Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson interviews the Director of Design and Founder of Perpetuum Designs, Cristiana Crin.
Cristiana was born and raised in Transylvania, traveled the world to find a place that felt comfortable for her to do something different. It took her a few years, but now it’s reality. Perpetuum Design is based in Chicago & London, designing spaces without geographical borders.
Being organized and systematic creates an assurance from a customer’s standpoint that everything is well taken care of.
Your level of service and project management is essential in the design industry.
Communication is a significant factor in determining the success of any project.
Networking is key to bringing in more businesses.
Referrals and repeat clients provide you with the assurance that few can match your unique service.
Knowing who to consult with is essential for a designer, as Designer’s we know a little about a lot of things.
Having a construction schedule saves so many headaches on a project.
So, join Crystal and Cristiana as they discuss her hospitality interior design business. Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and start thinking of unique ways to network in order to grow your business.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with the owner of KMM Consulting, Kimberly Merlitti
Kimberly has 20 years of experience working in accounting for companies such as Swinerton Builders, WRNS Studio and Martin Group. Her clientele includes a diverse group of service-based companies, with a focus on small interior design, construction, and architectural firms. She is also one of Luann Nigara’s Expert Resource, the leader of the Project Profitability 101 course offered through Luann University.
People will see that you enjoy what you do when you are passionate about what you do and talk.
The number one mistake designers make is not billing all the time they are spending on their jobs.
To make your business profitable, you need to bill your rate (not a discounted rate) and you need and track your time.
As a CFO, Kimberly takes out the mystery in accounting making it easier to understand.
To achieve your desired business results, it requires a two-way effort. A CFO’s recommendations can help you increase your business’s profitability, but in order to do this you must apply the recommendations and take action.
Most Designers find accounting intimidating
Kimberly’s goal is to help businesses understand their finances better, and to listen without judgment.
A business balance sheet tells you a lot about your business.
Be proactive with your business finances
Do not ignore money problems, they will only get worse.
So, join Crystal and Kimberly as they discuss how to make a business profitable.
Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and don’t be intimidated by accounting.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with the Principal Designer and Creative Director of BryCo. Interiors, Jami Sparling.
Jami officially turned her lifelong passion for interior design and decorating into a career when she founded BryCo. Interiors in 2019, leaving an 11 year career as a Paramedic, behind. She now operates BryCo Interiors alongside her husband Brad, and offers full-Service Interior Design & Decorating in London, ON and surrounding areas. BryCo. Interiors is a heart-centered business with a focus on relationship building.
Insights in growing her interior design business:
Prioritizing client relationships is essential.
Deep dive into what interests you.
Additionally, Social Media is an essential tool in growing a business but authenticity plays a significant role in connecting to real people.
Consistency in learning and growing are keys to scaling your business to the next level. Also, you have to have a bigger vision of your business than yourself.
Build a brand that encourages people to connect to support. Show authenticity, not just focusing on algorithms and marketing.
Show you’re vulnerable and that you are a real human behind your projects. Real things connect to real people.
So, join Crystal and Jamie as they chat about her journey on building her heart-centered interior design business. Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and listen this episode to gain insight on how consistency & authenticity can help you grow your interior design business
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with brand and website designer, Katie O’Brien.
Katie is an expert problem-solver, and a seasoned entrepreneur running a successful coaching business for 4 years . She discovered her superpower and passion which is building digital presences that support interior designers’ business and lifestyle goals.
Niching down is a smart move to hone your marketing skills.
Having great photos with inadequate copies is a common mistake of an interior design website.
An effective interior design website should look as if they’re taking you on a house tour.
Ensure that your website is talking to your target customers.
Implementing lead magnets is highly recommended to grow and warm up your email list.
Simplicity and strategy are essential in building your website.
Always be of service.
So, join Crystal and Katie as they chat about must haves for your interior design website.
Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and make sure you website is working for you and not against.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with co-owner and Director of Designer + Trade for CF Interiors Allison Andrew-Harris.
Allison is no stranger to the furniture game. In 1979, her father opened a furniture store on the South Granville slope, where Allison found herself working in her early teens alongside her two brothers. Allison now oversees the Design + Trade Division of the company, ensuring interior designers across the country have all the tools they need to make furniture and lighting sourcing as easy as possible.
Be confident in a male-dominated industry.
Focus on your area of expertise.
Making furniture buying for designers easy and more appealing..
Interior Design is 20% creative and 80% administrative. Curating a space requires picking different furniture suppliers. Dedicate a specific team to oversee and monitor shipping, freight rates, and delays. Additionally, you need to communicate with your clients before any problem or misunderstanding arises.
Looking for international furniture suppliers?
There are so many more opportunities that have opened up with the acceptance and frequent ways of working virtually.
Traveling alone helps you build confidence.
Love what you do.
So, join Crystal and Allison as they chat about how Allison manages their furniture business in a male-dominated industry.
Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and visit Allison’s website that will provide a one-stop shop for every designer’s trade and logistics needs.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with the author, award-winning Producer and Strategist, Kim Kuhteubl.
Kim founded MeByDesign, an idea boutique for the home industry a decade ago. She has worked with design entrepreneurs in the United States, Europe, and Canada. Her clients have been featured in publications like Architectural Digest, New York Times, Elle Decor, House & Garden (UK), and featured on network and cable television.
