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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: Page 4
Jun 9, 2023

Today With Stacey Brown Randall:

Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by Stacey Brown Randall, a business referral whiz who is here to help us understand referral marketing strategies and to share her methods of generating referrals naturally—without manipulating, incentivizing, or even asking. 

Stacey is the host of the Roadmap to Referrals Podcast and the multiple award-winning author of Generating Business Referrals Without Asking, as well as my co-author in A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts (volume 1).

In this episode we talk about systems and strategies, the client experience, and how to find key referral moments throughout your interactions that will make you the designer your clients refer over-and-over again.

Pick It Apart

[3:40] Stacey explains her approach to getting fabulous referrals and how it’s different then what most of us were taught.

[11:56] Stacey speaks to the referral ecosystem and why having a process and a strategy works.

[18:55] Stacey and LuAnn discuss the importance of seeing things from the client’s perspective as they move from new to active to alumni.

[28:37] Stacey advises to create an expectation map to guide everyone through the client experience.

[35:00] LuAnn talks about the vortex phase of a project that is full of pain points for the client and Stacey’s role in helping to remedy that with her advice. 

[43:27] Stacey talks about how following her process led one of her coaching clients to both of their largest referrals to date.

LuAnn Nigara and Stacey Brown Randall’s Ah-Ha Moments

“I want referrals to, just as much as the next person, but I don't want to feel awkward and uncomfortable, and feel like I'm off brand by trying to generate them.” – Stacey Brown Randall

“‘Natural’ doesn’t mean no work.” – LuAnn Nigara

“You have to understand what's going through the mind of your client in each of the stages as they move from new to active to alumni.” – Stacey Brown Randall

“I believe you deserve referrals. But you aren't owed them.” – Stacey Brown Randall

“Just like you can design a room, you can design a business that generates referrals.” - LuAnn Nigara

More About Stacey Brown Randall

Stacey Brown Randall is the multiple award-winning author of Generating Business Referrals Without Asking, host of the Roadmap to Referrals podcast and national speaker.

Stacey teaches business owners how to generate referrals naturally… without manipulating, incentivizing or even asking.   

She has been featured in national publications like Entrepreneur magazine, Investor Business Daily, Forbes, and more. She is also the co-author of Luann Nigara’s book, A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts (volume 1).

She received her Master’s in Organizational Communication and is married with three kids.

Connect with Stacey Brown Randall 

Website

Instagram

LinkedIn

Facebook

Roadmap to Referrals Podcast

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

AWDB #69: Power Talk Friday: Stacey Brown Randall – Take Control Of Your Business – Employee Management

AWDB #93: Power Talk Friday- Stacey Brown Randall- How To Create an Awesome Client Experience!

AWDB #364: Janelle Photopoulos: Leading, Not Simply Running, Your Interior Design Firm

AWDB #426: Power Talk Friday: Stacey Brown Randall: Generating Business Referrals…Without Asking

AWDB #867: Power Talk Friday: Casey Gromer: Do You Need a Fractional Integrator?

Jun 6, 2023

Today With Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller:

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. Running a business is hard. Running one through economic downturns and recessions is tougher. My guests today, Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller of Toledo Geller, have been running their firm together for 17 years. They’ve seen ups and downs in the financial climate—and through it all, they’ve pivoted, built up their network, and come out stronger than before. Today, they’re sharing what you can do in your business to come through even the toughest of economic climates.

Pick It Apart

[3:58] Jessica and Virginia share what they’re most proud of in their business over the years. 

[17:03] Jessica and Virginia discuss how they’ve always ensured they had a strong pipeline of clients.

[26:40] Jessica, Virginia, and LuAnn talk about the importance of flexibility in business. 

[43:28] Jessica and Virginia share their onboarding process for their operations manager.

 LuAnn Nigara, Virginia Toledo, and Jessica Geller’s Ah-Ha Moments

“If you have a business model that you are looking to scale and you have a staff, you feel responsible to keep employed and fed at the end of the day as well as your own family.” -Virginia 

“It's clear in observing you all these years, that there is a bond and there is respect and admiration. You couldn't have survived all these years, you couldn't build a team of eight women behind you without it.” -LuAnn

“It shows the importance of flexibility. If we just said that we were one thing, and we followed one path, and that was it, we probably would never have made it this far.” -Jessica

More About Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller

Toledo Geller is a boutique firm that excels at delivering turn-key, custom residences for singles, couples and families who value exceptional design.

Virginia and Jessica’s approach begins with a deep dive into how each client dreams of living. Getting to know their clients intimately, thoroughly understanding their wish lists and worries, allows Toledo Geller to create a unique, luxury living space that truly reflects who they are—and what they love.

With their mastery of both the design and construction process, Toledo Geller partners with architects and builders from the blueprint stage to completion, providing project management and development oversight. The team works tirelessly to ensure the integrity of each project from start to finish—intent on not just meeting, but exceeding, clients’ expectations.

Toledo Geller was founded over a decade ago and they have been declared House Beautiful’s “Next Wave,” and have been finalists in Innovations in Interior Design, “Ones to Watch” and “Rising Stars” by industry magazines and associations.

VIRGINIA TOLEDO:

Virginia founded Toledo Geller in 2006 after recognizing a need in the luxury residential market for a firm with specialized knowledge in both the design and construction process. Formally trained in interior design, she also gained invaluable experience working along side her father, a general contractor, on construction sites.

A native of Brooklyn, Virginia is a mother who loves historical fiction and entertaining in her 1920’s Craftsman style New Jersey home, which she is constantly updating.

JESSICA GELLER:

The experience of renovating a children’s hospital playroom sparked Jessica’s decision to switch careers from social work to interior design. Her intuitive design sensibility is both innate and learned from experience in the field, and she gravitates towards the perfectly imperfect—such as introducing a color that seems “off” but magically completes the design.

A mother of three, Jessica moved to Essex Fells within a year of renovating her 1850s Hoboken townhouse to embark on transforming a 1920s center hall colonial into the perfect cozy home for spending time with her family.

Connect with Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller 

Website

Instagram

YouTube

Facebook

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

#349 Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang: The Designer CPA

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

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

#663 Andrea Hysmith: Structure and Flexibility, Keys to Reaching Goals in Your Interior Design Business

Jun 2, 2023

Today With Aubre Fox:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today with Aubre Fox we answer everything you’ve ever wondered about working with Revel Woods. As the first point of contact and an interior designer herself, Aubre takes us through all of the steps and benefits to getting your flooring through Revel Woods. She also talks about their new showroom packages, which she is very passionate about. 

Pick It Apart

[1:24] Aubre starts us off talking a little about herself and how she got into Revel Woods. 

[6:10] What is the process when a designer wants to work with Revel Woods?

[26:34] How the backend works with how you get your commission.

[28:28] Aubre breaks down the types of products Revel Woods offers. 

[44:37] Aubre tells us about Revel Woods new showroom package.

LuAnn Nigara and Aubre Fox's Ah-Ha Moments

“As designers when you are working with any person in their technical realm, you have to understand when you’re having a technical conversation, there is no one helping to decide if this is aesthetically a good idea.” - LuAnn Nigara

“I love working with designers because it gives me the opportunity to educate them.” - Aubre Fox

“That’s how a well designed business runs, it looks at all the different revenue streams that are available to that particular business that makes sense for that business model.” - LuAnn Nigara 

More About Aubre Fox

Aubre Fox is an Interior Designer and CEO of A Fox Interiors. Aubre has been committed to creating a space where other women can collaborate, inspire and empower one another. Being in the Design world for over 13 years she has used her creativity and “business building spirit” to inspire and encourage other women to chase their dreams.

Connect with Aubre Fox

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

Other Shows Mentioned:

#329: Power Talk Friday: John Dupra: Revel Woods Launches New To The Trade Program

#452: Power Talk Friday: Revel Woods & American OEM: A Hardwood Flooring Company With Heart 

#865: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor: The Real Deal When Working With Contractors On A Remodel

May 30, 2023

Today With Bria Hammel:

Today on A Well-Designed Business I am welcoming back Bria Hammel. Bria is the Creative Director and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors and Brooke & Lou. Bria was on before giving tips on how to scale your interior design business. And let me say, she is still a #smartlady. Bria has perfected her process for her out of state clients, as well as her team, to make the experience as easy and seamless as possible. Today she is sharing how, and the changes that her businesses have experienced since her last visit.

Pick It Apart

[1:35] Bria shares what she and her business, Bria Hammell Interiors, have been up to since her last visit.

[16:50] Bria talks about how she knew to incorporate prices that match a longer time getting projects finished. 

[19:00] How EOS has been a lifesaver for Bria’s business and how they use it. 

[23:31] Bria shares how she got her integrator.

[31:23] Bria explains how she meets for her out-of state clients, having a husband and being a mom of two.

