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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A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast









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Oct 17, 2016

On the show today I’m happy for you to meet Polly Williams, the founder of Camberyard. The designer’s advisor! Polly offers bespoke interior design business solutions and mentoring to creative professionals across the industry. She can advise you what your USP, promote your talent and make your business reach its full potential. Her expertise includes launching new brands, streamlining and expanding your current business, mentoring designers, PR, brand partnerships, social media strategy, fee negotiations and making introductions within the industry. Polly has over 12 years of experience advising an interior design studio in London.

Show Notes:

  • What is Polly’s 360-degree approach?
  • What are some of the first things she talks about when a designer wants to start their own firm?
  • How does she help lay the foundation of a business?
  • Has she ever had to tell someone maybe they need more experience before having their own business?
  • What are some other ways she works with clients besides setting up the outline of the business?
  • How are the packages set up for her mentoring services?
  • How does she help her clients with time management?
  • How does Polly help a designer figure out their unique selling point or USP?
  • Does everyone have a unique selling point?
  • How do you determine what is appropriate to put on social media?
  • How does a designer figure out their brand?
  • How are colors and fonts used to determine the message the business is trying to give?
  • Why did Polly decide on the name Camberyard instead of Polly Williams Consulting?
  • Does a business need to have a logo?
  • Make sure to go out and network and plant your seed!
  • What does Polly mean when she says think globally, act locally?
  • Is Polly available to work with clients virtually?


For the rest of the show notes, please visit our 

resource center:  Window Works 

Oct 14, 2016

It’s time for another Power Talk Friday! Today on the show we have Stacy Tuschl! Stacy is a very accomplished young lady. She has a brick and mortar business in performing arts that is a seven figure business. The roots of her business started when she was eighteen years old from her parent’s backyard! She is also a real estate investor, the author of Is your Business Worth Saving? and the host of a podcast called The Business Rescue Roadmap. Stacy is going to talk to us about how she runs her business and give us some great tools and tips to use in our own businesses.

Show Notes:

  • How did she come up with the name of her book: Is Your Business Worth Saving?
  • Why is it important for business owners to ask themselves is their business worth saving at certain times?
  • What are some ways to keep money in the checkbook?
  • How can business owners figure out the missing piece in their business keeping them from making more money?
  • What is a mastermind group and where can they be found?
  • What three people/group does she suggest having when running a business?
  • Where and how does Stacy look to find different conferences to go to for new ideas?
  • Where are some good places to get access for more information for free?
  • What are some good tools to help with plan the day?
  • Make sure to set goals!
  • How is every department set up in her business?
  • What are some tools Stacy uses for organization with her employees?
  • Why is it so important to always take notes?
  • Get out of your comfort zone and take risks!
  • What is Business Rescue Road Map about?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center: Window Works.


Oct 12, 2016

Welcome back! Our guest today has been in the interior design business for 17 years! Andrea Schumacher started her own eight-person firm, Andrea Schumacher Interior Design, including herself in Colorado in 1999. Andrea has experience in commercial and residential spaces and she has set design for television at Days of Our Lives and Columbia Pictures! She has a BA in interior design from the F.I.D.E.R. accredited Colorado State University and a certificate in Universal Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. Today she is going to share with us how she does things at Andrea Schumacher Interior Design and how she makes everything more efficient and successful and how you can too.

Show Notes:

  • She can have how many projects in the pipeline at one time?
  • How are the positions broken down at Andrea Schumacher Interior Design?
  • Did she work for anyone before she started her own firm?
  • How was Andrea Schumacher Interior Design started?
  • Explain how everything is broken down up front!
  • What about the customers that can’t be pleased?
  • When does the “process” go into the project manager’s hands?
  • Why doesn’t she like to hear a budget before the design project begins?
  • What was her aha moment that there needed to be a change with her accountant to get her books straightened out for her design firm?
  • Who is Chandra and what is her role in Andrea’s firm?
  • What are some ways that Chandra has increased profitability for Andrea’s firm?
  • How much has her profitability increased since Chandra has started working at Andrea Schumacher Interior Design?
  • Keep yourself as humble as possible and own up to your mistakes!
  • What is the next big thing for Andrea Schumacher Interior Design?
  • What is Design Leadership Network?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center: Window Works 


Oct 10, 2016

I am so pleased to have Mark Cutler and Heather Gillette with us on the show! The information that they are going to share today will maximize yours and your staff’s productivity in a way you previously could not imagine. Heather is a tech person and has been specialized in early tech startups for the past twenty years. She will explain that there are never enough resources, so you need to be creative and innovative to keep up with the amount of work. Heather founded and headed up several departments of YouTube. With little manpower, she and her team kept YouTube legal and clean while processing millions of videos and user communications every day. Heather wanted to bring this same thinking and make interior design more accessible. This is when their first company was born: NousDécor. 

