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Chad James Group

S24 E8 – Celebrity Guest Host Chad James Meets Peacock Alley’s Katherine Nicholson

Welcome! Today in The Lounge, celebrity guest host, Chad James sits down with Katherine Nicholson of Peacock Alley. Chad and Katherine met at the Atlanta Spring Southeastern Showhouse years back and Chad has direct experience using Katherine’s services with Peacock Alley to attain his vision many times.

142 – ICFF with Chad James

ICFF with Chad James

On this episode of The Lounge, Nick meets with Chad James at ICFF NYC to talk about long time client, friend and country singer-songwriter Luke Bryan; PR; and Chad’s progress since their last interview about a year ago. It’s Chad’s first time at ICFF and he is very excited about the unique vendors and getting small glimpses into each one’s best work. Later, Nick talks to Shell Broadnax of RESA who will be speaking at Las Vegas Market about whether or not you might want to become a home stager.

Special thanks to Benjamin Moore for making this week’s show possible. Walls By Design exclusively uses Benjamin Moore paints which can be bought online at Guiry’s. This week in the office we did a paint test between Benjamin Moore and Sherman Williams‘ four lowest end products, as they’re the most commonly bought paints. Hang tight for a link to the video on the Walls By Design Facebook. Also, Lindsay Paoli of Design Manager just featured us in her article, 11 Binge-Worthy Design Shows That Aren’t on HGTV, which talks about the top design movies, TV shows, books and podcasts to check out this summer. Design Manager is the best way for your business to stay organized, get rid of spreadsheets and Microsoft documents, and put all your projects, accounting, and inventory in one place.

Catching up with Chad

Currently, Chad is on a 12-week travel schedule so he hasn’t spent much time at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. When he does make it to his lakehouse though, he enjoys wake surfing from his boat.

Chad is always very private about who he works with but once a client’s project is published, he’s able to talk about it. Two years ago he designed Luke Bryan’s Florida beach home and recently, his work was picked up and put on the cover of Traditional Home, so Nick dug in to learn all about it. Check out the article here. His photographs (featured below) were done by architectural photographer Alyssa Rossenheck who will be on the show this month!

Chad gives us some insight into the pros and cons of PR in the interior design industry and how he is able (or unable) to get his work out there. He tells us, after spending so much time on a beautiful project, often times the only people who get to see and enjoy it are the homeowners. From the very beginning of a project, he and his client talk through his photographic rights and come to an agreement about what this means. He will always respect a client’s privacy even if he is disappointed he doesn’t get to show off his work. His firm never talks about a project due to the fact that with social media and digital press, information spreads quickly… no one wants what they’re doing and spending to be in the public eye. All of his employees sign a confidentiality agreement. Occasionally though, he get’s to take photos of a project and send it out to multiple avenues in order to see who will ‘bite,’ just like with Traditional Home and Luke Bryan.

Last time Nick and Chad chatted, at Highpoint, he told us that he hired a PR company to encourage his business and his work. Before that, Chad just kept his head down, took pictures, put them in his portfolio, and that was it. He never was a self-promotor so his PR took away the burden and discomfort of having to promote himself. Now, he’s has participated in speaking engagements and has traveled to Italy, to Paris, and all over the U.S. His PR handles all online and print media, gained him name recognition, and created a BRAND- the only way to make your business grow.

Lastly, Chad talks about his new house, which he closed on his birthday, but is only just now starting to design the space. He has decided to publish his home when ‘s finished because this house is very different than anything he’s ever done before – it’s contemporary! He describes it as a ‘modern box’ and so, he wants to let his pendulum swing in the other direction and show off this new side.

Chad predicts that after a 7-year span of bright, light and crisp designs, we are now returning back to warmer darker palettes with brass and rich luxurious fabrics, color and interiors.

Learn more at chadjames.com, follow @chadjamesgroup on Instagram or Chad James Group on Facebook.

Meet Shell Brodnax CEO and Founder of RESA

Shell is our first guest of many who will be speaking at and participating in Las Vegas Market‘s special events.

Shell joins us from Valley Springs California. Her favorite place to vacation is in the mountains but she admits she’s a workaholic and hasn’t taken enough time off to get to them. Her inner cowgirl informs us that spurs and her belt buckle are her favorite fashion accessories and a recent book she has read and recommends is It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows YOU! by David Avrin. Nick loves marketing books and also recommends, Marketing Outrageously.

Shell founded RESA in 2007 but is NOT a home stager. She loves all things staging but actually doing the staging is a whole other story. She says that it’s a specific kind of creative balance between the right the brain left brain that she just doesn’t have. What she did love doing were the sales and marketing but couldn’t find a partner to do the rest with her. So instead, she founded RESA: a trade association organization that brings together stagers. Her platform allows all different types of stagers and business models to come together as one support group.

Her talk in Las Vegas will be about why you should or shouldn’t ever start in the business of home staging; it’s for some people but definitely not for others. She wants to save the juicy details for the event, but she does give us some insight. The main point she’ll drive home is that staging and design work are very different business models. If a designer wants to get into the business, they do have the design aspect going for them but people often make the mistake of overdesigning. It’s not a not personalized home, but a marketing strategy. The main goal is to merchandise your asset.