[35:08] Bria shares the pitfalls she does encounter and how she handles them. 

[48:03] Bria’s post project feedback process.

[51:45] Bria’s specification book for the builders.

LuAnn Nigara and Bria Hammel’s Ah-Ha Moments

“EOS has been such a lifesaver for me because it forces us to sit down weekly and determine what is and isn’t working, and identify problems and come up with solutions.” - Bria Hammel

“EOS is the reason we can handle some of this out of state work. It has made us have the structure that we live and breathe by and our clients can see that. So being able to bring them through such a structured process shows them that it doesn't matter if we're in the same city as them or not. We have all that structure. And that all comes from us.” - Bria Hammel

“That's what clients want. They want to know that they’re in good hands. And when they come to you as a designer, and you're in good hands, they will trust you with more.” LuAnn Nigara

More About Bria Hammel

Bria is the Creative Director and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors and Brooke & Lou. She leads a fresh, talented team of women who are dedicated to designing beautiful, inviting homes for clients. For Bria, every project is about creating a home filled with surprising, thoughtful spaces that lead to unexpected moments. She has an incredible eye for detail and has a passion for designing spaces that tell her clients’ stories.

Bria’s work has been featured in national publications such as Traditional Home, HGTV Magazine, Forbes, Oprah Daily, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living, and as well as many other local magazines. Most recently, Bria was named in Traditional Home's 2022 Rising Stars of Design, a huge honor to her team and firm. Her roster of past accomplishments are nothing short of amazing as well— Brooke & Lou's flagship store in Edina, MN, received House Beautiful's Best Home Stores in America 2022, received 2nd Place in Sub-Zero Wolf's Kitchen Design Contest in the Traditional category in 2019, was a finalist for an International Design Award, was selected as a 2018 Style Spotter for High Point Market Authority, and awarded the “Fresh Faces of Design” award in 2015 and 2018 from HGTV.

Bria has been fortunate enough to travel the world, which has given her a unique perspective on how people live, as well as a deep understanding of how different spaces can come together in incredible ways.

Connect with Bria Hammel 

Website 

Brooke and Lou

Instagram

Brooke and Lou Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

#474- Bria Hammel: Keys To Scaling Your Interior Design Firm

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

 

#866- McCall Dulkys: Building a Successful Design Business From Around the World

 

#867- Power Talk Friday: Casey Gromer: Do You Need a Fractional Integrator?

 

May 26, 2023

Today With Katie McDonald:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I'm joined by Katie McDonald, certified holistic health coach, raw food chef and instructor at b.nourished. Katie’s motto is self-care is not fluff and it isn’t selfish. That is exactly what she helps her clients through so they can both take care of their business and take care of themselves. Katie has worked with several interior designers over the years and has discovered that in service to their clients and their craft, they ignore their own wellbeing, dismissing their needs, and even their own spaces. If this sounds like you, then you will enjoy this episode.

Pick It Apart

[2:00] What started Katie on her belief that self-care is not fluff and not selfish.

[6:01] Katie explains what to look for in yourself to determine if you are on the brink of needing self-care.

[19:07] The areas she focuses on with her clients because there isn’t one model that works for everyone.

[24:30] The art of concept and considerations.

[31:31] Katies shares the aha moments she and her clients have while working together. 

[37:15] Katie’s relation to interior designers and how your home supports your self-care.

LuAnn Nigara and Katie McDonald’s Ah-Ha Moments

“I eventually hit the point where I realized that I can’t do this anymore and had to start embracing that if I wanted to get things done, I had to take care of myself.” - Katie McDonald

“When we slow our role, we become conscious participants in our life.” - Katie McDonald

“The best way to gain a competitive edge is to take care of yourself consistently.” - Katie McDonald

More About Katie McDonald

Over a decade ago, the demands of Katie McDonald’s corporate career occupied her every waking moment. She was left feeling depleted and depressed—suffering from spiraling mental and physical health crises that threatened her life.

Left with no choice but to transform her body-mind relationship, Katie abandoned her corporate job and finally started applying her knowledge of self-care, alternative health, and plant-based nutrition.

Since then, Katie has been on a revitalizing journey of lifelong self-care.

Fully recovered from years of self-neglect, Katie now helps fellow doers embrace self-care so they can do more and be more while leading healthier, more intentional, and more nourished lives.

Katie leads with tough love to inspire, empower, and challenge audiences. She dispels the destructive myth that self-care is an obstacle to productivity and teaches that self-care is, in fact, a tool to create a more powerful and impactful legacy.

Connect with Katie McDonald 

Website

Katie McDonald’s coaching website to schedule your complimentary 30 minute self-care strategy session

Katie McDonald’s planners (get 15% off with code LUANN)

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

#778: Deborah Main: A Journey Through Illness to Interior Design

#811: Power Talk Friday: Heather Hansen: You Are Your Own Advocate

#858: Veronica Solomon: Cultivating Self-Awareness as a Superpower

Sass Says

 

May 23, 2023

Today With Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum:

Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum, AKA the Brownstone Boys. Barry and Jordan are designers, DIY-ers, renovators, and restorers who followed their passions and serendipitously fell into a flourishing business together.

In 2018, Jordan and Barry bought a brownstone in Brooklyn and started The Brownstone Boys blog the day they closed on the house, and that’s just the beginning of their adventure. Today they are renovating their way across Brooklyn and New York City, one brownstone at a time. 

In our interview, The Brownstone Boys share how they grew their business organically, how they are implementing systems and processes, and how to balance work and life when you’re in business with your partner.

Pick It Apart

[2:33] Jordan talks about the significance of his and Barry’s second date—a bike ride through Brooklyn neighborhoods where they realized they shared a love of brownstones.

[10:44] Jordan explains how The Brownstone Boys blog began and how that led to their first clients.

[20:13] LuAnn makes a point about how fundamental business questions and processes are imperative to successful businesses.

[35:43] Barry discusses how the business has grown organically over the last few years, but now they are intentionally restructuring and building in systems and processes to help it run smoother as they grow and pivot to different platforms. 

[41:01 LuAnn asks Jordan and Barry to share lessons they have learned through their business and partnership. 

[52:09] Jordan shares big news about his and Barry’s future.

LuAnn Nigara and The Brownstone Boys’ Ah-Ha Moments

“I think a lot of that has to do with listening…And no matter how many systems we implement, I still want that one-on-one authentic relationship with our client.” – Jordan Slocum

“We started our business, and it happened very organically…And right now we're at a point in the business that we're going back and really building in some structure that we should have a long time ago.” – Barry Bordelon

“We're business partners, but we're also life partners. And I think something that I'm really excited for with the new processes is separating—or trying to separate—work from our home life.” – Jordan Slocum 

“There are difficult times. But I think it's just really cool to be building a business with a partner and to be going through this together and to have this thing that's our own.” - Barry Bordelon

More About The Brownstone Boys

We’re Jordan & Barry, AKA The Brownstone Boys.

We’re designers, DIY-ers, renovators, and restorers. We have a passion for old homes and everything that comes along with them: the details, the quirks, the character, and especially the parts that need lots of love. We have a ton of respect for all of those gorgeous original details and love restoring them but we are not afraid to add some modern touches.

We bought our 130 year old historic Brooklyn brownstone in 2018 and we’ve been slowly restoring it ever since. We started our blog and Instagram account the day we closed on the house. When we started our journey we found it hard to find the right information, but some of the best real estate, renovation, and design advice that we did find was on other helpful and creative blogs. So we decided to share our experiences as well. We are so fortunate and thankful that other people found it helpful…and maybe a little entertaining! We enjoyed sharing our journey and answering the thousands of questions we received. Eventually, we started helping people more and more with design advice, contractor & architect recommendations, and generally holding the hands of others who were trying to navigate renovating a historic home in New York and even around the world.

Some people that reached out really seemed like they needed more help than just a recommendation or suggestion, so we thought long and hard about it and nervously asked someone one day, “Would you like us to help you do it?” And like that, we had our first client. That quickly led to a second, then a third, and now we are full time Brownstone Boys designing and renovating our way across Brooklyn and NYC. We have found our true passion and pinch ourselves everyday that it’s also now our careers.

Connect with The Brownstone Boys

Website

Instagram 

Youtube

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

AWDB #271: Power Talk Friday: Husband & Wife Teams- This Week is LuAnn & Vin Nigara

AWDB #540: Robin Baron: Strategic Thinking on Product Development

AWDB #692: Power Talk Friday: Fiona Mostyn: Leveraging Your Blog to Bolster Your Interior Design Business

AWDB #786: Meredith Huck: From Corporate to Interior Design Business: 3 Insights to Succeed

AWDB #864: Hilaire Pickett Martin: Lesson From an Interior Design Operations Manager

AWDB #879: Power Talk Friday: Sarah Daniele: Mydoma Studio and the Business of Change as the Interior Design Industry Enters a Digital Transformation

 

May 19, 2023

Today With Sarah Daniele:

Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by software designer Sarah Daniele. Sarah is the CEO and co-founder of Mydoma Studio, an all-in-one project management solution for interior designers. Sarah is a professionally educated interior designer, and she is passionate about building tools and technology that help other designers grow their businesses. 

