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A Well-Designed Business®

Updated 3 days ago

Arts
Business
Design
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In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have 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. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc. featuring CuratedKravet.com. You can find them at http://curatedkravet.com.

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In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have 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. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc. featuring CuratedKravet.com. You can find them at http://curatedkravet.com.

iTunes Ratings

480 Ratings
Average Ratings
459
6
6
8
1

Taylor Spellman

By Natasa Jones - Sep 26 2019
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What a fantastic episode of a Well Designed Business. Love it!

Eye opener

By Satisfied person - Aug 12 2019
Read more
Wow! Luann your doing an amazing job opening up topics that are super improbable in this industry!

iTunes Ratings

480 Ratings
Average Ratings
459
6
6
8
1

Taylor Spellman

By Natasa Jones - Sep 26 2019
Read more
What a fantastic episode of a Well Designed Business. Love it!

Eye opener

By Satisfied person - Aug 12 2019
Read more
Wow! Luann your doing an amazing job opening up topics that are super improbable in this industry!

Listen to:

Cover image of A Well-Designed Business®

A Well-Designed Business®

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have 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. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc. featuring CuratedKravet.com. You can find them at http://curatedkravet.com.

236: Shea McGee of Studio McGee Joins Me Today!!!!

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LuAnn is extremely happy to let you know that she has Shea McGee, of Studio McGee, in the house today! It's been a long time coming, as she's a very busy lady, but she's here today, and you are not going to be disappointed, so listen in to find out about the journey that Shea's been on and the challenges she's faced.

If you're one of the few people who are not familiar with Shea, LuAnn assures you that she and her husband, Sid, truly are the real deal! They are the creators of Studio McGee and today you will hear how Shea realized, only after obtaining her degree in Public Relations, that what she really wanted, was to be doing Design, so she went back to school, to learn how to do that. Soon after, Shea found that she was attracting more projects than she'd ever before thought possible. She and Sid realized that with his business experience and her creative vision, they would really make an amazing team. So they decided to sell their home in California and move to Utah, where they put all their life savings on the line and started a business. Shea used the power of Instagram to grow the business and now, just less than three years later, they have over five hundred and forty thousand Instagram followers, a team of thirty, two multi-million dollar businesses (Studio McGee and McGee and Company) and they have projects all over the country. Listen in today and find out how Shea and Sid manage to run their operation and their family and also, the pro's and con's of working with a spouse.

Show highlights:

  • Shea explains how they have managed to get such great results, in such a short time.
  • How Shea and her husband manage their hectic work schedules and still find time to spend together, as a couple and to be parents to their two little girls.
  • The growing pains that Shea and Sid experienced, early on in their business, before they found their ideal way of working together.
  • The real importance of separating the roles of each spouse, in a business partnership.
  • Why you really need to sort out your personal dynamics, as a couple, before entering into a business relationship.
  • Some ways to create the necessary balance within your business. You don't have to do everything yourself!
  • Ways to divide up the different responsibilities, within a business.
  • Shea gives the backstory behind their really successful businesses.
  • How Shea stretched her content, to tell her story on Instagram when she first started out.
  • Why they made the move from California to Utah.
  • Shea talks about the initial dream that she and her husband shared, for their business.
  • Shea's advice for Designers wanting to step up above the noise, with Instagram.
  • Some tips to take a good and well-styled photo- one that stands out from the rest, in order to create a really great vignette.
  • How Shea creates her content for Instagram now, as compared with when she first started out.
  • Shea explains her strategic way of growing her Instagram following.
  • How Shea manages to keep up with the engagement on Instagram, with their really huge number of followers.
  • Where Shea draws her design inspiration from.

 Links:

Shea's website: www.studio-mcgee.com

Sep 25 2017

1hr 7mins

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354: Dina Holland: Blogging, Instagram, and Business Strategies

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Welcome! We have Dina Holland with us on the show today. And she's someone you may already know from her Instagram stories, with her really down-to-earth, likable and engaging approach. On today's show, we talk to Dina about the importance of finding your personal voice and the value of being real and authentic in everything you do- with your blog, your social media, and your website. Listen in today to find out how this can really help you to find clients who are just the right fit for you. 

Dina is the founder and principal of Dina Holland Interiors, but you might know her through her blog and Instagram account name, Honey, and Fitz.  It all started with a blog about eight years ago when Dina chronicled her own adventures in home decor and DIY projects. What started out as just a personal creative outlet quickly grew into a following of thousands with readers tuning in to see her own projects and those for neighbors and friends. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, Dina has grown her business far beyond the reaches of her blog and turned it into a successful full-service interior design firm with clients all over the country. Listen in today to find out what Dina has to share.

Show highlights:

  • How Dina's authentic voice on her website is a pre-qualifier to the clients that are reaching out to her.
  • The importance of being true to yourself.
  • The list of questions that Dina has on her website.
  • How Dina's questions help potential clients to find just the kind of help that they're looking for.
  • The really clever content to be found on Dina's website.
  • Why Dina has put pricing on her website.
  • The really great copy on Dina's website.
  • How Dina learned all she knows about design.
  • How Dina started out as an e-designer.
  • Dina's shift towards Instagram.
  • How, as a designer, to start charging friends and acquaintances.
  • The importance of having really good photos.
  • Charging appropriately for the managing, sourcing, ordering, and shipping of products.
  • Why charging an hourly rate is simply not enough.
  • How Dina managed to figure out the next level of trade sources.
  • How Dina managed to do floor plans when she first started out without any training.
  • How Dina dealt with her branding- from Honey and Fitz to Dina Holland Interiors.
  • Dina is getting ready to launch a small online shop.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Gail Davis #47

Carly Waters #211

Links:

Website - Dina Holland Interiors

Shop (launching later this summer) - Dina Holland Interiors

Instagram - @HoneyandFitz

To become a trade member of Article.com go to Well Designed Article to register.

Aug 28 2018

1hr 7mins

Play

306: Rachel Cannon: Key Steps for Success in Your Interior Design Business

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Welcome to today's show! It really looks like our guest for today, Rachel Cannon of Rachel Cannon Limited Interiors, is doing some good things down in Baton Rouge Louisiana! What really gets LuAnn going is Rachel's promise on her website of a structured process and a step-by-step method, when it comes to her design. On today's show, Rachel talks about the fifteen-step the ten-step processes that she uses with her clients and how she came to develop them. She also discusses the way that she changed her marketing in order to attract the right client. Listen in to find out more.   

The specialty of Rachel Cannon Limited is designing a space where you'll feel happiest and at peace, that's both practical and uniquely beautiful, and that also tells the story of who you are. Rachel is known for creating classic, fresh, and smart interiors, with details that are both livable and deluxe. As an experienced and licensed interior designer, she leads a team of creative minds who effortlessly mix subtle color and rich architectural features, weaving in the meaningful details of your life. Listen in today to find out about Rachel's design processes and how she markets her business.

Show highlights:

  • Rachel discusses her systems and the way that she works with her clients.
  • Rachel's ideal client profile.
  • How Rachel's fifteen-step process
  • About Rachel's Ten-Step New Construction package.
  • What Rachel's VIP Day and her One Week Room Rescue is all about.
  • Why the process keeps refining.
  • How Rachel changed her marketing to attract the right client.
  • A good way of dealing with difficult clients.
  • The value of having a really good contract with your client.
  • Teaching your clients how to work with you.
  • Rachel's document of 'rules' for her clients-why she uses it and what it has in it.
  • The real cost of interruptions when you're working.
  • What brought about a turning point for Rachel, regarding the fees she charges.
  • Discovering your real value.
  • Why it's important to know who your ideal client is.
  • How Rachel's VIP Day came about.
  • Getting clear on charging the right amount for your services.
  • How Rachel vets her potential clients to see if they're a fit for her.
  • Why you really need to document everything that happens with your clients.

 Links:

Her website and social: Rachel Cannon Limited Facebook: RCL Interiors Instagram Twitter Linkedin: Rachel Cannon

Mar 13 2018

1hr 25mins

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

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Do you sometimes look around and wonder if there could be different, or perhaps better ways to run your business more efficiently? If so, take heart and don't despair. Amber Lewis is back on the show today and she knows where you're at and what you're going through because she's been there. Today, Amber and LuAnn will go a bit deeper into the business side of what Amber does. They talk about how she discovered this podcast last winter and that she signed up for Kimberley Seldon's courses, because of even Amber, with a firm as successful and as large as hers, still wonders if there could be a better way to run things more effectively. Listen in today, as Amber shares her advice and the things she's learned along the way.

Today, Amber talks to LuAnn about:

  • Some of the things that she's struggled with and challenges that she's faced, in her business.
  • How she had to fake it, to make it, in the beginning, when dealing with people that were way more professional and talented than she was.
  • What it was that catapulted her into a level above her own, in the beginning.
  • Being comfortable with evolving and knowing that your style could change often.
  • Being firm in your convictions, if you trust your own style.
  • That clients will tend to focus on your weakness if you let it show.
  • Parenting and running a business.
  • Figuring out invoicing in a way that makes sense to the client- it's everything!
  • The importance of figuring out how to create a good contract.
  • Studio Webware- Amber finds this to be an amazingly intuitive program.
  • The importance of figuring out your system and the chain of command in your firm.
  • How she really works really together with her whole team.
  • That she understands and accepts that there will always be variables with the trade.
  • That her organization takes overall responsibility for everything in a project.
  • How she works very specifically with vendors and contractors.
  • That client couldn't care less who's fault it is if there's a problem- It's your responsibility!
  • Treating your job as if it's your business and learning as much as possible about all it's aspects if you intend starting out on your own, one day.
  • That she's always learning, growing and being humbled.
  • That there's always the human factor in business.

Links:

Amber's website: http://amberinteriordesign.com Amber's instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amberinteriors/

May 29 2017

1hr 33mins

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480: Chris Loves Julia: Quality Content Creation is Key to Their Success

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Welcome! Today, Julia Marcum, half of the dynamic duo of Chris Loves Julia, joins us on the show. Julia started blogging more ten years ago, and her readership has grown to include millions of people. In 2016, Chris left his day job to join Julia as a blogger on a full-time basis. With their blog, this remarkable couple shares their original, authentic, and sincere perspective on the daily coups and challenges of their DIY home renovations. People follow them to learn how to improve their space and to get inspiration, tips on trends, and motivation to get things done. In today’s episode, Julia explains that they know exactly why they’re doing what they do, and they know who they do it for. This particular component is vital to your success as a business owner, so be sure to listen in today, to hear what Julia has to share.

Chris and Julia are a fresh, honest, and creative DIY duo, blogging about the daily feats and failures of renovation. They offer their loyal readers a mix of large-scale renovations, quick DIY projects, budget-friendly ways to revamp their spaces, and items to splurge on, as well as a few personal stories to remind their readers that they’re real people, too. They were named as one of Better Homes & Gardens’ Top 10 DIY bloggers. Tune in today, for more.

Show Highlights:

  • Julia explains how she and Chris came to realize that they should combine their talents and work on the blog together, on a full-time basis.
  • Creating the right kind of content to post on Instagram.
  • Knowing what you want to be known for.
  • What you’ll find on their blog, and what you’ll find in their Instagram stories.
  • There are zero downsides to growing your Instagram presence.
  • Creating consistent, quality content based around your niche.
  • Consistency and quality content is key to getting lots of Instagram followers.
  • Julia doesn’t have a photography background and yet she took all her own photos until three months ago.
  • Figuring out photography.
  • Educating your photographer about what you want.
  • Being intentional about the look that you’re creating in your photos.
  • Julia explains why people are following her.
  • The difference between just posting a picture, and creating content.
  • Choosing where to best utilize your energy.
  • The best way to connect with your Instagram Stories audience.
  • Julia talks about the two courses she teaches, Working With Brands and Growing Your Influence.

Links:

Website: Chris Loves Julia

Instagram: Chris Loves Julia

Propertee: Chris Loves Julia

Facebook: Chris Loves Julia

Pinterest: Chris Loves Julia

Youtube: Chris Loves Julia

Good Influencer

Good Influencer on Instagram

Link Previous Shows Mentioned: Shea McGee #236, #270 Amber Lewis #169, #184 Nicole Heymer #125, #466 Jamie Lieberman #454 Fred Berns #22, #174

People who inspire Julia:

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Instagram: Josh young Design House

Don’t forget when you place your next order on any Kravet fabric, wallpaper, or trim, to use the code AWDB10 at checkout, to get 10% off any one purchase.  Go to Kravet to place your order.

Nov 05 2019

1hr 20mins

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

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The guest for today's show is the truly remarkable Darla Powell, of Darla Powell Interiors, in Florida. Darla and LuAnn initially became friends through the social media of the podcast and then continued their friendship with conversations on the Designer Facebook Groups that they were both in and also through Instagram. It's not unusual for LuAnn to become friends with the people that she interviews for the podcast, and she and Darla also have a few friends in common (Mark McDonough from Tastefully Inspired and Karina from Superior K Interiors), so she really thought she knew all about her, until she went out and did her research for the interview. Then she was truly surprised to learn a few things about Darla that she didn't know before! Listen in to find out all about these surprising details.

Mark McDonough was actually the person who suggested to LuAnn that she should consider having Darla on the show. He pointed out that this was a second career for her and that she was going to be a truly amazing Interior Designer, as she was really putting her all into it, after having retired from her first career. Listen in now, to find out more about Darla and how she came to be doing what she does now.

