A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast

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.
RSS Feed
A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast










All Episodes
Now displaying: 2017
Sep 4, 2017

My guest for today’s amazing show is Candy Scott, the Principal of MOOD Design + Build, based in Chicago. She gives practical advice on launching, growing, and sustaining an interior design business. Candy has 15 years’ experience in both commercial and residential design. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, with a BS in Interior Design. You’ll hear her describe how her early experience working with a large developer and  with large corporate clients, outfitting high-rise condominiums, lobbies, model homes, and showrooms all contributed to some of the principles and lessons she brings to her own business. She founded MOOD Design + Build in 2014, and continues to work with residential clients and small business owners with their homes, offices, and small-scale commercial interiors.

Show highlights:

  • Candy’s background and experience after design school
  • Benefits to working at a furniture store, learning customer service and different segments of the business
  • Making mistakes in the early years: “falling down and getting back up again”
  • The consciousness it takes to “get out of the drama”
  • Finding the place of relating to clients, vendors, and contractors with a sense of mutuality
  • Meeting clients where they are: hearing their frustrations and fear
  • The range of services offered by MOOD Design + Build
  • How the design phase and the build phase differ
  • Breaking down a project into smaller increments and tracking the data
  • How to be the go-to for referrals for the business that larger firms don’t want
  • Why you must attend networking events
  • Weekly sales activity: why you can’t let this part of your business go
  • Developing relationships with realtors
  • Candy’s blog post with 7 Initial Questions for Developing a Beautiful Space and 5 Steps to Making a Beautiful Space (check out her website!)


Candy’s website and blog:

Her Twitter:

Sep 1, 2017

Great news! We have Fred Berns back on the show today, for Power Talk Friday! Fred has been with LuAnn in episodes #22, #48, #96 and #174, so they really go way, way back! If you're new to this show, you have a really great treat in store, because Fred is a Coach, specializing in the Interior Design Industry. He has been coaching and writing promotional copy for Interior Designers for more than thirty years and he is the only Interior Design Business Coach and Speaker who creates promotional materials and personal bio's for Design Professionals, right across the world. Listen in to find out more.

LuAnn just adores Fred, who has really brought so much value to the Design Industry! He creates online profiles, websites, social media copy, blogs, and marketing forums.  Fred believes that the Fall, which he calls The Prime Time For Promotion For Designers, to be the very best time of year for Design Professionals to market themselves. Today, Fred and LuAnn discuss ways that you can sell yourself to the same customers and clients that you have, and also to some new ones, so listen in now, as we find out from Fred why he believes this to be the very best time for you to be promoting your business.

Show highlights:

  • Fred explains why he sees the Fall as the time for gold.
  • Fred explains his concept of a September Letter and what should go into it.
  • The main motive behind the September Letter is to re-introduce yourself to the market place and to remind them about the fabulous services that you have to offer, with your new, killer bio.
  • All the different people that you could send a September Letter to.
  • What Fred sees as the number one obstacle for Design Professionals around the world.
  • Some great ideas for Fall Specials.
  • Fred's thoughts on giving special offers, without having to lower your fees.
  • Snail mail sometimes has more impact than emails.
  • Fred goes over his Champions Checklist.
  • LuAnn gives some great ideas for Marketing yourself in the Fall and building your networking muscle.
  • Fred reminds you that you miss a hundred percent of the shots you didn't take.
  • What your blog posts need to be addressing, right now.
  • Some ideas for a Fall Fix Up Session.
  • More good reasons for marketing yourself in the Fall.
  • Both Fred and LuAnn are going to be at America's Mart, in Atlanta, in the last week of September.
  • If you're looking for some help with your September Letter, or with your Fall Strategy, go to for a thirty-minute session with Fred.


His website:
Aug 31, 2017

You're probably wondering what LuAnn's doing here on a Thursday, right? Well, this is a news flash that needed it's own show and its own announcement,  so here it is: LuAnn, together with Nancy Ganzekaufer, the first person on the show to introduce the concept of niching in Interior Design (episode #9), is launching a ten week, Live Coaching Session and it's called Money, Mindset And  Sales. LuAnn really wants to make sure that you've heard about it and that you have the chance to be in on this program, so listen in now- it's going to be killer!

Nancy and LuAnn hatched this idea about a week and a half ago after they had a conversation about how they both love talking to people and teaching them about sales and they've been discussing this idea, almost constantly, since then. They also really love to see the breakthrough when someone has a shift in mindset about something, so they made a snap decision to do a Coaching Session together. No grass grows under their feet, so listen in to find out how to really kick it out and bring it home in this year of 2017.

Show highlights:

  • Nancy was back on the show for episode #159 and there she gave a list of what you need to do, to get really confident and clear on what you offer to your Interior design clients.
  • LuAnn explains how the program, which is starting on the 13th of September, is going to work.
  • Every session will be recorded and made available to you in your inbox, on that day, in case the time zone doesn't work for you.
  • You will also have access to LuAnn and Nancy through a Facebook Group, for your questions.
  • There will be a limited number of people accepted for this program.
  • The two free coaching sessions that you will get with this program.
  • Together, LuAnn and Nancy have fifty years of experience in high ticket sales.
  • LuAnn explains what her goals are, for this program.
  • LuAnn discusses two more goodies that you will get, with this program.
  • LuAnn talks about her book, The Making Of A Well Designed Business.
  • LuAnn discusses Nancy's fifteen module course, called Nail Your Sales Training.
  • LuAnn gives you the cost of their Money, Mindset, And Sales coaching session.
  • Go to for all the information and to see a video of LuAnn and Nancy describing the course.
  • This course can really help you to kill it in the last quarter of 2017!


Aug 30, 2017

Today is the third show in the series which has been sponsored by Certified Cruelty Free Design, which is the heart project and brainchild of Deborah Rosenberg, of DiMare Design in Miami, Florida. If this is the first time that you're listening to this show, you can go back and listen to #82, where we met Deborah Rosenberg, to find out more about her and how she runs her business.

Then, in episode #117, she explains in detail about the CEU Course that she created, in Certified Cruelty Free Design. Then there is the sponsored show, with this being the third show of that series. In episode #212, Deborah spoke about her Course and about why it's so important for you to consider, as a Designer. In episode #218, Deborah explained the resources and marketing of Certified Cruelty Free Design. Go back and listen in, because all these shows are really well worth listening to.

Today, we get to meet Rachelle DiCecco, an Interior Design Student in Australia. Rachelle is in her final semester and when she heard about Certified Cruelty Free Design, she decided to take the course. On the show today, Rachelle shares her impressions of the course and her opinions about its content and also, how she expects to make use of it in her career as an Interior Designer. Listen in now, to find out more about the ins and outs of Deborah's Certified Cruelty Free Design Course.

Show highlights:

  • Rachelle explains what compelled her to take the course. She found no other course like it when doing her research.
  • Rachelle explains, in practical terms, how one goes about taking the course, the time it takes and what it consists of. The course is extremely flexible and you can jump in and out of it whenever you want to, so it's very easy to work with.
  • Rochelle talks about the content of the course. There was way more content there than she expected to find.
  • Rochelle explains about the fantastic support system which has been set up for everyone taking the course, all around the world.
  • Rochelle found that she was completely satisfied with the whole course.
  • Rachelle talks about the impact that the course has had on her and what she's come to realize, since taking it.
  • The kind of responsibility that follows the Cruelty Free awareness.
  • How Rachelle intends to incorporate what she's learned in the course, into her future career.
  • The great response from Rachelle's lecturers, towards her taking the course.
  • How Rachelle intends to deal with clients who want to use leather or other non-sustainable products.
  • Becoming part of this worldwide socially conscious, ethical network was a really huge thing for Rachelle. It's way bigger than she previously thought.
  • Rachelle will never look furniture in quite the same way again.
  • The vast amount of ethical alternatives that Rachelle intends to bring to the attention of her future clients.


Rachelle's Website:
Certified Cruelty Free
Her Twiter:
Cert Cruelty-Free

Dimare Design

Aug 28, 2017

The guest on today's show is Allison Fannin, the Texan Principal of Two Thirty-Five Designs. LuAnn invited her on the show for a very specific reason- and then, while researching her, she discovered that Allison actually had twenty-seven thousand followers on Pinterest! Allison graciously agreed to make the focus of today's discussion about the figuring out of the whole Pinterest thing. So, listen in, as LuAnn and Allison pick this topic apart. 

