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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.
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A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast
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Now displaying: October, 2022
Oct 28, 2022

Today on A-Well Designed Business:

Today LuAnn recaps her experience at High Point Market this fall and her top takeaways from the Power Talk Friday Tour 2022.

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Resources Mentioned:

Mydoma Studio

Jaipur Living

Oct 25, 2022

Today With Alex Alonso:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I am joined with Alex Alonso of mr. alex TATE Design. Alex was recently on Bravo TV's hit design competition series, "Best Room Wins" where his "transitional" room design earned him a coveted spread in elledecor.com. What also is impressive is Alex’s knowledge that he is here to share. On multiple occasions he just knocked it out of the park for me in terms of when to turn down a client. Alex shares his ABCD approach that took him and his team months to formulate and now serves them, to be able to have their ideal clients and provide the best client experience.

Pick It Apart

[14:06] Do all of the ABCD’s of Alex’s ideal client have to check the “yes” box?

[26:39] How Alex responds when a client comes back after they were declined.  

[29:58] The instances that Alex moves forward with a client if they don’t know or don’t share their budget.

LuAnn Nigara and Alex Alonso's Ah-Ha Moments

“The more honest you can be with yourself about what you can deliver, the better the client experience will be because you’ll have the confidence to speak with the client and say yes, this is or isn’t possible.” - Alex Alonso 

“It’s really important as a firm to stand behind your word as a collective team.” - Alex Alonso

“There is a justification and rationalization when it comes to budget that a consumer can sink their teeth into.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Alex Alonso:

The studio team collective is lead by design principal Alex Alonso. A maximalist at heart, after years in media and entertainment on both coasts and travels abroad he launched a studio that embraces a global perspective and celebrates the power of storytelling through spaces. Reflecting a distinct design approach that is all about the mix, the result is a bold sensibility he calls “modern victorian.” 

Cuban-born Alex grew up under insanely humid Miami days. After attending Northwestern University and working in advertising in Chicago, Alex moved to Los Angeles where we worked in entertainment for many years. All along he perfected his craft in his true passion, design. His travels have taken him across five continents and function as a constant source of inspiration for his designs. 

A voracious collector, Alex is drawn to anything with a story. 

Alex was recently on bravo tv's hit design competition series, "best room wins" where his "transitional" room design earned him a coveted spread in elledecor.com. His room was judged by design maven and host, Genevieve Gorder, elle decor editor-in-chief, Whitney Robinson and design icon, Jonathan Adler.

Connect with Alex Alonso

Website 

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Shows Mentioned:

#548: Terri Taylor: Calculating Flat Fees & Budgets

#482: Cheryl Clendenon: Small Business, Think Big

#384: Sarah Magness: Practical Strategies for Talking Budgets

Oct 21, 2022

Today With Ebony Looney:

Hi, welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s Power Talk Friday and today we are having a conversation about your website. Constructing, revamping, or anything you have to do with your business website can be pretty intimidating.

Ebony Looney, web designer,  creative director, and owner of Make Me Over Eb is here to tell us how to optimize our website in search, common website mistakes, what to hire out for, what we must include, and more that will give you more confidence and clarity in building your website.

Pick It Apart

[6:00] Ebony gives advice on how to share your portfolio or show your work on your website.

[17:00] Mistakes people tend to make in constructing their website.

[20:30] How important is blogging for your business?

[34:15] How to attract tradesmen through your website.

LuAnn Nigara and Ebony Looney's Ah-Ha Moments

“The more I understand about your process before I have conversation with you, the better I can decide and believe if this will work for me.” - LuAnn Nigara

“Every business needs to blog.” - Ebony Looney

“People are looking you up and want to know if you know what you are doing and what makes you stand out.” - Ebony Looney

More About Ebony Looney:

Ebony is a Web Designer and Creative Director with 22+ years of experience making the web beautiful for B2B service providers. She has worked with agency owners, private sector and educational institutions such as Carbra Construction & Design, Benedict College & South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. With a background in web design, development, fashion design and online marketing she believes that beautiful design is good business. She is happy to cover any website marketing related topic you think your audience would be most interested in.