Show highlights:

  • Darla talks to LuAnn about her first career- in Law Enforcement, for eighteen and a half years, as a Detective Sargent with the Miami-Dade Police Department, where she thought about quitting her job and becoming an Interior Designer almost every day!
  • Darla talks about her long journey from Law Enforcement to Interior Design.
  • How Darla really became really motivated to become an Interior Designer, after listening to one of LuAnn's podcasts, with Mark McDonough.
  • Darla's Instagram is only seven or eight months old and it already has way over seven thousand followers!
  • The biggest tip that Mark McDonough gave to Darla, about finding brands that align with her work and commenting on their posts straight away.
  • The great value in taking the time to be genuine and really engaging with people on social media. This makes you human and really helps your brand- and gets people to stay with you.
  • As long as you're putting out great content, your fans will still love you, even if you don't follow them back.
  • LuAnn and Darla discuss the portfolio which is up on Darla's website, which is actually her entire own home, done on a limited budget.
  • Darla talks about the fabulous blog, which is called Wing-nuts and Wallpaper and really reflects her brand voice.
  • How Darla boosts her following with her blog and with her Facebook posts.
  • How Nicole Heimer, (Episode #125) a really rockstar brander, has really helped Darla.
  • Some areas where Darla has felt a bit overwhelmed with her new career and what she's found helpful at these times.
  • How Susan Winterstein really helped Darla with her process, with an organized chart to inform the client about the whole design process.
  • Why Darla quit her first career way sooner than she originally intended to do so.

Links:

Darla's website: www.darlapowell.com, where you will also find Darla's blog, Wing-nuts and Wallpaper.

Resource:

Business of Design, Volume 3- Win The Flat Fee Game by Kimberley Seldon

Jul 12 2017

1hr 6mins

Play

291: Cheryl Luckett - From Side Hustle to Full Time Interior Design

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Cheryl Luckett is the principal of Dwell by Cheryl, her interior design company. She has two areas of expertise that I’m interested in sharing with you today. She has taken her side hustle into a full-time profession, leaving the security of her corporate job. She actively engages in the business mentor/mentee relationship. Loyal listeners might remember a few weeks back, in Episode 267, with Rasheeda Gray of Gray Space Interiors. She described then how her mentor has helped her through the challenges of having a corporate job while working hard on the side in interior design. Cheryl is that mentor that Rasheeda spoke about.

Southern Home describes Dwell by Cheryl as “opulence in reach, with vintage treasures and ingenious restyles.” Cheryl believes her clients should dwell in a home they love. She describes her design as “sophisticated but approachable.” She launched in 2012 and continues to grow, with clients raving about her ability to transform a space on a realistic budget. It’s also her professionalism and attention to detail that earns her high praise. She shares with us about her 15-year career at a Fortune 500 company, along with her beginnings as a registered dietician and human resources professional. It was here that she developed her service skills and business acumen. I’ll remind you of Episode 6, where Erika Ward told us to “make sure that you think about and utilize your transferable skills when you open your interior design firm.” Cheryl will tell us how she has accomplished that.

Cheryl’s work has been published in Charlotte Home and Garden, Southern Home, The Charlotte Observer, Queen City Exclusive, and Hoffman Media’s Southern Spaces, to name just a few. She is a five-time recipient of Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction, and in 2015, she was named one of the 15 best designers in Charlotte by Build Direct. Cheryl also believes in giving back, and she has partnered locally with agencies such as Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont and Metrolina Habitat Restores to promote non-profit retailers and their missions. Join me for this conversation with Cheryl!

What you’ll hear in the episode:

  • How I met Cheryl at the Design Bloggers Conference in Los Angeles in 2017
  • Insights on running an interior design firm while working a full-time corporate job
  • Cheryl’s path as a registered dietician, then in school foodservice, then human resources
  • Following her love of design and décor to start a blog and take design classes at the local community college
  • “I never treated this design business as merely a side hustle. I wanted to be ALL IN.”
  • How a Design Bloggers Conference in 2012 changed everything for Cheryl: “I felt like I was finally with MY PEOPLE.”
  • Planning an exit strategy from the corporate world
  • How Cheryl’s blog grew and spread to become an effective marketing tool
  • Looking for one YES
  • Juggling a full-time job while designing for clients and taking design classes
  • Why Cheryl had a “waiting list”
  • Finding interns through a design program for students
  • The criteria for leaving her corporate job, making the decision, and setting a time frame
  • The 36-month plan and Cheryl’s financial advisor
  • “Preparing for D-day”---building a website and putting systems in place
  • Cheryl’s relationship with Rasheeda and why she wanted to be a mentor
  • The guidelines and boundaries to the mentor/mentee relationship
  • Cheryl’s mentor and friend, Ruthie Staalsen, a designer in Dallas
  • Cheryl’s plans for this year’s Design Bloggers Conference
  • “Social media: the best money you’ll never spend on marketing.”

Resources:

Curated Kravet (Use code “ck podcast” for 10% off your first order!)

Her website and social: Her website: Dwell by Cheryl Her Blog: Dwell by Cheryl Blog Her Instagram: Dwell by Cheryl/ Her Facebook: Dwell by Cheryl/ Her Twitter: Dwell By Cheryl Her Pinterest: Dwell By Cheryl/ Her Linkedin: Cheryl Luckett/

Jan 31 2018

1hr 11mins

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125: Nicole Heymer- How To Brand Your Business. Yes, again! Do not miss this one!!!

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On the show today I am so excited to introduce you all to Nicole Heymer! Nicole is the owner of Curio Electro Boutique Web Design Agency that specializes in branding, content strategy and web design and development for interior design firms and other innovative businesses. She has been helping more interior designers bring in more leads and increase their visibility online since 2011! I know we have talked about branding on the show more than a couple times, but this is such an important aspect of your business in this age of social media. I promise there is more to learn about branding.

Show Notes:

  • Why is branding so important for interior designers?
  • How does Nicole divide the ways to look at branding?
  • What are the benefits of having a brand?
  • How can you let people know what you really want or enjoy to design?
  • Can you have too much “language” on your about me page?
  • Give the reasons why!
  • How does a client determine “your worth” and what to pay an interior designer?
  • How should you pick your colors?
  • Why are colors and what they mean so important?
  • How do you figure out your message?
  • What is the bare minimum you can do when starting out?
  • Why is font important?
  • What should be included in your branding guidelines?
  • Is it worth it to hire a photographer if possible?
  • What can you do to let people know you can do what they want, even when you have no projects yet?
  • How can a designer “beef up” their website when starting out?
  • How can a designer use blogging to express their brand?
  • When should and shouldn’t a designer use a blog?
  • What else could be used for good website content?
  • What makes you different?

Resources:

www.curioelectro.com

http://curioelectro.com/interior-design-branding

http://curioelectro.com/seo-for-interior-designers-architects

Jan 11 2017

1hr 26mins

Play

398: Courtney McLeod: Defined Process = Success in Your Interior Design Business

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Welcome to today's episode of A Well Designed Business! We have Courtney McLeod, the principal of Right Meets Left Interior Design in New York City, with us on the show today. Courtney has come to interior design as a second career. So even though she has always been passionate about the decorative arts, she first obtained a business degree from the Warden School at the University of Pennsylvania, and then pursued a successful, fifteen-year career in the financial services industry, where she rose to the role of a leading portfolio manager in real estate private equity before exercising her true passion for designing beautiful interiors. Listen in today to find out how Courtney used both the skills she gained through her experience, and her transferable skills, enhanced with her design-related studies at Parsons Pratt and the New York School of Interior Design, to confidently embark on a new career course.

An avid colorist at heart, Courtney draws from a kaleidoscopic toolbox of texture, pattern, and color to create rooms evocative of one emotion above all others - joy. Her designs express both her client's unique tastes and her vivid, collected aesthetic.  Born and raised in New Orleans, Courtney brings a sophisticated view to her rooms, informed by her Creole background and extensive travels throughout Europe and Asia. She resides in the vibrant Harlem neighborhood, a wonderful source of inspiration. She has lived in New York City for two decades but remains a Southerner at heart. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • It takes time to figure out your specific process.
  • Your confidence you will gain from having your system in place is really a huge benefit.
  • The development of Courtney's process was not a straight line from A to B- it took trial and error to figure out what really worked.
  • Working out what worked for her rather than for the client was like a magic moment for Courtney.
  • Courtney shares a really important and effective way to gain the trust of your client.
  • A softer touch works for Courtney, yet she also has to be firm.
  • Courtney also developed a lot of confidence from embracing her style clearly and entirely.
  • Happy, joyful color is really Courtney's thing.
  • Having confidence in her process allowed Courtney to develop more creative confidence.
  • The six steps of Courtney's process.
  • Courtney explains her phase one, and how to implement it.
  • About Courtney's 'Rules Of The Road' document.
  • What's to be found in Courtney's welcome packet.
  • The way that having a retainer protects Courtney.
  • The way Courtney sets up her spreadsheet.
  • It takes a lot of practice to get things right.
  • The clear way that Courtney prices her projects.
  • How to keep your clients informed and empowered.
  • What the closure meeting means to Courtney.
  • The goal of the closure meeting is to get a referral.

Previous episodes mentioned in this episode:

Erica Ward #6

Monique Holmes #365

Rachel Cannon #306

Nicole Heymer #317

Curio Electro #125

Links:

Website: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Instagram: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Twitter: Right Meets Left

LinkedIn: Right Meets Left Interior Design

Facebook: Right Meets Left Interior Design

LuAnn's 3rd birthday party for the podcast is coming up and Kravet is hosting the party! It will be on February the 5th at the Kravet Showroom at the D&D Building in New York City. Please RSVP through the Event-Brite link at Luann Nigara.

Jan 29 2019

1hr 28mins

Play

344: Mrs. Paranjape: A New Take on Relationships with Retailers

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Welcome! Today we have a very smart lady, Lori Paranjape, of Mrs. Paranjape Design and Interiors with us. As well as being a really talented designer, Lori, affectionately known as Mrs. Paranjape, is also an excellent businesswoman and on the show today she's going to be offering lots of really practical advice for designers. She has had her work featured in People, HGTV Magazine, and Domino, as well as in many other publications. Listen in today to find out what Lori has to share with you.

Mrs. Paranjape Design and Interiors, which specializes in luxury residential and new construction projects, was started in 2008. Lori is a self-taught and extremely motivated designer. She started out helping friends and acquaintances with their homes. As time went by, referrals continued to pour in and Lori began working as the in-house designer for Redo Home and Design, the well-loved home retailer to generations of families based in Nashville. Listen in today as Lori discusses the really innovative relationship she has with Redo Home and Design, and she also encourages designers and retailers to build awesome partnerships, just as she has done with Redo.

Show highlights:

Lori's explains the details of her 'Design Collective' business model that she has set up in Nashville.

The wonderful, symbiotic relationship that Lori has with her business partner.

The clear distinctions between the different aspects of her partnership.

What constitutes a 'commissionable' sale within her partnership.

How Lori's commission is paid to her.

The intentional way that Lori sources everything that she needs.

How Lori's retailer provides everything that she needs.

The awesome and mutually beneficial kind of partnership that can be formed between a designer and a retailer.

The way that Lori and her partner work to utilize a relatively small showroom space to their best advantage.

Lori's unique, practical and real-life approach to designing a home for her clients.

The way that Lori really takes care of her clients.

Why you, as designers, really need to cultivate the skill of asking,  listening, and then going a little deeper.

Lori's special way of discovering the personal details about her clients, without making them feel uncomfortable.

Lori's innovative ways of encouraging clients to spend more money on a project, if it's necessary.

Some tips for overcoming difficulties with clients around the cost of a project in a comfortable way.

The conversations that Lori has with her clients right at the beginning of their relationship.

When to simply say 'no' to a client.

Using candles and music to transform a room and create the right atmosphere.

Ways of gaining a client's cooperation in using their home for a photo shoot.

How to Find Lori:

Website - Mrs. Paranjape

Instagram - @mrsparanjape

Pinterest - Mrs. Paranjape

Jul 24 2018

1hr 7mins

Play

463: Sara Lynn Brennan: Package Your Design Services for Profit and Clarity

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Welcome! Today, Sara Lynn Brennan joins us on the show. Sara is an entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors. Eighteen months ago, Sara contacted LuAnn, telling her that she wanted to go to High Point Market, but she wasn't sure what to do or where to go. So LuAnn arranged to meet her there, and Sara spent two days with LuAnn and Sara Daniele, the CEO of Mydoma Studio, going from event to event, hanging out, talking, and allowing Sara to get to know some significant and influential people in the design industry. Since then, Sara has become the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, who specializes in Transitional Designs, where she and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable, and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish. Listen in today, to find out what Sara has to share.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows.  In today's episode, Sara talks to us about the extra layer that she's added to her design business, and she explains how she's put the lessons that she's learned from the guests on the podcast into action. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • How MyDoma Studio inspired Sara to create packages.
  • Sara shares a mind-blowing story about selling packages.
  • Why you really need to go and look at Sara's website.
  • Sara describes her really smooth process.
  • Getting clear about the steps that are involved in any process.
  • Coming up with a flat-rate fee.
  • The great reward of instant gratification.
  • Sara describes her consultation process.
  • The way that Sara personalizes her packages.
  • The discovery call is a very important part of the process.
  • Creating an approachable package to reach more people.
  • Coming up with a detailed DIY package.
  • A package called 'DIY with an option to buy'.
  • Sara talks about how she presents her e-design package.
  • Creating these packages been a labor of love for Sara.

Bio:

Sara Lynn Brennan is an award-winning Entrepreneur, CEO, and Principal Interior Designer at Sara Lynn Brennan Interiors, the first and only full-service interior design firm in Waxhaw, North Carolina who specializes in Transitional Design. She and her design-build team take spaces from Bare Bones to Beautiful by utilizing her exclusive, approachable and stress-free design process, transforming and renovating homes from start to finish.

Sara’s design work has been nationally published six times in the last year including publications such as Romantic Homes, Traditional Home, Window Fashion Vision, and Cottages and Bungalows, who recently offered her a role as a monthly columnist. She’s also been noticed as a rising star among colleagues in the design industry being invited as a guest on podcasts, as a panelist at High Point Market and as a host and speaker at local design events and shows. Sara’s confident, unique and fearless approach to business and design make her an inspiration to those who work with and around her.