Mark Cutler is an Australian-born interior designer. Mark is one of the Robb Report’s top 40 firms in the country and a leading proponent of interior design as a form of portraiture. He is formally the resident designer for A&E’s TV Makeover Mamas. He has many celebrity clients and his work has been in many leading interior design magazines. He currently serves as the Chief Design Officer at NousDécor.

You can read the show notes and access all the links and resources at

Oct 7, 2016

In this episode, the first of a series of 3 shows,  Shauna Lynn Simon, Owner/Founder of Beyond the Stage Homes and Styled, Listed, and Sold (SLS) Academy, talks about a strategy for connecting with your avatar (target clients/audience) on a personal level. She talks about the important steps, procedures, and pointers – the checklist to ensure the effectiveness of this strategy – holding workshops. It can be a powerful lead generation tool to build your brand and business. The success of the event could depend on how well you have prepared for it.


Show Notes


  • Choosing an engaging topic, and framing an attractive title
  • Educational and specific topic would be an ideal choice of topic
  • Choosing the right venue – inexpensive for a small audience, and a bigger venue or a showroom for a bigger audience, without sales pitching
  • The key to selecting the right venue
  • Content creation – valuable, informative, helpful
  • What to give away as handouts
  • Presentation techniques
  • Inviting guest resource persons
  • Securing sponsors
  • Marketing and promoting it in social media – fill every seat
  • Techniques in social media promotion
  • Shauna Lynn will cover other related topics in the forthcoming 2 weeks: 
    • Determining who your community is and how you fit into that community
    • Determining what you can contribute to the community to make it better, bigger, etc.
    • Identifying your voice and connecting with your followers, clients, fans with that emotional connection

You can listen to the full episode at our resource center:  Window Works

Oct 5, 2016

We have our first request for an interview from a listener of the show! Lauren Clement comes from an interior design family! Her mother has had her business since Lauren was two and now Lauren has her own business, Lauren Nicole Designs. She is going to share with us how she runs her business and tell us about the people she has on her team.

Show Notes:

  • Who are her mentors?
  • Who is on her team?
  • When should you consider a new hire?
  • What are Design 101 events?
  • A WWII airplane hangar design?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center: Window Works

Oct 3, 2016

For the past 8 or 9 months, we have had designer after designer talk about something that they are passionate about and turn it into a guiding force to increase business in their design firm. But I have not met anyone who has a design that is cruelty and vegan free…until now. On the show today is Deborah Rosenberg, a writer, lecturer, and founder of DiMare Design in Miami Florida.  DiMare is an interior design firm that promotes the use of vegan, organic materials. She will never use any materials that involve the harming of animals and she educates her clients, suppliers, and the entire industry about the advantages and benefits of cruelty-free/vegan design. She has incorporated her family values in her design business.


Show notes:


  • Why and how Deborah started focusing on this niche. How did this become a big part of her designs?
  • What does vegan mean?
  • The sweet reason why she is so passionate about using “humane interior design”
  • Leather manufacturers skin dogs to produce dog leather?
  • How long she has been in the design business and her niche
  • What materials she substitutes for animal-based leather
  • What materials she uses to substitute for chemical-drenched materials
  • Deborah is an animal activist with PETA. What she does for the organization
  • What she uses for wellness, healthy design especially for allergy sufferers
  • What are the desirable alternatives to leather, down, wool, and silk
  • Do clients find her now because her design is vegan?
  • It’s all about educating!
  • What fabrics are ok?
  • What is 72-hour turnkey design?
  • What other services does her firm offer?
  • Be as detailed as possible!
  • Where she sources these materials
  • How she charges for expedited service

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our resource center:   Window Works

Sep 30, 2016

Thanks for coming back to power talk Friday! We love our talks with Krista Coupar. She has our heads spinning a little bit with all of the information she has given us so far. Today is she is going to share with us her story and her brand.