Learn more about RESA at realestatestagingassociation.com

Find Shell on August 2nd from 10:30-11:30 at her event, “Staging to Sell, Is This The Career For Me?” in the Building C Seminar Room, C174. Learn more about the event here.

Let us know if you are heading to Vegas as it’s coming up quickly! Nick is going LIVE at 4 pm PT every day of Market with Barry Livingstone, his very first guest on the show, Kelli Ellis, Christopher Kennedy and Dann Foley. There will be wine and it WILL be a good time!

  • Upcoming Events

Las Vegas Market – July 30 – Aug 2

BDNY 2017 – Nov 12 – 13

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

ICFF Miami– Oct 3 – 4

  • 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 InstagramFacebook 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!

73 – Chad James: An Interior Designer who found his Happy Place.

Chad James Group

Chad James: An Interior Designer who found his Happy Place

Nick gets to know his guest on today’s show of The Chaise Lounge, Chad James, “From an early age I was surrounded by a mother who was very creative and who really instilled this sense of creativity in me.” Chad attended Auburn on the path toward architecture but then later realized that interior design was the right path for him. His first position was as a design apprentice, pulling fabrics and running errands. Chad talks about the small projects he was given when he was first starting out.

Chad’s direction was solidified through a recruiter, who set up an interview with a company in New York, which eventually led to a full-time position in the big city. With the blessing of his mentor, Chad took the leap and moved north to the City for a while and then after a few years, he decided to branch out on his own, thus the creation to Chad James and Associates. After 4 years on his, Chad’s reputation proceeded him, and a separate firm contacted him, and he ended up joined that firm. Another 4 years passed, and Chad decided it was time to take a personal break, that included traveling and getting mentally and physically healthy. During that time, Chad decided it was time to go back to working for himself.

“I’ve always had this desire to create and to design, and the part of owning a business or a group, is that you don’t always get to solely design or create, because you are managing everything, it’s so little about designing anymore, if you allow it to be that way.”

Chad describes his business, which includes seven employees and Chad’s dog, who also acts as the go-to for any needed emotional support in the office. Nick and Chad talk about the differences between the first time Chad owned his business and the second time around. “I have not always reacted in the way that I probably should in the past, towards problems, or towards pretty much everything. I went through a period of life where I was very reactionary, and part of that cleanse and part of that moment that I took to regroup was for me to reset my mindset about how I was going to deal with things in life. I think that we have these moments in life that are tests in learning how to respond and learning how to respond, and we’re going to repeat that test until we get it right.”

I have this saying in our company, “If it’s not fun, we’re not doing it.” Chad talks about how this motto or guideline that helps him select the clients and the projects he chooses to take on. He also describes how his attitude sets the standard in the company, and how that affects his group, who will follow his lead.

Nick and Chad talk about what Chad took as far as what to do and what not to do from the other firms he worked with throughout his career. “One of the things that I learned in the last firm that I was involved in, is that every person on my staff needs time with me. I travel all the time, I’m in and out, I’m with clients, I’m there an hour then gone three hours. So if you have a staff that doesn’t feel like they have time with you or feel like they can approach you, then you’re going to find yourself in a place where productivity is not happening, because people don’t know how to move forward without clear direction.” Chad talks about his weekly staff meeting, where each staff member has at least an hour with Chad, to get his edits and suggestions on what they are working on.

Nick asks whether Chad prefers hiring someone who has experience or someone without experience. He describes the differences between the hiring process of support staff versus design staff. Nick and Chad talk about the importance in a small business, of checking each other’s work, and how everything that goes out with Chad’s name on it, crosses his desk first.

Nick asks Chad about how clients find him. “What I’ve found is plain and simple, its word of mouth.” Chad talks about the marketing that he does through social media platforms but describes word of mouth as the most influential tool for getting clients.

Chad describes his design process, “Every project starts with a design concept, and it’s drawn and its dreamed and realized on paper. After the concept is completed, that’s when we started specifying our products and our fabrics. After the presentation stage, we go to an estimate worksheet.” Chad describes the importance of the estimate worksheet, and how that process has helped them avoid mistakes.  “As a business owner you have to decide what you want to spend your money on, do you want to spend your money on mistakes? Or do you want to spend your money on rewarding your staff? I want to make sure that the money that our money is profiting is spent on our staff.”

Nick asks Chad how he charges for his business, “We charge a consulting fee, which is a set fee per square foot.” Chad describes how his process differs from the more typical type of the hourly charge for a designer’s time. “What I’ve learned is, if I can’t trust my client, how can I expect my client to trust me?”

Chad concludes his interview with Nick talking about some of his exciting new projects, and moving into a new office space. To learn more about Chad and his firm, visit his website www.chadjames.com or on Instagram under @chadjamesgroup, and also on Facebook.

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 InstagramFacebook 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!