Through Mydoma, Sarah has a unique, top-level perspective on industry trends, and she is here to help us interpret those insights and share her predictions for what’s to come. We talk about task management software, virtual team members, advances in 3D rendering and virtual staging, and the benefits of adding convenience to clients and projects with technology.

Pick It Apart

[1:47] Sarah and LuAnn discuss how the design industry is undergoing a digital transformation.

[9:17] Sara emphasizes the importance of keeping communication all in one place and how easy that is with the Mydoma app.

[20:13] LuAnn asks Sarah to talk about her feelings and thoughts on VA’s and virtual team members in relation to the interior design industry.

[27:37] Sarah gets excited as she discusses the trends she is seeing in 3D rendering.

[40:32] Sarah and LuAnn discuss virtual staging and its role in the industry.

[52:48] Sarah mentions that many designers are adopting online payment strategies and how this is a necessary service for convenience and luxury.

LuAnn Nigara and Sarah Daniele's Ah-Ha Moments

“When you get a digital transformation, you have to sift through what's right for your business for what you're trying to achieve.” – Sarah Daniele

“Communication is at the heart of the interior design business. If you are not on top of your communication with your vendors, then you are not able to keep on top of your communication with your consumers. And if you are not communicating with your consumers, and you're just like every other Tom, Dick and Harry out there, that's not giving good service.” – LuAnn Nigara 

“Rendering does that—3D visualization, shows them the future.” – Sarah Daniele

“You can't be fearful you got to go in you got to jump in and you got to try. And you know what? Learning something new is hard sometimes.” – Sarah Daniele

“The epitome of the cornerstone of customer service to the luxury market is making it convenient for [the client]. Whether it’s an appointment, a payment, a selection—it’s all about them.” – LuAnn Nigara

More About Sarah Daniele

Sarah Daniele is the CEO and co-founder of Mydoma Studio. Mydoma Studio is the premier platform for interior designers; a workflow software to organize design projects from beginning to end and a thriving design community. The first version of Mydoma Studio was built to fulfill a personal need. It was the encouragement of her peers that Sarah Daniele turned tech CEO and built Mydoma Studio for the interior design industry. Sarah is passionate about building tools and technology to allow interior designers to grow their businesses. Sarah has previously spoken at leading industry events and technology panels. Sarah and Mydoma Studio have also been featured in Designers Today, Home Accents Today, Editor at Large, Kitchen, Bath Design News, and A Well Designed Business podcast.

Connect with Sarah Daniele

Website

Instagram 

Get 20% off Mydoma for 3 months!

Other Shows Mentioned:

#91: Sarah Daniele – Co-Founder & CEO of Mydoma Studio

#177: Power Talk Friday- Sarah Daniele, CEO of Mydoma Studio is back to tell us what’ s new for you at Mydoma Studio!

#555: Sarah Daniele: 19H The Blueprint, Create Resiliency in Your Business

#375: Power Talk Friday: Bonnie Fahy: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Interior Design Business

#618: Jenna Gaidusek: How to Build an Online Business in Interior Design

#770: Tiffany Cassidy: Niching into Vacation Home Design

#864: Hilaire Pickett Martin: Lesson From an Interior Design Operations Manager

May 16, 2023

Today With Brad Leavitt:

Today we’re doing a Throwback Tuesday with Brad Leavitt! Brad is the President and Founder of “A Finer Touch Construction” - a Scottsdale based luxury residential and commercial builder. He’s also one of the speakers at LuAnn Live 2023, which is why we couldn’t miss the chance to bring one of his shows back.

In today’s episode, we’ll learn what is his perspective on working alongside interior designers for his project and how this has made his life easier! 

More About Brad Leavitt

Brad Leavitt is President and Founder of “A Finer Touch Construction” - a Scottsdale based luxury residential and commercial builder. AFT Construction, as known throughout the industry, is an award-winning construction firm and has been nationally published in magazines such as: Fine Home Building, Luxe Interiors and Design, and Professional Builder. Brad was awarded as an “Icon” in the AZ building industry by Sources for Design in October, 2019. He was also recognized as a 2022 Phoenix Titan 100. The Titan 100 program recognizes Phoenix’s Top 100 CEO’s & C-level executives. They are the area’s most accomplished business leaders in their industry using criteria that includes demonstrating exceptional leadership, vision, and passion. Collectively, the Phoenix 2022 Titans have a combined total of annual revenue of $32B and employ more than 85,000 individuals. 

Brad Leavitt is an energetic public speaker and ambassador for many national brands including Kohler, Louisiana Pacific, Rinnai. Pella, Subzero-Wolf, Buildertrend, Cambria, and Elkay. Brad completed a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from BYU in 2005 and worked on notable projects around Phoenix, including the Omni Montelucia in Paradise Valley.

His Podcast, “The AFT Construction Podcast”, is focused on bringing value to its listeners, no matter their industry. The topics are focused on marketing, social media, entrepreneurship, organization, building science and construction. AFT has continued to exceed industry standards and create strong client relationships based on integrity, reliability and quality. Brad is married to Ashley Leavitt. Together, they have 6 children, 5 girls and 1 boy.  Brad is active with all 6 of his children, serves in his local community, and loves all sports

Connect with Brad Leavitt

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

Podcast

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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:

#542: Brad Leavitt: AFT Construction: A Builder’s Perspective on the Design Build Process

#560: Brad Leavitt, AFT Construction: The Design Book

#580: Brad Leavitt, AFT Construction: The Two “B” Words: Budget & Builders

#615: Power Talk Friday: Brad Leavitt: Overcoming Resistance in the Design-Build Process

#649: Power Talk Friday: Brad Leavitt: Understanding Design-Build from the Builder’s Perspective

May 12, 2023

Today With Jisun Sunny Fisher:

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. I often talk about the power of mindset. Limiting beliefs are tied to almost every issue you can have in your business, and in all of my years of coaching and helping other business owners, I can say that almost every single time, the key came down to mindset. Today, I’m joined by psychologist and happiness coach Jisun Sunny Fisher. She works at the intersection of spirituality and science, helping courageous leaders remember their true north and re-discover what makes them fall in love with life again. Jisun is sharing with us why the brain is the blueprint for success and what you can do to harness it. 

Pick It Apart

[3:48] Jisun shares why the brain is the blueprint for success (and why “success” might not mean what you think it does)

[10:01] Jisun breaks down the brain science behind limiting beliefs and how your mind works

[15:00] LuAnn shares her own insight into the power of visualization

[30:50] Jisun reveals 3 questions to ask yourself to begin to unlock your blueprint to success

[43:03] Jisun discusses how to take your answers to those questions and start to rewire your brain

LuAnn Nigara and Jisun Fisher's Ah-Ha Moments

“If we take the time to do the reflection, that we might have defined success by what our mothers, our fathers, our friends, our husbands, our wives, our peers have called it—that seems very logical to me that we could all fall prey to doing that. But what I think I heard you in there is that it sounds like then additionally, our brain at a subconscious level, has two things happening. It has our true desire unconscious there, but also has built on those other people's desires for us.” -LuAnn

“Underneath the beta frequency is the alpha frequency. This is when you're relaxed, and you want to read a story you have have a cup of tea in front of you, and you're just in the state of relaxation. That's the Alpha frequency. The frequency underneath that is the theta. And the theta frequency is where all the magic happens.” -Jisun

More About Jisun Sunny Fisher

Jisun Sunny Fisher, PhD, MA, CHt, CAPP, is a licensed psychologist, published author, and happiness coach who helps courageous leaders remember their true north and re-discover what makes them fall in love with life again. Through her powerful and unique guidance, clients learn to master their narratives, break old patterns, and turn their weaknesses into superpowers. They learn to embody absolute clarity, unshakeable confidence, and ultimate conviction.

Dr. J received her graduate degrees from Columbia University and the University of Connecticut. She is also certified in Positive Psychology, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), and Hypnosis. Dr. J’s thought leadership has been featured in Yahoo!Life, Thrive Global, Bustle, Goalcast, and more.

Dr. J loves hiking with her pups, dabbling on the piano, reading tarot for growth and healing, and making annual trips to her beloved land of Hawai’i. If you catch her in the kitchen cooking, run the other way!

Her book, The Bodhi Blueprint, Ultimate Freedom! Master Your Fears and Live Life on Purpose, was published in June 2022 and has received five star reviews.

Find out more about Dr. J at www.bodhifully.com.

