Small Business Success

145 – Francesca Bucci: Cruise Ship Designer

Francesca Bucci: Cruise Ship Designer

Today in The Lounge, Nick sits down with Francesca Bucci to talk about a BIG topic: how to design Cruise Ship interiors. 

Getting to Know Francesca

Francesca Grew up in Rome, Italy, came to U.S after she earned her degree in architecture, and finished her studies at Cornell. Sardinia and Bermuda are her two favorite places to vacation as she loves being close to the sea. Her favorite fashion accessory is a headband; they’re a little retro, unexpected, or even preppy. If she wasn’t designing cruise ships, she’d either be singing or figure skating. As an Italian, her drink of choice is obviously wine- “don’t ask an Italian a question like that” says Francesca. She loves cooking and entertaining, so, she would rather stay home than go out but does gravitate towards French restaurants.

Finding Ship

When Francesca studied Architecture at the University of Rome, it wasn’t interior-oriented, which is why she finished at Cornell. Her education in Rome was focused on architectural history, restoration and all of the technical aspects. Francesca first became interested in architecture in High School because she has a passion for drawing. Specifically, she loves drawing cartoons. In her cartoons, she is able to write the story of a building, as they take place in and are inspired by Rome interiors.

Francesca’s first employer out of school was Perkinson Whales in Washington, DC. She felt like she was at a disadvantage compared to people who did all of their schoolings in the U.S. because she was much older and lacked the interesting theoretical knowledge one might learn in the U.S. In Italy you get out of school when you 25-26 versus 22. She felt as though her knowledge was basically useless in the States, where sketching and hands-on practices were practical. So, she jumped right in and had to learn at a fast pace everything there was to learn.

Francesca’s first task at the job was solely to put project slides in containers but it didn’t matter, she was on top of the world just to have a job in an American firm. Later, she transitioned into a drafter position and her employers picked up on her keen eye for details and started to teach her more. After, she worked in a couple firms in DC then moved to NY, where she learned a lot. After 4-5 years, Francesca found herself with little knowledge on how to specify things so she went to learn! The next firm she worked at is where she learned the specialization of retail, residential, and cruise ship lines.

The Business Today

There are a lot of custom elements that go into a cruise ship. One must consider the weight and size of everything, how the ship is built, compliances, materials and outdoor elements. You need to be able to determine the parameters in a flexible way, as the building code is 10 times bigger than in NYC. There is a big learning curve when doing cruiseship interiors as it would be very challenging to learn how to build a ship in the span of one project. 

Based in New york in Times square, BG Studio International, Franseca’s firm consists of 15 people, a small firm with big projects. Projects often last 3 years and the team does multiple vessels at the same time.

  • Upcoming Events

BDNY 2017 – Nov 12 – 13

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

ICFF Miami– Oct 3 – 4

High Point Market Oct 14 – 18

  • 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!

23 – Eileen Gould: Hands on Designer and Contractor in Cali

eileen Gould

Today in The Lounge, I welcome Eileen from Eileen Gould Design and Construction in Malibu, CA.  Eileen has a breadth and depth to her that few designers have.  She is not only an accomplished designer, but she has her contractor’s license as well.  Learning a trade was mandatory to get your license in the state of California, and she is no stranger to a construction site.  Don’t let that pretty face fool you.  She knows her stuff.

Eileen shared plenty of great stuff with me in the interview, but one thing we talked about, and is so critical for designers trying to build their interior design firm is marketing.  Eileen recomends you do three things:

  1. Charity work.  Eileen volunteer on board, and committees, and gets involved.  This leads to lots of great relationships.
  2. Teach classes. Eileen teaches two different DIY classes: How to design a Kitchen, and How to design a Bathroom. She explained that yes, many people come to learn how to do it themselves, but she gains one or two new clients every time she has a class.
  3. Public Speaking.  Be known as an industry leader.  Share your wealth of knowledge and offer to talk.  Eileen has had lots of opportunities to get up in front of groups, get on television, and gain other media attention because of her willingness to talk.

Bio: Eileen Gould is the owner and founder of Lifestyles Interior Design and Construction, Inc. and Eileen Gould Design and Construction, Inc., and has been practicing both eye-on-design-coverCommercial and Residential Design for the past 30 years. She combines her creative talents with her knowledge of general contracting to reflect your personal style, your character, and way of living. Eileen’s ability to guide each and every client allows you to walk comfortably through the design process, satisfied and meeting your financial needs.

Eileen received her certification in Interior Design and then became one of the few women to obtain her General Contracting license in 2001.  She has been featured in Westlake Magazine, Ventura Star, Valley Connection, and Jane Applegate’s column in Los Angeles Magazine, in addition to an extensive write up in the Business Section of the Los Angeles Times. She sat on the Learning Tree University Design Board in 1985 and the ASID LA Executive Board in 2006. She has also appeared on Channel 7 Eyewitness Morning News.  She has worked with many celebrity clients. Eileen has won the National Association of Business Owners Award for Working Women’s Magazine 2000 and she has been named the “First Runner-up of the 2003 Designer Appreciation Award” awarded by the L.A. Mart and the L.A. Mart Furniture Association.  Eileen has twice appeared on HGTV “Designer’s Challenge” once winning the challenge of redesigning a Master Bathroom. She has also spoken at The Rotary, The New West Symphony and the AARP Convention in early 2000.

Eileen is now retrofitting homes for seniors and the handicapped.

For more information on Eileen, please go to her website at LifestyleDesign.com

 

Chaise Lounge Updates

We’re gearing up for 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.

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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