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196 – Laura Thurman: Nashville Design with LA Flair

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Laura Thurman- Nashville Design with LA Flair

Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Laura Thurman of Thuman Design Studio. Learn about Laura’s pathway to design, her transition from LA to Nashville, and how she harnesses the power of networking and social media to grow her interior design business.

Pathway to Design

Originally from LA, Laura Thurman moved to Nashville, TN five years ago. As a child, she enjoyed painting, drawing, dancing and re-arranging her bedroom furniture. These interests ultimately lead to her future career as an Interior Designer. After receiving her degree in Interior Architecture from Woodbury University, Laura began freelancing as a graphic designer in LA, before landing a job with a commercial furniture dealer.  While working in commercial sales she learned how form and function plays a crucial role in product selection and how to think both ergonomically and spatially. After working in commercial sales Laura went on to work for local residential interior design firms before venturing out to start her own business.

The Business Today

Before starting her own business, Laura spent six months developing her business cards, website, logo and resource library so she was prepared to go out on her own. Now after three years in business, she feels more established. Today, about  50% of her business is working with builders and developers making new construction product selections and the rest is working with the custom residential client. Her workload typically comes in batches of about 4-5 projects at a time. Laura attributes the power of networking as a key to her success. Laura decided to join a BNI  professional networking group, which she attributes to helping her learn how to present herself to people. She has also found networking success through Linked In, and by simply reaching out. A fellow design colleague introduced her to Universal Furniture whom she collaborated with on a video series focusing on the behind the scene world of designers. Laura recommends using collaborations and partnerships and to think outside of the box to get your idea sponsored in a way that equally benefits both parties.

In addition to networking opportunities, Laura is also very active on Houzz. Houzz has generated some quality leads for her business. To be successful at Houzz, be timely with your response to inquiries. As Houzz may not work for everyone, Thumbtack offers a similar platform. Showing up to industry events has also been a key element to help grow her business. Next up, Laura will be attending the Design Bloggers Conference for the first time. Although a smaller venue than some of the other design shows, The Design Bloggers Conference attendees represent some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry.

To connect with Laura, visit her Instagram page,  website, or blog for the latest updates.


Benjamin Moore


Design Manager

Universal Furniture

  • Upcoming Events

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

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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