Podcast

177 – Industry: Trade Shows!

Industry: Trade Shows! 

Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Phyllis Harbinger of Design Concepts Interiors and  Harbinger Design Consulting, live from the media lounge at BDNY. Phyllis discusses the current need for designers to collaborate across different sectors and the positive benefits of attending as many trade shows as possible. Then stay tuned for Nick’s interview with Bill Darcy, CEO of NKBA on what to expect at the KBIS trade show in January.

Phyllis Harbinger at BDNY

Collaborative Design

Phyllis Harbinger is mostly a residential designer but looks to hospitality design for inspiration. The lines between residential and commercial design are blurring and now more than ever designers need to be aware of the current design trends. One of the ways this is evident is in mixed-use developments. Mixed-use developments combine retail, apartments, hotels, restaurants and possibly a school, movie theater or hospital with dwelling spaces to make a full-scale community within a bigger universe. Designers need to function more collaboratively to react to this shifting trend. Hudson Yards is the newest design community encompassing this change. Located across the street from BDNY, Hudson Yard includes parks, retail spaces, restaurants, and condos within the confines of one community. A project such as this would employ landscape architects designing the terrain, graphic designers producing signage graphics, artists/sculptors, and city planners to design the transportation hub. Larger design firms such as Gensler or The Rockwell Group would typically be hired to work on these project types as they employ a diverse group of architects and designers who work collaboratively.

BDNY and Hospitality

BDNY is a great place for inspiration, networking opportunities, and to meet new people. The vendors at BDNY are different than those normally found at High Point Market or Vegas Market. At BDNY vendors are primarily hospitality focused and typically work with larger minimal orders. Phyllis recommends all designers should attend BDNY even if they don’t work in the hospitality market, as you never know when you might get a call to work on your first hospitality project. It’s good to educate yourself on the nuances of different project types. Often times, companies want to hire an up and coming designer to provide their unique point of view to projects. Working on smaller boutique hotels is a great way to enter the hospitality sector as you have the opportunity to receive more design directive because of the smaller scale. If you are targeting this market it’s a good idea to bring samples of your portfolio to provide to people you wish to connect with. Also, make a list of who you want to meet and think about who you know that knows these people. This is a great first step to achieving your end goal and grow your contact list.

It is very helpful to partner with a fellow designer that may have more experience in areas other than your normal expertise. Phyllis partnered with another designer when working on the proposal for the Ritz Carlton Residences. Although she had a wealth of experience in residential she needed the additional professional knowledge from the hospitality sector. Not only did they both learn from each other, but the partnership helped mitigate liability forsomething you don’t know much about. Don’t think of a partnership as a loss of money but as exchanging money for experience. Once you have experience you can charge more on subsequent projects.

To connect with Phyllis send her an email at info@harbingerdesignconsultanting.com.You can also purchase her book –The Interior Design Productivity Toolbox on WileyAmazon or Barnes and NoblePhyllis is also available for coaching, consulting and speaking engagements.

Bill Darcy- NKBA at KBIS

NKBA – Overview

Bill Darcy is the CEO of NKBA, the only trade organization dedicated exclusively to the kitchen and bath industry. Founded on the principle of people gathering and learning together, NKBA continues to design the future of the industry within a digital age. They specialize in three core focus areas, Marketplace, via their yearly KBIS trade show, membership, at the local chapter level, and Certification. NKBA is the testing institution for the kitchen and bath design industry. They offer two credentials, Associate and Certified Master and validates the credentialing process of each level. Members of NKBA are students, designers, vendors, and manufacturers.