In episode #209, LuAnn interviewed Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson, of the Savour Partnership. During that interview, Leslie pointed out that if you're not using Pinterest to drive traffic to your website, you're actually missing the boat. LuAnn didn't even know how to do that, so she took some steps to find out. Then, shortly afterward, she received a message from Darla Powell, asking if she was going to get a Pinterest expert on the show. LuAnn decided that if she and Darla were both wanting to find out about it, most likely you were too.  So listen in now, to find out more about how to use Pinterest and also Instagram and Facebook, to drive traffic to your website.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn explains how she and Allison came to be connected, through a crazy picture and caption on Magazine Living, on Instagram.
  • Allison's huge number of followers on Pinterest and Instagram, where she herself, only follows a fraction of that number of people.
  • Allison talks about how Pinterest, which has really become a massive search engine, has evolved, over the years.
  • Allison explains how Pinterest works and how you can use it best, to get more traffic.
  • Group Boards on Pinterest.
  • Allison explains why she has so many more followers on Pinterest than the number of people that she follows, herself.
  • The amount of time that Allison actually spends on Pinterest.
  • Allison explains how Pinterest works, as a technical driver of traffic to your website.
  • Using Rich Pins and Keywords for SEO, when using Pinterest.
  • Why it's a good idea to have a Business Account on Pinterest.
  • How Rich Pins work in conjunction with your website.
  • Why you should put your blog name in the title of your pictures.
  • Pinterest has become a lot like Instagram- it's really about the pretty stuff.
  • The method of using re-pins effectively, for a constant flow, on Pinterest.
  • Titling your pictures properly on Pinterest, for optimum SEO.
  • You can follow selectively, on Pinterest.
  • Using basic words to name your Boards on Pinterest.
  • There are several services that you can use, (like Boardbooster) to schedule out your pins on Pinterest.
  • You can go back to old posts and edit them- don't forget to re-pin when you do!
  • Coming up with the right titles for Pinterest posts.
  • Using subtitles on Pinterest.
  • How Allison's following on Pinterest and Instagram has translated into money for her.           


Allison's website:

Allison on Facebook and Instagram:

Aug 25, 2017

On today's episode of Power Talk Friday, LuAnn has an absolutely ridiculous treat for you!  She has Lee Cockerell with her, who's name may or may not be familiar to you... He has spent his career leading operations all over the world, for Hilton Hotels, Mariott Hotels, and Walt Disney Company.

He spent more than twenty years with the Walt Disney Company, where he ultimately became Executive Vice President of Walt Disney World Operations. Since then, he has gone on to form his own company,  where he shares what he has learned and he makes available his breakthrough methods for becoming a better manager and a great leader. LuAnn is really busting at the seams because this is truly her kind of topic!  Lee is also has a podcast called Creating Disney Magic, where he shares his Disney experiences in an effort to help people like you become better leaders and managers. 

(Episode no.1 of that podcast is a really interesting one, where Lee literally goes through his entire career.)  At Disney, they created an environment where every employee matters and they know they matter. In addition to that, he has written four books, called Creating  Magic- Ten Common Sense Leadership Strategies From A Life At Disney,  The Customer Rules-Thirty Nine Essential Rules For Delivering Sensational Customer Service, Time Management Magic- How To Get More Done Every Day And More From  Surviving To Thriving  and his latest book, Creating Career Magic- How To Stay On Track And Create A Stellar Career. There are three things that Lee and his team do better than everybody else, which really makes all the difference, they hire better, they train better and they treat them (their employees) better. That is the key that either creates success for most organizations or not, according to Lee. Listen in now, as LuAnn (who is literally beyond herself right now) talks to Lee about his thoughts and processes, on the show today.

There are three things that Lee and his team do better than everybody else, which really makes all the difference, they hire better, they train better and they treat them (their employees) better. That is the key that either creates success for most organizations or not, according to Lee. Listen in now, as LuAnn (who is literally beyond herself right now) talks to Lee about his thoughts and processes, on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Lee talks about his philosophy around ways to really set your organization apart, in the eyes of your customers and your employees. It's really important to be very clear about your level of expectations.
  • According to Lee, there are three things that you have to have, to be successful- You have to have a skill, you have to have the right positive attitude and you have to have passion.
  • Hire slow and fire fast.
  • Disney has a hundred and thirty questions that potential employees have to answer, before even being granted an interview. Lee relates some of these to a Designer, or a small firm, considering making their first hire. (His book, The Customer Rules, has a chapter on how to hire the right people.) In Lee's opinion, most people don't know how to conduct a proper interview.
  • Lee recommends reading Don't Hire Anyone Without Me, by Carol Quinn, to help you to hire the right people.
  • Obstacles are the name of the game. The way people have handled obstacles in the past will be a good indicator of how they deal with them in the future.
  • Lee talks about training people the Disney way. Everything matters! A bad employee will kill your business.
  • The key to great training is remembering that the customer is more important than anything else! Everyone needs to understand where they fit in and how they matter.
  • All Disney contractors go through the same training as their employees.
  • Lee explains his concept of firing fast. Be careful who you hire!
  • When you're clear with people, you get better performance.
  • People only change for two reasons- education, or crisis.
  • It's important for your employees to understand that when you pull them up about something, you're only coming to them to help them to be better.
  • Role modeling is very important for employees (and children!)
  • Lee's advice for great time management. Discipline and a good system for planning are really most important here. Fix yesterday, every day, before it gets out of control because regrets are really tough to handle. (This is reflection.)
  • Excellence is a state of mind.
  • Provide Free Fuel for your employees every day: Appreciation, Recognition, and Encouragement. You can hand these three out all day, to increase your employee's levels of commitment.
  • Fix one thing you've been putting off for years-next week!
  • Do things on purpose. Life will get a whole lot better, real quick!
  • People really notice a good attitude and discipline.


Lee's website:

His podcast: Creating Disney Magic
Aug 23, 2017

Today we have the second show in our Facebook Coaching series. If you missed the first show, it was episode #215, where LuAnn spoke with Kate O'Hara, the Marketing and Business Development Director at Martha O'Hara Interiors. There she spoke about how to build your following on your Facebook Business Page. Martha O'Hara Interiors has over two hundred thousand followers, so she really has some pretty good advice for you there, so be sure to go and check that show out.

Today's show is with Sherri-Lee Woycik, a Facebook Marketing and Ads expert and she's also the founder of Social Media Minder. She really loves helping heart centered entrepreneurs get more customers and clients from Facebook. She provides Social Media Services to business owners through a range of services, which include boot camps, one on one, group and self-study training and she also offers 'done for you' strategies and implementation. Sherri-Lee is an authorized local expert for constant contact and she uses this Facebook platform herself and she encourages her clients to use it too because this really is a platform for growing your email list. One of her strategies for Facebook is helping you to grow your email list. Sherri-Lee explains that Facebook does walk you through the basics of the foundational setup, however, they don't tell you exactly why you're doing what you need to be doing, so she will be covering some of that with you, today. Listen in now, to find out what you really need to know, about how to set up your Business Facebook Page, as a foundation for your business.

Show highlights:

  • Sherri-Lee explains how to set up a Facebook Page for a business. If you have already done yours, Sherri-Lee recommends that you check it every six months, to ensure that your information is both current and relevant, as things do change.
  • Setting a custom domain name, or a custom URL. Remember though, that once you've set it you can't change it.
  • When you should consider setting your domain name as your personal name, rather than your business name and vice versa.
  • Thinking towards the future, about how you're going to build your best relationships and connections with people. If you're a smaller business and you want to build your business relationships, you can use Facebook to help you to deepen those connections.
  • How to best deal with your profile image. Ask yourself if people are going to feel more connected to your business if they can see your face in the profile picture, as opposed to a logo, or if they can see your name, as opposed to a company name. If you're a smaller business, people are going to want to see your face, as it personalizes your business.
  • The cover image is a great opportunity to share what you do and who you serve, with your prospective audience. An emotionally responsive image for your audience can work really well here- before and after images could work well for Designers.
  • Sherri-Lee suggests using tools like Picmonkey or Canva to help you to size your photos for your profile and cover images.
  • How to add information via the comments of your cover image.
  • You want to make sure that you fill out the sections on your page, like the 'about' section and then check them every six months.
  • What to post that will work best for you. If you used your Facebook Page in the same way that you use your profile, your engagement would change.
  • Stop being so professional that you only market on your page. Be personal and post a variety of content and share some of your personality. People want to know who you are and what you stand for.
  • Post more often than you think you should- like three to five times a day.
  • Facebook grades your likes, comments, and shares. Sharing has the highest score and so gets the most reach.
  • To know the best time to post on your Facebook page- Within the settings tab, on your Facebook page, you can click on posts and see a graph, which represents the time of day that people who like your posts, are on Facebook.
  • Use your posts to get to know what people want from you, on your page.
  • Get people to answer questions on your page, to get them to remember you.