Sara is known for her recognizable “Romantic Transitional” design aesthetic, but her award-winning design team is not just about creating pretty spaces. It is Sara’s mission to educate and expose clients to the beauty and functionality of transitional design. She and her team pride themselves on creating practical, beautiful, and timeless homes that families can really LIVE in for years to come.

Links:

Website: Sara Lynn Brennan

Design Packages and Free E-Book: Sara Brennan

Blog Post: Luann Nigara Baby Designer

IG: @saralynnbrennan

FB: Sara Brennan

Soft Design Lab HPMKT Experience

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Wendy Woloshchuk #316

Mr. Inkredible #417

Kimberly Kay #234

Kelsey Grose #167

Megan Molten #455

Darla Powell #203 and #330

Deb Barrett #53

Tobi Fairley (1st one)

Lori Paranjape #34

Tori Alexander #445

Sep 10 2019

1hr 10mins

Play

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

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Welcome to another episode of Power Talk Friday! We're really excited to have Amber De La Garza, The Productivity Specialist, here with us today! We all know that things, like being productive and efficient, getting our systems in order, and managing our time, are crucial to running a successful business. Although these things may seem simple, they are often a lot more difficult than they need to be. Amber's goal is to simplify everything and make it easier for entrepreneurs. One of the things that she loves to teach people about is time-blocking. If you have tried it before, and it didn't seem to work for you, you will really gain a lot from today's show. Because Amber's goal for today is to get you to to the place where you love time-blocking and you see that it's the best thing that has ever happened to your business. Listen in to find out more!

Amber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast, and creator of S.T.O.P.! The Entrepreneur’s Success Solution. She helps driven entrepreneurs execute actionable solutions to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most! Listen in to find out what Amber has to share with you on the show today!

Show highlights:

  • Amber is going to teach you how to love time-blocking!
  • There are two different types of time-blocking- task-based and project-based.
  • Amber gives her definition of what time-blocking is: It's investing your best time into your best activities.
  • Getting really clear about the few activities that will have the biggest impact on you achieving your goals, if done consistently.
  • Once you've created a schedule you will need to keep showing up consistently for the things that have to be done.
  • Busting the myth that some people are designed to be more structure than others.
  • Using your goals as a motivating factor to learn new skills.
  • Some excellent tips for effective time-blocking.
  • Amber shares her seven-step process of creating your ideal block schedule.
  • Creating boundaries for your ideal schedule.
  • Creating purposeful routines to set yourself up for success.
  • It's often the smaller things that will get you to where you want to go.
  • Finding what really works for you helps when creating routines that are sustainable.
  • We all have different priorities for our daily schedules.
  • The benefits of having weekly power lunches.
  • Another way to do time-blocking.
  • Reclaiming money by creating high-value activity blocks.
  • You don't have to be available all the time!
  • There's never enough time to do everything, so your job is to create the time and carve it down on your schedule for the things that matter most.
  • Amber talks about the free template download that she has for you, to help you create your ideal schedule. Go to The Productivity Specialist to download it now!

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Monique Holmes #365

Links:

Website: The Productivity Specialist

Podcast: Productivity Straight Talk

Facebook Page: The Productivity Specialist

Facebook Group: Productivity Straight Talk

Instagram: Amber De La Garza

For your free template download: The Productivity Specialist

Dec 14 2018

1hr 17mins

Play

112: Kimberley Seldon: We All Know Clients Matter, at Business of Design, Designers Matter Too.

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I am so grateful to have Kimberley Seldon on the show today. She has been requested by more than one guest that has been on the show. Kimberley is not only going to further beautiful luxury design, but also help by teaching interior designers how to emulate you and have a fabulous business. Kimberley is a brilliant and talented woman of many trades. She is an interior designer, editor, keynote speaker, broadcast personality and runs her online platform “Business of Design” where she teaches professional development to designers, decorators, stagers and stylists! 

Show Notes:

  • When did Kimberley have her “come to Jesus” moment in her career?
  • What caused her to have a “come to Jesus” moment?
  • Is it possible that interior designers make mistakes?
  • Should you bill the client if a mistake happens outside the company?
  • What were some of the challenges working with her own business coach and transitioning with her coach?
  • How did she make her paperwork not suck?
  • Why is it important to have good paperwork?
  • How do you present yourself when you are a brand new interior designer?
  • What are some things you should not do when first starting out?
  • “The wrong client will never turn into the right client.”
  • Should you charge for your consultation?
  • How much should you charge for your consultations?
  • What is Business of Design and what does it offer?
  • Is there a book coming in the near future?
  • If there is a book what would it be about?
  • What does her business look like on the inside?
  • How many courses does Kimberley offer?
  • What is the difference between the free membership and paid membership for her courses?

Resources:

www.businessofdesign.com/awdbpodcast

www.businessofdesign.com

www.kimberleyseldon.com 

Dec 12 2016

1hr 12mins

Play

254: Design Biz Live: How to Price Your Interior Design Services

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Welcome to part two of Design Biz Live 3, with Corey Klassen.  The last episode of Design Biz Live (#246) was the interview with Judith Neary, about the Self Assessment Evaluation, (which you can still find at www.windowworks-nj.com/designbiz2) that Judith and Corey put together for themselves and also for you, so that you can learn to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of yourself, as an Interior Designer and also of your staff. They created this because just like many of you, they battled to structure their fees. Because Judith and Corey really are pretty brilliant, they worked out a way to figure out what you're really good at, what you're not so good at, what you don't like doing, what you're not going to do... the whole thing! In the last episode, LuAnn talked with Judith, who runs a One Man Show, in Vashon Island, off the coast of Seattle, about how she used this evaluation to enable her to work in her particular zone of genius and to structure her projects and fees to best coincide with the things that she does really well and that she really likes to do. Please go back and listen, if you missed that episode.

Today, we have Corey Klassen with us on the show. Corey has his Interior Design firm in Vancouver, Canada and he has a staff, so when he took the evaluation, it was not only for himself, it was for his staff too. Today, Corey will share the results that he learned from his evaluation and also the way that he utilized the information from these results, about himself and also about each of the people on his staff. Then, using that information, he moves into the best way to structure the fees for his Design firm, in order to best serve his clients and also the firm, itself. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • One of the key things that Corey recognized from his evaluation.
  • The way that Corey has utilized all the information that he got from the Assessment, without deviation.
  • All the work that Corey does, whether it's for a kitchen, bathroom, or anything else, it all follows exactly the same process.
  • Looking deeper into the data, to figure out where the biggest strengths and weaknesses of himself and his staff were and to align his fees accordingly.
  • Core shares some graphs, demonstrating the conceptual phase of his and his staff's assessment.
  • What the graph demonstrating the execution phase of Corey's Assessment says to him.
  • The importance of documents being communicated correctly, on time, with the right information and all complete, together.
  • A process to ensure that the documents are being communicated correctly, on time, with the right information all complete and together, with MyDoma Studio.
  • Flipping over to using Quickbooks to easily manage accounting systems, to save time.
  • Some key solutions to invite the vendor into the project.
  • Managing punch lists.
  • Using tracking sheets for orders, to really work well as a team.
  • A formulated process that Corey used, to help him to determine the appropriate fees to charge.
  • Addressing, and then utilizing failures to their best advantage.
  • The three phases of the evaluation are also the same three phases of a project.
  • Corey's formula for structuring flat fees.
  • Why Corey charges for each phase, before moving on to the next.
  • The difference between General Contractors and Designers.
  • The importance of really good communication.
  • When product sales come into the picture.
  • The importance of having a Termination Clause in your agreement with a client.
  • Making use of a Design Retainer, which remains retained until the final invoice is done. (Then the balance is refunded.)
  • If you have any questions, either for this section or for the section that Judith covered, please email them to LuAnn, to be answered on the next episode of Design Biz Live. (info@windowworksnj.com and please put Design Biz Live Question in the subject line.)

Nov 06 2017

1hr 17mins

Play

109: Ashlina Kaposta - The Decorista - How To Rock Your “Ista"!

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Ashlina Kaposta is the design blogger behind The Decorista, a household name in the world of interior design blogging. Ashlina works around-the-clock hours as an interior designer, site technician and writer, and she   attends design conferences as either a speaker or a member of the audience.  She has recently launched  a new self-adhesive wallpaper line with graphic stripes, animal prints, and other fun designs!  Here she is on our podcast discussing her inspired designs,  motivated moves, energized creations, and  life-changing choices and decisions.  

Show Notes

  • How Ashlina started her career
  • Why she created the blog Decorista
  • Her tips for building a successful business
  • Importance of taking courses to enhance business skills
  • Why enhancing speaking and writing skills is necessary
  • The role of her blog in her success
  • Attending industry events is very helpful
  • Attending shows and visiting showrooms had a role in her success
  • Continue learning everything you can about the industry and the people in it.
  • The importance of publicity and exposure
  • Building a successful brand
  • Invest in your own stylized photography of your own work   
  • Be intentional - what it means
  • Tips on creating a vision board of your ideal project, the type of project you want to attract and be paid to execute. 
  • Tips for dreams, goals, and planning

You can find the rest of the show notes here: Window Works 

Dec 05 2016

55mins

Play

455: Megan Molten: Another Side Hustle Success Story

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Welcome! Today we are really excited to have Megan Molten on the show with us. Megan reached out to LuAnn in an email a while ago, telling her that she learned everything she knows about the business of interior design from this show, and it's changed her life. She went on to explain that after twelve years of being in health-care sales and having listened to the podcast every day for the last year, she finally quit her day job to become an interior designer. Listen in today, to hear Megan's story.

Before quitting her job, Megan managed to have an incredible 29 interior design clients on the side, over six months, while still working full-time, for fifty hours a week! Now, a year later, she has a full-time business manager, a full-time designer, she has leased warehouse space, she has a studio space, she has an e-commerce business, and she has 19 000 followers on Instagram! In her first year, Megan brought in $600 000 in revenue, and she also planned her wedding and got married last May! She has been featured on eighteen different sites, from Serena and Lily to Apartment Therapy and Bungalow. Megan has achieved all of this because she truly understands that to make her dreams a reality, she has to actually do the things that she learned from the different guests on this show. In today's episode, she talks to us about the things she learned and how she's applied them. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Megan talks to us about the moment that she finally decided to quit her day job.
  • It all began with social media, with Instagram in particular, for Megan.
  • One of the first things that Megan did was to hire a photographer.
  • Starting afresh, both professionally and personally.
  • Having the support of her entrepreneurial parents really helped Megan a lot.
  • Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.
  • Making her first hire was one of the best decisions Megan has ever made.
  • E-commerce makes so much sense but it really takes a lot of work.
  • Using the services of a purchasing agent.
  • Having conversations and making connections.
  • The importance of finding the blind spots in your processes.

Bio:

Megan's love for all things interiors has been around for as long as she can remember and soon became a reality after she purchased her first home in Charleston, South Carolina and started the design process herself. She began sharing with the world all of her favorite finds and amazing transformations on social media and the world responded! It was this incredible response to Megan's designs that encouraged her to start helping friends, then friends of friends and eventually clients transform their spaces too. This exciting new "hobby" she devoted every hour to while not working her very full-time job in medical sales quickly turned into a business. She quit her 12-year career in corporate America to chase a dream-a dream that was her true passion in life-helping others achieve beautiful spaces they love.  Her passion for light and airy design, go-getter attitude and attention to detail has quickly created a strong following and brand for #designsbymeganmolten and she can't wait to continue to watch her big dream grow!

Links:

Megan's email: megan@meganmolten.com

Website: Megan Molten

Shop: Megan Molten Shop

Instagram: Megan Molten

Facebook: Megan Molten

Pinterest: Megan Molten

Houzz:  Designs By Megan Molten

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236

Cheryl Luckett - Dwell by Cheryl #291 and #397

Aug 13 2019

1hr 25mins

Play

137: Michele Williams- Scarlet Thread Consulting- Actionable Tips for Time Management

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Today on the show I have yet another fabulous business coach who specializes in our industry! Michele Williams is with me! Michele is the founder of Scarlet Thread and Consulting in Atlanta, Georgia. Today we will learn about Michele’s background which includes the financial software industry as well as a business in soft window treatment fabricator. She also has a BS in business administration, a diploma in Christian life coaching and she is one of the few certified profit first coaches in the United States. 

Michele was also the communication director and editor in chief of the Drapery and Designs Professional Magazine from 2009 to 2012. She is a member of The Design Collective in Atlanta, the Designers Work Club Council and the Window Covering Association of America. After talking to Michele I realized that there are so many things I could talk with her about but after we talk about her background a little bit we are going to pull apart work scheduling and chunking our day to have more productivity.

Show Notes:

  • What is her background in the financial software industry?
  • When did she decide to start her window treatment business?
  • Did she start with a business plan?
  • How did she start to make her business bigger?
  • What is the Design Collective in Atlanta?
  • What is a round table discussion and how is it helpful?
  • How is the Window Coverings Association helpful to Michele and her business?
  • What are some of things that you can expect Michele to talk about the expo IWCE in Charlotte?
  • Why is it important to listen to different people say the same things?
  • Why is important to be able to chunk your time for productivity?
  • Is it better to be proactive or reactive?
  • How should you plan your calendar?

Resources:

www.chairish.com

www.designcollectiveatl.com

www.scarletthreadconsulting.com

Feb 08 2017

1hr 13mins

Play

136: Ashleigh Esprit - Atlanta Interior Design Student and Blogger

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On the show, today it is kind of a departure for the podcast because I am going to be speaking with an interior design student: Ashleigh Esprit. Ashleigh is a student Gwinnett Technical College in Atlanta, Georgia and she is working on her associates degree in interior design. She will complete her associates degree in the spring of 2017 and then attend Brunel University in the fall to get her masters in interior design. She has had great success in her internships and working with a great company, Sherwin Williams. She is very passionate about design and very passionate about her colleagues. She has started a blog, The Life of an Interior Design Student. In the interview, you will learn how Ashleigh and I came to know each other and what I have learned about her to make me respect her. 