NKBA at KBIS

For the past 50 years, NKBA has been putting on its yearly industry show KBIS. As a result of the  2014 economic resurgence, KBIS partnered with the International Builders Show to form Design and Construction Week co-located with KBIS. Over 80 thousand design and construction professionals attend the show spanning 1 million sq ft of exhibition space and offering 100 continuing education courses. Notable events include the annual State of the Industry address: Melissa Francis, Fox Business News Anchor will be moderating a panel with thought leaders David Kohler, President & CEO of Kohler Co., Rick Hasselbeck, CCO of GE Appliances and Scott Culbreth, SVP & CFO of American Woodmark Corp. to discuss the current industry atmosphere. Also be on the lookout for Beers and Cheers for Trade Careers, afundraising event addressing the shortage of skilled labor. A recent survey indicated that 82% of builders said the biggest problem they had was finding skilled labor. Without skilled labor, projects will cost more and take longer to complete. Join This Old House and Generation Next, their dedicated platform to drive interest in construction trades, at this important event on Jan 10 from 4:00pm-5: 00 pm.

In preparation for the show if you are not already a member, sign up. If you are already a member be sure to update your profile to stay up to date on their new rollouts and additions for 2018 such as their new photography section that will launch at KBIS. Also, be sure to check out their new website www.nkba.org and stay connected!

Chaise Lounge Updates

Find out about our Holiday Giveaway HERE!

Win a trip to Spain HERE!

Download our E-Book HERE!

  • Upcoming Events

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

Atlanta Market – Jan 9 – 16

Dallas Market – Jan 17 – 23

Las Vegas Market – Jan 28 – Feb 1

Modernism Week – Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

176 – Garrison Hullinger: We Meet Again!

Garrison Hullinger: We Meet Again

Today in The Lounge, Nick catches up with Garrison Hullinger, whom he hasn’t spoken with since Episode 24, about two years ago. The two update each other on what’s been happening since then and Garrison talks about what has changed within his business.

Getting to Know the Garrison

Garrison is a fan of messenger bags, colloquially known as a “murse” or “man-purse.” He cannot travel without is iPad and loves it for its small size and easy mobility. When asked the infamous “Beer, wine, or cocktail” question, he claims to still prefer cocktails, though he has graduated from the dirty martini to the classic manhattan.

Garrison also recently visited Spain with Porcelanosa to visit their new factory. Highlights of the trip included incredible food and incredible connections made with incredible people who are also in the business of interior design.

Where Are You Now?: The Business Today

Two years ago, Garrison worked with a team of about sixteen people. Today, he works with twenty-four employees, of which the core team and ten seniors and leads remain. The focus of their designs have shifted from residential to multifamily-residential. It took many years for them to get their first project as they previously had no portfolio of multifamily designs, but Garrison and his business have experienced success ever since.

They work primarily on the interior of high-rise apartment buildings of two classes: Class A, which pertains to luxurious, new apartment buildings; and Class B, which are buildings that are aging and in need of remodeling.

Challenges of Change

The shift of focus from residential to multifamily-residential has presented a handful of challenges to Garrison. First among them was learning how to present a project to and receive answers from a committee rather than an individual. Another was learning how to be firm with his vision of the designs throughout the entire process. He has learned that the best way to do this is to create a narrative of what the vision is, state it from the beginning, and stick to it until the end.

Garrison has also had to forgo pet projects but has learned to maintain a presence in all of the projects he and his employees undertake. He does this by making sure his teams meet his requirements ahead of time, essentially posing as their client. He meets with every team member and goes over projects with them individually, thereby keeping him deeply entrenched in the work that is going on.

The Boss’ Burden… or is it?

Just as people complain about there not being enough jobs, employers often complain about there not being enough employees. Garrison claims to not experience this problem, however. He believes that if the employer is honest about their needs and what will be expected of the employee, the right people will apply. He acknowledges that this has led to slower hires with his business, but not a shortage of applicants.

Another concern of many employers is the possibility of their newly-trained employees leaving and taking their clients with them. Garrison scoffs at such a thought and says he never even considers the possibility. By offering fair and competitive pay to employees along with great benefits, he believes his employees are content, if not happy to work for him. His philosophy is that if the employees are treated well, they will treat the employer well in return. As such, he never assigns schedules that he wouldn’t work himself.

The Value of Retail Experience

Having formerly worked in retail operations, Garrison has carried his economic knowledge from that job into his interior design business. He calculates the most efficient way to spend time and money, whether it be adding more phone lines to his office or deciding on a paint color. This creates financial safety for his business which extends to his employees as well.