Show Notes:

  • What is brand building supposed to be about?
  • Remember the inspirations!
  • What should the essence of your brand be?
  • What is the reason figuring out what your brand is?



Please visit our resource center: Window Works



Sep 28, 2016

Window Works features Asler Valero, a  Venezuelan-American interior designer with projects in the Caribbean, South America, and Europe. Asler's work has been greatly influenced by Stephen Sills Associates and Uniford Design Studios with whom he had collaborated on residential and commercial projects around the world. Asler is also recognized as a color expert by paint companies around the country, several of which he serves as consultant to.

Show Notes

  • What are the design lessons Asler learned at Sills-Hunniford Dwellings
  • The most important design element for Asler 
  • The purposes behind his choice of design elements
  • The reasons behind his choice of color schemes
  • The reason why he is very organized and precise
  • His tips on learning
  • His tips on the value of styling a room for photography

The rest of the show notes are in our resource center: Window Works 

Sep 26, 2016

Have you heard of Chairish yet? If you haven’t yet I am so happy to introduce you to this brand and Anna Brockway: one of the founders of this brand! Listen in to Anna’s story of how she started her company only three and a half years ago and it already has 150000 items available on the site

Show Notes:

  • What is Chairish?
  • Why did she start the business?
  • What is the Chairish pink book?
  • Is it a business or a feature?
  • Research the market!
  • What kind of special features does the Chairish site have?

For the rest of the show notes, please visit our Resource Center-- Window Works


Sep 23, 2016

If you’re planning to set up a family business, this podcast will give you valuable insights to help make your business a phenomenal success.  LuAnn presents the one big factor that has contributed to the success of the family business, Window Works. It’s the vital role played by her husband Vince.  He’s the so-called “Systems Nazi” in the company and his role-- accounting, finance, and systems administration—keeps the business organized, efficient, and effective. The role of the family members is to provide a strong, effective teamwork.  Everyone’s commitment (including their extended family of employees) is strong.  The plans and goals keep the family together in pursuing their common goals.

 Vince is fully committed to the quality of customer service that Window Works delivers. He sets up the rules, everyone else’s role, as well as the interconnected systems for 1) monitoring the processes and results, and 2) motivating the team to aim for a higher level of progress and success.

Window Works, as a family business, is less bureaucratic, has a built-in trust factor with established relationships (customers, partners, dealers, suppliers, employees) and provides for the hands-on training and early exposure to the next generation. That, by itself, is part of the business plan.

Show notes

  • Business planning often guides the entire planning process and sets the agenda for the future operations of the business. Vince and Luann develop both the big mission and small mission plans.
  • They aim for an exceptional level of customer service - the most critical factor that differentiates their  business from the rest of the  heavy competition
  • Price point is not the only factor - identify the product and service you want to offer, its value
  • Determine your “awesomeness” that makes you stand out in the marketplace
  • Find out what the customer needs, wants, and is capable of paying for
  • Aspire to bring the very best among the many products and services you offer

Get the rest of the tips from our resource center: Window Works 

Sep 21, 2016

Today we have Katie Deedy with us! Katie is a textile designer which includes: wallpaper, tile, fabric and accessories. Her business, Grow House Grow,  specializes in narrative-inspired pattern work. We are going to talk about how her business got started, what sort of things she learned along the way and how she got her name out there.

Show Notes:

  • How did her business start?
  • What is her business?
  • How does history impact her work?
  • What advice would she give to someone starting out?
  • Don’t be ashamed of the side job!
  • How did she make herself known?
  • How can you access her product?
  • What other products has her work crossed over into?
  • How did her work end up in a museum?

For the rest of the show notes, please 

visit our resource center:

Sep 19, 2016

Welcome back to another episode of  A Well Designed Business! Today we have Shauna Lynn Simon who is a fantastic home stager! Shauna is going to share with us how she  steered her talents to home staging and why she decided on the  home staging niche rather than interior design.