Show Notes:

  • Why did Ashleigh start a blog for interior design students?
  • What are some of the struggles that she has experienced that other students have as well?
  • How does Ashleigh overcome her times when she is having trouble staying inspired?
  • What made Ashleigh want to be involved in the interior design business and study more about interior design?
  • Are there any classes that Ashleigh thinks are more beneficial than others?
  • Does Ashleigh think internships are important?
  • Is there anything that she thinks should be included in the interior design curriculum that isn’t explained well enough already?
  • Is Ashleigh a part of ASID?
  • What are Ashleigh’s goals for her career in interior design?
  • What are some other blogs that she has connected with?
  • Has Ashleigh learned anything from doing her blog: The Life of an Interior Design Student?

Resources:

The Life of an Interior Design Student

www.lifeofanidstudent.blogspot.com

Feb 06 2017

40mins

Play

342: Laurel Bern: 6 Figure Interior Design Blogger Shares Advice

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Welcome to today's episode! We have Laurel Bern, of Laurel Bern Interiors on the show with us today.

Laurel Bern is an award-winning New York Interior Designer, blogger, brand ambassador and speaker. Her design work has been featured in national as well as Westchester County shelter magazines. She is known for a having a young-traditional aesthetic and is one to buck many of the current trends unless they happen to be classic favorites. However, after 21 years as the principle designer in her firm Laurel Bern Interiors, she has turned her focus to blogging as a full-time occupation. Her award-winning blog, Laurel Home has drawn a large following – and by large- I mean with page views in the multiple hundreds of thousands every month- due to her candid style of writing, useful information and warm community of readers. You can see for yourself right on her website, laurelberninteriors.com she earns over $33,000 per month from her blog.

Laurel's Rolodex is a comprehensive shopping guide for home furnishings with links to the vendor/manufacturers and features a list of some 180 designer-friendly vendors for interior designers. No professional confidences are divulged. Laurel's goal is to help you make your home more beautiful, personal and a really comfortable place in which to live.  You will want to savor every moment of today’s show, so join us today to discover more about Laurel ’s incredible, entrepreneurial journey.

Show highlights:

  • How to blog effectively, in order to attract your ideal client.
  • Steps you should take right from the start in order to create a successful blog.
  • Your blog needs to live on a really well-built website.
  • What your 'about' page is truly all about.
  • The nuts and bolts of creating a successful website.
  • Why you need to have a navigation menu on every page of your website.
  • Selecting the most appropriate font for your website.
  • How to avoid overwhelming your readers.
  • How to use primary keywords
  • People want a lot of knowledge, but they also want to be entertained.
  • Figuring out your special secret sauce, and your own, unique voice.
  • Your content has to be rich with relevant information.
  • The importance of having your blog posts indexed.
  • Some things that will help you to create magic in your blog.
  • You can even take your own photos with your phone.
  • Some tips to enhance your photos.
  • Awesome ideas for free gifts for your readers of your blog.
  • Why Laurel loves using Wordpress.com.
  • Selecting information to place in your sidebar.
  • Ways to keep your readers on your website for as long as possible.
  • Learn about the $250 000 that Laurel left on the table for five years of her blogging career.
  • Why you should get yourself onto an advertising network.
  • The importance of blogging consistently.
  • Ways to encourage people to take your surveys.
  • Laurel has written a document called Six-figure Income Blogger, and it's really simple and full of the strategies that she's used, and lessons that she learned the hard way. Go to her website laurelberninteriors.com to get your copy for $199. It's in the first link in the main menu on the left-hand side.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show.

Claire Jefford #325

Linda Holt #97

Carla Aston #242

Stephan Spence #238

Recommendations:

For really awesome geek help, go to Eileen Lonergan

Laurel Bern Interiors Instagram: Laurel Bern Free Blogger Guide: Six Figure Income Blogger Guide

Jul 17 2018

1hr 19mins

Play

352: Shannon Claire: Strategies for Growing Your Instagram Following

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Welcome to today's show. We have Shannon Claire, a designer that Luann discovered on Instagram, with us on the show today. Shannon has a really beautiful Instagram feed and on the show today she will be talking about it and she will also share some tips from the perspective of someone whose career is not an Instagram marketer but has utilized the tool in a really effective way.

Shannon Claire is an interior designer and stylist based in Washington, DC, specializing in

creating beautiful spaces so that your home feels uniquely and comfortably you, but elevated. Shannon Claire offers many services that include full-service interior design by the hour, e-design projects for clients who do not live locally but still need design help, and event and space styling. She has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Domino, The Washington PostBuzzfeed, The Everygirl, Glitter Guide, The Charlotte Observer, CNN, Forbes, Style Me Pretty, House Beautiful Magazine, and Style At Home Magazine. Listen in to find out what she has to share on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • The first thing to think about, as an interior designer, if you want to really start taking your Instagram seriously.
  • It can be hard to switch from using Instagram as a personal, or social tool, to use it as something that can funnel back into your business.
  • The importance of identifying what your particular brand looks like on paper, or in a photo.
  • Shannon explains why she only shares things on Instagram that fit into the specific aesthetic that she has created there- like pink walls.
  • The way that Shannon's before and after pictures really draw you in.
  • Shannon discusses her 'wake-up point'.
  • The benefits that she has seen from really dedicating herself to her particular style and aesthetic- and the kind of content that she was posting.
  • All the pictures on Shannon's feed are from her own home or her own projects.
  • The way that Luann's Instagram feed has changed recently.
  • The things that will really make your Instagram feed uniquely yours.
  • Choosing your Instagram photos intentionally.
  • The way that Shannon uses visual landmarks to let people know that she is in DC.
  • Some things that you can do to reach out to the people in your area, to let them know where you are.
  • Some information about the way that Instagram's algorithms operate.
  • The importance of having an engaged following on Instagram and building a community.
  • Effectively using captions on your photos.
  • Learning to be authentically yourself!
  • Ways to get your work featured out there.
  • What comment pods are-and how to use them.

Links:

Instagram - @shannonclaire

Blog - Shannon Claire Interiors

Pinterest - Shannon Claire Interiors

Shannon's website: Shannon Claire Interiors

Aug 21 2018

1hr 11mins

Play

491: Power Talk Friday: LuAnn Nigara: Let's Be Profitable in 2020

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today, LuAnn will be talking to us about the kinds of problems and obstacles that stand in the way of designers with the running of their design firms. Although everyone is unique, there are still certain themes that play out, and problems that we all tend to share, as entrepreneurs. Listen in today, to learn what you can do to overcome the challenges that we, as designers, all face in our businesses.

LuAnn has put a lot of thought into the best way to address these things in a precise way that would benefit each of you the most, as individuals. This has not been an easy task because designers are such a diverse group, with varying levels of experience. In today's episode, LuAnn will teach you how to grow your client base, increase your net profits, improve your business acumen and sharpen your sales skills. She will also talk about goal setting and great ways to expand your network. Be sure to tune in today, to find out how to grow your business in 2020.

Show Highlights:

  • You can turn your business around by listening to the podcast. It's your number one free resource!
  • Systemizing every aspect of your business.
  • About Sara Brennan's eight-week course, Process Leads to Profits.
  • How to talk confidently with your clients about window treatments, with Vita's eight-week course.
  • You need to know what you don't know.
  • LuAnn's superpower is sales, which is all about listening.
  • Creating client loyalty and lasting relationships.
  • If you'd like to get inside of LuAnn's brain, whatwouldludo.com will be meeting once a month, live, via Zoom. Go to whatwouldludo.com to sign up.
  • Jenny Slingerland's DesignBuildForProfit course will be starting in February 2020.
  • A great opportunity for #seasoneddesigners.
  • LuAnn Live is coming in November of 2020.
  • Are you going to settle for normal in 2020 or will you strive to be exceptional?

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Darci Hether #220

Darla Powell #203 and #330

Kelsey Gross #167

Kimberley Kay #234

Christine Lin #470

Sara Brennan #463

Links:

LuAnn Nigara

Process Leads to Profits

Profit With Window Treatments

Design-Build For Profit

Whatwouldludo

LuAnn Nigara

LuAnn Nigara

Dec 13 2019

35mins

Play

490: Britany Simon: Lessons Learned from Doing Interior Design TV Shows

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Welcome to the show! Today, Britany Simons joins us. Britany founded her full-service design firm, Britany Simon Design House, in 2010. Her work caught the attention of national media and this helped to launch Britany into the world of television and media. In today's episode, she talks to us about her experience of being in the seventh season of the hit HGTV design challenge series, Design Star. She shares the lessons she's learned from doing the show, and how she applies them today, to her design firm. Be sure to listen in today, to hear about Britany's extensive experience of doing television shows.

For the last fifteen years, Britany's design career has covered everything from large-scale commercial renovations to budget-friendly builds, including entire home makeovers. With a degree in Business and Interior Design, Britany's professional career started with working for some of the top design firms in Arizona, where she specialized in kitchen and bath design, as well as the whole construction process, from conception to completion.

In addition to being a regular design contributor to television, digital, and print media outlets, Britany has also been the host for the Holiday House series on HGTC.com, a designer on Travel Channel's hit series, Hotel Impossible, co-host of We're Moving In, on the FYI Network, and a featured designer on Bravo Network's new design show, Best Room Wins. Tune in now, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Britany enjoys supporting and having the support of other designers.
  • Britany discusses how she stumbled into doing TV design shows.
  • Being on TV isn't as glamorous as it looks.
  • Why you don't make good money on TV unless you get into the fifth season of a show.
  • Some of the lessons Britany learned from being on a TV show.
  • TV challenges are very stressful and you have to be self-sufficient and savvy with your resources because you're left to your own devices.
  • You have to be highly organized to pull off a TV challenge. It's a very testing experience.
  • It's very rewarding to complete a TV challenge.
  • Being on TV is not what you would imagine because it's more exciting for the producers if the designer breaks down and falls apart.
  • What Britany learned about herself, as a designer, from being on TV.
  • Being on TV taught Britany to be more efficient and trust her gut.
  • Learning to understand the process of how things are made, and what's involved with the different aspects of a renovation process.
  • Britany gained a lot of confidence from being on TV.
  • Being on TV certainly opened doors for Britany.
  • You need to know what you want from being on TV before you start because it's a huge time commitment.
  • You need to be mindful of where you're putting your energy.
  • Television has been the marketing that Britany has used in her business.

Bio:

To Britany Simon, the foundation of good design is about the experience that it gives you. She believes in spaces that blend fashion with function and luxury with livability.  With a focus on creating a space that is a reflection of who you are, and an emphasis on how it makes you feel.  Her artistic nature, a penchant for the details, and eye for the unexpected have helped her create incredibly distinguished living spaces and striking commercial projects for her clients.

Over the last fifteen years, Britany’s experience has spanned across a vast array of projects – from large-scale commercial renovations to whole home makeovers to budget-friendly builds. Although she has had a lifelong love affair with interior design and architecture, Britany received formal training through her bachelor’s degree in Business & Interior Design. She began her professional career working for some of the top design firms in Arizona where she worked on new residential homes, specializing in both kitchen and bath design, from conception to completion throughout the entire construction process.

In 2010, she founded Britany Simon Design House – a full-service design firm. The signature style and unmatched execution of BSDH have garnered a notable client roster with projects all over the country. Additionally, her work has caught the attention of national media and helped launch Britany’s foray into the television and media world.

Upon being selected on the seventh season of the hit HGTV design challenge series, Design Star, Britany discovered a new passion for television and video production. Her natural talent for design and on-camera presence earned her the accolade of “Fan Favorite” from her season. In addition to being a regular design contributor to television, digital and print media outlets, she has also been the host for the Holiday House series on HGTV.com, a designer on Travel Channel’s hit series, Hotel Impossible, co-host of We’re Moving In on the FYI Network, and a featured designer on Bravo Network's new design show, Best Room Wins airing May 2019.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

#420 Amanda Berlin

#478 Amber Roy

#297 Mikel Welch

#338 Orlando Soria

#127 Corey Damen Jenkins

#255 Anne Rue

#220 Darci Hether

#258 Lisa Escobar

#182 Christie Leu

#296 Ruthie Staalsen

#291, #397 Cheryl Luckett

#267 Rasheeda Gray

#486 Christina Bruce

#376 Cat French

#463 Sara Brennan

Links:

Website: Britany Simon

Pinterest: Britany Simon

Instagram: BRITANY SIMON

Facebook: Britany Simon Design

Dec 10 2019

1hr 4mins

Play

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

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Brad Clinard, a certified financial planner from High Point, NC, joins us on the show today. Brad, like Peter Lang, the Designer CPA, (episodes #349 and #464) specializes in working with interior designers. He has a very real desire to help the people in our industry, and his approach to finances is different from any other financial planner. He knows that every designer needs to plan for life’s financial challenges, and for their retirement, so he helps them maximize their earnings over their lifetime. He refers to this as intentional planning for abundant living. Be sure to listen in today to find out what Brad does to help designers plan for a life and future that they deserve to have. 

Brad graduated from UNC Charlotte, Magna Cum Laude, majoring in Economics with a concentration in Psychology. He was the senior team captain of the tennis team and worked closely with the NCAA advocating for student-athletes. Brad has earned the designation CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

Brad is married to Hope, a pastry chef. They attend Wesley Memorial Church in High Point, and they have a passion for missions and service, most recently supporting Youth with a Mission, Casey Cares Foundation and the Old North State Boy Scouts Board. In his “spare” time, Brad enjoys reading, movies, travel, time outdoors and eating great food. His adventures have included hiking the northern half of the Appalachian Trail and the Laugavegur in Iceland. Tune in now, for more.