When managing vendors, he adheres to the rule of “you have to inspect what you expect.” Garrison ensures that all of his expectations are being met frequently throughout the process of ordering by requesting to see expedited reports every Monday and Tuesday.

As for his website, Garrison does not believe anything more than a template is required to make one.

Listeners can learn more about Garrison Hullinger and his business by visiting www.garrisonhullinger.com or by listening to Episode 24 of The Chaise Lounge. He may also be found on Instagram

  • Upcoming Events

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

Atlanta Market – Jan 9 – 16

Dallas Market – Jan 17 – 23

Las Vegas Market – Jan 28 – Feb 1

Modernism Week – Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

175 – Kajsa Krause and Tracey Sawyer: International Hospitality Design

Kajsa Krause and Tracey Sawyer: International Hospitality Design

Today in The Lounge, Nick chats Veronika Miller, the founder and CEO of Modenus and Official Media Partner with KBIS. Veronika will discuss her collaboration with KBIS and the line-up of events at KBIS 2018. Then stayed tuned for Nick’s conversation with Kajsa Krause and Tracey Sawyer of Krause Sawyer at the Porcelanosa showroom in NYC. The duo will discuss their partnership, their love of travel, and how they created their niche in the hospitality sector.

About Modenus

Veronika Miller is the founder and editor inchief of  Modenus, a comprehensive digital resource for design professionals and design enthusiasts. Modenus began in 2009 and added a social media component known as the Blog Tour in 2011. The goal of the Blog Tour is to bring both people and brands together. The following year KBIS approached Modenus to help them connect with the design community, to build a bond and to reach design professionals who were not necessarily engaged in the kitchen and bath industry. After this initial contact Modenus became an official media partner with KBIS. This January will mark their 6th Blog Tour together.

The Blog Tour has been hugely successful for Modenus. They have a community of about 250 bloggers who they reach out to for recommendations on what/who is new and interesting. These nominees are then narrowed down and the final blog tour participants are selected. In addition to the Blog Tour, each year Modernus compiles a Top 100 Influencers list, which again, is entirely community driven. Reaching out to the design community provides an endless resource for continued networking and education.

                     

KBIS and Modenus

KBIS 2018 will kick off with a networking event entitled Champagne and Cupcakes on Tuesday, January 9th from 9:30-10:30 am. Hosted by Modenus, this invitation-only event will feature media influencers, designers, and media to celebrate the beginning of KBIS. Healthy cupcakes and a little bit of bubbly will be on the menu to honor their sponsor, Signature Kitchen, a new luxury division of LG, whose mission is focused on living well and living in a healthy way. There will also be giveaways, speakers and an introduction by Brian Pagel, VP of Kitchen and Bath division at Emerald Expositions.

There will be many design events, speakers, and educational opportunities at KBIS. Jaime Derringer from Design Milk will be teaming up with Modenus at the lounge cafe, Design milk x Modenus Talk lounge. Mirroring the format at Wanted Design in NY, the lounge cafe will provide a relaxed atmosphere with refreshments, phone charging stations and an opportunity for everyone in the room to talk and share their thoughts. The event will also be streamed on Facebook live. Claire Jefford will also be hosting an event with several design influences that will cover the topics of Technology and How It Relates To Design and Social Media Do’s and Don’ts. This Old House will cover topics on skilled labor global design and working remotely and The Good Home Redux will cover the impact of design on wellness and sustainability.

Navigating KBIS

For those new to KBIS, the large scale of the show can be overwhelming. Bring comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk. The dress code is business casual, most attendees wear jeans and polo shirts, with a few designers choosing to dress up. It is about one mile between halls. Veronika recommends starting at West Hall, which is the main area that houses the bigger brands and follows a more traditional format. Plan on spending an entire day there. On a separate day, focus on the North and South Halls, where the stage, discovery district, which houses the smaller up and coming brands, the Modenus lounge and an outdoor area with catering can be found. Plan about 15-20min to get to where you are going. On Wednesday, be on the lookout for Design Bites. Similar to speed dating, Design Bites give exhibitors an opportunity to discuss their product and why you should visit their both. KBIS is also co-located with the International Builders Show. If there is something you are looking for at the show but can’t find it be sure to check out the Builders Show. On the final day of the show is the not to be missed event  The Bash celebrating Design and Construction week at KBIS.

