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.
RSS Feed
A Well-Designed Business®






All Episodes
Now displaying: Category: general
Apr 19, 2017

Today’s guest is Kelsey Grose. I sat beside her at the Design Blogger’s Conference and after she won an award, I knew immediately that I had to get her on the show. I’ve been doing a whole series lately with all of the people I met at the Design Blogger’s Conference, so you are going to learn so much from all my guests in this series. 


I was even more blown away when I learned that Kelsey has only been in business a year! That blew me away and I knew I had to work with her. So in addition to having the privilege of interviewing her today, I’m pleased


Kelsey Grose is the owner of Farmer’s Daughter Interior. Kelsey is based in Canada and has quickly found a following all over the US as well. She uses a 6 step design process that combines several different design styles. She has a passion for small business and entrepreneurship and she’s here today to share her wisdom with us. 


Listen in as Kelsey and LuAnn discuss:


  • Find out Kelsey’s impression of the Design Blogger’s Conference and see if she had the same experience as LuAnn.
  • In some ways, Kelsey got more than she expected from the conference - find out what exceeded her expectations.
  • Relationships, relationships, relationships - the unexpected benefit of the conference.
  • How a house tour is bringing several bloggers together and allowing them to leverage each other’s audiences through cross promotion.
  • How guest posting on another blog can help promote your own website and business.
  • Ways a new designer just getting their business off the ground can use existing resources online and properly credit the creator, and still build out their own content.
  • How Kelsey is able to look like a seasoned designer with a beautiful blog, but in reality has only been in business a year.
  • The resources that have been useful to Kelsey in getting her business started, plus she’s kind of obsessed with design!
  • The exact steps Kelsey took to get started blogging and building her design business.
  • How Kelsey got a really big kitchen design job as a new designer.
  • A free consultation or a paid consultation? Find out which Kelsey uses.
  • Ways to convert a paid consultation into a paid project.
  • Treat your business like the world is watching you, even if they aren’t yet.


Apr 17, 2017

Today's interview is the first of three, which are as a follow up to the recent Design Bloggers Conference, which was held in LA, this last March. LuAnn really loves the process of how these designers create blogs to serve as a marketing arm for their business and a lead generator for their design firm. Listen in today to get some really great, actionable tips that you can duplicate.


Today's guest is Claire Staszak, who won the award at the Conference for the best blog writing of 2017. She is a Chicago-based interior designer who is known for her holistic design process of combining refined aesthetics with wellness principals, as she draws on her years of experience as a Yoga and Meditation Instructor, to gently guide her clients through the process of unearthing and then refining their own, unique style, resulting in a sanctuary which is timeless, rather than trendy.


Claire studied Interior Design at the School of Art Institute in Chicago and she holds a Certificate of Kitchen and Bathroom Design from Harper College. She's a certified Yoga Instructor, with more than five hundred hours of training and she also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in journalism from the University of Dayton. Claire did apprenticeships at two high-end firms- Nate Berkus and Associates and Kate Marker Interiors. Her own work has been featured in Design Sponge, Rue Magazine, and Domino. In 2016, she had the honor of being nominated for HD TV's Fresh Faces of Design Competition. With her latest project of renovating her own home, a 1932 Tudor Style brick bungalow in Chicago, Claire is using her own, eclectic style. You can follow this renovation on her blog. Listen in to today's show to find out more about Claire, and how she uses her blog as an effective tool for marketing her business.


Today, Claire talks to LuAnn about:


  • How she got to do her internships with Nate Burkus and Associates and Kate Marker Interiors.
  • The advantages of getting as much work experience as possible.
  • The benefits of working for a large and well-run business, in order to gain necessary experience, to run a successful business of your own, later on.
  • Where she found the inspiration for her blog.
  • How she incorporates Yoga and Meditation into her design work.
  • How she's starting to be recognized by her clients, who know that she really gets them and knows what they want.
  • That consistency is really important with blogging.
  • Creating blog content that readers want to come back for.
  • Her Renovation Series- how it helps her to draw people to her website.
  • How collaboration has really worked for her as a marketing vehicle.
  • That she really doesn't try to sell things from her blog, yet it still makes money for her in other ways.
  • That you should go to conferences to renew your energy, expand your horizons with blogging and keep you moving forward.
  • The great networking opportunities that she found at the conference.
  • How the conference has helped her to partner up with other Interior Designers, to enhance their blogs and hers.
  • Her Spring Into Home collaboration with other design bloggers.
  • You don't need to spend a lot of money on your blog, however, you do need to spend something, to make it look really good.
  • Using the correct etiquette and ethics to credit the source of the photographs that you use on your blog, from the internet.
  • An idea to help people to network better with the people that they connect with at conferences.

