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Building an E-Design Community

Jenna Gaidusek's eDesign Tribe provides community and connection for digital designers. 

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Jenna Gaidusek
eDesign Tribe’s exclusive rendering tools create photo-realistic designs for customers and can include shoppable links.

Considering e-design as an addition to your full-service design business or just starting out and looking for some e-design options? Head on over to eDesign Tribe, where you can find the community, education, resources and tools for building out e-design offerings. 

eDesign Tribe is the brainchild of founder Jenna Gaidusek, who began putting eDesign packages together for the business she started in 2014, Jenna Gaidusek Designs.

“I worked endless hours to make money and get clients myself,” Gaidusek said of beginning her own business. She credits her eDesign services with allowing her to be home with her daughter, who was born in 2016.  

“I built my own website. I had to learn how to source. I spent my time with my daughter and working on my business non-stop. I began to realize how lonely I was.”

So in 2018, Gaidusek launched a Facebook Group — eDesign Tribe — to connect with other designers, opening it to any interior design professional who was looking to add e-design services. The group now has more than 4,000 members and Gaidusek has never placed an ad to build the group; the growth has been organic through word of mouth. As the group got underway, Gaidusek realized she was onto something. Other designers wanted to know her process so she launched her first e-design course just three months after launching the group. 

Since then, Gaidusek has continued to expand to provide tools and further education for those in her eDesign Tribe. There are now more than 20 courses in eDesign University — including graphic design for designers, how to create an e-design portal with your website, and Chief Architect and SketchUp classes — all done via an a la carte model. “You pay for the courses you are interested in,” says Gaidusek. There are certifications available too, and those come with the ability to earn recommendations and new clients through the Tribe’s outreach. 

If you need virtual assistants in your business, eDesign Tribe has that covered as well, as they have a program that vets virtual design assistants to recommend to designers who need support. 

Just having the education wasn’t enough for Gaidusek, however, whose focus has been on creating a comprehensive, easy-to-implement platform for those interested in adding e-design to their services. The Tribe offers a customized, rendering tool designed to operate the way designers do. “We have this rendering software and exclusive libraries for our users,” she notes. “We created this program so you can create a clickable shopping list from your render so you can sell trade-direct product.” You can also set up affiliate links for those clients who do their own sourcing. 

To incorporate all of the pieces eDesign Tribe has to offer, Gaidusek has set up the eDesign Association, which comes with a nominal annual fee. It also comes with the collaboration of the Facebook group, where designers share projects, processes and business advice. Growth has been exponential with last year’s pandemic, Gaidusek continues, as everyone needed e-design capabilities. “At one point last year, our growth was 300 percent over the previous year,” she says. And while that’s slowed down a bit since designers can get back out again, Gaidusek sees designers continuing to incorporate a hybrid virtual element into their business models. “Their ladder of services is expanded. They can branch out into other cities where they may not have been before. They can add these quick turnaround projects to their revenue streams. There’s something for everyone” she says. 

While Gaidusek said she did take a few months off from her own design business to build eDesign Tribe’s platforms and programs, she has continued to stay involved in her design business and plans to in the future. For more information on eDesign Tribe, visit www.edesigntribe.com

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