To Connect with Modenus visit their FacebookInstagram and Twitter

For More Information on KBIS visit www.kbis.com.

Kajsa and Tracey’s Pathway to Design

Although Kajsa and Tracey grew up in different parts of the world, they both share a love of travel, design, and a good white wine. When Kajsa was a 6-year-old growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden, one of her favorite pastimes was making an elaborate home for her Barbie dolls. She found architecture as a natural fit as she enjoys math, science, and working with her hands. Kajsa began turning her passion into a career after she received her Master’s degree in Architecture while living in Gothenburg. Tracey also enjoyed designing spaces for Barbie, while creating elaborate snow-covered surroundings in her native Manitoba, Canada. Tracey found herself drawn to the problem-solving aspects of design and ultimately received her Bachelor in Interior Design from the University of Manitoba.

Upon graduation Kajsa and Tracey found themselves doing a lot of travel. Tracey traveled to Paris, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, through the Mediterranean, where she spent 3 months in Greece working on boats, and finally to the UK for a year to work in interior furnishing before she returned back to Canada. Upon returning to Canada she landed her first job in facilities management which appealed to her logistics point of view. Growing up in Europe, Kajsa spent a lot of time traveling throughout her childhood. Her first big trip to the United States as an au pair which gave her the opportunity to hone her English skills. She returned back to Europe to work on her Master’s degree and intern at a sustainable architecture firm in Norway. Kajsa returned to the the US once again but this time as a dancer in New York City. With a few connections, she began working at architecture firms around the city.

The Partnership

Tracey and Kajsa joke that they really don’t know when they actually met. Their partnership came about organically. They were mutual friends in the industry and often met up with each other at industry events. They can agree that it was at a dinner party where the notion of their partnership came about. Their firm, Krause Sawyer, is located in NY and has a staff of 10. They focus on hospitality, restaurants, resorts, hotels and high-end residential. Their first project together was a W Hotel in Mexico, they have since gone on to do conceptual work on haciendas, resorts in Los Cabos, and have done work for Host, their largest American client. The existing brands that they work with have introduced them to new clients and word of mouth has also been key in growing their business.

As partners, they both like to work on the same things. This has been a great check and balance system for them and has worked well for the past 6 yrs that they have been in business. They begin projects together, run teams, design and conduct business development and administrative functions. Their staff consists of designers and architects at different levels of experience who are responsible for running all aspects of the projects.

Running The Business

Their typical process begins with bidding and proposal delivery. Writing clear proposal is imperative. The team takes into consideration how many different spaces and areas there are in the project, the amount of available space and the length of time for the project. Each project is broken into clear standard phases: schematic design, design development and construction documents, with clear end dates and room for potential changes. Each phase is documented very clearly and receives a sign off upon completion. They work on a fixed fee by area budget that is occasionally broken up by use types, such as public spaces or food and beverage areas, in case the client wants to pull a section out to save on costs.

Tracey and Kajsa prefer branding and boutique projects as it appeals to their problem-solving nature. Branding projects provide a unique opportunity for storytelling with a set level of luxury and refinement. As the hospitality industry continues to evolve, smaller individual brands are starting to have more of a clearly defined vision. While larger bigger brands are offering more diverse amenity programs. Other newer trends in hospitality consist of flexible food and beverage offerings, smaller room sizes, fluid social spaces, and an emphasis on wellness and local cultural identity. Sustainability continues to play a role as designers seek to select durable materials that have a longer lifespan, while the building itself is being designed to be more energy efficient as determined by stricter energy codes. Clients are becoming more involved in the process with the big brands reviewing their existing system for efficiencies and establishing their own set of sustainable guidelines.

To learn more about Kajsa and Tracey visit www.krausesawyer.com.

