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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Jun 28, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are very happy to have Kimberly Merlitti, one of our favorite Power Talk Experts, back on the show today. Many people are really in the dark about how much money is actually going in and out of their businesses. Kimberly, who first appeared in episode #361, loves teaching people to understand accounting in a way that makes them an active partner in their finances. Talking in really simple language, she helps people figure out the really important financial side of their businesses. In today's episode, you will learn about the billable hours, rates between the principal designer and junior designers, how to know your cash on hand, how to know your 'cost to be open' number, how to budget to hire a junior designer, and how to prepare for a recession. Listen in, to find out how to get to know your numbers.

Kimberly Merlitti owns KMM Consulting based out of Washington, D.C. She has 20 years of experience working in accounting for companies such as Swinerton Builders, WRNS Studio, and Martin Group. She has her Masters in Accounting from Golden Gate University. Located in Washington D.C. Kimberly's clientele includes a diverse group of service-based companies, with the main focus on small interior design, construction, and architectural firms. The goal of her firm is to make the businesses she works for as profitable as they can be by educating them on accounting, cash flow management, tax deductions, project reporting, and business management. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Kimberly shares a really simple calculation for you to get to know how much of the money in your business account is actually yours.
  • Using the best software to calculate your vendor liability.
  • Keeping an eye on your cash flow.
  • How to know your cash on hand.
  • It only takes five minutes a month to know your cash on hand.
  • Budgeting to hire a junior designer.
  • Working out your time-billing rates and budgets.
  • Being upfront and straightforward with your clients.
  • Telling your clients what to expect with every stage of the design process.
  • Things to consider when working out your 'cost to be open' number.
  • How to prepare for a recession.
  • Building cash reserves for difficult times.

Other episodes mentioned in today's show:

Alinda Morris: #429

Michele Williams #180 and #395

Peter Lang #349


A Well Designed Business

Kimberly's website: KMM Consulting

Kimberly's email:

Need to schedule time with KMM? KMM Consulting

Jun 25, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're excited to be interviewing Laura and Cliff Muller today. Laura and Cliff are the husband and wife team behind Four Point Design Build, an award-winning full-service multi-disciplinary residential and commercial high-level interior and architectural design, project management, and construction firm, based in Los Angeles. The landscape of interior design is changing, so design-build has become an incredible opportunity for interior designers to have control over their projects and to enjoy the fruits of a multi-dimensional process. In today's episode, Cliff and Laura share some of their winning design-build processes, and Laura gives some great advice about mentorship and collaborating with build professionals. Tune in now, to find out more.

Four Point Design Build is owned and led by interior designer and general contractor, Laura and Cliff Muller, and with over sixty years of combined experience, FOUR POINT’s boutique hands-on style of design and project management from concept to turnkey, specializes in highly customized client-centered projects with an experienced and immaculate focus on whole home remodels, kitchens, baths, and office spaces. Cliff and Laura’s work has been seen Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Metropolis, Hospitality Design, and CA Home & Design to name a few. Listen in today, to find out about what it takes to run a successful design-build business.

Show Highlights:

  • There's a fine line between professionalism and personal expression in the world of business today.
  • Why Laura and Cliff make such an excellent husband and wife team.
  • Celebrating all the different people involved in a project at the end.
  • How they developed the name of their business.
  • Cliff and Laura's four-step business-process.
  • Understanding what goes into a design-build project.
  • The best way for a new designer to start out in the design-build world.
  • Laura suggests that new designers find a design-build mentor to oversee their first small design-build project.
  • The best way for a young designer to approach someone they would like to become their mentor.
  • Laura explains how to make the right kind of connections.
  • What has to happen at the beginning of a successful design-build project.
  • The investigation and analysis that is necessary before the start of a design-build project.
  • Knowing your self-worth and value, and the essence of the truth of your business is really empowering.
  • Some websites that provide good information for designers and consumers to understand what to expect from a design-build project.
  • Laura discusses the really well-received presentation that they did at the Las Vegas market, around the changing landscape of interior design.

