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Kimberley Seldon Masters the Business of Design

Kimberley Seldon turned her design business into a coaching platform to mentor other interior designers. 

Diane Falvey
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Kimberley Seldon
Kimberley Seldon

“As creatives we like a certain amount of creative freedom,” says Kimberley Seldon, Interior Designer and Founder of Business of Design, an interior design business coaching program developed from personal necessity. “We might want to call it magic.
I call it chaos.”

Kimberley Seldon

Life as a Designer on TV

Seldon started with a career in TV. From there she went to design school and then back to hosting design shows on what would become HGTV, along with running a somewhat unorganized design business. “I had a big microphone and platform, and I was getting a ton of clients,” Seldon says. “I was super famous in Canada as a designer, but I was doing a terrible job at making clients happy. I couldn’t get a handle on it.”

Kimberley Seldon

Finding Help

Seldon hired a business coach, who started by telling her she was doing everything wrong. “If you want to run a successful business, you have to do what I say,” her new coach told her. “I did not have it in me to figure it out, and I knew so many designers who didn’t know how to do all of these things.” The new coach wasn’t even from the design industry. She came from banking and the automotive industry. “She just knew that I didn’t know how to run the business. ‘Who would hire you with this system?’ she asked me.”  

Kimberley Seldon

Structure That Works

Seldon got to work, devising systems that would work for her business and her clients. It took a decade, she says, but with positive incremental change throughout. With new systems in place, her employees are happier, and her current staff has been with her for 15 years. Even more important, there was an improvement in her client relationships. “Where once I never had repeat clients, I now had more and better clients,” Seldon says. “They trust me and listen to me now.” 

Kimberley Seldon

Sharing the Wisdom

Once Seldon got a handle on her business, she was asked to speak with other designers to help them as well. At her first speaking gig, “I told them everything I had done wrong and shared that things were 50 percent better where I was now. Everyone was crying and hugging. It was a powerful moment.” After helping for free for a time, in 2004, she decided that Business of Design had profit potential. By 2010, she brought the company online. In 2016, the tipping point, Seldon says, Business of Design was an “overnight success.” The company now has clients all over the globe. To learn more about Business of Design, visit www.businessofdesign.com

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