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A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful interior design business. Design school doesn't always teach you the critical business skills to be sure your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well Designed Business is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 35 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices.
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Now displaying: 2023
Mar 7, 2023

Today With Veronica Solomon:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today’s episode features Veronica Solomon of Casa Vilora Interiors. Veronica is an award-winning designer and business mentor who believes that knowing yourself, understanding your convictions, and trusting your purpose can impact your business for the best. She has turned self-awareness into her superpower, and she is here today to encourage you to do the same so that you can run your business with intention.

Pick It Apart

[6:14] Veronica shares that competition has never been something she has focused on in her business.

[13:01] Veronica talks about how she feels like she was predestined to become an interior designer, and because of that is is called to always show up as her true, authentic self.

[15:29] LuAnn and Veronica discuss what it means to develop a signature style. 

[23:55] Veronica shares why she will never complain about a client.

[38:03] LuAnn and Veronica discuss the importance of having your picture on your website because potential clients want to know who you are.

[45:42] Veronica and LuAnn talk about why it’s so important to address the business side of your business—to tighten up the present tktk of your business and also as you look to the future.

LuAnn Nigara and Veronica Solomon's Ah-Ha Moments

“There's no such thing as competition. You are who you are, and your client wants you, and that designer next to you can have your same process your same contract, and you're just not the same people.” -LuAnn Nigara

 “Be who you are, who you are meant to be.” – Veronica Solomon

“I will never complain about a client—no matter how bad it gets, no matter what they do—I'm not going to complain about them. Not to anyone or to myself.” – Veronica Solomon

More About Veronica Solomon:

Veronica brings over 13 years of expertise as leader of the Casa Vilora Interiors team. She has won many prestigious awards and has been featured in numerous publications and considered a design influencer and design business mentor. Her design point of view can be summed up as eclectic, classic, bold, timeless wit a touch of whimsy. The spaces she creates are known for their eclectic vibe and masterful use of color, pattern mix and textures. They are multi-layered and collected, blending classic with modern, old with new, high with low and a bold use of color, pattern, texture in ways that excite.

Veronica believes that each space should tell the story of the people who live there and should be their ideal version of luxurious living; whatever luxury means to them.

Connect with Veronica Solomon

Website

Instagram

Mentorship

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

AWDB #50: Veronica Solomon – Powerful Marketing for your Interior Design Firm- Website to Fan Engagement on Facebook

AWDB #830 Anne Gillyard: Capitalizing on Your “You” to Grow Your Interior Design Business

AWDB #488: Monica Wilcox: Systems Create Strength & Confidence

WTFP #143: Vita Vygovska: Market to Interior Designers by Building Relationships

AWDB #819: Power Talk Friday: Ebony Looney: Attract Clients Through Your Interior Design Business Website

AWDB #22: Fred Berns: How To Create a Killer Bio

AWDB #174: Power Talk Friday: Fred Berns — Own Your “Only” Word & Tips To Discover Yours

Mar 3, 2023

Today With Shannon Lopez:

You’ve heard of the PPP, but did you know that there’s another government program waiting to give you as much, if not more money back? It’s called the ERC. Today, Shannon Lopez breaks down the program, who it’s for, how you can take advantage of it, and the deadlines you need to know.

Pick It Apart

[8:55] Shannon breaks down what the ERC is and why it matters.

[13:53] LuAnn and Shannon discuss the challenges of running a business at the beginning of the pandemic. 

[31:16] Shannon explains who qualifies for the ERC. 

[44:00] Shannon walks us through how her company can help. 

[53:53] Shannon and LuAnn talk about why this program isn’t more well-known.

LuAnn Nigara and Shannon Lopez's Ah-Ha Moments

“It’s so incredibly important. We’re really lucky that we have someone like you that really understands it and has spent the last two and a half years pivoting her business in order to become an expert at this.” - LuAnn Nigara

“This program is as financially impactful, if not more, than the PPP for most business owners. Whatever amount of money you got from the PPP, there’s a good chance that you will get that much, if not more, for this program.” - Shannon Lopez

More About Shannon Lopez:

Shannon Lopez is co-founder of ‘Be Better ERC Consulting’ and ‘Be Better Salon Accelerator’, a salon entrepreneur consulting firm. She’s a small business owner and an accomplished CFO with more than 25 years of experience.

As a business owner, consultant and educator, Shannon along with her business partner, Naomi Prusinski, are always looking for ways to create better results for their businesses and clients.

When they first learned about the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), they conducted extensive research and have now helped hundreds of companies receive tens of millions of dollars in refunds so far!

Connect with Shannon Lopez

Website

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Feb 28, 2023

Today With Enrique Crespo:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today’s episode features Enrique Crespo of Crespo Design Group. Enrique is here to share how developing a Type A personality approach can ensure success, especially in an industry as creative as interior design. Type A personalities are organized, ambitious, and like to have an agenda. But don’t worry—you don’t have to be one to become one. Over the years, Enrique has refined this mindset and honed the skills to guide and grow his firm, and he shares those stories with us today.

Pick It Apart

[1:57] Enrique explains how Type A personality traits can help maintain a well-run business through organization, which allows you to offer a higher level of luxury service.

[8:50] LuAnn and Enrique discuss how he invested in his business by hiring someone who specializes in interior design processes, and how he tailored that structure to the specific needs of his firm, along with other ways he invests in his business.

[10:30] Enrique talks about how he has hired several senior designers that all have different personality types and he tries to match them with clients and projects accordingly.

[19:01] Enrique and LuAnn discuss working with luxury clients and Enrique explains why listening and understanding, yet maintaining authority as the designer is important, and how he learned those lessons the hard way.

[28:25] Enrique reveals how he exposes his team to luxury and gives them opportunities to experience luxury so they can better understand the level of service they are expected to maintain.

LuAnn Nigara and Enrique Crespo's Ah-Ha Moments

“Creativity happens in the gray areas. However, finances happen in black and white. And you need to know how to manage your finances to run a successful business.” - Enrique Crespo

“When you're dealing with people's money in their homes, it gets really personal.” - Enrique Crespo

“When you swim in that luxury lane, to your point, that's what the client expects. And if you don't deliver, there's another firm that can do it for them.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Enrique Crespo:

At a young age, Enrique was inspired by his favorite uncle, Enrique Gutierrez, a prolific architect who was the first to bring Cuban-inspired architecture to Miami. His home was filled with antiques, African artifacts, modern pieces and an incredible collection of contemporary Latin American art. It was a collected home, now a hallmark of Enrique’s personal taste.