Connect with Jisun Fisher

Website 

Instagram 

The Bodhi Blueprint: Ultimate Freedom! Master Your Fears and Live Life on Purpose

Free Chapter of The Bodhi Blueprint: Ultimate Freedom! Master Your Fears and Live Life on Purpose

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

#711 Christine Platt: The Afrominimalist

 

May 9, 2023

Today With Natasa Jones:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I’m joined by my good friend, Natasa Jones. She is the CEO and Principal Designer of Natasa Jones Interiors. European architecture and fashion are rooted in her design style. Today she’s back on the show to tell us how she has been scaling her business the last few years.

LuAnn Nigara and Natasa Jones' Ah-Ha Moments

“I’m never afraid to ask, what’s the worst thing that can happen?” - Natasa Jones

“There is no such thing as competition in this industry” - Natasa Jones

“If I wanted that luxury client, I wanted to be able to provide them with a luxury experience” - Natasa Jones

More About Natasa Jones

Natasa Jones, CEO and Principal Designer of NJI was born and raised in Europe. Natasa’s intuitive sense of style started at a young age. European architecture and fashion are rooted in her design style. She studied studio arts in her home country of Montenegro where she learned principles of art and design. Natasa continued her design journey in Chicago, where she obtained a degree in Interior Design. 

Home has a special meaning to Natasa. As she moved from Bosnia to Montenegro to the United States, home became more than the place where you live. Natasa believes that home is a space where you feel safe, where all the visual appeal tells a story and where you love to be!

Connect with Natasa Jones

Website

Instagram 

Natasa’s video

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

http://www.luannnigara.com/cob

A Big Thank You to Our Keynote Sponsors:

Nancy Ganzekaufer

Traci Connell

Duke Renders

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

Audiobook: 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:

#570: Natasa Jones: How to Maximize the ROI on Any Webinar, Course or Conference

#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

#310: Pulp Design Studios® : How To Attract a Licensing Deal 

#89: Marie Flanigan – How Marketing Strategies Helped Her Grow Her Firm

#329: Dala Al-Fuwaires: Commercial Designer, Focused Business Owner 

Other Resources Mentioned:

Casey Gromer - C Suite Boutique

Brodie Kerst

May 5, 2023

Today With Vita Vygovska:

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. It’s Window Treatment Friday, which means I am joined by Vita Vygovska. Vita is the founder of Vitalia Inc. and a regular here on the podcasts. She is an expert in all things window treatments, and today Vita will share her knowledge of unstable fabrics to help us better understand the qualities of these linens, wools, open weaves, and anything viscose. 

Window treatment professionals can’t guarantee the results when working with these fabrics, so neither should you as the designer. But don’t worry, Vita is here to eloquently help us navigate these temperamental textiles and give us the knowledge we need for better success.

Pick It Apart

[7:22] Vita and LuAnn discuss the battle of getting drapes to skim, or “kiss” the floor.

[17:53] Vita offers language to say no, without actually saying “no.”

[24:24] LuAnn talks about the importance of listening to the advice of your window treatment professional and passing the information along honestly to your clients. 

[28:59] Vita advises interior designers on alternative fabrics to use in place of unstable ones. 

[40:10] Vita suggests not only discussing the fabrics, but documenting the conversation and putting a disclaimer on projects with unstable fabrics because you can’t guarantee the outcome.

LuAnn Nigara and Vita Vygovska's Ah-Ha Moments

“We want to be good partners. We want to be there as your problem solvers, and as someone who brings value. But we also want to tell the truth, and we don't want to set anybody up for failure.” – Vita Vygovska

“These unstable fabrics‑being unstable because they're unpredictable‑whereas we don't exactly know as a workroomhow they are going to behave when we fabricate them… And so because these fabrics are so unpredictable, it is really difficult to guarantee any kind of specific result.” – Vita Vygovska

“Understand that once your window treatment professional confirms, or just tells you, for the first time that this probably isn't going to perform the way you and your client have the expectation to, then think of it as clear cut as the sofa blocking the walkway.” – LuAnn Nigara

“I'm going to tell you the truth over getting an order because I don't want just the order. I want the order and I want the project to be successful.” – LuAnn Nigara

“Tough conversations are always better had on the on the forefront‑up front‑before they become tough situations.” – Vita Vygovska

More About Vita Vygovska:

Vitalia Vygovska (Vita for short!), CWFP, MBA, is an award-winning window treatment specialist, author, speaker, and the LuAnn University instructor for Systems Driven Operations.

Connect with Vita Vygovska

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

Pinterest

YouTube

LinkedIn

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

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:

WTFP #134: Deb Barrett: Why Textiles Matter

AWDB #448: Window Treatment Friday: A New Series featuring Vita Vygovska and LuAnn Nigara

AWDB #456: Window Treatment Friday: Custom-Made vs Ready-Made Window Treatments

AWDB #462: Window Treatment Friday: Window Treatment Business Models, Part 1

AWDB #471: Window Treatment Friday: Window Treatment Business Models, Part 2

AWDB #748: Window Treatment Friday: Pricing Window Treatments: Understanding Margin vs. Markup

AWDB #761: Window Treatment Friday: Pricing Window Treatments: How to Ballpark the Numbers on the Fly

AWDB #775: Window Treatment Friday: Vita Vygovska: How Much Profit Can Designers Make on Window Treatments?

AWDB #815: Window Treatment Friday: Vita Vygovska: Mindset of Pricing Window Treatments

Other Resources Mentioned:

Vita’s Focus on Fabrics CEU

May 2, 2023

Today With Zane and Emily Williams:

Hi, welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I’m joined by a power couple, Zane and Emily Williams from Z Properties. They have established a reputation for evocative design and quality construction, materials, and furnishings. Zane and Emily have worked with every type of client and strongly know how to best navigate relationships for creative freedom on their end and a happy customer on the other, and today they share with us how they do it! 

LuAnn Nigara and Zane and Emily Williams' Ah-Ha Moments

“Never back away from what you love and what you feel good about.” - Emily Williams.

“If they’re a good client they are coming to you because they trust you and they want your confidence and input.” - Emily Williams

More About Zane and Emily Williams:

About Zane Williams -

Driven by a belief that the home should be a place that stirs something within you, Zane fuses intuitive project management with a daring design approach, allowing him to conceptualize properties that are executed perfectly and bring a sense of awe to each homeowner and business owner, alike. Zane’s incredibly honest and cutting-edge approach to design-build, paired with his expertise in all aspects of the selection and execution of the perfect property, draws clients from across the Central Florida region. 

About Emily Williams -

Emily, with a sharp eye for all things luxury design and a captivating presence, combines a confident use of playful palettes and patterns to create unique spaces that beg to be enjoyed. Emily’s ability to carefully curate an interior that’s surprising and inspired has established Z’s interior design offerings as some of the most sought-after in the Sunshine State and beyond. 

Emily also extends her passion for living beautifully through her other Winter Parkbased businesses: The Grove (apparel, home goods, and gifts), Be On Park (fine jewelry), and Clementine (wedding registry, tableware and home accessories).

Connect with Zane and Emily Williams

Website

Instagram

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

luannuniversity.com

Watch the Docuseries!

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:

#380: Circle Design Studio: Architect & Interior Design Firm: John & Theresa Dorlini

Apr 28, 2023

Today With Peter Lang:

Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by Peter Lang of The Designer CPA, the only CPA firm in the country specializing in the business of Interior Design. Peter is a repeat guest on the show and the co-author of A Well Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts. 

Peter has spent the last several years compiling all of his numbers and all of his knowledge into a beautiful industry-standard report. If you’ve ever wondered what profits look like for an interior design business your size, or how much the average owner pays themselves annually, or what standard monthly overhead costs add up to, then this is for you. This guidebook has every benchmark number along with thorough video explanations to help you make better decisions and have more success in your interior design business.

Pick It Apart

[5:13] Peter explains the differences when choosing between cash basis and an accrual basis on your tax forms.

[13:54] Peter and LuAnn discuss how different software targets different methods and offers different features, mentioning Pete’s online assessment that can help designers decide what project management software might work best in their business.

[18:11] Peter helps LuAnn understand what interior designers need to look for in a good bookkeeper.

[26:00] Pete and LuAnn dig into Peter’s new online course, an interior design guidebook full of industry standards based on Peter’s accounting data.

[31:46] Peter breaks down what is in the payroll section of his new report and how business owners can use this data.

[42:49] Peter explains how designers and business owners can use these numbers to their advantage.

LuAnn Nigara and Peter Lang's Ah-Ha Moments

“When your profitability is monitored, then your own paycheck can go up.” – LuAnn Nigara 

“The numbers and the data don't lie.” – LuAnn Nigara

“I want you to use this information to make better decisions for your business, so that bottom line number—that profitability number, the amount that you want to pay yourself—it's easier to succeed in those goals that you have.” – Peter Lang

More About Peter Lang:

Peter Lang is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  He is the founder of The Designer CPA, a CPA firm that works exclusively with business owners in the design industry.  He has worked in public accounting since graduating from Providence College in 2002.  After working for several larger-size firms in Boston and Rhode Island, Peter realized his true passion was to start a firm that specifically focused on designers.

