A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast

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









All Episodes
Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 31, 2016

Our guest on today’s show is Debi Pinelli and the way we got connected is such a funny story! I have a very dear friend named Rachel who is the cousin of Debi’s husband! A few months ago, we had Tim Templeton on a power talk Friday show and he was talking to us about influencers and connectors that you will have in your circle of influencers. Rachel is that connector!

Today we are going to talk about Debi’s business, A&J Interiors. She came to interior design through her specialty in designing her own window treatments. Debi has been designing and fabricating window treatments for over 20 years! She is the president of the New Jersey chapter of Window Coverings Association of America.

Show Notes:

  • How did she decide to make her window treatments into a business?
  • How important is it to have good rapport with your vendor?
  • What are some things that she did when she started to become successful?
  • What are some ways you can reach out to others for help in running a business?
  • Who does she have on her staff?
  • Write procedures down!
  • Why are bookkeepers so important to running a successful business?
  • Where does she go to get inspiration for designs?
  • Is Highpoint worth going to?
  • Make sure you look at your numbers!
  • What are some ways to look at advertising?
  • Why did she join Window Coverings Association of America?
  • What is “Windows to Success”?
  • What does the New Jersey chapter of Window Coverings Association of America do?
  • Does the New Jersey chapter just talk about window coverings?
  • How often should an evaluation be done?
  • Why did she decide to charge a flat fee for her services?
  • Listen to your gut!
  • How many chapters are in the Window Coverings Association of America?

You will find the rest of the show notes  at our resource center:  Window Works.

Oct 28, 2016

Welcome back to power talk Friday! I am so happy that Stacy Brown Randall is back here with us today! Stacy was with us a couple of weeks ago. She talked about organization and how to make your business more effective and gave us lots of tips and specific details. One of the things she talks about is how she coaches us and organizes our business into quads. We talked a little bit about the details last time but today we are going a little deeper into each of the quads. We are really going to pick apart Stacy’s advice on how we maximize and take control of our client’s experience.

Show Notes:

  • What does it mean to take control of your client’s experience?
  • What are the four quads for the four- quad strategy?
  • “What is it like to work with you?”
  • How should you look at the customer’s experience?
  • What is a “sticky” client experience and why should you strive to have it?
  • What are work touch points and why should you have them?
  • What four things come from having sticky clients?
  • What is a client’s experience?
  • Why should you unpack a client’s experience?
  • Why do you need a work output list?
  • Where do you build the relationship with the client?
  • What are the differences between a work touch-point and a personal touch-point?
  • What is buyer’s remorse?
  • How can you prevent clients from having buyer’s remorse?
  • What is a journey card and why is a journey card so important?
  • How can a journey card change the relationship between you and your client?
  • What is the new client phase and what is an alumni client?
  • How long does a new client phase last?
  • Write things on a calendar and do those things!
  • How can you reconnect with your clients?

See the rest of the show notes at our

resource center: Window Works

Oct 26, 2016

On the show today I’m happy to have Karen McKenna: the principal of KMCK Designs in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Karen has been in the interior design industry for over 21 years. In addition to running her own firm, she is the principal interior designer for Classic Interiors, a retail showroom in Idaho Falls also. Karen studied interior design and architecture and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Idaho. She has extensive experience in both commercial and residential interior design. Karen also acts as a buyer and a merchandise coordinator for Classic Interiors. The way Karen has positioned her firm and aligned it with the retail store Classic Interiors is rather unique. I’m going to let Karen explain it to you. Let’s see what you think!

Show Notes:

  • How did Karen come to work with KMCK Designs and Classic Interiors?
  • Who are Mark Collard and Mike Jensen and what is their relationship to Karen?
  • How does her relationship with the designer’s work?
  • What is her payoff?
  • What is the process for the quotation of products for a project?
  • How does the bidding process work with the team she works with at KMCK Designs?
  • Has she ever come across the relationship like she has with KMCK Designs anywhere else?
  • How does the market experience happen?
  • Why is loyalty to vendors so important?
  • What sort of markets are they involved in?
  • Are they using markets in Europe?
  • What systems does she use to keep everything organized?
  • Make sure to have documentation on what everyone is doing and has been said on every project!
  • How do you maintain a good relationship with vendors?
  • Is this process something that someone new to the business should start with or should this be done by someone who has been in the business for a while?