Short Company Bio:




June 20, 2019

For Immediate Release

FOUR POINT DESIGN BUILD INC is an award-winning full service multi-disciplinary residential and commercial high-level interior and architectural design, project management, and construction firm based in Los Angeles, serving clients nationwide. Owned and led by Interior Designer and General Contractor, Laura and Cliff Muller, and with over sixty years of combined experience, FOUR POINT’s boutique hands-on style of design and project management from concept to turnkey specializes in highly customized client-centered projects with an experienced and immaculate focus on whole home remodels, kitchens, baths, and office spaces. From high-rise and mixed-use design-build to executive offices and luxury custom homes, Cliff and Laura guide and oversee every detail and project process with systems and teams in place that allow their Clients to relax and enjoy the blessings of designing and building a custom luxury #CleanFreshModernTM space. [137]

Cliff and Laura’s work has been seen Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Better Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Metropolis, Hospitality Design, and CA Home & Design to name a few. Laura is the former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID/2016) and has the distinct honor of being selected to the prestigious 2018 DXV Design Panel and the elite 2019 Designer Council for Monogram Appliances. Cliff has collaborated on award-winning and highly celebrated projects with such renown architects as Patrick Tighe and Morphosis. [90]



> Full Service Interior Design

> Architecture and Detailing

> Custom Furniture Design and Fabrication

> Construction Documents and Permit Acquisition

> Full Service Project and Construction Management and Administration


> Residential

> Commercial

> Tenant Improvement

> Retail

> Restaurant

> Multi-Family and Mixed Use

TO LEARN MORE about us, our team, and our work, visit Four Point Design Build and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter #The4ptReport

for tips and trends, means and methods, things we love, inspiration, resources and tools, and more. FOLLOW US @4ptDesignBuild on

Instagram Facebook Pinterest and Twitter.


Project Inquiries -

Media and Speaking Inquiries - Andrew@andrewjosephpr


22048 Sherman Way, Suite 205 Canoga Park, CA 91303 | T 818.914.8826

LIC. B #982460



Website: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Instagram: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Twitter: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Facebook: 4 Point Design Build Inc

Pinterest: 4 Point Design Build Inc

The Design-Build Institute of America: DBIA

LuAnn is repeating her Power Talk Friday Tour this year in Las Vegas. It is a one-day coaching event and it will be held on Saturday, July 27th, and it will run from 8.00am to 11.00pm. It will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, discussions with LuAnn's PTF experts, and four hours of round table discussions, in groups of three or less, with each expert individually.

To get onto LuAnn's email list to get the info, text the word DESIGNBIZ to the number 444999.

Jun 21, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is sponsored by our guest, Tobi Fairley, who previously appeared in episode #419. Tobi has been one of our industry leaders for many years, mentoring interior designers and helping them become better business persons. She is an accomplished luxury interior designer with her business based in Arkansas. She's a fabric designer, a business coach, a life coach, and she has her own podcast called Design You. Tobi has also created a unique and really effective coaching course called Tobi Fairley's DesignYou Coaching Program and in today's episode, she explains how her coaching program differs from all the rest. Tobi loves nothing more than helping people really thrive and love their business so listen in today, to learn from Tobi how to cast a wider net and start making money while you sleep.

Tobi Fairley is known for her bold use of color in interior design, but she’s also one of the nation’s most progressive-thinking entrepreneurs. She is passionate about her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm which are focused on helping clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives, with a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEOs, and creatives. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Tobi explains what's different about her coaching.
  • Getting out of your own head and out of your own way.
  • Unlocking your old mindsets.
  • Why the course is a yearly program.
  • Tobi explains what the coaching course covers.
  • Finances can be scary for creatives.
  • The kind of real-time support that you will get from Tobi.
  • The benefits of abundant thinking.
  • The three different courses that Tobi will be re-doing, live, that are also included in her yearly course.
  • Tobi is very straightforward with her coaching clients.
  • Tobi explains why it's in her best interest to pour all her support into you.
  • Why you need to be doing business differently now to how you did it in the past.
  • Digital marketing for interior designers.
  • Understanding the value ladder in a digital marketing system.
  • Opening your mind to working differently.
  • Creating a system from your design process.
  • Becoming niche-specific.
  • Meeting your clients right where they are.
  • How coaching, content, and community can help you reach your goals.


Traditional Home predicts “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah, one of those women for whom one name says it all.”

Tobi Fairley is known for her bold use of color in interior design, but she’s also one of the nation’s most progressive-thinking entrepreneurs. Tobi is passionate about her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm which are focused on helping clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives, with a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEOs, and creatives.

