Today With Victoria Larson:
Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by textile and wallpaper designer Victoria Larson. After creating gorgeous hand-screen-printed textile collections and dreamy wallpaper patterns for more than a decade, Victoria made a plan to leave the textiles behind (but in good hands) and focus solely on the wallpaper, which allowed her to reenergize her brand and grow with intention.
Good businesses are grown strategically, and believe it or not, sometimes, we have to shrink in order to grow. In this episode, Victoria shares her story. We talk about finding creative solutions, leaving a legacy, and gaining creativity by crunching numbers, and so much more.
Pick It Apart
[0:51] Victoria explains how she scaled back the fabric side of her business in order to focus on her wallpapers
[11:43] LuAnn and Victoria discuss the importance of relationships, especially with licensing partners.
[19:35] Victoria speaks about how she got into the money mindset and how that has helped her have more time to be creative.
[33:49] LuAnn asks Victoria to elaborate on some of the lessons learned through her transition.
[37:50] LuAnn and Victoria talk about SOPs and why they should always be changing.
[39:26] Victoria and LuAnn discuss how to make a solopreneur business sellable.
LuAnn Nigara and Victoria Larson's Ah-Ha Moments
“One thing I've learned is you have to, for the most part, take emotion out of running a business, and you have to look at it more like a CEO.” – Victoria Larson
“I support the business, but the business has to support me.” – Victoria Larson
“If you don't mind the systems and the money, you're going to quickly find you can't afford to do what you love anymore.” – Victoria Larson
“There's the payoff every day of the week for paying attention to the system and process, because every day of the week you make more money, you have more joy, you have a better outcome, your client experiences better your product delivery is better. So there's all the payoff all the way along, but then there's also, ‘Hey, I have options at the end of this line.’” – LuAnn Nigara
More About Victoria Larson
Victoria is a creator and weaver of tales through textile and pattern design. She works through the lens of the beauty and soul of the sea; art for art’s sake; fine materials and craftsmen; and the uplifting effect of design on the human spirit.
After choosing to stay home with her twin girls, Victoria fell back in love with painting and block printing and eventually launched her first collection of hand-screen-printed fabrics in 2010. Later she added wallpaper and printed grasscloth. The collection is a fusion of a life-long love of painting, art, and design.
Raised on and around the Chesapeake Bay, it’s no surprise many of Victoria’s designs are inspired by the water light. Later, she accompanied her professional Sailor husband to coastal towns all over the world, her sketchbook in hand. Her designs capture the joy of childhood summer days, the soul of the sea, and the simple beauty of natural patterns.
Victoria also licenses designs for fabric company, Stout Textiles, and home brand, Cailini Coastal. In addition, she has licensed white-label designs to tabletop and swimwear companies.
As VLT’s CEO, she does more than just make pretty things. With a business degree from U of MD, College Park, and a certificate from The MD Institute College of Art, she’s obsessed with how to marry design and business.
Most days you will find her in the coastal town of Annapolis with her husband and rescue doodle. The girls have grown and flown.
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Other Shows Mentioned:
AWDB #388: Corey Damen Jenkins: Interior Designer, Furniture Designer, & Gentleman AWDB #404: Sue Firestone: The Malibu Collection with Kravet Inc
AWDB #433: Nate Berkus: Introducing His Collection with Kravet
AWDB #465: Jan Showers: A Glamorous Career
AWDB #839: Flashback Friday: Candice Olson: How to Be an Overnight Success in 25 Years
AWDB #840: Jean Stoffer: Work in Harmony Through Every Season of Life