So far this year you’ve taken stock to remind yourself of the true value of design, considered how it impacts the lives of your clients and reviewed the key elements for increasing your confidence as a business owner while overcoming imposter syndrome.
Even still, we need to acknowledge the gap between knowing and doing.
No interior designer in history simply woke up one day knowing exactly how to complete a residential or commercial design project…or even how to style floor-to-ceiling shelves, for that matter! It takes doing and support from mentors to gain that skill, and the same goes for building a thriving business that attracts appreciative, affluent clients who pay you what you’re worth. As Iris Apfel says, “You don’t find out who you are unless you work at it.”
Here are the stories of how designers we’ve worked with have broken through to the next level of their businesses:
Veronica Sanders owns Design with Veronica, a Dallas-based interior design firm that’s one of the leading Black-owned interior design firms in the country. Before starting her own business, Veronica was the senior designer and project manager for another designer, had won multiple design awards and had been featured in various media.
Yet despite her impressive background, Veronica felt stuck when it came to moving her own business forward.
“I struggled with finding the right words to relay my thoughts on how I wanted my business to be represented, and I was also suffering from impostor syndrome,” she said.
Veronica was nervous about it, but she took the leap to get the right support for keeping her career momentum going. She knew that once she started on this work, she’d be fully committed to transforming her business, and she did!
“Nona and Good Harvest Marketing helped me solidify who I am as a business owner and designer, and helped put my thoughts into words. They reminded me that people are coming to me because of what I have to offer, and that I am deserving of my success. Now I move more confidently in my process and business...and it shows during consultations and client meetings.”
Veronica invested in herself, and succeeded.
Carolyn Kimbro is the owner and lead designer of Peachtree Interior Design, a boutique interior design firm based in Huntsville, AL, that focuses on combining charm and functionality in its clients’ homes. Carolyn had once relied solely on word-of-mouth to get new business, but that proved to be challenging when she moved to Huntsville from out of state. Carolyn felt stuck about what to do to restart her business in a new market. She knew she had to do something, but she didn’t know where to begin.
Once we started working together and she refined her marketing strategy, Carolyn’s ideal clients started to find her, and she began fielding calls and booking consultations left and right. But the results she got from her marketing were not the only thing that turned around
“I used to be so shy, so it’s great to be given tools to have the confidence to go into situations and know how to talk about my business without sounding apologetic or getting into the usual ‘Oh, I know so and so who does interior design, too’ conversations.
“I’ve gotten more confident when going to networking events, and I’m getting better at determining whether a prospective project is actually for an ideal client to see if it’s worth it or not.”
Finally, with her newfound confidence in herself and her business, Carolyn recently transformed what was once a dream into reality — she opened her own storefront, Peachtree & Co!
Where before she felt stuck, Carolyn is now meeting the right people, attracting her ideal clients and landing projects that meet her income goals much faster than she ever thought possible.
Jamie Laguilles is the founder of Domaine Interior Design, a boutique, full-service interior design studio based in Ventura County, CA. Before starting her own business, Jamie brought over a decade experience working with prominent and experienced interior designers all over the country. She is passionate about her work, yet struggled finding her ideal clients.
Instead of giving in to the struggle, she decided it was finally time to take action and get help:
“As far as marketing goes, I was lost. I didn’t know how to do it or where to start and I knew I needed help. Learning how to hone in on my ideal client was eye-opening. Knowing how and where to find my ideal client is a game changer!
“I didn’t know what to expect, but there was so much support and guidance which made the program easy and motivating to complete.
“It’s hard to be a party of one with no head for marketing, but working with Nona gave me an opportunity to talk through my ideas and thoughts with someone else. This helped me take a good look at where I was, what was working, what wasn’t, and how to unify my business and brand to reflect who I truly am.
Interior design is such a unique niche, so traditional marketing will not always work. Nona understands that and hones in on the value of interior design and how to personalize it to our unique clientele.”
Today, Jamie has consistent messaging in her marketing, knows where to find her ideal clients and how to connect with them, and has stability in her workload.
Tenacity Pays Off
Mandie Rodriguez is the owner of MLR Interior Design, a full-service interior design firm based in Ocean Springs, MS. Mandie had previously worked with a number of business coaches to help her achieve her goals, and even though they were each helpful in their own way, she hadn’t gotten the results she wanted. One of Mandie’s greatest challenges was that she didn’t have a clear idea of who her ideal client was:
“My elevator pitch and getting my design consultation nailed down was the hardest part for me," she says. "I also wanted to learn how to reach out to potential referral sources. I was randomly writing things and hoping something would stick! I actually like writing, but I struggle with what to write about and what angle I should be taking. Now, I feel more confident having a better plan in place. I was worried working with Nona would be like others I have tried, but it’s not. It’s full of good and practical information. GHM is really good at what they do, most especially because they are focused on working with interior designers.”
Today, Mandie is booking 70 percent of her initial calls into paying consultations with her ideal clients.
The Good News
If they can do it, then you can, too. You may already understand the importance of the steps we shared in the past articles, but if you’re still stuck feeling like you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall — praying that one strand will stick and you’ll finally start experiencing the life (and business) you envisioned when you started this journey as a professional interior designer — then the only next step you need is action.
Although it can be undeniably lonesome, today’s professional interior designer doesn’t have to go it alone, because there’s specialized support available to help you overcome what you’re facing in business. To help put your thoughts into words, to have accountability for reaching your goals, and for guidance in being a boss in the truest sense.
Life is too short to struggle unnecessarily when there is help available. Get the support you need today — your future self will thank you!