Claire's website:


Apr 14, 2017

In today’s Power Talk Friday episode, I’m kicking off the Design Bloggers Conference Summary series. I was inspired by the conference that was held in Los Angeles in March, and I wanted to share it with you. I had to condense my presentation down to only 13 minutes for the conference, but I can take the time here to expand! I’m covering my top lessons learned through podcasting about interior design. We’ll go over the first three lessons today and cover the rest next week. Join me now!

Influence and authority are gained through NICHING

  • This subject comes up repeatedly with guests on the show
  • Here are a few episodes in which niching was discussed:
    • Episode 15 and 159 with Nancy Ganzekaufer —“Niche is rich!”
    • Episode 41 with Cheryl Janis—Niching can help create a space that increases revenue
    • Episode 106 with Taylor Spellman—She niched down her design business to target bachelors in Manhattan
    • Episodes 82 and 117 with Deborah Rosenberg—She extended her belief system to her design business
    • Episode 77 with Katie Deedy—She taught us about setting yourself apart, creating focus and clarity, and being able to raise your rates when you become a recognized expert
  • Your “About You” page is CRITICAL
    • Episodes 22, 48, and 96 with Fred Berns—Much insight into the “About You” page
    • Episode 125 with Nicole Heymer—“I’m the interior designer that . . . “
  • Establish your company’s MISSION and CORE VALUES
    • Episodes 26 and 66 with Kae Whitaker—Core values can push your business forward
    • Episode 78 with my husband, Vince—“Everything you do must support your company’s mission.”
    • Episode 73 with Kim Kuhteubl—Check out her book, Branding + Interior Design


Apr 12, 2017

If you think your life is busy, get ready to meet Susan Winterstein, of Savvy Interiors, in San Diego, California. As well as running an Interior Design Firm, she also has Inside Savvy, a Retail Store and Savvy Giving By Design, a non-profit organization. Susan also has a husband and five daughters. Listen in today, to an awesome conversation with a remarkable woman.


On today's show, the focus is on her non-profit, Savvy Giving By Design. LuAnn is truly overwhelmed with what Susan is doing. She points out that even though there are other designers who are involved with different ways of helping out and giving back, Susan has turned her business into a full on Non- profit Organisation of her own, with an extremely organized platform. Listen in to find out more.


Today, Susan talks to LuAnn about:


  • What drew her to turn her business into a Non-profit Organisation and how she started out with it.
  • Why she keeps her Facebook Group small and intimate and runs it the way that she does.
  • How she went about finding another child for her project, after the first one and the whole process that followed that.
  • How she got started as an official Non-profit Organisation.
  • Her goal of tapping into bigger and better vendor relationships.
  • How hard it is to get corporate attention onto her projects.
  • Putting out the Funder Needs - why this is critical when you're in your social media community and the success that Susan has had with it.
  • Although they rely on donations, there are certain things which have to be paid for- like painters.
  • If the child that Susan is creating a space for has siblings, she does their rooms as well.
  • What goes into the decision of who the next child will be to receive her tremendous gift.
  • That she's willing to assist other designers to do as she does with Savvy Giving By Design, even if they're located in other states.
  • The grounding effect that working with people who would not normally use the services of a designer, has on designers.
  • How she would love to see designers helping designers to do something to pay it forward.