Connect with Peter Lang

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Industry Standard Data 2019 to 2022

Other Shows Mentioned:

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

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

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

AWDB #466: Power Talk Friday: Nicole Heymer: You’ve Defined Your Brand…Now What?

AWDB #522: Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang, CPA: Taxes and the Coronavirus Relief Package Explained

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

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Today's show was sponsored by The Designer CPA.

Apr 25, 2023

Today With Amber Lewis:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business, today we’re doing something a little bit different: Throwback Tuesday. With over 900+ episodes in our back catalog, it’s hard to keep up with all the great designers that have shared their knowledge with all of us, that’s why we’re bringing back Amber Lewis’ 2017 episode. Amber and I talked about what it was that catapulted her to a level above her own in the beginning, the importance of figuring out your system and the chain of command in your firm, parenting and running a business and so much more! Let’s dive right into it.

More About Amber Lewis:

As principal at Amber Interior Design and founder of the blog, All Sorts Of, she has garnered clients and followers from around the world. As pioneer of the white-wall, laid back California aesthetic, Amber’s eclectic design approach and affinity for found objects has made her a household name.

Amber imbues a bit of California eclectic in all of her projects, but craves a design challenge and opportunities to show off her ever-evolving style. No matter what the style she is asked to create, each space designed by Amber feels cozy, eclectic, and unique.

Today Amber Interior Design, Inc. provides designs for large scale residences. Amber and her team work with architects and contractors to bring the distinct visions seen in her work, on her blog and in her retail Shoppe, to life. Light filled rooms, colorful textiles, natural elements, earthy textures, and brushed metals, are the elements that define and can always distinguish an Amber Interiors designed home.

Amber currently lives in Calabasas with her husband and business partner Mike, their daughter Gwyneth, and fur babies Penny, Billie, Stella, Milo, and Georgie (all rescue animals).

Connect with Amber Lewis

Website

Instagram

Pinterest

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

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:

#169: Amber Lewis- Keynote Speaker at Design Blogger’s Conference

#184: Amber Lewis – Important Business Tips to Run Your Interior Design Firm

#507: Barclay Butera: 25 Years of Beautiful Design

#36: Susan Brunstrum- Practical Advice for Project Management

Other Resources Mentioned:

Studio Webware

Apr 21, 2023

Today With Desi Creswell:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. In today’s sponsored show, I’m sitting down with Desi Creswell, a friend of the show, Power Talk Friday expert, and creator of Out of Overwhelm—a six-month, intimate group experience for interior designers that will take you from overwhelmed & stressed to in control and profitable.

What really impresses me about Desi isn’t just her ability to teach people time management skills. As you’ll hear in today’s episode, the skills, tools, techniques, and practices are only half of the puzzle. Desi’s real ability lies in the other half—the mindset hurdles that are blocking us from transforming our relationship with time.

Pick It Apart

[2:13] Desi shares why time management is much more than the perfect color-coded calendar or time-blocking system. 

[7:45] LuAnn and Desi discuss the concept of a relationship with time and how to change it. 

[13:30] LuAnn and Desi talk about why the lack of time isn’t the real issue—the problem is often so much deeper. 

[30:27] Desi shares her 5-step process for time management. 

[56:44] Desi highlights how Out of Overwhelm works to help designers with time management struggles.

LuAnn Nigara and Desi Creswell's Ah-Ha Moments

“We want to take an outward easy step to time management. And it’s a good step—time-blocking is something we want to do in a lot of ways. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg, and if it doesn’t go with all of the other things that you teach and coach on—like the relationship with time—it doesn’t change things.” - LuAnn

“I ask people to describe their relationship with time. For a lot of my clients, the relationship is adversarial, it’s forced, disciplined in a nonsupportive way. That used to be my experience before I came across the mindset tools I teach now. When we are in that unhealthy dynamic with time, of course we don’t want to engage with the strategies that are going to support us in effectively managing our time.” - Desi

More About Desi Creswell:

Desi Creswell is a Certified Life and Business Coach who helps interior designers stop feeling overwhelmed so they can intentionally build profitable, fulfilling businesses that enrich and support their lives as a whole. 

An award-winning interior designer, Desi worked for world-renowned design and architecture firms prior to establishing her own design practice. After experiencing burnout from an endless to-do list and the competing interests of work and home, she was disheartened by the feeling that she wasn’t showing up as her best in any area of life. Desi sought to find solutions within the industry for time-management, work-life balance, and creating success that is truly self-defined.

In her quest to find a better way, Desi became committed to personal development and growth. This led Desi to blend mindset with strategy to transform her own experience and thus realize that there was a need for this type of support within the design community. Her training as a life coach, paired with her industry-specific expertise, helps her to empower clients to thrive both personally and professionally. 

Connect with Desi Creswell

Website

Instagram

Interior Designers Get it Done Daily Planner 

Life & Business Vision Journal

Podcast: The Interior Design Business CEO

Freedom in the Framework Workshop

Other Shows Mentioned:

#777: Power Talk Friday: Desi Creswell: Leading from Your Future Self

#698: Power Talk Friday: Desi Creswell: Tactics to Beat Burnout and Overwhelm

#557: Power Talk Friday: Desi Creswell: Develop Your CEO Mindset

#475: Power Talk Friday: Desi Creswell: How to Create More Time

Apr 18, 2023

Today With Jillian Lare:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. On today’s episode, I am joined by Jillian Lare, of Morris Lare. Jillian achieved a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and spent her early career with Intel Corporation. During her time as an engineer, she honed the invaluable skills of critical thinking, project management, leadership, and effective communication, which she applies every day as an interior designer and entrepreneur. Today, she’ll tell us the different systems she uses to keep track of her numbers.

More About Jillian Lare:

Jillian Lare is a native of northeastern Pennsylvania. She achieved a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and spent her early career with Intel Corporation. During her time as an engineer, she honed the invaluable skills of critical thinking, project management, leadership, and effective communication, which she applies every day as an interior designer and entrepreneur.

Jillian made the switch from engineering to design in 2007 when she apprenticed with a local designer. Upon relocating to Des Moines, she enrolled in the MA of Interior Design program at Iowa State and graduated in 2013. She joined the faculty shortly after and served as an instructor for five years, specializing in residential design and visual and graphic communication. While teaching, she continued to design for clients. After the birth of her son in 2017, she launched Jillian Lare Interior Design, her eponymous firm focused on residential new construction and remodeling.

Jillian enjoys working on a variety of residential projects including new construction, kitchen remodels, decorating, and furnishings throughout the Des Moines area and with clients coast to coast. She resides in West Des Moines with her husband Keegan, a registered landscape architect, their son Ashton, and two dogs Booker and Arlo.

Connect with Jillian Lare

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:

#649: Power Talk Friday: Brad Leavitt: Understanding Design-Build from the Builder’s Perspective

864: Hilaire Pickett Martin: Lesson From an Interior Design Operations Manager

575: Lisa Gilmore: Finance Fridays! From 850k to 2.25 Million in One Year!

Other Resources Mentioned:

The Predictive Index: Talent Optimization Leader

InDesign

Canva

Asana

BaseCamp

Studio Designer

Mydoma

Interior Design Standard by Sandra Funk

Tobi Fairley

Cheryl Clendenon

Apr 14, 2023

Today With Nancy Ganzekaufer:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. For today’s sponsored episode, I’m welcoming my friend Nancy Ganzekaufer back to the show. If you’re a long-time listener, you’ve probably heard of Nancy’s coaching program, Profit Insiders for Interior Designers Group Coaching + Mastermind. In today’s episode, you’re going to hear why Profit Insiders is not your average coaching program, beginning with a testimonial of how it helped someone quintuple—yes, quintuple their revenue.

Pick It Apart

[2:37] LuAnn shares one of Nancy’s raving testimonials that show how one client quintupled their revenue after Profit Insiders.  

[7:57] Nancy and LuAnn discuss the value of group coaching. 

[19:44] Nancy breaks down how Profit Insiders provides consistent ROI for designers. 

[32:03] Nancy discusses how Profit Insiders helps you price your services right and finesse everything else that goes into profitability as well.

