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Today in The Lounge, Nick talks with Dan Rak of Dan Rak Design, about his journey from tax law to interior design. Dan talks about his career, what he’s learned, and what he looks forward to as his business grows.  

Dan’s Career Journey

Dan grew up in Detroit, Michigan. His education led him to tax law. To feed his need for creativity, Dan bought a house, lived in it while he renovated it and then sold it. Soon, clients from his tax firm and others heard about his talent and asked him redesign spaces in their homes. This is when he noticed something was amiss. Dan loved the process of creating spaces for people and found fulfillment – something tax law wasn’t providing. He left the law profession and went into Interior Design full-time by opening his own firm.

Growing a Design Firm

Dan openly talks with Nick about how he had to learn about the world of design from vendors, asking lots of questions and reading everything he could about design. He did not get a degree in the field; however, his skills from the law profession around organization and project management help to sell people on his designs. Dan discusses the challenges of managing his own business with 5 employees, some full-time and some part-time. He also talks about the marketing strategies he uses through a publicist, social media manager, his website and even through Houzz. Dan indicates that his firm typically manages about 5 projects at a time so he can give them all the attention they deserve and the quality stays high.

He discusses further the challenges he faces of learning to let go of tasks and trusting others to manage his business. He gives advice on how he is able to make sure his design style aligns with his clients’ wishes and how showing projects to clients, building relationships with them, and gaining their trust helps build his client base.

Dan’s Future Plans

As his business grows, Dan chats with Nick about his future plans to expand his firm to include boutique-type commercial spaces, a retail store, and possibly a furniture line. Dan counsels others looking to switch careers to ponder this thought – “Do what you would do if you were not afraid.”

Learn more about Dan Rak at: www.danrakdesign.com @danrakdesign on Instagram

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Upcoming Markets

Modernism Week Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference March 4 – 6

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Wrap Up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app! We’d love it if you post a review, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. Also, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. With that said, keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!

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