

May 10, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Fred Berns #289

Vincere #356

Chris Ramey #345

Sandra Espinet #287

Links and resources:

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

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

A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts

May 7, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Park And Oak

Facebook: Park And Oak Design

Twitter: Park And Oak

Instagram: Park And Oak Design

Pinterest: Park And Oak

May 3, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Stacey's bio:

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

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

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

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

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

 Links:

Stacey Brown Randall

Facebook

LinkedIn

Youtube

Twitter

Instagram

Previous episodes Stacey has been on:

#69 Employee Management

#93 The Client Experience

Other episode mentioned in today's show:

Janelle Photopoulos, Blakely Interior Design #364

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

LuAnn Nigara

Apr 30, 2019

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Website: Misty Maxey

Instagram: Misty Maxey Designs

Pinterest: Misty Maxey

Twitter: Misty Maxey

Books mentioned:

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

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

Apr 26, 2019

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

Show Notes:

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

Resources:

Website: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Facebook: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Instagram: Scarlet Thread

LinkedIn: Michele Williams

Twitter: Michele Williams 

Financial Health Checklist PDF: Scarlet Thread Consulting

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

Links:

WCAA

IWCE Vision

Window Fashion Vision

Luann Nigara Book 2

Apr 23, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Instagram: The Nappy Bohemian

The Nappy Bohemian

The Nappy Bohemian

Tags for SM:

FireClay Tile

Beth Diana Smith

Savvy Giving by Design

Kesha Franklin- Halden Interiors

Ballard podcast: How to Decorate

Previous shows mentioned:

Albie Buabeng #348

Chaney Widmer #260, #327

Cheryl Janice #41

Sue Firestone #404

Apr 19, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Bio:

Jean Brownhill, Founder, and CEO of Sweeten

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

Sweeten

Blog Sweeten

Design Trade VIP Program: Sweeten Architects Designers

Instagram: @sweeten_home

Facebook: @theSweeten

Pinterest: Sweeten

Twitter: @sweeten home

Apr 16, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links and resources:

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

Amy Lynn Interiors

Veranda Estate Homes

Instagram: Veranda Interior

Facebook: Veranda Estate Homes

Modern Design Minds on Instagram: modern design minds

Buildertrend: Builder Trend

Modern Craftsman Podcast

amylynn_interiors

Visual Comfort

Currey & Co

Wingnut Social Podcast

Modern Design Minds Podcast

Previous guests mentioned in this episode:

Circle Design #380

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

Shea McGee #236, #270

Additional episodes about building your IG:

Amber Lewis #184

Shea McGee #236, 270

Mr. Inkredible# 417

Mark McDonough #110

Darla Powell #203 and #330

More episodes about doing full design and build:

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

Angela Rasmussen of H2H Design+Build #181

Apr 12, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shows that correlate with this one:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Millar #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Jane Dagney #351

Andrew Joseph #39

Jenny Madden #332

Links:

Amanda's website: Amanda Berlin

Amanda's podcast: Amanda Berlin

Find Amanda on Facebook: Amanda Berlin Coaching

Follow Amanda on Twitter: Amanda Berlin

Valerie Fund Designer Showhouse April 23- May 19, 2019

Previous guests participating in the showhouse:

Gail Davis

Tina Ramchandani

Blanche Garcia

Marina Umali

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

Kips Bay Showhouse May 2- May 30, 2019

Previous guest participating in Kips Bay:

Corey Damen Jenkins

Links to LuAnn's books:

Book 1: Luann Nigara

Book 2: Luann Nigara

Apr 9, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We are delighted to have the one and only Tobi Fairley join us today! Tobi is a progressive-thinking entrepreneur, known for her interior design and she is focused on helping her clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives through her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm. Tobi has a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEO's, and creatives. She also has a podcast, called The Design You Podcast, which was launched in April 2018. (LuAnn was her guest on episode #37). Today, Tobi talks to LuAnn about tuning in to what you really like to do and how you really want your business to be, making more money, and getting to grips with digital services in the ever-changing online world. Tune in for more!

Tobi has been a trusted coach for interior designers and creatives, through her live events, business courses, and online programs for over ten years. More than ten years ago, when Tobi launched her blog, she was at the forefront of the design blog movement. Her blog is currently read in more than 125 countries across the globe. In 2017, Tobi was a columnist for Traditional Home magazine with a feature in each issue chronicling her own home renovation and reveal. Her award-winning interior design, product design, and ideas have been featured on television and in worldwide publications including House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Huffington Post, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Southern Cottages, Creative Live, the Chicago Tribune, and MSNBC. Listen in today, to find out from Tobi how to create a business that is right for you.

Show highlights:

  • Tobi really enjoys learning about personal development and self-help and melding that with interior design.
  • The blessing of growing up with unconditional support.
  • The kind of support that Tobi really loves giving to others.
  • Tobi discusses her philosophy on the use of digital tools for interior designers.
  • Why digital doesn't have to be associated with poor quality.
  • Tobi's take on creating revenue streams.
  • There are so many ways for designers to make really good money and still give value to the consumer.
  • Thinking creatively to create different models to suit different customers.
  • The beauty of creating a design business that is accessible online.
  • Why it gets easier to make money in other ways.
  • Creating different models to solve different problems for clients.
  • A practical strategy for design professionals looking to tap different markets.
  • How designers are creating their own competition.
  • Tobi's suggestion for maximizing your profits with what you already have.
  • Knowing what you can and cannot do successfully on the phone.
  • Using the right language to assist clients with digital products and services.
  • The industry is changing, so you need to figure out how to change and grow with it.
  • You get to decide the services that your business provides.
  • Tuning in to what you like doing, and how you really want your business to be.
  • The importance of being profitable.
  • Thinking outside the box.

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links:

LuAnn's Book:

A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts

Kay Whitaker is a Co-Author in the book and her episodes on digital marketing are: #259, #274

Previous shows mentioned:

Rachel Cannon #306 and #409

Tobi's website and social media:

Tobi Fairley

Facebook: Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Instagram: Tobi Fairley/

Twitter: Tobi Fairley

Youtube

Pinterest

Apr 5, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is about working with a professional Virtual Assistant, who works specifically in the field of interior design. Sarah Durnez is the founder of Loft Design in Walla Walla Washington, and she joins us today. For Sarah, it really doesn't matter where she is, or where you are for that matter because she works remotely to help designers, like you, with their design businesses. She's worked with designers all over the US and she's only ever met one of them once, in the flesh. Sarah's specialty is providing designers with drawings and renderings. Most of her clients have been with her since she started her business, which really says a lot about Sarah and her work, right? Listen in today, to find out more about Sarah and the high-quality Virtual Design Assistant services that she gives her clients.

Sarah graduated from MIU with a BFA in Interior Design. At school, she gravitated to honing her rendering skills and creating the best presentations. Competing to showcase design boards during Miami's Art Basil each year, really drove home the importance that the way that a project is presented is just as important as the design of the project. Sarah has been working remotely with designers for over six years, providing them with detailed construction documents, renderings, and presentation materials to sell their designs. With Sarah handling the technical side of a project, her designers have more time to focus on other aspects of design, grow their business, and be out of the office to spend more time with their families. Tune in for more!

Show highlights:

  • We all strive to be organized in the way we run our business.
  • Sarah started out by just winging it.
  • Sarah explains how she keeps her clients on their toes with their projects.
  • The kind of service and support that Sarah provides for her clients.
  • The quality of Sarah's SketchUp renderings is really remarkable.
  • Sarah discusses the information she requires from designers in order to provide them with high-quality renderings.
  • The kind of responsibility that Sarah takes on.
  • Why some people call Sarah 'The killer of dreams'.
  • How designers really benefit from Sarah's expertise.
  • Sarah will always provide a solution for every issue that she points out.
  • The way that small design firms really benefit from hiring Sarah.
  • Listen to your tradespeople. They really know what they are talking about.
  • Use your own talents for what you're really good at and hiring out for the rest.
  • The excitement that comes with the renderings.
  • When and why designers lean towards watercolor drawings.
  • Taking the time to work through the specific process of your trade.
  • About Sarah's training for designers on SketchUp and Podium.
  • The design industry is a very personal one and hiring a Virtual Assistant is really like having someone on your side.

Links:

Press Kit

Password: tacos

Loft Design

Website: Loft Design

Instagram: SarahatLoftDesign

Facebook: SarahatLoftDesign

Pinterest: SarahatLoftDesign

Mydoma Studio

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Darla Powell #330

Elizabeth Scruggs #305

Revelwoods #329

Mydoma Studio #91 and #171

Madeleine MacRae #283 and #315

Episodes that go with this one:

On VA’s

#375 Bonnie Fahy

#149 My Design Assistant

#346 Do Not Let Us Design For You

Apr 2, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Don's Bio:

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

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

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

For more episodes on how to grow your Instagram following:

#184 Amber Lewis

#110 Mark McDonough

#203 and #330 Darla Powell / Wingnut Social

For more episodes on mentorship:

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#291 Cheryl Luckett

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#272 Laura Thurman

#91 and #177 Sarah Daniele- Mydoma Studio

Links:

Design Inkredible

Instagram: Design Inkredible

Facebook: Design Inkredible

Join LuAnn at High Point Market

Facebook Groups:

Mark McDonough:

Interior Design Marketing

Darla Powell:

The Wingnut Social Media Lab

LuAnn:

LuAnn Nigara and Friends

Mar 29, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

About Digital Everything:

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

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

Links:

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

Web and social:

Digital Everything

Facebook: Digital Everything

Twitter: Shopping And Info

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Tina's bio:

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

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

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

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Valerie Fund

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

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

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

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

AK Design Studios, Monsey, NY

ANEW Kitchen and Bath Design, Plainfield, NJ

B-garcia designs, Montclair, NJ

Butter and Velvet Home Designs, Denville, NJ

California Closets, Fairfield, NJ

CD Interiors, Manalapan Township, NJ

The French Martini, Westfield, NJ

Gail Davis Designs, South Orange, NJ

Global Home Interior Design, Princeton, NJ

Images in Design, Cranford, NJ

JAB Design Group, Penn Valley, PA

JMW Interiors, Millburn, NJ

Liepold Design Group, Millburn, NJ

Marina V. Design Studio, Ridgewood, NJ

Mendham Interiors, Mendham, NJ

Mimi & Hill, Westfield, NJ

Samuel Robert Signature Spaces, Millburn, NJ

Swati Goorha Designs, New Providence, NJ

Tina Ramchandani Creative, New York

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

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

Links:

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

The Valerie fund showhouse:

The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund

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

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

Tina's website and social media links:

Tina Ramchandani

Instagram: Tina Ramchandani

Pinterest: Tina Ramchandani Creative

Linkedin: Tina Ramchandani

Mar 22, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

About Bellacor Pro:

Unique clients require unique solutions.

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

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

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

project in your portfolio.

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

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

Links:

BellacorPro: Bellacor

LinkedIn: Bellacor

Instagram: Bellacor Lighting

Facebook: Bellacor Lighting

Twitter: Bellacor

Pinterest: Bellacor

Telephone the Bellacor Accounts Management Team: 1877 688 7039

Mar 19, 2019

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

New podcast by Marianne Cherico launched Jan 25, 2019:

Home Stagers and Designers on Fire 

Leslie's website: Price Style And Design

Leslie's Instagram: @pricestyleanddesign 

Facebook:  Price Style And Design

Pinterest:  Price Styling

Previous episodes, with more info on home staging:

Shauna Lynn Simon #76

Yohan May Interiors #396

Marianne Cherico #123

Taylor Spellman #106

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

Katharine Earnhardt #239

Paul Thomas & Daniel Beauchemin #291

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

Savour Partnership #209

Mar 15, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

Links and Resources:

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

Ashley's blog: Ashley Uhl Consulting

Ashley on Instagram: Ashley Uhl Consulting

Ashley on Facebook: Ashley Uhl Consulting

LuAnn on Instagram: Luann Nigara

 

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

Mar 12, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

High Point Market Spring 2019:

Ashley Grigg, Lisa Mende and Jeanne Chung #406

Century Furniture with Carrier & Co #407

Visual Comfort with Lauren Rottet #408

Links:

Nicole's website: Clare

Article

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

Mar 8, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Corey Klassen Interior Design

Judith Neary - Roadside Attraction Studio

Previous episode of Design Biz Live Luann Nigara

Mar 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

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

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

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

Previous shows mentioned on this episode:

Candy #227

Rachel #306

Wendy Woluschuk #316

Links:

Rachel Cannon -

Rachel Cannon Limited

Instagram: RCL Interiors

Facebook: RCL Interiors

Candy Scott

Mood Design Build

Instagram: Mood Design Build

Facebook: Candy Scott

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

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

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

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

 

Mar 1, 2019

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Sue Firestone #404

Links:

Website: Rottet Studio

Twitter: Rottet Studio

Instagram: Rottet Studio

Visual Comfort: Visual Comfort

Feb 28, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

 

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

 

Feb 26, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

High Point Market

High Point Market

Facebook: HPMKT

Twitter: HP Market News

Instagram: High Point Market

Email: info@highpointmarket.org

Phone:  336 869 1000

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

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

Feb 22, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

To register for the event go to Luann Nigara Live

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

Feb 19, 2019

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Joni Vanderslice #101

Eileen Hahn #363

Janelle Photopolous #364

Mabley Handler #173

Links:

Sue's websites: Sue FirestoneSFA Design

Sue Firestone

SF Cal Collection

SFA Design

Luann Nigara Live

Kravet

Feb 15, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Revel woods #329

Announcements:

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

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

KBISNeXT Stage Speaker Landing Page-LuAnn Nigara

Feb 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links and Resources:

Christopher's website: Arch-Interiors

Studio Designer Accounting and Project Management Software: Studio Designer

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

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

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

Feb 8, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Luckett: #291 and #397

Kim Kuhteubl #73

Links and resources:

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

Jennifer's website

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

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

Feb 5, 2019

Big Day, Big Show, lots of news!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link to LuAnn’s New Book:

Luann Nigara Book 2

 

Feb 1, 2019

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Corey Klassen Interior Design

Judith Neary - Roadside Attraction Studio

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

Jan 29, 2019

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this episode:

Erica Ward #6

Monique Holmes #365

Rachel Cannon #306

Nicole Heymer #317

Curio Electro #125

Links:

Website: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Instagram: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Twitter: Right Meets Left

LinkedIn: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Facebook: Right Meets Left Interior Design

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

Jan 25, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous Guests Mentioned:

Denise McGaha #10

Kim Hoegger #336

Madcap Cottage #228

Ruthie Staalsen #296

Rasheeda Gray #267

Revolution Fabrics
Sylvester Alexander

Links:

Website: Dwell By Cheryl

Furniture: Dwell By Cheryl 

Blog: Dwell By Cheryl Blog

Instagram: Dwell By Cheryl 

Facebook: Dwell By Cheryl 

Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl 

Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl 

LinkedIn: Cheryl Luckett

Jan 22, 2019

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

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Polly Williams #88

Jo Buckerfield #320

Rachel Laxer #42

Fred Berns #289

Links:

Website: Yohan May

IG: @yohanmayinteriors

Pinterest: Yohan May Interiors

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

Jan 18, 2019

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

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

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

Show highlights:

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

Links:

Website: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Facebook: Scarlet Thread Consulting

Instagram: Scarlet Thread

LinkedIn: Michele Williams

Twitter: Chelebelle

Financial Health Checklist PDF: Scarlet Thread Consulting

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

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

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

Jan 15, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Website: Form And Functionraleigh

Facebook: Form And Functionraleigh

Instagram: Form And Functionraleigh

Pinterest: F And Fraleigh 

The website for the Design District map:  Design District Raleigh

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Kate Ahl #331

Fred Berns #174

Laurel Bern #342

Nancy Ganzekaufer #15

Claire Jefford #237

Nicole Heymer #125 and #317

Pulp Design Studios #176 and #310

LuAnn’s Upcoming Events:

Philly Jan 30 Lucas Alexander showroom

February 8th CEU Summit 2019 run by ASID NY Metro

Feb 12 in the Boston Design Center at Waterworks

And of course, the birthday party at Kravet.

Jan 11, 2019

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

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

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

Show highlights:

We're so busy looking for success steps, strategies, and shortcuts that we tend to overlook the fact that there are obstacles, roadblocks, and silly mistakes that derail too many design professionals too often.

Be careful of following the followers and not the leaders in the design industry. Remember that you make a great you, but a lousy somebody else!

Fishing for marlins, not minnows. Too many designers sell themselves short by thinking too small, too often, and they're aiming too low. They under-value and under-promote themselves, and they charge too little for their services.

You're an expert, so know your value. Many designers fall into the trap of giving away their time and Fred believes that really diminishes your value, as a design professional. The most financially successful designer's charge for all of their time, all of the time.

You cannot be taken advantage of if you don't allow it, so manage your relationships and take charge of them.

Majoring in minors. Stop wasting your time and becoming distracted.

What you will gain from including Fred's Daily Dozen Activity and his Five O'clock Focus in your daily routine.

Plan your next day ahead with Fred's MVP List (Most Valuable and Productive use of your time activities).

You need to be cross-selling, up-selling and doing add-on selling all the time by educating your clients about all you can do.

Your work does not sell itself- it's way too competitive out there. Thinking your work sells itself is old-school thinking. It's the kind of thinking that could kill your career.

Bogus Bios and Wimpy Websites- Bios that block you rather than boost you and disqualify you from the kinds of clients and projects you want and deserve. And websites that don't promote all that you do and how well you do it. (Check out Website Onceover)

Your bio really has got to rock because it's your most vital, versatile, and viable marketing tool. (See Bio Briefing)

Don't go it alone. Do what you do best and delegate the rest.

Viewing price objections as obstacles. Learn to use price objections as opportunities.

Fred's Fabulous Fallback for price objections.

Don't futz with your fees. Hold firm on your fees or you won't come across as professional.

Charging too little is another thing that will sabotage your success.

You need to be in control your business rather than the business controlling you.

Fred is coming to New Jersey for the LuAnn Nigara Live-It's About the Conversation event. He is one of the co-authors of LuAnn's new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, which will be launched on March 30th at this event!

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Episode #391- Live On Air Coaching Call- Rumble Interiors

Links and contacts:

Things I learned from Fred Bern: The Dirty Dozen

For coaching on how to avoid or overcome these "Success Saboteurs:"  Coach Call

For coaching on how to upgrade your website content: Website Onceover

For coaching on crafting your Killer Bio: Bio Briefing

Fred’s email: fred@fredberns.com

Fred’s phone number: (303) 589-3013

About our birthday party:

Sponsor, Kravet Inc, is hosting the 3rd birthday party for the podcast! So, if you are coming into New York for NY Now in the 1st week of February, or you want to come just for the party, please join us on Feb 5th at the Kravet showroom, in New York,  from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Go to Luann Nigara and look for the event rsvp—the party is free and the more the merrier so please plan to join us! Go to Luann Nigara and click on Live Event.

Jan 8, 2019

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! Dala Al Fuwaires, the Principal of FJI Design in Scottsdale, Arizona, will be joining us on the show today. Dala is a dreamer, designer, and doer, and she has begun to niche and focus her firm, FJI Design, in the food and beverage industry. Dala runs her business with very clear strategies for building her client base, for managing and motivating her employees, and also for making a name for herself and for her firm in her community. Listen in today to find out what she has to say about getting yourself into the driver's seat, in order to create a really successful business.

Dala Al-Fuwaires, Principal of FJI, a hospitality design firm with a sweet spot for food and beverage interiors, is a dreamer, designer, and doer. With over a decade of experience in the interior design field, Dala has worked on hospitality, retail, and residential design projects ranging in size from boutique to national rollouts. Dala graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Purdue University. Outside of design, Dala can be found exploring the world, hosting dinner parties for friends and family, remodeling her home, and photographing all of the above. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • About sixty percent of Dala's business is food and beverage related and Dala really wants each of her projects to be it's own thing, in terms of style.
  • The importance of having good design and lighting in restaurants.
  • Dala really creates an experience for restauranteurs, and she even has a specific playlist of music that she plays when doing a presentation, to set the right tone.
  • The intentional plan that Dala had in place for making money, when she first opened her business.
  • Dala spent eight hours per day, for a whole week, reaching out to the people that she already knew.
  • Dala talks about the High Stakes Mastermind Group she joined in her first year in business.
  • Why Dala offered her services, pro bono, to one new (or growing), local food and beverage business per year.
  • Dala gives the details of the Design It Forward competition she's been running for two years.
  • How Dala informed her community about the pro bono design services she was offering.
  • The applications for Dala's competition open in June of each year.
  • How the book Profit First, by Mike Mikalowitz, really helped Dala to strategize effectively, and to keep her business expenses low, in her first year in business.
  • Setting herself up on Payroll, so that Dala is actually an employee of her business, in order to maximize her profit.
  • The importance of having enough money put away to keep your business running for at least three months, in case of an emergency.
  • Dala's really awesome way of motivating her team to reach their quarterly goals.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Candy Scott #279

Claire Jefford #237

Michele Williams #180

Chris Kofitsas #152

Links:

Website: FJI Design

Instagram: FJI Design

Facebook: FJI Design

Pinterest: FJI Design

LinkedIn: FJI Design

About our birthday party:

Sponsor, Kravet Inc, is hosting the 3rd birthday party for the podcast! So, if you are coming into New York for NY Now in the 1st week of February, or you want to come just for the party, please join us on Feb 5th at the Kravet showroom, in New York,  from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Go to Luann Nigara and look for the event rsvp—the party is free and the more the merrier so please plan to join us!

