It’s Day 3 at High Point Spring Market, and Nick again has gathered some awesome talent from the interior design world to interview about their backgrounds and businesses. Nick has the privilege in today’s podcast to interview his guests from the Norwalk Furniture showroom, make sure to listen all the way through today’s podcast to hear a special interview with the President of the Norwalk Furniture company as she and Nick discuss why High Point is such an incredible opportunity for manufacturers and designers alike. As Caroline states, “Anyone who really wants to know what’s important in the home today,” needs to be at High Point Market!
If you’ve been a long time listener of The Chaise Lounge you’ve probably realized that no two stories are alike when it comes to how each designer Nick interviews got into the interior design business, and today’s first guest is no different. The talented designer and business woman Stacy Garcia got her start in the design world as formally trained surface pattern designer. Tune in to today’s podcast to learn more about what that title entails. Through her training, Stacy was hired as an intern for Ralph Lauren, and soon was hired on as a freelance designer for the well-known design company. Stacy’s career progressed into other design jobs with mass retailers such as Bed, Bath and Beyond, JC Penney, etc. To add to her already extensive resume, Stacy has also worked in hospitality design, a position which she held for about 5 years. The design director was noted to have said the following about Stacy during her time in the position, “When we hired you, you were hired as my assistant but after two weeks it was very clear that you would be running the division!”
After an already extensive career in the textile design world, Stacy branched out on her own, eventually creating her own textile design company known as LebaTex, Inc. It wasn’t long before her new company was approached by the very successful Hunter Douglas window covering company for her first licensing deal. Listen in to learn more about the process behind licensing in the design world and what it can mean for a small business just starting out.
Nick and Stacy talk about her first clients, and how the “confidence of youth” helped her when she was first establishing her brand. Today, Stacy’s company has 15 full time employees, and the distribution of her products is in the hands of hundreds of talented sales representatives. LebaTex, Inc. is a global company with distribution all over the world; Stacy closes with the following statement regarding her vast success, “From a gal who went to art school, who thought she’d be painting for a living, sometimes life has different plans.”
Next up in today’s show, Nick sits down with a 6 year veteran of the High Point Market, Denise McGaha. Based out of Dallas, Texas, Denise has been in business for 15 years. Nick and Denise start by talking about the importance of the High Point Market, in her words, “It’s a huge opportunity to see what’s new in the market, to get on the front end of the trends.”
Denise’s entry into the interior design world took a very windy route. Denise holds a degree in Agricultural Economics and grew up in a world based around agriculture and livestock. Out of college, Denise gained some experience in retail and eventually started a career as an assistant buyer for the jewelry department for the luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. Denise was lucky to gain some very useful experience as part of the team that launched Neiman Marcus website, which led to other jobs in E-commerce. It wasn’t until after 9/11 that Denise states she really took a look at the trajectory of her career and decided she had some other interests she wanted to pursue, and that included interior design.
Denise launched her own firm, Denise McGaha Interiors, and gained significant traction in the early 2000’s working with home builders in the construction of new residences. When the recession hit, Denise was in a great spot to transition out of the new construction realm and fully into interior design of existing homes. Nick and Denise talk about the importance her business background played in the building of her career and how important it is to be purposeful and have intentional in everything you do.
One of the things Denise is the most proud of and has had wonderful success is with her invention of “Designing with a Deadline.” This is a specialized way Denise organizes her design firm to design a project with full specifications within 90 days. This process has allowed her to complete projects in a very efficient and effective way, allowing her firm to ultimately take on more projects sooner. Listen in to hear more details on the software her firm uses to accomplish the designing with a deadline time frame and how she has used that as a consultant for other firms.
You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @denisemcgaha to learn more!
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!