Today we welcome Chris Johnson – founder of Design Tec, a California based design firm specializing in model homes and commercial spaces. In this episode we talk about attitude, ambition, and good old fashioned hard work. Chris also shares her thoughts on leadership, employee retention, and her path to reinvention which culminated into a trend setting business model of collaborative work space exclusively for design professionals, Studio 88.
Today we welcome Kansas City based interior designer Tamara Day of Growing Days, a multi faceted design business. In this episode we talk with Tamara about growing her brand from scratch, how her annual open house consignment sale evolved into a thriving design and e-commerce business, and how she managed it all with a child on her hip. We also discuss her popular TV show Bargain Mansions and the unexpected benefit of sharing the spotlight with her co-host, who also happens to be her dad, that will change your perspective on the impact of design.
Today we welcome our very first featured architect to the podcast, Paul McClean. Paul’s ten person architectural firm specializes in contemporary residential architecture in and around Southern California and abroad. In this episode we talk about the “design team” dynamic from an architect’s perspective. We discuss how architecture promotes community, the pros and cons of architectural guidelines, and the state of the design industry as it relates to architects, builders, and designers.
Today we welcome Max Humphrey to the podcast. In this episode Max shares his “non-business model” and his secret to keeping it fresh and keeping it real. We also discuss how his experience in TV and film production and touring the country with his punk rock band influenced his exodus from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon where he mans the helm of his thriving interior design business.
Today we welcome Nicole Perrault and Gina Villasenor from Haus of Design based out of Costa Mesa, CA. We talk about team work, project diversification, and the absolute value of fulfilling every commitment you make to your clients, your business, and yourself. Nicole and Gina both have experience working in design trade showrooms and they’ve leveraged that experience to develop processes and procedures that empower their team and keep their clients informed at all times.
Today we welcome Sarah Strader – of Sarah Strader Textiles. In this episode Sarah shares her journey from interior designer to furniture designer to her current venture in hand blocked textile design. We talk about the pros and cons of having multiple ventures in play at the same time and how she refined her business model without sacrificing adventure and creativity. We also dig in to visibility and how Sarah leveraged years of networking and connections to launch her textile line in true “go big or go home” fashion.
Today we welcome Erica Bryen – Principal Designer and Owner of Erica Bryen Design. In this episode Erica shares her passion for interior design and her long time role as buyer for one of Orange County’s premiere “to the trade” showrooms. We also talk about the reality of client relations, how she leverages her association with a showroom to streamline her design business, and her “real world” advice to design professionals about knowing your value and standing your ground.
Today we welcome Erinn Valencich of Erinn V Design Group to the podcast and we discuss her many endeavors in the interior design industry from launching her own interior design firm to developing and designing her stunning made to order furniture line for the trade. Erinn openly shares her passion for the business of design, her very real observation of the industry, and her game changing solution for the business of the design that has the design community at the edge of our seats!
Today we welcome Brooke Wagner of Brooke Wagner Design – a full service design firm based out of Corona Del Mar, California. Brooke literally started her design firm from her dining room table fifteen years ago and has expanded to what is now a team of nine specializing in new construction collaborations with Orange County’s top builders and architects. Brooke truly understands the value of community and in this episode we discuss how she leveraged years of experience, contacts and relationships to solidify her brand and her intention as a design professional. We chat about the reality of business and personal life balance, what really happens behind the lens of Instagram, and why you need to be fast on your feet to make it in this industry.
Today we welcome Kylie Van Meter of Kylie Interiors – a full service design firm based out of Ventura County, California. Kylie is a recent design school graduate with a degree in Interior Design and Business Accounting. In this episode we talk about the reality of design school, the value of “on the job” work experience, and Kylie’s path to launching her very own interior design business just a few months ago.
