Business

44 – Jo Rabaut: Building a Working Team

Jo Background

The most common questions we get asked here at The Chaise Lounge are when is it right to start my own business, what do I need to do first, who do I hire first, etc. On today’s show, Jo Rabaut address those questions. After graduating from college in Michigan, Jo worked for other firms for 12 years before opening the doors of Rabaut Designs in 1989 in Atlanta, GA. Rebaut design does a full spectrum of design, everything for a frat house to store front to commercial rebuilds to brand new lofts.

She has learned a lot in the 25 years that Rabaut Designs has been open. She prefers her firm small so it’s a more intimate environment with her team. Currently she has 4 designers on staff. She focusing on fulfilling her staffs wants so they are able to grow and become better designers. She understands that people need to be free to create but also to have a life outside of work. Jo feels that when you “hit the design wall” you need to recharge and find a new event to attend to remind yourself why do design. She understands  the art of interior design in a bit of a juggling act so she enjoys educating and leading her team.

Our sponsor Design Manager is your best answer for all your back-office needs.  It will help you with your accounting, paperwork, and logistics.  There are a lot of things to track in your business, don’t leave it up to Word docs and spreadsheets.   If you give DM a try, please let them know you heard about them in The Lounge.

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com

36 – Barrie Livingstone: Designer, Realtor… Networker

Barrie Livingstone

Big week with some big announcements for the show.  Joining us this week is my good buddy Barrie from Malibu, CA.   Barrie is a successful designer and Realtor.  Today we talk about how that has worked to his benefit, how any designer can build their business through networking, and has new book Interior Design Tips Every Realtor Should Know, but Doesn’t.  With over 28 years of experience in the Residential and Hospitality Design Industries, Barrie’s offices out of Malibu, CA, Miami, FL, and LA, CA.

Please connect with Barrie through Facebook or on his website at BarrieLivingstone.com

e-mythLots of business learning in today’s interview with Robin.  Robin talked about the importance of systems.  He learned about this early on in her interior design business journey when a friend recommended that he read Michael Gerber’s book called E-Myth.  If you are new into your interior design business, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.  It will be the best investment of time you can make.  BUT, if you want a free copy, all you need to do is give me a review on iTunes!  That’s right, I believe so strongly that this book will help you, that I am giving away 20 copies of The E-Myth to the next 20 people who write me a review in iTunes.  Just take a screen shot of your review, and email it to me at me@nickmay.co with your mailing address.  I will send you one book with free shipping.

Our sponsor Design Manager is your best answer for all your back-office needs.  It will help you with your accounting, paperwork, and logistics.  There are a lot of things to track in your business, don’t leave it up to Word docs and spreadsheets.   If you give DM a try, please let them know you heard about them in The Lounge.

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com 

 

35 – Robin Bond: From Rock Star to Interior Design

Robin Bond Interiors

Robin Bond:  From Rock Star to Interior Design

Today’s show features a fantastic designer from Austin, Texas, Robin Bond of Robin Bond Interiors.  Robin, like so many other interior designers, fell into the craft in a round about way.  Her first career…Rock Star.  Yep, rock star.  She sang in a band traveling around, until she had a medical issue with her vocal cords, and fell into selling insurance.  Talk about a change of directions.  With no creative outlet, she found herself decorating spaces.  First for herself, and soon for friends.  Sound familiar?  Today, Robin leads a team of five, also owns a drapery business called Draped, and writes a blog called Wine, Dine, and Design.

e-mythLots of business learnings in today’s interview with Robin.  Robin talked about the importance of systems.  She learned about this early on in her interior design business journey when a friend recommended that she read Michael Gerber’s book called E-Myth.  If you are new into your interior design business, I highly recommend you pick up a copy.  It will be the best investment of time you can make.

One of the other things we talked about at length is the sales role of an interior designer.  Most people who get into interior design, do it because they want to make spaces look and function great.  But as a designer, you are a sales person that is getting paid to solve problems and find solutions.  The better you are at this, the better your interior design business will be.

Our sponsor Design Manager is your best answer for all your back-office needs.  It will help you with your accounting, paperwork, and logistics.  There are a lot of things to track in your business, don’t leave it up to Word docs and spreadsheets.   If you give DM a try, please let them know you heard about them in The Lounge.

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com 

21- Kim Scodro: Chicago Interior Designer

kim scodro interiors

Kim Scodro: Chicago Interior Designer

Kim Scodro is an award-winning, Chicago and Arizona-based interior designer who brings to her work a refined sense of style and appreciation for the fun and unexpected.  As a wife and mother of two, Kim has experience in creating environments that are warm and relaxed while also exciting and unique.  living roomHer signature interiors are timeless yet current, mixing a classic aesthetic with modern and whimsical accents. Kim received her B.A. from Loyola University and is an ASID Allied Member in Illinois and Arizona.