Originally from South Tampa, Enrique graduated from the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design with an emphasis in art history and architectural history. Studying architectural history deepened Enrique’s knowledge of design and broadened his approach to his craft. Art and architecture through the ages, and its influence on design and space, is ingrained in his work. In 1999, Enrique launched Crespo Design Group in his hometown of Tampa, which soon became the sought-after design firm for discerning clients in Florida’s most desirable neighborhoods. The Group made its mark on everything from high-profile beach properties, to island escapes to mountain retreats. In 2021, he expanded his practice to Los Angeles to better serve his clients on the West Coast.

Enrique built his firm to ensure a smooth, enjoyable, and fulfilling experience for his clients. He is a collaborator who prides himself on listening to clients, understanding their needs, and delivering the lifestyle they have always imagined. Every detail is intentional and chosen to reflect the style, spirit and nature of the client. Whether the goal is eclectic modern estate or sophisticated mountain retreat, Enrique is passionate about exceptional design.

An avid equestrian, Enrique can often be found at the barn at the Tampa Yacht Club and Country Club riding horses or at Stovall House when he’s not designing or traveling. Enrique currently sits on the board of the Tampa Museum and is Chair of the Collections Committee; the board of the Henry B. Plant Museum; the Board of Tampa Bay Businesses for Community and the Arts; and is Chair of the Tampa Museum of Art's CITY Fashion Event. Enrique spends his time between Tampa and Los Angeles. He shares his home in Tampa with his husband Russell and their two French Bulldogs, Coco and Josephine.

Connect with Enrique Crespo

Website

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#853: Power Talk Friday: Brittany Murphy: Hiring An SEO Specialist For Your Interior Design Firm

#844: John McClain: Turn Failure Into Success

#849 Power Talk Friday: Staci Davidson: Why You Need Someone to Handle Everything But Design

#753: Sandra Funk: How to Grow a Thriving Luxury Interior Design Business

#578: Lori Morris: When Working With the Luxury Client, the Answer is Yes!

#678: Power Talk Friday: Katie McFarlan: The Client Experience Starts with Processes

Feb 24, 2023

Today With Hunter Lowder:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. We’ve all heard that we should free ourselves up for CEO-level tasks. But knowing we should and actually following through with it are very different things. It can be hard for entrepreneurs who feel like they have to carry everything in their business. Sometimes, the operations get jumbled along the way. My guest today, Hunter Lowder, runs a business that steps in and serves as fractional COO to get designers back on track. She’s sharing how we can let go, how to find the right person for the job, and how the process of bringing someone in actually works.

Pick It Apart

[1:48] LuAnn and Hunter discuss what bringing in an outside COO looks like and how it can work. 

[5:15] Hunter shares why business owners often experience overwhelm. 

[10:33] Hunter and LuAnn discuss the importance of mission, vision, and values when bringing someone into the COO role. 

[18:23] Hunter shares two tips for people who might need assistance in their operations. 

[33:15] Hunter discusses the different ways she supports business owners.

LuAnn Nigara and Hunter Lowder's Ah-Ha Moments

“I think everybody talks about creativity and visionaries…but then there’s the side like me who are operations and systems. We are kind of like the fun police, telling people, it’s great that you love what you do—here’s how we make it sustainable.” - Hunter Lowder

“The original entrepreneur gets it going…but now the business is growing and decisions need to be made on the daily. The whole organization is accustomed to the CEO being the decision-maker. But there’s this level where the CEO is seeing the next level for the business but is stuck in the weeds of the day-to-day decision making.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Hunter Lowder:

Hunter Lowder is co-owner of Tortoise & The Bear, a business strategy, operations, and mindset coaching company that supports visionaries in bringing their wild and crazy dreams to life. Coupling her past business experience as CEO of a multi-million dollar company with mindful coaching approaches, Hunter helps service-based business owners create and prioritize a strategic plan to grow their impact and move their business forward in a sustainable way. 

After suffering severe burnout as a CEO, Hunter is passionate about building a business in alignment with her values. When she’s not helping clients fine tune their operations, she’s likely dancing and singing karaoke with her husband, feeding her son’s football team, or hanging out at the beach with her fur babies.

Connect with Hunter Lowder

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

TikTok

FREE Customer Journey Audit

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#607: Sara Lynn Brennan: Project Management with Specific Deliverables and Deadlines

#385: Power Talk Friday: Amber De La Garza: The Productivity Specialist

#363: Power Talk Friday: Eileen Hahn: Building An Exceptional Interior Design Team

#634: Power Talk Friday: Jessica Harling: A Specific Process for Onboarding a New Hire

Feb 21, 2023

Today With Lindye Galloway:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today’s episode features Lindye Galloway, of Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop. Lindye is here to share the inspiring story of how she followed her heart, creating a business model for her e-commerce shop and Designed by Lindye collection that does good for others by giving a portion of the profits to provide microloans to entrepreneurs in underserved parts of the world. Lindye encourages us to find meaning through our own business ventures by exploring our whys and living our truths.

Pick It Apart

[1:39] Lindye tells the story of how she and her husband Winn started the e-commerce shop alongside her design studio in 2020 as a way to make a meaningful impact and help others.

[17:47] Lindye and LuAnn examine the logistics of running an e-commerce site.

[22:08] Lindye talks about the importance of offering unique, custom products in her shop to set it apart from other e-commerce sites. 

[28:00] LuAnn explains the importance of having your mission, vision and values established and how that can impact the success of your business.

[32:35] LuAnn and Lindye discuss knowing your truth and recognizing that your truth can shift during different seasons of life.

[36:21] Lindye reveals why she doesn’t believe the common phrase “if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.”

