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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Apr 16, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Melissa Hryszko, the award-winning design brain behind Veranda Estate Homes Inc., join us on the show. For the past eighteen years, Melissa and her husband, Rob, have owned and operated one of Calgary's most successful and versatile luxury home building companies. Today, Melissa shares some of her best tips for growing her firm's Instagram following to an incredible 80 000 followers, and she also explains that she and Rob are crystal clear about who they will work with, and about the kinds of projects that they will do and will not do. Listen in today, to find out what it takes to consistently build between seven and ten custom homes per year, from the ground up.

Melissa's formal education is in graphic design and advertising and yet it's really clear that she belongs in the world of interior design. She brings a meticulous level of detail to each and every project that Veranda is involved in, and she does all her designs by hand. Melissa also tackles each project on an individual basis to ensure that each one is unique and representing the Veranda brand. Tune in today to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Melissa talks about Veranda's unique business model.
  • Melissa is involved with every single home.
  • How Veranda has the edge.
  • Learning from past mistakes.
  • Working with the best architect.
  • Veranda only works from word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Talking budget with clients.
  • Working out ball-park prices.
  • How Melissa's firm works with the different trades on each project.
  • What it takes for a project to get off the ground.
  • They have only five people on their team!
  • About the weekly site meetings that happen every Tuesday morning.
  • They use a program called Buildertrend to coordinate projects.
  • Melissa shares some good practices for growing your Instagram following.
  • Melissa spends more than two hours per day on Instagram.
  • Instagram is about building relationships.
  • Melissa tells us all about her podcast, Modern Design Minds.

Links and resources:

Melissa's Podcast: Modern Design Minds with her co-host Amy Kearns (from the Boston area).

Amy Lynn Interiors

Veranda Estate Homes

Instagram: Veranda Interior

Facebook: Veranda Estate Homes

Modern Design Minds on Instagram: modern design minds

Buildertrend: Builder Trend

Modern Craftsman Podcast


Visual Comfort

Currey & Co

Wingnut Social Podcast

Modern Design Minds Podcast

Previous guests mentioned in this episode:

Circle Design #380

Judith Neary - Design Biz Live #170, #264, #326, #399, #410

Shea McGee #236, #270

Additional episodes about building your IG:

Amber Lewis #184

Shea McGee #236, 270

Mr. Inkredible# 417

Mark McDonough #110

Darla Powell #203 and #330

More episodes about doing full design and build:

Circle Design Studio with husband and wife team John and Theresa Dorlini #380

Angela Rasmussen of H2H Design+Build #181

Apr 12, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are really delighted to introduce you to Amanda Berlin today. Amanda is a communications consultant specifically for entrepreneurs. She teaches visibility strategy, to help people to be seen and appreciated for their uniqueness. She tells us that what she does daily, in her PR niche, is much the same as every one of us, as entrepreneurs, has to do when marketing our businesses. It's about creating a story around a business or a product that really connects it with an audience. On the show today, she and LuAnn talk about the kinds of pitches that designers need to write, the types of media that are the right fit for designers, and how to create relationships with writers and reporters to get yourself and your projects featured more easily and more often. Tune in today, to find out how to be seen and appreciated!

Amanda studied journalism at George Washington University. She interned at CNN, wrote for a local paper, and spent a decade writing media pitches for companies like Disney, Dove, Brawny, Baskin Robbins, Colgate, and Campbell’s. The pitches Amanda wrote resulted in appearances on almost every level of local television outlet in the country and on every national cable and network morning show at one time or another. Amanda has been featured on Carol Cox's Speaking Your Brand and she also has a podcast, The Empowered Publicity Podcast. Listen in today, to hear what Amanda has to share!

Show highlights:

  • Amanda has a really awesome 'about me' page.
  • Starting with goals.
  • Thinking about goals when considering media and visibility.
  • Amanda explains what a PR opportunity looks like.
  • Working out what's most important.
  • Unearthing the evergreen and newsworthy opportunities.
  • The two kinds of pitches that every designer needs to write.
  • Why you need to be really specific about what you have to teach.
  • Different pitches for different kinds of media.
  • Looking at mainstream consumer media.
  • Twitter is an excellent source of information about the media.
  • The Profile Pitch. To get you deeper in with your niche audience.
  • Telling your own story.
  • Why you need to be willing to own your story.
  • Going back to who you were before you became who you are.
  • Pitching for podcasts.
  • Making it as easy as possible for media to say 'yes'.
  • The services that Amanda offers. Go to her website Amanda Berlin


I’m a New Yorker by way of New Jersey with stints in Washington, DC and Madrid, Spain.

I’m told my Jersey often shows through, whatever that means. I’m a mama of an only. I’m obsessed with my family as well as finding the exact right word to complete my thought in every conversation (it can get annoying). And peanut butter. I’m also obsessed with peanut butter.

I was born to make sure we are all heard and seen and appreciated for our unique genius.

I about died when I got a poem published in my high school literary magazine.

I studied journalism at The George Washington University, interned at CNN, wrote for a local paper, and then came back to New York City.

For a decade, I wrote media pitches for companies like Disney, Dove, Brawny, Baskin Robbins, Colgate, and Campbell’s. Clients would come to me with a spokesperson and some message points and I’d package it up and create a story that would get pitched to news outlets across the country. The pitches I wrote resulted in appearances on nearly every local television outlet in the country and every national cable and network morning show at one time or another.

My day-to-day in this niche of PR is exactly what every last entrepreneur is tasked with doing when marketing their business. Take a spokesperson (themselves) and a message (their business or product) and create a story that connects with an audience.

Amanda Berlin was referred to LuAnn by Amber De La Garza #385.

Shows that correlate with this one:

Amy Flurry #108 and #323

Ren Millar #12

Ashley Hotham-Cox #321

Jane Dagney #351

Andrew Joseph #39

Jenny Madden #332


Amanda's website: Amanda Berlin

Amanda's podcast: Amanda Berlin

Find Amanda on Facebook: Amanda Berlin Coaching

Follow Amanda on Twitter: Amanda Berlin

Valerie Fund Designer Showhouse April 23- May 19, 2019

Previous guests participating in the showhouse:

Gail Davis

Tina Ramchandani

Blanche Garcia

Marina Umali

WindowWorks is supporting several designers in the Valerie Fund Showhouse by providing window treatments for their rooms.

Kips Bay Showhouse May 2- May 30, 2019

Previous guest participating in Kips Bay:

Corey Damen Jenkins

Links to LuAnn's books:

Book 1: Luann Nigara

Book 2: Luann Nigara

Apr 9, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We are delighted to have the one and only Tobi Fairley join us today! Tobi is a progressive-thinking entrepreneur, known for her interior design and she is focused on helping her clients design their homes, their businesses, and their lives through her full-service interior design company and her consulting firm. Tobi has a special interest in promoting wellness and balance for entrepreneurs, CEO's, and creatives. She also has a podcast, called The Design You Podcast, which was launched in April 2018. (LuAnn was her guest on episode #37). Today, Tobi talks to LuAnn about tuning in to what you really like to do and how you really want your business to be, making more money, and getting to grips with digital services in the ever-changing online world. Tune in for more!

Tobi has been a trusted coach for interior designers and creatives, through her live events, business courses, and online programs for over ten years. More than ten years ago, when Tobi launched her blog, she was at the forefront of the design blog movement. Her blog is currently read in more than 125 countries across the globe. In 2017, Tobi was a columnist for Traditional Home magazine with a feature in each issue chronicling her own home renovation and reveal. Her award-winning interior design, product design, and ideas have been featured on television and in worldwide publications including House Beautiful, Veranda, Traditional Home, Huffington Post, HGTV, The Wall Street Journal, Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, Coastal Living, Southern Cottages, Creative Live, the Chicago Tribune, and MSNBC. Listen in today, to find out from Tobi how to create a business that is right for you.

Show highlights:

  • Tobi really enjoys learning about personal development and self-help and melding that with interior design.
  • The blessing of growing up with unconditional support.
  • The kind of support that Tobi really loves giving to others.
  • Tobi discusses her philosophy on the use of digital tools for interior designers.
  • Why digital doesn't have to be associated with poor quality.
  • Tobi's take on creating revenue streams.
  • There are so many ways for designers to make really good money and still give value to the consumer.
  • Thinking creatively to create different models to suit different customers.
  • The beauty of creating a design business that is accessible online.
  • Why it gets easier to make money in other ways.
  • Creating different models to solve different problems for clients.
  • A practical strategy for design professionals looking to tap different markets.
  • How designers are creating their own competition.
  • Tobi's suggestion for maximizing your profits with what you already have.
  • Knowing what you can and cannot do successfully on the phone.
  • Using the right language to assist clients with digital products and services.
  • The industry is changing, so you need to figure out how to change and grow with it.
  • You get to decide the services that your business provides.
  • Tuning in to what you like doing, and how you really want your business to be.
  • The importance of being profitable.
  • Thinking outside the box.


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, CEO’s 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 on 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.


LuAnn's Book:

A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts

Kay Whitaker is a Co-Author in the book and her episodes on digital marketing are: #259, #274

Previous shows mentioned:

Rachel Cannon #306 and #409

Tobi's website and social media:

Tobi Fairley

Facebook: Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Instagram: Tobi Fairley/

Twitter: Tobi Fairley



Apr 5, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is about working with a professional Virtual Assistant, who works specifically in the field of interior design. Sarah Durnez is the founder of Loft Design in Walla Walla Washington, and she joins us today. For Sarah, it really doesn't matter where she is, or where you are for that matter because she works remotely to help designers, like you, with their design businesses. She's worked with designers all over the US and she's only ever met one of them once, in the flesh. Sarah's specialty is providing designers with drawings and renderings. Most of her clients have been with her since she started her business, which really says a lot about Sarah and her work, right? Listen in today, to find out more about Sarah and the high-quality Virtual Design Assistant services that she gives her clients.

