A Well-Designed Business®

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Jan 31, 2020

Welcome! We have Natalie Norcross, the CEO and Founder of A Design Partnership, back on the show today. (She was previously in episode #162.) Natalie started her career as an interior designer. She then built a highly successful residential and hospitality design firm, and after she sold it in 2008, she was repeatedly approached by interior design and architectural firms to assist them with their marketing and business development. And this was how A Design Partnership was born. In today's episode, Natalie talks about the four areas you need to focus on when going after press for your design firm. She also discusses how to make PR more accessible to designers, and she shares her strategies for goal setting, running her firm, and achieving success. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what this #smartlady has to share!

A Design Partnership has grown to become a dynamic group of experts who are passionate about helping clients transform their brands and evolve their businesses. From content curators to data-obsessed experts, Natalie leads a dynamic team of design-savvy people who know the industry, love their craft, and are fanatical about helping brands grow.

Natalie has more than nineteen years of experience, working for interior designers, architects, builders, developers, and hotel and home brands. Her firm has a proven track record of driving exposure and placements through their PR. Natalie is an Official Member of Forbes Agency Council as well as a regular speaker and panelist in both the communications and design industries. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Having systems in place will allow you to sell your business.
  • How Natalie's agency was born.
  • Systems lead to success.
  • Locking things down and getting things organized in your business.
  • Focus on your goals to achieve your dreams.
  • Ninety days of intention.
  • Focus on becoming the best version of yourself.
  • Success is all about service.
  • Natalie talks about her superpower.
  • Natalie describes her wonderful team.
  • Working with success metric for each client.
  • Accountability is a great mirror.
  • Developing a growth mindset and surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Everything in your life is figure-outable.
  • Some advice about PR.
  • Great tips for getting press!
  • Getting published with Interior Design PR in 2020.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Natalie Norcross 1st show #162

Ren Miller #12

Ashley Hotham Cox #321

Amy Flurry #108, #323

Alex Gourlay # 447


Website: A Design Partnership

Instagram: A Design Partnership

Pinterest: A Design Partnership

Facebook: A Design Partnership

New Launch: Interior Design PR


Jan 29, 2020

Welcome to our special bonus show! Today, as promised, we will be sharing our conversation with Eric Ross about his business philosophy, his process for selling accessories, and the way he manages his reveal install day. Eric's process is unique and very unusual. Be sure to listen in, to hear what he has to share.

Eric has been a professional decorator for more than twenty years. Although his preferred design style is traditional, he listens to his clients, to help them discover what they love, and what they respond to because he believes that everyone's home should represent who they are on their best day. Tune in today, to get some great advice from Eric!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric doesn't deliver a project piecemeal. He only reveals it when it's ready.
  • Eric takes risks when making purchases for his clients but they seldom ask to return items.
  • It is important to look at what you're trying to achieve, and the value you're bringing to people, and stick to that.
  • Know that your job is to make things beautiful and if something gets returned you have still done your job.
  • Eric loves to wow people at the install.
  • People who appreciate Eric's value and want a beautiful home will be willing to pay the price he's asking.
  • It's Eric's job to design a room to completion. It's the client's job to decide on the budget.
  • The designer needs to learn what makes the client tick.


Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party



Jan 28, 2020

Welcome! Today, Eric Ross joins us on the show. Eric is a charming southern gentleman and a well-experienced design professional. He is also a seasoned businessman who has figured out how to run his firm in a unique way that really works for him. In today's episode, he describes how he runs his private interior design studio like a retail store. He explains that he no longer feels the need to change, apologize or adjust the way he works to conform to a client’s expectations. Eric knows himself well, he understands his passions, and he is very clear about what he will and will not do. Be sure to listen in today, to find about his very interesting business model.

Eric is from Nashville. He has been in love with the traditional living design style since he was a child. He has more than twenty years of design experience and his work has been published in Traditional Home, Southern Style, Southern Lady, The Cottage Journal, as well as in many other publications. Eric's passion is to fan the flame of traditional decorating with a deeply Southern esthetic. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Eric explains what he means when he says that he is running his design firm like a store without a storefront.
  • What the decorating track of Eric's business is all about.
  • Eric's margins are hefty, just like those in a storefront, and all of his design services are included in that pricing.
  • The way that Eric educates his clients about his philosophy and the way he works.
  • Talking about transparency.
  • People will happily pay Eric for his product rather than his time.
  • Trust is a key issue.
  • Eric's business model allows him to have total control over the whole process.
  • Eric's advice is to start small with clients. It makes your business more manageable.
  • The biggest motivator for Eric is seeing the result of what he has created.
  • Eric's qualifying process for his new clients.
  • Eric explains why he does not do discounts.
  • The opportunities you're losing by being overworked.
  • Eric's goal is to monetize his passion.
  • Our industry is too high-touch to make it high volume.
  • It's okay to mark up because of the value you add to the project.
  • You don't have to explain your "no".
  • Eric has a new book out, called Enduring Southern Homes.