Tobi established her firm more than 19 years ago and her projects have spanned the nation and beyond. Her award-winning interior design, product design and ideas have been featured on television and in publications worldwide including House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Huffington Post, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Southern Cottages, Creative Live, the Chicago Tribune, and MSNBC. In 2017, Tobi was a columnist for Traditional Home magazine with a feature in each issue chronicling her own home renovation and reveal.

Tobi’s design goal is to create interiors that will assist her clients in reaching their big, personal, and entrepreneurial dreams, while supporting their health and wellness. She designs functional homes and beautiful environments that will foster personal growth, balance, and connection for all who use them.

Tobi was at the forefront of the design blog movement when she launched her blog over 10 years ago, and it’s currently read in more than 125 countries worldwide. She has been a trusted coach for over 10 years for interior designers and creatives through her live events, design and business courses, and online programs.

Among Tobi’s latest ventures is Design You, a monthly coaching program, where interior designers and creatives can get all of Tobi’s best course content, along with live coaching from Tobi in the areas of business, health and wellness, and mindset for a monthly or yearly subscription. In April 2018 Tobi launched her new podcast, The Design You Podcast, where she helps Interior Designers and Creatives say no to busy and say yes to more health, wealth and joy. In her podcast episodes, Tobi shares best business practices, her personal journey as a working mom and her beliefs about personal development for creating your best life, business, and home.

For the last 3 years, Tobi has had great success in product design with her licensed collections from Soicher Marin (art), Duralee (fabrics), CR Laine (upholstered furniture), Woodbridge Furniture (case goods and outdoor furniture), New River Artisans (rugs), and recently signed a license with C2 Paint which will debut late 2018.

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Tobi's first appearance on the show was in episode #419

Links and resources:

Tobi's details:

Tobi Fairley, ASID

17200 Chenal Parkway Suite 300 #330

Little Rock, AR 72223


Tobi's website: Tobi Fairley

Tobi's podcast, Design You

Mighty Networks


Tobi’s Freebie for LuAnn’s Audience:

The Digital Marketing Primer e-Course--this 12-part email course teaches you the basics of what a digital marketing strategy is and why you MUST have one in your business.  Get it at Digital Primer

Tobi Fairley’s DesignYou Coaching Program:

DesignYou is a monthly coaching program for Interior Designers and Creative Entrepreneurs that costs $279 per month or $2799 per year.


  • 2 live monthly coaching calls with Tobi (2 hours each)
  • Tobi’s Book Club bi-monthly book selections and group calls for discussion
  • Access to Tobi’s 3 signature courses included in your membership. These courses (listed below) have transformed thousands of creatives and the way they run their businesses.
  • Designer MBA Course
  • Digital Marketing For Creatives Course
  • Financials for Creatives Course (Tobi is teaching this live July 16-17)
  • You also get a very active peer community in DesignYou built on the Mighty Networks platform. Thanks to the features of Mighty Networks, DesignYou is organized by topics and is easily searchable.
  • There are groups on specific topics in DesignYou including:
  • Interior Design Group
  • Tobi’s Book Club
  • 3 Accountability Groups for the Digital Marketing for Creatives Course depending on your level of implementation.
  • Digital Marketing Assets Group where you can post your digital marketing deliverables for review by Tobi and Team Tobi.

If you buy at the Insiders Level of DesignYou (pay for a full year when joining), you also get:

  • A live call with one of Tobi’s top team members or experts with a Q and A--these are on topics like marketing, podcasting, writing email campaigns, creating a course or program, website design and more.
  • A monthly flash mastermind where you and your peers do a live collaborative mastermind session on a specific topic lead by Team Tobi.
  • A behind the scenes look at what Tobi is working on in her business and what programs courses she is currently creating.