Sarah graduated from MIU with a BFA in Interior Design. At school, she gravitated to honing her rendering skills and creating the best presentations. Competing to showcase design boards during Miami's Art Basil each year, really drove home the importance that the way that a project is presented is just as important as the design of the project. Sarah has been working remotely with designers for over six years, providing them with detailed construction documents, renderings, and presentation materials to sell their designs. With Sarah handling the technical side of a project, her designers have more time to focus on other aspects of design, grow their business, and be out of the office to spend more time with their families. Tune in for more!

Show highlights:

  • We all strive to be organized in the way we run our business.
  • Sarah started out by just winging it.
  • Sarah explains how she keeps her clients on their toes with their projects.
  • The kind of service and support that Sarah provides for her clients.
  • The quality of Sarah's SketchUp renderings is really remarkable.
  • Sarah discusses the information she requires from designers in order to provide them with high-quality renderings.
  • The kind of responsibility that Sarah takes on.
  • Why some people call Sarah 'The killer of dreams'.
  • How designers really benefit from Sarah's expertise.
  • Sarah will always provide a solution for every issue that she points out.
  • The way that small design firms really benefit from hiring Sarah.
  • Listen to your tradespeople. They really know what they are talking about.
  • Use your own talents for what you're really good at and hiring out for the rest.
  • The excitement that comes with the renderings.
  • When and why designers lean towards watercolor drawings.
  • Taking the time to work through the specific process of your trade.
  • About Sarah's training for designers on SketchUp and Podium.
  • The design industry is a very personal one and hiring a Virtual Assistant is really like having someone on your side.


Press Kit

Password: tacos

Loft Design

Website: Loft Design

Instagram: SarahatLoftDesign

Facebook: SarahatLoftDesign

Pinterest: SarahatLoftDesign

Mydoma Studio

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Darla Powell #330

Elizabeth Scruggs #305

Revelwoods #329

Mydoma Studio #91 and #171

Madeleine MacRae #283 and #315

Episodes that go with this one:

On VA’s

#375 Bonnie Fahy

#149 My Design Assistant

#346 Do Not Let Us Design For You

Apr 2, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Mr. Inkredible on the show with us. Don Ricardo Massenburg, Jr, known for his use of bright and bold patterns and colors in home decor, is the principal of Design Inkredible in Durham, North Carolina. Don believes that interior design should be and could be attainable by everyone, even though it's considered a luxury service. In today's episode, he talks to us about his design business and about his work in early childhood education. He also explains how he runs his design firm in conjunction with his full-time position in the education field. Listen in to find out more.

For a long time, it has been Don's dream to do something that he loves so much that it doesn't feel like he's working. Interior design has been his answer to this. Don's firm has grown so fast and has become so successful that it's hard to believe that technically, it's his side-hustle. He really understands what it takes to maintain a successful interior design business, and he's always adding to his education in interior design. Tune in to find out about Don and how his love for art, music, furniture, and anything bold and creative really fuels his passion for interior design.

Show highlights:

  • How Don started his design firm while doing his career in education.
  • How he runs his design business around his full-time job.
  • Don is so passionate about interior design that it doesn't feel like work.
  • How he uses social media to get clients.
  • Posting on social media at peak times for maximum engagement.
  • Don's strategies for attracting followers on social media.
  • Joining Instagram pods, or groups are still effective as a strategy for marketing a business.
  • Don's use of bold and bright colors and patterns.
  • The importance of engaging, on social media.
  • A lot of Don's current clientele comes from luxury new construction.
  • Don's focus is on textiles.
  • Maintaining a following on social media really takes a lot of work.
  • The importance of your first six photos on Instagram.
  • The value of hiring a really good photographer.
  • Converting Instagram admirers into clients.
  • Weeding out the tire-kickers.
  • How to obtain the help of a mentor.
  • How MyDoma Studio has really changed Don's life.
  • Don used to create his own custom designs.

Don's Bio:

Recognized for his use of bright, bold patterns and colors in home décor, Don Ricardo Massenburg Jr. seeks to show that although interior design is considered a luxury service, it can be attainable to everyone. His love for art, music, furniture, and anything bold and creative fuels his passion for interior design.  It has been a lasting dream of Ricardo’s to do something that he loves and enjoys so much that it doesn’t feel like he’s working, and Ricardo believes that he has experienced that dream with interior design.

Ricardo received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from North Carolina Central University and started his first interior design venture while he served as a teacher. Some of his earliest and favorite projects were children’s spaces where he enjoyed pulling bright, vibrant colors together, along with fun patterns. Ricardo continues to work in the field of education by day and acknowledges the value of the transferable skills gained through his experiences.

The growth of DESiGN iNKREDiBLE LLC has been so exciting and through his, work Ricardo has developed other gifts and talents such as sewing, upholstery, and creating abstract art. Ricardo recognizes that although style and a good design eye are important, it takes much more to maintain a successful interior design business and he is currently continuing education in interior design.

For more episodes on how to grow your Instagram following:

#184 Amber Lewis

#110 Mark McDonough

#203 and #330 Darla Powell / Wingnut Social

For more episodes on mentorship:

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#291 Cheryl Luckett

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#272 Laura Thurman

#91 and #177 Sarah Daniele- Mydoma Studio


Design Inkredible

Instagram: Design Inkredible

Facebook: Design Inkredible

Join LuAnn at High Point Market

Facebook Groups:

Mark McDonough:

Interior Design Marketing

Darla Powell:

The Wingnut Social Media Lab


LuAnn Nigara and Friends

Mar 29, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! Today’s episode is a conversation with the founder of Digital Everything, Susana Yee. Susana is a marketing expert in social media and influencer marketing who has cultivated major engagement for companies through her innovative work, such as her Guess “color me inspired” campaign. Within her company, Susana helps individuals with their own social media campaigns, twitter and facebook ad management, influencer marketing, rebranding, content creation, retargeting campaigns, and so much more.

Digital Media is a company that helps others build and market their own personal brands in order to reach out and work with top-notch influencers, or become an influencer themselves. This episode includes techniques and strategies that will help you create and promote yourself on any social media platform. Tune into today's episode of A Well-Designed Business to learn more about Digital Everything and how its program can help you build your social media empire.

Show Highlights:

  • Reaching out and working with influencers
  • Making sure your brand is cohesive and looks promotable
  • Tagging and promoting other brands that are relevant to you
  • Strategies to grow your business through social media
  • How affiliate and brand deals work
  • Being selective about what you advertise
  • Redirecting people to other platforms to avoid exposing secrets
  • Building an email list
  • Being easily contactable and accessible
  • Posting consistently and strategically
  • Putting a value on your services
  • Using people’s needs to your benefit
  • Paying people fairly for their expertise
  • Playing the role of the brand and the influencer
  • A roadmap for how to target and work with influencers
  • Creating campaigns that include and reach a big audience
  • Apps that easily regulate marketing
  • Establishing your personal niche
  • Properly labeling and hashtagging posts

About Digital Everything:

Digital Everything is a Los Angeles based digital marketing firm that works with brands directly and teaches them how to build and make the most out of relationships with influencers.

  • Founded over 20 years ago
  • Services include: social media campaign management, influencer marketing, twitter and facebook ads management, social media strategy, content creation, retargeting campaigns


Sign Up for Susana's Course:  The Influencer Marketing Roadmap 

Web and social:

Digital Everything

Facebook: Digital Everything

Twitter: Shopping And Info

Previous Shows Mentioned:
Shea McGee of Studio McGee #236 
Shea and Syd McGee #270
Natalie Hurst # 172
Mar 26, 2019

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! We have Tina Ramchandani, a really smart lady and the founder of Tina Ramchandani Creatives, with us on the show today. Tina is another interior designer who started her career by training at a well-established and well-run New York design firm and we know that it really makes a difference when young designers cut their teeth this way. Tina started her own design business in 2014 and in four short years, she has managed to establish herself as an interior designer on the rise. She was recently named one of House Beautiful Magazine's 2018 Next Way Designers and she has been featured in Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottage and Gardens, and more. Listen in today, to find out about Tina and her really successful design firm.

In today's episode, Tina talks to us about her experience of working for the top-tier New York firm, Vicente Wolf and Associates, prior to opening her own design business. She discusses some of the practices that she has instituted in her firm, like her strategy for establishing monthly tasks in her business, to ensure that she's paying attention to the experience she's giving her clients. Today, Tina and LuAnn also talk about their involvement in the upcoming Designer Showhouse, Grace's House, by the Valerie Fund. LuAnn is on the committee, and Tina is one of the designers. Many of the designers selected to participate in bringing this really special home back to its former glory have been featured on this show, so we're giving all of them a special shout-out today, in appreciation for all that they are doing for our children! Tune in now to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • Window Works will be working with Tina and the other designers, doing window treatments and pillows for the Valerie Fund showhouse, Grace's House.
  • Tina talks about her amazing experience and the confidence she gained from working for Vincente Wolf for five years.
  • What Tina learned from working for Vincente Wolf, that she's brought to the way she runs her own firm, Tina Ramchandani Creative.
  • The way that Vincente Wolf managed to inspire Tina's confidence.
  • The natural way that Tina empowers her junior designer, Kay, in the same way, that she was inspired by Vincente.
  • Learning to trust the people you have hired.
  • How Tina knew that it was the right time for her to leave her mentor, Vincente.
  • How interior design principals gain from giving their all to their junior designers.
  • The systems that Tina initially took away from Vincente's firm.
  • The way that Tina tweaked and changed some of Vincente's business systems, to work with the way she works.
  • Tina and Kay sit down at the beginning of each year and assess the things that are not working and the things that need to change in the business.
  • Tina discusses the goals that she and Kay set for each month.
  • Tina and Kay meet each week to discuss what needs to be done in the business.
  • Having outside help has really assisted Tina in running her own business.
  • Tina has built in specific times of the month to address her business operations.
  • The pressure that comes with being driven in business.
  • Tina talks about the awesome Valerie Fund.
  • All about the showhouse, Grace's House which is going to open on April 25th, 2019.
  • There are many special events which will be happening at the opening of Grace's House.
  • Tina talks about the colorful room that she is is designing in Grace's house.
  • Benjamin Moore has kindly sponsored all the paint for Grace's House.
  • Getting things to run smoothly when the pressure is on.
  • Tina discusses the event that she is going to be doing with a women's group on the 15th of May, to raise money for the Valerie Fund.
  • LuAnn is having a book signing for her new book, on the 30th of April, at 6 pm, at Grace's House.

