Hello Chaise Lounge Listeners! Today we have a final wrap-up episode of the 2016 Spring High Point Market. If you listened to the episodes from the High Point series you probably noticed that some of audio was not of the greatest quality, so we reached out to a couple of the designers we interviewed at High Point for a second interview. On today’s show you’ll hear completely new content from Amy Flurry, updated audio from Cheryl Kees Clendenon and Farah Merhi and a special interview with the CEO of the High Point Market Authority, Tom Conley.
Amy Flurry : Recipe For Press
Amy Flurry spoke at this year’s High Point Market, with a session called “The Press Release is Dead.” Her background is in publishing and Amy shares her expertise in the subject with people who are trying to get their work published. Amy talks specifically about the relation of publication of work to interior designers and how important that can be to success. Amy’s experience in the publishing world came from editorial work spanning almost 20 years for nationwide publications. She would essentially be pitching stories to the publications, and was very successful at doing so. Her success was not unnoticed, and Amy began receiving requests to “grab a coffee” with people who wanted to know what exactly it took to get their work published.
That said, Amy published a book entitled “Recipe for Press” that provided as she puts it “everything all editor’s want you to know” in order to get your work published. In the book and on today’s show, Amy dispenses advice to those working to get published, including where and where not to invest your money and the three key things an editor is looking for in your initial pitch. Amy and Nick also discuss the biggest mistake people make when reaching out to editors and publishers and the importance of doing your homework on the publication up front.
Farah Merhi: @Inspire_Me_Home_Decor
The next interview on today’s show is with Farah Merhi, a prominent persona in the Instagram world with her page @Inspire_Me_Home_Decor. You may have heard Farah in the Chaise Lounge previously as Nick interviewed her live at the High Point Market. We were so impressed with Farah we wanted to have her back again, to make sure our listeners were able to glean as much advice from her as possible. Farah says of her time at High Point, “Everyone in this industry needs to experience this at least once!” Farah and Nick speak further about their time at High Point.
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 Instagram page has grown to a platform now where professionals and non-professional alike can find inspiration. Farah’s Instagram following is topping out at over 3.2 million followers!
Nick and Farah talk about the process of tagging your posts to get the most exposure and impact and how to best reach your audience. They also discuss the time frame it took for Farah to get to her level and the exponential growth her page has encountered through the use of re-posts. Tune in to hear more about Farah’s aesthetic, her goals for the future and the obstacles she’s faced in getting to where she is today.
Cheryl Kees Clendenon
Next up, Nick re-joins designer and retail store operator Cheryl Kees Clendenon from Pensacola, Florida with a follow-up interview to the one recorded at High Point Market.
Cheryl holds a background in sales and marketing, and eventually 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 at In Details Interiors, 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.
Tom Conley: CEO of High Point Market Authority
Last up on today’s show we are honored to talk with Tom Conley, the man behind the scenes of the highly successful High Point Market. As the CEO of the High Point Market Authority, Tom’s job is to set the dates of the show, promote the speakers and showrooms that will be present at each show and organize the registration and overall transportation system throughout the town to make sure attendees can easily get to where they want to be. Nick talks firsthand about his experience with the outstanding customer service that the Market provided during his time there. Tom organizes over 400 employees at each Market event and also talks to Nick about the fantastic App they the Authority created to provide fast and convenient customer service for those attending Market. To close, Tom talks about the prep for the next High Point Market, which will be held the last week of October 2016 and Nick shares his advice for attending market.
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!