Jan 4, 2019

 Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we have the first of our brand new on-air coaching shows and Stephanie Castillo, of Rumble Interiors in Washington State, will be joining us. Stephanie is a new designer and although she is still finishing her degree, she does have business experience. On the show today Stephanie will be asking LuAnn some really interesting questions about how to set up vendor accounts and setting up accounts with the trades. They talk about whether or not Stephanie should niche her firm, and if she needs a receivership for the products she sells to clients. They also have a discussion about a collaboration that Stephanie is developing with two other interior designers. Listen in to LuAnn's excellent coaching session with Stephanie on the show today.

Stephanie has been a hairstylist for 27 years and she's worn many hats in that industry, Stylist, Educator, Manager, and Recruiter. She has two kids in grade school and she volunteers as the Board President for the Ellensburg Downtown Association in Washington state.

As her body was beginning to get tired from her work, Stephanie began thinking about what else she could do. As interior design has always been a love of hers, she enrolled at the New York School of Art and Design and started taking classes online.

Now that she's close to finishing up with her studies, Stephanie has gone ahead with the process of starting her own business, Rumble Interiors. She has done some practice work of what has become re-styles which involves taking someone's house and using what they already have and reworking it. And this really brings her so much joy!  To set herself up for success, she has been reaching out to mentors, like LuAnn, because she is ready to learn about all the details of running an interior design business. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

Stephanie has her license and she has her social media sites set up, but she does not yet have her website set up.

Stephanie has a blog that you can find via Instagram.

The collaboration that Stephanie is developing with two other interior designers.

Stephanie is into re-styles and would like to get into feng shui.

The design styles of Stephanie and her partners are very different.

Things to bear in mind when leasing a design space in partnership with someone else.

Finding the best vendors and tradespeople.

How to establish great relationships with sales reps.

The need for having a receivership for your shipped goods.

Finding a good and reputable receivership.

Running your business like a big-girl one, even if you're still a baby designer.

Do you really need licenses and accreditations?

How to work out how much to charge when you're starting out as a designer.

Is having a niche the best way to go?

Deciding whether to go to design school or not.

Why you really need to have a website for your business.

Creating content for your website.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nicole Heymer, Ep 125 - Curio Electric, Ep 387

Links:

Facebook: Rumble Interiors

Instagram: Rumble Interiors, mangossalon, @Stephanieatmangossalon on Instagram

Jan 1, 2019

I have another fun show for you today! Taylor Spellman is with us today. Taylor is a New York-based interior designer and staging expert. She is also the host of Bravo’s new TV show “Yours Mine or Ours”. No matter what she is designing- whether it be a 10-million-dollar penthouse, the lobby of a high-rise or the showroom for a fashion client-- her super down to earth personality combined with her bold style makes her a stand out in our interior design community. Taylor has the unique and unteachable talent using high end one of a kind pieces to an afternoon spent at the Goodwill. Today you will learn how she came from humble beginnings and now has a million dollar clientele in New York City.

Show Notes:

  • Did Taylor go to school for interior design?
  • What are some pros for an interior designer that was not classically trained in the interior design field?
  • What do Taylor’s clients have in common?
  • How did she decide she wanted to work with men for her niche?
  • How long did she research her idea for her niche before launching the idea?
  • What did Taylor go to school for?
  • What were Taylor’s intentions for her career?
  • What is Taylor’s competitive edge?
  • Nothing just happens!
  • How did she discover staging as another niche?
  • How did she find events to attend in real estate and build relationships?
  • Why is it a good idea to have a lawyer?
  • What opportunities came about before “Yours Mine or Ours”?
  • What is the show “Yours Mine or Ours” about?
  • Is it all just about real estate when helping clients with their homes?
  • How does she execute her design on the show?
  • Where do her girls from her business fit in while Taylor is working on set?
  • Is there any other advice she would give to her colleagues?

The rest of the show notes are in our resource center: Window Works 

Dec 28, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Nancy Ganzekaufer, one of the co-authors of Luann's soon-to-be-launched new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, with us today. Nancy is a really smart lady and she has appeared on the podcast number of times before to share her spot-on, expert advice. (#377, #256, #159, and #15) Today, Nancy is going to be talking to us about her new product, The Interior Design Profit Formula, an online course that she has really poured her heart and soul into creating. This is really the most affordable way to add a huge amount of value to your interior design business, so listen in to find out more!

Nancy Ganzekaufer partners with creative entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses, get more sales, get over their fears and go for what they want in work and in life. Through a series of coaching calls, emails, and exercises, she helps entrepreneurs reframe their doubts and indecisions, work through challenges with more confidence, and ultimately to grow their sales. Listen in today, to find out about the incredible kind of impact that Nancy's new course, The Interior Design Profit Formula, could have on your business.

Show highlights:

  • There are many different things that an interior designer needs to manage and it's one of the most difficult service industries that Nancy's coached.
  • Running an interior design business takes balance and really knowing what to do.
  • Nancy explains her motivation for putting this course together.
  • You will need to have stickability, and the right kind of personality to go the distance with Nancy's course.
  • Nancy explains what you will find in her course.
  • Describing your business in words is the beginning of your branding process.
  • The way that Nancy presents her information, and the examples that she gives, will really open up your mind and give you clarity.
  • The benefits of having lifetime-access to Nancy's course.
  • Nancy talks about growing your business.
  • The importance of getting creative.
  • Designers often come to Nancy for her help when they're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Nancy gives the simplest tip that really makes the biggest difference!
  • Becoming the leader in your relationship, and in charge of the process with your clients right from the outset.
  • Being alert to the subtle messages that a potential client is giving out during the consultation.
  • Ways to introduce your services in order to protect yourself.
  • Nancy explains the benefits of her Ladder of Services model.
  • Make sure that the people that you hire are dedicated to the growth of your company.
  • The goal of Nancy's course is to make everyone feel confident in extending their reach, gaining more clients, and doubling or tripling their income.
  • Nancy talks about the guest coaches in her course.
  • Nancy's course costs $997 at this point in time and she is offering a free, one-on-one, half an hour coaching consultation to everyone who purchases her course, through this link Luann Nigara, from now until 30th June 2019.

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Eileen Hahn # 363

Resources:

To get Nancy's Interior Design Profit Formula, go to Luann Nigara

Links:

Nancy's website: Nancy Ganzekaufer

You can also reach Nancy through her forum, or through her Facebook group, The Interior Design Business Forum at Interior Design Business Forum

Dec 25, 2018

I have another outstanding show for you today! Corey Damen Jenkins is with me today and he is no exception to the amazing people I have been meeting. What you will learn from is that he is one of the good guys. He is the kind of person that everyone would agree is very open, sincere, humble and giving. What you may or may not know about Corey is that he is the principal of Corey Damen Jenkins Associates which is located in Birmingham, Michigan. In 2011 the television audiences voted him the winning design star of HGTV’s Show House Showdown. Since then it has been a whirlwind of accomplishments! Today we are going to talk about how his lifelong dream came true in 2016 with his launch of his first couture collection of furniture, Corey Damen Jenkins exclusively for leathercraft. This collection was nominated for the prestigious 2017 arts award for the best product design. Once you start to listen to this episode it will be no surprise to you that Corey Damen believes in giving back to the design community. His firm generously donates to several charities.

Show Notes:

  • What was the process like to get Corey to decide to get on HGTV’s Show House Showdown?
  • What were the reasons that Corey was cast for HGTV’s Show House Showdown?
  • How has Corey learned to deal with his past insecurities and reconstruct the way he deals with things?
  • How does he get the most out of his projects?
  • Does he use PR firms?
  • When working with a PR firm how should a design firm behave and be organized?
  • How did Corey decide to design his furniture through Leathercraft?
  • What is Leathercraft?
  • How did Corey decide what fabrics to use on his furniture collection?
  • Who did Corey name a piece of his furniture in his new collection after?
  • How does he come up with his designs for his furniture?

Resources:

Leather Craft Furniture

Corey Damen Jenkins

Dec 21, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! LuAnn has a special announcement to make on the show today. As most of you know, her second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, is coming out soon. It was initially going to be released in February next year, but this has changed. On the show today LuAnn explains why the plans have changed and she talks about the big event, LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation, that has been planned instead, for the launch of the book on the 30th of March. She also explains what the book will be like, and the kind of information you can expect to find in it. Listen in to find out all about the really remarkable event that LuAnn has planned.

LuAnn invited twelve of the Power Talk Friday experts to collaborate with her in creating a go-to book to run your interior design business. She invited each of them to write a chapter for the book about their specific zone of genius. The book is full of really useful information for interior designers about attracting luxury clientele, creating a design process, charging what you're worth, building an exceptional team, defining your brand, and much, much more. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The kind of information that you will find in the book.
  • At the beginning and end of every chapter, LuAnn will do an intro and outro, just like she does on the show.
  • The twelve experts, that LuAnn invited to write a chapter each, for the book.
  • Our birthday party will be happening at the Kravet showroom, at the D and D Building in New York City, on the 5th of February 2019.
  • About the Power Talk Friday Tour.
  • Doing a thorough analysis of every project, after completion.
  • LuAnn talks about the planned launch for her book in March.
  • Thinking about ways to make the Power Talk Friday Tours a really amazing experience.
  • On March 30th, 31st, and April 1st, 2019, at the Hilton in Short Hills, New Jersey, LuAnn will be gathering all twelve of her co-authors to do live discussions.
  • In addition to the twelve experts, LuAnn has also invited twelve savvy interior design principals that have appeared on the podcast.
  • The insane, intense, invigorating, and absolutely amazing book launch event that has been planned.
  • The ticket price, and what the VIP experience is all about.
  • Why the third day will be limited to only 50 or 75 designers.
  • LuAnn is bringing the exact podcast format to her live event.
  • Some of the incredible designers that have already committed to being at the event.
  • You can get onto LuAnn's email list by texting 444999 and putting design biz into the field.
  • You can get early bird tickets for the event for only $395 from today until January 8th. After that, the price will go up to $595. (The VIP ticket is $200 extra.) If you sign up between December 21st and January 8th, your name will go into a draw to win a one-on-one coaching session with LuAnn, her husband, Vince, or one of the co-authors of the book.
  • About the VIP experience. (Go back and listen to episode #14 with Malene B)
  • Why LuAnn invites the sponsors to be part of the VIP experience.

The twelve experts who each wrote a chapter for the book:

Fred Berns, Sarah Danielle, Nancy Ganzekaufer, Eileen Hahn, Nicole Heymer, Claire Jefford, Peter Lang, Marc McDonough, Stacy Brown Randall, Shawna Lynne Simon, Kaye Whittaker, and Michelle Williams

Some of the sponsors that are supporting the event are:

Designer Inc.

Kravet

MyDoma Studio

Wingnut Social

Schwartz Design Showroom

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Malene B #14

Links:

Luann's website, to sign up for the event: Luann Live

Dec 18, 2018

Welcome! We are really happy to have Wendy Glaister, of Wendy Glaister Interiors, here with us today! Wendy is a really sweet, kind, and cheerful lady with a million-dollar smile, and it's very clear that being involved with philanthropic organizations, and giving back to her community are a big feature of Wendy's design firm. On the show today we have a really wonderful and very inspiring conversation with Wendy where she shares some things that may surprise you and will certainly make you appreciate her. You're in for a very different episode today! Listen in now to find out more!

Wendy Glaister Interiors is located in Modesto, California. And Wendy is an interior designer who has mastered the art of listening. She listens to her clients, to understand the things that will make their homes feel uniquely special, she listens to architects, to help make their vision come to fruition, and she listens to contractors, collaborating with their craftspeople and artisans to bring out the very best in every member of the team. Wendy is a delightful speaker, whether to an audience of design students or a seasoned group of interior design professionals. She is engaging, using self-deprecating humor to immediately disarm and warm her audience. She is currently serving as president of the Central Californian Nevada chapter of the ASID. Listen in to find out what Wendy has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Growing up, Wendy always really wanted to be a member of the ASID- and now she's the ASID president!
  • Being involved with philanthropic organizations, and giving back to her community is a big feature of Wendy's design firm.
  • Wendy talks about the three organizations that she patronizes and some of the things she does for them.
  • What the Genesis 50/20 Foundation is all about.
  • Wendy shares, for the very first time, about a profound challenge that she had to deal with in her life.
  • Talking about difficult things really can really help people to get their power back.
  • What it took for Wendy to realize that she wasn't 'the problem'.
  • Wendy talks about her compulsion to do well and to help people.
  • Why Wendy doesn't think it's fair to quit.
  • Wendy's business has grown a hundred percent, year over year, for three years!
  • Ensuring that her son has a good life has been a huge motivator for Wendy.
  • The help that she got from her gutsy pastor.
  • How Wendy developed so much compassion for other people.
  • From living in 'survival mode' to learning to trust again.
  • That positive change she's experienced in her business since talking on a partner.
  • Wendy does boxing to release her pent-up tension.
  • God has always shown up for Wendy and that has allowed her to remain optimistic.
  • It's really okay to be kind and helpful.
  • How Wendy has managed to grow her business by a hundred percent a year, for three years in a row.
  • Some business lessons that Wendy has learned along the way.
  • It takes a lot of work to remain brave, take full responsibility, and be accountable for your business.

Links:

Website: Wendy Glaister Interiors

Facebook: Wendy Glaister Interiors

Instagram: Wendy Design

Pinterest: WKG Design

Twitter: WKG Designer

To support Wendy in her mission to provide mothers who are victims of domestic violence with the funds to obtain the therapy necessary to heal, you can do it through The Haven Women's Center, Crickets Hope and Arts Therapy Program for children, and the Genesis 50/20 Foundation, which raises and distributes funds for trauma therapy. You can reach these organizations through Wendy's website Wendy Glaister Interiors.

Dec 14, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! We're really excited to have Amber De La Garza, The Productivity Specialist, here with us today! We all know that things, like being productive and efficient, getting our systems in order, and managing our time, are crucial to running a successful business. Although these things may seem simple, they are often a lot more difficult than they need to be. Amber's goal is to simplify everything and make it easier for entrepreneurs. One of the things that she loves to teach people about is time-blocking. If you have tried it before, and it didn't seem to work for you, you will really gain a lot from today's show. Because Amber's goal for today is to get you to to the place where you love time-blocking and you see that it's the best thing that has ever happened to your business. Listen in to find out more!

Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast, and creator of S.T.O.P.! The Entrepreneur’s Success Solution. She helps driven entrepreneurs execute actionable solutions to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most! Listen in to find out what Amber has to share with you on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • Amber is going to teach you how to love time-blocking!
  • There are two different types of time-blocking- task-based and project-based.
  • Amber gives her definition of what time-blocking is: It's investing your best time into your best activities.
  • Getting really clear about the few activities that will have the biggest impact on you achieving your goals, if done consistently.
  • Once you've created a schedule you will need to keep showing up consistently for the things that have to be done.
  • Busting the myth that some people are designed to be more structure than others.
  • Using your goals as a motivating factor to learn new skills.
  • Some excellent tips for effective time-blocking.
  • Amber shares her seven-step process of creating your ideal block schedule.
  • Creating boundaries for your ideal schedule.
  • Creating purposeful routines to set yourself up for success.
  • It's often the smaller things that will get you to where you want to go.
  • Finding what really works for you helps when creating routines that are sustainable.
  • We all have different priorities for our daily schedules.
  • The benefits of having weekly power lunches.
  • Another way to do time-blocking.
  • Reclaiming money by creating high-value activity blocks.
  • You don't have to be available all the time!
  • There's never enough time to do everything, so your job is to create the time and carve it down on your schedule for the things that matter most.
  • Amber talks about the free template download that she has for you, to help you create your ideal schedule. Go to The Productivity Specialist to download it now!

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Monique Holmes #365

Links:

Website: The Productivity Specialist

Podcast: Productivity Straight Talk

Facebook Page: The Productivity Specialist

Facebook Group: Productivity Straight Talk

Instagram: Amber De La Garza

For your free template download: The Productivity Specialist

Dec 11, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We're really glad to have Sarah Magness, of Magness Design, with us today. Eight years ago, Sarah hatched as a 'baby designer' and launched right into the luxury market.

Today she talks to us about the real-life experience she gained during this time, before opening her own firm. She also talks about the "New Heights" program at Marymount that she came to spearhead through her involvement with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. And today we also have an excellent conversation with Sarah about the best way to talk budget with clients. This is often a really tricky area of business, so listen in to get Sarah's very straightforward and clear advice.

Magness Design began in 2010 with a focus on residential design. It is located in New York City and its current focus is on the preservation of historic properties, by saving them and making them livable. Their major projects are in New York City, the Hudson Valley area, and on Long Island.

Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and her graduate degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute. She is a House Beautiful "Next Wave" designer and she's also been featured in Architectural Digest for a very large townhouse project that she saved and renovated. Listen in to find out more.

  • Show highlights:
    Working for three or four different design firms is a great way to learn the business aspect of running your own design business.
  • The different people that Sarah first worked for, to gain real-life experience.
  • The type of apprenticeship that architecture undergraduates are required to do.
  • Sarah's recommendations for getting to work for the best firms, after graduating from school.
  • New York has a really supportive and talented design community.
  • Budget is always an issue with clients.
  • How Sarah approaches budget conversations with her clients.
  • How to estimate a budget for your client on the spot.
  • The importance of having really clear communication with your clients.
  • It is often the clients' choices that cause a project to go over budget.
  • Giving the client an itemized list with the cost of each item on it.
  • How to talk to your client about going over the budget for certain items.
  • When and how to discuss fees with a high-end client.
  • The language to use in order to get the best response from clients when dealing with multi-faceted projects.
  • Sarah discusses the passion-projects that she's involved with.
  • Sarah has created a twelve-minute documentary called The
  • Town Home, about a seven-story
  • 1911 New York townhouse renovation project that she did.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Andrew Suvalsky #28
Christie Leu # 182
Dr. Ellen Fisher #71

Links:
Website
Instagram
Facebook
Twitter

Reference:
Click the ICAA organization link find your local chapter.

Dec 7, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really delighted have Jeff Tippett, aka Mr. Persuasion, with us today. Jeff is a subject matter expert in persuasive communications. And on the show today he will explain some of the principals that lie right at the heart of persuasion. This is really an important and valuable skill to learn for any business. And there's so much you can accomplish after acquiring this skillset! So grab the opportunity now, and listen in to hear Jeff's message.

Jeff helps people increase their effectiveness, gives them powerful tools for attaining goals and dreams, and helps them positively impact their organization—all as they learn techniques for communicating persuasively with others.

When results mattered most, renowned brands like Airbnb, The National Restaurant Association, The League of Women Voters, The League of Conservation have trusted Jeff to develop and implement communications plans to persuade elected officials, the media, and the general public. And as an expert on persuasive communications, Jeff continues to deliver results for influential clients.

Other industry experts have validated Jeff’s work through numerous awards including the prestigious The American Advertising Awards.

Jeff has impacted thousands of lives through over 500 presentations including keynotes and seminars. Others feature Jeff’s expertise in persuasive communications through articles, podcasts, and blogs.

Jeff’s highly anticipated second book, Unleashing Your Superpower: Why Persuasive Communications is the Only Force You Will Ever Need is scheduled for completion in January 2019. Listen in to find out what Jeff has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Jeff shares the story of how he adopted his baby daughter in Haiti.
  • The really valuable lesson Jeff learned from his experience in Haiti.
  • Changing your mindset from one of manipulation to one of persuasion.
  • The two words that indicate that you've successfully persuaded somebody.
  • Showing someone a new vision of how things could be.
  • Getting what you want by helping others to get what they want.
  • Three ways to get to know what someone really wants.
  • Some tools to use when making a real connection with a potential client, and getting them to like you.
  • People will remember how you made them feel, so make them feel heard and understood, and valuable.
  • Placing yourself firmly in the shoes of a potential client.
  • Putting a lot of thought into what you say and the language you use.
  • Jeff shares 3 strategies to create better online influence.
  • Helping people to trust you.
  • Figuring out your only-ness, to really stand out and set yourself apart.
  • Staying consistent with who you are and what you do.
  • Three tips to help you to position your message so that people will say "yes".

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nancy Ganzekaufer #15, #159 and #256

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

Sponsored episodes by Article.Com #301 and #367

Links:

Website: Jeff Tippett

Twitter: Jeff Tippett

Facebook: Jeff Tippett Speaker

LinkedIn: Jeff Tippett

YouTube: Jeff In Cary

Book: Pixels Are the New Ink: 3 Steps to Digital Domination In Your Industry

To look into Article.com: Well Designed Article

Text the word PERSUADE to 66866, to be informed when Jeff's new book, Why Persuasive Communications is the Only Force You Will Ever Need, becomes available. You will also get a free chapter of the book right away.