I enjoyed my conversation with Kim, as it was nice to talk to a designer from my Chicago, where I grew up.  Kim shared how she hires designers and staff, how she keeps two offices, one in Chicago, and one in Arizona, and why it is important to say no to clients.

To get in touch with Michael , contact him through his website at Kim Scodro Interiors.

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com

 

20 – Michael Habachy: Interior Designs from GA

habachy designs

Michael Habachy: Designs from GA

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About Michael

Michael Habachy is an acclaimed interior and furniture designer based in Atlanta, Georgia. His Interior / Architecture design firm, Habachy Designs, Inc., creates atmospheric and luxurious interiors for a wide range of commercial and residential clients, ranging from fashionable restaurants and nightclubs to chic spas, boutiques and glamorous residences.  Michael’s aesthetic is timeless and modern, yet he gives each project its own unique signature style.  He has 20+ years of experience creating custom furnishings and high-end interiors, making him a master of his craft. The combination of extreme passion for design and the ability to develop excellent working relationships with clients are the foundations of success for Habachy Designs.  Habachy Designs’ interiors and custom furnishings have been published in a number of local, national and international publications. One of his standout projects made the cover of world renowned Trends Bath Magazine. Michael has appeared on TV design shows including HGTV’s Design Wars, and was nominated for Southeastern Designer of the Year 2012 by Veranda Magazine. Most recently, Habachy Designs won prestigious Gold and Silver design excellence awards from the American Society of Interior Designers. Michael’s work has also been featured in the Museum of Design Atlanta.

I’ve had the chance to talk to designers from coast to coast, but never from Atlanta, GA. With a great mix of a modern flair and southern charm, Michael has built a great interior design firm serving an impressive clientele.  Michael and his team handle everything from initial design to implementation, and residential to commercial, designing some hip and cool spaces.  They have had a lot of opportunities to work for clubs, bars, and restaurants, which has led into some interesting requests from homeowners.

salonMichael had an opportunity to be featured on a design show called Design Wars.  He did level with me about how things are built behind the scenes.  Not quite something he would do on a real project.  The interesting reality is that it did not get him any new clients.

We talked about the importance of being published, and what the value can be for a designer.  Michael shared how instrumental Pinterest and Houzz has been for their marketing efforts.

To get in touch with Michael , contact him through his website at Habachy Designs.

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com

05 – Hilary Unger: Attainable Luxury

Welcome to the Lounge! Today, Nick chats with New York Designer and entrepreneur, Hillary Unger. Hillary is the Principal of two firms, Perianth Interior Design, and Buy My Eye, both based in New York. During the chat they talk about getting started in the industry, gaining press, and the conception of her two successful and unique firms.

A Little Background


Hillary did not start her educational career in Interior Design. She gained her Bachelors in Textiles Merchandising, and Design (fashion) from the University of Rhode Island and a minor in arts with a focus in Interior Design. It wasn’t until after graduating that she realized her passion was not for fashion but Interior Design. This realization lead her to the New York School of Interior Design, where she gained her degree and started her journey to becoming the successful entrepreneur she is today.

Gaining Press

Like many Designers today, Hillary gains many of her clients from a combination of
referrals, word of mouth, and her website (which she compares to having a storefront, emphasizing the importance of maintaining it.) She also spoke about how she gained press over the years. One story focuses on how she came to be the focus of a local news story on “Good Morning New York”. Her work and unique approach to design lead to a previous client pitching her to FOX which got the ball rolling. She has also been featured in Home By Design Magazine and The New York Times.

Buy My Eye

Created 10 years ago, Buy My Eye has a unique approach to luxury Interior Design. The firm was created in order to make Interior Design a more attainable resource for the general public. The design model of the firm allows clients to take advantage of the knowledge of a Professional Interior Designer without the use of a contract or commitment. Clients are given a flat rate for an in-home consultation and given a detailed list of what they need to do. This allows clients to tackle projects at the speed and budget that they are comfortable with.

Perianth Interior Design

Perianth is Hillary’s “full service, luxury, high-end company”. This firm unlike its sister company, works on multi-million dollar projects and highly customized interiors. Hillary always knew that she wanted to have her own firm but rather than leaping straight in from school she chose to gain experience. This choice lead her to working at 3 well known and respected firms before she finally created her own. The firm focus mainly on residential projects but also has commercial work.

Chaise Lounge Updates

We’re covering 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

BDNY Nov 11 – 12

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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