A Gift For You: If you want to learn more about how to use your Facebook Page for business, Sherri-Lee has a  free five-day program, Facebook For Business Made Easy Program, which is available at


Sherri's Website:

Sherri's Twitter:

Sherri's Facebook:
Aug 21, 2017

Today we have a particularly inspiring episode! If you're the type of businessperson who takes action and can appreciate it when others do too, you're really going to learn a lot from today's guest, Darci Hether. She's on the show today to let you know that if and when you come across new ideas or business strategies, if you not only hear them, but you also implement them, you can change your business for the better. Listen in to find out more. You're going to love this show!

Darci began her Design career in 1998, in Southern California, before moving to New York City in 2002.  Once there, she worked as a Lead Designer and Project Manager for notable and award winning firms, like Workshop APD and Vicente Wolf Associates. Then, in 2008 Darci founded Darci Hether New York. She was named 'Rising Star' by New York Cottages and Gardens. Listen in today, as Darci shares how she turned up both the productivity and profitability on her Interior Design Firm, this year.

 Show highlights:

  • Darci explains how she went from inspiration to action.
  • Darci found it very difficult to rewrite her bio, so she contacted Fred Berns (#48) for a consultation.
  • Darci explains her new approach to being compensated for the work she does and how she feels about it. She really understands her value now.
  • Darci explains how she managed to implement the new advice she received, after already having been in business for ten years. She was both excited and terrified!
  • How Darci arrived at the fee that she charges for a consultation. There are many hidden things to also be taken into consideration.
  • Darci now brings a contract along with her to an initial consultation, for the client to review.
  • Sometimes a client only needs a consultation with Darci for an hour or two and nothing more. Darci finds that this can work for her, now that she's set a specific fee for her consultations.
  • Darci explains how she's utilized 'time chunking'.
  • Darci explains her thought processes that went into the way that she created her Employee handbook.
  • Darci suggests that you find a trusted colleague that you can reach out to regularly, for support.
  • Some great advice: Go and think of all the things that you've been inspired to do differently, in your business (that you've not yet done), pick one of them, set a time frame and just do it!

LuAnn wants you to know that she's been asked to moderate a panel, on Designing Tech, at America's Mart in Atlanta, on the 26th or the 27th of September. The dates have not yet been finalized.

She will also be hosting another Facebook Live Event, at the opening celebration of the brand new Kravet Showroom in Philadelphia. This will happen around the first week in October. Final dates still to be announced.

Aug 18, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is A.J.Wilcox and he brings a brand new topic to the show. In the more than two hundred episodes that have aired over the past year and a half, we have never before discussed Linkedin and so A.J. has just become our Linkedin Guru. LuAnn has never considered Linkedin to be a particularly hot platform for the Interior Design Industry, because Interior Design is a very visual industry, which makes use of platforms like Instagram and Facebook, and Linkedin seems a little serious by comparison.

LuAnn does have a Linkedin profile, however she does literally nothing at all with it. In fact, she recently told a story on one of the podcasts about a Designer who reached out to her with a private message on Linkedin, complimenting her about the show and LuAnn knew nothing about it for almost three months! She knows, however, that every bit of social media and marketing is really valuable and if you're going to do something, you need to do it right, so she's really glad to have A.J. on the show with her today. Listen in to find out what you really need to know about Linkedin. 


A.J.'s a tri-athlete and he lives in Utah with his wife and four kids.  He fell in love with Linkedin back in 2011 and he liked it so much that he started an agency which focuses on Linkedin ads only. When LuAnn found out that his company car is a go-cart, she knew that this was going to be a really fun interview!  Listen in to find out how Linkedin can really work for you, as Designers. It's a very good platform for being professional.


Show highlights:


  • A.J. explains some of the basics of Linkedin and where it's value really lies.
  • Some really nice short cuts that you can take, when setting up with Linkedin, to get what you do out there and in everybody's minds. You can ignore the rules and work out of the box!
  • About three or four months ago, Linkedin underwent a re-design and changed a whole bunch of stuff around. Now they've added a free form field, for your profile. Use that to explain what you're all about and why people should care about you and want to hire you.
  • There are portfolio editions of Linkedin, where you can add video clips. This is very powerful to help you prove your worth.
  • A.J. would not necessarily treat the resume section of the Linkedin profile as such. He would rather talk about the results you've had and why you're worth paying attention to.
  • Linkedin seems a bit stiff and professional, so it's worth injecting your unique personality into it, to make you really stand out.
  • Talk simply on Linkedin and assume that nobody has any idea of what it is that you do, so you'll be educating them. Try to be fun, because then you really will stand out.
  • A.J. has a really cool hack, for getting yourself out there on Linkedin.
  • Linkedin bought a company called Pulse, which is a news app, with the goal to bring people to their platform more regularly and to get them to spend more time there. They've made it socially interactive, so you can comment and like- and even go viral.
  • If you post your status on a project on  Linkedin, all your contacts will see it. This is a really great opportunity to connect with some powerful business people with a great deal of disposable income.
  • A post on Linkedin can even stay up on your feed for a day and a half. This can really save you time.
  • You want to generate a reaction. Ask for feedback. You want people to comment so that your post spreads. 
  • Run a quiz or ask a question, to get people to react.
  • You can now tag people on Linkedin.
  • Endorsing for skill sets- This is to provide social proof of your most proficient skill sets.
  • Be very targeted about who you want to have relationships with and who you want introductions to, on Linkedin. 
  • Once you're connected to someone on Linkedin, you have unlimited free messages between the two of you. You also then have access to their email address. 
  • The benefits of upgrading to the paid version of Linkedin- their Premium Profile. 
  • The Influencers on Linkedin.  If you write an article that gets a lot of response, it could be kicked up and get to reach a huge number of people.
  • How to write an article on Linkedin. It's just like writing a full blog post, with features and all.
  • Use Linkedin to drive traffic to your website.
  • You can also find specific groups on Linkedin and interact with people there. It's a great way to grow your network.

Connect with AJ:

His website 

His twitter
His LinkedIn:
Aug 16, 2017

Today, we have the second show in our sponsored content series by Cruelty Free Design. Deborah Rosenberg, of DiMare Design and the founder and creator of Cruelty Free Design, has sponsored three shows. The first show was episode #212, where we spoke in depth about Cruelty Free Design and the program that she has developed. Today's show is going to feature the marketing and the resources that you get, when going through the Cruelty Free Course. The third show will be airing in a few weeks and that will be an interview with a Designer who has completed the course. If all this is new information for you, if you haven't heard any of these shows before, LuAnn suggests that you start off by listening to episode #82, where we first met Deborah Rosenberg, a really smart lady who runs a great business, and there she discussed her Design Firm, DiMare Design in Miami. Then, in episode #117, we discussed her certified Cruelty Free Course in more depth and about how it was getting ready to launch. LuAnn really hopes that you're enjoying this series and that it's something that's making you think. If animal rights, veganism and Cruelty Free is a passion of yours, all the better, because it certainly is a very profitable avenue to consider, from a marketing standpoint. Listen in now, to find out more.

In today's show, we are going to talk about the second set of information, which is important for you, as Interior Designers in this emerging field. Here's the thing about Deborah- if you go back and listen to the other episodes with her, you'll see and hear her commitment for yourself.  She's the creator of a fully accredited, online educational course, geared for students, designers, retailers, manufacturers and companies, in the Design and Textile Industry. The course, Certified Cruelty Free, educates businesses and consumers about Cruelty Free alternatives and provides them with vegan resources. Deborah donates a portion of all the proceeds from both companies, towards saving the lives of animals, killed for their skins, in the industry. This is really a mission of love, for Deborah. Listen in as we talk about the resources that are available to you, as Interior Designers and also about how you, as a Designer, would approach the marketing of these products. (Remember, that if you actually take the course, you will get access to the full 'bible' of resources.)