LuAnn Nigara and Lindye Galloway's Ah-Ha Moments

“I wanted to somehow find a way to help people, I want it to be able to create a business that, yes, could serve me and my family and create a lifestyle, but also that could have more meaning.” -Lindye Galloway

“[Prepare] yourself to know that there's going to be so many logistics involved and allowing that to be okay on the journey.” – Lindye Galloway

“In everything that we do here in our studio, and in our shop that it's a part of our  core values is generosity. And that comes with each other. And that comes also with giving away.” – Lindye Galloway

“As you go up the ladder and the people that actually build the business that they want to build, whether it's big or small, it's because they've decided what it is first that is important to them.” – LuAnn Nigara

“There will always be days that feel like work. And if you know what your truth is, you're gonna get through those days.” – Lindye Galloway

More About Lindye Galloway:

Lindye Galloway is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop. As an interior design tastemaker, she delivers an effortless take on a California style that perfectly juxtaposes a tailored sophistication in a laid-back setting. 

Entrepreneurial in spirit, what started as a solo passion project, has quickly grown into a successful interior design studio and team serving an exclusive list of clientele across the US each year. 

Lindye joined forces with her husband, Winn, to launch The Lindye Galloway Shop. This online destination for home furnishing and decor was launched to help design-lovers easily achieve their own take on The Lindye Galloway Studio’s signature California style and sophistication in their own homes.

Connect with Lindye Galloway

Website

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#677: Megan Molten: To Succeed, Focus on Your Why

#545: Laurel Smith: Permission to Succeed

#717: Susan Wintersteen: Interior design firm standards in a nonprofit passion project

#840: Jean Stoffer: Work in Harmony Through Every Season of Life

 

Feb 17, 2023

Today With Brittany Murphy:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I have Brittany Murphy of One Thing Marketing joining me. Just when you think you are starting to understand SEO, Google switches up the algorithm. 

SEO is a very important element to our businesses. A lot of us wonder; how do we incorporate SEO? Who do we hire that we can trust to help us? These are very important and common questions and Brittany is here to answer them, and then some. Enjoy!

Pick It Apart

[2:19] Brittany starts us off by explaining SEO and what it means.

[8:34] What to look for in finding a reputable SEO company. 

[12:16] What should you be seeing from a marketing company to know they are getting you results. 

[31:11] Brittany gets into some DIY tips for those who want to try improving SEO themselves.

LuAnn Nigara and Brittany Murphy's Ah-Ha Moments

“Google has gotten a lot smarter to prioritize resourceful articles from websites they trust. SEO is how you build that trust.” - Brittany Murphy

“Whether you’re dealing with an SEO specialist, or a CPA, or a bookkeeper, whoever it is, if you aren’t feeling like they are meeting you where you are and aren’t sincere, listen to your inside voice and move on.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Brittany Murphy:

For almost a decade, Brittany has created over 300 digital marketing strategies for clients all across the US. As a partner for online marketing agency, One Thing Marketing, Brittany focuses on helping home service business owners get their phones to ring with new leads. 

Since 2018, her team has niched into specializing for trade and home service business which has allowed them to perfect their proven process and strategies for optimizing clients’ websites and Google presence. 

Through her strategies, background in blue collar, and experienced team, Brittany has helped local businesses increase their revenue by at least of 30% every year, year over year.

Connect with Brittany Murphy

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

LinkedIn 

YouTube

Twitter

9 Marketing Strategies Proven To Increase Leads

30-minute Strategy Session!

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#371: Power Talk Friday: Jason Berkowitz: Optimize the SEO of Your Interior Design Website

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

#746: Power Talk Friday: Daniela Furtado: How to Get SEO Traffic to Your Portfolio

Feb 14, 2023

Today With Nicole Salceda:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today I’m joined by Nicole Salceda! Her career in interiors began as a passion for making the polished, functional design more accessible. She is going to share with us how she built the amazing team that is behind her brand, the “not so pretty” things she had to overcome during the first years in business, and how she manages her Instagram account of over 295,000 followers.

LuAnn Nigara and Nicole Salceda's Ah-Ha Moments

“The error isn’t in investing in your business, the error was in understanding how, where, and when the tracking of it.” - LuAnn Nigara

“It was time for me to find the right people, get them in the right seats so I could really scale this business” - Nicole Salceda

“Once an entrepreneur fully owns their finances, the whole business changes” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Nicole Salceda:

Nicole Salceda's career in interiors began as a passion for making the polished, functional design more accessible. She left her job as an elementary school teacher to see those spaces come to life firsthand. What started as a handful of clients quickly became a rapidly growing portfolio full of homes in her signature warm minimalist style. Now, having been through a dream home remodel of her own, she has even more perspective when it comes to the client experience. 

Nicole and team—each member hand-picked for their talent—work closely to create inspiring spaces. They assemble elements that are old, new, handmade, and thrifted for homes that are understated, but far from boring. Each refined detail is a testament to Nicole's distinct penchant for bringing a room together—to her eye for pretty.

Connect with Nicole Salceda

Website

Eye For Pretty At Home

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#823: Power Talk Friday: Duke Renders: A Case Study For a Successful Business Plan

#433: Nate Berkus: Introducing His Collection with Kravet

#507: Barclay Butera: 25 Years of Beautiful Design

#203: Darla Powell – How to Launch an Interior Design Firm

Feb 10, 2023

Today With Alexis Varbero:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today with Alexis Varbero, we discuss how she expanded the family-owned business Schwartz Design Showroom. How? Well many ways, but one way that is no stranger of a topic to the show, is by building relationships.

Alexis strengthened the relationships her mom started to form with interior designers when she owned the business. A big way she was successfully able to do this was how she built and maintained positive relationships with her manufacturers. Listen in to see how fostering relationships in your business can go full circle.

Pick It Apart

[2:44] Alexis shares the history of Schwartz Design Showroom starting with her mom and grandfather.

[12:11] Alexis explains how she is that support for the design teams she works with. 

[15:30] The importance of building a supportive team.

[37:50] How a designer from outside of New Jersey can work with Schwartz Design Showroom.