Tina's bio:

Tina Ramchandani Creative (TRC) is a full-service design firm that creates modern, sophisticated and relaxed interiors. TRC's turn-key service makes it easy for clients to move into a completed home with minimal stress. Tina Ramchandani incorporates her vast experience and global perspective into her signature style that delivers a warm layered aesthetic, enhancing your lifestyle and inviting you to truly “live” in your bespoken space. Tina places a strong emphasis on artwork, couture pieces, and custom elements, within the client's budget. While creating a unique, livable environment for clients, Tina incorporates local artists and artisans to bring spaces to life, and showcase clients' personalities in their homes.

TRC has developed a complete and individual onboarding process, which allows Tina to get to know clients and their needs in depth. Clients will share their inspirations with Tina, while also sharing details of how they live in their space, what they are looking to improve or change, as well as what they are interested in aesthetically. Tina and her team then create two complete design presentations for clients. First, the team offers a preliminary meeting, with floor plans and layouts, furniture styles, lighting pieces, fabrics, colors, and art inspirations. After honing in on the direction, TRC develops a comprehensive presentation for clients, soup to nuts. Tina and the team present every item in the space, from furniture to lighting and floor covering to window treatments. This allows clients to see the design vision in its entirety. Once approved TRC takes care of everything, so clients can sit back, relax, and watch their space come together.

Tina Ramchandani developed her design expertise with several top tier, high-end residential and commercial interior design firms in Manhattan, including Frank & Marcotullio Design Associates and Vicente Wolf Associates, which led to the formation of Tina Ramchandani Creative in 2014. Ms. Ramchandani is deeply appreciative of good design and passionate about the impact social awareness can have on one’s life. Tina’s work has been nationally recognized by publications including Elle Décor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottages & Gardens, Lonny, Gotham, Cover, she was most recently named a “2018 Next Wave” designer by House Beautiful.

She is also the founder of Life in Sketch, an internationally recognized interior design blog where she shares what inspires her in the world of design at large, from her daily experiences in New York to her extensive travels abroad.

Press Release for Grace's House, presented by the Valerie Fund:


The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund presents Grace’s House, A Designer Showhouse Restoration of historic Plainfield mansion will benefit children in our area battling cancer and blood disorders

Maplewood, N.J. January 14, 2019 – In May of 2018, nine-year-old Grace received a devastating diagnosis: she had a Germ Cell Brain Tumor. Grace’s treatment brought her to The Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Newark Beth Israel and after rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, she is recovering well. Her grateful family sought ways to give back to the organization that was taking such good care of their daughter and granddaughter. Last June, they spearheaded an extraordinary fundraising effort during The Valerie Fund’s annual 5K Run and Walk in Verona Park, Verona, NJ raising close to $32,000. Grace’s grandfather, Dan Reichard, a builder and principle of ER Development was interested in collaborating further with The Valerie Fund. He and his partners Thomas and George Allen purchased a 7,000+ square foot Colonial Revival in Plainfield, NJ restoring original elements and preparing it for featured designers to showcase their visions.

Christened Grace’s House, the mansion is located in the historic Hillside Avenue district and will eventually be for sale, but in Spring 2019, the public will have the opportunity to tour approximately 20 of the house’s rooms, nooks, stairways and landings, and other spaces across three floors.

Interior Design businesses selected to participate in bringing this very special home back to its former glory include:

AK Design Studios, Monsey, NY

ANEW Kitchen and Bath Design, Plainfield, NJ

B-garcia designs, Montclair, NJ

Butter and Velvet Home Designs, Denville, NJ

California Closets, Fairfield, NJ

CD Interiors, Manalapan Township, NJ

The French Martini, Westfield, NJ

Gail Davis Designs, South Orange, NJ

Global Home Interior Design, Princeton, NJ

Images in Design, Cranford, NJ

JAB Design Group, Penn Valley, PA

JMW Interiors, Millburn, NJ

Liepold Design Group, Millburn, NJ

Marina V. Design Studio, Ridgewood, NJ

Mendham Interiors, Mendham, NJ

Mimi & Hill, Westfield, NJ

Samuel Robert Signature Spaces, Millburn, NJ

Swati Goorha Designs, New Providence, NJ

Tina Ramchandani Creative, New York

“Building a Brighter Future for The Valerie Fund Kids.” Proceeds from public and private tours of the showhouse as well as ad journal sales and sponsorships will benefit The Valerie Fund’s Green Light Initiative, a $5,000,000 Capital Campaign. This initiative is the most ambitious chapter in The Valerie Fund’s history to date, poised to extend “next generation care” to thousands of children fighting life-threatening diseases. The Valerie Fund is proud to recognize Design NJ as a media sponsor, Holby Valve, Coughlin Duffy LLP, Stephen and Tina Squeri as sponsors and Worldwide Wholesale Floor Coverings as a sponsor and a designer resource. Generous in-kind sponsors already committed to the project include Benjamin Moore, Dente Trading Classic & Luxury Stone, Swarovski and Window Works.

At The Valerie Fund each year, Grace and 6,000 other precious children benefit immeasurably by receiving their medical treatment close to home in a child-centered environment. Individualized support from an entire psychosocial team – Integrative and Palliative Care Specialists, Psychologists, Social workers, Child Life specialists, and Educational liaisons -- makes sure their quality of life is the best it can possibly be without regard to insurance reimbursements. And Grace’s favorite – Camp Happy Times, is a free one-week overnight summer camp for children with cancer.

To see the amazing house transformation, Grace’s House will be open to the public every Thursday through Sunday beginning Thursday, April 25th through Sunday, May 19th. Tickets for the house tours are $30 on The Valerie Fund website The Valerie Fund and $35 at the door.

About The Valerie Fund: After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer, founders Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive superior medical care. Along with a group of close friends, they began fundraising efforts from their living room---tireless work that would lead to the 1977 opening of New Jersey’s first pediatric oncology facility at Summit Overlook’s Hospital. More than 40 years later, The Valerie Fund’s mission remains that of supporting comprehensive health care for children battling cancer and blood disorders. Seven Valerie Fund Children’s Centers are located in the metropolitan New York and Philadelphia areas.

For more information, please contact Bunny Flanders, Director of Marketing and Communications at

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Century Furniture and Carrier and Co. Launch at High Point Market #407


Tickets for the Valerie Fund showhouse: The Valerie Fund Specials Show House

The Valerie fund showhouse:

The Valerie Fund

The Valerie Fund

Tina’s event at the showhouse as discussed in the show:

Eventbrite Lady Drinks Cocktails And Private Tour with Interior Designer Tina Ramchandani In Support of Graces Tickets

Tina's website and social media links:

Tina Ramchandani

Instagram: Tina Ramchandani

Pinterest: Tina Ramchandani Creative

Linkedin: Tina Ramchandani

Mar 22, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's show is sponsored by  Bellacor, and we have Sara Saferstein, the director of the Bellacor Pro Division, with us on the show. Bellacor is an online company, established in 2000. They have all the top brands in lighting, decor, and furniture, and they have commercial products as well as residential. In today's episode, Sara will be talking to us about the Bellacor Pro Division, which is their resource for you, as an interior design professional. Listen in today, to find out how Bellacor Pro can make your life easier and your next project a little less of a project.

The Bellacor Pro Division is there to help you with your projects, whether you're working on single, one-client projects or on the commercial side, with multi-unit projects. Bellacor Pro has a team specifically dedicated to helping you with your orders and there are also ALA certified personal account managers, available to help you with all your questions around specifying and sourcing their products. Bellacor Pro has a special trade-pricing program with free shipping, and right now they are welcoming new interior design accounts, and other trade professional accounts to join them. Tune in today, to get all the details about the awesome Bellacor Pro Program.

Show highlights:

  • Sara talks about the Bellacor dedicated trade team, specifically for interior designers.
  • The kind of partnerships that Bellacor builds with the interior design and the builder communities.
  • It really helps to not have to worry about all the little details of a project.
  • Sara talks about her experience in the industry.
  • The wide range of lighting and furniture items and products that Bellacor has for interior designers.
  • Sara explains the advantages of using Bellacor Pro as your resource for lighting and furniture products.
  • You will get Bellacor's trade pricing with any of their manufacturers.
  • Why you really need to be part of Bellacor's trade program.
  • About Bellacor's free shipping, and their flexible 30-day return policy.
  • Bellacor is willing to think outside the box in order to help make your purchase successful.
  • The advantages of having a dedicated team on tap to help you.
  • The way that Bellacor Pro helps designers, day-to-day, with their projects.
  • Bellacor Pro offers interior designers continuing education.
  • There is a lot of complexity and detail involved in lighting.
  • Bellacor Pro really adds value for designers.
  • Bellacor Pro brings you the look you want at the price point you can afford.
  • Get the best product at the best price from Bellacor Pro.
  • Experience the Bellacor Pro Advantage of a high value, high touch relationship with their community.