LuAnn Nigara and Nancy Ganzekaufer's Ah-Ha Moments

“Nothing irritates me more than seeing interior designers work so hard and not make enough money for whatever they want to use it for.” - Nancy

“Whatever you want in your business, however, you want your business to look, my only goal is…do it the way you want, I’m going to help you make it profitable.” - Nancy

“Not every business coach offers life coaching, but when you have that skill set and you do, it is valuable, because if your life is in disarray it’s hard to get the business locked down. If your life contains limiting beliefs and blocks and mindset blocks, to just think that you're going to stick that brain on a shelf and approach your business open-minded and ready for abundance and creativity is illogical.” - LuAnn

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

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

#841: Power Talk Friday: Nancy Ganzekaufer: Profit Insiders For Interior Designers Group Coaching + Mastermind

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.

Apr 11, 2023

Today With Jill Cole:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today I'm joined by Jill Cole, an icon of the hospitality interior design industry. At Cole Martinez Curtis and Associates, Jill has made a name for herself, designing fabulous hotel and resort interiors worldwide for over 40 years. She joins us to discuss how she has sustained this impactful and extensive career in an ever-changing world. This is a great conversation with one of the best in the business that touches on a little bit of everything, from finding inspiration to embracing tech and staying true to your core values.

Pick It Apart

[11:13] Jill talks her first hotel design, the Adolphis Hotel in Dallas, and how that motivated transitioning her firm from office and retail design into hospitality design

[18:17] Jill and LuAnn discuss designing high-end senior living, how it mimics luxury resorts and was another opportunity for Jill’s firm to consider when other interior design projects were slowing due to the financial collapse of 2009.

[23:58] LuAnn and Jill discuss embracing tech as an interior designer.

[30:30] LuAnn asks Jill how she understands design trends to inform and expand aesthetics.

[37:20] Jill talks about defining your personal and company values and staying true to them in the industry.

[44:16] Jill talks about hospitality interior design appealing to a broad market and the importance of knowing who you are serving as what your competitors are doing.

LuAnn Nigara and Jill Cole's Ah-Ha Moments

“We spend, realistically, a large percentage of our lives working. I want people to feel good about it. I want you to be enthusiastic. I want you to enjoy your co-workers. I want you to enjoy the experience of dealing with each other, and feel good about what you're doing.” – Jill Cole

“You have to absorb all things visual, and filter through that and interpret it in your own way, and spit out the latest trends…If all you're doing for inspiration is looking at pictures of your competitors work, you're not doing your job.” – Jill Cole

“When you do work and live in your values, then it builds that trust and reliability factor with the people that are orbiting you.” – LuAnn Nigara

More About Jill Cole:

Jill is Managing Principal and President of Cole Martinez Curtis and Associates. Since the l98l re-opening of the Adolphus Hotel, Jill has devoted herself exclusively to hotel, resort, and recreational design. Her particular focus is on the creation of projects that are responsive to their target markets and respective of their environment and location. For her work, she has received Gold Key, Designers Circle and ARDY awards for the interior design of such projects as the Adolphus, the Wigwam Resort and Country Club, Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas, Marriott’s Summit Watch at Park City, the Lodge at Pebble Beach, the Kea Lani and the Lodge at Sea Island. In l992, she was the only designer in the U.S. to receive the honor of professional membership by invitation from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). She was also the l993 recipient of the prestigious Platinum Circle® Award. Jill is a member of the International Society of Hospitality Consultants (ISHC). 

Jill’s work has appeared in Designers West, Architectural Digest, Hotels, Interior Design, Lodging Hospitality, Restaurant/Hotel Design International, Restaurant Hospitality, Interiors, and Travel & Leisure. Books in which she is featured include, California Design, International Hotel and Resort Design, and International Hotel Redesign. For PBC International, Jill wrote California Interiors, a popular reference on contemporary California design. She has also appeared on “The Designer’s Challenge” for HG-TV and “The World’s Ten Best Hotel Suites” for the Travel Channel. 

Her university education is in art history, languages, and design at U.C.L.A., the Academy of Fine Arts, Rome; and Chouinard Institute. She is a California Certified Interior Designer and founding member of the CCIDC. Jill is an active contributor to the field of interior design education and has taught in the Environmental Design Department at UCLA. She was the only interior designer to sit on the board of U.C.L.A.’s prestigious Department of Architecture and Urban Planning. More recently, when she and her family moved to the Napa Valley, she served two terms on the board of the di Rosa Museum. She is frequently asked to speak to various groups and organizations on the value of interior design, its integration with art and architecture, and its affect on marketing. 

Some of the notable hotel and resort projects she has completed include the Lodge at Sea Island, named by ZAGAT as the Best Small Hotel in the US and Best Golf Resort in North America by Golf Digest; the Hayman Island Resort in the Great Barrier Reef; the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale; the Hotel ERWIN in Venice, CA; the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa; the Fisher Island Club Spa and Porto Cervo Restaurant in Miami; Halls Chop House in Charleston and Greenville; the Bardessono Resort and Spa in Yountville, CA; the Chateau de la Cree in Santenay, France; Domaine Serene Winery in Dayton, OR and, the Canyon Ranch Retreat in Woodside, CA.

Connect with Jill Cole

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:

#16: Charles Pavarini – Behind the Scenes of The Architectural Digest Design Show 2016

#276: Judi Kieffer: Steps to Build a Hospitality / Commercial Interior Design Firm

#502: Lisa Haude: Paradigm Design Group: Success Strategies to Run a Luxury Hospitality Design Firm

#587: Darrell Long: The Best Design Comes From Within, Not Pinterest

#703: Leyden Lewis: The Road to AD100 and Elle Decor Top 125 Requires Innovation and Authentic Creativity

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

#864: Hilaire Pickett Martin: Lesson From an Interior Design Operations Manager

Other Resources Mentioned:

Book: Paradise Now: The Extraordinary Life of Karl Lagerfeld by William Middleton

Apr 7, 2023

Today With Casey Gromer:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. On today’s episode, I am joined by Casey Gromer, of C-Suite Boutique. Casey and her team currently serve women entrepreneurs as Fractional Integrators. Under their leadership, clients have scaled their businesses while working less and spending more time doing things they love. Casey tells us all about what a Fractional Integrator is, in addition to a COO, DOO, and OBM, and how these roles may benefit your design business.

Pick It Apart

[2:00] Casey explains when it is time to hire an executive assistant.

[10:46] What is a director of operations?

[18:38] Casey shares what we should be on the lookout for when incorporating these roles into our business.

[31:50] What should we be looking for when hiring an integrator or fractional integrator?

[36:52] Strategies to develop accountability within your team.

[47:55] Casey tells us what she thinks is important to look for in an ideal candidate while hiring.

LuAnn Nigara and Casey Gromer's Ah-Ha Moments

“There’s a lot of confusion around who we need in our business at any given time.” - Casey Gromer

“Each of us has our skill set and sometimes it’s hard to recognize that someone else’s skillset is completely opposite, but we know that you have to hire people who aren’t duplicates of you.” - LuAnn Nigara 

“More important than revenue levels are the number of people you have. So, the more people you have doing things for your business the more value you will get from an integrator.” - Casey Gromer

More About Casey Gromer:

Casey Gromer is a 20-year business and marketing expert. As an MBA, she is widely regarded as a go-to source for visionary women entrepreneurs who dream of building businesses to run without them. 

Casey is host of Female Founders Breaking Boundaries podcast where she encourages women to ditch traditional, male-dominated business advice in favor of more realistic, workable ways of running their business while still achieving success. 

As founder of C-Suite Boutique, Casey and her team currently serve women entrepreneurs as Fractional Integrators. Under their leadership, clients have scaled their businesses while working less and spending more time doing things they love. The industries supported include retail, e-commerce, service businesses, health / wellness, and manufacturing.

Connect with Casey Gromer

Website

Instagram 

LinkedIn

Facebook 

Visionary Exercise

A Fresh Wave of Marketing Book

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live tickets are now on sale!

Register for the Prerequisites for Success free Zoom event!

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:

#492: Laura Umansky: Leadership is the Secret Sauce of Success

#564: Vicky Serany, Southern Studio: Thriving Despite Covid 19

#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

Sass Says with Christie Rocha

Apr 4, 2023

Today With McCall Dulkys:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. On today’s episode, I am joined by McCall Dulkys, Founder and Principal Designer of Interiors By McCall. McCall successfully grew her design firm in Florida while living thousands of miles away. McCall has quite the story to share and I think it may humble some of you hearing challenges she faced while building her business. McCall has consistently doubled her yearly revenue and she is here to share how.

Pick It Apart

[6:20] McCall shares how the time she spent in Europe sparked her love of design.

[14:08] McCall shares what was happening personally during this experience.

[17:10] McCall’s experience with postpartum depression.

[20:15] McCall explains how during all of the hurdles she was thrown, how she was building her design business.

[35:54] McCall and LuAnn talk about the value from Richelle Plett’s How to Sell Upholstery Without a Sit Test course at LuAnn University.