Connect with Ebony Looney

Website 

Instagram 

Facebook 

YouTube

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Shows Mentioned:

#317: Nicole Heymer: 6 Keys to Planning a Website That Make Things Happen

#574: Power Talk Friday: Deb Mitchell: Attract the Right Clients With Stand-Out Copy

#64: Stephanie Hamilton: Reputation Marketing for Window Treatment Professionals

Other Resources Mentioned:

LuAnn's Birthday Bash!

Oct 18, 2022

Today With Tanna Edler:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today with Tanna Edler, owner of TANNA BY DESIGN we learn the seven strategies she implemented to cut her work time in half, but doubling her income. This wasn’t always the case for Tanna. She worked eight years in business before she came to a realization that things had to change. She was overworking herself and doing the backend duties the “long way.” After attending Mydoma Studio’s 19 Hours, she was inspired to live by her new motto to “live easy.”

Pick It Apart

[2:17] Tanna shares the catalyst to her come to Jesus moment after 8 years as an interior designer. 

[11:35] Tanna talks about the first strategy she used to improve her business. 

[13.41] Tanna shares how she personally utilizes Mydoma’s Studio Management Tool.

[22:05] Tanna explains Mydoma’s Signature Discovery Call

[29:32] The fifth strategy of Marketing Team Outsourcing

[40:48] Tanna’s Education strategy and how Lu University was a huge contributor.

[47:50] How Tanna’s seven strategies have resulted in more time and more  money.

LuAnn Nigara and Tanna Edler's Ah-Ha Moments

“Going into this, I thought that the design aspect was going to be the challenge. I thought I was going in with all of the business knowledge, but it was the complete opposite.” - Tanna Edler  

“When you’re investing in a website redesign, you do need to know what your message is. What would be the point of the pretty if you're not talking to your ideal client from who you are.” - LuAnn Nigara

“You’re the epitome of understanding that no matter how good you are doing something there’s one little aha moment that unlocks a new level of awareness and strategy.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Tanna Edler:

Hello, I'm Tanna Edler, founder of TANNA BY DESIGN. I own a Full Service Interior Design firm, based near Yakima, Washington with projects nationwide. Specializing in residential and commercial, new construction and remodeling projects.

My philosophy is ‘live easy’. My superpower is creating a space that just feels right, matching the lifestyle goals of my clients. I do this by listening and problem solving. My gift is using the results of this discovery to transform their home or office, enabling my clients to live their best life.

Born in Montana, my namesake, and growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have always had an affinity for nature. From a young age I was intrigued by simplicity and natural shapes. You will notice my designs are emphasized by ample windows, an open floor plan and the idea of bringing the outdoors in.

After graduating from Washington State University and spending over a decade in corporate human resources as a trainer and coach, working with companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, my creativity pulled me to pursue interior design full time in 2011. I brought along a skill set of client management and procedure solutions which assist me in operating my business and offering a seamless onboarding process for my new clients.

Today, I am the only interior designer in Yakima, Washington as well as Washington State to have been awarded IDS Designer of the Year, eight years and the first in the Pacific Northwest to have received the coveted IDS Impact Award for my charitable interior design contributions in my community.

Collaborating with the interior design industry elevates my craft and has enabled me to gain vendor relations, allowing for endless interior products at my fingertips. I also care about the future of our industry and have enjoyed serving on the Board as a Director for the Interior Design Society. Recently, I have added Business Coaching to my offerings, mentoring other Interior Designers as they strive for the same success.

While my passion is design, I also love to create through writing. For the last ten years I have enjoyed contributing as an interior design writer for NorthSound Life Magazine and their affiliates.

White glove service, everything in its place, no worries, no hassle is what I stand for and runs through my virtual design team members and trusted list of architects, contractors, and trades partners I work with.

Connect with Tanna Edler

Website

Blog 

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Resources Mentioned:

Mydoma Studio

 

Oct 14, 2022

Today With Kate Saunders:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. My guest today, Kate Saunders, is a designer with more than 18 years of experience. Over time, she realized that she has strength, talent, and even passion for the backend of the business. She has taken her experience and her strength to form The Designer’s Collab—a company that handles the backend for design firms of all sizes. Today, she’s sharing what she has learned about efficiency, file management, and streamlining your interior design business.