About Bellacor Pro:

Unique clients require unique solutions.

As designers, you need to delight your clients, deliver on time and on budget and we understand that. We are Bellacor Pro — A trade-program designed to meet the unique requests of interior designers, architects, builders, and other trade professionals. We deliver exceptional product selection and service including:

  • Guaranteed low pricing every day: Get our best trade pricing
  • Brands you love: Select from more than 500 designer- and builder-preferred brands in lighting, furniture, and home décor.
  • Dedicated account team: Your dedicated account team of industry veterans and

ALA-certified professionals will help you find the perfect products for every

project in your portfolio.

  • Free shipping: Everyday free shipping, with no minimums for trade professionals.

Sara Saferstein, the Director of Bellacor Professional, has more than 20 years of industry experience working with manufacturers, designers, and retailers in lighting and home décor. Her team will make your next project a little less of a project while making your life as a designer easier.


BellacorPro: Bellacor

LinkedIn: Bellacor

Instagram: Bellacor Lighting

Facebook: Bellacor Lighting

Twitter: Bellacor

Pinterest: Bellacor

Telephone the Bellacor Accounts Management Team: 1877 688 7039

Mar 19, 2019

Welcome! Today we have Leslie Price, the principal of Price Style and Design, with us on the show. Leslie's superpower is sourcing and selling art for her projects and in today's episode, she explains why this is so important and personal to her. We also have a really nice conversation with her about her career and the turns it has taken, starting out in the home staging industry and then pivoting into strictly interior design. Leslie also talks to us about her studio and the wonderful setup she has in collaboration with her upholsterer, and about the pros and cons of charging for an initial consultation. Listen in now to find out more.

Price Style and Design is a San Francisco Bay Area-based design and style firm, specializing in creating colorful, comfortable, and welcoming interiors. Award-winning designer and owner, Leslie Price, has a passion for creating light-filled, open, and uncluttered spaces influenced by an appreciation for the fresh colors of nature- an instintive artistic awareness which she developed growing up in Honolulu, Hawaii. Leslie's impeccable attention to every detail will help you create comfortable and beautiful spaces that speak to your heart.

Working from the belief that you must love where you live, Leslie and her team focus on designing spaces that inspire joy and happiness. With expertise from a thirty-year visual merchandising and design career, Leslie is uniquely positioned to help you understand and refine your own style, so you can enjoy the 'art of living' in your home. Tune in to find out what Leslie has to share.

Show highlights:

  • Leslie talks about the mid-life epiphany she had about her business.
  • Leslie goes with the flow because she knows it will all work out in the end.
  • How Leslie's interior design career began with home-staging.
  • Her transition from home-staging to interior design.
  • Why Leslie moved from home-staging to interior design.
  • Some of the realtors that Leslie used to work for, doing home-staging, still send her client referrals.
  • Leslie talks about her retail space, it's a purpose, and what it means to her business.
  • The win-win situation Leslie has with the people she splits the rental for her retail space with.
  • Why Leslie doesn't charge for her initial consultation.
  • The struggle that Leslie's having with not charging for her initial consultation.
  • Leslie believes that art is a legacy that talks about your soul.
  • Leslie talks about her passion for helping clients to source their works of art.
  • Art is an asset that continues to gain value.
  • How Leslie helps her clients to make the most of their art.
  • The way that Leslie sources works of art for her clients.
  • How Leslie charges her clients for finding their art.
  • Leslie bridges that gap between artists and buyers who may be intimidated to speak to the artists.
  • Leslie talks about her mother's art and her art collection.


New podcast by Marianne Cherico launched Jan 25, 2019:

Home Stagers and Designers on Fire 

Leslie's website: Price Style And Design

Leslie's Instagram: @pricestyleanddesign 

Facebook:  Price Style And Design

Pinterest:  Price Styling

Previous episodes, with more info on home staging:

Shauna Lynn Simon #76

Yohan May Interiors #396

Marianne Cherico #123

Taylor Spellman #106

Previous episodes, for more info on selecting, selling and framing art:

Katharine Earnhardt #239

Paul Thomas & Daniel Beauchemin #291

Previous episodes, for more info on creating a lead magnet:

Savour Partnership #209

Mar 15, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have a really terrific guest, Ashley Uhl, the founder and principal of Ashley Uhl Consulting, with us on the show today. Ashley consults and teaches interior designers, just like you, how to deliver a high-end service experience. If done correctly, this will lead to more efficiency in your business, greater profit, and most importantly, client loyalty. Ashley is one smart lady and she knows the incredible impact that delivering a spectacular experience can have on a business.  In today's episode, she explains how to keep things simple in your business to uplevel it and create the kind of experience that makes clients come back. Tune in now! You're going to love it!

Ashley has a background in client relations, sales, and communications at the top leadership development company, Dale Carnegie. She's also had a number years of working with, and getting to understand the expectations of high net worth clients at the wealth management firm, Morgan Stanley. In addition, Ashley also pursued her certificate in interior design. Listen in today, to find out from Ashley how to improve the process and client experience of your business and to attract luxury, high-end clients.

Show highlights:

  • Ashley shares the three E's of high-end service experience.
  • It's the small things that count.
  • Showing your clients that you're ready to take their project on.
  • Ashley has created a pyramid to explain the levels of need of the client experience.
  • Dealing with grey areas with clients.
  • Making it easy for your clients to understand, and be part of your design process.
  • Manage the clients' expectations. They want you to lead them and they feel safer when they see that you are in control.
  • Make it easy for the client to hire you.
  • Creating loyalty that will last a lifetime.
  • The way you handle your mistakes will have an impact on your success.
  • A handwritten thank you note really makes a great impression.
  • The benefits of developing a great relationship with a restaurant.
  • A million tiny things can add up to a really incredible experience.
  • Giving high-end clients unique and awesome experiences.
  • How designers can work with Ashley and Ashley Uhl Consulting.
  • Ashley teaches systems and processes, with a touch of luxury.

Bio: Ashley Uhl, owner, and founder of Ashley Uhl Consulting know the incredible impact that delivering a spectacular experience can have on a business. That’s why her mission is to help designers learn how to deliver the type of high-end service experience that allows them to increase their profits, efficiency, and client loyalty.

Ashley’s been cultivating a love for service her entire lifetime. Traveling extensively throughout the world early on in life, she developed incredible respect, understanding, and interest in the five-star service and hospitality she encountered.

She furthered her interest in service with formal training and work in human relations, sales, and presentations for top professional development company, Dale Carnegie. This allowed her to expand her abilities to both create memorable experiences for customers, and prevent conflicts and frustrations from happening between a business and their clients.

While later serving high net worth clients at wealth management firm, Morgan Stanley, and simultaneously decorating her first home, Ashley found her other passion, interior design. But after working on projects with family and friends, she realized that design itself wasn’t her calling. So with a nudge from her husband, she decided to combine her love for both service and design. Thus, allowing her to become the first and only service consultant exclusively focused on interior designers.

Links and Resources:

Ashley's website: Ashley Uhl Consulting You can sign up here for a free download of Ashley's The Essentials of a High End Designer Experience. And Ashley is offering you, the listener, 20% off of any of her services. Please use the code WELLDESIGNED.

Ashley's blog: Ashley Uhl Consulting

Ashley on Instagram: Ashley Uhl Consulting

Ashley on Facebook: Ashley Uhl Consulting

LuAnn on Instagram: Luann Nigara


Ashley Uhl’s company, Ashley Uhl Consulting is one of the sponsors of LuAnn Nigara Live. To register, go to

Mar 12, 2019

Welcome to today's episode! We have Nicole Gibbons on the show with us today and she's an entrepreneur, interior designer, blogger, and on-air personality. Nicole spent more than a decade in the fashion industry, serving as the Global Director of PR and Events at a major woman's retailer, prior to starting her work in the interior design industry. She has appeared on the Emmy Award-winning Home Made Simple, as well as on the Oprah Winfrey Network, for three seasons as a designer helping deserving families to re-imagine their living spaces. Listen in today, to find out more about Nicole.

Almost every interior design client that Nicole worked with complained to her about the overwhelming process of selecting and buying paint and also about the lack of transparency with the paint ingredients. So now Nicole has turned her attention to the paint industry, as the founder and CEO of an innovative new resource in paint called Clare. Clare takes the pain out of paint shopping because all the paint is Premium Zero VOC and Greenguard Gold Certified. Clare is also the first ever direct-to-consumer paint brand and Nicole has a to the trade program available, just for you! On the show today, she talks to us about her journey and she shares her observations about her diverse career and explains how Clare is reinventing the way that people shop for paint. Tune in for more!

