Author

About the Author
Here in The Lounge, Becca is in charge of 'all things podcast' from management, marketing, branding, graphic design, social media, event planning all the way to managing our interns. Her background is in art and design but that didn't stop her from diving headfirst into the unfamiliar worlds of business, marketing, interiors, and podcasting. Growing up in a small, coastal, New England town, Becca has now been in Denver for five years and doesn't plan to leave the mountains and sunshine anytime soon! On the weekends you can catch Becca hiking, skiing, dreaming about the beach or enjoying the local food, art, and shopping. If you have any questions about the show, Becca is your girl.

210 – High Point Spring Market 2018: Thom Filicia

High Point Spring Market 2018: Thom Filicia

Today in The Lounge, Nick continues his journey at High Point Market. We start off with with a snapshot of The Nick May Morning Show co-hosted Joseph Haecker of Dezign Wall. Guest appearances include Dorothy Willetts of Willets Design, Bobbi Jo Engelby of Domain Interiors, Michelle Wiebe of Studio M and Zandy Gammons & Liles Dunnigan of The Warehouse 1924. Join in through the live video on our Facebook Page! Then join Nick and designer/TV personality Thom Filicia of Thom Filicia Inc live from the showroom floor at Listen to Thom answer fan questions while discussing his early days as a designer, his experience on Queer Eye, and his upcoming new projects.

Early Beginnings

Thom Filicia grew up in Syracuse, NY, and realized that he wanted to be a designer in the 5th grade when he drew an elaborate McMansion on his elementary school desk — even though he got in trouble. Later, Thom entered into an advanced art program at school and went on to study art and design, ultimately earning a degree in Interior Design. In 1998 he opened his own business.

The Business

Now, Thom Filicia manages three different business empires: Thom Filicia Inc, a traditional brick and mortar interior design firm focusing on commercial projects, hotels and restaurants; Sedgwick and Brattle, a showroom and experience center in NYC; and Tom Filicia Entertainment, which focuses on books and television. Originally Thom thought he opened his own business before he was really ready. In retrospect, he realizes that you are never really ready for anything that is monumental in your life, and becoming a business owner taught him how to acclimate to things intuitively. Sometimes, he says, you have to take on more than you are capable of to go to the next level, and he credits his internship experience as the springboard for his career.

The Show

Of course, Thom is best known for his appearances on the show Queer Eye — and the backstory is incredible. Believe it or not, Thom was actually discovered by a talent scout while they were both stuck in a broken elevator. Thom says he was able to bring a lighthearted humor during a difficult situation which helps to alleviate the hysterics of other passengers, and after they were rescued from the elevator, the two exchanged cards. A few months later, Thom was contacted by the scout for an upcoming project, and although Thom didn’t have television experience, the agent submitted his name anyway. The rest is history. Thom is excited that the show is back on the air and that the brand is still relevant to viewers today. Beyond the commercial appeal, he says that the Fab Five are like brothers to him. Today Thom is currently filming his new Bravo show, the Thom and Carson Project. The show will focus on the pair helping people who have some issue with the design on their home and is scheduled to air in mid-October.

For more information or to connect with Thom visit his website www.thomfilicia.com

Chaise Lounge Updates

Last chance to enter the #makemychaise Design Competition! Enter via Facebook or Instagram for the chance to see YOUR chaise lounge design come to life!!!!

Where in the world is Nick??? Find Nick next week in Las Vegas at HD Expo, May 2-4. It’s not too late, register NOW!

Resources

DatacolorIf you’ve ever worked with a Benjamin Moore dealer and asked for a color match, then you’ve probably worked with Datacolor without even knowing it. Now, Datacolor has announced the ColorReader, a tool that identifies paint colors from any surface and provides you the closest existing paint match right on the spot! Stop cutting out your drywall or scanning fan decks and start saving time by confiming color with the help of the ColorReader. Revolutionize your color tools and visit www.datacolor.com/may for more information.

Moore & GilesJLF CollectionsDesign ManagerBenjamin MoorePorcelanosaUniversal Furniture

Upcoming Events

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

209 – High Point Spring Market 2018: Disruption or Innovation?

High Point Spring Market 2018: Disruption or Innovation?

High Point Spring Market 2018: Disruption or Innovation?

Today in The Lounge we continue our coverage of High Point Spring Market 2018, kicking-off the episode with highlights from The Nick May Morning Show co-hosted by Dixie Willard and Rachel Moriarty of Design+Style Podcast  to interview Lindsay Paoli of Design Manager, Shayla Copas of Shayla Copas Interiors, and Holly Hollingswoth Phillips, Florence Broadhurst Brand Ambassador/owner of The English Room and Florence. Find the live video on our Facebook Page.

