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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
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.

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