Show Highlights:

  • Brad helps designers with their personal financial planning.
  • We need to learn to understand how to use our money to empower us to live an abundant life.
  • Brad’s parents were in the traditional wealth management industry and they focused on investing.
  • Brad’s experience of growing up in High Point.
  • Brad explains what financial design is all about.
  • Starting with people’s values, rather than with their financial goals.
  • The Designer’s Dozen are twelve challenges that designers face when working with traditional financial planners.
  • Goals are future-focused and temporary, and values are present-focused and permanent.
  • Understanding your values is the first point in getting to know yourself.
  • Brad spends a lot of his time trying to understand how our psychology affects us.
  • From a professional perspective, there are four types of money scripts that everybody falls into- money avoidance, money worship, money status or money vigilance.
  • It can be very challenging for creative-minded designers to find professionals to give them advice and guidance.
  • There are generally four different communication styles.
  • Bridging the gap between the different styles of communication.
  • Why Brad decided to focus on interior designers.
  • How to know when you need the services of a financial planner.
  • Brad gives you the Ten Keys to Financial Foundation.
  • The plans that Brad will create for you.
  • Follow your bliss and plan for an abundant life.
  • A formula for having a less stressful experience of life.
  • Brad has a three-stage process to help clients going through transitions in their lives.

Other shows related to finances to go with this show:

Peter Lang #349, #464 

Kimberly Merlitti #361, #442

Ashley Micciche #468 

Diane Gardner #54 

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Michele Williams # 137, #180, #395, and # 424

Taylor Spellman #106, #390, and #467

Links:

Website:  High Point Financial Design

Quiz to learn your money script: High Point Financial Design

Dec 06 2019

1hr 12mins

Play

488: Monica Wilcox: Systems Create Strength & Confidence

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Welcome! We have Monica Wilcox, the principal of M Wilcox Design, joining us today. Monica is a #seasoneddesigner. She's dynamic, entertaining, and she's on the show to share some of her killer inspiration. She talks to us about coming to grips with her "business midlife crisis", her decision to be on TV, diversifying revenue streams, and setting the rules for yourself first, and then for your clients, to ensure your success as an interior design business owner. Monica is often called on for her advice. She is full of energy and her approach to business and life is truly authentic. You're really going to love her, so be sure to listen in, to hear what she has to share!

M Wilcox Design is an award-winning design firm with an emphasis on collaboration. Monica's impeccable eye for design and her in-depth knowledge about project management really sets her apart from other design companies. She has very well-established systems, from the initial design phase all the way through to the final install, and every project is executed with precision and exceptional quality. Tune in today, to find out more about Monica and the efficient way that she runs her design firm.

Show Highlights:

  • Monica did not start out in business with a foundation for success. She had to teach herself the business side of her business.
  • Some of the core things that designers should be paying attention to when they start a business.
  • Monica started out with a career in the military. There, she learned about determination and discipline.
  • Monica is a believer in staying in her own lane and always hiring people who are good at what they do, to help her get to the top of her game.
  • It's important to hire the top people.
  • Monica explains what she looks for when hiring people.
  • What caused Monica's business mid-life crisis, ten years ago.
  • Finding a new sense of purpose.
  • Transformation is powerful.
  • Figuring out a deeper meaning to what you do.
  • Monica shares her strategies for diversifying revenue streams.
  • Getting on TV happened very easily for Monica.
  • Preparation plus opportunity leads to success.
  • Running with a structured system.
  • There's so much to be learned from events and other designers.
  • Monica explains her fee structure.
  • All about Monica's Design Mecca classes and education.

Bio:

Interior Designer Monica Wilcox is an expert in delivering unique designs with functionality in mind. Her award-winning design firm creates gorgeous interiors that also offer livable-style with a California twist.

With an emphasis on Collaboration, Monica is able to realize the vision of her clients and bring them to life. She has the unique ability to connect with her clients and radiates a tremendous passion for what she does which is contagious to everyone around her.

Her impeccable eye for design combined with her in-depth knowledge of project management sets her apart from other interior designers. From initial designs to the final install, each project is executed with precision and exceptional quality.

Monica is frequently called upon for advice for everything from interior design to business growth to lifestyle tips. She enjoys the art of living fully and completely and is happy to share that with others. With boundless energy, an honest and direct approach, and an infectious spirit, it’s possible that this creative visionary may someday be in every household in America.

Monica Wilcox is the founder of Design Mecca, an online learning center that teaches interior designers how to start a successful business. Along with her colleague Nikki Chu, Monica teaches at the accredited online university which features a course broken up into 36 videos and 12 modules that students can work through at their own pace.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Tobi Fairley #419, #440

Nancy Ganzekaufer #389 

Ann Rue #255

Sara Brennan #463

Janelle Photopoulos #363 

Stacey Brown Randall #93 

Links:

Website: M Wilcox Design

Design Mecca

Nikki Chut

LuAnn Live

Sara Lynn Brennan Course

LuAnn's Favorite Resources

Dec 03 2019

1hr 14mins

Play

487: Power Talk Friday: Vanessa Shepherd: Pinterest Strategies to Grow Your Interior Design Business

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Vanessa Shepherd, the owner of She's Got Vision, on the show with us today. Vanessa is all about efficiency. She has won awards, she has been recognized in her community and she knows just how busy most creative business owners are. In today's episode, she talks to us about how hard it is for creative entrepreneurs to find the time to get everything done in their businesses, especially if they have a family to manage as well. She shares strategies for growing your design business through Pinterest and some really helpful tips for managing your time so that you can live a little too. She also explains what you need to do to really stand out from the crowd, so be sure to tune in, to find out more.

Vanessa graduated from NAIT with honors for her degree in Business Administration. She is a content marketing professional and she helps business owners to be seen, increase the traffic to their websites, and build lasting relationships. Her specialty is social media marketing, and she loves to use Pinterest as a platform for visibility. Listen in today, to benefit from Vanessa's wisdom and experience.

Show Highlights:

  • Vanessa loves to be as efficient as possible.
  • There's a big update coming for Pinterest.
  • Vanessa explains what a pin title is, on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest wants to make titles more purposeful.
  • Later is a great scheduling tool.
  • Pinterest is an important search engine.
  • Some strategies for using Pinterest to drive potential clients to your website.
  • Allowing someone else to help you have the time to do what you do best.
  • Video is big everywhere on social media right now.
  • Pinterest can be used as a good cross-promotion tactic.
  • Some tips to capture people's attention in the first three to fifteen seconds of a video.
  • Good quality photos are a must on social media.
  • The process of pinning.
  • Find content that can educate, inspire, or entertain your audience.
  • Showcasing your work in multiple ways to drive more traffic to your website.
  • Being consistent with your pins is very important.
  • Vanessa has a Pinterest audit that you can download for free on her website. Go to She's Got Vision
  • How Vanessa helps people improve their strategies for social media.

Bio:

Vanessa Shepherd is a content marketing professional at She's Got Vision, helping business owners to get visible, drive traffic to their websites, and build lasting relationships with their audiences. Vanessa specializes in social media marketing, and her favorite platform for visibility is Pinterest! She graduated with honors from NAIT with a degree in Business Administration and from the University of Alberta with a master's in Communications and Technology. When she's not creating strategies, running ads or pinning her heart out, you can find Vanessa traveling and gardening with her husband and their two Airedale Terriers.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Amber De La Garza #385

Summer Tannhauser #292

Allison Fannin #223

Kate Ahl # 331

Links:

Website: primary: She's Got Vision Blog

course microsite: learn.shesgotvision.com

Blog: She's Got Vision Blog

LuAnn Live

Article: welldesigned.article.com

Kirsch: kirsch.com

Instagram: She's Got Vision

Facebook: She's Got Vision

Pinterest: She's Got Vision

Free Pinterest audit checklist: She's Got Vision

Nov 29 2019

1hr 11mins

Play

486: Christina Bruce: The Courage to Take Action Changed her Interior Design Business

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Welcome! Today, we have Christina Bruce, the principal of Christina Bruce Interiors in Vero Beach, Florida, with us on the show. Christina was one of the VIP attendees at the LuAnn Live, It's About the Conversation event, earlier this year. LuAnn asked each VIP to let her know, in the months following the event, what they have done and achieved based on what they learned, and the people they met there. So, Christina messaged LuAnn recently, with a long list of the positive things she identified in herself and her business, from the event. In today's episode, she shares the serious questions she had been asking herself about her business, before attending LuAnn Live. She then goes on to describe the things she put into action and the remarkable 180 degrees turn around that she created in her business, as a result of attending the event. Listen in, to hear about the incredible way that Christine transformed her business.

Christina started her company in Savannah, in 2009. She then completed several residential and commercial projects in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Christina received an award for excellence for the work she did on a medical center from the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce during this time, and she was also invited to be a guest designer on ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

The love of her hometown, Vero Beach, drew her back there in 2012. Christina has had the opportunity to further her experience and influence by working with some of the most established communities in Vero Beach, and by helping to complete residential and commercial projects in Texas, New York, and internationally. Tune in today, to learn about the lessons that Christina has learned and the actions she's taken to transform her business.

Show highlights:

  • Christina explains why she decided to go to the LuAnn Live event.
  • Attending LuAnn live pulled Christina out of the negative head-space that she had been in before attending the event.
  • LuAnn Live was like a designer's support group for Christine.
  • Christina talks about the significant conversation she had with Taylor Spellman.
  • Learning to look at her motivation, rather than her goals.
  • Parenting always takes priority.
  • Cat and Christine keep on learning together.
  • Some of the actions that Christine has taken.
  • Christine's experience is in high-end residential design.
  • Becoming successful within the demographics of where you live.
  • What Christine learned from Dala al Fuwaires.
  • There will always be times when the things we do don't work.
  • You have to risk failure to succeed.
  • There are some things you should never fake.
  • Christina describes the Christina Bruce Collection, for David Francis Furniture.
  • Talking about partnerships.
  • Podcast green is a wonderful color!

Bio:

Christina Bruce graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). The Interior Design program at SCAD has been consistently ranked as the number one program in the nation. It is here that Christina not only formed a strong foundation of design principles, but also a true passion for interior design.  She formed her own company in Savannah in 2009 and completed several residential and commercial projects in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. During this time, she received an award for excellence for her work on a medical center from the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce. She was also invited to be a guest designer on ABC’s Extreme Make-Over: Home Edition where she helped complete the design of the dining room and master bedroom of the home being featured. Savannah’s charm enriched her experience, but the love of her hometown of Vero Beach drew her family home in 2012.

In her time in Vero Beach, she has worked with some of the finest architects and builders which has helped to shape her corporate philosophy and relationship with clients. She has had the opportunity to further her experience and influence by not only working with some of the most established communities in Vero Beach but also helping to complete residential and commercial projects in Texas and New York, as well as internationally. She looks forward to many years of successful relationships and projects with the clients and communities with which she is fortunate to work.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Vanessa DeLeon # 18

Dala al Fuwaires # 392

Taylor Spellman #467, 106

Shauna Lynn Simon #76, 84, 102

Cat French #376

Nancy Ganzekaufer- Niche is Rich #15

Nicole Heymer #125, 317, 466

Kae Whitaker #114, 259, 274

Michele Williams #180, 395   

Carolyn Flannery #453

Links:

LuAnn Live

LuAnn Nigara Book

Power Talk Friday

Link to IG post announcing color collection PodGreen named for me

David Francis Furniture

Clem Schaub Architect Vero Beach Florida

Christina Bruce Interiors

Nov 26 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

485: Power Talk Friday: Claire Jefford: Rock the Consult

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Claire Jefford joins us on the show once again today! Claire is an interior decorator, business coach, leader of the designer Facebook group Interior Design Business Strategies, a vlogger, and author of a chapter called Managing Client Expectations in LuAnn's second book, A Well-Designed Business, The Power talk Friday Experts, Volume 1. In today's episode, Claire takes us through her initial process. She shares her wealth of information about the best practices for handling all aspects of consultations with clients. Listen in today to learn how to set the tone for success right from the outset.

Claire started her award-winning decorating firm in 2011, and in 2017, she started a second business as a business coach. She is passionate about having organized processes, marketing, and creating videos. She was voted #3 Top Influencer in 2018, and she runs an active Facebook group called Interior Design Business Strategies, with more than 3000 design professionals from around the world. Tune in now for more!

Show highlights:

  • Being upfront about the way that you work.
  • Managing your clients' expectations, educating your clients, and communicating effectively.
  • Claire talks about her templated email system.
  • Setting the tone right from the start.
  • Claire always asks for payment upfront for consultations.
  • Keeping clear logs of everything.
  • 3-D design is the way to go!
  • Claire talks about what she brings with her to consultations.
  • Helping people as much as possible in two hours.
  • Clients like structure.
  • You have to let your clients know what you do.
  • Little things can go a long way.
  • Confidence is key!
  • Claire has some fabulous packages available.
  • Claire explains what WidWil is all about.

Previous episodes mentioned in the show:

Maria Killam #58

Fred Berns #174

John and Theresa Dorlini (Circle Design Studio) #380

Claire was previously in episodes #237 and #325

Links:

Website - https://clairejefford.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clairejefforddesigns/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/interiordesignbusinessstrategies/

Blog post Claire mentioned in the show: https://clairejefford.com/3d-renderings-for-interior-designers/

The Initial Phone Call: 5 Must-Ask Questions - https://clairejefford.com/initial-phone-call/

Kirsch: kirsch.com

Article: welldesigned.article.com

LuAnn Live: luannlive.com

LuAnn's Favorite Resources: luannnigara.com/resources

Nov 22 2019

1hr 24mins

Play

484: Laurence Carr: Design Your Business Plan

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Welcome! Today, we have Laurence Carr, the CEO of Laurence Carr Design, with us on the show. Although Laurence opened her design firm just a short eighteen months ago, she is already running it with the clarity of a seasoned CEO. She has a very well-structured business plan and her goals are right in front of her. In today's episode, she explains how she managed to get her business up and running so quickly and she also shares with us her well-thought-out business plan. Laurence is truly an impressive businesswoman so be sure to listen in today, to learn about the clear and intentional way she runs her business.

