Category: Branding

Branding, Visibility And Money For Interior Designers

If you ask an interior designer who their ideal client is, most will tell you it’s an affluent one.  The trouble is that this kind of broad spectrum marketing isn’t effective when it comes to selling their interior design services.  Warren Buffet, Paris Hilton and Kobe Bryant are all affluent but if you market to them in the same way, you’re not going to reach, influence or serve any of them.

In the second edition of Image 360° Telesummit, a 2-day online event about branding, visibility and business strategy for the interior design industry and hosted by LA idea boutique,, interior designers will learn to define, reach, influence and serve an audience that complements their unique brand.

The program features a diverse lineup of brands including global, luxury, interior design leader Vicente Wolf; contract designer Jhane Barnes on leveraging brand partnerships; luxury furniture purveyor Jamie Adler, CEO of Phyllis Morris on becoming collectible; entertainment attorney Ellie Altshuler on the business of licensing; Julia Molloy of Molloy Management on building the infrastructure for a luxury design firm; Lifestyle Editor of Better Homes & Gardens magazine Christina Poletto and Drew, JD and Jonathan Scott of Scott Brothers Entertainment.

The no-cost, educational event for interior designers is produced by Kim Kuhteubl’s Me By Design, a company that serves interior designers, bespoke product makers and on-camera hosts in the lifestyle category.  It’s co-sponsored by Molloy Management, the leading provider of interior design business tools and systems for the interior design business and QPractice, the company that helps interior designer prep for the NCIDQ exam and you’ve seen it covered here:

Business Bible For Interior Designers

The Editor At Large


Listeners can tune in online or via telephone May 21 & 22, 2014 between 12-3 PT to listen to inspired conversations about branding, visibility and money for interior designers.  For a complete schedule, visit

What 2014 Could Look Like

As 2013 comes to a close I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a leader in creative business.  If you feel like you’ve been on the cusp for a long time, you might start to wonder if magic is required to lift you out of obscurity.  But the truth is, the solution is simple.If you want recognition, press, high-paying gigs, do something worthy of being noticed.  Leaders lead.

Don’t have any connections?  Get out, network and make some.  Don’t know what you want to say? Listen deeply to those around you.  How can you help them solve their problems and achieve their desires with insight from your unique perspective?  What contribution can you offer that will improve the way they live?  Then most importantly, get better and better at being who you are and doing what you do.

Cultivate Success

A lot of people come to me when they’re stuck, have slowed down or don’t know what to do next.  Once they’ve started the flow going in a new direction, they also stop the work and the investment on themselves, which is kind of ironic, because they still expect clients to up the level of investment in their services.The thing is that if you were in the habit of making the kind of changes you hired me to help you make — the ones that inspired the growth spurt — you wouldn’t have hired me in the first place.  Growth happens inside the space of what you don’t know, not what you already do.  If it did, what you were doing all along would have been working.  But just like a diet, success and the actions required to cultivate it, take a while to stick.People who are playing a high-level game expect to be supported and they make it non-negotiable.  They often have an assistant or two, a trainer, bookkeeper, housecleaner or producer/strategist (aka me), whoever their success team requires and they make a decision to invest in themselves at the size of the game they want to play.  Successful leaders don’t play a one-person game.

Resist The Temptation

I used to be tempted to go it alone, because I was afraid I would never become who deep down I knew myself to be, because the stretch required by growth and an additional investment was uncomfortable.  Now I get that it was supposed to be.Life never stands still and if you’re not moving toward expansion, you’re moving toward the opposite.  Expansion requires me to step outside of the realm of what I know.  But I don’t do that alone.  I’ve learned that high-level strategic help is a key part of my success equation and that’s why I get it.  If you want high-level results in your business in 2014, I suggest you do too.

Hooky On Rodeo Drive

I was scheduled to go to Fall Market at the LDC yesterday but my cousins, who are on a cross-country road trip, arrived a day earlier so I made the executive decision to play hooky (family is important to me). Of course we ended up on Rodeo Drive and because my cousin’s husband is a Porsche aficionado, we stopped by their design boutique.  The luxury brand Porsche Design, with its line of clothing, luggage, and timepieces, was founded by the iconic, sports car designer Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche in 1972.

Every Brand Has A Story.

The sales associate told us the story of the reissued P’6530 Titanium Chronograph in the window — the timepiece that put the design company on the map in 1972. At the time, it was revolutionary because it was the first-ever all black watch and timepieces, considered jewelry, were usually made out of silver or gold.  But for Porsche who was most interested in function, the greatest possible detail was the white writing.

The new version is made of shot-blasted titanium but it seems that the old version wound up looking like two tones of black over time.  That’s because as the owner wore it, the color would rub off to a lighter shade.  This quirk turned it into a high-priced, collector’s item and a store legend.  None of the staff had seen the infamous two-toned watch.

That is until the day a European tourist came into the store and as the salesperson gave him the spiel, the man held up his wrist, pulled on his shirtsleeve and revealed that he was wearing one.  Apparently, he took if off so the store staff could pass it around.  Needless to say, my Porsche-connoisseur cousins couldn’t have been more thrilled with the story.

The Mistake Most Interior Designers Make.

So many interior designers make their most important brand story, price.  They talk about how they’re affordable, can save you money, or defend why design services are SO expensive.  They keep their visual story cheap using self-taken befores and afters and then they wonder why they’re attracting clients who want to save money, spend less or don’t get the value of the design process.The gal at Porsche engaged us with the history, legacy and value of the brand she represents without mentioning price at all.  She got us excited and gave us a memorable experience and even though we didn’t buy, she created brand evangelists. 

What about you?  Are you getting the kind of clients and budgets you say you want?   What’s the story of your brand?  Do you know how to communicate an emotional experience?

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