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to feature an emerging design professional fresh out of design school. Kylie caught my attention on Instagram when she posted a meaningful account of her design school journey and her excitement to finally graduate. I know many of you are in design school right now and are eagerly anticipating your design career. The opportunities are endless and can sometimes be overwhelming. I truly believe that this conversation about life and the business of design could be just the inspiration you need to aim high and succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
Today we welcome Britany Simon of Britany Simon Design House based in Scottsdale, Arizona. You may recognize Britany from her recent appearance on Bravo Network’s newest design show “Best Rooms Wins”. She’s also appeared on HGTV Design Star, The Travel Channel, and FYI Network – all while manning the helm of her award winning design firm. In this episode we focus on designing for TV and what it really takes to design a space under the pressure of time, finances, logistics, and a camera crew. If you’re considering adding “TV Host and Personality” to your professional bio, this episode is for you!
In this special anniversary episode Raili Clasen from episode 7 returns for a PODCAST TAKEOVER! With Raili behind the controls and ME in the hot seat, we discuss the making of the podcast and how it has contributed to the design community. We uncover the mystery behind my day job, blow the cover off my weekend disguise, expose my introvert tendencies, and a few other things you may not know about me.
Today we have a special encore presentation of our conversation with Alexa Hampton as part of the newly developed “non-market” concept ARRIVE hosted by Laguna Design Center in Laguna Niguel, CA. They day’s events revolved around business and personal development for design professionals and what better way to kick off the day than with a fun and relatable conversation with Alexa Hampton. In this episode we discuss our role in the design community, A-ha moments, and the road to partnerships.
Before we get started I want to thank Laguna Design Center, Luxe Magazine, and KRAVET for making Design Biz Survival Guide a part of this very special day. Together with all of the related sponsors, showrooms, and contributors – this newly developed approach to engage the design community was an overwhelming success and we look forward to being a part of it for years to come.
Today we welcome Nancy Russert of Les Beaux Design and TWIST Custom Workroom. In today’s episode we talk about how Nancy’s passion, persistence, and instinct created a perfect recipe for her thriving design business and custom workroom. She went from intern to business owner practically over night and a few years later when the opportunity to expand her design business into custom fabrication presented itself she rallied her community and went for it. Nancy’s journey is invigorating and inspiring. If you’re on the fence right now about a pivot in your business model… this episode is for you!
In this episode we catch up with one of my all time favorite design bloggers Christina Fluegge of Greige Design. We talk about how her blog helped launch her brand which now extends across multiple platforms including interior design, textile design, and e-commerce. We also discuss the state of blogging today verses ten years ago and whether blogging is still relevant in the age of Instagram and influencers.
Part 2 of our Modernism Week podcast featuring the talented designers of the Christopher Kennedy Compound located in beautiful Palm Springs, California. This talented group of world class designers helped create a showcase house which has become the hottest ticket in town. In this episode we chat with Brian Paquette, Lisa McDennon, Gordon Kurtis, Michelle Boudreau, and the man behind it all… Christopher Kennedy. With over 150 people per hour touring the house and over 5000 attendees over the course of the 10 day run, the Christopher Kennedy Compound has captured the attention of designers and design enthusiasts around the world. Listen in as we chat with the exclusive cast of designers about their intention and contribution to what has become “the” showcase house of Southern California.
Just a few short weeks ago we took the show on the road to sunny Palm Springs to experience the most anticipated week of design and architecture in Southern California – Modernism Week. We set up camp at the premiere showcase house, The Christopher Kennedy Compound, where we caught up with a few of the talented designers behind what has been dubbed the number one “must see” event of Modernism Week. In this episode we visit with Lori Paranjape, Joe Lucas, and Jeff Schlarb about their participation. We also chat with Warren and Steve – the lucky duo who get to call this spectacular newly renovated 1962 residence HOME.
This is our third and final interview from Las Vegas Market and what better way to wrap up the series than with the talented and energetic Mikel Welch. In this episode Mikel shares his journey from offering up free design services on Craigs List to develop his portfolio to becoming the “go to” designer for the Steve Harvey Show. Mikel’s persistence and unapologetic approach to the business of design has served him well over the years and he is just warming up! Known among the design community for keeping it real, Mikel shares the reality of his design biz – the sacrifices, the lessons, and the blessings.
Today we welcome Lindsey Borchard – Owner and principal designer of Lindsey Brooke Design. We caught up with Lindsey in between panel discussions and networking events in Las Vegas to discuss her philosophy and strategies to developing an ever growing design business and an unexpected following of fellow designers who cherish Lindsey’s “real world” business advice and “heart felt” dedication to sharing and contributing to the growth of our design community. Lindsey is blazing her trail to success and she’s welcoming like minded design professionals along for the ride.