Next, Nick facilitates a panel called “Navigating the Turmoil of Industry Consolidation” — inspired in part by the controversial acquisition of IvyMark by Houzz — but the panel becomes a broader discussion about what’s going on in the industry and how some designers are adapting their business models. Panelists are Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Designers; Laura Thurman of Thurman Design Studio; Neil Mackenzie from Universal Furniture; Rebecca Gins of Perigold; and Shawn Hughes of Steelyard.

Enjoy, and stay tuned this week for the rest of our HPMKT coverage!

Chaise Lounge Updates

EXTENDED DEADLINE: Don’t forget about the #makemychaise design competition! Click this link for more info.

Nick is in Dallas for Dine and Design. Follow along on our Instagram!

Resources

DatacolorIf you’ve ever worked with a Benjamin Moore dealer and asked for a color match, then you’ve probably worked with Datacolor without even knowing it. Now, Datacolor has announced the ColorReader, a tool that identifies paint colors from any surface and provides you the closest existing paint match right on the spot! Stop cutting out your drywall or scanning fan decks and start saving time by confirming color with the help of the ColorReader. Revolutionize your color tools and visit www.datacolor.com/may for more information.

Moore & GilesJLF CollectionsDesign Manager, Benjamin MoorePorcelanosaUniversal Furniture

 

Upcoming Events

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

208 – High Point Spring Market 2018: Passion Sucks

High Point Spring Market 2018: Passion Sucks

Today in The Lounge Nick sits down at High Point Market with an all-star panel to discuss “Passion Sucks. It’s All About the Money!” a forum on taking an interior design business from dreams to not only creative but financial success. On the panel is Robin Baron of Robin Baron Design in NYC; California-based designer and real estate star Barrie Livingstone (who was also Nick’s first-ever guest in The Lounge!); and David Charette of outstanding design firm Britto Charette in Miami.

Also, enjoy highlight os The Morning Show with Barrie Livingstone who joins Nick as co-host to interview Jeffrey Johnson of Jeffrey Design LLC, Gary Pettit of Seasonal Living, Libby Langdon, and Kelli Ellis. Find the full live video on our Facebook Page.

The Nit and Grit of Growth

Nick and the designers agree that there’s no shortage of passion in the interior design industry, so the difference between firms that sink or swim are smart business practices. The panel tackles everything from liability reduction and software use through management and hiring practices, where everyone has their own style of doing things. David, in particular, offers valuable insight into management at Britto Charette, where employee perks like great healthcare, free lunches and happy hours, and potlucks aim to keep staff loyal and hardworking — but most importantly, happy. David also discussed the challenges and blessings of partnering with his spouse, and recommends working together but in different market sectors.

No Lack of Passion

Nick’s questioning then turned philosophical with discussions into definitions of success, motivation, and the real value of money. For Robin, success is making a difference in the life of a client — and failures are your best teacher; for Barrie, winning means getting everyone involved in a project on the same page and feeling like they’ve won, too; and David says he is still searching for the job that frees his passions but doesn’t see himself ever retiring — so he’s got ample time to chase his creative spark!

Chaise Lounge Updates

EXTENDED DEADLINE: Don’t forget about the #makemychaise design competition click this link for more info.

Nick is in Dallas for Dine and Design. Follow along on our Instagram!

Resources

DatacolorIf you’ve ever worked with a Benjamin Moore dealer and asked for a color match, then you’ve probably worked with Datacolor without even knowing it. Now, Datacolor has announced the ColorReader, a tool that identifies paint colors from any surface and provides you the closest existing paint match right on the spot! Stop cutting out your drywall or scanning fan decks and start saving time by confirming color with the help of the ColorReader. Revolutionize your color tools and visit www.datacolor.com/may for more information.

Moore & GilesJLF CollectionsDesign ManagerBenjamin MoorePorcelanosaUniversal Furniture

 

Upcoming Events

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

205 – Kristen Thomas: Timeless, Simple Designs

Kristen Thomas: Timeless, Simple Designs

Today in the Lounge Nick speaks with Kristen Thomas from Denver, CO. They chat about how she got into interior design, how she runs her business with her husband, and how she balances a successful career with family life.

Getting to Know Kristen

Kristen was born and raised in Utah and stuck around until the age of 19, when she moved out of state for college and left permanently with her husband several years later to move to California. She can’t emphasize how much she loves the Golden State, where she has raised her two kids. Kristen says that her house is still unfinished, but she adores her office and its floor-to-ceiling bookcases. When she’s not working, she enjoys listening to books on tape and loves to vacation in sunny Hawaii.

