94 – Nina Magon: Houston’s Darling Interior Design Star

Nina Magon: Houston’s Darling Interior Design Star

On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Nina Magon, Houston’s Darling Interior Design Star. Nina talks about fashion, TV, building the business, and having a laser focus on her goals.

Get to know Nina Magon from hot Houston, Texas (4:49)

Along with the perfect pair of big earrings, Nina loves marble slab ice cream with strawberries and pretty much anything from Neiman Marcus. The master bedroom is her favorite room in the house because everything is the way she wants it, without compromise!

How did Nina get into interior design? (11:00)

Nina has always been interested in fashion. Upon graduating from Southern Methodist University with a business degree in Economics and Finance, she knew she needed to work in a field that allowed for some creativity.
After launching a high-end lingerie store, she realized that she was more interested in the design of the store than the clothes inside. With this in mind, Nina started working in commercial real estate for her dad. Ultimately, Nina was able to marry her interest of fashion and real estate into a career in interior design.
Nina attended the Art Institute of Houston for two years to take the classes she needed before starting her own firm. She then started hiring teachers from the Institute to work for her for things she didn’t know how to do!

What does Nina’s business look like today? (16:23)

Nina’s design team consists of eight:Nina is the Creative Director and Principal. She leads the initial client meeting and concepts every project. Her supporting staff includes a Senior Project Advisor, Lead Designers, Associate Designers, an Office manager, and interns.
Through nine years of experience and trial and error, Nina and her team have implemented quite a few processes and systems. For instance, on average, each designer is responsible for about three projects every three months. Nina’s business major gives her great perspective from both a functional and financial point of view.
● Being on TV (26:00)
Shortly after her daughter was born in 2011, Nina decided to audition for HGTV’s Design Star. she didn’t make the cut, but ended up on American Dream Builders within the next two years. Nina described the show as “The Apprentice meets Extreme Home Makeover.” Though she was completely intimidated by the talent and experience of her competition, Nina made it to the semi-finals and was able to participate in the finale.
While on the show, her team back home continued to run her business with the help of her husband. Nina recalled all of the design points of view on the show. She learned more in five months around her competition than in the past seven years!

The New Saks Fifth Avenue (36:33)

It only takes one person to believe in you and give you a chance. For Nina, this was Saks Fifth Avenue. Through friends of friends and a series of events, she was able to pitch her design ideas for a 9,000 sq ft restaurant as well as a bar/cafe in the new Saks Fifth Avenue in Houston.
This project took Nina’s career to a new level and allowed her to prove herself in the hospitality sector. At this point in her career, Nina is able to be more selective about projects, which allows her to focus on high-end residential opportunities.

Getting the word out (42:30)

To this point (other than an upcoming Super Bowl ad), Nina hasn’t paid for advertising at all. She uses an in-house PR employee for social media, which pulls in around twelve calls a month, of which three turn into clients.

What’s coming up (45:15)

Nina’s five year plan includes becoming the largest contemporary, eclectic design firm in Texas. Her more short term plan includes securing one hospitality project before the end of the year.
If you would like to connect with Nina, please visit:
● Website: Nina Magon and Contour Interior Design
● Twitter: @NinaMagon
● Instagram: @contourinterior
● Facebook: @CONTOURInterior

Wrap Up

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!
About the Author
Host of The Chaise Lounge and The Business Brush Podcast, owner of Walls by Design, and Creative Director for iMayMedia LLC.

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