Laurence is helping to shape our cultural dialogue through her work, her speaking engagements, and her blog, "Beyond Aesthetics". Her focus is on combining sustainability with quality, and she is a GREEN Leaders Accredited Professional, and a Member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council. She is is a leading voice in the field of Holistic Interior Design and she's been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business of Home, Domino, Apartment Therapy, Sotheby’s Home, House Tipster and Style Matters. Laurence won the BUILD awards from Homes and Gardens UK in 2019, and she was nominated for the ASID National Awards 2019 for “Design for Humanity”. In March of this year, she was invited to be one of the 30 speakers of the Circular City Week in New York. And this summer, Laurence Carr Design successfully unveiled "The Restorative Room", in Southampton New York, for the Hampton Designers Showhouse 2019. Tune in now, for more!

Show Highlights:

  • Laurence talks about the advisory board that she recruited to help with business strategy.
  • It helps to get advice from people outside of your industry.
  • Everything that Laurence does is done with clear intention.
  • Laurence wanted to build a business with multiple revenue streams.
  • Thinking about the impact of stress on people's lives.
  • Considering not only how things look, but also how they feel, when making choices.
  • Working with Leslie and Sam, of Savour Partnership.
  • About the immense value that Laurence found in creating her e-boutique.
  • How Laurence grew her email list.
  • Working with freelance designers.
  • Laurence talks about her interview process.
  • The systems and processes she uses in making selections for her e-boutique.
  • Earning money on the side, from affiliate marketing.
  • It all comes down to the systems you use.
  • It's very important to keep your goals in front of you.

Bio:

Born in France and now living in NYC, Laurence Carr has an inherent appreciation for art and design—she is a natural aesthete. Before launching her interior design practice, Laurence was a professional ballet dancer, singer,  stage director, and fashion event manager. Today, she is recognized for her application of wellbeing principles and ancient techniques in high-end residential interior design.

Laurence believes luxury interiors don’t have to be sterile and soulless. Instead, her projects encourage mindful living and create harmony, whilst attaining a level of sophistication that develops from layering modern art, furniture, antiques, and accents.

Having lived, worked and traveled in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US, Laurence’s design aesthetic is influenced by her love of different cultures and deep appreciation of art. She brings an international approach to each project—whether its sifting through antique galleries in Paris or sourcing hand-woven rugs from the villages in Nepal, Laurence’s knowledge and network allows her to find and assemble unique items for you.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Nicole Heymer #466, #317, #125

Andrew Joseph #39

Dennis Scully #459

Savour Partnership #209 and #458

Links:

Website: Laurence Carr

Facebook: Laurence Carr Design

Instagram: Laurence Carr Design

YouTube: Laurence Carr

Nov 19 2019

1hr 9mins

Play

483: Power Talk Friday: Wendy Cohen: PowerHouse Advisors and The PowerHouse Smart Luxury Conference

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are delighted to introduce you to Wendy Cohen today. Wendy is the founder and CEO of a suite of Powerhouse Companies comprising of PowerHouse Advisors, a consulting firm, PowerHouse SMART, a luxury industry education and networking leadership community, and PowerHouse Recruiting, which is a division of the consultancy, PowerHouse Advisors. This expert group of companies is committed to serving the best people in the luxury industry by teaching and speaking to them about luxury, and educating them about new luxury technologies. Wendy herself is a powerhouse lady, and in today's episode, she talks to us about building a company culture, creating a complete customer experience, and what it takes to get ahead in business. She also discusses the Luxury Home Conference that is coming up in Chicago, in February, where she has invited LuAnn to be the keynote speaker. Listen in today, to find out what this dynamic and special lady has to share!

The family of PowerHouse Companies was formed in 2006. It is recognized most for successfully guiding hundreds of luxury industry brands and firms in the fields of design, build, and development, across the US and in Canada. PowerHouse SMART was also formed in 2006. It was intended to power-up the very best leaders in the luxury market by creating a platform for elite relationship building, to lead to business collaborations, new business development, referrals, knowledge sharing, and cutting-edge education. Then, in 2015, PowerHouse Recruiting was created as a division of PowerHouse Advisors, to continue with the exceptional recruiting and placement guidance that was established under the consultancy umbrella. Tune in today, to learn what it takes to win in the arena of luxury design, build.

Show Highlights:

  • Wendy started her career as a realtor.
  • Wendy was part of a four-person team in a building company that grew the company from having ten employees to eventually having 120 people working there.
  • Creating a culture in her company.
  • Great success for builders doesn't come overnight but it is possible.
  • Growing the design, build concept.
  • Teaching her sales team about the complete experience was the thing differentiated from any other builder that a consumer might be going to, in 1989.
  • You don't brand yourself. Your audience brands you.
  • Treating sub-contractors, tradespeople, and suppliers with respect, as if they are part of your company.
  • In 1995-1996, Professional Builder Magazine named Wendy's company one of the best eight companies to work for in the nation.
  • Being selected by Custom Builder Magazine as Custom Builder of the Year.
  • The satisfying way that Wendy's vision for the company became contagious.
  • Consulting with other companies to teach and advise them about systems, processes, and how to replicate Wendy's success.
  • For ten or eleven years, Wendy's main focus was on business development.
  • Consulting about recruiting, and helping everybody grow, is where Wendy finds herself today.
  • Wendy views the placements that she makes within other companies as a reflection of her reputation.
  • Wendy talks about PowerHouse Smart. This is how she gives back to her community.
  • Wendy is all about sharing and giving.
  • Every month, PowerHouse Smarts had one big event, called the Builder Architect Hard-Hat Tour.
  • PowerHouse Smart is always looking to grow like-minded individuals. This is why they host a Luxury Conference every year.
  • The next PowerHouse Smart Luxury Home Conference is being held on February 5th, 2020, in Chicago. LuAnn has been invited to be the keynote speaker.
  • Wendy explains what will be happening at the upcoming Luxury Home conference.

Bio:

Wendy Cohen CEO

PowerHouse Companies

PowerHouse Advisors, LLC

PowerHouse SMART®

PowerHouse Recruiting, LLC

Wendy Cohen is the CEO and Founder of the PowerHouse Group of Companies comprised of PowerHouse Advisors™, a consulting firm, PowerHouse SMART®, a luxury industry education & networking leadership community and PowerHouse Recruiting, a division of the consultancy PowerHouse Advisors™ LLC.

The family of PowerHouse Companies was formed in 2006 where it is most notably recognized for successfully guiding hundreds of luxury industry brands and firms in the design, build and development arena across the nation and in Canada. PowerHouse Advisors’ profound impact is working with owners and senior managers in refining business development efforts, implementing process improvement platforms, developing operating systems and procedures, properly managing and executing manpower and creating strategic growth plans.

PowerHouse SMART® also formed in 2006 was intended to power-up the best of the best leaders in the luxury market by creating a platform for elite relationship building leading to business collaborations, new business development, referrals (give and get), knowledge sharing and cutting-edge education. From the onset, the goal was to bring all the talents needed to create an ultimate luxury project and educate on the value of collaboration at the highest level. Today PowerHouse SMART® supports leaders in the industry in growing their businesses with over 30 events a year, an Annual Luxury Conference and a robust online connection website. While PHS operates in the United States Midwest Market, there has been discussion for future plans for expansion via franchise opportunities tying other local luxury market chapters to the headquarters in Chicago.

PowerHouse Recruiting™ was created as a division of PowerHouse Advisors in 2015, to continue the exceptional recruiting and placement guidance established under the consultancy umbrella. PHR as a dedicated division can help more employers and career-minded candidates find the perfect fit for continued success and growth.

PowerHouse Recruiting is unique in that recruiting services are performed as if the employer owner was personally conducting the screening and recruitment process. PowerHouse Recruiting has proven results in supporting trusted colleagues in the luxury design, build, develop and real estate industry in hiring top talent from CFO to Design Assistant. Wendy Cohen has over 30 years of luxury industry experience and is often referred to as the ultimate power connector, with an exceptional network among top-tier professionals. PHR connects the right people (top talent candidates) to the right career opportunities (employer client’s job openings). PHR believes there is such a thing as a perfect fit.

The PowerHouse Group of Companies is dedicated to being experts in the luxury industry by teaching luxury, speaking about luxury, educating on new luxury technologies, building new relationships every day, and proudly serving the best people in the industry.

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Claire Staszak #166

Nicole Heymer #125, #317, and #466

Links:

Conference Registration: Power House Smart

Instagram: Power House Smart

Facebook: Power House Smart

LinkedIn: Power House Smart

PowerHouse Smart

Nov 15 2019

1hr 9mins

Play

482: Cheryl Clendenon: Small Business, Think Big

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Welcome! Today we have Cheryl Clendenon, the CEO of the Florida-based design firm, In Detail Interiors, with us on the show. Cheryl is one of our industry’s boldest, smartest, and funniest ladies, and she’s always willing to generously share her business expertise and advice with those who would like to learn from her. In today’s episode, she offers some very valuable advice about crafting conversations and steering them to where you want them to go. Be sure to listen in today, to find out what she has to share.  

Cheryl is a master of sales. She's a truly outstanding professional who has been in business for more than 19 years. She operates a full-service design firm, a retail location, and a business Facebook group and she understands she has to make her money intentionally, rather than with luck or by accident. Tune in today, to get some priceless tips from Cheryl.

Show Highlights:

  • The copy on Cheryl’s website is awesome!
  • You need to know your audience.
  • Carefully considering what your website says about you.
  • Learning to guide your clients down your path.
  • There are many people are too timid to reveal their personalities on their website. This is very limiting.
  • Cheryl has an incredible Facebook group, called Small Business Think Big.
  • How to best position your design firm.
  • It all starts with the way you present yourself on your website.
  • Learning to not be afraid to talk about money.
  • Projecting your income.
  • People tend to be a little resistant to the idea of minimum expenditure at first.
  • The nuances of how to get what you want.
  • Sales is a win-win game.
  • Positioning yourself in the very best way possible.
  • Giving added value is a formula for success.
  • Cheryl explains what her training focuses on.
  • Cheryl looks at how much money she’s going to make on every job she does.
  • For Cheryl, the words have to be right.
  • Cheryl helps you think big about your small business.
  • Cheryl’s fees are based on a combination of design fees + a contracted minimum expenditure on products

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Chris Ramey #345

Links: LuAnn Nigara Resources

Vita’s course link: Profit With Window Treatments

Sara’s course link: Process Leads to Profits

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Well Designed Article

In Detail Interiors

Cheryl’s FB Group: Small Business Think Big

Cheryl's Instagram: In Detail Interiors

Cheryl's Pinterest: In Detail Interiors

LuAnn’s FB Group

Nov 12 2019

1hr 20mins

Play

481: Window Treatment Friday: Overview of Hard and Soft Window Treatments

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Welcome to Window Treatment Friday! Today’s show is brought to you by Kirsch.com, our newest sponsor. Last week, we learned from Matt Johnson, the National Sales Manager, and  Sarah Frost, the Brand Manager, for Kirsch Drapery Hardware, how the Kirsch team is on a mission to breathe new life into their company, which is more than a hundred years old. And today, we have some big news! If you would like to learn more about window treatments so that you can incorporate them into your business as an added revenue stream, Vita and LuAnn have the answer for you! Vita will be teaching an eight-week course, called Window Treatments and Profits for Designers, starting in January. Listen in, to find out more.

Vita and LuAnn know just how profitable window treatments are. They want to share their knowledge and experience with you so that you can also develop the skills and confidence you need to make a profit from window treatments. The Window Treatments and Profits for Designers course will meet via Zoom so this means that you can be anywhere in the world to do it. You either can join Vita live, in real-time, or you can watch the replay at your convenience, and still get all the magic. The course will be run in conjunction with a private Facebook group, for support and extra time to answer questions. We will be opening the course in the next week or two, so go to Luann Nigara Profit With Window Treatments or Profit With Window Treatments, and leave us your email address so that you can be first in line when the registration opens.

In today’s episode, we will be talking about the different types and categories of window treatments. There’s a myriad of different custom window treatments available out there, so Vita’s way of simplifying things is to break everything down into two main categories- hard and soft window treatments. Vita and LuAnn will then give us an overview of the different types of window treatments in each category, listing and explaining the various types of treatments and the pros and cons of each one. Be sure to tune in today, to hear what they have to share.     

Show Highlights:

  • Vita gives her personal take on hard window treatments overall, as a category.
  • Generally, hard treatments consist of blinds, shades, and shutters.
  • The main purpose of hard treatments is functionality, which is usually light control, privacy, or glare control.
  • Vita explains what soft treatments are.
  • Although soft treatments are generally there to add to the aesthetic value of a room, they can still be functional.
  • The pros and cons of blinds.
  • The rebirth of roller shades.
  • Comfortex will supply cellular shades in any color.
  • Talking about shutters.
  • Woven wood shades are very popular with designers.
  • The different types of soft treatments in the category.
  • LuAnn explains what she likes about drapery panels.
  • Roman shades are very versatile.
  • Some useful resources for you.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Kirsch #479

Links:

LuAnn Nigara

Vitalia Inc

Kirsch

Kravet Inc

My Doma Studio: A Well Designed Business

Exciting Windows

WCAA

Window Fashion

IWCE Vision

Window Works

To sign up for the Window Treatments and Profits for Designers course, go to Profit With Window Treatments or Profit With Window Treatments

For a free PDF download of this episode, go to LuAnn Nigara.

Nov 08 2019

1hr 8mins

Play

480: Chris Loves Julia: Quality Content Creation is Key to Their Success

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Welcome! Today, Julia Marcum, half of the dynamic duo of Chris Loves Julia, joins us on the show. Julia started blogging more ten years ago, and her readership has grown to include millions of people. In 2016, Chris left his day job to join Julia as a blogger on a full-time basis. With their blog, this remarkable couple shares their original, authentic, and sincere perspective on the daily coups and challenges of their DIY home renovations. People follow them to learn how to improve their space and to get inspiration, tips on trends, and motivation to get things done. In today’s episode, Julia explains that they know exactly why they’re doing what they do, and they know who they do it for. This particular component is vital to your success as a business owner, so be sure to listen in today, to hear what Julia has to share.