Show highlights:

  • Nicole talks about her how she created her career by design.
  • Transferring your skills from one career to the next.
  • Nicole would love to be the next Martha Stewart.
  • How Nicole's career has evolved.
  • Strategically creating a parallel path is not an easy thing to do.
  • Some tips for establishing yourself in the design industry as a recognized expert.
  • What it takes for an opportunity to get on TV.
  • TV really doesn't pay as much as you would expect.
  • How to be comfortable in front of the camera.
  • About Nicole's exciting new endeavor that came to fruition in 2018.
  • Nicole really wanted to disrupt an industry and do something that could help people solve a problem.
  • Nicole's 'aha' moment.
  • How Nicole has done to simplify the color palette.
  • The way that Nicole helps people with their color choice.
  • Nicole's product descriptions really help you to understand what the color will feel like.
  • About the features of Clare's seamless to the trade program.
  • Nicole wants people to feel as safe as possible when using her paint products.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

High Point Market Spring 2019:

Ashley Grigg, Lisa Mende and Jeanne Chung #406

Century Furniture with Carrier & Co #407

Visual Comfort with Lauren Rottet #408


Nicole's website: Clare


If you are going to HP Spring 2019, please join LuAnn on Saturday, April 6th at 12 noon at the HPMKT Theater. She will be giving a keynote presentation followed by a book signing of her new book, The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business, The Power Talk Friday Experts. This book is actually launching the week before at LuAnn's big event, LuAnn Nigara Live, It’s About the Conversation. To learn more, go to Luann Nigara and click on live events.

Mar 8, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Design Biz Live! Corey Klassen and Judith Neary join us once again on the show today. During the summer of 2018, Corey and Judith both experienced shifts in their businesses which really tested them as business owners, entrepreneurs, and as interior designers. In the previous episode of Design Biz Live, we spoke about what Judith went through last summer and today, we're going to be talking about Corey's experience. Listen in to find out more!

Things seemed to be going really well business-wise for Corey at the beginning of 2018. Then he experienced an unexpected shift in his business and he hit the ditch. Corey understands, however, that although change can be daunting, we still need to take responsibility for keeping a positive attitude. He knows that there are some really big problems out there in the world and it's important to recognize that our own problems are usually quite small in comparison. Tune in today to find out how Corey managed to take control, shift his mindset, lean into the change, and become the project manager of his life.

Show highlights:

  • Corey had a team of three, then, almost overnight, he was left with just himself.
  • Corey views the shift in his business as an unexpected gift.
  • The way that Corey adjusted his business to his best advantage.
  • What Corey discovered about himself.
  • Corey moved his home and his office in just two months.
  • The major life-events that Corey experienced recently.
  • The importance of staying on an even keel.
  • Getting clear about his goals.
  • Corey realized that he had to become the project manager of his life.
  • You've got to dig in and own your stuff.
  • Having the confidence to shift gears in his business.
  • Making choices based on the quality of life that you want for yourself.
  • It's hard to be a leader when you hit the ditch.
  • The clarity that Corey gained from his difficult experience.
  • You don't need a crisis to have a revelation about yourself.
  • Finding the next level.
  • Mistakes are your education. And owning your mistakes is vital.
  • Listen to your inner voice.


Corey Klassen Interior Design

Judith Neary - Roadside Attraction Studio

Previous episode of Design Biz Live Luann Nigara

Mar 5, 2019

Welcome to today's show! We are really happy today to have Candy Scott and Rachel Cannon join us on the show! In today's episode, these two smart ladies will be talking to LuAnn about the changing landscape in the business side of interior design. Candy and Rachel are both highly organized, with finite systems in place for running their businesses and they truly understand that you really need to know and sell your own value, as a designer, rather than the value of the products that you specify. Listen in, to find out what they have to share with you on the show today.

Candy is the principal of Mood Design and Build, which is located in Chicago. She has won multiple awards during her seventeen-year career in designer and she's worked with large developers and corporate clients, outfitting high-rise condominium lobbies, club rooms, and model showrooms.

Rachel is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has clients from Palm Springs to Palm Beach, with over fifteen years of experience in residential and commercial interior design. She opened her own firm, Rachel Cannon Interiors nine years ago and her work has been featured in Traditional Home, The Wall Street Journal, HGTV, My Domain.Com, and Southern Home. Tune in now!

Both Rachel and Candy are going to be at LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About The Conversation.

Show highlights:

  • Business disruptions are not a new thing.
  • The future of the interior designer with the disruptive emergence of products being available online to the consumer.
  • Being a designer is not just about selling merchandise- it's so much more about the relationship.
  • As designers, you need to be the innovators!
  • Why you have to start charging for your services.
  • If you make your money on a flat fee, you don't have to focus on selling furniture.
  • Creating tracking documents for orders.
  • Surviving the changes in the industry.
  • The layer of service that Candy has added to her business, to really set it apart.
  • The value of having the designer run the project.
  • Rachel's ideas for designers to make money, going into the future.
  • The middle end of the market is going to go away.
  • Rachel's approach to design consult packages.
  • The importance of branding.
  • As an entrepreneur, you just have to be open to change.
  • Some things to consider when creating your brand.

Rachel Cannon is an interior designer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with clients ranging the nation from Palm Springs to Palm Beach. She has over 15 years of experience in residential and commercial interior design, nine of which are at her namesake interior design firm, Rachel Cannon Limited. Armed with a degree in interior design and a background in art history, Rachel joins together classic principles with a decidedly contemporary tone. She provides her clients with sophisticated interiors that exude an effortless combination of subtle color, rich architectural detail, and a beguiling mix of livable, tailored and luxe details. With a clientele of professionals and families with demanding schedules, Rachel is most praised for her ability to simplify the interior design process while paying meticulous attention to planning and detail. The finished product: a livable yet polished space the entire family can enjoy. Rachel's work has been featured in Traditional Home, The Wall Street Journal,, and Southern Home. Her captivating wit and knowledge of art, design, and architecture have made her a favorite on television, radio, and podcasts. While always on the go, the Rachel Cannon Limited team is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In 2014, Candy Scott founded MOOD Design and Build where she continues to work with residential clients, business owners, and development partners on their homes, offices, and commercial interiors. As a designer, Candy is most inspired and intrigued by the transformation process. Both for the people who inhabit the spaces and the physical spaces themselves. She believes bringing consciousness to our spaces greatly impacts the way we think, feel, and behave.

Candy graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC with a Bachelor's of Science in Interior Design. Through the years, she has won multiple awards and has worked with large developers and corporate clients outfitting the high rise condominium lobbies, clubrooms, and model showrooms. She has worked with small to medium-sized businesses as well, transforming their lobbies and offices to places employees love to work.

Previous shows mentioned on this episode:

Candy #227

Rachel #306

Wendy Woluschuk #316


Rachel Cannon -

Rachel Cannon Limited

Instagram: RCL Interiors

Facebook: RCL Interiors

Candy Scott

Mood Design Build

Instagram: Mood Design Build

Facebook: Candy Scott

LuAnn Nigara Live- It's About The Conversation - At the event, on the 30th and 31st March, in New Jersey, Candy will be paired with Fred Berns and they will be talking about How to Find Clients and Build Your Pipeline. Rachel will be paired with Sarah Daniele and they will be talking about Why Your Business Grows When you Establish Your Systems. Go to Luann Live to sign up for the event.

To join LuAnn's facebook group, LuAnn Nigara & Friends 

Go to Luann Nigara Book2 to see the cover of LuAnn's new book.

Book mentioned in the show: Start With Why- How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Portfolio.  


Mar 1, 2019

Welcome to our third sponsored show for High Point Market April 2019, brought to you by Visual Comfort and Co., and featuring the new product launch designed by today's guest, Lauren Rottet. Lauren is one of the most-celebrated interior architects in the world today, with an extraordinary record of awards, publications, lectures, juries, and honors. We are really delighted to have this dynamic, innovative entrepreneur on the show with us! In today's episode, she will be talking about her career, her lessons learned, and about her latest endeavor, the stunning lighting line she has designed for Visual Comfort and Co. Tune in now!

Visual Comfort and Company is located in Houston Texas, and they have been the premier source for signature designer lighting since 1997. For more than 30 years, Visual Comfort and Company has collaborated with some of the most influential and iconic designers in the industry to produce lighting using natural materials of exceptional quality and distinctive hand-applied living finishes. Visual Comfort is proud to offer the industry’s widest range of incomparable lighting choices of extraordinary quality at a remarkable value. Previous collections have been designed by design greats including Alexa Hampton, Thomas O’Brien, Kelly Wearstler, and John Roselli among others.

Lauren is the only woman in history to be elevated to Fellow status by both the American Institute of Architects and International Interior Design Association. She also holds the coveted titles of Interior Design Hall of Fame and Interiors (now Contract) Designer of the Year and she is a Lifetime Appointee to the U.S. General Services Administration’s National Register of Peer Professionals for Design Excellence. In 2006, she was inducted as an Inaugural Member of the Women in Design Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named Boutique Design Designer of the Year. In 2014, Lauren was inducted into Hospitality Design magazine’s legendary Platinum Circle, the magazine’s highest honor for design professionals. Her furniture and product designs have earned her four gold medals for Best of NeoCon as well as a Chicago Athenaeum Award. Listen in to hear what she has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Lauren talks about her firm, how they started out, and how they got to where they are now.
  • Hotels specifically budget for regular renovations.
  • The way that Lauren practices diversification in her business.
  • Designing for ocean and river cruisers.
  • The way that Lauren's team was educated about designing for ships and cruise liners.
  • Everyone in Lauren's office works on all the different kinds of projects.
  • It takes a lot of homework to make a project successful.
  • Creating the brochure for Viking.
  • Breaking into a new market with hospitality.
  • Lauren talks about her new venture with Visual Comfort.
  • Lauren has always been fascinated by glass.
  • She has been designing product for about thirty years.
  • So much has opened up recently with new technology in lighting.
  • Visual Comfort doesn't skimp on quality!
  • How Lauren's relationship with Visual Comfort came about.
  • The creation of a light, from design to manufacture.
  • Lauren tells us where and when we're going to get to see her at High Point Market.