In DesignYou we teach Designers and Creatives how to:

  • Transform your mindset to bring about real change in your business and personal life and understand what’s holding you back/keeping you stuck so you can find a solution.
  • Transform your business model to be profitable, scalable and future ready.
  • Implement consulting-only offerings like Strategy Sessions into your service offerings to start making more money for your time and intellectual property TODAY!
  • Transform your schedule from flying by the seat of your pants to organized structure. This means finally accomplishing goals but on the timeline you create.
  • End the feast or famine nature of business by teaching members how to create a digital marketing strategy.
  • Have more health, wealth, and joy while running your creative business.
  • Identify burnout and all of the action steps to overcome it or prevent it.
  • Build systems and processes to get your business running smoothly and consistently with less stress - and then we dive into how to automate these systems to create more time in your day.  
  • Target your Ideal Client and Niche so that you are working with the group of people that light you up every day and who are most willing to pay you your worth. We also teach you how to develop a following or tribe of these like-minded clients.
  • Learn to delegate and run a team of in-person, contract, and virtual employees so that you spend 80% of your time in your Zone of Genius.
Jun 18, 2019

Welcome! Today, Beth Smith, the owner and principal designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, based in New Jersey, joins me on the show. For Beth, the interior design came years after pursuing her degrees in business and accounting to fulfill her love of processes and business strategy. In today's episode, Beth talks to us about budgets, managing situations, and expectations, and also about sexual harassment and she explains to us why she now has a clause in her contract to cover it. They also discuss the power and benefits, to both your business and your self-development, of attending industry events. Tune in now, for more!

After completing her M.B.A., Beth spent more than ten years in corporate finance, with companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom, honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, and budgeting, and sharpening her attention to detail. Beth's work and her design advice have been featured on television and also in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV, Vogue, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and the New York Times. Listen in today, to hear Beth's story.

Show Highlights:

  • Leaning into your skills and expressing them to your potential clients.
  • The skills that Beth moved over from her corporate life to her design business.
  • Working strategically around budget issues with clients.
  • Keeping the client's expectations realistic.
  • What 'don't save your client's money' really means.
  • Dealing with clients who have unreasonably low budgets.
  • Listening to your gut and having your client trust that you know what is best for them.
  • Coping with situations where a client does not go along with your advice.
  • Beth takes her contracts very seriously. After signing, she sends the client a letter highlighting the important points.
  • What Beth outlines in her welcome letter.
  • Being responsive while still sticking to business hours.
  • Beth explains why she does not feel the need to present her contract to her clients in person.
  • How Beth protects herself and the team she works with.
  • Dealing with sexual harassment.
  • Beth talks about the great press that she has had in her design career.
  • Beth shares some suggestions for running a design firm in a way to prepare yourself to get lucky and be noticed by Open House NYC.
  • Most of Beth's press has come from relationships and networking.
  • Networking from a place of giving.
  • About Kavet's past Blogfests and how they have really helped Beth to grow her business.

Bio: Beth Diana Smith is the Owner and Principal Designer of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design, a New Jersey-based interior design company. Beth, her work, and her design advice have been featured on television and in various print and online publications including NBC, HGTV,, EBONY, Design*Sponge, and The New York Times. But know that interior design came years after pursuing degrees in business and accounting to satiate her love of processes and business strategy. After completing her M.B.A., she spent more than a decade in corporate finance in companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Viacom honing her skills in understanding clients, analytics, budgeting, and keen attention to detail. 

Links and resources:

Beth's Website: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Instagram: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Facebook: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's Pinterest: Beth Diana Smith

Beth's LinkedIn: Beth Diana Smith

Luann Nigara

Luann Nigara Book2

Well Designed Article

Window Fashion Vision

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Nate Berkus #433

Erika Ward #6 and #278

LuAnn is repeating her Power Talk Friday Tour this year in Las Vegas. It is a one-day coaching event and it will be held on Saturday, July 27th, and it will run from 8.00am to 11.00pm. It will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, discussions with LuAnn's PTF experts, and four hours of round table discussions, in groups of three or less, with each expert individually.

To get onto LuAnn's email list to get the info, text the word DESIGNBIZ to the number 444999.

Jun 14, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, Sarah Santacroce, an internationally recognized LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor, joins us on the show. Sarah helps convert your presence online into paying customers, and she is also the creative brain behind the LinkedIn Challenge, an event that has already helped more than 1900 people to improve their knowledge about using LinkedIn for business. Tune in now, to find out more.

Sarah, who lives in Switzerland, is known for her simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency mixed with a dose of Californian 'yes we can' attitude. She uses her ability to focus to help you to come up with a strategy to achieve your goals. And with her experience, her skill, her empathy, and her passion, she encourages you and helps you grow your business. She has assisted hundreds of clients from all over the world by generating leads for them via LinkedIn and social serving strategies. In today's episode, Sarah will open your eyes to the untapped potential of Linkedin. Listen in, to learn from Sarah how to breathe life into your LinkedIn profile.