Website: Eric Ross Interiors

Facebook: Eric Ross Interiors

Instagram: Eric Ross Interiors

Pinterest: Eric Ross Interiors

Mydoma Studio: A Well Designed Business

A Well-Designed Business® 4th Birthday Party



Jan 24, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Traci Reuter, the founder, and CEO of Divine Social joins us today. Traci loves to uplift and inspire business owners, entrepreneurs, or anyone with an amazing idea! She has a knack for uncovering just the right strategy for everyone and then helping them map things out to make the execution simple and easy. In today's episode, Traci shares tons of ideas, strategies, and tips for paid marketing on social media. Be sure to listen in to find out more about the paid advertising aspect of Instagram and Facebook. 

Traci has twenty-five years of experience in sales and marketing. She is passionate about supporting businesses and growing their brands through real and meaningful social media advertising. She has a special gift for mapping out the perfect strategy to get a brand in front of the right people at the right time. Traci truly knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. She also co-hosts the Social Media Happy Hour podcast with Dawn Marks. Tune in today, to learn what she has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • The power of paid advertising on social media.
  • Traci explains how she started with her business.
  • Traci gives her team incredible training.
  • Sometimes, it takes just a tiny thing to make all the difference in your profitability.
  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • The customer journey.
  • Never spend money on ads. Rather invest in your business.
  • Consideration is not the same as pre-purchase.
  • Why Traci is against boosting Facebook posts.
  • It takes time to build up enough trust to invest in advertising.
  • Thinking about what to put your ads, to get your prospects to want to know more.
  • Branding is about telling your story so that business comes out of it.
  • Creating engagement with your prospects.
  • Building audiences of people who have watched your Facebook video.
  • Traci shares the EDIE formula for creating a great video.
  • All your ads must be congruent with your end-goal.
  • Video out-performs everything else on social media.
  • What to do if you only have the budget to run one thing.
  • The Three Pillars to Successful Social Ads.
  • Should you focus on Facebook or Instagram?


Traci Reuter is the founder/CEO of Divine Social. She’s passionate about supporting businesses in growing their brands through authentic, meaningful social advertising. Traci has an uncanny gift for looking at any business’s mission, vision, and message, and mapping out the right strategy to get their brand in front of the right people at the right time. With 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Traci knows her stuff when it comes to high-level marketing strategy. Combined with her tactical knowledge of social advertising, Traci can write the recipe for any brand’s success, and she would love to share some of her greatest secrets behind mapping out your own powerful social advertising strategy.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466


Website: Divine Social

Instagram: Traci Reuter

Facebook: Traci Reuter Social

Youtube: Traci Reuter

Please take advantage of Traci’s gifts:

For the 15-minute audit, if you are spending more than $3000 a month on social media marketing, email Traci at

For Traci's free mini-course, 3 Pillars To Successful Social Ads, go to A Well Designed Business

Big announcement - The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet’s new workspace center at 200 Lexington NY NY on March 19, 2020, at 5:30 pm

Book mentioned:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey


Jan 21, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Lisa Haude, of Paradigm Design Group, joining us! Lisa built her firm from ground zero to a firm with gross revenues exceeding fifty-million dollars. And she showed her relentless commitment by doing that the old-fashioned way, by calling on her contacts week after week. In today's episode, Lisa talks to us about how she runs her business, and she explains how all her success can be attributed to her commitment to delivering an exceptional project, regardless of the situation. Tune in today, to find out how planning to exceed your clients' expectations in every aspect of a project will always bring about a successful result.  