Show highlights:

  • Deborah gives a quick description of what Vegan Design is all about.
  • Deborah discusses some of the fabulous alternatives that can be used, instead of wool, silk or animal skins. The faux alternatives are durable and well priced.
  • Even Bentley, (the car) who were known for their leather interiors, are coming up with a vegan car as an alternative, because their consumers are now demanding vegan interiors.
  • Banana silk looks and feels exactly like silk. It even has that sheen.
  • Kravet have a huge amount of faux leathers as well as tons of other resources and fabrics which are vegan.
  • Deborah's company is reaching out to many manufacturers, to have their badge put on the fabrics which are acceptable as vegan alternatives.
  • According to research, one in three Australians are willing to pay more for socially responsible products.
  • Deborah's company now has it's own line, called Arthur Avenue, which has completely vegan custom upholstery pieces.
  • There are also vegan alternatives available for the less expensive lines.
  • There is a company in New York, called Aurora Lampshades, who do vegan lighting alternatives.
  • A lot of paint contains a mineral which comes from cows. Vegan paints are available, however they are a little difficult to apply.
  • How a Designer can go about approaching clients about this subject.
  • Faux leather actually performs better than real leather, when they are placed side by side.
  • Vegan alternatives are most conducive to someone who has allergies, or even to children with autism.
  • There is a huge network of support available for Designers doing the Cruelty Free Course.
  • Deborah offers some great tips for marketing vegan options. The key is really to surround yourself with like minded people.
  • Vegan Design is not only about the animals. About ninety percent of the people working in tanneries in India die before the age of fifty, due to the disgraceful environments that they work in.
  • The world is changing really fast. Over half of all Americans won't buy a product that they believe to be unethical.
  • Creating a peaceful space that has no blood, or tragedy in it.

Deborah explains all about her Cruelty Free Course. Go to to get the details, or to sign up. The course is usually $350, however if you put in the promo code  LuAnn, you will get 20% off, so you will only pay $280. After doing the course, you will be added to Deborah's database.

Aug 14, 2017

Have you heard of the Morpholio Project yet?  Well, today LuAnn has something pretty cool to share with you. Morpholio is an IOS app and LuAnn has the co-creator, Anna Kenoff, with her, on the show. This app was designed as a tool for your presentations, for working with and collaborating and critiquing presentations, with your clients.  The news about this app has been featured in Wired, Fast Company, USA Today, ABC News, Arch Daily, Dwell and also a dozen other outlets. LuAnn really thinks that you're going to like this awesome and groundbreaking app for your design business, so listen in to find out more about how it can really save you time and energy!

Anna,  is an Architect who found a need, while doing her work. Like many other brilliant people that have been featured on the show this past year, she gathered some of her smart friends and together and they built an answer to her problems. And so, Morpholio was born! Anna has had some really significant projects, as an Architect, including the Queen's library, in collaboration with New York City's Design Excellence Program, New York's first edible school yard, in Brooklyn and Public Farm One, commissioned by Moma PS One. She has a Master's in Architecture, from Columbia University and a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture, from the University of Virginia. Listen in now, to find out more about this really innovative new app and it's really awesome features for Designers.


Show highlights:

  • Anna explains what Morpholio is all about, what it comprises of and how she came up with it.
  • Anna walks you through how a Morpholio Board will work for you, in real time, during a presentation.
  • Anna explains some of the technicalities of working with the Morpholio Mood Board.
  • Morpholio has a curated library of thousands of amazing pieces of furniture, fixtures, fittings and finishes. Anna explains how this works for you, when you're designing a Mood Board with Morpholio- and you can create and add your own library too.
  • The really sophisticated and smart tools that Anna and her team create for iPads.
  • Morpholio can really hold tons of information, in a much smaller format.
  • Pinterest is such an important way that Designers and their clients communicate, so Morpholio has a portal directly to Pinterest.
  • Morpholio has recently partnered with Pinterest, so it's the only app on the planet that they are allowing to portal into your Secret Boards.
  • You can adjust the colors on the images, with Morpholio.
  • The research mindset that Anna and her team started out with.
  • How you, as a Designer, could use Pinterest in conjunction with Morpholio.
  • You can actually manipulate the images when you import them into Morpholio.
  • Morpholio is a really efficient tool for smaller businesses- and its almost revived the iPad!
  • How to become a member of Morpholio.
  • Go to #morpholioboard on Instagram and have a look!
  • It really doesn't cost much, to use Morpholio. It's only $3,99 for the Entry Level App and $11,99 for the Pro Version.




The Morpholio website:


You can also find Morpholio on Facebook and Instagram

Aug 11, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Natalie Eckdahl and LuAnn is absolutely delighted to welcome her to the show! Natalie has really helped LuAnn in her journey and even after thirty years of being in business, there are things that she's learned from Natalie and taken back to Window Works!  Listen in to find out what Natalie has to share with you today.

Natalie is the founder of the Biz Chix Community and she's the host of the Biz Chix Podcast. She's a Business Strategist and a High-Performance Coach, helping high achieving women entrepreneurs to build, grow and scale their businesses and she does this across all industries and time zones. Natalie, who holds an MBA, has been recognized as one of the top women in business to listen to and she's been featured in Inc, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Entrepreneur. She has twenty years of experience and she's done over two hundred podcast interviews and is famous for doing her really valuable on-air coaching calls. Natalie is a very intuitive lady, who recognizes the little nuggets in people and really helps and moves them.  In addition to all of this, she has a husband, Mark, and three kids, aged two to fifteen. Natalie really is one busy lady! Listen in, as Natalie shares her expertise with you, on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Some of the common things that ring true with people who are struggling with their businesses.
  • Dealing with confidence issues and your mindset, when starting out in business.
  • Let people know what you do, in your business- you never know who is going to have a contact for you.
  • Using the art of balance, with your postings on social media.
  • You really do need a separate business bank account, when starting out in your business. You will really feel like the boss when you eventually transfer your profits to your personal account, for your family to spend, or save.
  • Knowing your numbers in business- this is very important! Also, get some advice from a Tax Professional.
  • It's really worth hiring a book keeper, to get your business set up. Then you can check in with them on a quarterly basis. It will save you time and money, going forward.
  • Focus and work on your strengths. Outsource the things that you really find hard to do.
  • Why, as a Designer, you shouldn't charge too little. Have the confidence to charge what you really are worth.
  • Most women really struggle with issues of confidence. Having an accountability partner really helps.
  • How Natalie mixes her Masterminds.
  • Giving yourself permission to take some time off from work. Remember that Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
  • Being accountable for your time. You can even hire people to set deadlines for you and help you to get creative things done on time.
  • Developing boundaries with your clients. They often don't realize that they're asking more of you than necessary.
  • If you're married and money's not coming in from your business, your husband is not going to take your business seriously- he's going to think you have a hobby. Creating a regular amount that you can commit to the family will smooth this out and make you feel confident about yourself and your business.
  • Natalie discusses the Live Event that she's planning for Women Entrepreneurs in Orange County, in between San Diego and Los Angeles, from the 18th to the 20th of October this year.


Natalie's Podcast:

Biz Chix Podcast - Female Entrepreneurs Women in Business

You can go to Natalie's website.  and click on the yellow 'community' button, to get an invitation to join her free, open Facebook Group for women.

Facebook Group:
Aug 9, 2017

Today, we have Kate O'Hara back on the show. Kate handles the marketing for Martha O'Hara Interiors and she has managed to grow their Facebook Page to two hundred thousand followers- enough to almost make LuAnn's brain explode! A lot of Designers have Facebook Pages, so Kate has graciously agreed to come back on the show, to help you to figure out and understand how you can try to duplicate what she has managed to do for her Design Firm. Listen in as Kate gives you some really actionable ways to do this.

Show highlights:

  • It really makes sense to go back and look at how you have things set up on your Facebook Page because every few months, something on Facebook is changing and you don't always know what that is and what you can do that's new. It's important to often check how you're set up and to update your page and your profile, as time passes.
  • Firstly, you need to think about the Facebook platform itself and what you want it to do for you. It can really be so many different things to different businesses.
  • You need to be creating consistent posts that you know your viewers can rely on, that they will The posts need to be relevant to the people who are following you.
  • There is a lot of success to be found in the more subtle nuances of social media- Facebook in particular. For example, are you trying to attract new clients, or are you wanting to build and interact with your community?
  • Putting thought to who you want to reach out to, may change the type of post that you're going to put together.
  • Kate explains how you're going to set up your Facebook Page: 1) Go back and look at how you've set up your business page (this must be separate from your personal page). 2) You may want to adjust your custom URL. 3) Fill in your 'about' page. All that info really is important. 4) Make your page really visually appealing- the cover photo is a huge opportunity for businesses.
  • A Call To Action can even be a contact button.
  • Take the time to fix things that look unprofessional- otherwise, you will appear
  • The posts that you're creating are really important! You need to share your work in ways that are meaningful to the people that you're talking to. They need to be fun and engaging.
  • Ways that you can add that extra layer of fun, or usefulness of the images that you're posting.
  • You will serve yourself best by being as mutually promotional with other firms, as you can be.
  • A little Facebook secret- when you're looking at your news feed, you see both what is recent and what is popular. Likes, shares, and comments are really important! Think quality over quantity.
  • Facebook really gives you great and direct feedback. Go and look at your analytics and adjust your course, if necessary.
  • Pay attention to what people are saying in their comments. Respond, or even edit things, if necessary.
  • You are ultimately in control of the tone that you're willing to accept on your page.
  • Schedule out your posts in batches, to remain consistent and save yourself time.
  • Consistency really is key with your posting.
Facebook page:
Aug 7, 2017