Show highlights:

  • Why LinkedIn is actually a great platform for introverts.
  • How LinkedIn has changed since the millennials started showing up and changing things about two years ago.
  • Sarah suggests some strategies for successfully using LinkedIn as a platform.
  • How a great LinkedIn profile can really benefit introverts.
  • Where the power of LinkedIn really lies.
  • On LinkedIn, everything is organized by job titles so you need to figure out who you're going to be working with.
  • Adding more experiences to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Creating a special landing page and linking it to your LinkedIn profile.
  • The biggest mistake Sarah's seen people make.
  • Sarah explains where to start.
  • Your past experience counts for a lot.
  • Building relationships and networking effectively through social serving.
  • LinkedIn is about creating a human connection.
  • Posting visual content to demonstrate that you're an expert in your field.
  • LinkedIn's mission is to be the number one platform for professional content.
  • The amount of time it takes to create a meaningful presence on LinkedIn.
  • Sarah talks about her podcast, Introvert Biz Growth Podcast.

Extract from Sarah's website:

My clients like to work with me because I’m structured, focused, result oriented, ‘the real thing’. 

I’m known for my simple, no-nonsense Swiss efficiency, mixed with a good dose of Californian ‘yes we can’ attitude! (we lived in California from 2006 - 2010)

And she goes on to say:

There are a few things I’m good at:

  • My ability to focus on the essentials & come up with the strategy for you to achieve your goals
  • My experience(based on many failures) of getting clients online & what it takes to grow your business
  • My skill to quickly put myself into your client’s shoes & create an offer that he/she can’t resist
  • My empathy, passion& encouragement to use your uniqueness to grow your business

Oh, and I'm an Introvert.

Links and resources:

Sarah's website: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's podcast

Sarah's LinkedIn: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's facebook: Sarah Santacroce

Sarah's lead magnet: Sarah's Templates

LuAnn's Webinar:

Join me on Tuesday, June 25th at 1:00 pm est for an exclusive Mydoma Studio webinar on Sales Strategies for Interior Designers!

The roles will be reversed and I will be in the hot seat talking about the strategies I have learned.

Come prepared with your questions!  You can ask me questions about your business, about tricky conversations with clients, about how to sell more to the same people, about anything you want really.

You know me, I just love hanging out with you!

Webinar: My Doma Studio

Jun 11, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! It's time to start thinking about the High Point Market again. If you're wondering why you need to be thinking about it now, you may be surprised to find out that the hotels are already filling up. Also, now is the right time to start mapping out your trip and go to the website at High Point Market to see who the brands are, make your appointments, and get onto the email list so you can be notified of the new product launches, the panels, and the keynote series in the theater, because you really won't want to miss a thing! Listen in today, to find out more.

On the show today, we have Ashley Grigg, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the High Point Market Authority, Lisa Mende, the founder and principal of Lisa Mende Design, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Jeanne Chung, a luxury interior designer and retailer based in Southern California. These three ladies will explain why you need to attend the High Point Market and they will give some great tips for making the most of the experience. They will also discuss the logistics of going to High Point, explain how to make your trip really productive, and share some really useful information about the various tours that are available. You really have to know what to do before you get to High Point, so tune in now, to get all the details.

Show Highlights:

  • Why it's really important for interior designers to invest the time and money in going to High Point Market.
  • How half the business is conducted after the market is over.
  • The brand cocktail parties are awesome opportunities to meet and connect with important people.
  • The way that High Point has really impacted on Jeanne's business.
  • Making great connections at High Point Market.
  • How High Point Market stands out from all the rest.
  • Having the opportunity to talk to the showroom owners.
  • Ways for new designers to establish themselves with the various showrooms.
  • Some things to think about when pre-planning your trip to High Point Market.
  • Why it's a good idea to do a tour for your first trip to High Point.
  • High Point Market covers 11 500 000 square feet!
  • Jeanne talks about her Insider's Tour, which is geared towards designers seeking to offer customization and one-of-a-kind.
  • Ashley talks about all the other tours that are also available for buyers at High Point. The relevant information about all the tours is available on the High Point Market authority website. High Point Market
  • Some tips for making sure that you are able to connect with the right people at High Point.
  • There is an incredible Market Advisor Team available for you to call to answer any questions you may have prior to arriving at HP. They will also be available during the market.
  • Lisa's great tips and suggestions for getting ready for market.