Dec 4, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we have Alyce Lopez with us. She is one of LuAnn's real-life friends, and also the principal of The True House in Tula Vista, California. Although Alyce is still a 'baby designer', she's a really smart lady! She knows that being an interior designer is her business and not a hobby. She is also very clear on what she does and how she does it. On the show today Alyce talks to us about the way she runs her business and how she's built it up to profiting six-figures in under three years. There is so much you can learn from Alyce on today's show! Listen in to find out more!

Alyce Lopez owns and operates The True House, a full-service interior design firm that specializes in residential design for busy, young families. She began her career in interior design after purchasing a fixer-upper with her husband. The two navigated through renovations on a 1950's rambler maximizing their creativity and pocket change. The True House came about organically after documenting their home renovations on social media.

Alyce grew up in southern California in Aliso Viejo, CA.  Growing up near some of the most beautiful beaches, she was always inspired by natural textures and elements. Alyce graduated with a degree in education.  In 2006, she married her husband who teaches kindergarten locally in Chula Vista.  Today, Alyce is mother to two young children (ages 5 & 7) and her pug, Mochi.

TTH focuses on bringing a transitional aesthetic to the common builder grade home in south San Diego.  Alyce prides herself in making each home more functional and livable for young families while respecting her clients' budgets.  She believes your home should be a reflection of your personal style and provide customized features that make life more enjoyable.  The True House recognizes that your home is your largest financial investment and it should be treated with the proper care and attention.    

The True House is the top reviewed interior designer in south San Diego. Alyce has been featured as a style spotter for industry shows and is a brand ambassador for Revolution Performance fabrics. You can find her work published by SD Voyager and Furniture Today. Listen in to find out what Alyce has to share about her interior design business.

Show highlights:

  • Some of the things Alyce has established as important parameters in her business.
  • Establishing a really good relationship with a limited number of selected vendors.
  • Tula Vista has organically become Alyce's niche area.
  • Alyce's family-based approach to running her business.
  • The importance of having a good work/life balance.
  • Some tips for having a debt-free life and business.
  • The type of design that Alyce focuses on and the services she provides.
  • The benefits of offering clients blocks of time.
  • The kind of value that Alyce provides for her clients.
  • Alyce uses Acuity Scheduling to keep things organized.
  • Where Alyce sources her furniture and accessories.
  • Providing limited options when too many options could be confusing.
  • How Alyce shares her trade-show experiences with her clients.
  • The step-by-step process that Alyce uses with her clients.
  • The way that Alyce structures her charges.
  • The importance of planning ahead for your business.

Resources:

Books by Dave Ramsey

Links:

Website: The True House

Facebook: The True House

Instagram: @thetruehouse

Nov 30, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! As most of you know, on Fridays LuAnn talks to people, from any industry, who can share something with us that will enhance, grow, or make our business or personal lives make sense. Today we are very happy to have Julie Broad, an Amazon Overall Number 1 Best-Selling Author, join us on the show. Julie has a background in real estate and in branding. Having generated over six figures in revenue from her book sales alone, she now teaches authors how to build their brand and boost their business through her new company, Book Launchers.Com. Listen in today to find out how Julie could help you make a bigger impact with your interior design business by writing, publishing, and selling a top-quality book.

Julie was born in Canada. She grew up in rural Alberta in a house attached to a 20 room Motel. Collecting the pop cans and beer bottles from the motel rooms, she used the money to invest in gold stocks which she used to pay for her first year of undergraduate education. When it was time to do her MBA, she used her savings to buy investment properties instead of fund her education. Student loans paid for school, and then the seven properties she owned by the end of her MBA paid off her student loans. Julie continued to apply the entrepreneurial lessons she learned from her parents (not her MBA, because that degree was pointless) as she grew her real estate portfolio, launched a real estate training and education company, and began to write books. She became an Amazon Overall Number 1 Best Selling Author, an International Book Award Winner, and recipient of the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Sales book. Listen in to find out how Julie helps people achieve their goals.

Show highlights:

  • The benefits of self-publishing.
  • Producing a book to give clients will really benefit small business owners or designers.
  • Producing a book really demonstrates that you're an expert in your field and it can earn you tons of media as well!
  • How much content has to be in your book for Amazon to sell it and provide you with printed copies of it.
  • You can increase the content of your book by spacing it out and filling it in with pictures.
  • How getting some assistance with structure, from someone like Julie, can really help to bring out of you what you already know.
  • Friends and family probably won't tell you if your ideas really suck.
  • The ways that Julie helps people position their book to appeal to their ideal reader.
  • Putting your own flair into ordinary things.
  • Some things to help you get to the heart of your brand.
  • Some mistakes people make in communication that deludes their message.
  • A tip about body language to help you become more confident.
  • With self-publishing, it's 100% your book.

Links:

Website: Book Launchers

YouTube: Julie Broad

Facebook: Book Launchers

Instagram: @juliebroad @booklaunchers

Twitter: Book Launchers

Nov 27, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy to have John and Theresa Dorlini, the dynamic duo behind Circle Design Studio, with us today. The idea of CIRCLE was born in 2001 when, on their first official date at a sushi restaurant in downtown Tempe, John and Theresa made a pinky promise to build a design empire. On the show today we have a really great conversation with them about how they built their business and the way that they run it. Listen in today, to find out what they have to share with you.

Circle Design Studio is located in Roanoke VA. Since its inception in 2005,  John and Theresa have expanded the CIRCLE family to encompass full-service design, including architecture and general contracting.

John is the principal architect and he holds professional licenses as a Certified Interior Designer, Class A Contractor, and Architect in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Those qualifications, combined with his background in design and construction administration for large-scale public projects, ensure a thorough drawing set that leads to accurate bidding and execution.

Theresa is the principal interior designer and creative director. Her strength is seeing the “big picture”.  She has 20 years of interior design experience practicing in Arizona, Florida, and Virginia, and she works closely with all their clients, both residential and commercial, to develop a cohesive design concept that reflects their personal style or branding. Theresa is passionate about design education and she's taught at James Madison University, and also at her alma mater, Arizona State University. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Their way of explaining to a client why they would do well to make use of a designer, as well as a builder and an architect.
  • Why they invest so much in their 3D visualizations.
  • The programs that they prefer to use for their 3D visualizations, and why.
  • How 3D modeling can help prevent disconnect with the various players working on projects.
  • How it really helps to have an architect on board with their projects.
  • The benefits of having a large body of work to show their clients.
  • Words are just words, so images really help!
  • They are busy creating a coffee table book.
  • What they do to make projects easier to understand for their clients.
  • Following the steps of a tried-and-true-process.
  • Explaining to their clients, when discussing fees, that they're paying for John and Theresa's expertise.
  • Everything about design comes really easily to Theresa.
  • Designing seems really easy for some people, so it's easy for them to underestimate what actually goes into it.
  • A book that John recommends is The Business of Design by Keith Granet.
  • All about the vision statement they are busy creating.
  • Being at the glorious point of being able to recognize the really valuable clients and let the others go.
  • Realizing that it's all about serving the client.
  • You have to be really good at what you do to work with the luxury market.
  • Learning to be honest enough to just say 'no'.
  • Putting things in writing can save your butt!
  • Setting boundaries with clients.
  • Creating a dual-purpose welcome-packet for clients.
  • Ways to protect yourself from customers who tend to take advantage.

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Darla Powell #330

Jason Byrne #311

Charles Pavarini #113

Resources:

Book mentioned: The Business of Design by Keith Granet

Links:

Website: Circle Design Studio

Facebook: Circle Design Studio

Pinterest: Circle Design Studio

Instagram: Circle Design Studio

Blog: Curata Home

Nov 23, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Samantha Parker and Kathy Rasmussen, the partners in the Badassery Community, with us on the show today. Samantha and Kathy are the co-founders of Badassery Magazine, the co-hosts of the Badassery Podcast, and they also have a book out, called Badassery Styled Community. These ladies are very real. They are trailblazers and they are on a mission. Together, they are creating an ultra-engaged community of women entrepreneurs who are fully committed to living bold and passion-filled lives. On the show today they share some great guiding principals on being authentic and doing things your way. Listen in to find out about the very significant work that these two dynamic ladies are doing.

Badassery Magazine is a resource for female business owners to navigate and embody the Badassery Lifestyle. The magazine features articles written by their community of contributors on topics including Entrepreneurship, Branding, Marketing, Mindset, Self Care, Health & Beauty, Home, Family, Travel, Food & Drink Recipes, Entertainment, Music, and lots more.

Samantha is ridiculously passionate about living a life of true Badassery. She believes that we all rise together and she puts community over competition. She has been featured on NowThis, The Daily Vee, Bold TV, and numerous interviews and podcasts.

Kathy is an idea cultivating machine and can strategically birth your idea to life. When she’s not busy connecting other entrepreneurs with fabulous experiences, you can find her being featured on NowThis, Bold TV, numerous interviews and podcasts. Kathy is passionate about owning who you are and stepping into the spotlight. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • The backstory of how the Badass Community was started.
  • How Samantha and Kathy first met.
  • Kathy explains what she does, as an implementation strategist.
  • Knowing your where your passion lies and what fulfills you.
  • About the brand pillars of the Badass Community.
  • Some pillars that would benefit designers.
  • Embracing who you are and letting your authentic personality shine through.
  • Thinking about what you want to be known for.
  • Creating consistency throughout all your messaging.
  • Determining what your brand pillars should be.
  • The process of welcoming people to a community.
  • Growing your design business through a Facebook community.
  • Cultivating conversations within a Facebook community.
  • Giving value and sharing your expertise within a Facebook community will get people to hire you.
  • Getting loyalty from the personality brand you're creating.
  • Things that are necessary, but not obvious about the backend of running a community.
  • Some of the things they do that really make the members feel special and want to stay in the community.
  • To restrict your community or not?

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Nancy Holla #377

Colleen Prim #359

Nicole Heymer #125 and #137

Claire Jefford #237 and 325

Rachel Moriarty #55 and #214

Dixie Willard #273

Links:

Website: Badassery Magazine

Facebook: Badassery Magazine

Instagram: Badassery Magazine

Badassery Mag: Badassery Magazine

Badassery Podcast: Badassery Podcast

Nov 20, 2018

Welcome to the show! You're really in for a royal treat today! We're very excited to share LuAnn's interview with Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, as he unveils the Royal Funiture line for Theodore Alexander. LuAnn did this interview live, in person, at the Theodore Alexander Showroom in High Point, North Carolina. Lord Spencer is the younger brother of Diana, Princess of Wales. He is also a British nobleman, peer, author, journalist, and broadcaster. The Althorp Living History furniture collection was designed in partnership with Theodore Alexander. And it encompasses replications of furniture found in the 500-year-old Althorp Estate where Lord Spencer and Diana grew up. Listen in today to find out what Lord Spencer has to share about the Althorp Living History furniture collection.

For five centuries, Althorp - a sprawling English estate in bucolic Northamptonshire - has served as the primary residence of the Spencers, one of the most distinguished, aristocratic families in England with ties to Winston Spencer Churchill and the ancestors of George Washington.

It was this combination of rich legacy and the home’s warm, beautiful interiors that drew fine furniture maker Theodore Alexander to Althorp. The resulting collection of furniture and upholstery pieces in Althorp Living History draws inspiration from treasures gathered during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries by Althorp’s famous inhabitants.

Theodore Alexander is renowned for unmatched craftsmanship, exquisite finishes, and extraordinary design. Covering a diversity of periods and styles, their collections encompass thousands of unique lighting, home accents, case goods, and upholstered furnishings. Theodore Alexander and its licensed collections (Althorp Living History, Keno Bros. for Theodore Alexander, Jamie Drake for Theodore Alexander, Michael Berman for Theodore Alexander, and Steve Leung for Theodore Alexander) are available throughout the world at fine furniture galleries and design centers. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The “Spencer heritage” — 500 years of history in the Althorp Estate and how that history is captured in the furniture.
  • The wonderful responsibility of being heir to the Althorp Estate.
  • Retaining Althorp as a place of entertainment.
  • For Lord Spencer, history is about people- not about dusty, dry facts.
  • How the relationship between Lord Spencer and Theodore Alexander began.
  • Lord Spencer enjoys the passion that Theodore Alexander has for the heritage of the furniture collection.
  • Lord Spencer is able to provide the backstory of every single piece of furniture in the Althorp Living History line.
  • How Theodore Alexander has helped to preserve the Althorp history and heritage through the furniture line.
  • Lord Spencer talks about his favorite pieces in the collection.
  • What buyers can expect when purchasing an Althorp/Theodore Alexander piece.
  • Owning a cherished piece of history with the opportunity to create your own heritage with pieces with a rich history.
  • What designers should know about the value of the Althorp Living History furniture collection, and also of Theodore Alexander, as a company, when considering introducing the furniture line into their projects.

Links:

Theodore Alexander's website:  Theodore Alexander.

Furniture Collection:

Email: c@clairemontcommunications.com / msmiley@theodorealexander.com / ostrowski.anna97@gmail.com

The video of this interview is available on LuAnn's Youtube channel: Youtube

Nov 16, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are very happy to introduce you to Nancy Hala today. Nancy is a branding expert and she's also co-host of the podcast This Is Fifty With Sheri and Nancy. LuAnn truly loves and enjoys what Nancy and her co-host Sheri Salata are doing! Nancy and Sheri joined forces when they were both in their mid-fifties, to launch their company, start their podcast, and begin living The Pillar Life. They decided at the time that it's never too late to make the rest of their dreams come true. And both still had a ton of dreams left that they really wanted to come true! On the show today, apart from picking Nancy's expert brain, as a brand strategist, we will be talking to her about The Pillar Life, and leaning into starting a new life with career changes. Because sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and trust that the universe will support you. So listen in today to find out what Nancy has to share with you.

Nancy is a chief visionary of The Pillar Life. And This Is Fifty with Sheri + Nancy is a popular podcast about redefining and rebranding the middle of life. Sheri Salata and Nancy are lifelong soul-sister friends. And on their podcast they’re having conversations with experts, teachers and uplifters about fueling their imaginations and igniting the eight most important pillars of their lives: Health + Wellness, Spirituality + Happiness, Romance + Sex, Friends + Family, Creativity + Innovation, Adventure + Discovery, Sanctuary + Beauty, and Money + Abundance.

Nancy is also the innovator behind BrandStory, a trademark combination of brand strategy, storytelling and audience building, helping organizations articulate who they are, what they stand for, and where their brand’s spirit meets its mission. Nancy extends her business brand practice into personal brand development, working with individuals and groups in bespoke workshops designed to help participants understand and express their own personal brands. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Nancy shares her (and Sheri's) core beliefs.
  • Nancy believes that taking the risk and trusting in the support of the universe will open doors for you.
  • Learning to dream without limitations.
  • Most people really love their brand, or their organzation, as an extension of themselves.
  • Their first mantra, when Sheri and Nancy started their company, was 'dream big'.
  • Shedding old beliefs about safety and security creates fun and excitement!
  • Starting your own company or creating your own brand is one of the most creative things you can do as a business owner.
  • Having a business is all about connecting with people- so you have to speak to them in a way that they can hear and understand you.
  • The stories we tell ourselves make our dreams come true.
  • Creating a really great narrative for your brand.
  • Nancy's four v's: vision, values, virtues and voice.
  • A vision is the foundational component of a brand story.
  • Your virtues set you apart from your competitors or your peers.
  • Your voice is the energy behind your brand.
  • You need to be interested in something in order to be successful at it.
  • Getting to the core of what really sets you apart from the rest.
  • Getting into the virtue of what you do with authenticity and fearlessness.
  • The Pillar Life consists of eight areas of life (or pillars) that we need to focus on, expand our energy over, and elevate our experience around.
  • Nancy discusses her and Sheri's reckoning moment.
  • Content has to have a framework. And The Pillar Life has become the framework for Nancy and Sheri's narrative.
  • Finding your own, unique point of view on each pillar.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Amber Lewis #169 and #184

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro) #125 and #317

Links:

The Pillar Life 

10 Easy Steps to Launch The Pillar Life

Nov 13, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Catherine French, the founder of Catherine French Design, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with us today. Cat has been listening to this podcast since it first started, about two-and-a-half years ago. This was around the same time that she started her design business. Recently, Cat sent LuAnn a really nice email, telling her about the things she had learned from A Well-Designed Business. In the letter, she listed the things that she has really taken seriously from the podcast and implemented in her business. And right from the start, she has really been tremendously successful! Cat's firm is currently approaching half-a-million dollars in gross revenue per year- in under two-and-a-half years! So listen in today, as Cat talks to LuAnn about her business, and gives some context to the way that it all began for her.

Cat loves color, pattern, texture, form, and has a passion for working with people. She focuses on color and balance to make rooms more warm, inviting and habitable. Her design is a unique blend of psychology, culture, color, and function with an emphasis on the principals of design and art taken from her formal Arts education and training.  Embracing full collaboration in creating a harmonious space, she spends time in the spaces with her clients developing their vision and then guiding them through the full process of a turn-key installation.

After obtaining her Bachelors in Psychology from Wake Forest University, Cat later went on to pursue her Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While teaching the Environmental Design Studio at UNCG, she presented her work at several State and National conventions as an expert on Interior Design and Historic Preservation. Now Cat leads a passionate and enthusiastic team of design professionals that guide inspirations into reality at Catherine French Design. Listen in to find out what Cat has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Cat talks about the beginning of her business, two-and-a-half years ago, and everything that happened at the time.
  • Enlisting the help of a stylist for the first time.
  • Taking advice from this podcast turned out to be one of the best things she ever did.
  • Cat enlisted some help from a neighbor, Jamie, and he's still with her business now, almost two years later.
  • Now, Cat's team is really diverse and wonderful!
  • How Cat came up with how much to charge her first clients.
  • Cat explains why she mostly still charges an hourly rate.
  • All about how Cat managed to have the hard conversation with one of her very first clients and hire someone to get the project finished on time.
  • Cat had to make time to be with her family, or her business would have been pointless for her, so her whole firm does not work in the evenings or over weekends.
  • Cat's way of dealing with unforeseen problems.
  • Hiring the right person at the right time.
  • What happened when Cat realized that she couldn't make payroll one month.
  • How Cat learned that you have to always have to show up and put your team first.
  • How Cat first started marketing her firm with blog posts to get SEO exposure.
  • Showing her team that she wasn't giving up!
  • Dealing with accounting problems in her business.
  • Working out how much needs to be brought into the business, in order to keep things running smoothly.
  • Talking to Caroline Hipple, co-author of Pathway To Profit.
  • Making everyone in the team feel important.
  • Maintaining boundaries and being brave enough to only work with clients that are the right fit.
  • Untangling from projects that aren't the right fit.
  • The importance of maintaining an attitude of professionalism and respect.
  • LuAnn's second book, co-authored by Michele Willaims of The Scarlet Thread, will be launched at the next birthday celebration in February, next year.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Dina Holland #354

Michele Williams #137 and #180

Resources:

Book: A Pathway to Profit by Caroline Hipple, Anita Pugh, Chris Matthies, and Dixon Bartlett

Links:

Website - Catherine French Design

Instagram - Catherine French Design

Pinterest - Cat French Design

Facebook - Catherine French Design

Nov 9, 2018

Welcome to today's Power Talk Friday! We have Bonnie Fahy with us on the show. Bonnie is the creator of Source It!, which Forbes once called "the world’s premier education in online hiring and outsourcing for entrepreneurs". Although outsourcing is the obvious thing for a number of businesses to do, LuAnn wasn't a hundred percent sure that it would be transferable to the design industry. After having a conversation with Bonnie, however, she decided that it was viable for us. Because there are so many things that go into running a business and you really don't have to do it all yourself. So you could consider employing a virtual assistant. And Bonnie specializes in helping people understand the best process for hiring VAs. Listen in today to find out what Bonnie has to share with you.

From her humble beginnings as a balloon artist, Bonnie Fahy has grown to become the ultimate hiring guru, helping hundreds of overwhelmed business owners balance their dreams with a work lifestyle that suits them best. She stumbled on outsourcing early in her internet marketing career and she was amazed to see her profits quadruple in only three short months! This really inspired her, so she began consulting with, and helping other entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to six and seven figures using the same strategies and methods. Bonnie has helped a roster of prominent entrepreneurs take back their time by leveraging high-quality virtual assistants, web developers and graphic designers for a fraction of the cost. Her business insights are based on the foundations of personal development and human psychology, and the shortcuts she teaches her mentees have helped them spectacularly transformed their lives. Listen in to hear about Bonnie's powerful strategies.