Pick It Apart

[1:38] Kate shares the journey that led her to form The Designer’s Collab

[8:49] Kate and LuAnn discuss systems that streamline businesses

[14:43] LuAnn shares a frustrating roadblock in her business that needs a system improvement

[26:49] LuAnn and Kate talk about the importance of creating a book of standards

[35:51] Kate highlights her new brand, The Designer’s Collab

LuAnn Nigara and Kate Saunders' Ah-Ha Moments

“It’s really important to set up procedures and standards in the beginning. It takes a lot of time, but it’s so important, especially if you’re trying to grow your business. It helps to keep your entire team in line and understanding what your vision is for your business.” -Kate

“It’s the difference between knowing in your head what you do and having it on paper or digitally. It enables all the things—it allows you to scale, to train, to go on vacation, but it also helps you in crisis too. We’re not getting out of this world without crisis touching us in some way, shape, or form.” -LuAnn

More About Kate Saunders:

Kate started in the interior design industry in 2004 and received her BA in Fine Arts from the Design Institute of San Diego. After a few years as a designer, she went on to receive her master’s in architecture degree from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design. 

Kate has spent the past 18+ years in every facet of the interior design industry; from Construction Management and Architecture, running her own design firm, helping to lead the interior design program for RH, designing side-by-side with acclaimed San Diego and Orange County interior designers, to managing wholesale Trade Programs across the US and Canada. She’s done it all. Now with her to-the-trade outsourcing service, she has created an opportunity for designers throughout the country to utilize services typically restricted to larger firms. 

Whether it be outsourcing your drafting, project management, presentation, and content files, or assisting with installations - The Designer's Collab can assist in any virtual or in-person service capacity giving the sole designer, or design firm a true 3rd party support system to build their business and enhance their client's experience with every tool available.

Connect with Kate Saunders

Website 

Instagram 

Facebook

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Shows Mentioned:

#626: Power Talk Friday: Jude Charles: How to Tell Your Story to Connect with Clients in Interior Design

#520: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: The Interior Design Standard is Here!

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Your source for premium hardwood and resilient flooring. Using the Revel Woods selector tool, you’ll be able to find curated suggestions for your project catered to your client’s home. When you sign up for a free professional membership, you’ll get access to exclusive discounts and referral benefits. Visit revelwoods.com to get started.

Oct 11, 2022

Today With Elsie St. Leger:

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. Today on the show, I’m joined by Elsie St. Leger, president of IIDA New York, and founding member of the New York chapter’s Equity Council. 

The Equity Council was formed to address racial inequality within the design industry and educate those who are interested in doing the work and having the real conversations about equality. Elsie shares what you can do as an individual and business owner to take accountability and make a change.

Pick It Apart

[19:50] Elsie shares how the Equity Council was formed and what their mission is.

[22:40] Elsie and LuAnn discuss the four pillars of the Equity Council.

[31:30] Elsie discusses the importance of workshops and education about diversity issues. 

[51:38] Elsie and LuAnn talk about why diversity is so important in the design industry specifically.

[58:30] Elsie shares what designer can do to promote equity in the industry.

LuAnn Nigara and Elsie St. Leger's Ah-Ha Moments

“Diversity has become, unfortunately, a sort of broad-stroke term that almost doesn’t mean anything. We wanted to set these pillars—so people could have a foundation from which to start those conversations.” -Elsie

“The Equality Council is not about casting judgment. It’s not about pointing fingers. It’s not about revenge or telling you what to do. It’s about assessing where we are, setting the bar, and moving forward.” -Elsie

More About Elsie St. Leger:

Elsie St. Léger entered the industry while earning her BFA at the New York School of Interior Design, beginning in the residential sector before moving to healthcare. Now an assistant project manager at NYU Langone Health, St. Léger believes in giving back to the industry and began volunteering with IIDA NY. Now, president of IIDA NY, she has played a vital role in the chapter’s push toward accountability and equity as a founding member of the chapter’s Equity Council.

As a trusted leader in New York’s interior design industry, St. Léger understands the value of building community during turbulent times. Her motto is momentum and progress, and her role as president has involved building on IIDA NY’s foundation while continuing on a positive trajectory. Despite the inability to conduct in-person programming, working remotely and reprioritizing has allowed St. Léger to foster the sense of remote community within the organization that has become important in the pandemic era.

Her previous leadership roles for IIDA NY include that of Residential Forum Co-Chair and Healthcare Forum Co-Chair, and she was part of the leadership of LMNOP (Leadership Mentoring & Networking Opportunities for A&D Professionals), which is now integrated into IIDA NY.

