Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by April Gandy, owner and Principal Designer of Allure Designs. With six successful years in the design industry and an appearance on HGTV, April could teach us a lot! But today she wanted the focus to be on what you, and your client, can expect both mentally and financially when working on a renovation project.
This is an episode that will give you simple AHA moments. Any episode where my guest wants to help with the process with our clients, is a win.
[3:28] April starts us off on the things designers should walk clients through when doing a renovation.
[14:12] April explains how designers formulate that initial investment range to their clients in the beginning without a spec book.
[19:55] What April includes in her design fee.
[33:24] Things April has learned to avoid and/or keep doing from experience.
[36:15] LuAnn and April talk about April’s “Erika Ward transferable skill,” and how valuable these skills are for designers.
[46:23] The level of detail that April and her team goes with client checklists that they follow.
[51:27] April tells us about the group coaching she does.
“Understanding what you are doing before you do it is going to help you keep your time lines and budgets in check, but also your client in check,” - April Gandy
“The more information that you give them from the start, the more you ensure them that you know what you are doing and they’ll trust you,” - April Gandy.
I'm from Chicago’s Avalon Park neighborhood on city’s south side. Growing up in the inner city provided me with a strong foundation in which failure was not an option. I vowed to overcome my circumstances and to create a better life for myself and my family. After graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School, I went on to college at Northern Illinois University and became the first in my family to graduate from a university. During this time, I joined the US Air Force Reserve in 2000 and proudly served our country for 21 years. I pledged the greatest Sorority in the world, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc in 2002. I later graduated with a BA in Criminology and went on to complete an MEd in Instructional Design (much different than interior design lol).
I started my design career journey in 2006. At the age of 23, I bought my first piece of property; a 700 square foot fixer–upper condominium in the west suburbs of Chicago. As an impecunious single mother, I had to think outside the box to bring my new home to life. I taught myself many things on the road to transforming my fixer–upper into a beautiful home. During this undertaking, I realized I enjoyed the process of home improvement. Throughout the years, my skills evolved and I began assisting family and friends in making their homes beautiful. After a decade of working on personal projects, I decided to make the business official and pursued an interior design career. I created Alluring Designs Chicago in 2017. I partnered with my mother, Valerie Steward, and close family friend, Jennifer Anderson, to breathe life into this business venture. Together we
have overseen multiple renovation projects and countless room makeovers. Our team dynamic is seamless and together we bring so much value to every project. Although becoming owner and Principal Designer of my interior design firm, my expansion mission includes founding a community development organization dedicated to building beautiful homes in the inner city. The vision is to make communities beautiful one home at a time. Let's get to work!
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