Show highlights:

  • Why Bonnie thinks that a VA is such a viable resource for a small business owner.
  • You can hire a much higher level person from the Philippines at a fraction of the cost.
  • Hiring the right person for the task.
  • Taking responsibility for clear communication.
  • Systematizing things is vital.
  • Your VA can actually help you to create and document systems.
  • Where hybrid sourcing comes into the picture.
  • People are often unsure about which tasks to delegate.
  • Bonnie has loads of free content on her website.
  • The kind of tasks an online assistant could do for you, as an interior designer.
  • Mastering the art of communication through conflict.
  • Tools for protecting passwords while allowing someone else to use them.
  • Freeing yourself up to do the things you do best.
  • The kind of person to look for as a VA.
  • Where to go, find the best VA.
  • Writing a really compelling job ad.
  • Testing for agreeableness.
  • Finding the perfect person for the perfect price.
  • Doing 'get to know you' calls.
  • Resources for finding online assistance outside the US.
  • Remember that it's always about the process.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Madeleine MacRae # 315

Resources for finding online assistance in the US:

Craig's List

Indeed.com

Facebook

Recommended resources for finding online assistance outside the US:

International Facebook groups for VAs.

OnlineJobs.ph

VirtualStaff.ph

Links:

Bonnie Fahy

Bonnie Fahy

Get Source It

Bonnie's Free Training

For the automated webinar go to The Live More Formula

Nov 6, 2018

Welcome! Today you're in for a treat! We have Ellie Mroz joining us, and she's a really talented designer and also an astute businesswoman. We're very fortunate here at Window Works to be doing the window treatments for all Ellie's projects. Today, Ellie discusses her niche with us. And get this- her niche isn't a particular style of design or even an ideal client. It's it's the town where she and her husband grew up, fell in love, and started their family! On the show today we also take a look at the hard conversations that you will need to have with vendors and clients when unforeseen things happen. Listen in to find out more.

Ellie’s passion for interiors began in the world of fashion. After she graduated from Cornell University, she enjoyed several years of internships in ready-to-wear and jewelry design, merchandising, and public relations. Finally, her love of beautiful things brought her into interior design. This transition was natural for Ellie because her husband’s residential home remodeling business, Michael Robert Construction, started growing. And his clients started asking Ellie for her help in choosing all the finishes. From there, the husband and wife design/build team grew and a boutique interior design firm was born.

Since 2015, Ellie has been asked to appear in several episodes of George Oliphant's show, George to the Rescue NBC, as the on-air talent who helps families in need create beautiful spaces. And these beautiful spaces really improve the quality of the lives of these families, as well as the quality of their homes. Listen in to hear what Ellie has to share with you today!

Show highlights:

  • Ellie talks about her involvement with George To The Rescue.
  • Why it's really worth investing in a receiving warehouse where they hold all your goods until you're ready for the majority install.
  • Designers really need to be there when the delivery for an installation happens.
  • Setting expectations with a new client right in the beginning.
  • Ellie and her husband, Mike, have two separate companies and they don't always work together.
  • Ellie talks about her really unique niche.
  • Ellie prefers to take on few jobs and really make them profitable.
  • Ellie has recently added a new service called Design Therapy.
  • Ellie tailor's her style to each client.
  • Some really great advice that Ellie received from a photographer.
  • The joy of owning your niche fully.
  • How to deal with it when things go wrong working on a project with contractors, subcontractors, and vendors.
  • Some tools and tactics for avoiding dramas.
  • Why you should never ditch old emails.
  • The value of spending real time on site with your contractors.
  • Developing the skill set to have the hard conversation with clients.
  • What's coming up for Ellie in the future.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Raquel Langworthy #343

Links:

Website - Ellie Mroz Design

Instagram - Ellie Mroz Design

Pinterest - Ellie Mroz Design

The custom home-building project that Ellie is documenting on Instagram: #Shadowlawndrive

Michael, Ellie's husband's website: Michael Robert Construction

Nov 2, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to introduce you to two very interesting women today. We have Susan Whalen, the president of Pollack, and Rachel Doriss, Pollack's design director, with us on the show. These women have both been in the design industry for decades and on the show today they talk to us about the types of opportunities that are available in the industry, other than doing interior design. They also talk about the leadership at Pollack and their company culture of encouraging creativity, loyalty, and longevity in their entire team. Listen in today to find out what it takes to create and lead a really exceptional business.

Susan earned a BA from The University of Arizona in 1996. She was appointed as president of Pollack/Weitzner in 2017 due to her forward-thinking vision. She began her career at Polack in 1999 as studio manager, working alongside the founding creative director, Mark Pollack. There she learned every aspect of design and product development for contract and residential textiles. In 2004 she shifted to the business side to work under Rick Sullivan, the founding president. Then, in 2006, she was appointed as vice president and chief operating officer. In the position of COO, Susan took the led role in Pollack's merger with Weitzner in 2011. She is currently spearheading the implementation of a new operating system and the development of improved digital platforms to support the future growth and adaptability of Pollack/Weitzner. Susan now resides in Brooklyn, NY. In her free time, she enjoys traveling internationally and renovating her weekend home in rural Pennsylvania.

Rachel has textile design in her DNA. She studied printmaking and painting and even taught batik workshops when she first entered college. But it was in the Textile Design department at the Rhode Island School of Design that she realized, for the first time, the practical application of her beloved woven and printed textile techniques. She graduated with a BFA from RISD in 1999 and designed printed silk scarves at Echo before joining the Pollack Studio in 2000. In 2007, Rachel was appointed Vice President, Associate Design Director. She took the helm as Pollack’s Design Director in 2012, overseeing the Studio and guiding the creative vision for each textile collection. In the Studio, she and her team always begin a pattern by first creating artwork by hand. Rachel’s designs for Pollack have been featured in national magazines, including Architectural Digest, Interior Design and Elle Décor, and she has been profiled on such sites as Apartment Therapy and House and Home TV. Two of her creations, “Mod” and “Curlycue,” are in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Join us today and get the inspiration do things in your firm to make it the kind of place people really want to be engaged with!

Show highlights:

  • Other kinds of career opportunities within the design industry.
  • What really goes into textile manufacture.
  • What it takes to become a textile designer.
  • You get involved in the textile industry for the love of what you do, not for the money!
  • The partnership between Pollack and Lori Weitzner.
  • How having a collaboration, or a licensed collection works.
  • Working with Gary Graham, a New York-based fashion designer.
  • The need for inspiration when creating a collection.
  • A quick run through the development of a fabric.
  • The whole chain of love and pain that goes into the design and development of a beautiful fabric.
  • About the really terrific "Pollack culture".
  • Some great tips for cultivating a really successful team.
  • Inspiring employees towards longevity with longer vacations.
  • Really creative "First Fridays" at Pollack.
  • An "Ugly Sweater" contest at the office!
  • Supporting employees through difficult times.
  • Pollack has their product in showrooms in most of the major territories.
  • Pollack has worldwide distribution- in Asia, the UK, and France.

Links:

Website: Pollack Associates

Instagram: @pollacktextiles

Facebook:  Pollack Textiles

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Lori Weitzner #308

Eileen Hahn # 363

Janelle Photopoulos # 364

Candace Olsen #74

Amber Lewis #184

Shea McGee #236 and 270 with Syd

Corey Damen Jenkins #127

Oct 30, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We know that you're really going to love it! We have Laura Michaels with us today and she is an experienced and insightful designer who knows how to tell it like it is. On the show, we have a very straightforward conversation with her about talking budget with clients. Laura is very confident in her process and in the service she offers, and she really knows how to hold her ground in these conversations. Listen in today, become inspired, and learn from Laura's expertise, and her really confident way of dealing with clients.

Laura Michaels Design is a full-service design firm specializing in residential and commercial interiors out of Greenwich CT. Having started her career as a fashion designer, Laura Michaels is no stranger to developing complete collections filled with layers of textures, patterns, and colors. Laura thrives on the challenge of finding the perfect combination of textiles and other materials, then integrating them in unique and unexpected ways. Laura spends much of her time sourcing fabric, carpet, lighting and more...from all over the world and prides herself on her thorough knowledge of the market. Laura is also proud of her ability to source the "right" item at the ''right'' price. If cost, size or availability become an issue, her design skills allow her to create the perfect piece in one of her many custom factories.  Her extensive knowledge of the market makes the design process quick and easy, but never routine. Her artistic vision transforms the space into warm and inviting interiors and it is Laura’s goal to provide a warm, inviting environment that is enjoyed by her homeowners and will last the test of time. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Developing the skill set to really understand your ideal client.
  • Some red flags to look out for with a client.
  • The kind of client that Laura works with.
  • Looking at a potential client's expectations before their budget.
  • There are millions of different supplier websites for all budgets.
  • Laura's way of dealing with clients who are not clear about their budget.
  • Managing your client's expectations.
  • Laura loves the challenge of fulfilling a client's expectations on a limited budget.
  • Things that people don't understand about hiring an interior designer.
  • Hiring a designer can really be price effective.
  • Establishing the ground rules around the budget upfront.
  • Laura's way of obtaining art for her clients.
  • Having the budget conversation with clients.
  • Referrals are really important.
  • You need to be confident and know your value to avoid being taken advantage of.

Links:

Website: Laura Michaels Design

Instagram: The Laura Michaels Design

Pinterest: Pinterest

e-mail: Laura@Lauramichaelsdesign.com

Find Luann on Instagram

Oct 26, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Everything is happening online these days, so we are really very happy to introduce you to Jason Berkowitz, of Break The Web Inc., a company that specializes in digital marketing and PR for businesses. Jason's business is an inbound marketing agency and their goal is to generate traffic which could ultimately turn into leads, sales, and customers. On the show today, Jason talks about the services that his company provides, that may be of interest to interior designers. He also explains what you, as interior designers, need to have in place, in order to come to the table. Listen in to hear what Jason has to say about digital marketing and public relations.

Jason started out as a business owner at the age of nineteen. He quickly came to recognize the importance of marketing and brand security. And he also realized that he had to take matters into his own hands because the available information was all so contradictory.

Jason's digital journey started in 2010 and his mission that year was to learn the ins-and-outs of digital marketing and more specifically, of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Through extensive networking, he had the opportunity to surround himself with some of the greatest and brightest minds in the industry. So he began utilizing and designing frameworks that led to a successful search-engine presence, spending hours analyzing algorithms and reading patent documents in an attempt to understand metrics for online visibility.

Jason launched his first SEO agency out of New York City in mid-2010. They launched SEO campaigns for more than 300 businesses, secured over 50 000 Page 1 rankings and worked with some of the largest brands in the world. Then, in 2016, they launched their parent company, Break The Web, Inc., with a focus on Digital Marketing services and business acquisitions. Since then, they have acquired 2 successful digital marketing agencies out of San Diego, California, and New York City. Listen in to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Jason explains what his company does.
  • The value in targeting your local area for marketing your business.
  • Where and how digital marketing and PR is taking place.
  • Jason's approach to digital marketing.
  • Paid advertising campaigns can be a little budget heavy.
  • Spending money on a digital marketing campaign pays off.
  • Teaching in-house teams to make the whole marketing process seamless.
  • How Jason structures his pricing.
  • A typical management fee that Jason charges for an ads campaign.
  • The SEO myths that Jason thinks really ought to be busted.
  • Using click-bait with the best intent.
  • Working with SEO really effectively.
  • Creating search tags for Youtube videos.
  • Google algorithms have become very smart- they can understand what's semantically relevant and what's not.
  • Keeping things natural within an SEO campaign.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Andrew Joseph #39

Links:

Websites -

Break The Web 

SEO Services New York 

Jason Berkowitz

LinkedIn: Jason Berkowitz SEO

Facebook: Jason Berkowitz NYC 

Twitter: J Berkowitz SEO

YouTube: Jason Berkowitz SEO

Oct 23, 2018

Welcome! Today's show was recorded live from the High Point Market on Friday, October 12th, 2018, as part of the Designer Viewpoint Series. We are very happy to introduce you to Kesha Franklin today, the principal of Halden Interiors, based in Greenbrook, New Jersey. Kesha has a background in the fashion world. And as a designer, she started out on a path that initially appeared to be destined for failure, which really rocked her world, but then things took an interesting turn for her. Listen in today as Kesha candidly shares her story, offers valuable insights, discusses the growth of her firm and explains her really intentional way of framing her conversations with potential clients.

Kesha's intuitive sense of style, creativity, and harmony goes back to her formative years, where luxurious interiors and fine men's wear captivated her creativity, through her father's vast collection of Architectural Digest and the renowned GQ Magazine. Kesha continued expressing the artist within her through various creative means, but only after an encounter with a New York City architect, who recognized her eye for interior design and complimented her on it, did she take the leap and start The Beautiful Experience, a boutique design firm specializing in residential and special events design and planning, in 2006.

Kesha spent years immersed in the exclusive world of couture fashion as a backstage production manager and wardrobe stylist for the iconic Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Surrounded by the work of well-known designers such as Vera Wang, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, Donna Karen, and Lanvin…Kesha sharpened her attention to detail, distinct eye for exquisite styling and sensibility to craftsmanship.

The spaces Kesha reinvents today are impeccable. However, her striking aesthetic as an interior designer is not only shaped by her ability to curate color palettes, balanced textures, and distinct furnishings but is also influenced by her ability to understand and connect with people. Every single design project begins with a heart-to-heart. Listen in today to hear what Kesha has to share about how she supplies her clients with a full experience, from the ground up, that goes way beyond just beautiful things.

Show highlights:

  • Kesha shares the great story of how she started out with design in 2003.
  • She began with very small projects.
  • Moving from doing jobs for free to starting a business and attracting clients from the luxury market.
  • Kesha learned a lot- the hard way.
  • She had to learn to understand her true worth.
  • Reading books really helped Kesha to understand the processes and the business side of the world of interior design.
  • When things started to pick up in 2011, Kesha realized she really needed to figure out what her niche was.
  • Kesha's process of rebranding to become Holden Interiors took three years.
  • In 2013 Kesha was really fortunate to be a part of the Goldman Sachs 10 000 Small Businesses Program. And that really set her rebranding in motion!
  • It really is okay to charge a higher price that truly reflects the level of service that you're giving.
  • Not all consumers really understand interior design.
  • Kesha gets excited about the kind of job that makes her nervous.
  • Kesha explains the rates she charges her clients.
  • Some things that need to be highlighted in the service agreement with a client.
  • Kesha's approach to clients about her contract.
  • Kesha explains her weekly project update.
  • Teaching her clients to trust the process.
  • Be careful of becoming a 'client pleaser'.
  • Time management is still a challenge.
  • Presentation is everything, so it's very important to invest in really good, high-quality pictures.
  • Kesha's work will continue to change as time goes on.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Adam Urbanski #192 and #280

Links:

Kesha's website: Halden Interiors

Oct 19, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we are really very happy to introduce you to photographer Stephen Karlish, from Dallas, Texas. Stephen began his career pre-internet, so he has seen the rise of social media and online sharing either make or break the careers of numerous designers. He has learned that the key to any creative environment is collaboration. We live in an image-based society today and designers really need to create a strong online presence. So they need to collaborate with experienced photographers to get the kind images that will be sure to drive traffic their way. Listen in today to find out what Stephen has to say about how a great photographer can really help you, as a designer, to build your brand identity and your online presence.

Stephen started out in the world of photography assisting commercial photographers in the late 90's. In the early 2000's he started photographing interiors for both local and national publications like Southern Accents, Veranda, Elle Decor, and AD, mainly focusing on documenting local Texas designers' work for their portfolios and ads. Based on his experience, Stephen really wants to help designers to take the photography aspect of their projects seriously. Listen in today to get some really helpful advice and tips from Stephen.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome business partnership that Stephen has with his wife.
  • Pulp Design Studios really inspires Stephen!
  • It really takes a lot of practice to get your personality to really come through on a video.
  • What it takes to create a really great a photo shoot on location.
  • Working seamlessly as a team for incredible outcomes.
  • Really great shots can be used for years.
  • As a young designer, it's really worth investing in your brand imagery right now.
  • Doing it right!
  • Some tips for getting the best shots on a regular budget.
  • Working with stylists and floral designers.
  • The importance of doing pre-shoot scout shots.
  • The benefits of working with a stylist for your photos.
  • How to find the right stylist to work with.
  • Designing projects to completion.
  • Creating portfolio shots on a studio wall.
  • Some tricks that a photographer can do to create incredible shots.
  • The best business advice that Stephen has ever been given.

Links:

Stephen's Website - Stephen Karlisch

Studio Website: Karlisch Studio

Instagram: @stephen_karlisch_photo

Facebook: Karlisch Studio

Twitter: Stephen Karlisch

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Pulp Design Studios #176 and #310

Charlotte Safavi #138

Oct 16, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we are excited to introduce you to Jessica Duce, the principal of J Duce Design in Colorado. With a lot of hard work, and a little good luck, Jessica discovered her ideal client and so today she specializes in VRBO and Air BnB Design. On the show today, Jessica tells the story of how she saw an opportunity to follow a completely new path in her business and jumped right in. Listen in today to learn about the joys and the challenges of designing for VRBO properties.

J Duce Design has won multiple best of Houzz awards and has been featured in Parker Lifestyle Magazine, Highlands Ranch Lifestyle Magazine, and Omaha Family Magazine.  Jessica was honored as Volunteer of the Year for her work for Habitat for Humanity. In 2018, J Duce Design is launching the Denver chapter of Savvy Giving by Design launched by Susan Wintersteen of Savvy Design. The goal of the non-profit chapter is to help families in crisis improve their current living environment for health and wellbeing at no charge to them. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • The story of what has happened to Jessica's company in the last three years.
  • How Jessica launched into the world of designing for VRBO properties.
  • The scheduling challenges that come with VRBO designing.
  • Jessica's awesome team.
  • The one home that Jessica worked on has led to her working on five other homes in the last three years.
  • Jessica discusses her connection in property management.
  • Times are changing with vacation homes and Air BnB.
  • Being creative when spending money to create the 'wow' factor.
  • Jessica's goals when meeting with the housekeeping staff.
  • Dealing with the 'flips'.
  • Some important things that Jessica has learned about designing for VRBO homes.
  • Some things that need to be considered when designing for the VRBO market.
  • The story of the really successful Captain Arnold's house.
  • Designing to appeal to the holiday market.
  • Experimenting with the best ways to invest money in VRBO properties.
  • Creating a photo spot in every house.
  • Learning lots of new ideas from the BDNY.
  • The biggest lesson that Jessica has learned in the last three years.

Links:

JDuce Design

Instagram: JDuce Design

Facebook: JDuce Design

Oct 12, 2018

Welcome! It's Power Talk Friday and we have a special show today, sponsored by Article.com! We are very happy to have Jillian Cross,  their trade program manager, joining us on the show. The passionate team at Article.com has a very strong understanding of the world of interior design and their trade program is run entirely by committed people from the design industry. Today Jill explains what it is about Article.com that really makes interior designers want to work with them. Listen in to find out more.

Jillian has had an amazing ride in the industry! She was born and raised in a construction and development family, so it's in her blood. She has a degree in project management as well as a background in interior design. Jill has been with Article for about one-and-a-half-years and she came to them with nine years of industry experience behind her. Prior to joining Article, she worked at several different firms in the industry, and also with some big-box retailers- helping them to build out their trade and their pro programs. She spent a number of years doing millwork design and also working in her family's business, where she got to experience residential and multi-unit design. Listen in to find out what Jillian has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • The people on the team at Article have a strong understanding of the world of interior design.
  • The importance of really understanding who you're talking to.
  • Article really understands the pain points of interior designers.
  • The team at Article takes a strong stand when something goes wrong and they get onto resolving it as quickly and effectively as possible.
  • The benefits of having a small team.
  • Following up with genuine care and concern.
  • Relationship building.
  • Striving to create a personal service for online trade partners.
  • The positives and negatives to working in the online space.
  • The discount structure at Article.com.
  • The great value that Article.com is offering their customers.
  • com is very competitive in its market.
  • Understanding transparency.
  • Article will send you swatches of fabric and samples with no shipping costs.
  • Jill walks you through Article's fantastic return/exchange policy.
  • Article will deliver anywhere in America.

Links:

Apply for the Article Trade Program: Article Trade

Article: Article

Linkedin Article

Houzz: Article Modern

Instagram: Article

Facebook: Article

Oct 9, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We have a really smart lady joining us on the show today! She is Nicole White, the president, and principal designer at the award-winning design firm, Nichole White Designs Interiors, based in Sunrise, Florida. On the show today we talk to Nicole about how she came to learn her particular skill set in the renovation process, and what her intentions are with that going forward. We talk to her about her experience as a journalist, in her previous career, and how she leverages that to earn press for her projects. And we also discuss confidence, how it develops mostly through the mistakes we make over time in our businesses, and how very important that is, when being an entrepreneur. Listen in to find out more.