Welcome to a solo show with a big purpose! I’m dedicating this episode as a bona fide, unsolicited shout-out to Rachel Moriarty of Design + Style. I mention her often on the show because she is always impressive, but she just now hit the one-year anniversary of going Facebook Live to her consumer community EVERY DAY FOR ONE YEAR. To show my significant high five to Rachel for her accomplishment, let’s talk about some of the inspiration she has spread around in the design community.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Why Facebook Live?
    • Use it to make connections, grow your business, and help people
    • How Rachel’s interior design tips and advice have helped her fellow designers
  • Since her “challenge” began, she and Dixie Willard have started the Design + Style podcast, using audio AND video to stay on the cutting edge of delivering content
  • How Rachel’s success is impacting me to take advantage of Facebook Live and why I’ve been so hesitant to do it because of the work, commitment, and consistency required to DO IT RIGHT
  • Why Rachel and Dixie are soon launching another podcast
  • Other Facebook groups that are valuable to designers:
    • What They Don’t Teach You in Design School, with Veronica Solomon
    • Interior Design Business Strategies, with Claire Jefford
  • The myth (and the fear) is that you shouldn’t share “your secrets” with your competitors, but here are the facts:
    • Your brand is WHO YOU ARE
    • Don’t be afraid to share your systems
    • No one will connect with your consumers like you do
  • In honour of Rachel’s accomplishment and what she’s created, it’s the perfect time to launch my Facebook Coaching podcasts, so stay tuned for more inspiration in design!


Rachel's podcast: Design+Style
Rachel's website: Rachel M Interiors
Her episode on our Show #55: Rachel Moriarty – Message to solopreneurs – Act As If the World is Watching
Rachel's Email:
Her Face Book Page for Designers: Design And Style Podcast
Claire Jefford’s group: Interior Design Business Strategies
And Veronica Solomon’s group:
What They Don’t Teach You In Design School
Aug 4, 2017

Welcome to another episode of Power talk Friday! Today LuAnn has Stephanie Chung with her on the show. Stephanie has a company called Stephanie Chung and Associates, where she offers Sales Training, Executive Coaching and also Small Business Mentorship, to companies nationwide. Stephanie also has a course, called High Ticket Selling Made Simple which has been designed to help business owners sell more and make more. Listen in to find out more about Stephanie and her company.

Stephanie used to work as a Sales Executive in the Aviation and Private Jet Industry, where she mastered the art of high ticket selling. She has mentored and coached numerous people, including some of the highest paid, most elite Sales Professionals in the country. She serves Business leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Sales Professionals, using her proven Executive Coaching and Sales Training. Stephanie is a contributor on ABC, CBS, and NBC and she's authored Profit Like A Girl- A Woman's Guide To Kicking Butt In Sales And Leadership and also Embrace The Suck- How To Grow And Succeed In Business. LuAnn is really beyond tickled with all of this, so listen in now, as she and Stephanie discuss the mindset moves that are necessary to really scale your sales.

Show highlights:

  • What it all really comes down to is your own version of your own self-worth. Your financial beliefs play a role in the whole equation and sometimes people tend to struggle with that when selling their intellectual property. Stephanie digs into all the factors that contribute to that struggle.
  • Financial self-worth and your mindset- why you should be very careful to never let your own financial beliefs creep into any sales conversation.
  • It's never about you- it's always about the buyer in front of you.
  • Stephanie explains how you can break out of a limited mindset. Remember that it's not your concern how much your customer can afford. You need to ensure that your presentation of your product (your digital footprint), or service actually aligns with your product or service.
  • Run your business with excellence.
  • If someone agrees to meet with you, it means that they've already done some research about you and they have already decided that you are going to be worth their time.
  • Always approach a conversation with a buyer by looking at what it is that they want or need.
  • Ask the buyer questions that go a little deeper, because sometimes the buyer can't really articulate what it is that they need.
  • Use the power of silence.
  • Really knowing your stuff and getting results will help build your confidence.
  • Stephanie shares a technique that she uses with her VIP clients, called Pre-emptive Strike. Know the objections that are going to come your way and bring them up in advance, so that you can control the message.
  • Remember to never bring your price down, if the buyer can't afford it. Rather take something away. This way you keep your price integrity.
  • Only ask the buyer questions that you don't know the answers to. This will help you better understand how to solve their problem.
  • After setting your agenda with a client, mention that you're not necessarily the Designer for everyone.... Great for getting the right
  • If you really want to become a better salesperson, there is ample information out there, for you.
  • Stephanie has done courses before, specifically for Interior Designers. (For example, High Ticket Selling Made Simple)


Stephanie's website: You can find loads of free resources there.

To get a free download of Stephanie's book, go to:

Aug 2, 2017

Today's show is a special one. It's a sponsored show- sponsored by Cruelty Free Designs, which is the brain child and love project of Deborah Rosenberg, of DiMare Designs in Miami, Florida. Deborah has been on the show before, on episodes #82 and #117 and now she's sponsoring three shows, to tell you- her colleagues, all about Cruelty Free Design. Listen in to find out more.

These three shows will cover firstly what it really means to be Cruelty Free Design, then the resources which are available for Cruelty Free Design and then there will also be a special episode with a Designer who has taken Deborah's course. LuAnn really hopes that you will enjoy this little series! Listen in now, to the first episode, with Deborah Rosenberg, where we're going to take a little time to give the back story of why this is so personal to Deborah- why she has transitioned to making her whole business cruelty free and why this really is such an important thing for you to think about.

  • Show highlights:
  • Deborah has developed a Certification Course in Cruelty Free Design and she explains how this came to be an undertaking for herself and her Firm to develop and also why it's so important to her.
  • The really cruel and inhumane ways that animals are treated, within the corporate industry, being viewed as commodities, rather than sentient creatures. It's really hard to believe what human beings are actually capable of doing to animals!
  • There really is no such thing as responsible wool, or responsible fur.
  • Does it really cost too much to be compassionate?
  • This cruelty mostly happens in countries where there are no regulations.
  • The really awful conditions for humans in tanneries.
  • 56% of Americans stop buying from sources that they view as unethical.
  • The importance of getting educated about all this, as a Designer.
  • Going vegan and the environment- these things are all connected.
  • Sixteen million people in the US are now vegan- many of these people have become aware of the cruelty in these industries through watching videos.
  • The different ways that you could approach this, as a Designer.
  • Animal fur, or leather can cause problems for children with autism, or for people with allergies.
  • Deborah's Certification Course In Cruelty Free Design has now become accredited.


Jul 31, 2017

Today's guest on the show is Carly Waters, the Principal of Carly Waters Style. Carly has really loved design ever since she was a little girl. As the daughter of an attorney, however, she followed in her Dad's footsteps and became an attorney too. Listen in to find out how she ultimately managed to change that and follow her heart and her dreams.

Carly graduated from UC Hastings in 2010 and started out in what would be a career in Family Law, at an esteemed Law Firm in San Francisco. Her heart really wasn't in it though, so when she went on maternity leave while pregnant with her son, she rediscovered her love for interiors. She designed their apartment in San Francisco and got it featured on Apartment Therapy. This was when she started taking on some Design clients, on the side. After going back to practicing Family Law, however, she realized pretty quickly that it was time for her to leave the law behind. So, when they moved to LA for a job opportunity for her husband, Carly decided that this was the right time for her to strike out on her own, so she started Carly Waters Style in 2014. Here's the thing- in these three short years, Carly has been featured in My Domain, People, Rue, Simply Spaced, Apartment Therapy and Martha Stewart. Listen in now, to find out how Carly managed to achieve all of this, in such a short period of time.