Show Notes:

  • How did she get into home staging?
  • How did she reanalyze her situation when things did not take off the way she wanted?
  • How did she figure out who her target client should be?
  • Selling yourself vs selling a product
  • What is the “wow” factor?
  • What is in her client care packet?
  • What are the differences between interior design and home staging?
  • How do you tell someone their house is filthy?

You can get the rest of the show notes from our resource center: Window Works


Sep 16, 2016

Welcome back to another power talk Friday! Today we have with us, Marianne Cherico! Marianne spent 27 years as a top producing realtor. She was a part of a two-person team that sold 100 houses per year! On top of her already impressive work in real estate, she started home staging in 2005. But then on top of home staging her most recent thing she has started and achieved is coaching. Coaching by Marianne helps us get unstuck, understand our limiting beliefs, and how to grow our business.

Show Notes:

  • Should you be all strategies?
  • Who are you “being”?
  • Why is mindset so important?
  • It’s not woo woo!
  • You have to be intentional!
  • What would the CEO do?

Get the rest of Marianne's valuable info from our resource center: Window Works

Sep 14, 2016

You may have heard of a show called “Devine Design”, right? Well, today we have the star of Devine Design on the show! Candice Olson started out in commercial design and then worked her way into residential design and then into her tv shows. She is going to share her work experiences with us and her collaboration with Kravet Inc.!

Show Notes:

  • How did Candice become “Candice Olson”?
  • When did she decide the show had to come to an end?
  • Who is Chico?
  • How did you get on the show?
  • How does she decide to do another collection?
  • What is the labor of work when doing a collection?
  • Let’s talk window design collections!

Get the rest of the show notes from our resource center.  

Sep 12, 2016

Kim Kuhteubl graces our show today.  She is an   award-winning film producer, author, actor, and member of the Producer's Guild of America. Since 1999, she has been producing stories and shows   about interior design and real estate development in various media format  such as print, television, and on digital platforms. She is the founder of Me by Design, a firm that specializes in branding and visibility for interior designers and the design trade.  Me By Design is an idea  boutique for the home goods /homeware industry.  The business objectives include how to boost the brand value, visibility and audience engagement of boutique interior design firms and legacy design brands with a range of cross-platform, data-driven tools. Methods and techniques include digital storytelling, influencer, and social media marketing as well as bespoke video.

Kim also serves on the Board of Advisors for Thrive GPO, a group purchasing organization and procurement service providing nonprofit organizations with access to better pricing for common goods and services.

She has just recently published her book Branding + Interior Design.   Listen to the podcast to get the details of the following:

Show Notes

  • All the various related industries that Kim has participated in
  • Her grandfather was a major influence in her life and business
  • Find out the secret to her overwhelming success. It’s something intrinsic
  • At the start of her career, she was earning awards  but she had very little income
  • Her work values and attitude
  • How creativity can serve people. The work of creative professionals has value which needs to be purchased and paid for.

You can get the rest of the show notes and resources from our resource center:

Sep 9, 2016

We have a special treat today! We have Jim Palmer, “the dream business coach”! Jim is an author, marketing and business building expert and in-demand coach. He is going to be talking with us in particular about something that we all struggle with as business owners: How do we get more business?

Show Notes:

• How do you attract more clients?
• What sort of things can entrepreneurs do to attract business?
• What was his turning point?
• What can you do get over your fears?
• Don’t become an also!
• Newsletter versus an email
• What is the most important number to know?


See the rest of the show notes at our resource center:

Sep 7, 2016

Just in time for school,  we have Ellen Fisher, the dean of New York School of Interior Design! We are going to talk about the creating of designers and piggy-back off of the discussions from the past couple of weeks on how to make the experience for either an in college intern or a new graduate.

Ellen Fisher has been with New York School of Interior Design since 1999, beginning her career at the College as a member of the faculty, and later becoming lower division area coordinator, associate vice president for academic affairs, and ultimately, vice president of academic affairs and dean in 2012. Fisher is a New York State certified interior designer, with graduate degrees in teaching with technology, and architectural studies.


Read the full show notes at our resource center: Website


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Sep 5, 2016

Nick May is with us today from The Chaise Lounge Podcast! Nick is the very first podcaster to devote the entire platform to the business of interior design. He is truly the trailblazer of our industry. He has been helping you with your business since 2014! Today we are going to learn more about the voice behind The Chaise Lounge.

