My interview with “Business Talk-Sister Gawk” podcast hosts

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson with fellow podcasters Ruthie and Bekkah. They are the hosts of Business Talk Sister Gawk where they focus on learning about entrepreneurship and putting things to the test. They love business and specialize in helping entrepreneurs reach their full potential. 

Bekkah is the owner of Wise Elephant Consulting, and she aspires to assist others to succeed in their entrepreneurial dreams. She first focuses on marketing and then dives into other important aspects of the business. Bekkah is always learning and growing. She is constantly finding new methods, objects, technology, and more to help her in the workplace. From there, she discovers all the important aspects and will learn the ins and outs. She is a pro at researching and guiding others to the right tools to help them. Check out their free resources here Entrepreneur Tools & Tips 

Ruthie is a certified Dave Ramsey financial coach, and she focuses on how to help others financially. Whether it be to pay off student loans or save more for retirement. She helps people plan their financial future in a way that will help them reach all their hopes and dreams.  She’s helped others pay off over $140,000 of student loans, and she continues to help people become debt-free. 

So, join Crystal, Ruthie, and Bekkah as they talk about their business podcast, and how these two sisters are constantly helping others. Do something today that your future self will thank you for and listen to Business Talk Sister Gawk to see how you could push your business to its fullest potential.  

How to reach Ruthie and Bekkah:

Website – 

Apple podcast – business-talk-sister-gawk/id1499391038 

Facebook- businesstalksistergawk

Instagram- @business_talk_sister_gawk 

two ladies sitting on table with mic, laptop, headphone and tumbler

Recommended podcasts:

Ruthie – How I Built This, Vacation Rental Machine, The Leadership Vision
Bekkah – Planet Money, Screw the Commute

Educating your client on the economic value of furniture-there is more to it than you may think. A discussion with Renate Ruby

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews fellow interior designer and furnishings Curator Renate Ruby. Renate lives in Seattle, assisting interior designers and design enthusiasts striving to live a beautifully real life.

Renate endeavors to bring wisdom and logic to others by educating people on the value Designers have. She believes that Designers often devalue the price of the furniture that is selected instead of taking into account their value in the design. She also explains that her business is meant for clients that are looking for high-end quality. She does not believe in the idea of buying a sofa and replacing it two years later. She wants others to buy something of good quality that will last for years to come. 

 Renate believes the Designer’s value is not only in selecting beautiful pieces of furniture, but educating the Client on the economic value of a piece of furniture, and the issue with poor quality pieces. As you listen in, you will hear Renate’s point of view that you might find yourself agreeing with completely or shaking your head. Whether you agree or not, Renate will enlighten you with facts and a position on furniture manufacturing that you may have not previously considered. She also has analogies that will get you thinking from a new perspective about your work. 

So, join Crystal and Renate as they talk about her furnishings business and help you see the value in your design services. And then, do something today that your future self will thank you for and think about how you can be helping the environment and economy.  

How to reach Renate:

Websites :   I    I 

Instagram : brume_house 

Recommended podcasts:

Hidden Brain    I    Shankar Vedantam    I    Fresh Air

Episode #0025 – Are you a “Worker Bee” or a “Queen Bee” (aka CEO) with Elyse Tager

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews business coach and entrepreneur Elyse Tager. Elyse specializes in helping ambitious women reach their career goals and dreams by changing their mindset, coaching them in their career, seeing their full potential in the workplace. 

Elyse wants all career-driven women to realize their value and see their full potential. She wants to teach others how to move from a “worker bee” mindset and lifestyle to a “CEO” powered individual. She brings wisdom and perspective about the female mind, explaining how to break habits to live the life you want. She also informs us on the natural female tendencies and the nurture aspect of our brains. These hardwired tendencies can bring many benefits to the workplace that many do not even realize-we just need to change our perspective. Elyse suggests that if you want to be a CEO, you have to start acting like one. 

In short, Elyse is here to take you and your career as far as you want to go. The brilliant part is, you get to decide how far that is and what success means to you. Every person’s goals and successes are different, and she is here to guide you in finding the perfect work-life balance for your life.  

So, join Crystal and Elyse as they talk about women in business and help you gain some ideas to take your business to the next level if that is what you want. Now, do something today that your future self will thank you for and start acting like a CEO. 

How to reach Elyse:

Website – 

Facebook – tagerstrategy

Instagram- @elysetager

LinkedIn- elysetager

Recommended podcasts:
Fresh Air, How I Built This and Ted Radio Hour

Episode #0024 – TPD chats with Serialpreneur Kipola Wakilongo

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews real estate broker, radio host, and entrepreneur, Kipola Wakilongo. Kipola started off in the real estate game younger than most, but she seems to have found success thanks to teaming up with REMAX Équipe Dynamique. 

