Welcome to today's episode of A Well Designed Business! We have Courtney McLeod, the principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design in New York City, with us on the show today. Courtney has come to interior design as a second career. So even though she has always been passionate about the decorative arts, she first obtained a business degree from the Warden School at the University of Pennsylvania, and then pursued a successful, fifteen-year career in the financial services industry, where she rose to the role of a leading portfolio manager in real estate private equity before exercising her true passion for designing beautiful interiors. Listen in today to find out how Courtney used both the skills she gained through her experience, and her transferable skills, enhanced with her design-related studies at Parsons Pratt and the New York School of Interior Design, to confidently embark on a new career course.
An avid colorist at heart, Courtney draws from a kaleidoscopic toolbox of texture, pattern, and color to create rooms evocative of one emotion above all others - joy. Her designs express both her client's unique tastes and her vivid, collected aesthetic. Born and raised in New Orleans, Courtney brings a sophisticated view to her rooms, informed by her Creole background and extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia. She resides in the vibrant Harlem neighborhood, a wonderful source of inspiration. She has lived in New York City for two decades but remains a Southerner at heart. Listen in to find out more.
Previous episodes mentioned in this episode:
Erica Ward #6
Website: Right Meets Left Interior Design
Instagram: Right Meets Left Interior Design
Twitter: Right Meets Left
LinkedIn: Right Meets Left Interior Design
Facebook: Right Meets Left Interior Design
LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the Event-Brite link at Luann Nigara.
Todays’ guest is Cheryl Luckett, who is not only a tenacious and creative entrepreneur but has used her talents to build a flourishing business. Within the past two years, Cheryl has fully committed to growing her design business by using her creativity to incorporate unique designs into her projects. Her work has been published in Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, and her work has been featured on many other platforms. Not only is Cheryl making headway in her business but she’s using her platform to build relationships.
Cheryl is all about establishing connections and giving back. In this episode, Cheryl talks about how to network, how to build beneficial relationships and the importance of self-promotion. If you want to learn how you can pursue your own dream and build an authentic business, join us in this episode of A Well-Designed Business, with your host, LuAnn Nigara.
Previous Guests Mentioned:
Website: Dwell By Cheryl
Furniture: Dwell By Cheryl
Blog: Dwell By Cheryl Blog
Instagram: Dwell By Cheryl
Facebook: Dwell By Cheryl
Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl
Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl
LinkedIn: Cheryl Luckett
Welcome! Today we have Amber Friederichs and Michele Atijas from the UK, a really dynamic duo and the principals of Yohan May Interiors, with us on the show. They specialize in very high-end, high-quality home staging, so Yohan May Interiors attracts clientele and projects at the very highest level of luxury real estate in London. The two primary goals with every project in this really high-pressure market are to sell the home fast and to obtain the highest possible price. On the show today, Michele and Amber discuss their turnaround times, how they cannot concern themselves with their clients' taste and design style, and also, how they position the home for sale. Listen in today to find out more about Michele and Amber's business model, and to discover their keys to be really successful with what they do.
Founded in 2015, Yohan May Interiors emerged from the collaboration of two friends, Michele Atijas and Amber Friederichs.
The company started out of necessity when Amber was unable to find a home staging agency that offered the personalization and curation she was looking for. The pair decided to work on the project on their own and spoke with a number of developers and estate agents. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
They decided to call the company Yohan May after Amber's late father, Johann, and Michele's late mother, Maj, whom they credit with their passion for interiors. Listen in to find out more.
Previous shows mentioned in this episode:
Website: Yohan May
Pinterest: Yohan May Interiors
For your 10% off your next purchase at Kravet, use the code W7 at the checkout. Go to Kravet.
Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really excited to have Michele Williams back on the show for the third time today! (She previously appeared in episodes #137 and #180.) Michele is the owner of Scarlet Thread Consulting, she's a certified Profit First Coach, and she is also one of the co-authors in LuAnn's soon-to-be-launched new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business.