The main website for Susan's Non-profit:

Susan's website:

Susan's Facebook:

Susan on social media: Youtube

Instagram: @Savvy Giving By Design

Apr 10, 2017

My guest for today’s exciting show is Highlyann Krasnow, one of the founders of The Developers Group, now MNS, located in Brooklyn, NY. Not only did she oversee the design of her company’s buildings and sales offices, but then she opened The Design High, the exclusive interior design arm at MNS. Highlyann is involved in commercial interiors and residential projects, but the focus of our conversation today is on the commercial side of her business. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The path from real estate development to The Design High
  • Benefits to “casting a wider net”
  • Interior design concepts for commercial spaces
  • Challenges in designing for the target demographic
  • How to hone your commercial design skills
  • The key: relationships with manufacturers
  • Tips for the designer seeking a career in commercial design
  • How to “let go” of some of your design elements
  • Why you need to be a design chameleon
  • The payoff for a designer
  • The mood board test HIghlyann uses for hiring designers
  • The commitment to eco-friendly designs: Why is it so important?
  • Understanding the “durability” of your design: it’s NOT just for today!
  • Highlyann’s recent and current projects and their specific challenges
  • Carrying the design thread through the project as a whole

Resources: (Highlyann’s website)

Email Highlyann:

Apr 7, 2017

The guest on today's show is Natalie Norcross, the dynamic founder and CEO of A Design Partnership, which is a Premier National Marketing and PR Agency. Natalie herself has appeared in Boutique design, Esquire, Hospitality Design, Access Hollywood, E Entertainment, Television, and Extra. Listen in today and learn about some great strategies and marketing tips from Natalie.

Natalie started her career as an Interior Designer, after which she built, then in 2008, sold, a highly successful firm, specializing in both Residential and Hospitality. Fellow designers in Architectural Firms then began asking for her help with generating leads, media placements, and marketing tools. That was how A Design Partnership started out. The agency, with Natalie, her two partners and a staff of nine high-powered designers and marketing experts has really grown over the last nine years. Listen to today's show to find out more about how this energetic group, who are passionate about helping design-minded companies to exceed their goals, transform their brands and evolve their businesses, work to create success.


Today, Natalie talks to LuAnn about:


  • The businesses that were started by her mother and her grandmother, who were both entrepreneurs and both a great inspiration to Natalie.
  • How she and other parents can lead their children and inspire them to develop positive work ethics, through their own example.
  • Her successful design firm, which she sold in 2008 and what she learned from it.
  • How having really good systems in place works, to catapult your business to wild success.
  • The process of creating an exit strategy for your business.
  • The power of having a team which is focused on the same mission.
  • Some advice for people who are working on their brands.
  • The DISC Profile tool, to help you get more clear as to who you really are, as a human being, to help you build focus, a mission, and a vision.
  • The 5 Why's and how this can help you to get to the core of your beliefs.
  • The difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing.
  • Great ways to drive traffic to your website.
  • How, in the last six months, her company has grown five of their client's Instagram followers to over 15 000.
  • Great ways to help your business to grow, using social media.
  • The value in having blog posts on your website.
  • Using the Ladder Up Strategy, for PR.
  • Great tips for pitching for publications.
  • Natalie's finite system for keeping her entire company on that train.

Natalie's website:

Apr 5, 2017

You may remember on episode 110 when Mark McDonough was on the show and he talked about his blog, Tastefully Inspired. Today we are going to be talking with Karina Jones who is a contributor plus an interior designer on Mark’s Tastefully Inspired blog. Karina holds degrees in communication in arts and education.

She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She has her own full serviced firm that she founded in Charlotte, North Carolina: Karina Jones Designs and also has her own blog that she uses to educate people on the different aspects of design. Design is visual and Karina is going to talk with us on how she and Mark use the Tastefully Inspired blog to bring the visual to a blog.

Show Notes:

  • Learn how you can use an education degree to help you and your client have a better relationship
  • Find out the three things that should always be included in a blog
  • Learn the secret to Mark and Karina’s key to success on the blog they have together, Tastefully Inspired
  • Learn what the key component to the final product of a blog is
  • Understand the importance of balance of family is important and how this works out for Karina and Mark
  • Hear why having a schedule for a blog is not always best
  • Discover how to enhance your learning from this episode


Apr 3, 2017

I have the original Rockstar interior designer on the show today, Kelli Ellis! I know we all know Kelli as an interior designer because she has been published in national magazines. It’s likely that you have seen her on TLCs show Clean Sweep as the featured designer, HGTVs Take Over My Makeover and many more. In addition to being an accomplished interior designer, featured in many publications and on TV, she is a certified life coach and a design psychology coach. 