Today we welcome Anna Schweiss – VP of Design and Merchandising for Essentials For Living. You may know Anna from Star International and Orient Express – both of which now fall under the newly developed brand Essentials For Living. The family owned furniture company has been providing stylish quality furnishings to the design trade for forty years. We caught up with Anna in their newly remodeled Las Vegas Showroom where we discussed the the business of design as it relates to product design and brand identity. We also discuss the broad spectrum of opportunity within the design industry from business development to design trade support. If you’re wondering if you should be doing “something else” within the design industry and you just haven’t found your place… this episode will open your mind to explore aspects of design that you may have never considered.
Today we welcome Jesse DeSanti – Creative Director and Owner of JETTE CREATIVE – a Southern California based full service design group specializing in timeless design with an emphasis on architectural integrity. Our conversation today revolves around the “journey”of a design professional. In Jesse’s case, the journey from design intern at age 17 to her journey through design school while simultaneously working for a notable architectural design build firm. A chance reunion with the same designer whom she interned as a high school student led her on a new path to Portland, Oregon but her serendipitous introduction to the man of her dreams led her back to Southern California where she launched JETTE CREATIVE. Jesse’s perspective on life, family, and the business of design is both refreshing and inspiring and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Today we welcome Tony Estrada – principal of tonyontheweb.com , a full service Marketing and Web Design studio specializing in website development for design professionals. In this episode we discuss the importance of a professionally curated website and why all of your digital marketing efforts should connect back to your home on the internet, your website. Tony shares valuable advice on how to best structure your web presence on every platform from social media to email marketing. If its been more than six months since you’ve refreshed your website in some way, this episode is your wake up call.
Today we welcome Amanda Malson of Common Standard www.commonstandard.com.
Amanda shares her design journey with us from her early days at KWID – that’s Kelly Wearstler Interior Design – to her days of riding the new wave of social media and online magazines, to her current incarnation as the “go-to” designer for soulful design with a vintage vibe. In this episode we discuss the “why” that drives her creative business and the “how” that allows her to grow and explore without boundaries.
Today we welcome Beth Whitlinger of Beth Whitlinger Interior Design www.bwid.design – an Orange County design firm with an International portfolio. In this episode Beth shares how her obsession with the details, her innovative use of technology, and her love of all things related to the business of design has contributed to the ongoing growth of her business and her demographic reach. Beth refers to decades of experience when providing design business coaching through her newest venture, The Interior Design Coach www.theinteriordesigncoach.com which I can’t wait to share with you!
Today we welcome Christopher Kennedy of Christopher Kennedy Interiors www.christopherkennedy.com based out of sunny Palm Springs, California. Dubbed “The Ralph Lauren of the West Coast”, Christopher’s approach to design exemplifies the modern California Lifestyle. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Traditional Home, Elle Decor, and Architectural Digest. In this episode we talk about life balance, pricing strategies, and how he pays it forward in the design community. Christopher is an open book and candidly shares his thoughts on the business of design and the many ways that design professionals can re-shape their pricing structure to meet the expectations of a new generation of consumer.
Today’s episode is a re-cap of our trip to High Point Market. Host Rick Campos shares his insight on some of the amazing keynote presentations and panel discussions he attended and his take away from discussions like “The New Business as Usual,” Taking Care of Yourself and your Clients,” “Design’s New Deal” and “Tech Tools: Reviews from the Designers Who Use Them.”
Today we welcome Thomas Lavin, founder and owner of Thomas Lavin Showroom. Thomas is an innovative businessman dedicated to the growth of the design trade industry. His flagship showroom in Los Angeles and his recently opened showroom in Orange County both reflect Thomas’ commitment to quality, service, and professionalism. Today we talk about “to the trade” and the value of transparency and education within the design industry – and more importantly our responsibility to extend it to our clients and consumers. From self proclaimed “job hopping administrative assistant” to one of the most influential design trade professionals on the scene, Thomas shares his inspiring journey and his optimistic vision of the future of the design trade.