Chaise Lounge Updates

Want to go to Spain? The Chaise Lounge and Porcelanosa will be selecting a listener to attend the Porcelanosa Factory tour in Southern Spain. To enter, visit the Porcelanosa showroom, take a selfie and post on Instagram using the hashtag #letsgotospain. Tag @thechaiselounge and @porcelanosa_grupo for your chance to win! Start competing early to score the most points. The person with the most likes, shares and posts will be selected for the Porcelanosa factory tour in Southern Spain. Find the official rules here or click on the #letsgotospain on the sidebar!

  • Upcoming Events

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

Atlanta Market – Jan 9 – 16

Dallas Market – Jan 17 – 23

Las Vegas Market – Jan 28 – Feb 1

Modernism Week – Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

174 – Matthew Ferrarini: The Next Wave of Kitchen Design

Matthew FerrariniThe Next Wave of Kitchen Design

Today in The Lounge, Nick talks shop with Matthew Ferrarini of Ferrarini & Co, Kitchen and Bath Designer. Matthew works out of Philadelphia, but today Nick is catching up with him on location for a client in Miami. Turns out Matthew has interior design in his blood as the son of an interior designer mom and a contractor for a dad. Find out more, in this episode of the Chaise Lounge.

Breaking the Ice

Nick opens up about a favorite topic for a lot of guys…automobiles. Matthew is a fan of Tesla as an everyday vehicle and Ferrari for a higher end wow-factor. When asked about recent movies, Matthew shared that he recently got the chance to watch the movie Ma Ma with Penelope Cruz. Perfect segue to Nicks recent trip to Spain with Porcelanosa. Turns out Matthew been to Barcelona a few times and is also a big fan of Spain’s rich heritage, culture, friendliness and just overall coolness.

Getting Into the Business

Matthew attended Temple University (go Owls!) for a pre-law degree. Temple is well known for their law school, but somehow Matt just couldn’t shake the calling of design. While at school, he also pursued a certificate in interior design and construction management. He joined forces with his Mom and worked in the family business while still attending school. Upon graduation, he started his own company focusing on kitchen and bath with mom, Donna, as a partner.

From Humble Beginnings to Starting an Empire

Starting out was rough; very humble beginnings. Having lost substantial assets upon the split of his parents, Matthew made a grassroots effort to grow his business. Local marketing with flyers and an open mind is how Ferrarini & Co got off the ground. In the beginning, no project was too small and the business took pride in the work they did and the ensuing referrals. Good work and excellent customer service got them from a home-based business to a design office and showroom staffed with 5 people that accept clients nationwide.  

What it Takes

Matthew credits his success with clients to the broader view that he takes when designing his kitchen and baths. He doesn’t just focus solely on the space that he is tasked to redesign, but incorporates all adjacent areas to ensure a seamless flow. His knack for design really comes to light in space planning and problem-solving. Here is where his passions shine. He has made it a point to stay within his strengths and delegate the things he isn’t so passionate about to team members that are.

Accolades and the Way of the Millennial

Matthew Ferrarini’s point of view has earned him the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) ’30 under 30’ award. He believes in being progressive in his business and for a Millennial, that spells ‘tech’ heavy. Ivy is his software of choice to keep his business running smoothly. He transitioned from using a program that was more builder/construction directed and hasn’t looked back. He also uses Dropbox for file storage and Houzz as an avenue to work with clients using their lookbook feature. What seals the deal for a lot of his clients, is the use of photo-realistic renderings of what the space will look like prior to even lifting a hammer. As a value-added feature today, Nick is predicting that this will become standard in the coming years and you won’t be able to call yourself a designer without it.

Matthew believes in spending the time to find out as much about a client and their lifestyle as possible and creating one show-stopping design to present to them. Now that the business has grown, the marketing approach has certainly changed from the local flyer days. Ferrarini credits his storefront, referrals, and digital marketing through the website and online presence as the avenues that have gotten his name out there. His website is user-friendly, visually captivating and has something for every client. Even those that may not be ready to pull the trigger on a remodel just yet, have access to a free downloadable design guide. This gives the company a chance to get potential client’s contact info and stay on their radar for when they are ready to hit the ground running. Matthew invites you to check him out on Instagram @matthew_ferrarini.