LuAnn Nigara and Alexis Varbero's Ah-Ha Moments

“I want people to see Schwartz Design Showroom as a place that takes care of all of their needs. We want to leave them the time to focus on their business and clients.” - Alexis Varbero

“Our best relationships are the relationships we have with the manufacturer, to the reps. to the client, so we can continuously support the designer.” - Alexis Varbero

“We are that part of your team that are thinking about the “what ifs” to give you peace of mind.” - Alexis Varbero

More About Alexis Varbero:

In 2004, Schwartz Design Showroom CEO Alexis Varbero left her high-profile career with Bobbi Brown to take the helm of her family-run business. Opened by her grandfather, Morris Schwartz in 1947, SDS celebrates its 75th year in business this November 2022. The New Jersey– and Connecticut-based business is known as one of the most comprehensive trade-only interiors showrooms in the Tri-State area. Varbero has increased the company’s footprint by expanding its Stamford showroom for a total of 7,000 square feet and opening a new 12,000 square foot location in NJ, Fulton Street Design Center, which will house Schwartz Design Showroom along with other companies slated to provide additional resources for designers. In addition, Varbero opened a third showroom location in September called The Barn at Schwartz Design Showroom. The Barn is located in Peapack Gladstone, NJ and will serve as a satellite location catering to designers in Somerset, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. 

Today, Alexis stays ahead of the curve by being ever-present in the market and attending an array of trade shows and fashion events spanning High Point Market to New York Fashion Week. Above all, transparency is paramount: Every brand carried is linked on the showroom’s website, so that design professionals can feel comfortable with each product and its pricing structure. Alexis is constantly adding to the roster of cutting-edge manufacturers providing interior designers access to the industries finest brands, while simultaneously acting as the designer’s back end office. “First and foremost, we are your partner and your team,” says Varbero. “Customer service is our highest priority.”

Connect with Alexis Varbero

Website

Instagram

Example of supporting up and coming manufacturers - Society of Wonderland Textile and Wallcovering Designer

Other Shows Mentioned:

#823: Power Talk Friday: Duke Renders: A Case Study For a Successful Business Plan

#838: Regan Baker: Building a Team That Supports Your Core Values

Feb 7, 2023

Today With Shaun Crha & Rebecca Plumb:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I have Shaun Crha of Wrensted Interiors and Rebecca Plumb of Studio Plumb on the show. They met on Instagram and are now design besties—together hosting the Hot Young Designers Club podcast, where they explore the emotional, practical, and humorous side of the interior design world.

Shaun and Rebecca are here today to inspire community, not competition, between fellow designers, and we’re talking about relationships, boundaries, rates, and red flags. We hope that you join us.

Pick It Apart

[4:28] Rebecca and Shaun talk about how they met and became friends

[11:50] Rebecca explains how the peer-to-peer mentorship between her and Shaun works and why it is helpful to have this relationship

[22:32] LuAnn digs into how Shaun and Rebecca run the back end of their businesses

[27:29] Rebecca explains how she uses automation to create boundaries with her clients

[38:50] Rebecca and Shaun discuss rates and how they have both experiments with hourly rates and flat fees.

[51:24] Shaun talks about dispelling the myth that designers can’t create a sustainable living for themselves

LuAnn Nigara and Shaun Crha & Rebecca Plumb's Ah-Ha Moments

“We attract the type of clients that are attracted to our personality type and the type of business that we run. I think that's why there's so much room for all of us, because there's so many different kinds of people.” - Rebecca Plumb

“I’ve learned a lot about my personality in this business.” - Rebecca Plumb

“One of the biggest things that's come from developing relationships with Rebecca and other designers and creatives is this dispelling of the myth that designers can't create sustainable livings for themselves…It is possible to create a decent quality of life for ourselves that still has room to grow.” - Shaun Crha

“When you run it like a business you can do your creative all day long.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Shaun Crha & Rebecca Plumb:

Rebecca Plumb (Studio Plumb) and Shaun Crha (Wrensted Interiors) came to interior design after other career paths. They met through Instagram while completing the popular One Room Challenge and turned their online banter into a real-life friendship while attending the semi-annual Las Vegas Market. They bring a sense of humor and irreverence to running their design businesses that spills over into the podcast. Their advice always come from a place of helpfulness delivered by your big sister and gay best friend.

Connect with Shaun Crha & Rebecca Plumb

Website

Instagram 

Apple Podcasts

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#790: Rick Campos: Design Biz Survival Guide- The Answer to All Your Business Questions

#739: Marianna Zimmerman: It’s Never Too Late to Design Your Life

#826: Tanya Smith-Shiflett: Finding Success & Switching Careers with Confidence

#822: Layton Campbell: The Drama of Interior Design: A Former Broadway Performer Sets the Stage for Building a Design Business

#814: Michelle Lynne: What Constitutes Billable Hours in an Interior Design Business?

Feb 3, 2023

Today With Staci Davidson:

Welcome to A Well Designed Business. Today I am joined by Staci Davidson, owner of Everything but Design, where she does just that. Staci is capable of taking on every aspect of an interior design business, from accounting and bookkeeping to consulting and customer service, freeing up her clients so that they can get back to what they do best: Design. Staci is here to talk about her experience and the value that outsourcing your back-end operations can bring to your business, boosting not only your confidence, but your profits.

Pick It Apart

[3:39] Staci recounts her experience as an operations manager and bookkeeper for a residential design firm, handling “everything but design” in the business and growing it to a multimillion-dollar firm.

[10:47] Staci and LuAnn discuss the services Everything but Design offers beyond just bookkeeping, and Staci explains how outsourcing administrative tasks to someone that understands the design industry allows her clients to focus more on their designs, builds confidence, and ultimately generate more revenue 

[22:22] LuAnn and Staci talk about the importance of systems and processes, and how the way a project is managed can be more important than the beauty of the design to clients 

[29:20] Staci explains how she uses best practices as a bookkeeper to help business owners analyze their margins, adjust prices, and gain profits

[42:01] Staci and LuAnn talk about the importance of systems and standards, especially when communicating with clients by setting expectations beforehand

LuAnn Nigara and Staci Davidson's Ah-Ha Moments

“You need someone that has your back, and they aren't just pushing data, they're ensuring that it's accurate and advising you on next steps, best practices, ways to save money, or improvements into your process.” - Staci Davidson

“When a designer is in their lane, and focusing on the design, all of the other things fall into place.” – LuAnn Nigara

“When you have really satisfied clients who feel like they were taken care of, the referrals are going to come in.” – Staci Davidson

“Really feeling confident in yourself, your design, and your processes will elevate your business so much.” – Staci Davidson

More About Staci Davidson:

Staci discovered her love for the business of Interior Design in 2016 when she was hired as the Operations Manager of a residential design firm. She quickly realized so much more went into running a successful design business. Her true passion is freeing up the designer, taking over all aspects of the business and allowing the owners to focus on creating amazing spaces their clients will cherish for years to come. 