She received her certification in interior design for the Interior Design Institute in California and she also holds a BA in Marketing from California State University of Fullerton, a law school education from Western State University and a Liberal Arts education for the University of London. On top of all of this, she is on the board of directors for Miracles for Kids lending her name and time to this passion project which is aiding the children in Orange County in need. 

Show Notes:

  • What is the certified design psychology program that Kelli started?
  • What are the three “F’s”?
  • Why is knowing the psychology of color important?
  • How long is the design psychology course?
  • What is included in the course?
  • What is a Mevo camera?
  • What does she mean “get rid of the extras”?
  • How does Kelli find time to be an artist too?
  • What are some ways to avoid killing the relationship between the designer and client?



Do I Look Skinny in this House? 


Mar 31, 2017

We’re back with another power talk Friday on A Well-Designed Business! I have Nancy Ganzekaufer back with me today! If you are new to the podcast Nancy was on the show in the very beginning on episode 15. On that show we talked about her background, business background and “niche is rich”. She has so much she can teach us and you should really go back listen to her episode. She is a life and business coach and the founder of “Your Business Partner”. Through her life and work she empowers women entrepreneurs to create the life and business they have always wanted.  She understands the unique challenges that women entrepreneurs face when trying to pursue their dreams and leads by example with her hard work, encouragement and her no BS leadership style.

Show Notes:

  • How does Nancy use her survey?
  • How often should you take a survey?
  • How many and what are the categories in a three-year vision?
  • What should you be asking yourself and be planning for a one year plan?
  • How many marketing outlets should you be looking at one time?
  • Why should you write things down instead of just thinking them?
  • What should be included in your 90-day strategy?
  • In what intervals, should you block out at a time on your calendars to get stuff done?
  • Why is it so important to be loud and clear about what you offer?
  • When should you walk away from a client?
  • How and what are some ways to walk away from a client that wants to hire you but not a good fit for you?
  • When should you say yes to everything?
  • What does she have coming new this summer?


Mar 29, 2017

Today on the show I have Rhea Mader! Rhea is the principal of Tumbleweed Interiors in Kansas and an interior designer who specializes in health care facilities. Rhea provides sustainable designs that improve better quality of life, cost effective, eco-friendly and evidence-based design. Her goal is to see patients and residents live independently with hope and dignity. Rhea earned her BFA/IFA at the Academy of Art University in California and she is also LEED and CLIPP certified. Rhea and I met through Cheryl Janice, who if you are an avid listener of this podcast you know who Cheryl Janice is. She was one of the first guests that talked to us about how she specifically walked away from being a generalist designer into a specialist. I use her as an example a lot! If you are new to the show, please go and listen to episode 41 after this episode because it will really fill in the spaces that we take for granted that Rhea and I talk about.

Show Notes:

  • What is the name of Rhea and Cheryl’s new podcast?
  • What is the new podcast going to be about and what audience is the podcast focused towards?
  • What key elements would help create a better environment?
  • What is an evidence-based design?
  • How Rhea and Cheryl meet each other?
  • Where did Rhea work after she got out of school and what did she discover while at this job?
  • What is clip?
  • When did Rhea realize she wanted to specialize in healthcare design?
  • How did it effect Rhea not having a mentor?
  • How did joining a mastermind help Rhea?
  • What process did Rhea go through to rebrand?
  • How often does she create a newsletter for her marketing?
  • What is Rhea’s “avatar”?


Mar 27, 2017

My guest today is Charmaine Wynter, the principal of Wynter Interiors and the owner of Bespoke Design Boutique in Texas. You may already know Charmaine because she is one very busy lady! She is a radio show host of The Living Well show, a speaker, HGTV design host pioneer and you may know her from her design advice column, Ask the decorator. In addition to all of this, Charmaine is a firm believer in paying it forward. She has been involved in several charities and has sat on universities and government advisory boards to help shape the interior design industry. Today we are going to discuss the design niches of designing for small spaces. 