Nicole, known for her renovation prowess, has had her design work featured in various magazines including, Better Homes and Gardens, Ocean Drive, Modern Luxury Interiors; Huffington Post, HGTV and Domino online magazines. She’s twice been noted as an emerging designer to watch by the Black Interior Designers Network and is a brand ambassador/influencer for The Home Depot, Purple Drywall, and City Furniture. An award-winning writer, Nicole writes about the behind the scenes process of her projects on her popular blog LiveLaughDecorate. Nicole, lover of red wine and travel, is also mom to a busy 6-year-old, Xavier - a budding artist and self-proclaimed VP of NWD Interiors. Listen in to hear what Nicole has to share on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • Nicole talks her decision to direct her business towards working with the renovation process.
  • Nicole has learned to get her hands dirty- working hands-on with the renovation process.
  • Nicole really enjoys the whole process of renovation.
  • What makes Nicole so successful with what she does.
  • Nicole is getting ready to do her GC license in the next year or so.
  • What obtaining a GC license involves.
  • Nicole talks about her game-changing questionnaire, what it deals with, and how it came about.
  • The questionnaire has literally transformed Nicole's business.
  • Working realistically with a budget with clients.
  • Nicole has the confidence to know that clients will be better off working with her.
  • Fifteen years in, Nicole still clearly remembers not knowing how she was going to pay her bills.
  • Standing in your experience and fully understanding what your needs are.
  • Nicole has made some deliberate changes in her life since having her son.
  • Nicole makes the amount of time that she has available very clear to her clients.
  • It can take some time to develop the confidence, as a new designer, to charge a consultation fee.
  • As a former journalist, Nicole really understands publications and how they work- so she knows how to build and grow press.
  • Start building press by pitching the smaller publications first.
  • Nicole has learned to build relationships- they really matter!
  • It's really important to stay in touch- you cannot treat your clients and relationships as a one-night-stand.
  • You have to enter the contests to win the awards.
  • Go after companies and brands that fit your strengths.
  • The goals that Nicole is stretching herself towards right now.

Links:

Nicole's website: NWD Interiors

Nicole's blog: Live Laugh Decorate

To sign up for your trade account with Article.Com: Well Designed Article

Oct 5, 2018

Send me the Source Like a Pro Video!

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! We have Monique Holmes (Duarte) with us again today and she's bound to inspire you to re-think the way that you approach sourcing for your interior design firm. Monique started Duarte Decor, a global interior design firm, in 2012, after successfully working in the marketing and advertising world for more than ten years. Using her marketing experience, she managed to generate $50 000 in profit in her first year, working part-time while still holding down a full-time job. Monique saw that there was a huge gap in our industry and that design schools don't teach the business side of the industry. So, she came up with her 8 Steps To Profitability Program and launched her own, private coaching firm,  Duarte Consulting, in 2016. Today's show is packed with tons of information and Monique generously shares some of her awesome resources! Listen in to today to learn about Monique's key strategies for sourcing like a pro.

Monique Holmes is a Certified Interior Decorator, Business Coach, and an active member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), International Interior Design Association (IIDA),  Central NJ & Brooklyn, NY Chapter President of the distinguished Interior Design Society (IDS) as well as a Certified member of CID (Certified Interior Decorator Association).   She also holds several degrees, including a career degree in Interior Decorating & AutoCAD Design, a Bachelor’s in International Business with a specialization in Economics & Marketing, and a Master’s Degree in Interactive & Direct Marketing.   Monique Holmes was awarded "Woman of the Year for Interior Decorating for NJ" in 2013 by NAPW, in addition, her design work has been featured online & in print publications including "Your Decorating Resource" and Moxie Woman Magazine. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The first thing to think about, as interior designers, in order to source and sell products like a pro.
  • Monique likes to focus on helping designers to figure out strategies to do things effectively and efficiently.
  • Monique explains her 4 easy steps to sourcing like a pro.
  • The benefits of sourcing through trade-only vendors.
  • The key to shopping with online retailers.
  • The great thing about the Article.com trade program.
  • It's really important to be transparent with your clients.
  • E-design or full-service?
  • Monique has trade programs with all the retail stores that she shops with.
  • The percentage of her discount that Monique shares with her clients.
  • The way that Monique charges clients for her design services.
  • Some things to consider, about sourcing.
  • Doing your research about sourcing ahead of time really helps to prevent any unnecessary stress.
  • Being aware and knowing your product is very important.
  • Always have a price-point scale of the vendors that you deal with.
  • It's important to bear the location of vendors and their rep support in mind when making a purchase.
  • Knowing your product and your customer is a vital ingredient.
  • The importance of building sourcing and selling into the foundation of your business ahead of time.
  • A lot of Monique's coaching is strategy-based.
  • Building your sourcing repertoire list of vendors- it takes time but it's really worth it in the end.

Links:

Website: www.8STP.com

8STP FB Group

Master Class (Launching September 30th, 2018)

Instagram: Monique Nicole Holmes

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Monique's 1st appearance on the show: #178   (note she has since married- she was Monique Duarte- she is now Monique Holmes)

Deb Barrett #53

Gary Inman #154

Article.com #301

Dina Holland Honey & Fitz #354

Heather McManus #357

Oct 2, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have Janelle Blakely Photopoulos, the owner and principal of Blakely Interior Design, with us today for another episode in our series of The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business. Janelle recently sent us an awesome letter explaining all the lessons, improvements and systems that she's applied to her business since listening to the podcast. She is really a great example of a thoughtful business owner in that she listens, she learns, and she takes action. Join us today to find out what Janelle has to tell you about the way that she leads her team and runs her business.

Janelle earned a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Syracuse University. Then, after honing her management skills with the corporate giant, AT&T, she realized her true calling and attended the Rhode Island School of Design to learn the technical aspects of interior design. Janelle started her residential interior design business in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, in 2010. Since then she has grown the business and established a reputation for creating really beautiful, livable interiors. Janelle has built a support team that reflects her vision and commitment to their clients. Her success is deeply rooted in her ability to collaborate and communicate adeptly with her clients and industry partners. In addition to the exponential growth of her design business, Janelle was recently nominated for Rhode Island’s 2018 Small Business Woman of the Year. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Janelle talks about her passion for leading her team.
  • The first time Janelle hired someone.
  • The importance of tracking time.
  • Shifting people into roles that are suited to their particular strengths.
  • Taking the time to see your employees for what they're really good at.
  • The team-wide assessment that Janelle had done to discover the specific strengths of each member of her team.
  • You're only as good as the team that supports you.
  • About the Client Concierge Experience.
  • The small things that you do for the client really make all the difference.
  • Some of the things she's learned along the way.
  • The biggest takeaways that Janelle gained from the podcast.
  • Janelle is a big believer in self improvement.
  • The impact that Stacy Brown Randall has had on Janelle.
  • Setting your client's expectations realistically in case something goes wrong.

Links:

Janelle's website: Blakely Interior Design

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Susan Wintersteen- #164

Chad James - #68

Caitlyn Wait - #284

Eileen Hahn - #363

Candy Scott- #279

Sep 28, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we're happy to introduce you to Luann's exceptional cousin, Eileen Hahn! Eileen's superpower is helping people to intentionally build outstanding and exceptional teams- whether they have a dozen employees, or only one! On the show today Eileen will explain some of the layers and deep processes and that are required for you to become a really good leader. Listen in to hear what Eileen has to tell you about building a really extraordinary interior design team!

Eileen is a principal at Organization Effectiveness Consultants, a San Diego based management consulting firm. She partners with leaders of organizations to establish new levels of performance, financial results, teamwork, and employee work passion. Eileen achieves this by first examining current processes and systems, and then collaborating with the company leaders to apply changes which improve productivity and profitability. Eileen works extensively with organizations which are going through rapid growth, downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, and cultural transitions. She facilitates succession planning, strategic planning, organizational change, joint problem solving, leadership development, and team building. In addition, Eileen also designs C suite selection and evaluation processes and she works with boards of directors to develop, implement, and facilitate these processes. Eileen is also a professional speaker and a university instructor. Some of her national and international clients include H.G. Fenton Company, The Wonderful Company, San Diego Padres, Ericsson Wireless Communications, Qualcomm, Pfizer Inc., General Atomics, Occidental College, Brooklynn Museum, General Motors, Anheuser Busch Corporation, The Venetian & Palazzo Hotels, Sea World Parks and Entertainment, and LEGOLAND. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Eileen is part of Luann's second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business- The Power Talk Friday Experts, which is coming out at the beginning of 2019. (Eileen's chapter is called The Care and Feeding of Exceptional Employees.)
  • What Eileen means when she talks about exceptional employees.
  • Hiring someone who has the specific skills you're looking for.
  • Eileen explains the selection process that she used to help a certain company to hire exceptional employees.
  • The special ingredient in every sales call.
  • What makes someone exceptional.
  • The type of kindness, care, and feeding that's necessary for exceptional employees.
  • Employees really present a big challenge to employers.
  • Placing people orientation before task orientation in a business.
  • Establishing trust and care with your employees.
  • Some of the key principals behind hiring (and keeping) exceptional employees.
  • Determining for yourself, as a principal, what an exceptional performance really looks like.
  • People are willing to pay for exceptional!
  • Taking the time to learn to be an exceptional leader.
  • The exceptional benefits of taking the time to care for, and feed your employees.
  • The importance of thorough training for employees.

Links:

Website: OEC Strategic Solutions

LinkedIn: Eileen Hahn

Email: ehahn@oecstrategicsolutions.com

Sep 25, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We are very happy to introduce you to Breegan Jane, a unique and fun individual who is a super-high achiever! Thirty-three-year-old Breegan is an interior designer who also has a successful blog, a high following on Instagram, and she's a podcast/radio host. She previously worked as a creative director in the luxury yacht business and as a property manager for multi-international million-dollar homes. Listen in today to find out about Breegan's vast experience and how it informs her currently, as an entrepreneur and interior designer. 

Multifaceted entrepreneur Breegan Jane does it all.  A full-time businesswoman, interior designer, blogger, and popular podcast host of Mom Life Yo, all in all, her spare time. Her most recent project is the design of the new, buzz-worthy Los Angeles restaurant, NATIVE, spearheaded by award-winning Chef Nyesha Arrington of Top Cheffame. A single mom from Southern California, Breegan Jane credits her boys for pushing her to break down walls and test boundaries. She uses her powerful voice to inspire others and bring joy to people’s lives. Listen in to find out what Breegan has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • How Breegan's experience, managing international real estate projects with full staff and working as a creative director and marketing professional for a luxury yacht manufacturer, translates to her current interior design business.
  • The importance of great leadership.
  • Great lessons from great bosses along the way.
  • Utilizing every opportunity to the best of your ability.
  • Feeling more at home in Dubai than in Texas.
  • The importance of visual representation.
  • Being given the space to run with your ideas.
  • Transitioning to the design world.
  • How Breegan developed through her experience.
  • The kind of project Breegan enjoys the most.
  • Identifying 'no-win' situations with clients.
  • What being a mom and entrepreneur mean to Breegan.
  • The way that Breegan was raised to be empowered.
  • The power of turning negatives into positives.
  • Breegan's dreams and aspirations for the future.

Links:

Breegan Jane

Facebook: Breegan Jane

Breegan Jane Blog

Instagram: Breegan Jane

Twitter: Breegan Jane

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Amber Lewis # 184

Vanessa DeLeon # 18

Sep 21, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we have Kimberly Merlitti, the owner of KMM Consulting, with us. In her experience, Kim has found that accounting and finances seem to scare most interior designers. So she helps them by going into their businesses and taking on the role of CFO. From there she teaches them how to really understand what they need to do in order to become successful as entrepreneurs as well as interior designers. Kim's specialty is helping designers with what she calls Project Revenue Accounting, which is how to manage the revenue of a project that is already in process. Listen in today to find out how Kim helps interior designers to really get to grips with their finances and advance their businesses.

KMM Consulting takes on clients from around the United States. Kimberly has 20 years of experience working in accounting for companies such as Swinerton Builders, WRNS Studio and Martin Group. She has her Masters in Accounting from Golden Gate University located in San Francisco, CA. KMM Consulting’s clientele includes a diverse group of service based companies, with the main focus on small interior design, construction, and architectural firms. The goal of her firm is to make the businesses she works for as profitable as they can be by educating them on accounting, cash flow management, tax deductions, project reporting, and business management. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Kim explains the difference between accounting and projection.
  • What Kim has learned the hard way, about the difference between general contracting and interior design.
  • Creating a contract and coming up with the budget for a client.
  • Unknown factors that need to be taken into account when working out a budget.
  • Why you need to start tracking your time.
  • How Kim uses a payroll calculator to help designers come up with budgets.
  • Working out the billing for your client.
  • Restructuring things when necessary, after tracking your hours.
  • Taking the time, as a principal, to teach your staff about efficiency.
  • The importance of understanding regulations.
  • Working out the cost of employees.
  • How to know if it's time to hire somebody.
  • The process of doing the projections.
  • Kimberly works with designers in all states. 

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

krista Coupar # 150

Links:

Website - KMM Consulting

Facebook - KMM Consulting

LinkedIn - Kimberly Merlitti

Sep 18, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We're really excited to have the celebrated and influential David Phoenix, of David Phoenix Interior Design in Los Angeles, with us on the show! David is a self-taught designer and today we're looking forward to talking to him about how he found his way, his passion and his point of view, as a designer. And we also talk to him about the new fabric line he recently developed and launched with Kravet Inc. Listen in to find out more!

David Phoenix Interior Design gives each project a singular ambiance that wholeheartedly embraces, uplifts and celebrates its inhabitants. And David is known for thoughtful, modern luxury and livability. David finds inspiration from a myriad of styles, looking back through history as he creates spaces for today. His work personifies his own approachable, self-assured manner—gracious and considerate. In juxtaposing modern and traditional elements, his aesthetic conveys an easy welcoming sensibility, rich with classic haberdashery details and nuance. David draws from his experience and instinct in the all-important matters of style and function. David enjoys an international clientele of celebrities, royalty, business magnates and discerning homeowners, including Maria Shriver, former Los Angeles Mayor, Richard Riordan and actor Rob Lowe, whose home was featured on the cover of Architectural Digest. He believes in living each day to the fullest, delivering personal, sophisticated and thoughtful environments. Join us today and find out what he has to share.

Show highlights:

David explains how he sees a quintessential American point of view

It all started for David with really great architectural designs in America

David's day at design school

David's journey to becoming an interior designer

How David ended up in Los Angeles, California

David's first job in Los Angeles

How the loss of a friend led David to start out as an interior designer

David's remarkable shopping encounter with Maria Shriver

Doing worthy things to become worthy

What it's really all about for David

David's tagline is "Think big and you'll be big"

A description of the fabric line that David's recently developed

The labor-of-love process of David developing his handsome fabric line

David's appreciation of the Kravet family and their 'culture of Kravet' 

Links:

Website: David Phoenix

Link to his collection with Kravet: Kravet Fabric Designer

Link to his furnishings collection with Hickory Chair: Hickory Chair Furniture

Instagram: David Phoenix

Pinterest: David Phoenix

Facebook: David Phoenix

Come and meet Luann and David in person, on Wednesday, October 3rd, at the Kravet Showroom in Chicago, for Chicago Design Week. Go to Luann Nigara for more information.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

345: Chris Ramey

Sep 14, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy to have a new designer, Colleen Primm, joining us today. Recently Colleen decided to start a client-facing Facebook group to share her expertise, to get her name out there, and also to get some clients into her pipeline. Although she only started the group at the beginning of June this year, she already has more than 640 members, almost all of whom are potential clients! On the show today she will be talking to us about her Facebook group and she will also explain exactly what she puts in there. Listen in to find out how Colleen has managed to attract so many potential clients to her group in such a short space of time.

Colleen, who has a bachelor’s degree in business administration (management) from The University of Toledo, an M.B.A. from Averett University and has also attended Cuyahoga Community College for Interior Design, has taken a pretty unconventional path to interior design.  Before deciding to make the change, she worked in the banking industry for twelve years, where she first underwrote commercial loans, and then a little later, mortgage loans. After a few years, she became a trainer, teaching people how to write mortgage loans. While working on residential loans, Colleen got to see a lot of homes, because she was reviewing home appraisals. That's where her love of design, and wanting to help people achieve better-looking homes came from. She finally decided to turn her passion into reality and quit her banking job to go back to school for Interior Design. So Colleen is the rare interior designer who can not only decorate your home but also talk to you about your mortgage! Listen in to find out more!              

Show highlights:

  • Why Colleen chose this particular method to market her firm.
  • What it will take for you to join Colleen's facebook group.
  • Colleen wants to have only members who will bring value to the group.
  • What inspired Colleen to start her Facebook group.
  • The importance of getting constructive feedback.
  • The precise message that Colleen sent out when she started her Facebook group.
  • Getting lots of engagement with Facebook groups.
  • Colleen's strategic way of attracting mainly local clients to her group.
  • All about Colleen's Facebook contests.
  • The number of paid consultations that Colleen has done as a result of the group.
  • Colleen explains and clarifies the amounts she charges.
  • The amount of preparation that Facebook Live requires.
  • The kind of questions that Colleen deals with.
  • The events that she's created as a result of her Facebook group.
  • Making connections- and making money at the same time!
  • The kind of preparation that Colleen does and how she manages her time.
  • The importance of being really well organized.
  • How to learn more about lenders and the programs that they have to assist designers.

Links:

Facebook: Colleen Primm

Instagram: Colleen Primm Design

Website: Colleen Primm Design

Private Facebook Group: Primm and Proper Design Talk with Colleen Primm

Sep 11, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We are delighted to have Karen Mooney, Taryn Schwartz, and Caroline McDonald with us on the show today. They are the three women responsible for the designer program at Ballard Designs and they are also behind the Ballard Designs' podcast, How To Decorate. Today they will be sharing their experience of interviewing celebrity interior designers for the podcast and also some of what goes on behind the scenes with the celebrity designers. Listen in today to find out what it really takes, and what really happens, when you get the opportunity, and then make the commitment to being a celebrity designer for a company as large as Ballard Designs.

Karen, Taryn, and Caroline are the hosts of the Ballard Designs' How To Decorate podcast. And their goal is to help you to unleash your 'inner decorator'. Outside of the podcast, they work in different departments at Ballard Designs. Karen has a background in graphic design and she's the senior vice-president of Brand management. Taryn is an industrial designer in the Product Design department. And Caroline manages content marketing, specifically the blog How To Decorate, and also art producing digital marketing photography. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Why they prefer doing their interviews in-person.
  • How the relationship between Ballard Designs and their celebrity designers works.
  • Why Ballard Designs chose to work with Suzanne Kasler, Bunny Williams, and Miles Redd.
  • Making their celebrity designs affordable to their customers.
  • The level of creative involvement of the talented celebrity designers.
  • What it really takes to become selected as a celebrity designer.
  • Why it takes what it does to become selected as a celebrity designer.
  • Why it really takes such a lot of work to be a celebrity designer!
  • Finding the right kind of vendor.
  • Why a long-term business relationship is actually a lot like a marriage.
  • Bringing Suzanne onboard.
  • Then bringing Bunny and Miles onboard.
  • The way that the designers earn their money.
  • The way that people respond to Miles' dramatic pieces.
  • Using inspiration to grab the imagination of the customer.
  • Ways of making tried-and-trusted products look fresh again.
  • Some ways that designers could get to become the celebrity designers.
  • Doors always open as a result of relationships- so be nice!

Big name designers discussed on today's show:

Bunny Williams, Miles Redd and Suzanne Kasler

You can find the How To Decorate podcast on iTunes.

Note: This show will also be on video on Luann's Youtube channel.

Links:

Ballard Designs

How To Decorate

Instagram: Ballard Designs

Facebook: Ballard Designs

Sep 7, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today we're having a Where Are They Now episode, featuring Heather Mc Manus, our very first guest ever on the show! Heather is an award-winning designer from New Jersey and the principal of Artistry Interiors. She is also the author of the book Love Where You Live- Dream Homes Made Real, which is available on Amazon. On the show today Heather will be telling us all about her latest venture, Collaborate To Win, a buying group that she started for you, her designer colleagues, to become stronger together and make more profit through having access to products that may normally have been unavailable to you due to buy-in minimums and yearly volume quotas. Join us on the show today to hear Heather explain her really interesting idea!

Heather started Artistry Interiors in 2012, after having worked in the design industry for a decade. Her first job, after graduating from the Pratt Institute, was at a high-end workroom where she gained really invaluable experience and learned everything about how quality window treatments and upholstery are made. From there she went on to further broaden her knowledge and expertise about furniture construction and quality through working at both Ethan Allen and Bograd's Fine Furniture. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Heather's concept of a video tip per day that she discussed in her interview on our very first show.
  • All about Heather's innovative concept, Collaborate To Win, and why it was born.
  • Some of the growing pains that helped Heather grow.
  • Collaborate To Win even works nationally.
  • Dealing with breakages.
  • How the concept actually works.
  • The level of trust that is required for this unique concept.
  • Keeping relationships intact is a key requirement for the group.
  • How the payment for the orders works.
  • Heather is constantly creating educational videos to explain the rules of the game.
  • When an order actually becomes an order.
  • The importance of working systematically.
  • How Heather uses videos to explain her pricing.
  • The constant teaching, mentoring and masterminds that Heather does to assist people with her concept.
  • The cost for the membership of the group.
  • How you will really save money by being a member of the group- one order through the group could cover your entire annual membership buy-in!
  • Why you really need to be responsible to be a member of the group.
  • To learn more about Collaborate To Win, there will be a website up and running by this fall. In the meantime, you can email Heather at collaboratetowin@gmail.com- an email address dedicated specifically for this group.
  • The details that you will need to send to Heather in order to apply to join her group.
  • To meet Heather in person, she will be at Windowworks, in Livingstone New Jersey, for the October Lunch and Learn on October 29th. RSVP via Instagram (@windowworks)

Raquel Langworthy will be at Windowworks on September 17th for the September Lunch and Learn.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nicole Heymer (Curio Electro #235 #317)

 Links:

Book - Love Where You Live: Dream Homes Made Real
Collaborate to Win - Collaborate To Win 
Collaborate to Win Facebook page
Facebook -  Artistry Interiors LLC
Instagram - Artistry Interiors 
Website - Artistry Interiors 
Sep 4, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we are very happy to introduce you to Vincere, an influential, Chicago-based, full-service interior design firm,  founded in 2007 by Micheal Stornello and Tom Konopiots. Vincere is a business fully committed to the principals of precision, proportion, scale, and form. They have completed projects throughout the Midwest, California, and Europe and their wide range of enterprises include everything from the pre-construction stage, through the interior design phase, to the acquisition and placement of the art and accessories. The team at Vincere firmly believe that the key to success lies in careful listening and clear communication. Join us on the show today to find out what Michael and Tom have to share with you.