Kipola started off by saving all her money and then used her savings to invest in a property, which quickly turned into two properties. She’s only been a real estate agent for four years, but she has helped over 100 families, mostly first time buyers find homes. Since the days of the pandemic started, she has used this time to increase her social media and digital usage for her company. This allows her to work despite the conditions of the pandemic, and she has learned to adapt and evolve to the situation around her. According to Kipola, if you are not trying to go online you are most likely getting behind because everyone needs a social media presence these days. 

 Kipola is a driven serial-preneur that wears many hats. When she’s not investing or working in real estate, she offers advice to other entrepreneurs. This includes advice on how to build more of an online presence, and according to her website, everyone should have a professional photo shoot, this is required for you to portray a professional image 

So, join Crystal as they dive into Kipola’s diverse life and offers suggested ideas of what your next step in your life or career could be. And then, do something today that your future self will thank you for, listen to this episode so that you can begin taking the next steps in bettering your career. 

How to reach Kipola:

Website –

Twitter- @wakilongokipola 

Instagram- @wakilongokipola 

Facebook – shepublicrelations 

Recommended podcasts:

Joe Budden’s podcast and Gary Vee

Episode #0023 – Sam Smith – Designer – Sam Smith has a Vhision for colour.

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews app designer Sam Smith. Vishion is a small business in Charlotte, North Carolina that is dedicated to creating a colour search app to help designers find pieces of furniture, wallpaper, paint, and more based on colour.  

Sam is not an interior designer, but she got the idea for Vishion after she was trying to find a piece of furniture based on a particular colour she had in mind. During that struggle, she realized it was difficult to find pieces for the home based on their colour instead of their function. This inspired her to create Vishion, a search engine for designers to find their interior needs based on colour.

 Vishion is currently partnered with Sherwin Williams to help you find the perfect paint colour to match your needs. It’s as simple as typing in the colour you want and suddenly choices of chairs, wallpaper, rugs, and more are brought to your screen. After you’ve made a selection, it brings you to the website where it is found, and you can purchase your item directly from the seller. 

Originally, Vishion started as just an app for your phone but during quarantine they expanded to starting their own website. As this difficult time during the pandemic progresses, Sam has more ideas for expanding her business. 

So, join Crystal and Sam as they dive into Vishion and what is has done for interior designers. And then, do something today that your future self will thank you for and join Vishion to get connected to other like-minded individuals. 

You can reach Sam through, on Instagram @vishionco or on Facebook VishionCo.

Recommended podcasts:

How I Built This
Pod Save America
Angel podcast

Episode #0022 – TPD Chats with Aya Kitchens’ Lead Designer Amy Dillon

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews kitchen designer Amy Dillon a longtime friend and fellow Sheridan Interior graduate. She is a winner of the NKBA design competition. She has been featured in “Style at Home” magazine and “House at Home” online.

Amy is the lead designer for Aya Kitchens, and she has been with them for 14 years. She works with architects, other designers, and custom builders. She takes on media related projects including working with VIP clients. Aya Kitchens is a semi-custom Canadian cabinetry company, and semi-custom allows the clients to pick from the Aya Kitchen catalog while still having it made specifically for their home. Amy will explain her experience in kitchen design, the difficulties she’s had, and her tips for working with other designers.  

So, join Crystal and Amy as she explains how she works, how she guides clients in potential choices without them feeling overwhelmed, and how effective clear communication is key.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for and learn some new tips from Amy that might help you in your kitchen design needs. 

You can reach Amy at the head office for Aya Kitchens, on Instagram @thehonestdesign, or at her blog

Recommended podcasts:
Rebecca Hay and Michelle Obama podcasts

#0021 – Part #1 of Simulcast with Michelle Binette of the Real Talk Design

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews fellow podcaster and interior decorator Michelle Binette. Michelle is the owner of Michelle Binette and unlike many interior design professionals, she is self-taught. 

 Michelle fell in love with the idea of interior decorating & design after doing her own home renovation.  She has aspirations to have her own home design show one day and has been contacted for casting several times. 

In her early days, Michelle often felt out of place with her designer colleagues until she started her own podcast. After hosting her own podcast, she felt accepted because she was helping the listeners, gaining more knowledge from others, and now has some “street cred” to her name.