Show Notes:

  • What is his business model?
  • When did he start painting?
  • When should you move more people in?
  • Where is the marketing magic done?
  • How did he get into podcasting?
  • What two ways does his business work with designers?
  • What kind of opportunities does his business offer?
  • What is IDI?
  • Go do Facebook live!

Get the rest from our resource center:

Sep 2, 2016

It’s another power talk Friday! Today we have Stacey Brown Randall. She is a business growth acceleration specialist! Stacey’s mission is to help small businesses and solopreneours make more money and find more time. She is a certified productivity coach, an adjunct professor and she has her masters in organization communication. Today we are going to talk about the topic of taking control of your business.

Show Notes:

  • What three segments does Stacey’s business focus on?
  • How does this power talk piggyback last power talk Friday?
  • What is the four quad system?
  • How do you get true freedom from your business?
  • What is “identifying the bullseye”?
  • Write your processes down!!!
  • Find someone that can hold you accountable!

You can read the rest of the show notes at our resource center:


Aug 31, 2016

Today we have Chad James with us from Chad James Group. Chad has a very thoughtful way of setting up his business. He considers his firm an educational firm and has the roles divided up into very specific categories. He identifies people as interns, apprentice, junior designer, design assistant and Chad himself. He is going to discuss with you ways to duplicate the systems he uses to manage his team with these categories.

Show Notes:

  • How did Chad come to use the systems he uses?
  • What does he look for in an intern?
  • How does he handle his hire process?
  • Does each new person have to start at intern and work their way up?
  • Take the initiative!
  • How does he handle his staff day to day?

Check out the rest from our resource center:

Aug 29, 2016

Today on the show we are in for a real treat! Alan Tanksley has a “royalty” background in interior design and has his own successful firm: Alan Tanksley, Inc. We are going to talk about his “royalty” background and how space you work in can make a difference.

Show Notes:

  • Was Mark Hampton his first job?
  • What has he learned working for different designers?
  • How has his design changed?
  • What advice would he give to someone starting out?
  • How does the space he works in inspire him?
  • How did he design his space?
  • Make sure your team “fits” together!

See the rest of the resources here:

Aug 26, 2016

On this week’s power talk Friday I have a returning expert: Kae Whitaker of Kae Whitaker Solutions! When Kae was on the show before she shared with us a case study with a particular interior designer that she helped turn her business around in three months-Farrha Hyman. Today she is going to talk with us how to hire the people you need.

Show Notes:

  • How do you decide how many people to have?
  • Where should you look for people?
  • What college student majors is a good pick?
  • How do you increase workflow?
  • Make good relationships with coordinators!
  • What does the interview process look like?
  • Paid employees versus intern
  • When is the best time to find an intern?
  • What are the six things that have to be in place for an intern?

See the rest of the resources here:

Aug 24, 2016

We have Natalie Reddell  for this Well-Designed Business podcast episode. She is an interior designer, lifestyle blogger, and founder of Commander in Chic Design firm.

Natalie began her career as a designer at the age of 4 , when she began collecting toothpaste tube tops as buffet lamp lampshades for her dollhouse.  When she's not working, she can be found at home with her 17-year old son, Schuyler, and  Scarlett O'Hara (their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel).

Natalie received her undergraduate degree in interior design from Florida State University. She also studied the history of architecture & design at Parsons University, Paris, France. She has been in the industry for more than 16 years & has experience in kitchen & bathroom design,home staging,  historic-restoration, commercial design & buying for a large furniture company. Her work now is mostly high-end residential design. She has clients in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, Montana, Colorado, Panama and the Bahamas.

For the rest of the show notes, please visit:


Aug 22, 2016

We have Laura Umansky from Laura U! This is a special interview for me because I love to meet the people you look up to in the design world. We love to see them create beautiful interiors but also big business platforms for themselves. Today we are going to talk to Laura about this. Laura founded her business Laura U in 2006 and personalized customer service is paramount.

Show Notes:

  • What was her work experience before going out on her own?
  • Was there a business plan?
  • What’s it like working with her husband?
  • How did she establish the minimum of rooms she will do in a project?
  • What are the processes her business uses?
  • How is destination design different?
  • What are the biggest challenges in destination design?

For the rest of the resources, please visit






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