Show highlights:

  • Carly explains how she managed to achieve all that she has, only three years after opening her firm. She really went about it in an intentional way and hired a Coach, Annie Little, who specifically helps attorneys to leave the law. She also spent a full six months making preparations and getting her ducks in a row.
  • Carly really made use of her friends and connections to get ahead in her business.
  • Carly started out initially with organizing clients.
  • After about six months, she decided to take things further and started working with a Realtor and found a house to renovate. This was the house that she used for her portfolio and it was also shot for her My Domain feature.
  • Carly realized that she can't do everything, so she hires people who are experts and she oversees them. She helped a friend with her office, in exchange for putting all her drawings onto CAD.
  • What really stood out for Carly, from her first big project was that you should not try to 'band aid' the problems in the house, because it will eventually end up costing you a whole lot more.
  • It's really important to have your plans and drawings ready, before bringing the contractors in. You will always have problems to solve, however it really does help to be prepared.
  • Carly has really learned to see her worth and understand her value, over time.
  • Carly has really made full use mentors and her network of friends and connections, to help her to learn out about the aspects of the business that she needed to understand.
  • How Carly managed to be published in so many publications in such a short period of time. She used her contacts and knew that she really had to have professional photographs, amongst other things.
  • Carly explains about her hourly rate and about her minimum fee of $5000, both of which she's stated on her website.
  • You really need to surround yourself with people that really support you and elevate you.


Carly's website:

Jul 28, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Yian Quach.  Yian, who is originally from Seattle, Washington, has been designing websites since 2015 and he helps professionals in the Design Industry to cure their web site pain so that they can grow their businesses. There is a particular mention, on his website, that LuAnn found quite interesting- in addition to his role as Website Doctor, Yian really loves educating and his original career was as an English Teacher!  Listen in as Yian explains all about his real genius ways with websites.

Yian's clients have been published in a number of top shelf magazines, including Architectural Digest, Lux, Hudson Mod and Editor At Large. The thing about Yian is that he has a rare combination of skills in the areas of Website  Design, Copywriting and Coding and he's also familiar with all the nuances of the Interior Design Industry. He regularly attends Industry Trade Shows, so you may even know him. In the past year, he's been at High Point Spring Market, Brooklyn Designs, ICFF (where he and LuAnn did a Facebook Live for Curated Kravet), The D and D Building Spring Market and later this month, he'll be at Las Vegas Furniture Market. Listen in now, to learn about the really actionable ways that Yian works to help people to cure their website pains.

Show highlights:

  • The kinds of website pains that Yian cures.
  • Yian explains the details of his Criteria List of twelve items, which he uses to evaluate websites.
  1. Does the website feel clean and easy to use?
  2. Does the website feel complete and up to date?
  3. Does the website feel thoughtfully written and succinct?
  4. Does the website feel fresh?
  5. Does the website feel guided?
  6. Does the website feel beautiful?
  7. Does the website feel personal enough?
  8. Does the website feel cohesive?
  9. Does the website/designer feel endorsed?
  10. Does the website/designer feel credible and authoritative?
  11. Does the website feel actionable?
  12. Does the website feel polished?
  • Yian tests his very simple Grading System (A+ to E) that he uses to evaluate websites, on his own website.
  • Consider hiring a wedding photographer to get a really great video for your website.
  • Yian helps LuAnn to evaluate her website, using his Criteria List.
  • Yian points out some missed opportunities on LuAnn's website.
  • The impact of having website photos that fill the whole screen.
  • The cohesiveness of the voice on websites is something that is often overlooked.
  • Yian points out where LuAnn's website could be more actionable.
  • Yian assists LuAnn with ways to tweak the logo and header on her website.
  • Yian encourages you to take advantage of his Website Review.
  • Yian's Free Giveaway- Yian will be giving away five free Website Reviews to the first five professionals in the Design Industry, to contact him at and articulate their particular web site pain, within one week of this podcast being aired.

Yian will be covering the Las Vegas Furniture Market, later this month, on the Tastefully Inspired Facebook Page, with lots of live videos. Like the page and ensure that you get the notifications when it goes live.

Jul 26, 2017

Today's guests, Leslie Carothers and Sam Henderson,  are the two industry pros and the brains behind Savour Partnership. They create magazine quality, custom branded e-publications for your website, or blog. This really means that they create opt-ins and lead magnets, for you to attract and grow an email list. LuAnn urges you to hang on and really listen, specially if you find your eyes are glazing over at the mention of growing your email list, because these two really are experts at this and today, they're going to explain precisely why it's so important, for the health of your business, to grow your email list. Listen in to find out more.

Sam Henderson is the owner and Creative Director of Savour Imagery, which is a Food and Lifestyle Creative Studio, located in Dallas, Texas. Sam and his team create photography, video, and graphics for numerous national brands and media outlets. He uses his knowledge of food, lifestyle, and travel together with his experience as a Designer, to create content for HDTV and DIY Network. Sam also writes a weekly article on Design trends.

Leslie is the CEO of Kaleidoscope Partnership, which has more than thirty-seven years of experience in the Luxury Home Furnishings and Interior Design Industry. This year, her company celebrates it's the fifteenth year. Leslie pioneered the use of Social Media Marketing and Influencer Marketing nationwide and she has helped to build the brands of major manufacturers, retailers, software providers, individual Interior Designers and Trade  Shows through her website, her Blog Management work, Social Media and Content Marketing. These are brands like Havly Court, Wilson Kelsey Design, Four Point Design Build, The New Traditionalist, Meredith Corporation, World Market Centre, Las Vegas, ICFF and more than thirty-five others! Leslie speaks frequently at Industry Events and she is often quoted as an Expert Resource in National Publications. She wrote the Retail Ideas Column for Furniture Today Magazine for nine years and her micro-blog, @TKP Leslie, has more than thirty-six thousand followers and was named, by Decorex, as one of the top one hundred most influential Interior Design blogs in the world! Together, Leslie and Sam are the co-founders of the recently started Savour Partnership. Listen in to find out how they can really help you to position yourself for success, elevate your brand and grow your business.

Show highlights:

  • Leslie gives you the basics of what she and Sam do with their Savour Partnership (in layman's terms) and why you, as a Designer should care about it.
  • Why it would be worth it to you, as a Designer, to sit down and write an ebook, to offer to your prospective clients.
  • Sam explains their system, which offers templates, yet remains true to each Designer having a unique look.
  • Leslie explains about how to drive traffic to your blog, or website, through their Savour Partnership Group on Facebook, in order to grow your email list and create a means of passive income for yourself.
  • Rich Pins On Pinterest- a number one way to drive traffic towards your blog or website. (Click on the Note on Leslie's Facebook Page, The Kaleidoscope Partnership, to get the details of how to set up a Rich Pin.)
  • Sam shares some other really great tips for how to drive consumer traffic to your website, or your blog, using Pinterest.
  • Affiliate Marketing- what it is and how it can work for you.
  • How Affiliate Marketing could generate a passive income for you, as an Interior Designer.
  • How you can make an Affiliate Commission, which is really another kind of passive income, through selling products via your website, to the consumer.
  • Why you really need to have something to trade with the consumer, for their email address.
  • Leslie will hold your hand throughout the entire process of assisting you with the development your e-publication and she really has the utmost respect for the artistic quality of whatever you produce.
  • Their work is so professional and of such a high quality, that it really seems so easy!
  • Why you really do need to be putting out a call to action, to the consumer.
  • Sam and Leslie can even help you with Copywriting, if necessary, to help you elevate your business.
  • Leslie will be speaking at the Bold Summit, in Chicago in September. Sam will be there also.
  • Although Leslie does not have a personal blog, she has written between seventy-five and eighty percent of all the content for the really successful Havly Court Blog, so she invites you to join her new Facebook Group so that you can learn how to drive consumer traffic to your blog.
  • You can sell a blog as a separate business asset.
  • There are Design Bloggers right now, who have only been focused on blogging for five years and they are making, on their blog, over $200 000 per year! This is a very real income opportunity for you!
  • This is how you really can create more freedom for yourself, over time.
  • You can put a three page PDF together for yourself on one Sunday.
  • Creating affiliate links on your publication.

Links for Savour Partnership:


Instagram: Savour Partnership


Jul 24, 2017

The guest on today's show is Susan Yeley, of Susan Yeley Interiors, in Bloomington, Indiana. A few weeks ago, Susan contacted LuAnn, because she listens to the show a lot and she thought that the particular challenges that she faces in her Design Firm could make an interesting topic. After learning a little more about it, LuAnn agreed and she really hopes that you will too. Listen in to find out about the challenges that Susan faces in her business, which is really defined by the area she lives in.