Ashley Grigg is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the High Point Market Authority. High Point Market is the largest home furnishings trade show in the world and Ashley manages many of their projects, including media relations, educational programming, social media, and digital promotions. Ashley has over 13 years of experience in marketing and event management

Lisa Mende is the founder and principal of Lisa Mende Design based in Charlotte, NC which opened in 1998. She has built a reputation as one of the South’s Leading Luxury Designers and her work has been featured in many well-known national shelter and lifestyle magazines. As a designer and tastemaker, Lisa works with Brands and has served as a #Authlux Design Guild Member for House of Rohl for 2018, The Thermador Design Council and the Design Council for DSV Luxury in 2016. Lisa is an Allied Member of ASID and NKBA. She also pens the popular blog “The Design Connector” where she is currently kicking off a new series which will chronicle the renovation of her own home sharing all her favorite kitchen and bath products and as well as the renovation process with her readers.

Jeanne Chung is a luxury interior designer and retailer based in Southern California. In addition to heading up her own interior design firm, Jeanne owns a retail and to the trade showroom in Pasadena, CA which has become a favorite go-to destination for both designers and design enthusiasts who seek a unique and artfully edited selection of new and vintage home furnishings and accessories.  Through her design blog Cozy Stylish Chic, Jeanne has become recognized as an influencer in the industry and frequently collaborates with brands and manufacturers. She is a regular speaker on trade show designer panels and has served as a High Point Market Style Spotter. Jeanne participated in the Pasadena Showcase House of Design in 2017 and in 2018, served on the Board of the ASID Pasadena Chapter.

About the High Point Market:

In October and April each year, the High Point Market attracts more than 75 000 retailers, interior designers, and service providers from more than 100 countries. There are nearly 2000 exhibitor showrooms across 180 buildings, covering twelve million square feet of space.

High Point Market was founded in 1909, in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It is the world's longest running home furnishings event and it is the driving force in the home furnishings industry. It is unrivaled in both its size and scope.

High Point Market features more Made in the USA furnishings than any other trade show, as well as a wide variety of imported goods, spanning every style, category, and price point.

Links and resources: 

High Point Market Digital Press Kit

Website: High Point Market

Ashley's email:

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Registration opens mid-July, 2019 for the fall market

Fall Market: October 19th-23rd, 2019

When you do go to High Point, please be sure to stop by Kravet’s showroom, located at Market Square, #217 on the 2nd floor.

This show was previously aired as #406.

Jun 7, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We're turning things around a bit and sharing a replay of LuAnn being interviewed by Amber De La Garza, aka the Productivity Specialist, a while back, when LuAnn was a guest on Amber's show, Productivity Straight Talk. Listen in today, to hear their conversation.

In today's episode, LuAnn talks to Amber about the way that she's blended structure, systems, and processes into her business, Window Works, to help it grow to become a two-million dollar company. She talks about her success and her challenges, she shares ways to create structure in your business, and she also gives some questions to ask yourself before making any big decisions.

Tune in now to find out what LuAnn has to say about her business
which has been thriving in the interior design space since 1982.

Show highlights:

  • LuAnn describes what her business and her support structure look like.
  • Luann discusses the roles that she, her husband, and their partner each
  • play in their business, and the synergistic way they work together.
  • How the Window Works team came together.
  • LuAnn describes her life before structure.
  • How structure equals freedom and success.
  • How LuAnn woke up to the value of structure.
  • Why you must embrace systems in order to scale.
  • LuAnn and Amber discuss the perils of disorganization.
  • How organization ties into productivity.
  • How time-blocking has really worked for LuAnn.
  • The administrative system that has had the biggest impact on LuAnn's business.