Michele was one of the guest-speakers at LuAnn's Power Talk Friday Tour in High Point last October. During her presentation Michele had everyone do a very eye-opening exercise, designed to help business owners dial in on what's really important with their finances so that their business can become more successful and profitable. We have decided to share this exercise with you on the show today. It's a really good thinking point and you're going to have to answer some questions. If you don't score too well with your answers, it is an indicator that you may need some help, so listen in carefully to find out how to increase the profitability and success of your business.
Having worked in the interior design industry for more than 18 years, Michele is fiercely committed to helping each business owner attain and maintain profitability. She empowers her creative clients by not only building confidence to charge what they are worth but by sharing education and systems for money management and financial awareness. With a degree from the University of South Carolina in management information systems and ten years of product development on financial software at Dun & Bradstreet Software, Michele has the ability to mix the logical and creative aspects of a business with ease. She is a Profit First certified coach and hosts the popular podcast, Profit Is A Choice. Michele is a sought after speaker and coach known for her straight forward but grace-filled approach delivered with a healthy dose of love. Listen in today to find out what to do if you really need to change the trajectory of your business.
Website: Scarlet Thread Consulting
Facebook: Scarlet Thread Consulting
Instagram: Scarlet Thread
LinkedIn: Michele Williams
Financial Health Checklist PDF: Scarlet Thread Consulting
To get Kravet's generous one-time offer of 10% off your first order of any wallpaper or trim, go to Kravet and use the code AWDB10 at the checkout.
LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the event-brite link at Luann Nigara.
To find out more about LuAnn Live- It's About The Conversation, go to LuAnn Live
Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We're really happy to have Carole Marcotte, from Form and Function, in Raleigh NC, join us on the show today. Carole followed a number of different paths while raising her three children, prior to officially starting her design business a little more than ten years ago in 2008.
In 2013 she had the genius idea to expand her business to include a storefront with classic and funky vintage pieces alongside new Made-In-America and up-cycled gift selections. On today's show, Carole talks to us about her niche, and she also explains how she was honored as one of Midtown Magazine's "Thirty People You Need To Know" for the fantastic work she's done in her community. Listen in today to find out about Carole and how she guides people, and gives them a fresh, modern spin, with things they already have.
Carole was raised in Canada and her career began in marketing and special events for a private women’s club in Toronto. After that, she worked at a radio station and she then moved to North Carolina in 1987. An old house renovation fueled her interest in architecture and design and she “unofficially” began to help friends and family with design work for many years, while also operating a catering and special events business and acting on local stages for more than twenty years. She also sat on many non-profit boards, most notably conceiving of and planning Raleigh’s largest public art project (The Raleigh Red Wolf Ramble) while Co-Chair of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission. Listen in to find out more.
Website: Form And Functionraleigh
Facebook: Form And Functionraleigh
Instagram: Form And Functionraleigh
Pinterest: F And Fraleigh
The website for the Design District map: Design District Raleigh
Previous shows mentioned in this episode:
LuAnn’s Upcoming Events:
Welcome to another Power Talk Friday! Today we are really happy to have the inimitable Fred Berns back on the show with us once again! Fred has been our guest on the podcast more often than anyone else in all of the almost three years that the show has been on the air! He has previously appeared on episodes #22, #48, #96, #174, #226, #289, and #337 and he is one of our favorite returning guests because his advice is always so intentional and actionable. Observation is one of Fred's superpowers and he always adds an extra layer by noticing the things that are done well and could be done even better, in any business process. Fred has discovered that success leaves clues, but mistakes multiply, so today he will be talking to us about The Dirty Dozen, the twelve most common things that interior designers tend to do to sabotage their own success, that they really need to avoid. Listen in today and learn about the habits that cause harm to professionals.
Fred Berns is the only interior design industry business coach and speaker who creates personal bios and other promotional materials for design professionals worldwide. Fred has more than 25 years experience training design professionals from Dallas to Dubai and creating their online profiles, website and social media copy, blogs, and marketing forms. In addition, he offers a wide range of business coaching services, ranging from his High-Performance Coaching Program to his Bio Briefing and Website Onceover. As one of the biggest names in the business of interior design, he speaks at design conferences and other events throughout the U.S. and around the world. He also develops sales and marketing programs for international franchise organizations and companies within the interior design industry, and trains manufacturers, retailers, and others on how to increase sales to design professionals. Fred focuses on his keynote speeches and seminars on how designers, kitchen and bath specialists, window fashion experts and other professionals can dramatically increase sales, and market themselves more effectively. He has appeared at the International Window Coverings Expo; Neocon events; the High Point Market; Surfaces; design symposiums; home and design expos; furniture, gift and accessory shows; and national conferences of such groups as ASID, NKBA, IDS, and IFDA.