She has done blog posts for Design Manager and has been asked to speak at High Point on best practices for running a successful business.

Offering a wide variety of services, Staci and her team can do Everything but Design!

Connect with Staci Davidson

Website

Instagram 

Facebook

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

AWDB Episode 349: Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang: The Designer CPA

AWDB Episode 464: Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang: Understanding Your Finances #FreeTheDesigner

AWDB Episode 843: Power Talk Friday: Carla Titus: Think Like a CEO By Outsourcing Your Numbers

AWDB Episode 845: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: Stop Apologizing and Start Communicating

WTFP Episode 125: Debra Scarpa: The Power of a Visionary & Integrator Relationship

Other Resources Mentioned:

The Interior Design Standard with Sandra Funk

Jan 31, 2023

Today With Amy Youngblood

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s no secret that I love systems and processes. They are the absolute backbone to increasing your profitability. My guest today, Amy Youngblood, principal of Amy Youngblood Interiors, has a very specific process that has helped her not just increase her profitability and bring in more clients, but also to bring in the right clients. She’s taking us through her intake process and discussing why and how it works to ensure that she works with her ideal clients.

Pick It Apart

[0:57] Amy shares her story of why she realized she needed to make a change in her business. 

[7:07] Amy and LuAnn begin a deep-dive into Amy’s contact form.

[20:58] Amy highlights why it’s important to ensure that partners in a home are on the same page.

[43:58] Amy and LuAnn discuss the value of thinking outside of the box, even when you have systems and processes in place.

LuAnn Nigara and Amy Youngblood' Ah-Ha Moments

“What you’re saying is the first critical key in finding the happiness and joy in your business if it’s lacking is, are you working with the type of people and the type of projects that you enjoy.” - LuAnn Nigara

“What I love about this is that we’re having an inside conversation about our reaction to consumer’s responses. But even if you have ten inquiries a month, if you have two or three every month that are searching for designers but plan to shop on their own, it’s a disconnect of the garden variety consumer disconnecting with design. They think of it as a commodity industry of you just picking things out for them.” - LuAnn Nigara

“People want to hear back from you. Even if it’s not a good inquiry, I still respond back and say why, and I say it as respectfully as possible.” - Amy Youngblood

More About Amy Youngblood:

Amy began her career in interior design over 20 years ago. She has worked for several design firms, both residential and commercial. With a strong background as an accomplished artist, Amy fused her creative abilities along with her business and design experience to launch Amy Youngblood Interiors in 2009. Both Amy’s artwork and design commissions have been featured over the years in the local and national media. Amy’s appreciation of all styles has made her known for her clean-lined, yet comfortable, sophisticated look.

Born in Michigan, Amy received her Bachelor of Arts degree at DePauw University with a Major in Communications, and later received a degree in Interior Design at Mount Saint Joseph University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with an emphasis on Art History. Amy has since taught interior design courses at the Mount Saint Joseph University in addition to having served as President of the school’s ASID Chapter. Amy also serves on various charity boards and is a consultant and investor in the local fashion and design industry in Cincinnati. As past President of Cincinnati Business Network, Amy enjoys networking with and mentoring other entrepreneurial business owners. She is also an active member of the OTR Chamber of Commerce, a member of the ArtsWave's Women's Leadership Roundtable, a founding member of the Contemporary Arts Center's prestigious Women's group, and a regular expert guest on local television. In addition, Amy has been named one of "Ohio's Top Interior Designers" by The LuxPad, an international publication specializing in high-end interior design. Her work is also regularly featured on HGTV.com. Amy has also been a featured speaker at NeoCon, an honor of being chosen among hundreds of interior designers. 

When Amy is not growing her eponymous firm, she enjoys traveling with her husband Tom and two teenagers as well as exploring the food and culture of Cincinnati. An avid fitness buff, she can be found at her trainer's studio or at a Pilates class. She is also a fashion lover and integrates it into her designs. Check out Amy's fashion, style, and local events blog, Cincinnista. Amy continues to accept prestigious art commissions as her schedule allows. Please view her work at amyyoungbloodsportsart.com.

Amy Youngblood Interiors is certified as a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation's largest third party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women in the U.S.

Connect with Amy Youngblood

Website

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#372: Laura Michaels: How to Talk Budget with your Interior Design Clients

#820: Alex Alonso: Always Say Yes to a Client, Except When You Should Say No

Jan 27, 2023

Today With Julia Marcum:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today’s show is a Flashback Friday, an episode from the archives that was so good, and so relevant, we wanted to share it with you again! I hope you enjoy Julia Marcum’s episode that originally aired as episode 480!

Julia started blogging more than ten years ago, and her readership has grown to include millions of people. In 2016, Chris left his day job to join Julia as a blogger on a full-time basis. With their blog, this remarkable couple shares their original, authentic, and sincere perspective on the daily coups and challenges of their DIY home renovations. People follow them to learn how to improve their space and to get inspiration, tips on trends, and motivation to get things done. 

In today’s episode, Julia explains that they know exactly why they’re doing what they do, and they know who they do it for.

LuAnn Nigara and Julia Marcum's Ah-Ha Moments

“There is zero downsides to growing your Instagram presence” - Julia Marcum

“Maximize whatever you already have on hand” - Julia Marcum

“Consistency is what really drives audiences, they want to know when and what they can expect from you” - Julia Marcum

More About Julia Marcum:

We’re a couple of progress-embracing home renovators, bloggers, brand ambassadors, and educators. We love: modern cottage design, s’mores around the fire pit, and our three cute kids (but not in that order).

We started this blog in 2009, the year after we got married. But it wasn’t always a business! Like most bloggers back then, we were all about showing off our home projects and cute pictures of our kids. Our budget for home improvements was $20/month, and we were DIYing our hearts out (with borrowed tools).

In 2015, we took Instagram by the horns and started photographing our home and our projects with a *real* camera. We started talking to our audience every day. We got really consistent with our content, and we took big, go-with-your-gut risks. 

A year later, Chris quit his day job, and we were pinching ourselves: We get to work on our house as a *job*. And we get to work right alongside each other. 

Looking back, I probably should have known that the girl who would beg the local bakery to let her design their store window (and get paid in cookies) would find a way to make a living out of making spaces beautiful — a truly sweet life.