Both Tom and Michael have very strong business backgrounds. Michael used to be in the television industry where he served as executive vice president, development, for King World Productions (now CBS Television Distribution). Tom was previously COO and CEO of two futures brokerage companies. Listen in today to find out how their previous business experience has informed the way that they run their full-luxury interior design business.

Show highlights:

  • Some background on Mike and Tom's previous careers.
  • How their shared passion brought them to start an interior design business.
  • How they learned their design skill set through their real-life experience.
  • Some of the mistakes they made and lessons they learned through trial and error.
  • Creating impact for their clients and closing deals with three-dimensional floor plans.
  • The way that they work with their vendors and contractors using 3-D models.
  • The importance of being well-prepared and paying close attention to detail.
  • All their clients are really value-conscious, regardless of their wealth.
  • Their approach to addressing budget-related issues with their clients.
  • The way that technology helps them to overcome certain client issues.
  • Managing a million-dollar budget so that it looks like a million-and-a-half-dollar budget.
  • They are fully transparent with their clients, in terms of the cost of things.
  • In certain circumstances, it's necessary to tell the client that they're not the right fit.
  • Avoiding traps and pitfalls with clients and adding the appropriate markup.
  • Creating the kind of contract that can be put away and not thought about again.
  • Finding the right balance within a partnership.

Links:

Website - Vincere

Facebook - Vincere

Instagram - Vincere Interiors

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Sandra Espinet #287

Fred Berns #289

Chris Raney #345

Aug 31, 2018

Are you ready to crush the last quarter of 2018? And are you really ready to make this the very best quarter of this year? Well, if you're the rare designer who is deciding to act, rather than to stay with the status quo, and to do, rather than wish, today's show is just for you! We have two very specific opportunities for you, and two different ways that we're making it possible for you to be the best you can be. Listen in now to find out how to take your game to the next level.

The first opportunity is the second stop on the Power Talk Friday Tour. (It's happening on Saturday 13th October 2018 in High Point, North Carolina.) For the High Point tour, Luann has gathered some of the new Power Talk Friday experts including Claire Jefford (#325 and #237), Stacey Brown Randall (#93) and Michele Williams (#137 and #180). The second opportunity is the two masterminds that Luann is offering, Foundation and Transition. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • On the tour, Claire will be talking about managing client expectations, something fundamental to running a successful project.
  • Pinpointing the challenges that tend to come up with new projects.
  • Most problems with new projects are rooted in something that wasn't clear in the initial agreement.
  • Claire will walk you through the best practices for setting up your project to succeed.
  • Stacey has proven techniques for building your pipeline through referrals- without asking your clients for them.
  • Stacey is a business coach with a recently-launched podcast called Roadmap To Grow Your Business.
  • Stacey will teach you methods to attract new clients into your pipeline- immediately.
  • Michele Williams, principal of Scarlet Thread Consulting, will also be with Luann on the tour.
  • Michele coaches designers and window-treatment professionals on the financial methods and systems for running a profitable business.
  • Michele is about to launch her new podcast, Profit Is A Choice.
  • Michele is also a certified Profit First coach.
  • What you have to understand, in order to really be successful with your business.
  • Why you really need to come to the High Point Tour.
  • How Luann will use her superpower to help you.
  • How the High Point Tour will be structured.
  • What you will gain from attending the tour.
  • The price for the tour and what it includes.
  • Having the chance to get to know the awesome sponsors.
  • About the Foundations and Transitions Masterminds.
  • Foundations is group coaching for new designers.
  • What you will learn in the Foundations Mastermind.
  • The Transitions Mastermind is for the more seasoned designer.
  • What you will get from the Transitions Mastermind.

Links:

Go to Luann's website Luann Nigara to get the early episodes.

To find out more about the tour go to Luann Nigara and click on the 'coaching' tab.

The landing page for the masterminds: Luann Nigara

Sponsors: The Power Talk Friday Tour is sponsored by MyDoma Studios, Revel Woods, and Bijou Wall Coverings.

Luann's second book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, will be coming out in February of 2019.  This book is for the designer who wants to be intentionally focused, efficient and profitable. Luann has gathered 12 of the Power talk Friday experts and together they have created the go-to book for you to get detailed explanations, advice, and clarity about the ideas and concepts that have been discussed on the podcast, over the past two-and-a-half years.

Aug 28, 2018

Welcome! We have Dina Holland with us on the show today. And she's someone you may already know from her Instagram stories, with her really down-to-earth, likable and engaging approach. On today's show, we talk to Dina about the importance of finding your personal voice and the value of being real and authentic in everything you do- with your blog, your social media, and your website. Listen in today to find out how this can really help you to find clients who are just the right fit for you. 

Dina is the founder and principal of Dina Holland Interiors, but you might know her through her blog and Instagram account name, Honey, and Fitz.  It all started with a blog about eight years ago when Dina chronicled her own adventures in home decor and DIY projects. What started out as just a personal creative outlet quickly grew into a following of thousands with readers tuning in to see her own projects and those for neighbors and friends. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, Dina has grown her business far beyond the reaches of her blog and turned it into a successful full-service interior design firm with clients all over the country. Listen in today to find out what Dina has to share.

Show highlights:

  • How Dina's authentic voice on her website is a pre-qualifier to the clients that are reaching out to her.
  • The importance of being true to yourself.
  • The list of questions that Dina has on her website.
  • How Dina's questions help potential clients to find just the kind of help that they're looking for.
  • The really clever content to be found on Dina's website.
  • Why Dina has put pricing on her website.
  • The really great copy on Dina's website.
  • How Dina learned all she knows about design.
  • How Dina started out as an e-designer.
  • Dina's shift towards Instagram.
  • How, as a designer, to start charging friends and acquaintances.
  • The importance of having really good photos.
  • Charging appropriately for the managing, sourcing, ordering, and shipping of products.
  • Why charging an hourly rate is simply not enough.
  • How Dina managed to figure out the next level of trade sources.
  • How Dina managed to do floor plans when she first started out without any training.
  • How Dina dealt with her branding- from Honey and Fitz to Dina Holland Interiors.
  • Dina is getting ready to launch a small online shop.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Gail Davis #47

Carly Waters #211

Links:

Website - Dina Holland Interiors

Shop (launching later this summer) - Dina Holland Interiors

Instagram - @HoneyandFitz

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

Aug 24, 2018

Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! You're in for a huge treat today! We have Virginia Muzquiz, the Referral Diva, on the show with us! Virginia is a connector with a real passion for teaching people how to cultivate referrals. And on the show today she explains how she teaches people to be referral-ready so that they can go out and get the referrals they need to grow their businesses. Listen in to find out more.

Virginia is the owner and chief connection officer at Master Connectors Incorporated and she is the executive director of B & I in America. She has over thirty years of experience in teaching six-figure companies and solopreneurs how to build a sustainable and profitable business.

Virginia believes that referrals are built out of relationships- and that requires people to like and trust you. This is why she really knows that learning how to create and leverage social capital is crucial in building businesses. Her numbers don't lie and Virginia's methods grew the contract service division of a nationally known education franchise from zero to 2.5 million dollars specifically, and only, by word-of-mouth. Today Virginia shows more than 1400 entrepreneurs how to redirect the time and money spent in non-productive networking into leveraged word-of-mouth strategies that produce measurable improvements in their ROI. Virginia is also the host of the Passion + Purpose = IMPACT podcast. Listen in to find out what she has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Virginia explains where she starts when teaching people how to be referral ready.
  • Simply showing up with your skill-set, as a designer, is not enough.
  • The key to creating really effective referrals.
  • The gift that you need to bring along to your potential client.
  • The importance of being really clear.
  • Getting your clients to align with your core values.
  • Knowing who you are and what you love.
  • Giving to givers who give.
  • How Virginia helps business owners to discover their own, unique core values.
  • The importance of finding what you're really passionate about.
  • Virginia's four-step plan to succeeding at networking events.
  • What you need to read and listen to, in order to really be prepared for networking events.
  • The right way to get someone's business card.
  • Knowing what your niche is so that you can connect with your tribe.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Article.com #301

Links:

LinkedIn: Virginia Muzquiz

Website: Master Connectors

Twitter: The Referral Diva

Facebook: Master Connectors

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

To get the info about Luann's mastermind go to Luann Nigara and click on the coaching tab.

Aug 21, 2018

Welcome to today's show. We have Shannon Claire, a designer that Luann discovered on Instagram, with us on the show today. Shannon has a really beautiful Instagram feed and on the show today she will be talking about it and she will also share some tips from the perspective of someone whose career is not an Instagram marketer but has utilized the tool in a really effective way.

Shannon Claire is an interior designer and stylist based in Washington, DC, specializing in

creating beautiful spaces so that your home feels uniquely and comfortably you, but elevated. Shannon Claire offers many services that include full-service interior design by the hour, e-design projects for clients who do not live locally but still need design help, and event and space styling. She has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Domino, The Washington PostBuzzfeed, The Everygirl, Glitter Guide, The Charlotte Observer, CNN, Forbes, Style Me Pretty, House Beautiful Magazine, and Style At Home Magazine. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • The first thing to think about, as an interior designer, if you want to really start taking your Instagram seriously.
  • It can be hard to switch from using Instagram as a personal, or social tool, to use it as something that can funnel back into your business.
  • The importance of identifying what your particular brand looks like on paper, or in a photo.
  • Shannon explains why she only shares things on Instagram that fit into the specific aesthetic that she has created there- like pink walls.
  • The way that Shannon's before and after pictures really draw you in.
  • Shannon discusses her 'wake-up point'.
  • The benefits that she has seen from really dedicating herself to her particular style and aesthetic- and the kind of content that she was posting.
  • All the pictures on Shannon's feed are from her own home or her own projects.
  • The way that Luann's Instagram feed has changed recently.
  • The things that will really make your Instagram feed uniquely yours.
  • Choosing your Instagram photos intentionally.
  • The way that Shannon uses visual landmarks to let people know that she is in DC.
  • Some things that you can do to reach out to the people in your area, to let them know where you are.
  • Some information about the way that Instagram's algorithms operate.
  • The importance of having an engaged following on Instagram and building a community.
  • Effectively using captions on your photos.
  • Learning to be authentically yourself!
  • Ways to get your work featured out there.
  • What comment pods are-and how to use them.

Links:

Instagram - @shannonclaire

Blog - Shannon Claire Interiors

Pinterest - Shannon Claire Interiors

Shannon's website: Shannon Claire Interiors

Aug 17, 2018

Welcome to today's episode. We have Jane Dagni, the new editor-in-chief of Designers Today Magazine with us on the show today. Jane is a really well-regarded and true professional and today she will be talking to us about her new position as editor-in-chief, her take on the design industry, and also her future plans for the magazine. Listen in today to find out how Jane has really earned her respect in the design community.

Jane Dagni became an assistant editor at Country Living Magazine, a B2B magazine for professional interior designers, decorators and related businesses twenty-six years ago. She spent fourteen years at Country Living, where she wrote and produced at least a hundred-and-fifty feature stories and wrote countless columns. For the next eight years, she worked on writing gigs, short projects, and substitute teaching to support her family. Her clients included Benjamin Moore, Bob Vila, the Cottage and Gardens Magazines and Fort Lauderdale Magazine. In 2014 her colleague, Amy Flurry, recommended Jane as a communications manager at a tech startup that was creating a project management sourcing software for small boutique interior design firms. When the company closed Jane was hired as the editorial director at Steel Yard. Then, in December of 2017, Jane became editor-in-chief of Designers Today Magazine. Jane also participates in industry panels and Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • What makes Designers Today such an awesome magazine.
  • Jane's mission for the magazine.
  • Designers Today is becoming a subscription magazine. Go to Designers Today to sign up.
  • Jane explains what's happening with her magazine at the moment.
  • What makes Designers Today really stand out from other magazines.
  • The thrust of the magazine.
  • Some fun and unexpected things about Designers Today.
  • Building trust is really a big thing for Jane.
  • What Jane looks for in new designers.
  • The way that Jane is changing the structure of the magazine.
  • How Jane plans the issues of the magazine.
  • How Jane would like designers to communicate their journeys with her.
  • Why Jane really doesn't want people to feel intimidated.
  • Bypassing the small talk.
  • The kind of inspiration that Jane gets from vintage magazines.
  • The way that Jane is bringing the magazine back to life.
  • All about Jane's Designer Experience. Go to Designer Experience.
  • Jane's blog is a great way for designers to find out what she's looking for.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Laurel Bern #342

Amy Flurry #323 and #108

Laura Thurman # 272

Judith Taylor #340

Links:

Designers Today's website: Designers Today

Instagram: Jane Dagmi

LinkedIn: Jane Dagmi

Twitter: Jane Dagmi

Jane's email: jdagni@designerstoday.com

Books Mentioned on the Show:

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recipe for Press: The Designer Edition by Amy Flurry

Recipe for Press by Amy Flurry

 

Aug 14, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have the pleasure of introducing you to an Australian designer today, Belinda Nihill, the principal of Nest Design Studio. After the birth of her first child, and working as a qualified interior designer for more than fifteen years, Bel started a blog focused on children's spaces. On the show today she explains how her really small, niche blog, Nest, progressed to becoming a really successful boutique design firm with clients in Australia, USA, France, Ireland, Dubai, Canada and many more places around the world. Listen in today to discover how Bel managed to really set herself apart from other Australian designers.

Nest Design Studio was founded in 2010 and is known for its classic and creative style. Recognised both nationally and internationally, Nest has been featured in more than 25 magazines worldwide and has also been profiled on a number of other media outlets. Nest was included in the House and Garden Top Fifty Rooms of 2015 and in 2016 Bel released her first book, Beautiful Babies Rooms. Building on her reputation for being a leader in the children's interior field, and due to demand from her clients, Bel has now extended Nest to include residential and commercial interiors as well. Bel is a member of the Design Institute of Australia. Listen in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • How Bel's blog was born, soon after the birth of her child.
  • How Bel went about creating her blog.
  • Bel has completed nearly 500 nursery and children's room projects in the eight years that she's been in business.
  • What helped Bel's blog to grow and feed her business.
  • What Project Nursery is all about and how it helped Bel to grow her business.
  • Finding what you're really passionate about as a way to grow your business.
  • It took about six months for Bel's blog to gain some traction.
  • Some of the things that really helped Bel grow her blog.
  • What prompted Bel to start doing e-designing.
  • How Bel worked out how much to charge for e-design.
  • What Bel has learned about systems in the eight years since she's been in business.
  • What Bel learned from the episode with Chaney Widmer (#327).
  • Bel explains how her business has grown.
  • The kind of budget that Bel works with for children's rooms.
  • What's to be found in Belinda's book.
  • Belinda's plans for the future.
  • The steps that Belinda is taking towards her future plans.
  • How Belinda sources her products.
  • Belinda's advice for new designers.
  • Some tips for building community on Instagram.
  • Some of the challenges Belinda has faced with running her business out of her home.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Cheryl Janis #41

Laurel Bern #342

Chaney Widmer #327

Christina Perry #05

Rachel Moriarty #55 #214

To register to become an Article trade member go to Well Designed Article. Well Designed Article

If you would like to be in Luann's mastermind, email her assistant at Christie@luannnigara.com to set you up for a chat.

Aug 10, 2018

Welcome to today's episode of Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to introduce you to Peter Lang today. Peter is a really smart CPA who has niched his business around helping designers with their unique financial challenges, like unconventional sales tax situations and budgeting around the massive upfront payments from clients. Many designers and artistic professionals find that ordinary CPA's are simply not equipped to cope with their specific needs. Peter, however, is a proven expert in helping interior designers with the kinds of financial duties that they weren't taught in art school. On the show today Peter discusses the years he spent learning how to help our constantly under-served industry and he also explains why he chose to follow his dream of starting a firm of his own. Listen in find out more.

Peter started out at a large firm in Boston, where he became aware of the kind of problems that artistic professionals, like interior designers, were facing. He moved to a smaller firm but soon became bored with being a traditional CPA. He noticed that interior designers were constantly being under-served by standard CPAs, so he followed his heart and started his own business in Rhode Island, where he now lives with his family. Listen in today to find out what Peter has to share with you.

Show highlights:

  • Peter's experience of being told that he helped people too much while working at a cut-throat firm in Boston.
  • The importance of being comfortable enough with your accountant to ask him whatever you need to know.
  • How it happened that Peter started helping interior designers.
  • The difference between gross profit and net profit.
  • Why you need to keep track of your expenses in order to set your goals.
  • Financial mistakes that designers often tend to make.
  • How Peter helps new designers to really understand their financial situation.
  • The way that Peter helps designers to increase their profit margins.
  • Situations and ideas that could get designers into financial trouble.
  • Peter explains how putting your money into a number of different bank accounts can help you to better manage your finances.
  • Why you really need to trust your accountant.
  • How Peter helps designers navigate their way to success by finding the right software for their business.
  • Choosing the legal entity that best fits your specific business.
  • When it makes sense to change your business to become an S-Corporation.
  • Understanding more about taxation.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Michelle Williams #180

Fresh Books #265

Links:

Peter's website: The Designer CPA

Peter's email: peter@thedesignercpa.com

Peter on Facebook: The Designer CPA

Peter is also on Instagram

Aug 7, 2018

Welcome! We have Albie Buabeng with us on the show today and she's one smart lady! Albie will be sharing with us her journey into interior design, which has lead her to becoming exclusively an e-designer. She will also explain how the success she's enjoyed as an e-designer inspired her to produce a conference and a community called the E-Design Experience. The E-Design Experience was created specifically to help designers, just like you, on their journey to becoming a more efficient e-designer. Listen in today to find out more about Albie and her community.

After creating a comfortable, stylish, and functional home for her family of three in her NYC Hell's Kitchen studio apartment, Albie made the transition from retail visual merchandising to interior styling and design. And she hasn't looked back! She helps creatives and influencers in their fields decode their spaces and create beautiful dreamscapes. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

  • Show highlights:
    Why Albie has chosen to follow the e-design path.
  • The importance of having well-structured systems in place in your business.
  • The way that Albie has refined her processes.
  • Albie uses an automated email platform to ensure a smooth process for her clients from start
    to finish.
  • How Albie moved into teaching e-design to her colleagues.
  • Where the biggest challenges that Albies students are facing lie.
  • Albie's business model for the E-Design Experience.
  • The kind of designers that Albie attracts to her E-Design Experience community.
  • Where the different e-designers source their products.
  • The way that e-designers market their businesses.
  • How Albie managed to find her voice as an e-designer.
  • The social media platforms that Albie dropped out of while figuring out her specific path.

Albie describes her ideal client.
Other shows mentioned in this episode:
Article.com #301
Chaney Widmar #260
Nicole Hymar (Curio Electro) #125 #317
Links:
To become an Article trade member go to Well Designed Article to register. http://welldesigned.article.com
The E-Design Experience
Website: Albie Knows Design
YouTube: Albie Knows Design
Instagram: Albie Knows Design

Aug 3, 2018

Welcome to another episode of Power talk Friday! Today we have Mikael Dia, a digital marketing expert and the founder of Funnelytics, with us on the show. Funnelytics is a software company that helps entrepreneurs and marketers to convert traffic into more profit. And Mikael is a really extraordinary entrepreneur and marketing expert who is really passionate about helping business owners, just like you, to get your message out in a way that is more impacting, more direct and way more focused. On the show, we talk with Mikael about his Growth Accelerator program with its nine phases towards success in growing your business online. Listen in today to get Mikael's really helpful advice.