Show Notes:

  • What are the particular ways to approach a small room design?
  • Why is color so important for smaller spaces?
  • What are the key questions to ask your client when designing a smaller space?
  • What size furniture should be used in these smaller spaces?
  • How can you create visual depth?
  • What is designing vertical?
  • Is there any part of the curriculum in design school that teaches how to design smaller spaces?
  • Where can designers learn more about designing these smaller spaces?
  • What is the Living Well Show about?
  • Where can you listen to Charmaine’s show?
  • What does the word boutique mean?
  • How did she get into the niche of boutique work?
  • How are her packages set up?


Mar 24, 2017

It’s time for another power talk Friday! I am happy to say that I have Carmen Torres with me today! Carmen Torres is a HR specialist. She has over twenty years in experience helping employers create equitable and safe work space environments for both employers and employees. She is a trusted advisor to many organizations and has helped many small to midsize businesses and non-profits produce reliable and stable HR departments. 

She has a 360 analysis of the human resource function that results in building job descriptions, policy and procedure manuals, conflict resolution, employee retention, employee termination structures, compliance, audits and standards and employee communications. This is for everybody whether you have fifty employees or just one. You need to know these procedures so that an employee can’t come back and sue you. 

Show Notes:

  • What should a business owner be looking for on a candidate’s resume?
  • Are there red flags on a resume to look for?
  • How should you approach calling references?
  • What do you do when you have a hard time trying to get in contact with a reference?
  • What can you say legally if you don’t have a great reference to give about a previous employee?
  • What are some different ways to give a reference?
  • How do you have the conversation with an employee that is not right for the job?
  • What sorts of the things should be discussed when talking to an employee that is not meeting expectations?
  • When should an employer talk to an employee about their performance if it’s not where it needs to be?


Mar 22, 2017

Barbara Viteri is back on the show today! Get ready! Her show is one of those where your face hurts from laughing so much. Barbara was originally on the show on episode number 46. You really should go back and listen to that episode after this one because we are not going to go into all of Barbara’s twenty plus industry years of experience. Today on the show we are talking about designerlebrity. She teased us with this when she was last on the show but her website has finally launched! If you haven’t heard of this yet listen up! Barbara is here to tell us all about When you get done listening to Barbara you will know why you want to be part of this new part of the industry. 

Also, don’t forget to listen all the way to the end after the interview to learn the new way to get on our email list!

Show Notes:

  • What are the “potentials”?
  • Where did the name “designerlebrity” come from?
  • What is the plan for the designerlebrity website?
  • How is the website set up and divided?
  • Who is included on the designerlebrity website?
  • Can a designer pitch Barbara or does she have to find them herself?
  • What is the criteria for a designer to have to be considered to be a designerlebrity?
  • Is there room for everyone?


Mar 20, 2017

Today’s guest is Gary Inman! If you don’t know who Gary Inman is, get ready! Gary is a nationally celebrated, award-winning interior designer, author, and public speaker. He has been published in major magazines and several other places. Gary is also the vice president of Hospitality with Baskervill, which is an international giant in hospitality serving four star and five stars luxury hotels and resorts. His design métier includes handbags, women’s evening wear, textiles, lighting, rugs and furniture including his acclaimed Home Couture Collection for more counsel. He is also a High Point Style Spotter, an Instagram taste maker, the editor of Art and Fine Living and the popular guest on TV programs. 

Stay tuned after the interview. I have some important news on how you can get on our email list!

Show Notes:

  • How did Gary maximize his visibility for what he can do as a designer when starting out?
  • What are the different skill sets needed for hospitality design?
  • Who does a hospitality designer work with the most every day?
  • Why does hospitality design require so much research?
  • What would be a deal breaker to being involved in hospitality design?
  • What does he look for in a hospitality designer?
  • What kind of research should be done for this kind of design?
  • What is the “weeding out process”?
  • What is a spec writer?
  • What are some other ways that a designer can make their way into hospitality design?


Mar 17, 2017

On this Power Talk Friday I have Casey Destefano with me! A few months back I was on Casey’s podcast. She is the host of the hit podcast “Women with Balls…in the Air”.  She coaches her audience to have more successful careers and abundant family lives without pulling their hair out. If you did hear about our episode on Casey’s podcast that’s terrific! If you didn’t, please go over to iTunes and check out Casey’s podcast especially if you are someone who is trying to run a business and manage your family and children and get it all done. Like Casey says you have balls but they are in the air! But in addition, if you haven’t heard of Casey or her podcast you might not realize that she is an accomplished director and producer with more than twenty years’ experience. Casey could be on the show to talk about any number of things but today she is going to talk her number one skill set. She is a multimedia marketing agency.  What she does for businesses is web design, video production, digital marketing and small business coaching. Casey is especially passionate about helping women and working with them to help them achieve their goals.