Connect with Julia Marcum

Website

Instagram 

Good Influence Courses

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Resources Mentioned:

Jessica Helgerson Instagram

Josh Young Instagram

Jan 24, 2023

Today With Kellie Burke:

Hi, welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Join me this week as I sit down with Kellie Burke, owner of Kellie Burke Interiors. One of Kellie's philosophies when designing a home is that "it should feel like a well-traveled home and not have a matching, store-bought look." Tune in to hear about her journey, the importance of failure, and the ups and downs of having a business.

LuAnn Nigara and Kellie Burke's Ah-Ha Moments

“The failure comes the lessons.” - LuAnn Nigara

“I think we mistakenly see all the beautiful things and believe that that is the business of it, and it’s not.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Kellie Burke:

Kellie studied design at Skidmore College in New York and overseas in Florence, Italy. While abroad, she soaked in the design principles associated with many different countries, including Portugal, Russia, Italy, France, Brussels, England, Estonia, and Scandinavia.

After working as a studio artist and a faux painter, Kellie established her West Hartford, Connecticut-based interior design firm, Kellie Burke Interiors, in 1995. The firm expanded to include a design studio filled with trendy, high-style home products and accessories. One of Kellie's philosophies when designing a home is that "it should feel like a well-traveled home and not have a matching, store-bought look." Instead, she gravitates toward an 'Old World' style with modern, functional accents. Kellie is also very aware of the needs of clients with families and coordinates her efforts to make sure her designs meet all of their practical needs.

Kellie was featured in OK Magazine in 2005 for designing Brooke Burke's Mediterranean Mansion. Hartford Magazine has named Kellie Burke' Best Interior Designer' in 2006 - 2015 Readers Poll. Kellie has been featured in Luxe Interiors + Design, Hartford Magazine, New England Home, and was a national finalist in the 2015 Zillow Digs Design Awards.

Connect with Kellie Burke

Website

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

AudiobookThe Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#844: John McClain: Turn Failure into Success

Jan 20, 2023

Today’s Show is Sponsored by the “Interior Design Standard.”

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. On today’s sponsored show, Sandra Funk is here to share all the details of her upcoming course, the “Interior Design Standard”.

I’m so excited to share Sandra Funk’s business program, the “Interior Design Standard”, with you because I know it will be the best investment for your business.

Enroll here: https://interiordesignstandard.com/luann

Today With Sandra Funk:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Have you ever found yourself apologizing for delays due to elements that are completely out of your control (backorders, supply chain issues, labor shortage, etc.)? My guest today, Sandra Funk, believes it’s time to stop apologizing. 

Sandra shares her insights into why designers do this, why they need to stop, and how to take back control of your communication with your clients.

Pick It Apart

[1:30] Sandra picks apart why designers need to stop apologizing for things that are out of their control.

[7:28] LuAnn and Sandra discuss why setting expectations upfront is important.

[17:30] Sandra shares why and how she implements a restart fee when projects are delayed past a certain point. 

[26:30] Sandra highlights the value of templates in the Interior Design Standard.

[35:11] Sandra breaks down the upcoming opportunity to join the Interior Design Standard.

LuAnn Nigara and Sandra Funk's Ah-Ha Moments

“You need to communicate the facts, accept our new reality, and get strategic on how you are going to stretch what you thought was going to be a six-month project into a year-long project.” - Sandra Funk

“Just because it’s not the client’s fault, doesn’t mean it’s your fault or your responsibility to bear the burden of all the chips that fall because of whatever you’re dealing with.” - LuAnn Nigara

“You can’t change labor shortages, you can’t change supply chain issues, but you can change the way you describe it, the way you share the information, and the way you handle it internally, and that so much affects the way your client will handle it.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Sandra Funk:

Sandra Funk is the CEO and Principal Designer of House of Funk, a greater New York area design firm working wherever great clients need us.

This is interior design with a soul and a sense of place; reflecting your desires, personality, and style.

House of Funk creates thoughtful homes with an emphasis on clean lines and soulful touches, all rooted in tradition.

Sandra is an Accredited Professional for the Sustainable Furnishings Council.

Sandra’s award-winning design work has been featured in publications such as Elle Decor, House Beautiful, The Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Aspire Design & Home, and Luxe Interiors + Design.

With almost two decades in the interior design industry, Sandra is launching the Interior Design Standard in the spring of 2020 – a template for designers to utilize her streamlined processes and business structure to bring joy and profit to their own design business.

Connect with Sandra Funk

Website 

Instagram 

Facebook 

Pinterest

Other Shows Mentioned:

#801: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: How Mistakes and Obstacles Led to Growth & Transformation

#753: Sandra Funk: How to Grow a Thriving Luxury Interior Design Business

#660: Sandra Funk: Level Up Your Business Through Mentorship, Coaching, and Classes. Sponsored Show: “Interior Design Standard”

#585: Sandra Funk: Helping Designers Improve Their Business Systems

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

#145: Sandra Funk of House of Funk: Why and How She Re-Branded her 10-Year-old Firm

#02: The Importance of Systems for a Profitable Interior Design Business With Sandra Funk Levy

Jan 17, 2023

Today With John McClain:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I am joined for the second time by John McClain. John is an accomplished interior designer, business coach, and author of The Designer Within. In this episode, he shares a bit about his back story with us—from crisis to conquest.

John is here to help you understand that you can learn and grow from your mistakes, and success can be born out of failure. John shares his dark night of the soul story with us, but it didn’t end there. He turned that rough patch into a catalyst to organize his business for the better. Since then he has implemented a “How We Work” document, detailed client contracts, flat fees, and non-negotiables because his business is worth it. He is worth it. And you are worth it.

Pick It Apart

[6:38] John shares his dark night of the soul story involving client credit cards, attorneys, a factory fire, and armed guards.

[20:35] John discusses the importance of knowing your company policies and non-negotiables, for example, he does not take credit card payments. 

[31:40] John and LuAnn discuss the importance of formal agreements and transparency with clients.

[35:41] LuAnn and John pick apart his pricing structure and flat fees, including his creative fee and project fulfillment fees.[57:29] John talks about the online courses for designers he offers, as well as his new book The Designer Within and the online course for homeowners that goes along with it.