As the lead designer and founder of Paradigm Design Group for the last fifteen years, Lisa Haude is an expert in livable luxury. She has built Paradigm Design Group into a hospitality design powerhouse. With projects ranging from The Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria in New Orleans to the award-winning Portland Marriott Downtown, to boutique hotels and numerous Hilton hotels across the United States, Lisa prides herself on her design versatility. Be sure to listen in today, to find out more about Lisa, and her work ethic, and her successful design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Lisa spent time working at high-end hospitality firms, for architectural design firms, and in the hotel and hospitality industry, on the inside, on their design teams, before opening her firm. She talks to us about how this great learning experience informs the way she runs her firm.
  • Lisa gives us some insight into the way her firm looks.
  • Taking care of the details and all the moving pieces on multiple-million dollar projects.
  • The way that Lisa's whole team collaborates to bring about an awesome project.
  • Dealing with the documentation.
  • Talking about accountability.
  • The whole team is detail-oriented.
  • Open discussions are vital for growing and improving.
  • Taking responsibility, as a leader, for whatever happens with a project.
  • Sometimes it's hard to find your humor when you're in the trenches.
  • Some advice for landing and keep long-term hospitality accounts.
  • Owning up if you mess up is very important.
  • People like to do business with people who have similar ideals and values.
  • Lisa has an amazing village of co-workers.
  • How Lisa created her opportunities and made things happen when she started her firm.
  • Lisa offers some awesome advice.
  • Thinking outside the box to make things happen.
  • The background and skills that Lisa looks for when hiring a junior designer.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Meryl Santopietro #40

Mikel Welch #297

Corey Damen Jenkins #127

Claire Jefford #237

Vanessa DeLeon #18


Website: Paradigm Design

Facebook: Paradigm Design Group

Instagram: Paradigm Design Group

The 4th Birthday Party for the podcast will be at Kravet's new workshop center at 200 Lexington New York on March 19, 2020, at 5.30 pm. Use this link to RSVP -  Event Brite


Jan 17, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have one of our early guests back on the show. Diane Gardener, known as The Tax Coach (Episode #54) is back with us to talk about the specific niche of seven-figure interior design firms. Although LuAnn has done a lot of shows about getting a design business off the ground, she realized that she's done way fewer shows about what to do when you are in the seven-figure bracket. And there are very specific challenges that come with this area. When moving into the seven-figure bracket, business owners frequently experience higher expenses, cash flow problems, and higher taxes. So be sure to listen in today even if you're still a #babydesigner because LuAnn fully intends for you to become a seven-figure interior designer someday.

Diane Gardner is a Certified Tax Coach, a Quilly award recipient, and a best-selling author whose expert planning approach has saved her clients over three-million dollars in taxes. Her expertise lies in the area of tax planning. And her goal is to make sure that successful entrepreneurs across the United States are paying the least amount of income tax that they can legally pay. She aims to save taxes, one business at a time, through the use of pro-active tax planning. Diane has been featured on popular podcasts such as CEO Warrior, For the Love of Money, Listen Money Matters, Investing in The U.S, Cashflow Ninja, SharkPrenuer, Wealth Formula and Profit Boss. Tune in today, to learn about what you need in your seven-figure business to mitigate risk, increase your profits, and legally decrease your taxes.

Show Highlights:

  • Diane is a certified Profit First coach.
  • Planning ahead to pay less tax when moving into the seven-figure tax bracket.
  • Increased income often means increased expenses.
  • Becoming an active partner with your CPA or Business Coach.
  • The tax planning strategies that seven-figure businesses need to implement to keep more money
  • A great way to incentivize your people and lessen your tax load.
  • It takes a different set of skills to run a bigger business.
  • How to increase your cash flow to leverage growth from multi-six-figures to seven-figures.
  • Diane explains how a tax coach can be your ultimate advocate and partner in growth.
  • Doing an entity analysis for your business.
  • An amazing strategy for saving money by investing in your own insurance company.

Other guests mentioned in this show:

Michele Williams #180, #395 

Peter Lang # 349, #464 

Diane Gardner was on the show before in episode #54


Diane's website: Tax Coach 4 You

Diane's offer: Planning guide for the new tax law vs old tax law.

Diane’s Facebook handles:      




Jan 14, 2020

Welcome to the epic 500th episode of A Well-Designed Business! So far, it's been a wild ride, and we've fully enjoyed every minute of it! Even LuAnn, the consummate positive thinker, ever-optimistic dreamer, and earnest believer in the truth, could not foresee all the joy she has experienced, and the delightful connections she has made, because of this podcast! Join us today, for this truly memorable episode!

Recently, LuAnn has been spending time reflecting on all the pleasure that this podcast has brought her. She's been thinking about all the people she's met, the invaluable relationships she's formed, the opportunities she's been given, and the ones she has helped to create through this podcast. She has also taken the time to break down the various business strategies she's used in running this platform. In today's episode, she shares the five things that she learned behind the scenes, from doing this show. Be sure to tune in today, to hear about the 5 Keys that LuAnn believes were essential for her to have in place, to allow for her calling to happen.