The rest of the show notes is in our resource center:  Window Works

Oct 24, 2016

On the show today you are going to meet Sarah Daniele! Sarah was recommended to me by a previous guest and my friend, Rachel Moriarty. So, who is Sarah Daniele? She is a very smart, take- the- bull- by- the- horns type person, interior designer and also happens to be the co-founder and CEO of Mydoma Studio!  Sarah has a degree in interior design, has worked for others and then eventually started her own business, Mydoma Studio. Her business focuses on residential renovations, add-ons, kitchen, and bath. Today she is going to share with us a little about her career.

Show Notes:

  • When did Sarah start her new software?
  • What were her guidelines for her new software system?
  • Was her software originally for other designers?
  • When did she decide to let other designers use her program?
  • What changes were made to her software program to fit other designers?
  • How did she know that other designers would need a different program than herself?
  • How did she build her beta team to test the new product?
  • Is Mydoma Studio an accounting software?
  • Where did the name Mydoma Studio come from?
  • How did she decide the “look” of her website?
  • What is the usability of Mydoma  Studio?
  • What is Mydoma Studio and what can it help designers do with clients?
  • What is the process to sign up for Sarah’s program on Mydoma Studio?
  • What is a product catalog builder?
  • What does it mean when the product catalog builder is global?
  • How does a designer get the client on board using Mydoma Studio?
  • Would the client still have access to their studio after the project is finished?
  • How are the invoices incorporated in the program?
  • Is there a way for the designer to view the project like they are the client?
  • What is the targeted audience for Mydoma Studio?
  • How are the fees decided?

For the rest of the shownotes, please visit our resource center: Window Works 

Oct 21, 2016

Welcome to another power talk Friday! Nicole Holland is on the show today and she is part of the Business Building Rockstar Show! This is another podcast that is one of my favorites and let’s face it Nicole is a rockstar! She is out there trying to help other people create bigger and better businesses for themselves. She is a master coach and marketing strategist. Nicole is launching on November 1st a summit for The Business Building Rockstar. What is a summit? Listen to this episode and find out.

Nicole Holland

Show Notes:

  • What is a summit in podcast terms?
  • What is the summit that Nicole is launching on November 1st going to be about?
  • What is the difference in what you are “supposed” to do and what you “should” do when starting a business?
  • How can social media be valuable to your business?
  • What are some tools she recommends and uses herself?
  • Is this summit going to be free?
  • What are some special deals you can get when you upgrade?
  • What are some of the topics that are going to be discussed on The Business Building Rockstar Summit?
  • What is Nicole’s mission in life?
  • How does Nicole incorporate her mission in life and making a dollar together?
  • How can each session be accessed during The Business Building Rockstar Summit?
  • Why do you want an all access pass for this summit?
  • Why did Nicole decide to launch her podcast: The Business Building Rockstar Show?
  • How many topics will be discussed on this summit?
  • How much of a discount does this summit give on certain programs?
  • How did Nicole get so many bonuses for her new launch that starts on November 1st?
  • How can this summit help interior designers with their businesses to make their businesses bigger and known more?


You can download the Nicole Holland Business Building Rockstar PDF  and get the Ticket to the free Summit at our resource center:  Window Works


Oct 19, 2016

I have Marie Flanigan from Texas with me on the show today! Marie is an award winning designer whose background includes a BA in Architecture and Masters in Business Administration. She has over a decade of work experience in architecture and design industry and you can see how she uses these qualities beautifully in her work. While working with a previous firm she realized her love for architecture and interiors together. She quickly realized how she can achieve more in-depth creativity when the two are intertwined. Her trademark style is evident with the sophisticated texture, color, light and creating environments that people love to live in. Her distinguished designs can be found in luxury homes and commercial spaces throughout the country. Today we are going to talk about Marie’s marketing strategies and how they have worked for her and how they can work for you too!


Show Notes:

  • What is her marketing philosophy?
  • What are the roots of her business, Marie Flanigan Interiors?
  • What are some of the services her business, Marie Flanigan Interiors has to offer?
  • What is her advice to someone starting out?
  • How can designers make it easier to relate their designs?
  • What are some ways that her team uses to relate their designs?
  • How do you keep your brand consistent?
  • How does her team finish up a project?
  • What is the most important part of a project?
  • Pictures are your assets!
  • When did she decide to use videos for marketing?
  • How did Marie find someone who knew how to use videos for marketing?
  • How long does it take to make these videos?
  • What is her advice on how to find a good videographer?
  • How do you pick the music for the videos?
  • Look for more ways to create an experience for the client!
  • Are business retreats a good idea?