How Kristen Got Started in Interior Design

Growing up, Kristen learned a variety of DIY skills from her father, who was always doing projects around the house. Her Interior Design career began full-time about ten years ago when she left the real-estate world to attend Arapahoe Community College for her degree. While in school, Kristen worked as an assistant and even took her kids to classes. With a natural ability for the real estate industry, she expanded into interior design and launched a firm in downtown Denver with a trusted partner. She and her husband then launched a firm specializing in designing and flipping houses, Studio Thomas.

The Business Today417A7826 (1).jpg

The firm has grown a lot since its inception four and a half years ago and has combined the trades of real estate and interior design — which Kristen says are both money makers. Now, she has a total of ten people on her team: marketing staff, CAD specialists, a personal assistant, lead designers — and she also just recently hired an architect. Her husband also works on the team, specializing in fixer-uppers, and he also uses his expertise as a former lawyer to develop best business practices. Together, they work hard on residential design projects, where they re-design the entire home and increase its value. However, Kristen admits that she has more of a creative personality type and didn’t naturally drift toward business and management. That’s why she focused on building the best team of self-sufficient, driven specialists, and she works hard to ensure that they are being their best selves — even if that means leaving the firm to pursue personal projects. For marketing, Kristen emphasizes connecting with her builders and developers — and she says that approach has been working out: every client so far has been linked to them through a referral. In addition, her marketing director has secured ads in magazines and other podcasts, where they communicate a unique design aesthetic: mixing timelessness, simplicity, modernity, and traditional design. In other words, doing less with more.

Work-Life Balance

Kristen’s family is the most important thing to her, and she arrives early every morning to leave the office by three or four in the evening. She believes that being a mom trumps everything else, although she occasionally works in the evening after her family time. She and Nick both agreed that they’re able to have a great work-life balance because they trust in their team to do their jobs without them. Kristen also believes that establishing a solid work-life balance, trust, and persistent positivity are tantamount when running a business and that these things will naturally move you to your dream career.

        

To learn more about Kristen visit www.studio-thomas.com and be sure to follow @studiothomas on Instagram.

The Chaise Lounge Updates

Join Nick Saturday morning April 14 for his forum “Passion Sucks: It’s All About the Money!”from the Universal Showroom at High Point. Check out all of our High Point events here!

Don’t forget about the #makemychaise design competition click this link for more info.

Resources

DatacolorIf you’ve ever worked with a Benjamin Moore dealer and asked for a color match, then you’ve probably worked with Datacolor without even knowing it. Now, Datacolor has announced the ColorReader, a tool that identifies paint colors from any surface and provides you the closest existing paint match right on the spot! Stop cutting out your drywall or scanning fan decks and start saving time by confirming color with the help of the ColorReader. Revolutionize your color tools and visit www.datacolor.com/may for more information.

Moore & Giles

JLF Collections

Design Manager

Benjamin Moore

Porcelanosa

Universal Furniture

  • Upcoming Events

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

204 – Jodie O’ Connor and John Dupra

Jodie O’ Connor and John Dupra

Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Jodie O’Connor from Jodie O’ Designs. Learn about Jodie’s unique transition to design and her latest marketing initiatives. Up next, Nick interviews John Dupra of Revel Woods. Revel Woods is an online retailer of luxury hardwoods selling to both designers and end users. Learn more about their company origins, curated product selections, and exclusive trade programs.

Jodie O’Connor: An Entrepreneurial Spirit

As a young child, Jodie’s parents taught her that you can do anything you want if you work hard. After receiving a degree in English from Seton Hall University in northern NJ, she realized that deep down inside she wanted to do design. She eventually went back to school with an entrepreneurial spirit to study design, working as a designer and studying simultaneously. She realized that she did not want to make a starting intern’s salary, as at this point in her life, she was older and had small children. However, she did not have the needed experience to start a new career at a higher salary. She joined a local mom’s group and would offer in-home design classes demonstrating her expertise. Functioning similarly to the Tupperware parties that were popular at the time, in these classes she offered a free in-home design consultation for the host in front of 10-15 participants who listened to her feedback and tips. Jodie ran these parties four times a week for about 2 yrs. From this, she was able to obtain clients and her business grew.

Marketing Initiatives

Now in business for over 20 years, Jodie employs a team of 3 with additional staff hired over the summer. She loves the construction side of design, going over the plans and conceptualizing. Her primary focus for this year is marketing. From the recession, she learned that you are at risk if you are only doing one thing, one way. Her first marketing initiative was to put an ad in a magazine but that attempt was not successful. She then started working on local show houses. She has found that it has been a great investment, provides legitimacy and puts you in touch with different people. Their local show home community receives about 30,000 visitors a month. Now on her 4th show house, Jody has paid her dues and has seen much success from this arena.