Previous episodes mentioned on the show:

Sue Firestone #404


Website: Rottet Studio

Twitter: Rottet Studio

Instagram: Rottet Studio

Visual Comfort: Visual Comfort

Feb 28, 2019

This show is sponsored by my friends at Century Furniture and features the design team from Carrier and Company Interiors located here in NYC. 

Century Furniture is one of the world's largest privately-owned manufacturers of high-end residential furniture. Founded in Hickory, North Carolina in 1947 by Harley F. Shuford, Sr., Century is now in the third generation of family ownership and operation and remains committed to their founder’s ideal, to create furniture of such impeccable quality that it brings joy not only to the people who own it, but also to the craftspeople who build it. 

Show Highlights:

  • Craftsmanship is their expertise
  • They have furniture for all rooms
  • The company is located in Hickory, NC
  • Century has state-of-the-art woodworking facilities
  • They met at FIT 10 years ago
  • They've been inside the homes of society's most elite
  • Their best-selling book, Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors
  • The inspirations for their designs
  • Their thoughts on success in this industry


Website - 
Book -
Instagram -
Facebook -
Century Furniture -


Feb 26, 2019

Welcome to this week's special sponsored series! Today we're featuring High Point Market, Spring 2019. LuAnn often gets emails from designers asking about High Point- whether or not it's a good idea to go, and what to do when you get there if you've never been before. Her answer is always 'go, but not without a plan'. Going to High Point without first establishing an objective for going there can really be a waste of your time and money. On the show today we have Ashley Grigg, Lisa Mende, and Jeanne Chung and they will be talking about the logistics of going to High Point. They will also be giving us some really useful information about the various tours available and they will also explain how to become a prestigious High Point Style Spotter. Tune in today, to get the best tips for making your trip to High Point really productive.

In today's episode, you will hear High Point Market referred to as Disneyland for Designers. It really is an awesome experience! The market is comprised of 11,500,000 square feet of building after building of gorgeous furniture, rugs, art, lighting, accessories, with the added opportunity for you to meet many of the owners and execs of the brands you work with. Top it all off with a chance to meet some colleagues you may have only known before through Facebook or Instagram and you will have truly energizing experience that will really benefit your business! Listen in to find out more!

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. Ashly 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.

Show highlights:

  • Why interior designers should really invest the time and money in going to High Point Market.
  • High Point is a really energizing experience!
  • 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 impacted on Jeanne's business.
  • What it took for Jeanne to become an official Style Spotter for High Point Market.
  • Keeping abreast with current trends at High Point.
  • It's really worthwhile making your application to become a Style Spotter.
  • The criteria for becoming a Style Spotter.
  • How being a Style Spotter really helped Lisa make connections with brands and PR people.
  • It really takes a lot of work to be a High Point Style Spotter.
  • 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. The larger showrooms require you to make an appointment.
  • 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.
  • The Style Spotters are expanding beyond the Twitter chat. They will be dropping content on all the social media channels throughout an entire week, called Inspiration Week. (You can go back and check all the content on their Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.)
  • Starting March 4th, everybody will be encouraged to look at the new product pics portion of the High Point website, to see all the exhibitors' new products that are coming to market.
  • 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.
  • All the great discussions that will be happening at the Spring Market.
  • Lisa's great tips and suggestions for getting ready for market.


High Point Market

High Point Market

Facebook: HPMKT

Twitter: HP Market News

Instagram: High Point Market


Phone:  336 869 1000

To download the app CamCard: CamCard

Use the hashtags #HPMKT and #HPMKTInspired, when you put out on your social media channels what you're excited to see at Spring Market.

Feb 22, 2019

Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! Today we're going tease you by sharing all the details that are coming together for LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About the Conversation. In today's episode, you will hear about LuAnn's co-authors, the awesome emcees for the event, the incredible line-up of sponsors of the show, and also the designer panelists who will be there with us for the entire weekend, for you to meet, talk to and connect with. Tune in now for all the details!

LuAnn will be leading the rock star team of experts in twelve live discussions, just the way she does right here, on the podcast. And they will be together with everyone for meals, for breaks and for fun, with music, laughter, and working harder than you ever thought was possible in two days. More than 120 designers have registered for the event so far, and we really hope that you will decide to be excellent, and choose to join us there too! Listen in to find out more!

Show highlights:

  • All LuAnn's co-authors have already finalized their travel arrangements for the event!
  • LuAnn runs through all the amazing people that are coming to spend two-and-a-half days at the event in New Jersey.
  • Fred Burns is the single most repeated guest on A Well-Designed Business.
  • Nancy Ganzekaufer is the lady who brought us Your Business in Words.
  • Nicole Heymer is the voice of figuring out your brand.
  • Michele Williams is the finance lady who teaches us how to stand up and take charge of our money.
  • Sarah Daniele knows all about systems and organization for a well-run interior design firm. She created MyDoma Studio.
  • Stacey Brown Randall is all about building, filling, and maximizing your pipeline through intention and purpose.
  • Eileen Hahn knows how to create a really exceptional team.
  • Kae Whitaker has her thumb on the heartbeat of digital marketing.
  • Shauna Lynn Simon, home staging business coach, tells us that home staging is designing for selling, not designing for living.
  • Mark McDonough is the Instagram guru and he is always dying to tell you about his latest discoveries.
  • Peter Lang is the Designer CPA and he will help you to keep more of the money you work so hard to make.
  • Claire Jefford is an interior designer, vlogging queen extraordinaire and a master at setting up your consult, your client agreements so that you are purposefully managing both your projects and your client’s expectations.
  • The emcees for the event are Darla Powell, the principle of Darla Powell Interiors, and Natalie Graff. They host the Wingnut Social podcast together and they also own and operate Wingnut Social.
  • The sponsor lineup includes Kravet, MyDoma Studio, Schwartz Designs Showroom, Merrill Landis, DesignerInc, Ashley Uhl Consulting, The WCAA, East End Interiors, Exciting Windows and Comfortex.
  • The designer panelists who will be there for you to meet and talk with are Sandra Funk- House of Funk, NJ NY, Corey Damen Jenkins, Taylor Spellman, Paula Grace, Rachel Cannon, Candy Scott, Dala Al Fuwaires, Courtney McLeod, Keisha Franklin, and also Corey Klassen and Judith Neary of the Design Biz Live series.
  • LuAnn will be leading the team in 12 live discussions, just like here, on the podcast.
  • LuAnn really hopes that you will be there to join her and all the other outstanding people at the event!


To register for the event go to Luann Nigara Live

Until March 4th you can still grab yourself 10% off any furniture order from Kravet and Lee Jofa. Use the code W710 at checkout.

Feb 19, 2019

Welcome to another episode of A Well-Designed Business! We are really excited to have Sue Firestone join us on the show today. Sue has a body of work that is truly impressive and the really happy news for all of us is that she has just launched her brand new fabric line for Kravet. One of the things that really stood out for LuAnn in Sue's bio is that she rose from her position as a designer for the firm Design 1, to become president of the very same firm in a relatively short period of time. There's a lot of really useful information in the way that she achieved that, that can help us, as business owners. Listen in now to find out about Sue and the organic way that she rose to success in the design industry.

Sue Firestone has spent more than 35 years cultivating her personal passion for design. With a client list that features the world’s premier five and six-star hotels as well as an A-list residential clientele, Sue has become a tastemaker for those seeking the ultimate luxury lifestyle.

In 1996, after nearly two decades leading Design 1, Sue turned her focus toward creating a boutique design firm, large enough to execute projects of a grand scale, yet personal enough to provide devoted and intimate attention to each client. The result was SFA Design. Today, Sue is also a designer for Kravet and A.Rudin, creating 70’s-inspired, bohemian fabrics and natural furniture that embody true Californian style.

Sue is the recipient of more than two dozen awards, including the prestigious Platinum Circle Award as well as a position on Robb’s Report’s “Top 40 Best Designers in the World.” Tune in to now find out more. 

Show highlights:

  • How Sue inadvertently started out in the design industry.
  • Sue talks about the things that she consciously did, as a hard-working designer, to become noticed in the industry.
  • Because of the way that Sue was encouraged when she first started out in the design industry, she's always looking out for new talent to nurture in her company.
  • Finding and honoring the proper place for each designer to really realize their full potential in a firm.
  • Being attuned, listening, and reflecting has always been in Sue's blood.
  • The importance of really listening carefully.
  • Sue explains how visuals are a big part of her listening process and really helpful with getting to know her clients.
  • Sue talks about her firm, Smith, Firestone and Associates Design, which started out in 1996.
  • How Sue first started out with SFA Design.
  • Sue's secret sauce for breaking into the luxury, high-end, exclusive residential market.
  • About Sue's really effective organic method of marketing.
  • Sue talks about The Malibu Collection, her recently launched new fabric line for Kravet, and how it came to be.
  • Sue talks about her joyful experience of working with the Kravet team.
  • Why you should always go beyond what is expected of you. 

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Joni Vanderslice #101

Eileen Hahn #363

Janelle Photopolous #364

Mabley Handler #173


Sue's websites: Sue FirestoneSFA Design

Sue Firestone

SF Cal Collection

SFA Design

Luann Nigara Live


Feb 15, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's episode is sponsored by Morgan Tap and Basin and we have the founder, Nathan Davis, with us on the show. Morgan Tap and Basin is a family owned company who really understand the challenges that trades-people face when running a business. They are fully committed to offering quality, timely, and honest service to support you and your business. Listen in today as Nathan talks to LuAnn about the launch of Morgan Tap and Basin's new product, and their dedication, in both the quality of their product and the way that they are going for a strictly to the trade model. You're really going to enjoy this conversation!

