Today’s episode of the Chaise Lounge is the conclusion of Nick’s adventures in Nashville at the International Association of Home Staging Professionals Conference. In this batch of interviews, Nick talks to Melissa Marro of Rave Home Staging and Redesign, a home staging business that teaches other people how to get into staging themselves and Blair Hamaty, owner of Massachusetts-based staging firm Setting the Space.
This week brings with it a two-part episode of the Chaise Lounge with guests Nick spoke to at the International Association of Home Staging Professionals Conference in Nashville. Today, three guests join Nick in the lounge:
Kelly Moore, the vice president of Karastan a luxury machine-made rug brand. In addition to wool, he tells Nick, Karastan weaves rugs from fibers made out of recycled water bottles and corn.
Sanja Radovanovic, the president of IAHSP Europe and a Rome-based home stager. She offers perspective about the differences between the markets European home staging professionals serve compared to American markets.
Young Kim is the CEO of Washington D.C.- based Staged Interior which he founded with his wife in 2006. Kim talks about the ways Staged Interior markets and specifically the importance of digital and social media marketing.
Visit each of the guests online at Karstan.com, IAHSPEurope.com and StagedInterior.com
Thanks for coming back to the Chaise Lounge where, today, Nick talks to Courtney McLeod, the New York-based principal of Right Meets Left Design, who chose design as a second career after moving on from corporate finance. She graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a business degree and was successful in that field, but she wasn’t in love with her work. Courtney drifted more and more toward the art and design side of life until she couldn’t help but make her move. She quit her job without setting anything up or planning and pursued her new craft.
Welcome to the Chaise Lounge. This Friday, Nick chats with Michele Atijas and Amber Friederichs of the London-based home staging company Yohan May Interiors. In 2015, Atijas and Friederichs were friends who weren’t working in jobs that fed their passion for design, so they started a business together in a niche of the market that didn’t really exist in Europe. Home staging was a tiny part of the interior design industry in Britain compared to the United States, so they worked to find and fill that need.
Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Cecilia “Keki” Cannon of Cecilia Cannon Staging & Interiors. Cecilia tells us how she got started in interior design and the staging business, and how blogging was a marketing catalyst for her interiors business. Find out on the episode how she strengthens her business through her blog, “Home with Keki.”
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.
- 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
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!