A Well-Designed Business Podcast
Window Works
Original Episode
Amber’s Website: Amber Delagarza
Amber's Facebook
Amber's Instagram

Book mentioned:
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Jun 4, 2019

Welcome! Today, we have Juan Carlos Rodriguez-Artigas on the show with us. Juan Carlos is an accomplished architect and interior designer with extensive experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant, commercial, and residential design. He is currently the design director of the London Studio of the global interior architecture firm, Wilson Associates. Juan Carlos's position is multi-faceted, and in today's episode, he discusses his role and responsibilities, as the firm's design director, where he oversees the day-to-day operations and projects of the London studio. In addition to creating beautiful projects, he has been in charge of the hiring and building of a cohesive and talented team, which he has then had to lead and guide. Also, a large part of his job involves finding, meeting, and creating opportunities for new business for the firm, and he explains that this all starts with relationships and with connecting to people. Tune in now to find out more. 

Wilson Associates is a collection of 10 design firms around the world whose work encompasses interior architectural design, architecture, art consultancy, concept development, branding, and food and beverage design. Their portfolio includes some of the most prestigious hospitality projects in the world. Listen in today, to hear what Juan Carlos has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • Juan Carlos shares some of his experiences from the past year while building the London studio.
  • The pros and cons of first working for a small firm, and then jumping to a big firm.
  • Juan Carlos shares what he was looking for when hiring his team members.
  • Starting out with a small team and growing organically.
  • When building his team, he was looking for flexibility and team players. That's his secret to creating a small, winning team.
  • Running a small office has involved wearing a number of different hats.
  • Juan describes the difference between his last position and his current one, with Wilson Associates.
  • Creating a strong foundation with the team he built.
  • The kind of skill set that Juan Carlos required his team members to have.
  • Why Juan Carlos prefers working in hospitality, rather than in residential.
  • Having to take into account what the operations team is telling you when designing for hospitality.
  • Juan Carlos describes his superpower and the superpower of Wilson Associates.
  • The way that all the offices of Wilson Associates collaborate and support each other.
  • Even though Wilson Associates is a global team, each studio has its own identity.
  • How Juan Carlos, personally, cultivates a pipeline of hospitality projects.
  • The event that Juan Carlos would recommend for everyone to go to.
  • The biggest challenge that Juan Carlos has faced, that has also been a great lesson for him.
  • Some advice for keeping a pressured team happy and moving.


Role & Responsibility:

Juan is an architect and interior designer with an extensive and

holistic international experience in high-end hospitality, restaurant,

commercial and residential design.

Combining strengths in architecture and interior design, Juan worked

eight years as an independent designer and creative consultant on

different high end commercial and residential projects in Spain and


He was Designer Director at Rockwell Group Europe, managing a

variety of projects in Asia and the Middle East for some of the most

prestigious hospitality brands.

He currently leads the recently open Wilson associates London office.

In charge of this edition sleep & eat theater.

Juan Carlos says:

“People ignore design that

ignores people”


College Degree in

Architecture at Universidad

Anahuac Mexico City, Mexico

Interior design degree/

Instituto Europeo di Design

Madrid, Spain

Master degree in project

management & design

Universidad San Pablo Ceu

Madrid, Spain

Links and resources:

Wilson Associates website:  Wilson Associates

Designer Questionnaire


  • Title: Design Director London Office
  • Languages spoken: English / Spanish and a bit of Italian
  • Education: College Degree in Architecture/ Universidad Anahuac Mexico City
  • Professional accreditations and/or memberships:- Interior design degree/ Istituto Europeo di Design Madrid, Spain –Master degree in project management & design Universidad San Pablo Ceu Madrid, Spain.
  • Tenure at Wilson: March 2018
  • Quote you live by or your design mantra: “People ignore design that ignores people”

Beyond the Basics:

  • What attracted you to Wilson Associates? What do you enjoy most about working here?

I’ve always loved a challenge; opening an office for such as important and reputable firm like Wilson Associates in a city like London has been one of the most exciting and rewarding challenges in my career to date.

  • When did you know you wanted to be a designer?

I don’t think we ever really know what we want to be, but we do begin doing things we love, and by finding our passion you realize it is something you want to do and be forever.

  • Where do you find your design inspiration?
    Everything is inspiring if you look and pay attention.

  • Do you have any advice for young designers? Is there any piece of advice you were given early in your career that sticks with you?

Don’t be afraid to fail; defend your ideas, but never fall in love with them and always listen to different points-of-views.

  • What are some of your career accomplishments? What projects are you most proud of?