Morgan Tap and Basin offers unique sinks and faucets that you won't find anywhere else. Nathan, who is really passionate about what he is doing, comes from a background in stainless steel sheet metal fabrication and investment casting for the institutional plumbing industry. He saw an opportunity to make use of this knowledge and to bring a higher level of product quality and functionality to the residential market, by combining the best manufacturing processes and available materials with original designs. So, Morgan Tap and Basin was founded in 2017, with the goal of designing and crafting the most beautiful, functional, and durable residential sinks and faucets in the world. They strive- not to be the biggest manufacturer, nor offer the broadest selection, but to ensure that every product that they create is the very best of its kind. Nathan is the man to make this happen, so listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Nathan discusses the new products that he is bringing to be launched this month at KBIS trade show, in Las Vegas.
  • What their new workstation sink comprises of.
  • Nathan explains why he is so passionate about what he does.
  • Nathan talks about growing up, studying law, and getting involved in their family's stainless steel business.
  • Their company's goal is for everything that they produce to be the very best of its kind available.
  • Nathan explains what goes into making the very best products. Design always comes first, then functionality, and finally durability.
  • They use a very high grade, and a thicker than usual gauge of stainless steel to create sinks that really last long- even outdoors, or at the coast.
  • The redesign of their website is to make sure that it's better tailored towards functionality for trade customers, who are all trade customers.
  • Nathan walks us through their to the trade sales process.
  • Their products can all be seen on their website and a sample of the finish of their products can be seen first-hand, prior to purchasing them.
  • All their sinks have free shipping and also free return shipping, if necessary.
  • Nathan talks about the hand-wrapped foam insulating material which is unique to their sinks.
  • All their designs are original and they're all created in-house.
  • They create products that could really help designers solve certain problems for their clients.
  • Pictures really help to visually drive home the difference between quality products and inferior ones.
  • Why it actually matters whereabout in the sink the drain is placed.
  • For all the designers who are going to be at KBIS in Las Vegas, Nathan explains how to find where the Morgan Tap and Basin booth will be located. (It's booth # SL4725 in the South Hall, in the outer row, near to the KBIS Next Stage.)
  • Nathan is always happy to get feedback on products and ideas and if you need something custom made, he will work that out with you.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Revel woods #329


Morgan Tap and Basin's product is launching at KBIS booth # SL4725 in the South Hall from the 19th to the 22nd of February. It's near to the KBIS Next Stage.

LuAnn's panel discussion at KBIS is on Thursday, the 21st of February, at 9.30am.

KBISNeXT Stage Speaker Landing Page-LuAnn Nigara

Feb 12, 2019

Welcome to today's episode of A Well-Designed Business! We have Christopher Grubb, the president of the Beverley Hills-based Arch-Interiors Design Group Inc., as our guest for today. Christopher has been called a style maker and expert design influencer by clients, editors, manufacturers, and producers alike and, for his entire career, he has been a sought-after speaker on what makes design compelling. He has also been a contributing writer to many media outlets as well as a guest judge for multiple design competitions. One of the things he will be talking to us about on the show today is how he began creating affordable, luxury products for the consumer market with the launch of the C.G. Collection in 2010. Although his business is more than twenty-years-old, and his projects are large and detailed, Christopher still maintains a steady eye and a firm hand on the way that his business is run. Listen in to find out what he has to share on the show today. 

The Arch-Interiors design group is recognized internationally for its interior and exterior high-end residential, commercial, medical, health and beauty, retail design projects. The firm has been featured in books, hundreds of magazines and newspapers, and Christopher has shared his design skills on multiple radio and television shows – including recurring appearances on LXTV/NBC and Martha Stewart Living Radio.

In 2015 Christopher launched a new studio, Autograph by Christopher Grubb. This line is comprised of unique, beautifully constructed products with rich features and alluring details for the most discriminating consumer clientele.

The Arch-Interiors design group has received dozens of awards and is honored to be named the best interior design firm in California by Build Magazine, in addition to being featured in an entire issue of World Architecture Magazine in Hong Kong with over 70 pages, exclusively covering the works of Arch-Interiors. Christopher has also been named one of the 50 Innovators in Kitchen and Bath Design in 2017. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • Working with high-end commercial projects, compared with working with residential projects.
  • Christopher does resommercial- a blend of commercial and residential design.
  • You really need education about business before going out on your own. And you need to know what makes you stand out from the rest.
  • What makes Christopher's firm really stand out.
  • Flat fee, or an hourly fee?
  • Some of the things Christopher is comfortable with not billing for.
  • Christopher is really onto all the aspects of his business.
  • No matter how big, or how small your business, you cannot offload your responsibility around the financials.
  • The incredibly high level of service that Christopher's firm is offering his clients.
  • Christopher talks about his product development and his two different entities, the luxury Autograph by Christopher Grubb, and the affordable luxury C.G.Collection.
  • Bathrooms can be some of the most detailed rooms to do.
  • Know your specialty and target that for success.
  • Some of the nuances of bringing a product to market.
  • Why you need to look at your payables and receivables at least once every month.
  • Christopher uses Studio Designer Accounting and Project Management software, as it prints out your profit and loss, your time billing reports and your accounts receivable.
  • About Christopher's designs and creations.
  • What Christopher looks at for inspiration.
  • Christopher has devoted a whole chapter in his book to the development of a luxury product line.
  • Christopher's design firm is known for quality, a high level of hands-on, and for attention to detail.
  • Why, as a designer, you really need to like the product that you produce.
  • Fighting for your vision is really important for product designers.
  • Owning your mistakes will earn you the respect of your clients.
  • Why you never really have competition.

Links and Resources:

Christopher's website: Arch-Interiors

Studio Designer Accounting and Project Management Software: Studio Designer

To find out more about LuAnn Nigara Live, It's About the Conversation or to sign up for the event, go to Luann Live.

The sponsors who have made this event possible include: Kravet Inc, Mydoma Studio, Wingnut Social, Schwartz Design Showroom, DesignerInc, Pollack-Weitzner, Merrill Landis Drapery Workroom, the WCAA, East End Interiors in Long Island, and Exciting Windows.

LuAnn will be at KBIS on the 20th and 21st of February. For all the info on where else she'll be, go to her website Luann Nigara, and be sure to also follow her on Instagram at LuAnnNigara.

Feb 8, 2019

Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Keeping things organized is often the Achilles heel of creatives, so today we are very happy to have Jennifer Burnham, an organization coach, join us on the show. Jen helps people by providing the space for them to be creative, de-clutter and get organized. She believes that organizing is about more than color-coordinated baskets and pretty labels. It's really about productivity, so she helps her clients to dive in and discover the specific experience they're looking for in the way that they want their home, office, and in their life to be organized. Listen in today to find out how you can increase productivity in your business by having an organized space.

Jennifer has appeared on Charlotte today, spoken at IKEA, at community organizations, at high-end real estate events, and she's also run home estate sales. On the show today she talks about how important it is to have your workspace organized, and she explains how to go about getting that done. Listen in and find out how an organization translates into productivity, which then translates into more business.

Show highlights:

  • Jennifer's awesome relationship with Cheryl Luckett, of Dwell by Cheryl.
  • The challenges of organizing a design studio.
  • The first step is always de-cluttering.
  • Organizing in the right way.
  • Looking at the emotional reasons for de-cluttering.
  • First, put things in a space in the middle of the room, then sort them into broad categories. (Eg. pens, paper clips, notepads, product samples)
  • Evaluate what you need and what you can get rid of.
  • After you have de-cluttered you organize what you have decided to keep, putting everything in its place.
  • The kinds of push-backs that Jen has encountered.
  • Organizing takes time, and it's never really done, so you want to get it finished as soon as possible.
  • The way that organizing changes your energy and the energy of the space.
  • Things to watch out for that can bring the de-cluttering process to a halt.
  • Donating unused items to charity can make the decision to throw things away a bit easier.
  • If necessary, get new containers, storage items, or cabinets.
  • Keep it this way by picking up each week as you go and not letting things get out of control.
  • Jennifer explains the basis of her philosophy of organizing.
  • The connection between organization and productivity.
  • The way that Jen thinks in terms of shapes.
  • If your business is feeling stagnant it's a good time to start organizing things.
  • Owning less is better than organizing more.
  • Do you respect your space?
  • Tips for working with your client's clutter.
  • Closing the loop when you're de-cluttering is important, so you need a system.
  • Keeping the balance and staying organized.
  • Looking at the things that threaten an organized space.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Cheryl Luckett: #291 and #397

Kim Kuhteubl #73

Links and resources:

To see Cheryl Luckett's line of furniture: Sylvester Alexander

Jennifer's website

Jennifer is offering 20% off her services for all A Well Designed Business listeners

Our friends at Kravet Inc. are having a big furniture sale. Starting January 14th, get 10% off Kravet Furniture, Lee Jofa Furniture and Holland MacRae furniture. Start shopping now- the deal runs until March 4th! Go to Kravet and make sure to use the code W7 at checkout to redeem the offer!

Feb 5, 2019

Big Day, Big Show, lots of news!!

400 hundred shows! I’d like to say I never believed this day would come but the truth is I did believe it. And more than that, I planned for it, I set goals around it, I tracked the milestones and the steps needed to reach it. Am I bragging? No, no, I am not. I am hoping to teach and inspire you by example.

Just like you, I love what I do and as much as I love it and could do it for free for the fun and pleasure of connecting with you, meeting you in real life I understand all too well in order to be able to do those things I must intentionally run this podcast as the business it is.

And you must do the same. In order to be able to create the fabulous, functional and unique spaces for your clients, you must run your firm profitably so you can continue to do it.

