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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: October, 2019
Oct 29, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

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

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

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

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

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

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Amber De La Garza #385 and #436

Stephen Karlisch #369

Dala Al-Fuwaires #392

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

Carolyn Flannery #453

Jana Platina Phipps (The Trim Queen) #293

Darla Powell (Wingnut Social Media) #203 

Rebecca Richardson #330

Links:

Website: Amber Dawn Interior

Instagram: @amber.dawn.interiors

Facebook: Amber Dawn Interiors

Oct 25, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

WTF episode numbers #462 and #471

Links:

Comfortex Window Fashions

IWCE Vision

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

Link to RSVP for November 5th at Exclusive Flooring Concepts 

Or

Luann Nigara: Live Event

Oct 22, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Amanda’s website

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Email

Palette Archives

Article Trade Program

Oct 18, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Instagram: Desi Creswell

Website: Desi Creswell

Link to download the free guide:  Time And Profit

Previous show mentioned in this episode:

Amber De La Garza: #385

-Buffering:

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

Oct 15, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Bio:

Bria Hammel

PRINCIPAL DESIGNER & CEO

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

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

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236, #270

Tools that Bria's team uses:

Asana

Slack

Links:

Bria Hammel Interiors

Facebook: Bria Hammel Interiors

Instagram: Bria Hammel Interiors

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

Link for LuAnn's book LuAnn Nigara

Books recommended for learning about the EOS System:

Traction by Gino Wickman

Get A Grip by Mike Paton and Gino Wickman

Oct 11, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

About The FabricShield:

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

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

Bios:

Scott Schleicher

Co-Founder

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

Rene Schleicher

Co-Founder

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

Links:

Website: The Fabric Shield

Facebook: The Fabric Shield

Twitter: The Fabric Shield

Instagram: The Fabric Shield

Oct 8, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

John McClain Home

John McClain Design

Instagram: @johnmcclainhome

Facebook: John McClain Home

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

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

Oct 4, 2019

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

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Peter Lang #349 and #464

Links:

To learn more about working with Vita and Vitalia Inc

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

To learn more about working with Window Works

To receive a free subscription to Window Fashion Vision Magazine

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

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

To learn about Exciting Windows

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

Oct 1, 2019

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

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

Show Highlights:

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

Links:

Website: Form And Field

Instagram: Form And Field

Pinterest: Form And Field

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Judith Taylor #340

Eileen Hahn #363

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

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