Show Highlights:

  • LuAnn talks about the 5 essential keys to success.
  • Talking about passion.
  • How LuAnn realized that she needed to do a podcast.
  • Looking for something to light her up, back in 2013.
  • Lessons learned from golf lessons, surfing lessons, and 46-mile bike rides.
  • Never looking back, only ahead for what was to come.
  • LuAnn shares her true passion.
  • Even the hard days have been an absolute joy for LuAnn.
  • Creating a business plan with cold, hard facts.
  • Making clear decisions, based on facts and up-front agreements.
  • Clarity creates calm and purpose because when you have a plan, you are more likely to get to where you want to be.
  • Having an unrelenting, single-minded, and focused commitment to getting things done.
  • Every business is always a work in progress.
  • What you need, to be successful.
  • Commitment is showing up on schedule, being prepared to do what you said you would do, and doing the work.
  • What it takes, to run a village.
  • LuAnn has been blessed by the most amazing village of the brands who believe in this show.
  • It has been through the village of guests, sponsors, co-authors, and listeners that LuAnn has grown, and learned so much, in the last four years.
  • Some valuable lessons were learned from doing LuAnn Live.
  • Paying other people to deal with the details and fill in the gaps.
  • Having the support of our amazingly gifted podcast village.
  • The sad loss of a dear friend, Liza Jones.
  • Treasuring the support of all her co-authors.
  • Make someone's day, and decide to be excellent!

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467

Michele Williams #137, #180, #395, and #424

Sarah Daniele #91, #119, and #177

Jenny and Greg Madden #332

Corey Damon Jenkins #388

Eileen Hahn #363

Wendy Glaister #386


LuAnn Nigara

My Doma Studio




Revel Woods


Jan 10, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Shauna Lynn Simon with us today. She is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, and she's also one of the co-authors of LuAnn's second book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. Shauna Lynn is seriously committed to helping aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success in their businesses. In today's episode, she explains how to become unforgettable to your clients. She shares several ways to make yourself memorable so that you're always the first person that your clients think of when they need an interior design or a window treatment service. Be sure to listen in, to find out what this exceptional businesswoman has to share with you today. You're really going to love her!

Shauna Lynn Simon is dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships between like-minded professionals. She partners with CEOs, executives, and solo-preneurs to grow their brands. Shauna Lynn has built a thriving home staging and design business. She has designed a comprehensive and systematic program for teaching the technical and the business side of the home staging world. She also offers core and continuing education for home staging professionals through Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Making yourself stand out uniquely.
  • It's all about understanding who you are and owning it.
  • Shauna Lynn's company has been branded with the color pink.
  • You need to know who you are and what you represent.
  • People often forget the names of people they have worked with before.
  • You need to find something to make yourself memorable.
  • Owning every part of your image.
  • You have to be one in a million.
  • Figuring out what makes you the best.
  • What fires up your passion?
  • Finding your purpose by looking at what makes you happy.
  • Positioning yourself well in the marketplace.
  • Give people a reason to remember you.
  • Figure out your "thing" is and steer yourself in that direction.
  • Everything you do should reflect your business in some way.
  • Creating an effective About You page.


Shauna Lynn Simon is an award-winning home staging industry expert and business strategist, committed to guiding aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve success in their business. After building a thriving home staging and design business, she founded Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy, a comprehensive and systematic program providing core and continuing education training for home staging professionals.

Analyst turned home stager, Shauna Lynn combines creativity with logic and problem solving to achieve incredible results. Dedicated to creating educational content that builds successful relationships, Shauna Lynn partners with CEOs, executives and solo-preneurs in the creative field to grow their personal and professional brands, providing real-world insights and actionable tips for conquering their business dreams.


Website: Beyond The Stage Homes

Facebook: Beyond The Stage Homes

YouTube Channel

Pinterest: BTSHomes

Exciting Windows


PowerHouse Smart Luxury Conference -


Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shauna Lynn Simon # 76, #84, and #102

Moniomi Design #193

Dane Austin #457

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466



Jan 7, 2020

Welcome! Today, we have Claire Staszak back on the show with us. Claire, who was previously in episode #166, is the principal of the Chicago-based firm, Centered by Design. Claire is a kind and genuine lady, and LuAnn has always had a very soft spot for her. In today's episode, she explains how to create excellent, top-quality content for social media. She and LuAnn also talk about how they met at the Design Influencer's Conference in 2017, and they discuss how Claire's blog, Centered by Design, was honored with an award for Best Design Writing. Be sure to listen in, to hear what Claire has to share about creating quality content for social media.