What are some of the major lessons we have learned, together?

What are some of the things we have learned from A Well-Designed Business Podcast?

Welcome to our 400th episode! Today really is a big day for the show and we have lots of news! LuAnn loves what she does with this podcast so much that she could do it for free, yet she truly understands that, in order to be able to keep it going, she needs to run it intentionally, as the business that it is. Today she really hopes to inspire you, the listener, to do the same with your design business. Listen in to find out what you need to do, and the steps you need to take, in order to continue creating the fabulous, fun, and unique spaces that you do for your clients.

Although LuAnn set a very intentional plan in action to make this day happen, it still feels almost unbelievable to her! On the show today, she will be discussing some of the major lessons that we've all learned together, from A Well-Designed Business Podcast. Listen in to find out more. 

Link to LuAnn’s New Book:

Luann Nigara Book 2


Feb 1, 2019

Welcome to another Design Biz Live! We have the gang all together again to have a very candid conversation regarding a difficulty to which most of us can to handle a difficult client. Judith Neary and Corey Klassen join LuAnn once again and today, Judith shares a personal experience she had with a very difficult client last summer that rocked her confidence, made her life very horrible and the project was very challenging to get through. It shares the message that being self-employed is very hard and it takes a tremendous amount of grit and fortitude to power through the rough times. It is a significant message because Judith is a seasoned entrepreneur, showing how it can hit any of us at any time. You’re definitely going to want to catch this episode, so be sure to tune in.

Show highlights:

  • Designers are real people, too, and experience a myriad of emotions.
  • Judith shares about a couple of episodes she experienced last summer that rocked her from her zone of genius.
  • Judith shares that a difficult client crushed her confidence and made her question her own abilities and value.
  • The client was satisfied with work being done one day, and unsatisfied the next, which was very challenging for Judith, the contractor, and other workers.
  • Judith shares that the client’s demeanor drastically improved once the spouse came home.
  • Corey shares that he and other people he knows have had similar experiences, and tried to understand why those types of behaviors were happening in order to avoid misunderstandings.
  • LuAnn expresses that because a client had personal difficulties, doesn’t mean we should feel that we aren’t confident and capable, but should self-question in order to have better conversations with the client in the future.
  • LuAnn says that even when we have difficult clients, we still need to remain professional and meet their needs in the best way possible.
  • Judith says she is still affected by what happened last summer and felt like she was in a hostage situation.
  • LuAnn and Judith discuss the importance of diffusing difficult situations in professional ways.
  • Corey jumps in and says that sometimes a text or e-mail tone may differ from the in-person tone.
  • Judith says through the experience, she knows she has to filter what is going on rather than absorbing it herself.
  • LuAnn says it’s important to manage difficult situations so that we don’t become non-productive.
  • Judith says that as a creative, you may perceive and sense the world differently and that when she has a client, it becomes a personal relationship.
  • When Judith’s inner dialogue told her the client had personal issues and that she was not responsible for the negative behavior, it was still hard not to absorb the negativity.
  • LuAnn says that each person has something within that makes them react in a particular way.
  • LuAnn also points out that a designer’s relationship with a client may last weeks, months, or longer, which can be taxing when dealing with a client exhibiting erratic behavior.
  • Regardless of the difficulties Judith experienced with her client, she had a positive result at the end of the job, and hopes her client is enjoying the home.
  • Judith moves on and shares about another difficult client situation and how she had to fire a client.
  • Judith terminated the relationship with her client because it was just not working for her.
  • Judith shares how she terminated the relationship and about the follow-up phone call that confirmed she had made the right decision.
  • Judith shares that the client crossed the line with her, and she respected herself enough to let him go.
  • Judith shares how the two difficult clients made her bucket very full and she didn’t pay enough attention to it before it overflowed.
  • LuAnn says before we reach the level of wanting to terminate a client, maybe we should remember that it is a business transaction, rather than a personal relationship.
  • Also, LuAnn applauds the way Judith used two methods so it would leave no doubt about the situation.
  • LuAnn also says Judith did a great thing by invoking some “wait time” before responding to the client’s request for a phone call.
  • LuAnn suggests that we each need to figure out ways to keep our buckets from becoming too full. ie. a walk/run, dinner/conversation with family or friends, reading, etc.
  • Corey says he has switched from having business hours to appointment hours so that he takes appointments when he can be productive and be his best.
  • Judith suggests that designers may want to contribute time to a non-profit so that they can contribute to causes outside themselves.
  • LuAnn says to watch for signals from clients which may indicate difficult behavior. Know you can’t change the person, but you can change how you react/respond to them. Have mechanisms in place to deal with this type of client because you will encounter them.


Corey Klassen Interior Design

Judith Neary - Roadside Attraction Studio

LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the Event-Brite link at Luann Nigara.

Jan 29, 2019

Welcome to today's episode of A Well Designed Business! We have Courtney McLeod, the principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design in New York City, with us on the show today. Courtney has come to interior design as a second career. So even though she has always been passionate about the decorative arts, she first obtained a business degree from the Warden School at the University of Pennsylvania, and then pursued a successful, fifteen-year career in the financial services industry, where she rose to the role of a leading portfolio manager in real estate private equity before exercising her true passion for designing beautiful interiors. Listen in today to find out how Courtney used both the skills she gained through her experience, and her transferable skills, enhanced with her design-related studies at Parsons Pratt and the New York School of Interior Design, to confidently embark on a new career course.

An avid colorist at heart, Courtney draws from a kaleidoscopic toolbox of texture, pattern, and color to create rooms evocative of one emotion above all others - joy. Her designs express both her client's unique tastes and her vivid, collected aesthetic.  Born and raised in New Orleans, Courtney brings a sophisticated view to her rooms, informed by her Creole background and extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia. She resides in the vibrant Harlem neighborhood, a wonderful source of inspiration. She has lived in New York City for two decades but remains a Southerner at heart. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • It takes time to figure out your specific process.
  • Your confidence you will gain from having your system in place is really a huge benefit.
  • The development of Courtney's process was not a straight line from A to B- it took trial and error to figure out what really worked.
  • Working out what worked for her rather than for the client was like a magic moment for Courtney.
  • Courtney shares a really important and effective way to gain the trust of your client.
  • A softer touch works for Courtney, yet she also has to be firm.
  • Courtney also developed a lot of confidence from embracing her style clearly and entirely.
  • Happy, joyful color is really Courtney's thing.
  • Having confidence in her process allowed Courtney to develop more creative confidence.
  • The six steps of Courtney's process.
  • Courtney explains her phase one, and how to implement it.
  • About Courtney's 'Rules Of The Road' document.
  • What's to be found in Courtney's welcome packet.
  • The way that having a retainer protects Courtney.
  • The way Courtney sets up her spreadsheet.
  • It takes a lot of practice to get things right.
  • The clear way that Courtney prices her projects.
  • How to keep your clients informed and empowered.
  • What the closure meeting means to Courtney.
  • The goal of the closure meeting is to get a referral.

Previous episodes mentioned in this episode:

Erica Ward #6

Monique Holmes #365

Rachel Cannon #306

Nicole Heymer #317

Curio Electro #125


Website: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Instagram: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Twitter: Right Meets Left

LinkedIn: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Facebook: Right Meets Left Interior Design

LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the Event-Brite link at Luann Nigara.

Jan 25, 2019

Todays’ guest is Cheryl Luckett, who is not only a tenacious and creative entrepreneur but has used her talents to build a flourishing business. Within the past two years, Cheryl has fully committed to growing her design business by using her creativity to incorporate unique designs into her projects. Her work has been published in Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, and her work has been featured on many other platforms. Not only is Cheryl making headway in her business but she’s using her platform to build relationships.

Cheryl is all about establishing connections and giving back. In this episode, Cheryl talks about how to network, how to build beneficial relationships and the importance of self-promotion. If you want to learn how you can pursue your own dream and build an authentic business, join us in this episode of A Well-Designed Business, with your host, LuAnn Nigara.

Show Highlights:

  • What Cheryl has learned about the process of introducing new pieces.
  • The new product line that is being launched on Cheryl’s website.
  • Creating unique pieces and collaborating with local artists for the high-point market.
  • How Cheryl fell into her current project and first show-house.
  • Why you should keep going back and not always take no as a final answer.
  • Being consistent with your business through your personality and professionalism.
  • Cheryl shares how she uses her social media to uphold her brand.
  • Cheryl talks about why she hired a coach and getting her license.
  • How Cheryl built mutually beneficial relationships and set boundaries.
  • Analyzing strengths and utilizing them to benefit your business.
  • How Cheryl used her love for design and culture to tell a story.
  • Weaving in friends’ goals and creativity into your work.
  • The mechanics behind Cheryl’s design process.
  • Identifying people who are going to be ambassadors for your business.
  • Cheryl talks about how you build a business on self-promotion.
  • Collaborating with smaller businesses in order to reach a bigger audience.
  • Setting expectations upfront for projects as opposed to rushing for time deadlines.
  • Being honest about your abilities with potential clients.
  • How Cheryl prepares for upcoming showrooms.

Previous Guests Mentioned:

Denise McGaha #10

Kim Hoegger #336

Madcap Cottage #228

Ruthie Staalsen #296

Rasheeda Gray #267

Revolution Fabrics
Sylvester Alexander


Website: Dwell By Cheryl

Furniture: Dwell By Cheryl 

Blog: Dwell By Cheryl Blog

Instagram: Dwell By Cheryl 

Facebook: Dwell By Cheryl 

Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl 

Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl 

LinkedIn: Cheryl Luckett

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