LuAnn Nigara and John McClain's Ah-Ha Moments

“Until you've been through a serious business crisis, it's hard to know how it really cuts you in your gut.” – LuAnn Nigara 

“I don't care if you're a solopreneur or if you have 25 people working for you. Your company policy is your company policy. And that is what you have to stand by.” – John McClain

“A lot of people don't take the time to sit down and come up with the rules [of their business]. ” – John McClain

“You do have to take time—really getting clear with who you are, what you do, how you do it, why you do it, and your non-negotiables.” – LuAnn Nigara

“I want to be an advocate for other designers and out in the world, to really stand up for themselves. And to have a company philosophy, have a company vision have a company backbone that they can stand behind.” - John McClain

More About John McClain:

John McClain is an accomplished interior designer, business coach, speaker, on-air contributor, and writer who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others through his book, The Designer Within (available now at thedesignerwithin.co). John McClain Design has offices in Central Florida and Los Angeles, CA. His projects have received numerous awards and have appeared in many publications including Traditional Home and Elle Décor. John's design advice can also be seen regularly in print, television appearances, and online in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Us Weekly, and many more.

Connect with John McClain

Website 

Instagram

Book and Designer Courses

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#472: John McClain: Running His Firm from Two Coasts Makes Systems and Tools Critical

#145: Sandra Funk of House of Funk: Why and How She Re-Branded her 10 Year old Firm

#801: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: How Mistakes and Obstacles Led to Growth & Transformation

#842: Joshua Smith: Sell the Experiences, Not the Commodity

Jan 13, 2023

Today With Carla Titus:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business Podcast. Today we are joined by financial expert Carla Titus, founder and CEO of Wealth & Worth Within, a financial planning company offering fractional CFO services to transform business profitability. 

Carla helps us understand what a fractional CFO is and how this service can provide the financial support and insight many businesses need to achieve financial clarity and plan for a profitable future. She specializes in helping 6- and 7-figure businesses gain control of their numbers with a 5-step framework she calls 2C3P that tackles financial health from all sides. Listen in to find out more.

Pick It Apart

[3:08] Carla walks through the roles of bookkeeper, CPA and CFO and the conversations you as a business owner should be having with each.

[8:58] Carla and LuAnn discusses the goal of hiring a CFO and improving the financial picture of the company .

[15:19] Carla talks about changing your mindset and thinking like the CEO of your business by looking at five key components in a framework she calls 2C3P: Cashflow, Capacity, Planning, Pay Compensation, and Profit.

[24:42] LuAnn and Carla discuss the seasonality of business, and the importance of being in tune with this as a business owner.

[31:32] Carla lists her non-negotiables she helps business owners set as goals for a successful business: cash in the bank, profitability, and paying yourself.

LuAnn Nigara and Carla Titus' Ah-Ha Moments

“The beauty of bringing an expert into your business is that you do not need to know everything. That is the whole point of outsourcing your finances. You're bringing that knowledge, and also that person that's going to guide the process from beginning to end, [to] make you feel empowered and comfortable around your finances and your numbers.” – Carla Titus

 “Don’t overthink what you don’t know.” – LuAnn Nigara 

“There's times where you need to step into that CEO role and work on your business, not in your business.” – Carla Titus

“Managing the influx and outflows of cash really can help a business be more financially stable, but also feel completely in control of what's happening.” – Carla Titus 

“If you want to sell your business one day, if you want to run a successful long term company, there has to be a salary for someone that is in charge.” – Carla Titus

More About Carla Titus:

Finance expert with over 15 years of combined corporate financial planning, analysis, strategy, and established online businesses fractional CFO consulting experience. Our company provides a vast array of on-demand CFO services that leverage our industry expertise. A well-rounded CFO team with Finance, Sales & Marketing, HR, Supply Chain, Online Business, Operations, Execution, Planning, and Tech background.

She provides fractional CFO services and financial consulting to business owners. Wealth & Worth Within’s mission is to empower business owners to achieve financial clarity and peace of mind, so that they can get back to what they enjoy.

She is dedicated to imparting financial knowledge in order to properly manage finances and achieve profitable results. She has applied that expertise to businesses, helping them grow by creating simple yet effective systems to improve cash flow management and bottom-line results.

Connect with Carla Titus

Website

Instagram 

Facebook

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#489: Power Talk Friday: Brad Clinard: Intentional Planning for Abundant Living

#719: Peter Lang, Kimberly Merlitti, and Michele Williams: Financial Prep for Year-End- The Must Do’s

#395: Power Talk Friday: Michele Williams: Financial Health Checklist for Your Interior Design Business

#464: Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang: Understanding Your Finances #FreeTheDesigner

#361: Power Talk Friday: Kimberly Merlitti: Does Your Interior Design Business Need a CFO?

Jan 10, 2023

Today With Joshua Smith:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today, I am joined by Joshua Smith, of Joshua Smith Inc. Joshua draws on decades of experience transforming functional spaces into inspiring environments that engage the senses and nourish the soul. By cultivating the connections between mind, body, spirit, and space, he helps his clients elevate their experience each day.

Join us for a great conversation about the power of meditation, the importance of being connected to your passion, and his amazing working philosophy!

LuAnn Nigara and Joshua Smith's Ah-Ha Moments

“It's the responsibility of the industry to educate the consumer” - LuAnn Nigara

“We’re wanting to do what we can to make sure that we’re leaving the world as best we can for our kids” - Joshua Smith

“You know what? I realize now that as an interior designer, you’re responsible for everything but you have control over nothing” - Joshua Smith

“It's not just how you want to space to look, it’s how you want your space to feel” - Joshua Smith

More About Joshua Smith:

Joshua graduated from the New York School of Interior Design and started his career in 2012. After Joshua graduated, he joined Steven Gambrel, an influential interior design firm that specialized in high-end residential and commercial commissions worldwide. In 2013, Joshua Smith, Inc. was created and earned national recognition as featured in New York Times, Huffington Post, and Rizzoli’s 2019 book, “On Style”. 

With projects on both coasts, Joshua Smith Inc, offers full-service residential interior design – and life-changing spaces. Joshua draws on decades of experience transforming functional spaces into inspiring environments that engage the senses and nourish the soul. By cultivating the connections between mind, body, spirit, and space, he helps his clients elevate their experience each day.