Connect with Elsie St. Leger

Website 

Instagram 

Facebook 

Equity Council: JEDI Resources

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Shows Mentioned:

#703: Leyden Lewis: The Road to AD100 and Elle Decor Top 125 Requires Innovation and Authentic Creativity

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Head over to mydomastudio.com/summer to get Mydoma’s most popular plan for 50% off until the end of the year—just $39.50 per month to get access to a full suite of project management tools, plus the simple and user-friendly rendering tool. Make an investment in yourself and your business and take advantage of this limited-time offer! Visit mydomastudio.com/summer to get started.

Oct 7, 2022

Today With Vita Vygovska:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today is Window Treatment Friday, and we are debuting part 5 of our Pricing Window Treatment Series. Vita is back with some great tools that she has learned to use when pricing a window treatment to a consumer.

More About Vita Vygovska:

Vitalia Vygovska (Vita for short!), CWFP, MBA, is an award-winning window treatment specialist, author, speaker, and the LuAnn University instructor for Systems Driven Operations.

Connect with Vita Vygovska

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

Pinterest

YouTube

LinkedIn

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Shows Mentioned:

#748: Window Treatment Friday: Pricing Window Treatments: Understanding Margin vs. Markup

#761: Window Treatment Friday: Pricing Window Treatments: How to Ballpark the Numbers on the Fly

#775: Window Treatment Friday: Vita Vygovska: How Much Profit Can Designers Make on Window Treatments?

#793: Window Treatment Friday: How To Breakdown Pricing for Your Customers

Oct 4, 2022

Today With Michelle Lynne:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today I am joined by Michelle Lynn, president of ML Interiors Group, a successful design firm based in Dallas, and founder of Designed for the Creative Mind where she teaches interior designers and decorators the proven practices, effective processes, and profitable systems to run their businesses with purpose and efficiency.

I get a lot of requests to talk about what constitutes billable hours. I think you’ll enjoy the answer to all of the tasks you should be charging your clients, but also we shift into the importance of standing by what we charge, knowing we’re worth what we charge, and yet again, educating our clients.

Pick It Apart

[6:40] The conversation starts about what constitutes billable hours.

[20:20] If Michelle HAD to pick three tasks that may not be considered billable.

[21:30] The controversial subject of charging less hourly when using your junior designer. 

[38:00] LuAnn emphasizes the internal work that needs to be done to be confident in what you charge.

[44:00] How having a solid process result in respect from your clients.

LuAnn Nigara and Michelle Lynne's Ah-Ha Moments

“You need to be raising your standards and continue to push until you start hearing some “nos'' because that is when you’ve hit your sweet spot in weeding out the clients who will drag you down.” - Michelle Lynne

“Professionals hire professionals.” - Michelle Lynne

“We make a home feel like a hug. How do you put a price on that?” - Michelle Lynne

“You can listen to hours upon hours of podcasts about knowing your value, but if you don’t do the internal work and come from your CEO role and stand your ground on the service you provide and what it’s worth, you will always struggle with what you are charging.” - LuAnn Nigara

“When you start to conduct your business in an organized fashion, your clients become people who appreciate that, don’t question you, and have trust in you.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Michelle Lynne:

Michelle Lynne is the president of ML Interiors Group, a successful design firm based in Dallas, and the founder of Designed for the Creative Mind, where she teaches interior designers and decorators the proven practices, effective processes, and profitable systems to run their businesses with purpose and efficiency. A few years into running her interior design firm, Michelle found herself disillusioned from overworking and underbilling. She took control of her firm, putting systems and parameters in place that soon led to a thriving, seven-figure interior design business.

Connect with Michelle Lynne

Website 

Instagram 

Facebook 

Blog 

Designed for the Creative Mind

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

Power Talk Friday Tour at High Point

Exciting Windows! Build a Better Business Registration

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.

To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts

Pre-Order Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast

Other Shows Mentioned:

#429: Alinda Morris: A Successful Design Business Depends on a Firm Foundation

#463: Sara Lynn Brennan: Package Your Design Services for Profit and Clarity

#797: Power Talk Friday: Andrea Liebross: What You Are Worth, in Dollars and Sense

Other Resources Mentioned:

RSVP for LuAnn Nigara's birthday bash at High Point Market!

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