Mikael has two master's degrees- an MBA from the Hult International Business School, and a master's degree in civil engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, with a specialization in project management. Mikael's first venture was a Mandarin language school that he started in London in 2012. It grew quickly and Mikael and his business partner were able to exit from it successfully within eight months. Mikael has since grown his marketing agency, White Coat Digital, to over a million dollars in just eighteen months. He is known for his expertise in scaling online businesses very quickly and this has allowed him to raise over a million dollars in angel and seed funding for his ventures. Mikael,  originally from Montreal, now lives in Toronto with his wife and eighteen-month-old daughter. Listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • The best way to look at sales funnels.
  • Guiding the conversation with your potential clients.
  • How to start the process.
  • Finding the top of your mountain.
  • Discovering your ideal client and appealing to them in the right way.
  • Getting to understand your ideal client.
  • Putting out the right message to attract the right person.
  • The power of your marketing message.
  • Finding the emotional reasons for people's motivations.
  • Measuring what's working and what's not.
  • Creative ways to work with the numbers.
  • Mapping things out in a colorful, visual way.
  • Ways of keeping track of your Facebook ads.
  • All about Mikael's 16-week Growth Accelerator program.
  • The awesome support that Mikael's program will be offering.
  • Mikael's process is all about growth.
  • Why you really need to simplify everything.

 Links:

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Adam Urbanski #280

Nancy Ganzekaupher #256

Kae Whitaker #274

Kae Whitaker #259

Claire Jefford #325

To find out more about Mikael's Growth Accelerator program go to The Dia Project

Mikael's other website is  Funnelytics

You can reach Mikael's PR representative, Ester (Pinky) Kiss, on (323)770 3530 or find her at Born To Influence

To find out more about LuAnn's group coaching program or mastermind group starting on September 12, email Christie at christie@luannnigara.com to make the necessary arrangements.

Jul 31, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have Taylor Dietrich and Yashlie Negron with us and they are the co-founders a firm that works both in real locations and virtually, called Do Not Let Us Design. And that's a catchy name that really piques your interest, right? On the show today Taylor and Yashlie discuss their interesting journey in the industry, starting out as interns, being promoted and eventually graduating into project managers and junior designers. They have come up with a very interesting concept, so listen in today to find out more.

DNLUD as a name comes from the misconception of misjudging someone who might look too young or easygoing. Taylor and Yashlie have embraced any negative connotations and turned these to their advantage while striving to produce really unique and stunning interiors. 

Yashlie grew up around construction zones and witnessing places transform before her eyes instilled in her a desire to create a similar kind of magic. She graduated with a BFA in Interior Design from the New York School of Interior Design. Since graduating, she has worked with various design firms.

Taylor, inspired by travel and all things foreign, became inspired to contribute to the arts through interiors after spending a semester in Florence. After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in the Textile, Merchandising, and Design program, she quickly jumped into the trade. She specializes in project management.

Listen in to find out what these two really savvy ladies have to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • How DNLUD concept came about and why they decided to do it.
  • How they started their own company while still working part-time for another firm.
  • The kind of confidence they had, starting out.
  • Their process of legitimizing their brand.
  • The kind of legal assistance they used for their business.
  • Some of the things that Yashlie and Taylor do to assist designers.
  • The close attention that they pay to the details.
  • The way that they really have their systems locked down.
  • How they go about managing their projects.
  • Their way of being transparent with their processes, in real time.
  • The really organized process that they use with their clients.
  • The fees that they charge and the way that they get paid.
  • How they create a visual package for their clients.
  • How they understand the design holistically.
  • The way that they protect their clients' confidentiality.

Links:

Yashie and Taylor's website: DNLUD

Email Yashlie and Taylor at yashlieandtaylor@dnlud.com

Yashlie and Tayor on Instagram: dnlud

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Brittany Ems #149

Danielle Liss #171

Jul 27, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We have Chris Ramey, the president of The Home Trust International and Affluent Insights/Retail-Rescue, on the show with us today. Chris is a marketing professional who is very well versed in both our industry and the habits and traits of affluent people and he truly understands all there is to know about the client and the consumer base, particularly within the affluent consumer market. He's pointed out to us that research has shown that the biggest problem that interior designers are facing lately is finding clients. So today Chris, who really knows the kind of pain that many interior designers are experiencing right now, explains what luxury really means and how to interact with the extremely wealthy market. Listen in to find out more.

The Home Trust is an aggressive marketing agency with hyper-focused marketing programs to help them really penetrate the market. It is best known for its rich consumer-facing website which is aimed at high net-worth families, where they find the world's best products and services for their homes. Chris is a consultant and a speaker, consulting and speaking to organizations with all luxury categories. He is the most quoted independent authority in the luxury segment and he has, in the past,  been president of The Luxury Marketing Council Miami and The Luxury Marketing Council Palm Beach, as well as president and founder of Savvi Formalwear, and president of International Design Guild.

Chris is a member of National Speakers Association, a columnist for Hearst Business Publications' Floor Covering Weekly, and he has earned the 'Top 5% appellation' from Gerson-Lehrman for his work with private equity firms investing in home and luxury segments. He also sits on the Retail Wire Brain Trust panel and he is a director for Domestic Estate Management Association Palm Beach.

Chris, originally from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, now resides with his wife in Palm Beach County, Florida. Listen in to find out what he has to share with you on today's show.

Show highlights:

  • How Chris came to understand the affluent market so well.
  • What you, as a designer, need to understand in order to be successful in reaching the affluent market.
  • You don't sell to the affluent market- you fascinate them!
  • What it takes to connect with the affluent market.
  • Creating something that is uniquely yours.
  • Why you need to constantly be honing who you are and what you do.
  • Why it is really so important for you to have the courage to express your own, singular point of view.
  • How Chris helps designers.
  • Chris explains his 'Laws of Luxury'.
  • Why you should not align your brand with fashion.
  • The different kind of business model and sales strategy that is applied to the luxury market.
  • Evoking desire for your brand.
  • Having money doesn't necessarily make you a luxury consumer.
  • How to market to the truly affluent.
  • Scarcity is another pillar of luxury.
  • How logos define you.
  • Ways to get known within the really affluent market.
  • Collaborating is always a pillar of luxury- but you really do need to have enough money to advertise.
  • Why you really don't want to be perceived as isolated.
  • Surprising and delighting your client in a way that will drive loyalty to your brand.

 Links:

Chris Websites: The Home Trust

Email Chris at:
cpr@affluentinsights.com

cpr@thehometrust.com

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Nicole Heymer #125 and #317

Studio Thomas #314

Nancy Ganzekaupher #9

Jo Buckerfield #320

Jul 24, 2018

Welcome! Today we have a very smart lady, Lori Paranjape, of Mrs. Paranjape Design and Interiors with us. As well as being a really talented designer, Lori, affectionately known as Mrs. Paranjape, is also an excellent businesswoman and on the show today she's going to be offering lots of really practical advice for designers. She has had her work featured in People, HGTV Magazine, and Domino, as well as in many other publications. Listen in today to find out what Lori has to share with you.

Mrs. Paranjape Design and Interiors, which specializes in luxury residential and new construction projects, was started in 2008. Lori is a self-taught and extremely motivated designer. She started out helping friends and acquaintances with their homes. As time went by, referrals continued to pour in and Lori began working as the in-house designer for Redo Home and Design, the well-loved home retailer to generations of families based in Nashville. Listen in today as Lori discusses the really innovative relationship she has with Redo Home and Design, and she also encourages designers and retailers to build awesome partnerships, just as she has done with Redo.

Show highlights:

Lori's explains the details of her 'Design Collective' business model that she has set up in Nashville.

The wonderful, symbiotic relationship that Lori has with her business partner.

The clear distinctions between the different aspects of her partnership.

What constitutes a 'commissionable' sale within her partnership.

How Lori's commission is paid to her.

The intentional way that Lori sources everything that she needs.

How Lori's retailer provides everything that she needs.

The awesome and mutually beneficial kind of partnership that can be formed between a designer and a retailer.

The way that Lori and her partner work to utilize a relatively small showroom space to their best advantage.

Lori's unique, practical and real-life approach to designing a home for her clients.

The way that Lori really takes care of her clients.

Why you, as designers, really need to cultivate the skill of asking,  listening, and then going a little deeper.

Lori's special way of discovering the personal details about her clients, without making them feel uncomfortable.

Lori's innovative ways of encouraging clients to spend more money on a project, if it's necessary.

Some tips for overcoming difficulties with clients around the cost of a project in a comfortable way.

The conversations that Lori has with her clients right at the beginning of their relationship.

When to simply say 'no' to a client.

Using candles and music to transform a room and create the right atmosphere.

Ways of gaining a client's cooperation in using their home for a photo shoot.

How to Find Lori:

Website - Mrs. Paranjape

Instagram - @mrsparanjape

Pinterest - Mrs. Paranjape

Jul 20, 2018

Welcome to this week's Power Talk Friday! We have Raquel Langworthy, a lifestyle, and interiors photographer, with us. Rachel's philosophy is one of partnering very closely with her clients, so today we are going to be talking to her about how she does that with her designer clients, by creating with them a thorough and detailed relationship, working with them side by side and supporting them all the way. Listen in to find out more.

Raquel is a Lifestyle and Interiors photographer based in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. She services mainly the east coast but she's traveled the country for various photography assignments for both documentary storytelling and interiors. Raquel has recently been published in NY Cottage & Garden, for their cover story, as well as in many other online publications such as Domino.com and Architectural Digest online. Raquel moved to New Jersey two years ago, and although she still feels new to the NJ market she has had the pleasure of working with a host of talented interior designers and architects to capture their work and portraits. Her focus in photography is naturally lit bright spaces. Her goal when photographing interiors is not only to capture the overall space but captivate an audience through visual storytelling and well-styled compositions. Listen in to find out what Raquel has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • How Raquel starts her relationship with a new client.
  • The importance of using the right styling to create the perfect composition.
  • Why Raquel does not email her clients.
  • How Raquel prepares for a shoot.
  • Raquel also assists with the styling at times.
  • Photographing a full house really takes a whole lot of styling!
  • Raquel and Charlotte's work was featured recently on the cover of NY Cottage and Garden, and also in a ten-page article.
  • How to tell if it's really worth investing in a talented stylist for a photo shoot, or not.
  • What Raquel has learned from previous episodes of the podcast.
  • Why you really have to be ready, to work nationally.
  • The different specialties and skill sets of photographers.
  • Some things to look out for when taking photos with your iPhone.
  • Some tips for working with a photographer.
  • Some tips for designers, when thinking about hiring a photographer for a project.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show.

Charlotte #138

Ashley Hotham Cox #321

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Links:

Website - Raquel Langworthy

Instagram - Raquel Langworthy Photography

Facebook - Raquel Langworthy Photography

Jul 17, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We have Laurel Bern, of Laurel Bern Interiors on the show with us today.

Laurel Bern is an award-winning New York Interior Designer, blogger, brand ambassador and speaker. Her design work has been featured in national as well as Westchester County shelter magazines. She is known for a having a young-traditional aesthetic and is one to buck many of the current trends unless they happen to be classic favorites.
However, after 21 years as the principle designer in her firm Laurel Bern Interiors, she has turned her focus to blogging as a full-time occupation. Her award-winning blog, Laurel Home has drawn a large following – and by large- I mean with page views in the multiple hundreds of thousands every month- due to her candid style of writing, useful information and warm community of readers. You can see for yourself right on her website, laurelberninteriors.com she earns over $33,000 per month from her blog.

Laurel's Rolodex is a comprehensive shopping guide for home furnishings with links to the vendor/manufacturers and features a list of some 180 designer-friendly vendors for interior designers. No professional confidences are divulged. Laurel's goal is to help you make your home more beautiful, personal and a really comfortable place in which to live.  You will want to savor every moment of today’s show, so join us today to discover more about Laurel ’s incredible, entrepreneurial journey.

Show highlights:

  • How to blog effectively, in order to attract your ideal client.
  • Steps you should take right from the start in order to create a successful blog.
  • Your blog needs to live on a really well-built website.
  • What your 'about' page is truly all about.
  • The nuts and bolts of creating a successful website.
  • Why you need to have a navigation menu on every page of your website.
  • Selecting the most appropriate font for your website.
  • How to avoid overwhelming your readers.
  • How to use primary keywords
  • People want a lot of knowledge, but they also want to be entertained.
  • Figuring out your special secret sauce, and your own, unique voice.
  • Your content has to be rich with relevant information.
  • The importance of having your blog posts indexed.
  • Some things that will help you to create magic in your blog.
  • You can even take your own photos with your phone.
  • Some tips to enhance your photos.
  • Awesome ideas for free gifts for your readers of your blog.
  • Why Laurel loves using Wordpress.com.
  • Selecting information to place in your sidebar.
  • Ways to keep your readers on your website for as long as possible.
  • Learn about the $250 000 that Laurel left on the table for five years of her blogging career.
  • Why you should get yourself onto an advertising network.
  • The importance of blogging consistently.
  • Ways to encourage people to take your surveys.
  • Laurel has written a document called Six-figure Income Blogger, and it's really simple and full of the strategies that she's used, and lessons that she learned the hard way. Go to her website laurelberninteriors.com to get your copy for $199. It's in the first link in the main menu on the left-hand side.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show.

Claire Jefford #325

Linda Holt #97

Carla Aston #242

Stephan Spence #238

Recommendations:

For really awesome geek help, go to Eileen Lonergan

Laurel Bern Interiors
Instagram: Laurel Bern
Free Blogger Guide: Six Figure Income Blogger Guide
Jul 13, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really happy to introduce you to Esther (Pinky) Kiss today. Pinky is the founder of Born To Influence, a boutique publicity firm that specializes in helping experts and personal brands to get more publicity, leads, and sales. We will be talking to Pinky about how to get your ducks in a row, and understanding what you need to do, in order to be properly prepared for the marketing and PR process, and to gain credibility as an expert in your field. Today's show is geared for the interior designer who is in their own market, with a successful business, who would like to access PR and media opportunities specifically to create more business for their firm. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

Pinky has worked on campaigns in a variety of industries, including software as a service, mobile apps, and digital information. She also has a podcast called Born To Influence, The Marketing Show, where although she does not air new interviews at this point, there is still a library available, on iTunes, containing tons of information. Pinky has also been involved in bringing several book launches to national bestseller and New York Times status. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • The importance of having certain foundations in place, in order to be seen as an expert in your field.
  • Why you need to be really clear about your goals.
  • What you need to do to cover all the necessary bases, in order to get more clients.
  • Positioning yourself to gain more credibility through publicity.
  • The steps involved in creating an awesome bio to suit your specific needs.
  • An example of a bio containing really compelling information.
  • Creating a bio that will really earn you credibility
  • The next step towards getting some publicity, once you have your bio and website locked down.
  • How to really set yourself apart from the rest.
  • Learning to understand the problems that your potential clients would be facing, and to think the way that your potential clients would be thinking.
  • Creating your Intentional Media Message Content.
  • Creating different pitches to suit different situations.
  • Connecting your expertise to what the media is already interested in.
  • Choosing the right talking points to suit specific media situations.
  • Ways to connect with the right people in the right spaces.
  • Why you should get some local TV experience before attempting to get onto national TV.
  • Examining your underlying skill sets.
  • Looking at big, current news items and connecting to that, to get publicity.
  • All about Pinky's online study course, Publicity Empire.
  • The right time to hire a publicist.
  • Pinky has a free giveaway of her Media Positioning Checklist. Go to borntoinfluence.com/checklist to get it!

Links:

For the free training segment of Pinky's Publicity Empire online study course go to www.borntoinfluence.com/free-publicity-training

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Amy Flurry episodes #108 and #323

Pulp Design Studio episodes #176 and #310

Christy Leu episode #182

Ren Miller episode #12

Jul 10, 2018

Welcome to today's episode. We have Judith Taylor, of Judith Taylor Designs, with us on the show and today we talk to her about navigating the murky waters of working with friends and family. She also talks about the new furniture line that she is launching and her multi-generational heritage of furniture design and manufacture. In addition to studying interior design, Judith also studied at Toronto School of Art, she has a bachelor's degree in psychology and business administration and a past career in IT. These added areas of understanding have provided her with the unique ability to combine practicality, psychology, and aesthetics into her interior design projects. Listen in today to get her really spot-on advice and tips for working with family and friends in a way that won't drive you crazy!        

Judith is the founder and principal designer of her award-winning firm which specializes in residential design. She did her formal training in interior design in Toronto, where she received high honors for her work, which is inspired by broadly reaching disciplines. Judith started her career in IT, where she honed her skills in project management and developed a deep understanding of the process and an orientation to details. Today she lives in Toronto's Beaches neighborhood with her family. Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • All designers have a friend that they don't want to say 'no' to, or that they wish they hadn't said 'yes' to.
  • What to do when you're approached by someone at a dinner party and they ask for some free advice about interior design.
  • How to gently lead friends to the front door of your business.
  • Using the right language to make it very clear that you are dealing with a business transaction.
  • Sometimes there could be a fair payoff from working with friends or family.
  • Establishing firm boundaries can be really tricky with friends.
  • How a small favor can quickly snowball.
  • Giving yourself a chance to reflect on the reality of the workload of a personal favor.
  • Dealing with friends and family members who push your boundaries.
  • Being clear about what you will and won't do.
  • Explaining to friends and family the amount of work that goes into what you do.
  • Handling discounts appropriately with friends and family.
  • Why you have to be willing to have the hard conversation with friends and family.
  • About the soon-to-be-launched furniture line that Judith has developed.

Links:

     Judith's furniture line can be found at Silver 4 Home

     Blog "Point of View": Judith Taylor Designs

     Instagram

     Pinterest: Judith Taylor Designs

     Facebook: Judith Taylor Designs

     Houzz: Judith Taylor Designs

To find out more about LuAnn's in-person coaching seminar on 28 July in Las Vegas go to Luann Nigara

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Lee Cockerell #222

Jul 6, 2018

Welcome to Power talk Friday! Today we're talking taxes and we're really happy to introduce you to our guest, Craig Cody. Craig is a certified tax coach, a certified public accountant, a business owner and he is also a former New York City police officer with seventeen years on the force! Pretty impressive, right! Listen in to find out more!   

In addition to being a public accountant for the last fifteen years, Craig is also a certified tax coach to a select group of tax practitioners throughout the country. They undergo extensive training and education on various tax-planning techniques and strategies to become (or remain) certified. With this organization, Craig has co-authored an Amazon best-seller, Secrets of a Tax-free Life. On the show today, Craig discusses the services that he offers his clients, and how he saves them money, tax-wise. He also explains how to develop the right relationship with your accountant, and how to ensure that he's the right fit for your business. Listen in today to hear Craig's awesome advice!

Show highlights:

  • Craig and his organization have a really pro-active approach to taxation.
  • Why good relationships between business owners and their accountants are really all about great communication.
  • Some questions that designers who have recently started out in business should be asking their accountants.
  • How proper communication with your accountant can significantly affect the amount of taxes that you will have to pay.
  • How to know if an accountant will be the right fit for yourself and your business.
  • Craig explains the way that he works with his clients.
  • Knowing if your business is healthy enough to hire an employee.
  • How Craig's services help his clients make informed decisions.
  • Craig's kind of pro-activity.
  • Some typical tax-mistakes that Craig comes across.
  • Some awesome tax-rebates for home-office designers.
  • Crazy tax-deductions for working kids!
  • How Craig's services differ from those of other accountants.
  • Craig talks about his book, The Ten Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands.

To get your free copy of Craig's book, The Ten Most Expensive Tax Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Thousands

Links:

Website - Craig Cody and Company
Facebook - Craig Cody and Company
Twitter - Craig Cody & Company
Book - Secrets of a Tax Free Life 
Jul 3, 2018

Welcome! Today we have Orlando Soria, the founder of the blog  Hommemaker, with us on the show. Orlando is a really charming and thoughtful interior designer, writer, and visual artist, from Los Angeles, California, with an unpretentious attitude towards the world, and his place in it. Listen in to our conversation today and find out what he has to say about the way that design, art, and writing can influence the world and the way that people think.  

Orlando got his start on HGTV as Emily Henderson‘s on-camera assistant on the home makeover series Secrets From A Stylist. A graduate of Cornell’s University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning and The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, Orlando has been a staple of the design industry for years. His first book, Get It Together!, was released in Spring 2018 and in May of this year, Domino named him as one of the top twenty-nine designers to follow on Instagram. Listen in today to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • All about Orlando's zany brand new book, Get It Together! An Interior Designers Guide to Creating Your Best Life.
  • The creative process that Orlando went through, writing his book.
  • Why Orlando's book really stands out from all other design books.
  • Orlando's humble and unpretentious upbringing.
  • What influenced Orlando's creativity, growing up.
  • Why Orlando really likes to make things.
  • Why Orlando loves Martha Stewart so much!
  • What it was like, being on TV, and what Orlando has learned from the whole experience.
  • Orlando's really lucky break!
  • Orlando's humble attitude towards his strokes of luck.
  • Learning to appreciate the good things that come your way, in life.
  • The struggles that Orlando has gone through, since graduating.
  • Orlando discusses his blog, Hommemaker.
  • Orlando's plans, going forward.

Links:

Hommemaker website: Homme Maker

Orlando on Instagram: Orlando Soria

Orlando on Pinterest:  Orlando Soria

Orlando on Facebook:  Homme Maker

Orlando on Twitter:  Orlando Soria

To buy a copy of Orlando's book:

Get It Together!: An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life

Jun 29, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to have Fred Berns back on the show today! Fred has been our guest many, many times before and he continues to bring value every time, getting right to the point with his really actionable topics. If you're new to the show, Fred has been on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, and #289 of the podcast. He is the only interior design industry business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and promotional material for design professionals all over the world, so listen in to find out what he has to share today, about how to set and get higher fees for the work you do.

