The Story behind starting the best Interior Design Podcast
When I meet a designer for the first time, and we are going to talk about The Chaise Lounge, I always ask: “Do you know what a podcast is?” I get lots of funny responses: “I think so.” or “A what?” or my favorite, “Of course, I watch them all the time.” I love teaching people about what a podcast is, because they are so awesome!
The Chaise Lounge started out a passion for two things: I loved podcasting (I’ll tell that story in a minute), and helping interior designers grow better businesses. I’ll start there. Back in 2013, I had the idea of hosting events for interior designers (I’m a paint contractor by the way, but you can read about that on my personal about page), just as a way to promote my painting business. I reached out to a few interior design consultants/speakers, and finally found a man in Colorado named Fred Burns. We hit it off over the phone, he liked the idea, and told me it would cost about $2000. Well, that was a little more than I thought it would, so I told him I would have to call him back. A week later, I did in fact call him back, and I had 5 other companies that would help me bring him into Denver to talk to our designers. We would host the event at Builders Appliance Center (known in Denver as BAC), a large luxury kitchen appliance showroom, provide lunch and wine, our speaker, and networking. It was a big hit, and the group of us decided to continue to host more events on an ongoing basis. As we kept hosting events, we realized than in order to continue to have designers come back, we had to continue to locate speakers that would draw a crowd. Designers were busy, and in order for them to invest a few hours of their time, we needed to provide tons of value.
Now I need to back up. Prior to this, I had started a podcast with a friend of mine, called Small Business Naked. A cheeky name for a podcast where we would interview successful business owners from across the country (sound familiar?). We would find stories in Inc Magazine, or Entrepreneur, and reach out to them for an interview. It was a TON of fun, but at the end of the day, it was not helping me build my painting business.
So while I was trying to figure out how to get better speakers for our live events, I decided that I could marry my to ideas; the live events for designers with my love of interviewing successful business owners, and The Chaise Lounge Podcast was born. Since launching the podcast in 2014, I have interviewed around 90 or so of the country’s top interior designers asking a lot of the same questions: How did you get interested in interior design? How did you hire your first employee? How do you get the phone to ring? But maybe my favorite: Beer, wine, or a cocktail? I don’t talk much about proper interior design, how to put a room together, or the latest trends in window treatments, but we do talk about the business side of things, and how they have become so successful.