Today we welcome Kim Kuhteubl of Me by Design www.mebydesign.com and author of “Branding + Interior Design, Visibility and Business Strategy for Interior Designers”. Kim is a producer, writer, and visibility strategist specializing in the shelter industry. In this episode we discuss how to identify and define your voice and intention in this industry and how to insert that effort into your marketing and branding strategy for your business. I’ve considered Kim’s book a “must read” for every design professional out there no matter how long you’ve been in the biz. If you’re ready to build a platform, change your mind set, and up your game, this episode is for you!
Today we welcome Lindye Galloway of Lindye Galloway Interiors www.lindyegalloway.com
Relatively new to the interior design scene, Lindye has blazed a trail of eye catching trend setting design that has captured the attention of top shelter publications and over fifty thousand Instagram followers. We talk about the reality of starting a design business and a family simultaneously. We also discuss how Lindye elevated her design business to the next level with laser beam focus on the specific types of projects and opportunities that best suited her growing business model. Lindye is a fearless entrepreneur, a generous leader, and my newest BFF. I can’t wait to share our conversation with you…
Today we welcome Wendi Young of Wendi Young Design www.wendiyoung.com With over twenty years in the design business, Wendi, along with her talented design team, has completed hundreds of full scale interior design projects for clients near and far. Wendi has witnessed first hand the transformation of the design industry and has responded both creatively and from a business perspective with acceptance and innovation. Her thoughtful approach to business and design has served her well over the years and her message today is both thought provoking and inspiring.
Today we welcome Raili Clasen of Raili CA Design www.railicadesign.com A self proclaimed “newbie” to the interior design community, Raili shares how she went from surf brand to her newly established rock star interior design status with nothing more than a mail order furniture catalog and her passion to create hip stylish living spaces. Her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Domino, Architectural Digest, and Sunset Magazine just to name a few. The press loves her and you will too when you hear her no-nonsense approach to design and business.
Today we welcome Denise Morison of Denise Morrison Interiors dminteriors.net. Denise specializes in new construction residential interior design and has recently added a retail component to her design business called House of Morrison. If you’re thinking about adding a new stream of revenue to your design business concept this is the episode for you! We discuss online verses brick & mortar, private label, and specialized marketing.
Today we welcome Megan Stone of The High Road Design Studio www.highroadstudio.com Megan specializes in the cannabis consumer experience through professional retail design. In this episode we discuss her multi faceted approach to design in this new and rapidly growing retail market. We also touch on the value of establishing a niche in design and sticking to it as well as the importance of being an authority not only in her field of design but also in her specialty market.
Today we welcome Lisa McDennon of Lisa McDennon Design www.lisamcdennon.com and NUANCE Home Boutique www.nuance-home.com. Both based out of Laguna Beach, CA. In this episode we discuss the synergy between designers, builders, and architects. We talk about how Lisa achieves her signature refined and sophisticated design style and we discuss her recent collaboration with HINKLEY LIGHTING and how it almost didn’t happen.
Today we welcome Rona Graf of Grace Blu Designs www.graceblu.com. Rona has been in the Interior design community for eleven years and specializes in residential new construction and major re-models. During our conversation we talk about the business of design on every level. From staying ahead of the curve to her approach to qualifying the perfect clients, Rona lets us in on the the things that drive her business and her success.
Today we welcome Valerie Saunders of SERENDIPITE, a residential interior design firm www.serendipitedesigns.com. Valerie has been in the Interior design community for over 20 years and is celebrating her 9 year anniversary as the leader of her very own design firm. Valerie is the consummate “hostess with the mostess” and she uses her gracious hospitality to connect with not only her clients but also her employees, associates, and service providers.
Valerie comes from a place of giving and her message of client satisfaction coupled with her steadfast business approach is truly an inspiration that I can’t wait to share with you.
Today we welcome Naomi Alon of Little Crown Interiors. www.littlecrowninteriors.com Naomi has been in the Interior design community for ten years and has dug her heels firmly into the niche market of Nursery Design. During our conversation we touch on topics such as E-Design, Social Media, and Communal Office Space. Our conversation comes full circle when we discuss paying it forward and Naomi shares her association with an amazing organization called A Sense of Home. www.asenseofhome.org