Chris and Julia are a fresh, honest, and creative DIY duo, blogging about the daily feats and failures of renovation. They offer their loyal readers a mix of large-scale renovations, quick DIY projects, budget-friendly ways to revamp their spaces, and items to splurge on, as well as a few personal stories to remind their readers that they’re real people, too. They were named as one of Better Homes & Gardens’ Top 10 DIY bloggers. Tune in today, for more.

Show Highlights:

  • Julia explains how she and Chris came to realize that they should combine their talents and work on the blog together, on a full-time basis.
  • Creating the right kind of content to post on Instagram.
  • Knowing what you want to be known for.
  • What you’ll find on their blog, and what you’ll find in their Instagram stories.
  • There are zero downsides to growing your Instagram presence.
  • Creating consistent, quality content based around your niche.
  • Consistency and quality content is key to getting lots of Instagram followers.
  • Julia doesn’t have a photography background and yet she took all her own photos until three months ago.
  • Figuring out photography.
  • Educating your photographer about what you want.
  • Being intentional about the look that you’re creating in your photos.
  • Julia explains why people are following her.
  • The difference between just posting a picture, and creating content.
  • Choosing where to best utilize your energy.
  • The best way to connect with your Instagram Stories audience.
  • Julia talks about the two courses she teaches, Working With Brands and Growing Your Influence.

Links:

Website: Chris Loves Julia

Instagram: Chris Loves Julia

Propertee: Chris Loves Julia

Facebook: Chris Loves Julia

Pinterest: Chris Loves Julia

Youtube: Chris Loves Julia

Good Influencer

Good Influencer on Instagram

Link Previous Shows Mentioned: Shea McGee #236, #270 Amber Lewis #169, #184 Nicole Heymer #125, #466 Jamie Lieberman #454 Fred Berns #22, #174

People who inspire Julia:

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Instagram: Josh young Design House

Don’t forget when you place your next order on any Kravet fabric, wallpaper, or trim, to use the code AWDB10 at checkout, to get 10% off any one purchase.  Go to Kravet to place your order.

Nov 05 2019

1hr 20mins

Play

479: Power Talk Friday: Kirsch: Breathing New Life into a 112 Year Old Company

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Welcome to another episode of Window Treatment Friday! Today, we're introducing you to Kirsch, our newest sponsor for A Well-Designed Business. Kirsch has been an industry leader in drapery hardware for more than one hundred years, and they also have a custom window coverings program. For today's episode, we have Matt Johnson and Sarah Frost with us to talk to us about the latest innovations that Kirsch is bringing to the design and window treatment community, so tune in, to find out more!

Kirsch was started in 1907 when Charles Kirsch invented the first curtain rod and telescoping rod. His goal was to connect with people around his fantastic products. Soon after inventing his innovative curtain rods, Charles published his first style book,  to guide purchasers of drapery hanging specialties.  The first Kirsch patented lace curtain rod was created in 1923, and then Charles designed the deluxe cut-to-measure drapery, which was one of the most important developments in drapery hardware history. For the next fifty years, the Kirsch brand continued to incorporate many more innovative advancements that would change our industry forever.

Matt Johnson is the National Sales Manager of Kirsch Drapery Hardware. He leads a team of experienced sales professionals representing over 100 years of the Kirsch brand. Over his 22 years in the window coverings industry, Matt has sales experience in multiple channels of business including National Retailers, Independent Retailers, Builders, Contract and Commercial Accounts and Distributors.  His rich background and understanding of the window coverings industry have allowed him to apply his passion for working with business owners and designers to develop sales and marketing strategies to improve sales and service.

Sarah Frost is the Brand Manager for Kirsch Drapery Hardware. She oversees a talented team that creates conceptual designs and implementation of the marketing initiatives for the drapery hardware launches and projects. Sarah has experience in hard window coverings as well as drapery hardware from her previous positions as a product manager and in sales. Listen in today to find out what Matt and Sarah have to share about our newest sponsor, the Kirsch brand.

Show Highlights:

  • Matt gives us a synopsis of Kirsch, and it's long and rich history in the window coverings industry
  • Sarah has lots of fresh, new ideas for the Kirsch brand.
  • Breathing new life into the brand through engaging with the trade.
  • There are currently so many new and improved drapery hardware options available.
  • Kirsch provides great resources to educate the design community about their complicated product.
  • Sarah discusses how she and her team are revising and revamping the way their products are produced and presented.
  • It all starts with the numbers.
  • Keeping abreast of the latest trends.
  • Creating a digital price list has made all the difference.
  • The new styles and colors that Kirsch is coming out with are very different from what people are used to seeing in their Buckingham collection.
  • The texture of natural wood products is really beautiful.
  • The craftsmanship of their new finishes is really impressive.
  • Matt explains the features of their new and improved motorized drapery tracks.
  • Sarah discusses all the aspects of the business that have been redone.
  • Their brochures have been redone for the designer to the client.
  • What the resource library is all about.
  • You will be able to see Kirsch's new products at the IWCE Expo in Charlotte in March 2020.

Links:

Website: Kirsch

Instagram: Kirsch

Twitter: Kirsch

Facebook: Kirsch

Nov 01 2019

1hr 1min

Play

478: Amber Dawn Roy: The Courage to Launch Boldly

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Welcome to the show! Today, Amber Roy, the principal of the recently launched design firm, Amber Dawn Interiors joins us. Amber's approach to design is to find a balance between old and new, and between trends and timelessness. Her goal is to get to know her clients and understand what makes their hearts sing so that she can turn their homes into a reflection of who they truly are. In today's episode, Amber shares an 'aha' moment she experienced while listening to LuAnn being interviewed on Amber de la Garza's podcast, The Productivity Specialist. She talks to us about her first design project and the ingenious way she launched herself as an interior designer at the end of it. She also shares the intentional things she did just before, and in the weeks immediately after opening her business, to make herself known to potential clients, build relationships both within and outside of the design industry, and get her new business off the ground. Listen in today, to find out about Amber and how she got her successful new business up and running.

Amber, who is also a realtor, has been passionate about interior design since she was a very young girl. As she grew, her interest in interior design also continued to grow and she eventually realized that she needed to put her passion to work. And so Amber Dawn Interiors was born. Amber has always been drawn to all things old, including houses and architecture. She feels that bringing in old pieces gives a place soul, and that warmth and balance are created by mixing old with new, so she loves to use heirloom pieces and incorporate antique and salvaged building materials. It is very important to Amber to create carefully and thoughtfully curated spaces, and she will go the extra mile to find the finishes and pieces that will give her clients the unique look that they really want. Be sure to tune in today, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Amber explains what it was that moved her to email LuAnn.
  • Amber talks about her first project, to showcase her abilities as a designer.
  • Reaching out to potential collaborators, including Ethan Allen and Coastal Furniture.
  • Staging an open house in collaboration with a realtor.
  • The great benefits of collaboration.
  • Realtor's are good to partner with because they are an influential group of people.
  • Networking is Amber's current strategy for building relationships.
  • What it takes to create a successful relationship-building event.
  • Discovering her mission and values.
  • An awesome opportunity that has come Amber's way.
  • You need to put yourself out there to become known.

Bio:

My passion for interior design began when I was a very young girl. I remember drawing floorplans for my "dream house" on the lined pages of my spiral-bound notebook. I remember staring out the window of the school bus, scoping out the houses that were down and out, imagining how beautiful they'd be if I could just fix them up. My interest grew as I did, and through the years I began to realize that I needed to put my passion to work. So, it is with immense pleasure and gratitude that I present Amber Dawn Interiors.

My approach to design is to find a balance between old and new, between trends and timelessness. It is so important to me to create a space that is carefully and thoughtfully curated- going the extra mile to find the finishes and pieces that will give you the look you want, but that won't be the same as your neighbor.

My goal is to really get to know my clients: their lifestyle, their likes, and dislikes, the way they use their space, the things that make them happy, what makes their souls sing! I want your home to be a reflection of you. I want you to turn every corner and see something that makes you smile.

I love to use heirloom pieces and incorporate antique and salvaged building materials. Having always been drawn to all things old, including houses and architecture, I feel that bringing in old pieces gives a space soul, and mixing old with new creates balance and warmth.

When I'm not designing spaces, you will find me with my two boys, Turner and Pierson, their Dad, my husband Tim, and my other family and friends. I may be singing some karaoke. I may be gardening. I may be traveling. I may be enjoying the sunshine or a glass of wine. Probably both. I may very well be admiring an old truck or a historic building. If you see me, say hello :)

Previous episodes mentioned in this show:

Amber De La Garza #385 and #436

Stephen Karlisch #369

Dala Al-Fuwaires #392

Nancy Ganzekaupher #15, #159, #256, #377, and #389

Carolyn Flannery #453

Jana Platina Phipps (The Trim Queen) #293

Darla Powell (Wingnut Social Media) #203

Rebecca Richardson #330

Links:

Website: Amber Dawn Interior

Instagram: @amber.dawn.interiors

Facebook: Amber Dawn Interiors

Oct 29 2019

55mins

Play

477: Power Talk Friday: Laurel Palmer: Comfortex Leader, Bringing Her Passion to Her Work

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We have Laurel Palmer with us today. Laurel is the New England Sales Territory Manager for Comfortex, one of the premier sponsors for the LuAnn Live event last March. Laurel is a pro when it comes to the art of selling. She has many years of experience, having worked for furniture manufacturers, commercial office furniture dealerships, building materials suppliers, and ultimately, a window treatment company, where she first sold window treatments to retail consumers before landing on the wholesale side of the trade. Laurel grew up in Northern California and now resides happily in the Greater Boston area. She is committed to helping her window treatment dealers make more money, so tune in today, to hear what she has to say.

Comfortex was founded in 1986 and soon became known as a provider of innovative cellular shades. The company grew, and their product offering expanded to include roller shades, sheer shades, wood, and faux wood blinds, as well as cellular shades in every shape and configuration. Then, in 2000, Comfortex was acquired by Hunter Douglas.

Comfortex is known for constantly innovating and improving. An example of their innovation is Color Lux, which marries an unlimited color choice with green production processes and game-changing materials. Comfortex blinds and shades have won more than 100 Window Covering Manufacturing Association awards and they are distributed currently in more than 50 countries. Most of their products are manufactured in upstate New York. Listen in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • Laurel talks about the incredible amount of color choices that are available with Comfortex's Color Lux.
  • How Color Lux came about.
  • You can now get solar screens in any of Color Lux's 800 colors!
  • As a designer, using Color Lux will give you the freedom to confidently offer your clients the exact color of their choice or to match any color that they already have.
  • Beautiful relationships are formed between interior designers and many of the window treatment dealers that Laurel works with.
  • The benefits of working with a window treatment pro.
  • Window treatments are a viable way for designers to add a terrific layer of profitability to their revenue stream.
  • The importance of creating partnerships.
  • Laurel has a unique approach to being a representative of Comfortex.
  • Laurel shares her sales philosophy and her sales process.
  • If you ask the right questions and listen carefully people will tell you exactly what they need.
  • People don't always buy what you think they're going to buy, so you owe it to your customers to show them all of the available options.
  • LuAnn shares some pointers from the seven-step sales-course that she teaches.
  • Confidence is a key component to your success.
  • Why it's important to sell value, not price.
  • LuAnn explains what makes a good salesperson.
  • An expert is someone who has made every mistake in their field.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

WTF episode numbers #462 and #471

Links:

Comfortex Window Fashions

IWCE Vision

To get in touch with Comfortex, send an email to customercare@comfortex.com and put LuAnn Nigara in the subject line.

Link to RSVP for November 5th at Exclusive Flooring Concepts 

Or

Luann Nigara: Live Event

Oct 25 2019

57mins

Play

476: Amanda Hamilton: Running a Mid-Size Firm & Creating Additional Revenue Streams

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Welcome to the show! Today, we're featuring #risingdesigner Amanda Hamilton. Amanda's bold and unorthodox approach to design and business has made her one of the most sought-after designers in Western Canada. She is driven, focused, and has truly achieved a lot during her fifteen years of experience in the design industry. LuAnn is certain that the secret sauce to Amanda's success is that she is a first businesswoman and then an interior designer. In today's episode, Amanda talks to us about what goes into running a medium-sized business and creating extra revenue streams. Be sure to listen in to find out what she has to share.

Amanda has her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Interior Design from Mount Royal University, she's earned her status as a Licensed Interior Designer through the National Council for Design Qualifications, and she is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional. Amanda is dedicated to the career development of young women, so she mentors through the Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship Program. She has also mentored for the Women in Leadership and the National Council of Interior Design Education, and she is the current chair for the World of Choices committee for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, which focuses on career mentoring for young women. Amanda was the recipient of the 2012 Mount Royal University Horizon Award, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of alumni early in their careers. In 2016, Amanda launched a Travel Scholarship through her alma mater to promote design exploration. She was named as one of the 20 Most Compelling Calgarians by the Calgary Herald for 2018, n 2017, she was awarded the Top 40 under 40 by the Calgary Edition of Avenue Magazine and she received the Silver Stevie Award for Female Entrepreneur of Canada. And to top it all, her design studio was awarded Best in Calgary in the Interior Design category and received the Ones to Watch award by Western Living Magazine. Tune in, to find out more!

Show Highlights:

  • Amanda talks to us about the time when she decided to build her firm up and take on employees.
  • Amanda started her business in the middle of the recession. She has doubled her numbers since that year.
  • Some of the lessons Amanda has learned about hiring.
  • Developing awareness around the energetic effect you're having on others.
  • Stress doesn't go away. You learn to deal with it.
  • The challenge of creating an ideal team.
  • Finding the right person for the right position.
  • What Palette Archives is all about.
  • The logistics behind Palette Archives.
  • The goal of Palette Archives is to be like Amazon Prime.
  • Tapping into a growing market.
  • Pricing Palette Archives to make it accessible to even more people.
  • Amanda explains how much went into the development of Palette Archives.