Susan started out as a struggling graduate student in Religion and Philosophy at Indiana University. She later took an unpaid internship at Thomas Jobb, a furniture and fabric showroom in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago and became hooked on Design.  She then enrolled at the Harrington College of Design and eventually landed a job at a high-end Residential Design Firm in River North. Susan and her husband finally returned to their roots, a few weeks prior to the birth of their first daughter, in 2005. Listen in now to find out more about Susan and the specific challenges that she faces, when it comes to her business location and the fees that she charges.

Show highlights:

  • Susan explains what the demographic is like where she does her business and also what the factors are, that contribute to making it a little different to LuAnn's usual conversations.
  • Susan's really intentional, yet flexible approach to her business.
  • Many of Susan's clients have never worked with a Designer before.
  • Trust is a really important factor in business, in Susan's close knit community.
  • The packages that Susan used to offer, to sell to her value and services to her small town community.
  • Why she eventually discontinued the packages.
  • The conversation that Susan had with a friend, that caused her to examine the perceived value of her services. Now she makes no mention of figures on her website.
  • Susan's Gut Check On A Potential Home.
  • The really interesting blend of personalities in Susan's wonderful team of really skilled staff.
  • The rationale behind Susan's website.
  • Susan loves the small town life, even though it really makes it harder for her as a Designer.
  • Most of her money is made from once-off, hourly consultations, so Susan is really forced her to think creatively about how to make money, every day.
  • It's not been a feasible option, so far, for Susan to make any money from product mark ups, so she and her team have to think really creatively about what Interior Design looks like in their particular culture.
  • Some of the ways that Susan is trying to generate an income, in her tricky community.
  • Susan's online initiative, to sell things through her website. It's almost like a Town Gallery.
  • The mid range price point items that have been identified, that Susan and her team are working hard to make 'trade only available', in order to generate some more income, via her website.
  • Making money from property flips.
  • Incorporating Enoch Sears's (#202) idea, to collaborate with local Architects.
  • The three P's that Susan relies on- Planning, Priorities, and Patience. They really work for her!
  • Susan's take on Design Therapy.

Susan's website:

Jul 21, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is a really special force to be reckoned with! She's is also the very first guest to be talking about Twitter on the show! Madalyn Sklar is a Business Coach, Consultant, and Twitter Marketing Expert. Other than being an expert on Twitter, she's the host of #Twitter Smarter Twitter Chat and Podcast. She has the weekly #Social ROI Chat, she blogs and she creates courses and also speaks and teaches courses at Madalyn Listen to getting some awesome advice about marketing with Twitter from Madalyn.

Madalyn, who really has some visionary skills, is known for being the Number One Social Media Influencer in Houston, a city which has a population of two million people. She has been blogging since 2000 and she's been founding online communities since 1996 when the internet was new and she saw it as a really great way to connect people. Listen in now, as LuAnn interviews Madalyn, someone who really has the knack of being an early adopter of all things tech!

Show highlights:

  • Why you really should care about Twitter.
  • Engaging is really where the magic is, with Social Media.
  • Get on Twitter and listen to where the conversation is.
  • Madalyn's Twitter Secret Sauce- to help you to start meeting people and enjoying Twitter.
  • Create a Twitter List, either public or private- it's really a great way to organize.
  • Twitter Chats- #an awesome way to make connections with people.
  • Using Twitter Chats to get your business seen and heard.
  • Creating a really effective and clear Twitter profile.
  • You can boost your bio with a link.
  • A great tip to check the traffic to your Twitter profile- you may be in for a big surprise!
  • Why a Pen Tweet really is such a great idea to build your hash tag following.
  • Go to Madalyn's Twitter Smarter Twitter Chat and podcast, to learn more about Twitter.


Madalyn's website:

Go to to get to a page with a variety of charts that you can look through.

The best place to meet Madalyn- on Twitter! #madalynsklar

Jul 19, 2017

Today, LuAnn  is shaking it up a bit and introducing a new monthly feature, called  Design Biz Live. On the third Wednesday of every month, she will be talking with Judith Neary of Roadside Attraction Design Studio and Corey  Klassen of Corey Klassen Interiors and they will be discussing the specific problems and challenges that you are facing in your design firm. Somewhat similar to what LuAnn's been doing for the last eighteen months, however, with Design Biz Live, she will be dealing with the questions that you have by asking them of these two talented designers. So, it's the same, but different... Listen in to find out what it's all about!


If you'd like to know more about who Corey and Judith are, you can listen to episode #170, where LuAnn first met them and there you can hear all about their firms and their backgrounds. What really makes this new feature so actionable and worthy, is that Corey and Judith run two entirely different kinds of firms, with Judith's being a solo operation, on a small island and Corey's in a big city, with staff. This will be really fun and interesting and it will also give you two very different, yet valid perspectives.  What makes it live, is that in addition to this podcast version, there is also a video available, of the three of them, which will be posted on LuAnn's Youtube channel, A Well Designed Business, as well as on the LuAnn Nigara Facebook Page. LuAnn wants you to know that this format is a bit more laid back- more like a coffee jam session- and she also warns you about having these three crazies all in one place! Make no mistake about it, however, they're still going to be covering the business principals that you need to know, in order to be successful. At the end of the day, the goal is still to help you to be more productive and profitable. 


They've decided to start off with an introduction of the philosophy of both Corey and Judith, so they have each made a list of the top things that they think you should do, or you should know, in order to be successful in the Design Industry. You don't need to take notes, because if you go to, you can get your free PDF download of 'The things I learned from Judith and Corey Design Biz Live Episode #1'. Listen in now and enjoy the new show!


Show highlights:


  • The first thing on Corey's list- To be really completely obsessive about drafting and graphic communication. And also...please spell correctly! Corey explains why your construction drawing really needs to be a work of art.
  • The number one thing on Judith's list- Install a toilet, upholster a couch, hang wallpaper, mud and prep dry wall. In other words, get dirty. You really need to have an understanding of not only your trades and what's involved with the different aspects of the product that you're specifying or selling, but there is a respect aspect to this too, which you can only gain through getting a real understanding of the various skill sets involved with doing all of this- and doing it really well. Without this you're not going to be able to really connect with those trades.
  • Number two on Corey's list- You need to take accounting classes. You really do need to know the difference between a mark up and a margin, gross profit and net profit and how much you cost- not how much you earn. The latter includes overheads, facilities, equipment, your hourly rate and your costs for  getting back and forth. 
  • Number two on Judith's list- Work on a finish line at a Cabinet Manufacturers for at least two weeks. Not going to happen easily, but you should try! This is because you really have to have an understanding of the human element involved here. There are going to be imperfections- this is in the nature of the business, so this understanding helps lessen the shock or surprise value when something does go wrong.
  • Number three on Corey's list- Visualise the details. Stand in the room for five minutes and design it in your mind. If you really can't do that, you're going to have trouble getting through the whole process.
  • Number three on Judith's list-  Run the plumbing for your bath design and then do the tile installation. Think this through from the beginning. This is a fundamental, as it's about the reality of what happens on a job site, vs your drawings, vs life, vs product, vs the variation in the installation  process. This is, again, about having an understanding of  and a compassion for the trades. You can only get that through hands-on experience
  • Number four on Corey's list- Don't think for a second that going out on your own is going to be easy. It isn't! It's going to be the hardest stuff you've ever done in your whole entire life, but, it's really so rewarding and so fun!
  • Number four on Judith's list- Date a Lawyer and learn how to argue effectively. One of the huge challenges in the industry is that there's always conflict and conflict often comes up in communication.  This isn't about arguing, it's really about problem solving. About getting to the issue of what the conflict is about. It's about how to resolve things effectively and professionally, without creating more conflict.
  • Number five for Corey- Use really solid contracts with clients. Don't kill them with the contracts, though. ASID has a set of contracts that you can purchase.
  • Number five for Judith-  Take out your nose ring and go and work at Nordstrom for a year and learn how to dress. Find a style somewhere between Brad Pitt and Iris Apfel. It's really important for Trade Professionals to look professional. You really can make a personal statement and find a way to be neutral and appropriate to the situation, without challenging your customer. 
  • Number six on Corey's list- Take credit cards. The fee that's charged is usually offset by the amount of work that you save from having to go to the bank to deposit a cheque. 
  • Number six on Judith's list- Learn grace under pressure. Experience and manage customer triage. Work at a Big Box Store for a year. Great to learn to manage multiple clients at the same time and maintain grace, think on your feet in and do problem solving in a retail environment. Don't hire anyone without any retail experience.
  • Number seven on Corey's list- Follow through on everything and think about the big picture. This is really important to solve those unresolved things that are hanging around and to nip them in the bud. 
  • Number seven on Judith's list- Go old school and learn how to use a sharpie and paper to quick sketch your concepts.  This is just basic artistic ability- not tech. You can go to an art school to learn this. It's a really respected and impressive technique.
  • Number eight on Corey's list- Document everything. You never know when you're going to need it!
  • Number eight on Judith's list- Design something and build it. Not a 3D printed model- really build it yourself. You'll really get a fundamental understanding of how things are put together this way.
  • Number nine on Corey's list- Don't cheap out on software and solutions. They really are your best efficiency machine. You can do the same amount of work and charge the same amount of money, or you can do less work and charge the same amount of money...
  • Number nine on Judith's list- Learn the difference between a professional rejection and a personal one. They may not like you, but they should at least respect you. It's often hard to separate the two as creative professionals. This is learned usually through experience. Develop a professional perspective.