Please visit our resource center: Window Works for the rest of the show notes. 


Oct 17, 2016

On the show today I’m happy for you to meet Polly Williams, the founder of Camberyard. The designer’s advisor! Polly offers bespoke interior design business solutions and mentoring to creative professionals across the industry. She can advise you what your USP, promote your talent and make your business reach its full potential. Her expertise includes launching new brands, streamlining and expanding your current business, mentoring designers, PR, brand partnerships, social media strategy, fee negotiations and making introductions within the industry. Polly has over 12 years of experience advising an interior design studio in London.

Show Notes:

  • What is Polly’s 360-degree approach?
  • What are some of the first things she talks about when a designer wants to start their own firm?
  • How does she help lay the foundation of a business?
  • Has she ever had to tell someone maybe they need more experience before having their own business?
  • What are some other ways she works with clients besides setting up the outline of the business?
  • How are the packages set up for her mentoring services?
  • How does she help her clients with time management?
  • How does Polly help a designer figure out their unique selling point or USP?
  • Does everyone have a unique selling point?
  • How do you determine what is appropriate to put on social media?
  • How does a designer figure out their brand?
  • How are colors and fonts used to determine the message the business is trying to give?
  • Why did Polly decide on the name Camberyard instead of Polly Williams Consulting?
  • Does a business need to have a logo?
  • Make sure to go out and network and plant your seed!
  • What does Polly mean when she says think globally, act locally?
  • Is Polly available to work with clients virtually?


For the rest of the show notes, please visit our 

resource center:  Window Works 

Oct 14, 2016

It’s time for another Power Talk Friday! Today on the show we have Stacy Tuschl! Stacy is a very accomplished young lady. She has a brick and mortar business in performing arts that is a seven figure business. The roots of her business started when she was eighteen years old from her parent’s backyard! She is also a real estate investor, the author of Is your Business Worth Saving? and the host of a podcast called The Business Rescue Roadmap. Stacy is going to talk to us about how she runs her business and give us some great tools and tips to use in our own businesses.

Show Notes:

  • How did she come up with the name of her book: Is Your Business Worth Saving?
  • Why is it important for business owners to ask themselves is their business worth saving at certain times?
  • What are some ways to keep money in the checkbook?
  • How can business owners figure out the missing piece in their business keeping them from making more money?
  • What is a mastermind group and where can they be found?
  • What three people/group does she suggest having when running a business?
  • Where and how does Stacy look to find different conferences to go to for new ideas?
  • Where are some good places to get access for more information for free?
  • What are some good tools to help with plan the day?
  • Make sure to set goals!
  • How is every department set up in her business?
  • What are some tools Stacy uses for organization with her employees?
  • Why is it so important to always take notes?
  • Get out of your comfort zone and take risks!
  • What is Business Rescue Road Map about?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center: Window Works.


Oct 12, 2016

Welcome back! Our guest today has been in the interior design business for 17 years! Andrea Schumacher started her own eight-person firm, Andrea Schumacher Interior Design, including herself in Colorado in 1999. Andrea has experience in commercial and residential spaces and she has set design for television at Days of Our Lives and Columbia Pictures! She has a BA in interior design from the F.I.D.E.R. accredited Colorado State University and a certificate in Universal Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Today she is going to share with us how she does things at Andrea Schumacher Interior Design and how she makes everything more efficient and successful and how you can too.

Show Notes:

  • She can have how many projects in the pipeline at one time?
  • How are the positions broken down at Andrea Schumacher Interior Design?
  • Did she work for anyone before she started her own firm?
  • How was Andrea Schumacher Interior Design started?
  • Explain how everything is broken down up front!
  • What about the customers that can’t be pleased?
  • When does the “process” go into the project manager’s hands?
  • Why doesn’t she like to hear a budget before the design project begins?
  • What was her aha moment that there needed to be a change with her accountant to get her books straightened out for her design firm?
  • Who is Chandra and what is her role in Andrea’s firm?
  • What are some ways that Chandra has increased profitability for Andrea’s firm?
  • How much has her profitability increased since Chandra has started working at Andrea Schumacher Interior Design?
  • Keep yourself as humble as possible and own up to your mistakes!
  • What is the next big thing for Andrea Schumacher Interior Design?
  • What is Design Leadership Network?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center: Window Works 