Centered By Design, is known for its holistic design process, which combines Claire's passion for wellness with her well-trained eye for interiors.

Claire studied interior design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and she holds a Certificate of Kitchen and Bath Design from Harper College.  

She is also a certified yoga instructor with more than 500 hours of training.

Claire's work has been featured by The Chicago Tribune, Modern Luxury, HGTV, Domino, Architectural Digest online and more. Tune in now, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Claire will be speaking at The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference that LuAnn will be headlining, in February, in Chicago.
  • Why The Powerhouse Smart Luxury Conference is unique and well worth attending.
  • Claire talks about winning the Best Design Writing Award at the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017.
  • The Design Influencer's Conference was a turning point for Claire. It boosted her and gave her a lot of confidence.
  • Claire has a degree in journalism so writing comes very naturally to her.
  • Helping as many people as possible, as effectively as possible.
  • Claire came to the Design Influencer's Conference, in 2017, asking whether or not she should continue writing her blog.
  • Claire shares her biggest takeaway from her experience of winning the Best Design Writing Award.
  • Claire has created a workbook, called Authentically You, for interior designers and creatives looking to create content for their websites and social media.
  • Claire has a social media following of 18 000 people, and she gets more than a million views a month on Pinterest. She shares some tips and strategies.
  • Creating opportunities for brand ambassadorship.
  • Claire's best apps for pre-planning and creating content.
  • Growing your #following on Instagram.
  • You attract the right kind of clients when you're authentic on social media.
  • Claire has an awesome giveaway for you today!


Claire's online shop pages:

Centered By Design

Centered By Design

Claire's Instagram and Pinterest:

Instagram: Claire Staszak

Pinterest: Claire Staszak

Claire's blog

Claire's giveaway - Social Media Prompts for Seasonal & Evergreen Content Goodies

Process Leads To Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

What Would Lu Do

LuAnn and Claire will be speaking at the Power House Smart Luxury Conference this February 5, 2020

For tickets

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Claire’s 1st episode #166

Kelsey Grose- The Farmer’s Daughter #167 - Winner of Best New Design Blog 2017 by Design Influencers Conference

Shea McGee - episode #’s: 236, 270 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Amber Lewis – episode #’s: 168, 184 - Keynote Speaker 2017 at Design Influencers Conference

Wendy Cohen: #483 - Organizer of the 2020 Power House Smart Luxury Conference




Jan 3, 2020

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, we have a business strategist, Kim Dawson, joining us. Kim enjoys working with business owners, helping them earn more and grow their businesses into successful enterprises. Her superpower is helping the owners of service-based businesses work out their ideal pricing formula. In other words, she guides them through a process of figuring out how much they should be charging, either per hour or for an entire project, to be profitable. Kim's advice is to always start with the numbers so that you can plan and strategize to accomplish your goals, rather than wishing for them to happen. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what she has to share.

Kim is a lifelong entrepreneur. She has started many businesses of her own, including a local health and fitness studio, and she has also co-founded a software setup. Kim's experience lies both in locally-focused, service-oriented businesses, and in online product-based businesses. Tune in now, to find out how to set and track your yearly financial goals, and make more profit from your business.

Show Highlights:

  • Kim works with many different industries.
  • Running a business is not for everybody.
  • Owning a business does not mean that you know how to run one.
  • Making a plan to earn your money.
  • Getting your priorities in order.
  • Looking at your numbers.
  • Kim shares a formula for working out how much money you need to bring in each year.
  • You need to know your market.
  • Evaluating the whole situation before deciding to take something on helps you stay on target.
  • Kim advises charging a flat fee, rather than an hourly fee.
  • Working out your hourly rate.
  • Finding the right market for the rate you're charging.
  • Using a strategic plan to get where you want to go.
  • Tracking your time makes your billing easier.
  • Kim used to have The Sassy Strategist Podcast.

The shows to go with this show:

Krista Coupar #60

Kim Merlitti #361 and #442

Alinda Morris #429

Cheryl Clendenon #482

Michele Williams #395

Kae Whitaker #114


Kim Dawson

LuAnn Nigara

Profit With Window Treatments


My Doma Studio


Well Designed Article

IWCE Vision