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maria killam

61 – High Point Market: Day 4

We are the nearing the end of the 2016 Spring High Point Market, but your host Nick May still has several great interviews lined up for you live from the Market. Be sure to follow us on Instagram to see pictures and videos taken at Market! Today Nick has three interviews for you with a range of topics including the social media side of the interior design business and last but not least Nick interviews a world renowned “International Colour Expert.” Tune in today to learn how to continue to design your design business and if you’ve enjoyed our coverage of the 2016 Spring High Point Market, please leave us a review on Itunes!

Farah Merhi and #Inspiremehomedecor

Inspire Me Logo

In the first segment of today’s show, Nick sits down with Farah Merhi, a well-known blogger and social media expert, with over 3.2 million followers in Instagram alone! Farah was born and Raised in Congo, Africa and attended an American school in the Congo. Farah attended college in the states, in Michigan to be exact, where she is based out of today. Farah talks about how interior design was always a part of her life, as her mom was an interior designer. Farah started out studying political science, however with just 3 semester short of graduating with that degree, Farah took a sharp turn and decided to pursue a degree in Interior Design.

Farah’s road to her massive success in social media as it relates design really started with a remodeling project of her own home. After searching for inspiration photos on the web, and finding the content to be lacking, Farah decided to start her own Instagram account to collect imagery that inspired her. She would find images from professional designers to design enthusiasts or simply snap photos of things or places that inspired her. Her hashtag #inspiremehomedecor has grown to a platform now where professionals and non-professional alike can find inspiration. With an initial goal of 500 followers, obviously Farah’s presence in the social media world has grown exponentially. Farah and Nick talk about why the visual aspect of Instagram and similar social media platforms are so successful in promoting design. The two talk about the process of tagging your posts to get the most exposure and impact and how to best reach your audience. To close, Farah states, “I had no idea it was going to get this big, but it’s not about how many followers I have, it’s about what inspires me and what inspires others.”Farah will also be creating a special Pinterest specifically for her finds at this year’s High Point Market, get online and check it out!

Cheryl Kees Clendendon: In Detail Interiors and 1514 Home

In Detail Logo

Next up, Nick joins designer and retail store operator Cheryl Kees Clendendon from Pensacola, Florida from the Chaise Lounge. Cheryl holds a background in sales and marketing, and In Detail Pic 1eventually transitioned to a successful career in interior design. Cheryl talks about the start of her design business and how it really started just through friends and family asking for her help with their spaces, and as she puts it, “it just snowballed from there.” With no formal education in interior design, Cheryl talks about how her portfolio has been the platform for which she has presented her work. In her business, Cheryl describes her favorite “hat to wear” as the creative side, she is really driven and inspired by materials and loves to sit in her space and just go through materials that inspire her.

Nick and Cheryl talk about the business side of her firm, she states “You are fooling yourself if you think there isn’t a sale component to what you do,” as a designer. It’s just as important to have that expertise as it is to have the creative expertise. Beyond her successful design firm, Cheryl has recently launched into the retail side of the business, with a storefront open in Pensacola, called 1514 Home. Nick and Cheryl talk about how she selects lines to carry in her store, and how she varies the price points of the pieces she carries.

This being her 7th year at the High Point Market, Cheryl talks about how exciting it is to see all the new trends and how important it is to her clients for her to attend events like High Point.

Maria Killam: “Colour Me Happy”

Last up on today’s show, Nick interviews Maria Killam, an expert color consultant based out of Vancouver, BC. Maria starts off by telling us what exactly it is she does as an international color consultant, “I help people transform the way they see color through my proprietary understanding undertone system.” Maria has a very highly demanded course called “Specify Color with Confidence” where she teaches professional designers among other students how to select colors based on a color system she has developed. Maria’s course is available digitally on her website, but will be including 8-9 U.S. courses in major cities this year. You can also connect with Maria on Instagram.

Maria Killiam Headshot

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!