Jodie is also a big fan of writing emails. She finds that by doing this she can market herself directly to a person that needs assistance. From simply writing an inquiry offering her services she has been able to book jobs. Jodie recommends to keep the email short, no more than 3 lines, and provide a way that you can help them with their business. One of her other keys to success is to work in that you are a designer into every conversation. This year Jodie has been amping up her Facebook which has been an effective vehicle for her to book jobs. Jodie also believes in setting business goals. Her goals for this year are to work on model home and boutique hotel projects and to be on the cover of Shelter magazine.

To connect with Jodie visit her website www.jodieodesign.com or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Houzz.

John Dupra – Revel Woods

www.ssrphotography.com

Revel Woods is the retail line of the New York-based hardwood flooring company. Originally a regional wholesaler, the company wanted to enter into the e-commerce space but did not know how to do it. The hardwood product they sell is climate and region specific. A selected wood that works well in one part of the country may not perform as well in another part. They realized that the end user needed to be educated on this otherwise they run the risk of selecting a product that will deteriorate due to improper environmental conditions.Taking cues from the online fashion retailers, the company sought to create a curated boutique experience generated by a series of questions to enable the end user to select a high performing floor suitable to their specific needs. Known as the “Revel Woods Selector”, the short questionnaire will ask for your zip code, activity level, and sub-floor. After answering these questions the end user will see a showroom of products specifically customized to their space. This feature will be available on their new website launching in June.

www.ssrphotography.com

The new website is geared for both designers and end users. Designers can use the site as a sourcing guide. The pricing structure will allow designers to offer the product at a discount while still making a commission. The end user will still be able to purchase the product but at a higher cost. As the new website is still in development, any designer that signs up for a Pro Account now will be grandfathered into the new program. Designs will also have access to a dedicated customer support line, webinars and the ability to source a high-end product. Research has shown that hardwood floors continue to be the ultimate status symbol for the home. To learn more visit their website or sign up for a Pro Account.

Chaise Lounge Updates

We’re gearing up for High Point Market fall 2018. Stay in the loop on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

The Student Lounge is up and running! Visit us to hear podcast episodes produced for students, by students.

Resources

Upcoming Markets

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

Dallas Market – March 21 – 24

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!

203 – Rob Klein + Amy Kreutz: Kitchen Design Off

Rob Klein & Amy Kreutz: Kitchen Design-off

Today in the Lounge Nick Speaks with Rob Klein and Amy Kreutz from Carmel, Indiana. Rob and Amy are partners at Conceptual Kitchens. They talk about how they each fell into the design world, even though it wasn’t exactly what they thought they wanted to do. They also talk about the unique kitchens they design for clients whether the budget is big or small.

Getting to Know Rob and Amy

Rob and Amy are partners in business. Rob grew up and has lived in Carmel almost all his life. Amy grew up in a small rural town outside of Indianapolis. She attended Ball State University in Muncie. Amy’s favorite fashion accessory is her watch because it’s stylish and…. she’s always a tad late to the office. Rob’s favorite inspirational books are military books. Beer, Wine, or Cocktail? Rob prefers straight tequila. Amy prefers wine.

How Rob and Amy got their Start

Amy got interested in design from her art classes. She would play in the yard with her brother and create homes and communities with sticks. She loved drawing and drafting classes in high school. Rob has always been creative. He attended Kenyon College and majored in Fine Arts and Economics. After college, he worked for his dad’s construction company and drew homes for his dad. He did that for seven years and learned a tremendous amount working with his dad. After that, he started Conceptual Kitchens in the late 90s. When Amy was a freshman she found that there was an overabundance of architects coming out of school not getting jobs. She then decided to get a degree in design and a minor in marketing. The duo came together when Amy walked into the showroom saying that Rob needed to hire her, and he did.

The Business Today

Amy became partner a little over a year ago, after being together for five and half years. Rob and Amy both wear all the hats. They find this beneficial because they really help each other out. They are a four-person organization with two independent subcontractors. They have about 40 clients that they are working with in various states. They finish about 12-15 kitchens a year. The majority of their business comes from word of mouth. They work with five cabinet lines that all make custom cabinets in-house. Rob and Amy both talk with the client to get a feel for what they want, and then have a design-off. They both come up with their own interpretation of the client’s desires and present each of their ideas to see which kitchen the customer wants. As far as budget goes, they total appliances and cabinets with a ballpark figure and then get into more specifics to get a feel for the clients reaction. The three factors that help decide which cabinet manufacturer they’re going to work with are budget, lead time, and finish.

To learn more about Conceptual Kitchens visit their website and Instagram @ckandm.

  • Upcoming Events

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

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