Today in The Lounge we have two incredible designers, Ariel Johnson of Ariel Fox Design and Alberthe Buabeng of Albie Knows. Respectively, these designers offer invaluable advice about finding passion and setting up the businesses they dreamed.
Alberthe “Albie” Buabeng hails from north of Seattle in Washington State, and is currently working toward completing her Master’s. While doing so, she’s having to limit her design projects to one or two a month and focusing on consulting and content — and, of course, her family! She loves wine and says she has “stumbled” into a unique corner of the design industry by flexing her marketing muscles.
Albie is an online-based designer and says she is really levering her social media and online marketing strategies with tools like her YouTube channel and stellar blog series, which you can check out here. She also has affiliate relationships with different brands — a unique relationship where she links to brands in her blogs and then gets a cut of that brands’ sales when she gives them traffic. In the summer, when she limits her design projects even further to focus on studying, those commissions result in about 70 percent of her revenue!
Don’t miss Albie’s two day E-Design Experience THIS WEEKEND, June 16th-17th, where you’ll join Albie and a cohort of designers to network and learn how to navigate the emerging market of E-Design!
Ariel Johnson began as a litigation paralegal in an NYC high-rise but says she quickly became disillusioned defending white collar criminals. She began sketching shoes in her cube before being caught by her boss, and she eventually got picked up by a fashion firm and walked the runway for a few years. At 26, though, she knew that her modeling career would be coming to a close soon, and she enrolled at Parson’s The New School of Design where she studied — that’s right — Tim Gunn, before Project Runway fame.
Her first internship was with Franklin Studios, Frank Madrano’s firm, and Ariel says it was an incredible experience in those six months. She graduated in 2008, in the heart of the market crash– but what didn’t kill her made her stronger, and she credits the lean period for making her tenacious. With no prospects, and a divorce, she began to freelance and contract, and eventually got lucky while searching for a cheap apartment in Hollywood. The building was looking for an interior designer, and the rest is history!
The Business Today
Ariel Fox Design is an all-female design force of thirteen staffers and includes architecture, a furniture maker in-house, and 4-5 new designers in 2018. The firm focuses on commercial, condos, and multi-family, which she says is a natural segway to hospitality. She says her firm runs on being stubborn and figuring out how to do things in house and never taking no for an answer. Plus, adapting to change — in the industry and beyond — is crucial. Of course, there are things about her business that she doesn’t love to manage: HR and firing people in particular.
Chaise Lounge Updates
We’re excited to see you all at the Gail Doby Genius Exchange, July 12-14 in beautiful downtown Denver!
Our fabulous sponsor Porcelanosa will be celebrating the grand opening of their San Diego showroom on June 26!
And on Thursday, June 28, Nick will be in LA with an all-star cast of designers — David Dalton, Jeanne Chung, Roxy Sowlaty, and Lori Gilder — to talk getting press! The forum is from 6-8 p.m. at California Home and Design. Iron and Earth are catering, and the event is sponsored by Ving Vodka. Stay tuned for more details!
If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com. Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!