Links:

Amanda’s website

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Email

Palette Archives

Article Trade Program

Oct 22 2019

1hr 13mins

Play

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

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! We are delighted to introduce you to Desi Creswell today. Desi and LuAnn speak a lot of the same language! They both know that it takes more than just talent for you to be in a position to share your gift with the world because, as a designer, you need your business to be profitable. This could mean having to improve your systems, processes, or even your education to inspire you and enhance your natural aptitude. Also, the way we think often prevents us from sharing our superpowers because of our mindset problems and limiting beliefs get in the way. So we are very happy to be talking to Desi today because she is skilled and able to deal with many of these issues with the coaching she does. In today's episode, she talks about how to create more time in your day by learning to identify the emotions you are trying to avoid. She explains how to eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed, clarifies how to take action, and she discusses emotions and how they hold us back. Desi also shares a fantastic exercise to help you create more time. Be sure to tune in to learn how to use this valuable tool.

Desi is a certified life and business coach who specializes in interior designers. She teaches her clients to become more profitable, productive, and confident while reducing the stress and overwhelming feelings that often comes with running your own business. Before turning thirty, Desi has already built two successful companies. She offers a unique blend of entrepreneurial expertise and effective mindset teachings. Desi is also an award-winning interior designer and her work has been featured both in print and online publications. She has been a guest presenter and panelist at events such as Midwest Home Design Week. Listen in today, to find out more.

Show Highlights:

  • You can start creating more time by using a coaching tool called 'The Model' to become aware of your thinking and your feelings.
  • Desi explains why it is important to understand what neutral facts are.
  • Indulgent emotions; although they can sometimes feel justified or even productive, tend to keep people stuck because they don't produce any results.
  • You can create efficiency by simply changing the way you think.
  • Setting a schedule that creates results and saves time.
  • Desi describes how to create thoughts and feelings that will serve you.
  • How a coach can help you to create new thoughts and beliefs.
  • Desi discusses the way she works with her clients.
  • Buffering is one of the ways that we tend to waste a lot of time. Desi explains what it is, how we use it to distract ourselves, and how we can overcome the urge to use it.
  • Creating intentional models that serve you.
  • Take a moment to think about the emotions that you usually try to avoid during the day.
  • Learning to move out of the emotion and to see and accept the neutral facts.
  • Desi shares an exercise to help you to marry your mindset with a strategy. (Start, Stop, Keep.)
  • Start, stop, keep will give you some perspective for looking at what you want to start doing, in terms of planning for future projects.
  • Desi has a free guide on her website that will be helpful for you to take this work a little further and implement it in your life.
  • You can schedule a free mini-session with Desi. Go to her website to take advantage of this offer.

Links:

Instagram: Desi Creswell

Website: Desi Creswell

Link to download the free guide:  Time And Profit

Previous show mentioned in this episode:

Amber De La Garza: #385

-Buffering:

The activities you do when avoid doing what you know you should be doing. (hand up) I learned that my constant checking of emails is my buffering technique.

Oct 18 2019

1hr 6mins

Play

474: Bria Hammel: Keys to Scaling Your Interior Design Firm

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Welcome! Today we have Bria Hammel, the Principal Designer and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors, the CEO of Brooke & Lou, and the Co-Creator of Hammel House & Co., with us on the show. Bria leads a team of sixteen highly-skilled women who run thirty to forty significant projects each year. The company has two design teams working on the details and execution of all their projects. In today's episode, Bria explains the particulars of the way she runs her firm, she talks to us about how she learned to operate a well-managed company, and she shares the keys to scaling your interior design firm. Listen in, to find out more about Bria and the way she runs her highly-organized and very successful business.

Bria's work has been featured in national publications like Traditional Home, Magnolia Journal, Good Housekeeping, HGTV Magazine, My Domain, Style Me Pretty, and also in many other local shelter regional magazines. She was awarded the 'Fresh Faces of Design' award from HGTV in 2015 and 2018, and she's been nominated for an international design award. Bria was also selected as a 2018 Style Spotter by High Point Market Authority. Tune in now, find out what to do to make your design firm a whole lot better.

Show Highlights:

  • Bria has almost 100 000 followers on Instagram.
  • Bria talks about the specific roles played within her team of sixteen talented women.
  • Pricing things accurately is very important for interior designers.
  • It's very important to keep your clients regularly updated about their projects.
  • Bria explains why she loves listening to podcasts.
  • Businesses go stale when they stop growing because they think they know how to do everything perfectly.
  • You can gain a lot from working for somebody else before starting your own design firm. Bria cut her teeth at Ethan Allen and she even became their Design Manager because they believed in her.
  • Bria explains the phases of her design process.
  • How Bria's teams are run.
  • The way that Bria's trust in her team engenders her clients' trust in her firm.
  • Bria talks about the Friday reports that she gets from her team each week.
  • Asana helps Bria and her team to coordinate their projects and Slack helps them to communicate in a very organized way.
  • Organization is key to scaling your business.
  • Bria has added a retail component to her business with Brooke & Lou and their exclusively designed, Life Friendly products.
  • Bria explains what the EOS system is about and how it works.

Bio:

Bria Hammel

PRINCIPAL DESIGNER & CEO

Bria is the Principal Designer and CEO of Bria Hammel Interiors, the CEO of Brooke & Lou and Co-Creator of Hammel House & Co. 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, Lonny Magazine, Style Me Pretty, as well as many other local shelter magazines. She received the “Fresh Faces of Design” award in 2015 and 2018 from HGTV, has been nominated for an International Design Award and was selected as a 2018 Style Spotter for High Point Market Authority.

Bria was intrigued by design at a young age and grew up visiting wallpaper stores and furniture showrooms, as her mother was an “in-the-closet” designer. 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.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Shea McGee #236, #270

Tools that Bria's team uses:

Asana

Slack

Links:

Bria Hammel Interiors

Facebook: Bria Hammel Interiors

Instagram: Bria Hammel Interiors

If you are interested in using Bria's Life Friendly products, be sure to set up your trade account today. Go to Brooke And Lou

Link for LuAnn's book LuAnn Nigara

Books recommended for learning about the EOS System:

Traction by Gino Wickman

Get A Grip by Mike Paton and Gino Wickman

Oct 15 2019

1hr 26mins

Play

473: Power Talk Friday: The FabricShield, Scott & Rene Schleicher

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Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Today's episode is sponsored by The FabricShield, a company that cleans, protects, and performs emergency spot-cleaning for the times when accidents happen. The FabricShield is owned and operated by Rene and Scott Schleicher. Rene and Scott are passionate about their business and they know how much money your clients are spending on investing in furniture, carpets, area rugs, window treatments, and wall coverings. They truly understand the advantage you have, as a designer, when you're able to offer your clients a service to help them protect their investment for many years to come. Listen in today, to find out what Rene and Scott have to share about their unique product and the way that it adds value to any design business.

Rene and Scott are a remarkably well-matched couple, both in life and in business. Rene has a background in retail furniture sales and Scott's background is in growing national business networks. This places them in a unique position to excel at both sides of their business. Their first-hand understanding of the value and pride that designers place in their clients and their homes, coupled with the astute way they run their business, makes everything happen very smoothly. This means that you can rely on them completely, and refer or hire them without any reservation. Tune in today to learn all about The FabricShield and what it does for fabrics.

Show Highlights:

  • The FabricShield makes regular fabrics perform like performance fabrics.
  • Dealing with accidents and offering protection for any soft surface.
  • About their complimentary spot cleaning service.
  • You can first test a sample of your fabric, just to put your mind at ease.
  • The water test will immediately show how well this product performs.
  • This product never changes the feel of a fabric.
  • The FabricShield is completely non-toxic and it dries extremely quickly, leaving no smell at all.
  • Applying the product is a straightforward process and the technicians are very conscientious about cleaning up before they leave.
  • Anything natural almost always comes out.
  • Protecting your fabrics for your peace of mind.
  • They schedule their day to leave themselves windows of opportunity to react to your stains.
  • How interior designers can work with The FabricShield.
  • The way that designers are rewarded for their referrals.
  • Talking about pricing.
  • They provide complimentary spot cleaning for 18 months.
  • The business is now a franchise. Scott explains what makes their franchise unique.
  • The quality of the product is the key to their business.
  • Why Rene and Scott are uniquely positioned to lead their company.
  • Starting a start-up business within a Fortune 500 company.

About The FabricShield:

The FabricShield is an in-home application to be applied to upholstery, area rugs, carpets, to any other soft surface you'd like to protect. It dries within an hour and there is no aerosol mist or haze. The FabricShield won't alter the texture or the look, feel, or color of the furnishings and its protection will keep your furnishings looking like new for longer.

The FabricShield company provides complimentary spot cleaning care for 18 months once a client's furnishings have been protected with The FabricShield.

Bios:

Scott Schleicher

Co-Founder

Scott Schleicher is a co-owner of The FabricShield. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD with a B.S. degree in Mathematics. Upon graduation, he served for 5 years as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He has spent the majority of his professional career in the industrial gas industry working for Air Products, Inc. in Allentown, PA. While at Air Products, he had the opportunity to start-up their MicroBulk business serving as the National Business Manager. The MicroBulk business served over 30 locations in the United States and grew rapidly under Scott’s leadership with revenues of $200K in Year 1 and growing to revenues of over $20MM in Year 10 when Scott departed the company.   He then joined Airgas, Inc. and served as the President of Airgas National Carbonation (ANC). Under Scott’s leadership, ANC grew from $48MM in revenue and a 17% profit margin to $75MM in revenue and a 24% profit margin in 3 years. Scott departed Airgas in 2018 to join Rene Schleicher in establishing FabricSeal, LLC. the predecessor to The FabricShield.

Rene Schleicher

Co-Founder

Rene Schleicher is a co-owner of FabricSeal, LLC. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, MD with a B.A. degree in Government and Politics. She received her Paralegal degree from the University of San Diego, CA. Rene has been an entrepreneur since graduating from college and has spent the last 20 years serving the legal and design trade industries. Rene has worked as a paralegal in California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Rene formed her first start-up company as an interior decorator while living in Allentown PA. Her business grew and she eventually opened a boutique furniture store serving the design trade called Haven Home Furnishings, LLC. Haven Home Furnishings was eventually sold and continues to flourish in the Lehigh Valley under a new name, Beautiful Home by Quentin Eshleman. In 2012, Rene joined an upholstery protection company as a sales professional. She departed in 2017 to begin developing the business model for FabricSeal, LLC the predecessor to The FabricShield with her husband and now business partner Scott Schleicher.

Links:

Website: The Fabric Shield

Facebook: The Fabric Shield

Twitter: The Fabric Shield

Instagram: The Fabric Shield

Oct 11 2019

57mins

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

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Welcome to the show! We have John McClain joining us today. John is the owner and Principal Designer for John McClain Design, and he is also an ASID Associate. For John, a successful design project involves combining the client’s needs and wishes with his own natural instinct. John McClean Design has offices in Florida and Los Angeles, and in today's episode, John talks to us about his superpower, which is organizing the systems and tools that he and his team utilize to manage their projects from two locations in two different time zones. Tune in now, to learn how to set your firm up with a strong foundation.

John McClain is an accomplished interior designer who has turned his lifetime passion for interior design into an opportunity to do the same for others. Shortly after launching his career, John appeared on HGTV, which allowed his personality and design perspective to become visible to a larger audience. He then joined a prestigious interior design firm/furniture design company in Los Angeles, CA, which eventually led to him starting his own home furnishings company, John McClain Home.

John McClain Design is a well-crafted blend of John's past design experience, education, and innovative-forward thinking. His projects have received numerous awards and have appeared in many publications including Traditional Home and Elle Décor. John now also shares his passion for interior design through speaking engagements, television appearances, articles, and events. Listen in today, to find out what he has to share.

Show Highlights:

  • John has a degree in business management. He has always been an entrepreneur with a keen interest in learning systems and ways to make businesses run more efficiently.
  • Systems are always evolving and changing, so you have to keep learning and growing.
  • John talks about the structure of his business and the roles that his employees play.
  • Synergy is really important to John, so he is always aware of what's going on with all of his firm's projects.
  • John explains how he works and how he organizes his projects within his company.
  • Transparency is very important, for both employees and clients.
  • John has started using MyDoma Studio to coordinate his projects and it's made things so much easier!
  • John explains what he likes about MyDoma Studio.
  • Some of the tools that John and his team use to communicate and to coordinate their projects.
  • The way that John manages his business finances.
  • Learning the ins and outs of QuickBooks.
  • Keeping a keen eye on your finances is key to running a successful business.
  • John explains how he keeps his finger on the pulse of his business.
  • Using a questionnaire to get information about potential new clients.
  • John talks about his involvement in the consultation process.
  • Coping with a three-hour time difference.
  • Knowing when you have to step in as the leader.
  • Keeping his team inclusive.

Links:

John McClain Home

John McClain Design

Instagram: @johnmcclainhome

Facebook: John McClain Home

Go to A Well Designed Business to sign up for your trial with MyDoma Studio.

On November 1st, 2019, LuAnn will be speaking at the Portland Interior Design Society Chapter's event, the Elevate Conference. Then, the following week, on November 9th, 2019, she will be speaking at the thirtieth-anniversary celebration of the NKBA Portland Chapter. Both the IDS of Portland, Oregon, and the NKBA of Portland, Maine, are inviting you, the design professional, to join us! You don't have to be a member of IDS or NKBA to attend. Go to LuAnn's website, Luann Nigara, and click on the 'Attend A Live Event' tab to find the RSVP and registration info for these events. (And for any other event that LuAnn will be attending over the next few months.)

Oct 08 2019

53mins

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