LuAnn Nigara and McCall Dulkys' Ah-Ha Moments

“Living in a wide variety of countries, I was able to take a little bit of each with me and it has given me an appreciation of all different styles of design.” - McCall Dulkys 

“My clients come to me because of my history, experiences, and story.” - McCall Dulkys

“There’s so many different ways to run your business and it’s easy to get caught up in running your business in one way, maybe the same way you see everyone else doing it. It’s so important to is for you to sit down and make a business model that works for you.” - McCall Dulkys

More About McCall Dulkys:

McCall Dulkys, Founder and Principal Designer of Interiors By McCall, is internationally known for her innovative and modern approach to interiors and living spaces. Leading and designing by the mantra “your space is an extension of yourself,” McCall seeks to redefine personal spaces and inspire clients through effortless and distinctive designs that look and feel good. “Home,” however, has always been a relative term for McCall, as she and her family of five lived in various countries across Europe due to her husband’s professional basketball career. 

While abroad, after sharing photos on social media of her investment property renovation, McCall began helping family and friends redesign their homes. During her first three years of business, McCall grew her business virtually, helping clients in her hometown of Jupiter, Florida, while living thousands of miles away wherever her husband’s job brought her. As referrals poured in, her business model quickly adapted, and what began as virtual design grew into a full-service, turn-key interior design company. When her husband retired from playing basketball in 2021 and transitioned into coaching, McCall realized her nomadic lifestyle would likely remain intact and that she would need to build a unique business plan to run her design firm in Florida from whatever NBA city her family would call home.   

McCall has successfully grown her design firm in Florida and has consistently doubled her yearly revenue through implementing high-level strategies. Her clients include several notable NBA and NFL players, countless busy families, and those wanting livable luxury without fear of taking design risks. Her work has been featured on HGTV, Apartment Therapy, Domino, My Domaine, and more.   

When McCall is not designing homes, she works as an underpaid assistant to her three toddlers and enjoys cooking, traveling, and, of course, watching basketball.

Connect with McCall Dulkys

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:

#6: Identifying Your Transferable Skills with Erika Ward

#492: Laura Umansky: Leadership is the Secret Sauce of Success

#564: Vicky Serany, Southern Studio: Thriving Despite Covid 19

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

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

#800: Richelle Plett: How to Sell Upholstery Without a Sit Test 

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

Sass Says with Christie Rocha: The Therapy Sessions We Didn’t Know We Needed

Mar 31, 2023

Today With Terri Taylor:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. It’s Power Talk Friday. Today, I’m joined by my friend Terri Taylor for the 8th time. This episode is sponsored by her Interior Design Business Academy and specifically The Real Deal which takes place this May 10th, 11th, and 12th 2023. 

You know that Terri is an expert at coaching designers on how to be profitable on remodeling jobs. One of the factors of a successful remodel job is how you communicate and interact with your contractor. Today, she is sharing the five mistakes to avoid when working with a contractor. 

This information is just a taste of what Terri has in store for her upcoming Real Deal presentation. Her once-a-year three-day event is, in her own words, the recipe for a highly profitable remodeling job.

Pick It Apart

[23:38] A common occurrence for when a designer gets a lead on a remodel job.

[32:04] Terri explains what an exploratory agreement is and why you should have it.

[47:57] The last mistake designers make when working with a contractor- initiate the conversation.

[1:04:50] Terri talks about The Real Deal, when it is, and all of the value it will provide designers.

LuAnn Nigara and Terri Taylor's Ah-Ha Moments

“It’s not to say we don’t need the contractor and his prices, but we don’t need his prices in the first meeting.” - Terri Taylor

“If you initiate this conversation about who is going to buy and do what with the contractor, if it’s your job and you’re bringing them in you get to choose.” - Terri Taylor

More About Terri Taylor:

Terri Taylor is an award-winning interior designer turned business coach who teaches and mentors designers on how to create thriving businesses and own their worth.

Terri has more than 30 years of experience in the interior design and construction business. She’s been featured in regional and national design publications and is a sought-after guest speaker at national and international events. She speaks on a number of topics related to the business of interior design, including business practices, sales, marketing, mindset, leadership, success, and personal growth.

As host of the Interior Design Business Podcast, Terri brings her clear, proven, and repeatable step-by-step “recipes” for attracting ideal luxury clients along with her overreaching attitude of gratitude, abundance, beauty, and joy for creating long-lasting and meaningful success, to a growing audience of interior designers each week.

In 2009, Terri created the Interior Design Business Academy – an education and coaching resource that provides a unique mix of business strategies and systems along with powerful positive mindset practices to help interior designers create meaningful success. Over the past 10+ years, Terri has coached hundreds of designers to grow their businesses to 6- and 7-figures with grace and ease. She’s known as a straight-talking ‘technical expert’ when it comes to streamlining your design business.

Her value-packed events and coaching programs are all designed to move you and your design business to whole new levels of getting paid what you deserve. Terri connects with heart-centered designers to help grow their business strategy, accountability, and profitability - all while undergoing a beautiful personal transformation.

Connect with Terri Taylor

Website

Podcast

Terri's FREE training webinar “Own that Remodeling Job and Get Paid what You are Worth” taking place live on March 31, April 3 and April 5 at 12pm ET

Instagram

Facebook

Other Shows Mentioned:

#548: Terri Taylor: Calculating Flat Fees & Budgets

#602: Terri Taylor: Interior Design Business Academy 2020 Summit

#662: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor- Stepping Into Profitable Kitchen Remodels. Sponsored Show: Interior Design Business Academy

#710: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor- Get Paid What You Are Worth. Sponsored By Interior Design Business Academy Summit 2021

#763: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor- The Real Deal and Charging Your Worth

#813: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor- Design Fees VS Hourly Billing- What Are Flat Fees the Way to Go?

#829: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor- Fly the Plane While You Build It!

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Today’s show is sponsored by Terri Taylor and The Interior Design Business Academy. Check out all the details on https://interiordesignbusinessacademy.com/

Mar 28, 2023

Today With Hillaire Pickett Martin:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. On today’s episode, I am joined by Hilaire Pickett Martin. Hilaire runs the day-to-day operations at Design Lines, an interior design firm started by her mother, Judy Pickett, in 1979. Hilaire is here to share how she finds operational gaps and implements technological frameworks to support the workflow at Design Lines, with helpful tips and applications you can utilize in your own business. Listen in and learn how to streamline your systems, save time, and maybe even take next Tuesday off.

Pick It Apart

[2:33] Hilaire talks about her background and coming to work for her mother’s design firm.

[6:48] Hilaire explains how she compartmentalizes the operational tasks and organizes processes by mapping them out and understanding the different steps involved to see where any gaps might be.

[11:57] LuAnn and Hilaire discuss the pros and cons of implementing new technology, some platforms Hilaire loves, and how the user experience can influence decisions.

[33:13] Hilaire explains how she compartmentalizes business tasks.

[43:18] Hilaire and LuAnn discuss designer outreach and Hilaire’s efforts with high school and college interior design programs.

LuAnn Nigara and Hillaire Pickett Martin's Ah-Ha Moments

“If something isn't working, break it down and figure out…what are the parts about this process that are working? But what are the parts that are not working or are just painful?” – LuAnn Nigara

“There’s simplicity in operations.” – Hilaire Pickett Martin

“If a new technology is not user intuitive or friendly—it ain't gonna win in my book.” – Hilaire Pickett Martin

“No one platform has to work for everything that we do.” – LuAnn Nigara

More About Hillaire Pickett Martin:

Hilaire Pickett Martin is a graduate of Elon University. Since joining her mother at Design Lines in 2008, she has handled Design Lines’ communications and applies her enthusiasm and passion to promoting the firm. In 2013 Hilaire stepped into additionally overseeing all the accounting and day-to-day operations of Design Lines. Described as hard-working and very organized, Hilaire enjoys the team atmosphere at Design Lines, the pulling together everyone does to make a project a success. She is proud to work alongside and learn from her mother.

Connect with Hillaire Pickett Martin

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:

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

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

WTFP #21: Vita’s Tip in Ten: How To Protect Yourself By Following Your Systems

Other Resources Mentioned:

Asana

Canva

Airtable

Milanote

DocuSign

Monday.com

Later

Mar 24, 2023

Today With Howard A. Lim:

Welcome to A Well Designed Business. What does it take to build a ten-figure world-class brand? Today, Howard A. Lim of HOW Creative is here to walk us through all of the steps and inner work needed to build a brand on this level. Even if you aren’t striving to be known around the world, Howard’s DNA of a brand that he teaches us will benefit you and take you where you want to be. Howard says that you must clearly define your Brand Architecture at the outset in order to sustain value, growth, and equity. So there’s some inner work to do first. Enjoy!

Pick It Apart

[7:11] Howard shares what we should be thinking about if we want to be a big brand name in the industry.

[13:55] Howard explains the importance of your vision and how it works. 