Fred’s blog is read by design professionals the world over, and he regularly writes guest blog posts and articles for online and print media. He also is a frequent guest on design industry podcasts. His Interior Design Business Library includes a vast collection of books, audio and video programs and other business-building resources that he has developed for the design industry. His learning tools cover topics ranging from setting and getting higher fees and overcoming price objections to branding and million dollars marketing on a shoestring budget. Fred’s clients today benefit from the communication and copywriting skills that he acquired during his highly-successful earlier career as a broadcast and print journalist. In that career, he founded one of Washington, D.C.’s largest and longest-established independent news bureaus.
We're so busy looking for success steps, strategies, and shortcuts that we tend to overlook the fact that there are obstacles, roadblocks, and silly mistakes that derail too many design professionals too often.
Be careful of following the followers and not the leaders in the design industry. Remember that you make a great you, but a lousy somebody else!
Fishing for marlins, not minnows. Too many designers sell themselves short by thinking too small, too often, and they're aiming too low. They under-value and under-promote themselves, and they charge too little for their services.
You're an expert, so know your value. Many designers fall into the trap of giving away their time and Fred believes that really diminishes your value, as a design professional. The most financially successful designer's charge for all of their time, all of the time.
You cannot be taken advantage of if you don't allow it, so manage your relationships and take charge of them.
Majoring in minors. Stop wasting your time and becoming distracted.
What you will gain from including Fred's Daily Dozen Activity and his Five O'clock Focus in your daily routine.
Plan your next day ahead with Fred's MVP List (Most Valuable and Productive use of your time activities).
You need to be cross-selling, up-selling and doing add-on selling all the time by educating your clients about all you can do.
Your work does not sell itself- it's way too competitive out there. Thinking your work sells itself is old-school thinking. It's the kind of thinking that could kill your career.
Bogus Bios and Wimpy Websites- Bios that block you rather than boost you and disqualify you from the kinds of clients and projects you want and deserve. And websites that don't promote all that you do and how well you do it. (Check out Website Onceover)
Your bio really has got to rock because it's your most vital, versatile, and viable marketing tool. (See Bio Briefing)
Don't go it alone. Do what you do best and delegate the rest.
Viewing price objections as obstacles. Learn to use price objections as opportunities.
Fred's Fabulous Fallback for price objections.
Don't futz with your fees. Hold firm on your fees or you won't come across as professional.
Charging too little is another thing that will sabotage your success.
You need to be in control your business rather than the business controlling you.
Fred is coming to New Jersey for the LuAnn Nigara Live-It's About the Conversation event. He is one of the co-authors of LuAnn's new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, which will be launched on March 30th at this event!
Previous shows mentioned in this episode:
Links and contacts:
Things I learned from Fred Bern: The Dirty Dozen
For coaching on how to avoid or overcome these "Success Saboteurs:" Coach Call
For coaching on how to upgrade your website content: Website Onceover
For coaching on crafting your Killer Bio: Bio Briefing
Fred’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred’s phone number: (303) 589-3013
About our birthday party:
Sponsor, Kravet Inc, is hosting the 3rd birthday party for the podcast! So, if you are coming into New York for NY Now in the 1st week of February, or you want to come just for the party, please join us on Feb 5th at the Kravet showroom, in New York, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Go to Luann Nigara and look for the event rsvp—the party is free and the more the merrier so please plan to join us! Go to Luann Nigara and click on Live Event.
Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! Dala Al Fuwaires, the Principal of FJI Design in Scottsdale, Arizona, will be joining us on the show today. Dala is a dreamer, designer, and doer, and she has begun to niche and focus her firm, FJI Design, in the food and beverage industry. Dala runs her business with very clear strategies for building her client base, for managing and motivating her employees, and also for making a name for herself and for her firm in her community. Listen in today to find out what she has to say about getting yourself into the driver's seat, in order to create a really successful business.
Dala Al-Fuwaires, Principal of FJI, a hospitality design firm with a sweet spot for food and beverage interiors, is a dreamer, designer, and doer. With over a decade of experience in the interior design field, Dala has worked on hospitality, retail, and residential design projects ranging in size from boutique to national rollouts. Dala graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Purdue University. Outside of design, Dala can be found exploring the world, hosting dinner parties for friends and family, remodeling her home, and photographing all of the above. Listen in to find out more.
Previous shows mentioned in this episode:
Website: FJI Design
Instagram: FJI Design
Facebook: FJI Design
Pinterest: FJI Design
LinkedIn: FJI Design
About our birthday party:
Sponsor, Kravet Inc, is hosting the 3rd birthday party for the podcast! So, if you are coming into New York for NY Now in the 1st week of February, or you want to come just for the party, please join us on Feb 5th at the Kravet showroom, in New York, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Go to Luann Nigara and look for the event rsvp—the party is free and the more the merrier so please plan to join us!
Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today we have the first of our brand new on-air coaching shows and Stephanie Castillo, of Rumble Interiors in Washington State, will be joining us. Stephanie is a new designer and although she is still finishing her degree, she does have business experience. On the show today Stephanie will be asking LuAnn some really interesting questions about how to set up vendor accounts and setting up accounts with the trades. They talk about whether or not Stephanie should niche her firm, and if she needs a receivership for the products she sells to clients. They also have a discussion about a collaboration that Stephanie is developing with two other interior designers. Listen in to LuAnn's excellent coaching session with Stephanie on the show today.
Stephanie has been a hairstylist for 27 years and she's worn many hats in that industry, Stylist, Educator, Manager, and Recruiter. She has two kids in grade school and she volunteers as the Board President for the Ellensburg Downtown Association in Washington state.
As her body was beginning to get tired from her work, Stephanie began thinking about what else she could do. As interior design has always been a love of hers, she enrolled at the New York School of Art and Design and started taking classes online.
Now that she's close to finishing up with her studies, Stephanie has gone ahead with the process of starting her own business, Rumble Interiors. She has done some practice work of what has become re-styles which involves taking someone's house and using what they already have and reworking it. And this really brings her so much joy! To set herself up for success, she has been reaching out to mentors, like LuAnn, because she is ready to learn about all the details of running an interior design business. Listen in to find out more.
Stephanie has her license and she has her social media sites set up, but she does not yet have her website set up.
Stephanie has a blog that you can find via Instagram.
The collaboration that Stephanie is developing with two other interior designers.
Stephanie is into re-styles and would like to get into feng shui.
The design styles of Stephanie and her partners are very different.
Things to bear in mind when leasing a design space in partnership with someone else.
Finding the best vendors and tradespeople.
How to establish great relationships with sales reps.
The need for having a receivership for your shipped goods.
Finding a good and reputable receivership.
Running your business like a big-girl one, even if you're still a baby designer.
Do you really need licenses and accreditations?
How to work out how much to charge when you're starting out as a designer.
Is having a niche the best way to go?
Deciding whether to go to design school or not.
Why you really need to have a website for your business.
Creating content for your website.
Other episodes mentioned on the show:
Facebook: Rumble Interiors
I have another fun show for you today! Taylor Spellman is with us today. Taylor is a New York-based interior designer and staging expert. She is also the host of Bravo’s new TV show “Yours Mine or Ours”. No matter what she is designing- whether it be a 10-million-dollar penthouse, the lobby of a high-rise or the showroom for a fashion client-- her super down to earth personality combined with her bold style makes her a stand out in our interior design community. Taylor has the unique and unteachable talent using high end one of a kind pieces to an afternoon spent at the Goodwill. Today you will learn how she came from humble beginnings and now has a million dollar clientele in New York City.
The rest of the show notes are in our resource center: Window Works