Show Notes:

  • Why is it important to include video on your website?
  • How do you figure out what you should include in the video?
  • What is the most important part of the video?
  • What kind of questions should a designer ask to find their “hook”?
  • What is your about me page supposed to be about?
  • Quality is important!
  • What scenarios should you use different qualities?
  • How long should the video be?
  • What are the three steps for prepping?
  • What should a budget be for the video?
  • What advice does Casey have to give about hiring people?
  • Why did Casey start her business?


Mar 15, 2017

Our guest today, Chris Kofitsas is the president of “New World Design Builders”. If you have ever had the pleasure of dining at Catch LA, Catch New York City or ABC Kitchen in New York City then you have had the pleasure of experiencing Chris’s work firsthand. Today Chris is going to tell us about his unique firm. Chris is the architect, builder and interior designer on all of his projects. Over twenty years of experience and training allows him to interlace these disciplines of architecture, interior, furniture and lighting design into an immersive experience paired with his discerning eye for beauty, attention to detail and commitment to excellence. Chris is one of the most sought after hospitality interior designers and the industries recognized Chris’s designs with multiple awards.

Show Notes:

  • How many businesses are there that the designer, builder and architect are all the same person?
  • After going to school what was Chris’s next step?
  • How did the relationship change between Chris and his favorite professor help him with his business?
  • Why did he reconstruct his business?
  • Where does the communication start between a builder and architecture?
  • What sort of things should you look for in good communication?
  • What does he look for when interviewing a new designer?
  • What is an important quality to have when working with someone else?
  • How many people work for Chris’s firm?
  • Advice for new people on how to get a job for a firm like Chris?



Mar 13, 2017

I have Marina Case with me today and she is the principal of The Red Shutters located in Warwick, New York. Marina is a self-described hobby decorator who has become an accomplished interior decorator. Today you will hear Marina talk about the specific steps that she took to create the interior design business that she has today that would be envied and admired by any of us. Marina has been honored as one of the top fifty New York designers in New York spaces. She has won national acclaim for her design at the spa at Glenn Mear Mansion which was named one of the top 100 places in the world to visit by Departures Magazine. She also hosts a radio show, a live show where she interviews many people in the decorating field. Good news! She will be making that available in a podcast very soon!

Show Notes:

  • What was the “aha” moment when Marina decided she was going to go into the design business?
  • In hindsight, when did she realize that she was interested in design?
  • How is she using the Historics, Textiles and Wallpaper class that she teaches to help other designers?
  • What is the Historics, Textiles and Wallpaper class really about and where can you take the course?
  • What is the difference between a skype design and e-design?
  • What is the difference between a construction package and a builder specification package?
  • How does she charge her services?
  • How can the project's packages affect the cash flow?
  • What are some of the challenges that a new designer could face if they try to duplicate what Marina has done with her business?
  • What does it mean to be an unofficial brand ambassador for the Williamsburg brand?
  • What is the red list? 


Mar 10, 2017

Welcome back to another power talk Friday! I’m very happy to let everyone know Krista Coupar is back in the house! Krista has two businesses: Coupar Communications and Studio Coupar. Coupar Communications is a public relations and market agency located in San Francisco. Studio Coupar is a full-service design support firm for interior designers, architects, contractors, and builders. On top of running two businesses, she has six children! Talk about a busy and talented lady. Today Krista is going to give us some great tips on what and how we should analyze our business starting the new year.

Show Notes:

  • What are some things that new business owners should incorporate for the new year?
  • How can you teach people to assign a financial budget?
  • Why is it important to know your baseline expenses?
  • How can you make yourself feel empowered?
  • Where is the biggest social media platform that an interior design should be on?
  • What are some tips for using Instagram to promote business?
  • What should you put on your business Instagram?
  • What are some steps to take to look out for your future?
  • How does a designer work up more business or pipeline?
  • What are some ways to get the meeting for more clients?