[17:45] Ideas so we can tap into our philosophy when we don’t have one. 

[30:54]  You’ve done all of the inner work and defined your brand, now how do we attract big brands and become known globally?

[39:08] If we become lucky enough to achieve multiple collaborations, what do we do to maintain those relationships?

[47:39] Quality always pays off.

LuAnn Nigara and Howard A. Lim's Ah-Ha Moments

“When you look at successful brands like Apple or Tesla the reason they are so powerful is because their brand is by design.” - Howard A. Lim

“ A brand is what others are saying, now what you are saying.” - Howard A. Lim

“We create the reality that surrounds us, so why not think big?” - Howard A. Lim

More About Howard A. Lim:

Business and Brand Architect™ Howard A. Lim designs businesses from the inside-out and has been a disruptive innovator since 1987, when he founded his full-service firm, HOW CREATIVE. Mr. Lim partners with business leaders to create influential, world-class businesses and brands using his unique, proprietary hybrid model of business development, branding, and customer engagement to attain exponential profits, growth, value, and new opportunities quickly and effectively. Representing companies of all types and sizes, including Apple, Disney, Paramount, DreamWorks, Xerox, Oracle, Mattel, and AT&T, Mr. Lim collaborates with clients globally to develop and execute leading, world-class businesses and brands while adding billions of dollars to his clients' profits.

Connect with Howard A. Lim

Website 

LinkedIn

Facebook

What’s new with LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Live 2023

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:

#125: Nicole Heymer- How to Brand Your Business. Yes, Again! Do Not Miss This One!!!

#317: Nicole Heymer- 6 Keys to Planning a Website That Makes Things Happen

#406: Power Talk Friday- Nicole Heymer- You’ve Defined Your Brand…Now What?

#701: Kristen Rivoli- New Brand, New Year: How Rebranding Can Work for Interior Designers 

Mar 21, 2023

Today With Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays:

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Today’s episode features Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason of AphroChic—a media and design brand celebrating African Diaspora cultures through their lifestyle magazine, podcast, and product lines. Jeanine and Bryan are helping us relearn history as we dive into their latest book, AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home. This is essential reading, not only for designers, but for everyone, and the conversation we have around it is an important one so that we can be an active part of the change in this country.

Pick It Apart

[2:48] Janine talks about how the AphroChic blog was inspired by a gap she saw among home décor blogs at the time that left out people of color.

[15:20] Bryan explains that design is diverse by nature, and is a human thing to do so it happens in cultures all over the world, yet here in America, Eurocentric design is the only story that has been told for many years, forgetting the work of the rest of the world.

[27:27] LuAnn asks Bryan and Janine for some meaningful ways those in the interior design industry can be a part of positive change.

[40:37] LuAnn shares that she was called out as a racist, and shares that she later learned that systemic racism conditions you to not notice. This is the work that white people must do, learn the actual history so you see, you know the real truth. 

[44:58] Janine and Bryan discuss how their new book is a history book and sociology book hidden within a design book.

LuAnn Nigara and Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays' Ah-Ha Moments

“Every aspect of what we've done has started with seeing a gap, seeing a space where we haven't seen that representation, or that cultural story represented, and then working to fill it in, in some way.” - Jeanine Hays

“Design is diverse by nature because the world is diverse by nature.” - Bryan Mason

“Racism is itself a, not a single, monolithic, stagnant thing. It is living. It adapts, it changes from one situation to another.” - Bryan Mason

“True change happens when you really do understand the reality of what happened in history.” - LuAnn Nigara

“Systemic racism doesn’t just condition the oppressed, it conditions the oppressor.” - Bryan Mason

More About Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays:

Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason are the authors of REMIX: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul. Their media and design brand AphroChic celebrates African Diaspora cultures through their lifestyle magazine, podcast, and product lines available through Perigold and 1st Dibs. The couple resides in upstate New York in their lovingly named “AphroFarmhouse.”

A powerful, visually stunning celebration of Black-owned homes, featuring inspiring interiors and family histories of notable Black Americans—including chef Alexander Smalls and actor Danielle Brooks.

In their new book, AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home (Clarkson Potter | November 15th, 2022 | $35.00 | Hardcover), Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason explore the Black family home and its role as a haven, heirloom, and cornerstone of Black culture and life. Sixteen gorgeous house tours invite you into the intimate spaces of actors and musicians, the creative studios of artists and curators, the “boss” offices of entrepreneurs and executives, and homes filled with pieces handed down from generations past.

The cultural context found throughout AphroChic: Celebrating the Legacy of the Black Family Home sets it apart from other popular coffee-table design texts. With engaging text and beautiful photographs by the late Patrick Cline, this book amplifies many issues currently faced by African Americans, including gentrification, redlining, and more, highlighting the Black Family Home as a missing piece in the narrative of both interior design and American history. Showcasing the amazing diversity of the Black experience through striking art-and-heirloom-filled interiors; stories of family and community; and histories exploring the obstacles Black homeowners have faced for generations, this groundbreaking book honors the journey, recognizes the struggle, and celebrates the joy. 

Connect with Bryan Mason and Jeanine Hays

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

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

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:

#14: Malene Barnett: Success Secret – Build Relationships

#556: Kae Whitaker: #BLM Grace For Lack Of Understanding, Grace for Anger

#596: Jamel Williams: A Call to Create Opportunity and Change at the University Level

#573: Cheryl Luckett, #BLM: See Something, Say Something

#703: Leyden Lewis: The Road to AD100 and Elle Decor Top 125 Requires Innovation and Authentic Creativity

#816: Elsie St. Leger: Addressing Racial Inequality in the Design Industry 

#732: Erica Courdae: Incorporating DEI Practices in Your Business

Other Resources Mentioned:

Wayfair Collaboration

Book: Reluctant Reformer by Robert Allen

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Today's episode is sponsored by LuAnn University.

This is not just education. Not just the support of your colleagues. And not just a great experience. Each department and class is crafted to provide targeted, proven instruction in key areas for profit and growth—all specific to the interior design and window treatment industries. These are the things that you need to learn but always wonder where do I go to learn this. 

Classes begin May 1st 2023 and registration will open April 2023. 

You can see our current roster for all of our 5 week courses, as well as our brand new 3 hour intensives at luannuniversity.com

This reminds me of Jude Charles and how he uses genuine storytelling to connect to his clients. This is a thing. Good humans practice this. Relating to their potential clients and wanting them to understand how their services can help them. Jude has developed a course for LU, Storytelling for Creatives. He can teach you how to turn your stories, your experiences into the insights and ideas that help you connect with your potential clients, in a way that is genuine for you and meaningful for them. The registration for Spring 2023 semester opens this April. Just some food for thought.

Go to luannuniversity.com to learn more.

Mar 17, 2023

Today With Darla Powell:

Today on A Well-Designed Business I am joined by Darla Powell of Wingnut Social. If you’re an avid listener of the show, you know how much of a social media guru Darla is. Now, she has come out with a course called Instagram for Interior Designers which consists of everything you would learn about Instagram if you were to personally pick her brain.

Pick It Apart

[10:13] Darla tells us about her new course Instagram for Interior Designers.

[23:20] The importance of knowing yourself and your value proposition before tackling your social media strategy.

[31:00] Why you need to have your ducks in a row, for example having your website in order. 

[35:20] LuAnn and Darla talk about module two of Instagram for Interior Designers.

[53:25] Wingnut’s specific impact on client Anne Gillyard’s business grOH! Playrooms.

[59:25] How we can get the Instagram for Interior Designers course.

LuAnn Nigara and Darla Powell's Ah-Ha Moments

“It’s a no-brainer to me. You can’t not be investing in marketing. It’s a key component to business” - LuAnn Nigara

“You have to lock in your value proposition before doing anything, otherwise you’re just throwing stuff at the wall and hoping it sticks.” - Darla Powell 

“Regardless of what your marketing budget is, start small.” - Darla Powell

More About Darla Powell:

Darla Powell is more than just an award-winning interior designer, podcast host, social media speaker, and former police detective.

She’s also an adept unraveler of marketing secrets.

Her down-to-earth style delivers smart, actionable information that’s relevant to real business owners—because she is one.

Topics range from social media mastery (what really engages followers—it’s probably not what you think) to how to build your brand from the ground up (how did she go from retired cop to one of the top five interior designers in Miami in less than sixteen months—secrets will be revealed).

Connect with Darla Powell

Wingnut Academy: Instagram for Interior Designers

Website

Instagram 

Facebook 

LinkedIn

Other Shows Mentioned:

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

#330: Darla Powell: Darla Powell Interiors 18 Months After Opening

#601: Darla Powell: Real Tips to Up Your Social Media Game

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

A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor:

Today’s show is sponsored by Darla Powell and Wingut Academy. Check out all the details on https://wingnutsocial.com/instagram-for-interior-designers/

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