Connect with Joshua Smith

Website 

Instagram 

Facebook 

Blog

The “3 fives” routine

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Jan 6, 2023

Today With Nancy Ganzekaufer:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s Power Talk Friday. Today, I’m joined by my friend Nancy Ganzekaufer. Nancy is here to talk about her new program Profit Insiders for Interior Designers Group Coaching + Mastermind which is packed full of value. But also, Nancy is here to share how certain events in her life forced her to slow down and how she shares her lessons with others on the importance of a work-life balance.

Pick It Apart

[3:58] Nancy tells us what interior designers can expect from her Profit Insiders for Interior Designers Group Coaching + Mastermind program.

[13:00] LuAnn breaks down the process of joining Profit Insiders.  

[21:02] Nancy shares her past continued health scare and how she turned it into a positive. 

[43:24] The lesson of building a supportive and competent team. 

LuAnn Nigara and Nancy Ganzekaufer's Ah-Ha Moments

“Slow and steady is going to win the race. The small tweaks you make in your business can have huge outcomes.” - Nancy Ganzekaufer 

“You don’t want your business to be your entire life, you want your business to support your life” - Nancy Ganzekaufer

“Your inner being knows when it’s time to slow down and the universe will comply.” - LuAnn Nigara

“We do all put pressure on ourselves and we need to ask the question, “who can help?” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Nancy Ganzekaufer:

Nancy Ganzekaufer is a sought-after Business Coach, Speaker, Body Language Trainer, and Author, named one of the Top 16 Coaches in New York in 2022! Nancy specializes in coaching interior design professionals in marketing strategies, sales, and systems, teaching them to maximize their profitability while identifying and best serving their ideal clients with confidence. 

In addition to her own book Respond with Confidence: A Business Owner’s Blueprint for Handling Difficult Situations, Nancy is an author in LuAnn Nigara’s book, The Making of A Well-Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action. Nancy has also been a 4-time guest on LuAnn’s podcast, A Well-Designed Business® and one of LuAnn’s past Power Talk Friday experts. 

Nancy is the founding President of the Interior Design Society (IDS) Virtual Chapter, Executive IDS Board Member-at-Large, and was the first recipient of the IDS Outstanding Leadership Award for her 12 years of active participation in national leadership and her local chapter in Long Island, New York. 

Nancy specializes in coaching Interior Design industry professionals how to maximize their profitability while identifying and best serving their ideal clients with confidence. Through her proven techniques, Nancy has empowered thousands to know (and charge!) their worth, succeed in sales without feeling sales-y, and position themselves in their market with authenticity and authority.   

When Nancy is not coaching her clients, hosting a webinar, speaking at a conference, or engaging with her audience in one of her many social media platforms, she is spending quality time with her family, listening to music, hiking, playing pickleball with her friends, and traveling as much as she can.

Connect with Nancy Ganzekaufer

Website

Profit Insiders for Interior Designers Group Coaching + Mastermind program

Confident Interior Designer Membership Site

The KEY™: The Designer's Ultimate Pricing Tool

Interior Design Contract Templates

Instagram 

Facebook 

LinkedIn

YouTube

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#15: Nancy Ganzekaufer: Niche is Rich

#37: Lesley Myrick: Strategies I Used to Build My Business

#60: Power Talk Friday: Krista Coupar: Managing Work-Life Balance (The Key Questions to Ask Yourself)

#159: Power Talk Friday: Nancy Ganzekaufer: How to Get Confident & Clear on What You Offer

#256: Nancy Ganzekaufer: A Powerful Strategy to Attract More Clients

#389: Power Talk Friday: Nancy Ganzekaufer: The Interior Designer Profit Formula

#584: Building a Business From the Ground Up, Again

#766: Lesley Myrick: Offering Interior Design Without Procurement

#783: Power Talk Friday: Nancy Ganzekaufer: Profit Insiders For Interior Designers

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Today’s show was sponsored by Nancy Ganzekaufer and her newest program Profit Insiders for Interior Designers.

Jan 3, 2023

Today With Jean Stoffer:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business! Today we are joined by the one and only Jean Stoffer. Jean is an award-winning independent designer, star of The Established Home on the Magnolia Network, and author of the newly released book Establishing Home. In our conversation, Jean offers a glimpse into her journey, showing us the joys of intertwining work and family, the benefits of an unhurried attitude, and the blessings each season of life has to offer.

Pick It Apart

[6:01] Jean discusses “being in the trenches” as she built her business from the ground up, learning cabinetry design, kitchen design, and troubleshooting at her own pace.

[10:10] LuAnn and Jean agree that cultural messages often pressure young designers to rush toward success, but both believe that isn’t always the right path. Jean discusses embracing the season you are in.

[16:50] Jean walks through the current family dynamic and everyone’s role in the Stoffer Home business.

[27:30] LuAnn and Jean talk about the importance of processes as you grow your business.

[48:00] Jean discusses working with the Magnolia Network and putting her work on television.

LuAnn Nigara and Jean Stoffer's Ah-Ha Moments

“Our value system and reputation are just so bedrock for me and our family.” - Jean Stoffer.

“I really believe there are seasons for things, and it’s great to embrace those and accept them.” - Jean Stoffer.

“I think as a society, we are putting pressure on moms to think that you can have it all. And you actually can, but not all in the same season is my belief.” - LuAnn Nigara.

“It's very important that the quality and all of the things connected with [your brand] remain as close as to your original vision and way of doing it.” - LuAnn Nigara.

More About Jean Stoffer:

Jean Stoffer is an award-winning Grand Rapids-based independent interior designer specializing in kitchen and bath designs. Each of her designs is custom suited for her clients' lives and how they hope to use their home. Jean is also the founder of Stoffer Home, a retail store featuring beautiful and functional items for the home, and Stoffer Home Cabinetry, the source for Jean's own line of quality, British-inspired flush inset cabinets. In December 2021, the Magnolia Network began airing The Established Home, a TV series featuring Jean and her design work.

Connect with Jean Stoffer

Website

Stoffer Home

Instagram 

Pinterest

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

Get The Goodies!

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

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

Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here:

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

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

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

Connect with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn’s Website

LuAnn’s Blog

Power Talk Friday

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

Other Shows Mentioned:

#625: Coco & Jack: Flexibility and Balance Between Interior Design and Family

#563: Power Talk Friday: Mike Van Tassell: Expressing Your Brand Through Photography

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