Mar 8, 2017

Today Brittanie Elms is with me on the show. Brittanie is a smart, young go-getter who recently founded and launched her own company called My Design Assistant. Brittanie recently reached out to me because she is an avid listener of the show and she was interested in a sponsorship and wanted to know what that entailed. So, while that didn’t work out I was so impressed by her and her services and the concept of hers that I asked her to be on the show. My Design Assistant is a virtual design service specifically for interior designers. The purpose of this service is to decrease the behind the scenes work and to allow the interior design owner to focus on the business while finding time for themselves.

Show Notes:

  • Where are virtual assistants most known?
  • What is Brittanie’s ideal customer/client?
  • What are Brittanie’s goals with her business, My Design Assistant?
  • What are the tasks that Brittanie would help a client within a normal day?
  • What are the structures that a client can use to bill their services?
  • In her opinion, what sort of things should a designer look for when hiring an in-person or virtual assistant?
  • What are some challenges she has come across with a virtual assistant?
  • How did she come up with the idea to create My Design Assistant?


Mar 6, 2017

On the show today, we have Michelle Wiebe! Michelle is the principal of Studio M in Tampa, Florida. The specialty of Michelle’s firm is luxury residential new construction. I know we have talked to quite a few designers in this field I haven’t really picked their brain as much as I did with Michelle today. 

Her firm in addition to luxury residential, new construction they also do family condominiums, corporate headquarters, medical offices and small-scale hospitality spaces. Michelle is a busy lady! In addition to all of this, she serves on the board of interior design at Florida State University her Almer mater. She also serves on the high point market authority board and she goes all over the country speaking on design social media. She is the editor of Impression, the Studio M design blog.

Show Notes:

  • How many years has Studio M been in business?
  • How does one show their specialty in luxury residential new construction on social media?
  • What should a new designer know before taking on a big project in luxury residential new construction?
  • What is a CEU?
  • How can a designer educate themselves on different codes that need to be known before going into a project?
  • What should the contract consist of?
  • Can you really learn what you need to know from classes?
  • How should make your client feel?
  • Are there times when certain “projects” in a project should be hired outside of the firm?
  • Who does Michelle have on her team at her firm?
  • What does Michelle look for when going through the hiring process?
  • What is High Point Market Authority?
  • What sort of app can you use at the High Point Market Authority?
  • How long can you serve on the board for High Point Market Authority?


Mar 3, 2017

I have Calvin Correli with me today and I have learned talking with him before the show that he is a very interesting man! He is an artist, entrepreneur, a CEO of a holistically focused multimillion dollar software company called Simplero. Calvin is very passion about helping online business owners do exactly what makes them feel most alive and is currently working on branching out to bring all of his talents including music, spirituality, personal growth and bring all of this into an exciting new experience.

Show Notes:

  • What is Calvin’s business, Simplero?
  • What is Calvin’s personal mission with his business?
  • What would be some business advice that he would give?
  • How long has he been self-employed?
  • What are some questions does he asks himself for his business?
  • How does he use meditation to help him with projects?
  • How can people emulate the life that he lives?
  • How can you integrate your life and work?
  • What is so great about the “fingerprinting stuff”?


Mar 1, 2017

If this is your first time, I am so happy that you found us! Today I am pleased to introduce you to Amanda Reynal! Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts at Trinity College. She then studied the masters abroad in Florence, Italy and ultimately learned her trade at the New York School of Interior Design and Parsons School of Design. Recently, she spent three years in London which provided the perfect venue for traveling and continuing her education in English and European decorative arts and antiques as well as contemporary art. Amanda’s introduction to interior design began in New York first at an architecture firm and then as a senior design associate at the prestigious Cullman and Kravis. You will hear today that this had a huge influence on her future success. In 2001, Amanda founded Amanda Reynal Interiors in Des Moines, Iowa which was born through a huge break with the opportunity to design the master bedroom suite at the Des Moines Symphony show house.