Visibility is not all about having a great website and a brand logo. It means having an intangible aspect of being available.
Expand your reach, consider collaborations with other designers.
With experience, you will be able to hone in on what you like to do. This will help you focus in and niche down
Your particular type of leadership style, structures your business and influences how you interact with the people around you.
Critical point in visibility strategy for designers is to choose psychographic instead of demographic only. You need to know who your ideal client is and where they get to know you. Focus on clients that you love to work with.
So, join Crystal and Kim as they discuss visibility strategy to sustain your business and start building your legacy.
Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and get Kim’s latest digital offering, to strategically structure your business to earn more.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with the owner and lead strategist of Growing Your Team, Jamie Van Cuyk.
Jamie is an expert in hiring and onboarding teams within small businesses. Drawing from over ten years of leadership experience, Jamie teaches her clients how to hire their first team members, including employees and long-term contractors.
Having the right support is crucial to growing your business
Jamie’s HIRE Framework. H – hiring details, I – initiating the advertising process, R – reviewing the candidate, and E – expectations and evaluations for success.
Setting clear roles and responsibilities, be honest & realistic about your expectations
Hiring process and finding the right candidate takes time.
As the leader, you must guide & lead in order for your hire to be successful
So, join Crystal and Jamie as they discuss hiring process and finding the perfect candidate.
Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for”. And clearly define the job role in order to have a successful hire.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with Realtor, Owner and Creative Designer at House of Huck Interiors, Meredith Huck.
Meredith and her husband live in coastal Connecticut with their two young children. She is also a licensed real estate agent in the state of Connecticut. And enjoys supporting her clients to turn average houses into spectacular homes.
Crystal and Meredith discuss transitioning from a corporate job to her passion project. Watching her colleague succeed with his interior design inspired Meredith to scale up her passion into an interior design business.
Meredith shares that starting your own business can be challenging, it requires you to learn as you go and keep on learning.
Meredith mentions that being organized and having a plan are essential in keeping your business processes. A to-do list will also help you visualize where you want to go, as well as keeping all your projects on track. And constant communication with your Clients keeps them updated on the project as well as demonstrating your professionalism.
Meredith continuously networks with other Designers and reaches out to potential customers. Building a portfolio is a significant factor in getting your first client. You can also do pro-bono design projects for friends. It is a great way to showcase your skills when you are still building your business. In addition, you can post on social media to build awareness of your design skills. And with the hopes of reaching your target customers.
So join Crystal and Meredith as Meredith shares her transition from corporate job to doing what she loves most. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and follow your passion.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with fellow interior designers and founders of EA Home Design, Kevin Kamali and Ali Meshksar.
Kevin and Ali quickly found a growing need for their services as the home renovation space began to evolve. Offering bespoke design solutions to homeowners that want to take their interiors to the next level, the two entrepreneurs have become leaders in their field, creating transformational designs including kitchens and bathrooms that have luxurious finishes.
They share that excellent customer service is one secret ingredient in growing your business. In a congested industry like home renovations, how you treat your customers impacts client retention and business growth. Kevin and Ali ensure that they’re able to be transparent with customers. Knowing what your customers want and having consistent communication are essential to making your project run smoothly.
Systems and Social Media
Kevin and Ali continued to discuss another thing that’s relevant to any business’s success which is leveraging the power of social media. They emphasized that building your social media presence is vital to attracting potential clients and engaging with them. In turn, potential customers will get to know and trust you. And, when the time comes that they’ll need your service, they will remember you as a figure of authority.
They have also created a system where customers can set their consultation schedules online. Providing them with project estimates will determine if they’re interested in proceeding or not. You have to set specific criteria on what type of clients you are willing to work with. Kevin and Ali also assure us that they may not be the cheapest home renovation in the area, but they’re the best price for the quality of work.
So join Crystal, Kevin and Ali as they discuss how they grew their multi-million dollar home renovation company. Then “Do something today that your future self will thank you for”. And level up your customer service skills in order to retain and attract new clients.
Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer, host Crystal Collinson chats with fellow interior designer, Racheal Hageness.
Racheal is a creative professional with proven success in high-end residential design and hospitality design. Daughter of a successful construction business owner and a wildly creative mother. This proud Midwesterner has been around construction and interior design all of her life. Racheal continues this family tradition with nearly two-decades of award winning luxury environment design under her belt.
Racheal started out in this industry in hospitality interior design. Then, she shifted to high-end residential design. This switch has helped her to become a well-rounded interior designer by ensuring that the property is aesthetically beautiful, and personalizing each individual residence she works on.
She states that the goal of hospitality is to make everyone feel at home. Her business emphasizes the importance of providing a high level of service. Involving the homeowners in the planning and the operations will ensure that your design complements their way of living without compromising the functionality of every custom piece in their homes.
Racheal’s business model has always been to empathize with clients’ individual needs. She wants to assure them that their homes are not someone else’s but their own. And though Racheal has a team supporting her, she wants to be the main person of contact with her Clients. Building solid client relationships is her top priority which is facilitated through her exemplary level of service.
So join Crystal and Racheal as they discuss her journey from hospitality design to a residential design. Then, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for” and put a little more time into building your Client relationships.