Oct 10, 2016

I am so pleased to have Mark Cutler and Heather Gillette with us on the show! The information that they are going to share today will maximize yours and your staff’s productivity in a way you previously could not imagine. Heather is a tech person and has been specialized in early tech startups for the past twenty years. She will explain that there are never enough resources, so you need to be creative and innovative to keep up with the amount of work. Heather founded and headed up several departments of YouTube. With little manpower, she and her team kept YouTube legal and clean while processing millions of videos and user communications every day. Heather wanted to bring this same thinking and make interior design more accessible. This is when their first company was born: NousDécor. 

Mark Cutler is an Australian-born interior designer. Mark is one of the Robb Report’s top 40 firms in the country and a leading proponent of interior design as a form of portraiture. He is formally the resident designer for A&E’s TV Makeover Mamas. He has many celebrity clients and his work has been in many leading interior design magazines. He currently serves as the Chief Design Officer at NousDécor.

You can read the show notes and access all the links and resources at

Oct 7, 2016

In this episode, the first of a series of 3 shows,  Shauna Lynn Simon, Owner/Founder of Beyond the Stage Homes and Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy, talks about a strategy for connecting with your avatar (target clients/audience) on a personal level. She talks about the important steps, procedures, and pointers – the checklist to ensure the effectiveness of this strategy – holding workshops. It can be a powerful lead generation tool to build your brand and business. The success of the event could depend on how well you have prepared for it.


Show Notes


  • Choosing an engaging topic, and framing an attractive title
  • Educational and specific topic would be an ideal choice of topic
  • Choosing the right venue – inexpensive for a small audience, and a bigger venue or a showroom for a bigger audience, without sales pitching
  • The key to selecting the right venue
  • Content creation – valuable, informative, helpful
  • What to give away as handouts
  • Presentation techniques
  • Inviting guest resource persons
  • Securing sponsors
  • Marketing and promoting it in social media – fill every seat
  • Techniques in social media promotion
  • Shauna Lynn will cover other related topics in the forthcoming 2 weeks: 
    • Determining who your community is and how you fit into that community
    • Determining what you can contribute to the community to make it better, bigger, etc.
    • Identifying your voice and connecting with your followers, clients, fans with that emotional connection

You can listen to the full episode at our resource center:  Window Works

Oct 5, 2016

We have our first request for an interview from a listener of the show! Lauren Clement comes from an interior design family! Her mother has had her business since Lauren was two and now Lauren has her own business, Lauren Nicole Designs. She is going to share with us how she runs her business and tell us about the people she has on her team.

Show Notes:

  • Who are her mentors?
  • Who is on her team?
  • When should you consider a new hire?
  • What are Design 101 events?
  • A WWII airplane hangar design?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center: Window Works

Oct 3, 2016

For the past 8 or 9 months, we have had designer after designer talk about something that they are passionate about and turn it into a guiding force to increase business in their design firm. But I have not met anyone who has a design that is cruelty and vegan free…until now. On the show today is Deborah Rosenberg, a writer, lecturer, and founder of DiMare Design in Miami Florida.  DiMare is an interior design firm that promotes the use of vegan, organic materials. She will never use any materials that involve the harming of animals and she educates her clients, suppliers, and the entire industry about the advantages and benefits of cruelty-free/vegan design. She has incorporated her family values in her design business.


Show notes:


  • Why and how Deborah started focusing on this niche. How did this become a big part of her designs?
  • What does vegan mean?
  • The sweet reason why she is so passionate about using “humane interior design”
  • Leather manufacturers skin dogs to produce dog leather?
  • How long she has been in the design business and her niche
  • What materials she substitutes for animal-based leather
  • What materials she uses to substitute for chemical-drenched materials
  • Deborah is an animal activist with PETA. What she does for the organization
  • What she uses for wellness, healthy design especially for allergy sufferers
  • What are the desirable alternatives to leather, down, wool, and silk
  • Do clients find her now because her design is vegan?
  • It’s all about educating!
  • What fabrics are ok?
  • What is 72-hour turnkey design?
  • What other services does her firm offer?
  • Be as detailed as possible!
  • Where she sources these materials
  • How she charges for expedited service

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center:   Window Works