So, join Crystal and Michelle as they discuss their podcasts, what parts of interior design they avoid, and different methods of approaching their business. And then, do something today that your future self will thank you for.

How to Get in Touch with Michelle:

Website : 

Instagram :

Facebook :

Recommended Podcasts

Armchair Expert

The Bachelorette Podcast

Episode #0020 Designer – Biographical Design-What is it?

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews Katie Gutierrez. Katie is the co-founder and lead designer of Errez Design Studio. Errez Design is eleven years old, and it is one of the forefronts for determining how the home can impact your wellness. She is also the creator of the Biographical Designers Collective where a group of interior designers is led on a journey together guided by Katie to discover each individuals’ strengths. 

 Katie’s specialty is helping individuals feel as comfortable in their homes as possible. The goal is to create a space that suits the needs of their backgrounds, life stories, and personal requirements. Their best work is not staying up to trend or creating modern spaces, but instead creating spaces for their clients that reflect the client’s true selves. 

 Katie digs deep with her clients often by sharing a meal together to help them feel they can open up to her in a safe setting. She also works on her own truthfulness, so she can easily discover if others are being honest with themselves, as she has worked hard on her own authenticity. By getting to the vulnerability, she is able to create a space that meets a person’s needs for safety, well-being, and individuality. This makes each client have a one of a kind home that represents their perfect place to live. 

Also, Katie helps other designers find their strengths and weaknesses through the Biographical Designers Collective. She facilitates this group throughout the year to guide, teach, collaborate, and build a community together. Her work with the Biographical Designers Collective allows others to grow in their interior design work and to discover their authenticity. The Designers Collective meet virtually and is comprised of people from all over the world. 

So, join Crystal and Katie as they dive into collaborating with others, and what biographical design means. You might want to grab a pen and paper for this episode as Katie gives some of the best tips and tricks, she’s discovered over the past ten years. 

How to Reach Katie:

Recommended Podcasts:
Real Talk Design
Awaken Your Inner Superstar
The School of Greatness

Episode #0019 Designer – When One Door Closes, A Better One Opens Up.

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews interior designer Robin Daly. Robin is the owner of Robin Daly Color & Design which is an interior design firm group based in the Pacific Northwest in the United States. 

Robin started working with colour and design when she was fifteen by selling paint and wallpaper for her family’s paint store. Unfortunately, the store suffered greatly during the Recession of 2008, and the store was never able to recover from its losses during that time. In 2018, Robin and her husband made the difficult decision to declare bankruptcy and close their family business permanently. 

 After closing the family business, Robin decided to start her own company Robin Daly Color & Design. She started off doing colour consultations and working mostly on the colour spectrum. However, soon she began adding design consultations, e-design services, furnishings, window treatment, floor planning, and so much more. Robin’s business is only in its second year, and her profit has exceeded her first year’s already.

Robin is now not only making money, but after years of shame and unhappiness, Robin finally feels joy in her work again. She no longer feels the shame that she once did, and she feels successful in her current state. In other words, sometimes starting over is the hardest thing to do, but it will be the best thing for you in the end. 

So, join Crystal and Robin as they have a real, honest conversation about her life and what changing her business has done for her. And then, do something today that your future self will thank you for and find out whether you having feelings of shame or joy in your current life.  

How to Get in Touch with Robyn:  Facebook: robindalycolor

Pinterest: robindalycolor  Instagram: robindalycoloranddesign 

Recommended podcasts:
Business of Design
A Well-Designed Business
WTF with Marc Maron

Episode #0018 Designer-Systems & Procedures sets her apart

Featured in this week’s episode of The Productive Designer host Crystal Collinson interviews interior designer Ashleigh Clark from Ashleigh Clark Interior Design Group. Ashleigh began in business in Ohio in May 2019, and she now has grown to a firm of six.

Ashleigh began her interior design journey working for a local interior design firm, and this is where she was able to build her skills and clientele. After another designer and herself left, the designer started a company where Ashleigh was able to get the first-hand experience on how to run your own business successfully. Ashleigh then started her own firm, one of her first hires was an Assistant to help run the business in a systematic approach. 

So, join Crystal and Ashleigh as she explains the tips and tricks, she has for running your own successful business. She will include why she chose an hourly based pay, why she has an accountant on payroll, and how she felt when she first began her business. 

Do something today that your future self will thank you for and learn some new tips from Ashleigh that might help you in your own interior design business. 

You can reach Ashleigh on Instagram at ashleighclarkidg

Recommended Podcasts:

A Well-Designed Business
Business of Design
Boss Babe
The Cereal