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. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Why Fred really loves what he does so much.
  • Why so many designers, who work so hard, just aren't realizing the abundance and the prosperity that they deserve.
  • It's been Fred's passion over the years to convince designers to increase their fees dramatically.
  • The number one obstacle that's preventing designers from charging higher fees.
  • What Fred has discovered about some of the most financially successful, high-end designers in the world.
  • High-end clients are used to paying designers high-end fees.
  • Making the decision to make more money- and then focusing on that.
  • Why earning more is all about your mindset.
  • Having the guts to appreciate your value and raise your fees accordingly.
  • Create a list of twenty reasons why you can actually double your fees.
  • You can raise the standard of the whole design industry by charging higher fees.
  • Learning to run your own business by your own rules.
  • Explaining your value to your clients.
  • People with money always have money, regardless of the current financial climate.
  • Focusing on the pain points of your high-end clients, then painting yourself as a caregiver.
  • Positioning yourself as a partner to your high-end clients.
  • What you have to do to double your fees.
  • How to deal with any objections to your price.
  • Small thinking brings about small results.
  • Give yourself permission to earn what you really deserve, and to enjoy financial prosperity!
  • All about Fred's new Platinum Package.

Links and contacts:

Fred's website: Interior Design Business.net

Bio Briefing
Website Onceover

Fred's email: fred@fredberns.com

Fred's phone number: 3035893013

Jun 26, 2018

Welcome to the show! We have a special episode today, with Kim Hoegger, the award-winning owner, and designer of Kim Hoegger Home. On the show today Kim talks to us about her passion for antiques, retail store ownership, her days as a restaurateur, and also about her thirty plus years of experience in residential and hospitality design. Listen in to find out more.

Kim's business sense, her Southern charm, and her hospitality have all helped her create a design firm that delivers sophisticated, yet livable interiors to clients that return project after project. She is a designer with an eye for fresh, personally curated interiors and she brings a sense of warmth to each and every interior project she creates. With her classic, yet eclectic style, she easily mixes the old with the new in a refreshing way. From coastal to cottage, rustic to chic sophisticated, Kim creates interiors where her clients feel at home in spaces that enhance the lives they lead. Listen in to find out what she has to share on today's show!

Show highlights:

  • About the exciting launch of Kim's new textile designs!
  • What to expect when you dive right in and go after your dreams.
  • Where to go after working out your initial design concept.
  • Some things to think about that may not have occurred to you before.
  • Having to wear many different hats, as a designer.
  • The awesome advice that Kim received, that really took her to the next level.
  • How Kim managed to align with just the right person!
  • What it really takes to build a platform with your brand- and recognition too.
  • What Kim has accomplished in a really short time, by hiring a publicist.
  • Finding the right balance with a new endeavor.
  • Why you should really get your work professionally photographed.
  • Going after your dreams with your eyes wide open.
  • How Kim handles the sale of her fabrics.
  • Having a licensed product is no sideline- it's another whole business!
  • All about Kim's new retail showroom.
  • Kim really knows her clients well, so her buying process is very streamlined.
  • What's coming up for Kim in the future?
  • Kim's way of re-branding her products.
  • Kim has also started coaching new designers and business owners.

Other episodes mentioned on this show:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323
Andrew Joseph #39
Steve and Jill McKenzie #304

Jun 22, 2018

Welcome to Power talk Friday! Today we're talking organization and we're really happy to introduce you to our guest, Jane Stolly. Jane is a Lifebizz Organizer, author and university Instructor who found her passion in decluttering spaces, business processes, and closets. The Structure Strategist loves to help companies and individuals getting more organized.  Pretty impressive, right! Listen to today’s episode to find out more!

Where Jane's organizing knack comes from? She believes it must be her Swiss roots. Jane's love for organizing began when she was six years old: As a young girl she was often found happily lining up her cats by size, her stuffed animals by color, her books by publication date. What makes Jane's organizing approach unique is her holistic method. She starts redefining your office and continues at your home - or vice versa. The end results of her seminars, coaching and/or consultations? Reduced stress, increased happiness and productivity. "Organizing is a lifestyle, that will help you conquering anything."Jane strongly believes that custom-tailored organizing systems and routines will massively enhance your work and life. By now, she did not only convince numerous friends and her family but also various clients of this mantra. Listen to today’s show to hear Jane’s awesome advice!

Show highlights:

  • Learn how to makeover your home or business!
  • Declutter your home and your life to reduce stress.
  • Make your system work for your lifestyle.
  • Learn how to set things up so that you make the most of your time.
  • Learn how Jane’s passion of organizing evolved to a different level of helping clients organizing their businesses with sustainable systems.
  • Reaching out for help with organization is crucial for individual and personal growth.
  • Learn how valuable “outside eyes” looking at your business can be.
  • Re-organizing your business systems or marketing can save you time and money.
  • Jane shares how to look at physical things from a different perspective.
  • Organizing your priorities can save you time.
  • Learn the importance of starting small when organizing.
  • Jane shares how she markets her business outside her circle of influence.
  • Jane shares how she overcomes fear in her own business.
  • Jane shares how she has time to help others pursue their dream businesses.
  • LuAnn encourages designers who are thinking of starting their own businesses to realize they have a lot to offer others and to get started.

Links:

Order your copy of Organizing for Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases is Jane’s book.

Website: Organizing for Your Lifestyle

Instagram: Organized Jane Stoller

Facebook: Organizing Jane

Twitter: Organizing Jane

Linkedin: Jane Stoller

Jun 19, 2018

Welcome to the show! Today we have a great opportunity to showcase another career you might consider if you're looking for a slightly different angle within the design industry. We have Debbie Pegher, a long-time listener who is also an all-around amazing cheerleader of this podcast as our guest! Debbie is the showroom manager of   Century Furniture, in the Washington Design Center and she has more than thirty years of experience as a designer working in retail, a design studio, and having her own design firm before she became the manager at Century. Listen in to find out more.

Debbie serves as the board of directors of The Washington Design Center and she regularly hosts events for the design community in the 5000 square foot Century showroom. She served as membership director of the ASID Washington Metro Chapter from 2014 to 2016. Century Furniture was awarded Best Made in America, in 2012, by  Made, a non-profit which honors excellence in American design, with Debbie's expertise. Furniture from Century was featured at the National Reagan Airport, and this honor culminated in an invitation to the US Capital, to watch the fireworks show, on 4th July. Debbie's leadership has earned her and the DC team at Century Showroom of the Year twice, most recently in 2017, with the best sales record recorded, for their showroom! Debbie credits and shares this with her co-worker, Gloria Domingez, a seasoned and talented design-oriented member of this two-person team. Listen in to find out what Debbie has to say today!

Show highlights:

  • Debbie gives a detailed explanation of how being an interior designer for so many years has informed her ideas and decisions at Century Furniture.
  • The wonderfully welcoming approach of the staff at the Century Furniture showroom towards designers.
  • About the fantastic team at Century- including those based at the factory in North Carolina.
  • The real human kind of client experience that's to be found at the Century Furniture showroom.
  • The willingness of Century to customize items, if required.
  • The importance of treating all designers, including the young and junior ones, really well.
  • Some of the things that Debbie has instituted at the showroom to welcome, and also to teach designers.
  • Although it's a trade-only showroom, they still encourage the public in to come in and browse.
  • How it really pays off for designers to create great relationships with design showrooms.
  • The awesome events that Debbie hosts at the showroom at the Washington Center.
  • The new and exciting events that Debbie has coming up for the Summer season.
  • It's all about who you know- and who knows you!
  • How Century services work 'the Century way', to avoid any problems.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Kristen McLaughlin #319

Links:

Century Furniture
Instagram: Century Furniture
Facebook: Century Furniture
Linkedin: Debbie Pegher
Instagram: Wash Design Ctr
Facebook: The Washington Design Center
Twitter: Wash Design Ctr
Pinterest: The Washington Design Center
Twitter: Century Furniture
Pinterest: Century Furniture
Jun 15, 2018

Welcome to today's show! Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the zillions of ideas running through your head about how to improve your business? If so, you are not alone! We have heard so many of you saying in coaching, mastermind or one-on-one sessions that as much as you love the podcast, it can sometimes be the at the root of that feeling of panic. Running your own business is crazy and when you come to the podcast for help, you get it and then you land up with a notebook full of everything that you should be doing in your business.  But, this can really be daunting if you don't have someone to help you prioritize and execute those ideas, so listen in today, to find out how we've been inspired to help you with this.

The Power Talk Friday Tour is one of the solutions that LuAnn has come up with. She is inviting you to spend the day with her and with four selected experts from the Power Talk Friday shows and they will all deliver their very best to you. As long as you have a genuine desire to do the work, we promise to help you figure out the plan that is best for you. And it really doesn't matter if you're six months, six years, or even thirty-six years into your business! If you're interested in working hard and working smart, we're interested in working alongside you and we want to give you the tools to make it possible. Listen in now to find out more about the Power Talk Friday Tour -Las Vegas!

Show highlights:

  • For the Power Talk Friday Tour- Las Vegas you will spend time with Vince Nigara, Sarah Daniele, Nancy Ganzekaupher and Mark McDonough.
  • What you can expect at the Power Talk Friday Tour.
  • A great opportunity for you to access real-time advice and create relationships of quality and merit.
  • Why we have included small breakout groups.
  • An added bonus that you can expect from the sponsors.
  • In addition to Sarah Daniele, Grace McNamara and John Dupra will be joining us too!
  • What you can learn from Grace McNamara.
  • How Revel Woods can help you be more profitable and serve your clients better.
  • The awesome kind of connections that you will make with your fellow attendees.
  • Re-listen to some of the shows to get to know your Las Vegas team of experts a little better: #78 Vin Nigara, #91 Sarah Daniele, #15, #159 and #256 Nancy Ganzekaupher, #110 Mark McDonough.
  • LuAnn will be doing what she always does- break it all down, summarize it and give you ways to think about the new information.
  • About the four books that LuAnn had in mind to support this endeavor.
  • How the Power Talk Friday experts can really help you.
  • The real beauty of the Power Talk Friday Tour!
Jun 12, 2018

Welcome to today's show! We have another in the series of husband and wife teams today and our guests are Jenny and Greg Madden, of Jenny Madden Design in Hoboken New Jersey. Today's interview is packed with valuable insights about knowing when it's the right time to employ an operations manager, how to work out if you can actually afford it, and the results that you could expect to get after placing someone in that role. Jenny and Greg truly are the real deal and they really have it together, so listen in today to find out what they have to share today.

In the interview, LuAnn makes a point of complimenting Jenny and Greg on their About Us page, so we have decided to give you their company bio here, so that you can have an opportunity to see for yourselves just how deftly it conveys Jenny's skill and expertise, how it calls to their ideal client and expresses the way that they handle their projects with respect to budget, time, and the overall client experience. Listen in to find out more!

Jenny Madden Design Bio

At Jenny Madden Design, we take great pride in our client focus. We will not push a cookie cutter, signature-style onto your home. Instead, we’ll listen to your unique needs, dreams, and goals to create spaces that align with your design style and enhance your lifestyle. We also understand the importance of sticking to a budget. We specialize in mid-to-high-end furnishings, which will be of lasting quality and uncommon design. To that end, we’ve built relationships with a wide range of trade-only vendors, allowing us to bring you those sources at an exceptional value, making the most of each client’s budget.

Jenny Madden Design has been in business designing beautiful spaces since 2011. Prior to founding Jenny Madden Design, Jenny acquired formal training from top-tier programs in both Architecture (BA, Columbia University) and Interior Design (MS, Drexel University). She then gained invaluable professional experience across multiple facets of the industry, including construction management, architecture, furniture sales and interior design. The years she spent working for a general contractor, managing large-scale construction projects, are particularly unique within the interior design industry. This breadth of experience places Jenny Madden Design in the distinctive position to not only design beautiful interiors but to successfully manage projects through to completion. Jenny is able to speak the language of the broader industry and build successful partnerships with architects, builders, and vendors. She understands that a smooth, professional project experience is as important to her busy clients as an excellent aesthetic design.

Jenny built out her team to ensure she has the right mix of talent to enhance and support your project. Stefania and Maggie support the design and drafting phases, while Greg keeps operations and budgets tightly controlled. Our goal as a firm is to maintain boutique customization while providing the systems and support typically reserved for firms with a larger headcount.

At the end of the day, we believe our portfolio speaks for itself. We love that our work has been recognized in local and national publications, both in print and online. But we take the most pride in our ever-growing list of happy clients.

Jenny Madden Design offers luxury interior design services in the greater New York City area, based out of our Hoboken, NJ office. Whether you are embarking on a new construction project, a gut renovation or looking to furnish your existing space, our interior design team will guide you through the design process and into your dream home.

Show highlights:

  • The really awesome About Us page at Jenny Madden Design.
  • Some tips from Jenny and Greg's experience of working together.
  • Making the decision to put all their eggs in one basket.
  • Why it was really necessary to have someone in an operations role.
  • Greg as a pioneer in the work/family role.
  • Greg and Jenny's really supportive relationship.
  • The evaluation process they used for crunching the numbers.
  • Their plan for dealing with their downward change financially.
  • The benefits of having a fixed agreement for the business.
  • How they've managed to keep on track with their projections.
  • The way that their relationship has developed in the business.
  • The importance of having great communication when working together.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Andrea Schumacher #86 and then a replay on #275

Links:

Contact details for Jenny Madden Design:

website: Jenny Madden Design
email: info@jennymaddendesign.com

phone: 908-273-1634
office: 50 Harrison Street, Suite 202B Hoboken, NJ 07030
showroom: W Hoboken Living Room, 225 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Jun 8, 2018

Welcome to today's episode! We're very happy to finally be doing our second show on Pinterest today and we have Kate Ahl, the owner of Simple Pin Media, on the show with us. Kate teaches Pinterest marketing and she is really passionate about helping bloggers, content creators, and small business owners to grow by using Pinterest for their business. If you don't really have your Pinterest locked down as yet, you can go back and listen in to episode #292 with Summer Tannhauser to get the basics, because today, Kate and LuAnn will take you onto the next step. You're really in for a treat, so listen in now to find out more!

Kate does full-service management of people's Pinterest accounts and she also does consult calls with people who really need to get their Pinterest house in order. Kate originally started Simple Pin as a way to help her blogger friends to focus on creating content for their blogs and now, four years later, she has worked with more than four hundred accounts and she has one hundred management clients on her books.

Simple Pin was started on a whim and a prayer that it could provide for a family financially when they were living off government assistance and only $1000 per month! Kate runs Simple Pin out of her She Shed in her garden, and she even has a Pinterest board devoted to her She Shed ideas. She finds working from home a peaceful way to balance her family life, as she has three kids and also a bonus foster baby to care for. Kate and her husband are passionate about running their businesses in a way that allows them the space to do great things that can really impact their community. Kate often gets asked to speak on Pinterest and she has spoken at Build Your Blog Conference, Indulge and Blended, SNAP, and Social Media Marketing World. This year, she will be speaking at Activate, Everything Food, and Fincon. She really loves speaking about Pinterest, so listen in to find out what she has to share with you on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • Pinterest is actually a search engine- it's like a visual Google!
  • Some things that you really need to know, to make your Pinterest more effective and to drive more people to your website.
  • The importance of having the right kind of images on Pinterest.
  • Supplying the right information about your images on Pinterest.
  • The two types of people to be found on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest is a place where people go to dream and plan- and to save their ideas.
  • How to specify where you are located on Pinterest.
  • Telling your story with catchy phrases on your pins.
  • Thinking about your clients' pain points when creating your posts.
  • Earning people's trust with Pinterest.
  • Thinking of your website as a central hub.
  • Why you, as a designer, should encourage your clients to create a Pinterest board.
  • Innovative ways of creating your various Pinterest boards.
  • Why it's still really worth using Pinterest, even though it can take a while to build up steam.
  • How Pinterest is actually designed to help people take action.
  • Some tips for your best pinning practices.
  • Why it's okay to use the same images over and over again!
  • Why you really have to listen to the Simple Pin Podcast!
  • All about Kate's Full Pinterest Planner- you can download it for free at Simple Pin Media!

Other episodes mentioned on today's show:

Summer Tannhauser #292

Allison Fannin #223

Leslie Carothers (Savour Partnership) #209
Links:

Website: Simple Pin Media
Pinterest: Simple Pin Media
Facebook: Simple Pin Media
Twitter: Simple Pin Media
Podcast: Simple Pin Media Podcast
Jun 5, 2018

Welcome to today's Where Are They Now show, where we will be re-interviewing Darla Powell, from Darla Powell Interiors in Southern Florida. Darla originally appeared in episode #203, where she shared a lot of information about how she got her business off the ground and right out of the gate within the first seven months. On today's show, you will learn about everything that Darla has managed to accomplish over the last year- and she will also be announcing something brand-new, which will be making its debut on the podcast today! Listen in to find out more.

Darla has a fun, genuine and down-to-earth approach to the designing of beautiful spaces. Since she launched her career in 2016, she has grown her business almost exclusively by word-of-mouth and her clients have really fallen in love with her work!

In her past life, Darla spent almost twenty years as a Detective Sergeant in Miami Florida, so one might say that she is an expert on the importance of having complete tranquility at home after a stressful day at work! Also, her background has carried over many hidden perks- including a strong sense of integrity, accountability and a ready-for-anything-ness that is key for home renovation projects.

Darla's career transformation was fueled by her need to express her boundless creativity. She spent her childhood summers rummaging through her grandmother's antique store where she developed an extensive knowledge of antiques, collectibles and of pieces that look perfect together, so Darla's refined eye definitely sees those diamonds hiding in the rough! Above all, Darla really loves creating rooms that are gorgeous, elegant and soothing, so listen in now to find out what she has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Darla talks about some of the things she's learned over the last year.
  • The difference that the hiring of assistants has made to the growth of Darla's business.
  • How Darla re-invented herself at the age of fifty.
  • Why Darla has begun to delegate outside of her particular zone of genius.
  • Why Darla's company has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year.
  • Starting a business costs money, so you really need to have a plan.
  • Some of the more challenging moments when Darla first started out as a designer.
  • Darla's initial fears about raising her rates.
  • The kind of clients that Darla attracted when she was charging lower rates.
  • Finding your sweet spot in order to attract your ideal client.
  • How Darla managed to attract the huge number of Instagram followers that she has!
  • Keeping abreast with the latest Facebook algorithms.
  • The importance of being authentic and engaging quality followers on social media.
  • Using rich pins on Pinterest to drive traffic to your website.
  • The awesome clients that Darla has attracted through social media.
  • The benefits of sharing other people's work on social media.
  • All about Darla's exciting, soon-to-be-launched new venture- Wingnutsocial.com.

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

Barbara Viteri (Designerlebrity) #155

Allison Fannin #223

Leslie Carothers #209

Summer Tannhauser #292 

Resources mentioned on the show:

Website: Darla Powell Interiors
Website: Wingnut Social
Instagram:  @darlapowellinteriors 
Instagram:  @wingnutsocial
Facebook: Darla Powell Interiors
Twitter:  @wingnutsocial

Book: The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Jun 1, 2018

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have John Dupra of Revel Woods with us for an interview today and they are also the sponsor of today's show! Revel Woods' mission is to make the buying process of expert-curated, high-quality hardwood floors as easy as possible. Today, John explains the proprietary algorithm, and how it removes a large number of the technical barriers that one normally faces when sourcing a wooden floor. He also talks about the new website that they are launching, with a revamped pro-program, to help you, as designers, to make money on this sought-after, high-ticket item. Listen in today to find out about the really unique method that Revel Woods has developed specifically to enable interior designers to learn about and also to confidently specify hardwood floors on their projects.

John's father, Craig, started out in the wood-flooring business, working as an installer and a re-finisher before John was even born. Craig did this work for twenty-four years before eventually opening his own wholesale wood-flooring distribution company in Rochester, New York. While John was growing up, he spent all his summer holidays helping his father in his business. He then took a job with Saint-Gobain, a large materials manufacturing company, where he traveled the country as a sales engineer, working with flooring contractors for a period of eight years, before deciding to return home to join the family business in wholesale distribution. When John returned to the business, he joined up with the operations manager and together they developed an idea to put the boutique flooring showroom experience online. Their inspiration came from high-end fashion sites, like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club, and this was how the idea for Revel Woods was born. John has been featured in a number of the publications in the industry, including being recognized in Hardwood Floor Magazine's first ever forty under forty.

Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • John talks about the supply chain in the industry.
  • Where interior designers can go to see what the Revel Woods product looks like. (Revel Woods)
  • How Revel Woods make their product equally and fairly available to everybody at the distribution level so that they are able to control the end-user experience from beginning to end.
  • Why the Revel Woods brand is really a brand of curated expertise from top to bottom.
  • The high level of care that's provided by Revel Woods.
  • What happens when you complete the Revel Woods Selector and how it works.
  • How flooring really forms the center of every design space from an aesthetic standpoint.
  • How the Revel Woods product is designed