Some of my career accomplishments within design come from participating in projects like the recently opened W Suzhou and Hotel Ingles in Madrid, which opened Spring 2018. I have a special affection for high-end residential design, especially a recent penthouse project in Madrid before I entered the hospitality field.

  • What is the most rewarding part of the job? The most challenging?

Any project that ends with a shake of hands and smile from a client is an accomplishment. In hospitality, I find the most challenging part of the job is not only working as a designer but as a mediator between a hotel operator and ownership when they have very opposite visions for a project. It is our job to find that common ground and present an end result that pleases all parties.

  • What are your hobbies outside of your work? Any guilty pleasures?

I think the best thing you can spend your money on is travel; experiences stay with you forever. I like yoga, meditation and to hit the gym as much as I can. My guilty pleasures include tacos with tons of salsa verde. You can also put poison into strawberries with chocolate and I would never notice!

  • What is your favorite restaurant, hotel and overall destination to visit?

My favorite restaurant is a classic Spanish restaurant in Madrid called El Paraguas.

From a designer perspective, The Jane in Antwerp, Belgium is always worth visiting and I most recently visited a small boutique hotel in Paris called Maison Breguet that was just lovely.  My favorite hotel and destination are a hidden place off the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico called Zipolite, but please don’t spread the word! Mallorca in Spain is also always a good idea.

  • Which designers and/or artists inspire you?

Luis Barragan, Piet Boon, Carlo Scarpa, Lázaro Rosa Violán

  • If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?

Definitely an interior designer.

  • Topics or aspects of design you’re comfortable discussing with the media or on a panel?

F&B, Changing trends in the hospitality area, hotel room experiences.

  • What are some panels, events/conferences, colleges/professional groups and events, blogs/media you would like to participate in?
    Anything related to interior and hospitality design.

List three lessons, systems or business techniques you learned at previous positions in and out of the industry.

  • You need to get the right players on your team. Great ideas come from various minds, so it’s important to recruit the best team members and invest in the growth and empowerment of your team.
  • Don’t fall in love with your ideas and always be ready to alter them, especially in hospitality design where revenue plays an important role.
  • Remain optimistic while maintaining realistic expectations as to what you are capable of delivering by a specific deadline with the resources you have. Sometimes it’s better to have quality results than quantity. Finally, I would also make sure that what you are able to deliver what is written in the contract.

Name 2-3 challenges in running a design firm?

  • One of the main challenges of running a design firm today with all the constant stream of communication and information from the media is creating a space that not only makes a difference but offers some sort of engagement for the user in order to create brand loyalty. How do we as designers create an emotional link between the user and the space? We have to think about what would draw them in and how do we design an area that will become a part of their lives and experiences. There’s a lot of competition out there and you need to question if what are you offering is unique. Design? Customer service? Or both?
  • The second biggest challenge one might encounter when running a design firm is ensuring your team is happy and engaged with what they do. You want to pull out their very best work without forgetting the human component; there is nothing worse than a burned-out team and it will ultimately affect deadlines and the bottom line.
  • Build an individual identity for your brand. There is always a lot of competition within the field but creating a brand and positive reputation will go a long way.

Do you have a superpower…what makes your firm different?

With 10 global offices in various parts of the world, our designers speak over 30 languages and offer backgrounds and cultures that complement one another. We live and think outside the box, enabling us to design for every kind of client and market. Although each office has its own identity to some degree, we all live under the Wilson Associates umbrella and work as a team. 

Do you have a client onboarding process?

Having been in the business for nearly 50 years, we have a legacy for upholding the highest standard in client customer service. We analyze their needs and offer a wide range of services that make for a tailor-made and unique experience. As we’ve grown, we’ve continued to evolve and reinvent ourselves within the hospitality and F&B industries, while still maintaining that same level of top-notch service.

List the steps critical for successfully running a client project.

  • Connect with the client from the very beginning by listening to their needs, making them feel comfortable and heard, and building trust.
  • Be honest and upfront about budget
  • Set realistic timelines and don’t overpromise if you know you can’t deliver

Have you ever received a piece of advice regarding running a business that was truly valuable?

The best contribution you can make to your client is to be as authentic as possible. Stay grounded and true to who you are. Also remain open to new ideas and sources, gathering as much data collection as possible, not just digital sources like Pinterest. I find looking outside interior design exhibitions and at the real world is the most inspiring. Inspiration does not necessarily come from beauty.