Show Notes:

  • What stayed with Amanda while she worked at Cullman and Kravis?
  • What is the process for an estimate to be executed?
  • What kind of transition did she go through when she went from an established firm to the beginning of her own business?
  • What characteristics or sorts of things does Amanda look for when hiring a team member?
  • What was it like to go from New York to Iowa?
  • How did Amanda reinvent her business: Amanda Reynal Interiors?
  • What are some steps that she took to make the transition?
  • What kind of thought did she put into picking her new space?
  • What should you look for when finding a space for your new business?


Feb 27, 2017

I am very happy to announce that I have my buddy Sandra Funk from House of Funk! If you are a returning listener you will know exactly who Sandra Funk is because you know she was on the show on episode 3. You have heard me mention her on the podcast several times over the past year. The reason why you hear me mention her so much is I just admire so much how she runs her business. So often I have other guests on the show that I admire the same way but I don’t see it head on and day to day. So, when I want to make a point or mention her it’s because I see her work up close all the time.

If you are new to the show this is all new information. Sandra Funk is the founder and principal designer of House of Funk. It is a full-service firm with offices in New York City and Montclair, New Jersey and they also have e-funk, their online option for interior design. The thing about House of Funk is that they are fully dedicated to living purposefully and authenticity. House of Funk supports charitable organizations such as Charity Water and the Junior League. Both organizations empower women. Why is Sandra Funk back today? Sandra has rebranded her firm after ten years in business. She has taken a pivot and did some soul searching. We are going to talk about that a little bit.

Show Notes:

  • What sort of things has Sandra been going through to make her want to rebrand after being in business for ten years?
  • What are some of the steps that she took to rebrand her business?
  • How did Sandra use social media to promote her business?
  • Who does what on her team?
  • How does she get people outside of her network into her network?
  • What was Sandra’s painful experience?
  • How did Sandra deal with her bad experience?
  • Why are deadlines so important to her?
  • What are her long-term and short-term goals?


Feb 24, 2017

Welcome back to another power talk Friday! Kimberley is a full service, luxury interior designer and she has offices in Canada and Los Angeles and is the founder of Business of Design. Business of Design is a dynamic platform for interior designers who want to run more profitable businesses.

The number of resources that Kimberley has available for you at the Business of Design platform is unbelievable. She is also an author of several books. If you would like the full back story on Kimberley, please go back to episode 112 on this podcast. Today she is going to talk with us about the flat fee demons! She is an expert at pricing your project and positioning your firm and projects for maximum profitability. I have to let the cat out of the bag! Kimberley is starting her own podcast!

Show Notes:

  • How long did it take Kimberley to write her book about flat fees?
  • What is internal negotiation and when does this happen?
  • Why should a designer charge for the initial consultation?
  • What other processes should be taken into consideration when setting a flat fee?
  • How does resentment towards the client usually happen?
  • What should you bill for?
  • What is scope creep?
  • How does a designer “train” a client?
  • When should you cut corners?
  • How should a contract be written?
  • What are some “traps” that can happen if your contract is not written correctly?
  • When is Kimberley’s next webinar?
  • How can you get the membership?


March 9th Webinar - Win The Flat Fee Game:

Feb 22, 2017

Welcome back to another Well-Designed Business! If you are a first-time listener and just now finding our show thank you so much for tuning in! On the show, today Sarah Wilson is with me. Sarah is an interior designer located in Redlands, California. She has just hit her two-year anniversary in business. She is a designer with a degree from the designer institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.

Today you are going to learn why and how Sarah left a career as a software quality engineer to pursue her passion in interior design. While she was attending FDIN she participated in different chairing styles where she created a chairing style that she intends to one day bring to market. Color is one of Sarah’s passions and encourages clients to use bold colors in their spaces.

Show Notes:

  • What are some of the skill sets that Sarah brought to her business?
  • What other degrees does Sarah have?
  • What would she like to tell all the people starting their new interior design businesses?
  • Where and how did she get her first client for her business?
  • How did she start up her business?
  • What is BNI?
  • What were some things that she thought would be challenging but were surprisingly easy?
  • How important is networking for your business?
  • What are some mistakes that Sarah encountered during her first two years in business?
  • What are some big victories that she has accomplished in her first two years?
  • How did she come to the decision to raise her prices for her services?
  • What goals has Sarah set for herself for 2017?
  • What process did she use to bring in interns?
  • How does Sarah organize her Instagram and use it to show off her work?


1 « Previous 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Next » 24