Corey's website:


Judith's website: 


Jul 17, 2017

Today's guest is Lane McNab, of Lane McNab Interiors. Lane, just like Darla Powell, who appeared on last week's show, has also come to Interior Design as a second career. Listen in to find out all about Lane and how she's developed her really successful Interior Design Business.

Lane grew up in Florida and attended school in both Tennessee and San Francisco. She continued her education at Oxford University and at Il Globo Institute, in Italy. Lane's Interior design career is backed with her vast experience and her work and her expertise have been featured in many places, including The Today Show, the East Bay AIA Tour Of Homes, Dwell, Modern Sanctuary, Lux Pad, 24 East, My Domain and also in her home town publication, Berkeleyside, as the go-to Interior Designer, for approachable ways to modernise an historical home. Listen in today, to find out how Lane's career path and the lessons that she's learned along the way have contributed to her success, both as a Designer and as a Business Person.

Show highlights:

  • Lane talks about her first career, as a solo opera singer, in the San Francisco Bay area- prior to her becoming a mom.
  • How Lane first started out in 2004, working with a contractor on her own projects and how this eventually developed into Lane McNab Interiors.
  • The Today Show wanted to include one of Lane's Design Projects in an article they were running, at a time when she still didn't even know if she really wanted to have a business.
  • The point at which Lane realized that she could really take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that were coming her way, and start her business.
  • Lane eventually shut down her blog and took a year to stay focused and she worked very closely with Julia Malloy as well as with a number of other consultants, prior to starting her business, as she realized that she really needed a jump start.
  • The huge amount of confidence that Lane gained, from working with Julia Malloy.
  • Lane always writes down anything that she doesn't understand, so that she can research it later because different projects always require different amounts of knowledge.
  • Lane explains how she found the necessary help when making her transition to a much larger project.
  • The really sage advice from Julia Malloy, that Lane still holds on to- 90% of successful entrepreneurs have the consistent quality of a high E.Q.
  • Explaining to clients not only what the best design is, but why!
  • The typical things that tend to trip Designers up, when working with construction.
  • A memorable challenge that Lane faced with the cabinet guy, which became a valuable learning experience.
  • Using a mistake as an opportunity to develop a really great relationship with the client.
  • Lane's way of working with her vendors, or trade sources.
  • Dealing with clients who aren't happy about having their project photographed.
  • Not taking the first 'no' for an answer...
  • The importance of being collaborative, as a Designer.
  • Lane's outsourcing of her expediting- how and why it works for her.
  • The importance of keeping really detailed notes as a reference, for Lane.


Labe's Website:

Jul 14, 2017

The guest for today's Power Talk Friday is Kathy Knowles, a former HR Director who has become an entrepreneur. Her company is called Intuitive Strategies and Consultants and Kathy has become known as The Soulful Business Mentor. She really understands the challenges one faces, when leaving behind a successful, yet unfulfilling six figure career, to build a more satisfying business and life. Kathy has more than twenty years of experience of maximizing people and potential, as an HR Director, which has given her a real advantage in helping you to create your own Heart and Soul Business.

She and her team share proven strategies and formulas, to help you to establish a growth strategy that makes you more money and frees up more of your time. Magic words, right? Kathy's mission is to help more business owners and entrepreneurs to create a life of a business that they love, without sacrificing integrity, income, or sanity! There are really so many things that Kathy, as a talented Business Coach, could have discussed today, however, LuAnn decided to zero in on 'Help Business Owners Hire Right The First Time'. Even though LuAnn has owned a business for more than thirty years, she's really looking forward to this discussion, because for her, hiring really is one of the most troublesome parts of being in business. So, listen in, to get some great insights from Kathy's more than twenty years of experience.

This is going to be a really jam-packed episode, as Kathy has a ton of information for you. She has prepared a list of questions that are very helpful in assisting you to make the right hire. Several of the questions will be discussed in the interview today, however, her list is really much more in-depth, so if you are about to hire, or if you struggle with how to do that, you will enjoy this interview. To get Kathy's really valuable list of questions, go to and click on The things I learned from Kathy Knowles. Listen in now, to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Kathy explains that the process of hiring starts with you and being crystal clear about where you want to go with your business.
  • Hiring around the things that you're not good at.
  • Getting intuitively in touch with your business, in order to really grow your email list and to know which team member to hire.
  • Knowing how to choose the right person, when hiring someone for the very first time- using the List Of Four and then breaking it down a little further.
  • How to know when it's time to hire someone.
  • Asking the right questions when interviewing a potential employee.
    Talking about money during an interview.
  • Understanding that the way that someone interacts with you during an interview, will be the way that they will interact with your clients, should you hire them.
  • The importance of asking specific questions during an interview, even if you really hit it off with them.
  • Why you really shouldn't talk too much, when interviewing someone.
    The kinds of questions that are more likely to elicit a true response from an interviewee.
  • The importance of employees being accountable.
    Some suggestions for great questions to ask a potential employee, during an interview.
  • Creating interview questions around a personality profile- like Disc or Kolbe.
  • Links:

Kathy's website: – This is where you will find her free Gaining More Loyal Customers resource.

For Kathy's free Find and Fill resource, go to:\find-and-fill\

Kathy's email:

Jul 12, 2017

The guest for today's show is the truly remarkable Darla Powell, of Darla Powell Interiors, in Florida. Darla and LuAnn initially became friends through the social media of the podcast and then continued their friendship with conversations on the Designer Facebook Groups that they were both in and also through Instagram. It's not unusual for LuAnn to become friends with the people that she interviews for the podcast, and she and Darla also have a few friends in common (Mark McDonough from Tastefully Inspired and Karina from Superior K Interiors), so she really thought she knew all about her, until she went out and did her research for the interview. Then she was truly surprised to learn a few things about Darla that she didn't know before! Listen in to find out all about these surprising details.

Mark McDonough was actually the person who suggested to LuAnn that she should consider having Darla on the show. He pointed out that this was a second career for her and that she was going to be a truly amazing Interior Designer, as she was really putting her all into it, after having retired from her first career. Listen in now, to find out more about Darla and how she came to be doing what she does now.

Show highlights:

  • Darla talks to LuAnn about her first career- in Law Enforcement, for eighteen and a half years, as a Detective Sargent with the Miami-Dade Police Department, where she thought about quitting her job and becoming an Interior Designer almost every day!
  • Darla talks about her long journey from Law Enforcement to Interior Design.
  • How Darla really became really motivated to become an Interior Designer, after listening to one of LuAnn's podcasts, with Mark McDonough.
  • Darla's Instagram is only seven or eight months old and it already has way over seven thousand followers!
  • The biggest tip that Mark McDonough gave to Darla, about finding brands that align with her work and commenting on their posts straight away.
  • The great value in taking the time to be genuine and really engaging with people on social media. This makes you human and really helps your brand- and gets people to stay with you.
  • As long as you're putting out great content, your fans will still love you, even if you don't follow them back.
  • LuAnn and Darla discuss the portfolio which is up on Darla's website, which is actually her entire own home, done on a limited budget.
  • Darla talks about the fabulous blog, which is called Wing-nuts and Wallpaper and really reflects her brand voice.
  • How Darla boosts her following with her blog and with her Facebook posts.
  • How Nicole Heimer, (Episode #125) a really rockstar brander, has really helped Darla.
  • Some areas where Darla has felt a bit overwhelmed with her new career and what she's found helpful at these times.
  • How Susan Winterstein really helped Darla with her process, with an organized chart to inform the client about the whole design process.
  • Why Darla quit her first career way sooner than she originally intended to do so.


Darla's website:, where you will also find Darla's blog, Wing-nuts and Wallpaper.


Business of Design, Volume 3- Win The Flat Fee Game by Kimberley Seldon

1 « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 7