Learn more about Ferrari & Co at: www.ferrariniremodeling.com.

  • Upcoming Events

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

Atlanta Market – Jan 9 – 16

Dallas Market – Jan 17 – 23

Las Vegas Market – Jan 28 – Feb 1

Modernism Week – Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

Wrap up

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website atTheChaiseLoungePodcast.com. Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook, andTwitter 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!

173 – Bauer Clifton: Big Business in a Small Town

(Click the photo for a before and after!)

Bauer Clifton: Big Business in a Small Town

Today in The Lounge, Nick chats with Jeremy Bauer and Jason Clifton of Bauer Clifton from Juneau, Alaska. They discuss how Bauer Clifton got its start, the challenges of establishing a design firm in such a remote area, what they love about it, and where they are going in the future.

Getting to know Jeremy Bauer

Jeremy had been interested in design since childhood. He would build forts and work with his grandpa in his woodshop, and during school he decided to make a career out of his passion. He earned a double major in Engineering and Architecture at Kansas State University and then pursued jewelry for ten years after graduation. After that, he decided interior design was where he wanted to be.

The house he and Jason share is from the 1960s with a mid-century modern design that they liked and decided to keep. They remodeled the lower level of the house and upgraded some of the materials, however. Jeremy would still like to renovate the tower room as it is too simplistic and calling for a splash of style.

Getting to know Jason Clifton

Jason’s favorite place to shop is Ted Baker because of their combinations and variety of color. While he loves shoes, lapel pins, and eyeglasses, his favorite fashion accessory is socks. Jason sees bold, brightly patterned socks as a great way to add color to any outfit.

He found himself in Alaska after going on a family cruise there during a quarter-life crisis. The majesty of the northernmost United State took his breath away, so upon returning home to Indiana, he began planning his relocation. He moved to Alaska six months afterward.

Jeremy had moved there a few months prior and through a statewide network of friends, the two were introduced. After a few months, Jeremy and Jason connected over their shared agricultural, midwestern background as well as their love of design.

Bauer Clifton Today

Bauer Clifton not only works with design, but with homeowners, contractors, and the final placement of their designs. The office handles all the building materials and furnishings required for projects; something which has always been a part of the firm.

They developed a niche market in the design community after founding Bauer Clifton in 2007, where they were the first of their kind in Juneau, Alaska. When they realized they needed more options than what was available at the local lumberyards, they reached out to well-known brands around the world and opened their eyes to the potential Alaskan market. Thereafter they expanded Bauer Clifton into a firm and showroom. This was after disproving to large brands that there wasn’t enough of a market in Alaska and convincing others to adjust their minimum requirements to suit the low population in exchange for correct representations of their products. Bauer Clifton now caters to lodges in Yukon and British Columbia, Canada, as well as Seattle, Washington. They experience very little competition from other firms in Alaska and with what competition does exist, there is a respectable split between them.

Bauer Clifton’s designs primarily target kitchens and baths, but over the years have developed into full home remodeling. They replace many old materials with new ones and due to Jeremy’s background in architecture and Jason’s in design, they take a holistic approach to their work.

They generally work on twelve to eighteen projects at a time, which can be anything from room and paint consultations to remodeling a bath or home. The days between larger projects are used to work on smaller ones. They have other interior designers working with them as well and things are ever-changing.

How to Become a Junior Designer for Bauer Clifton

As with any job, previous experience from other jobs or internships is preferable. They usually look for college graduates who have worked at other firms before. They look for the applicant’s style, what inspires them, and whether they have experience working alongside others. A development of personal style and a clear thought process is looked for in the applicant’s portfolio. The applicant must also have a commitment to Alaska, for Bauer Clifton seeks long-term, reliable Junior Designers to be part of their team.

(Click the photo for more images of this project!)

Working together

Over the years, Jason and Jeremy have divided their work organically. Jason keeps in touch with the clients while Jeremy keeps up with the contractors. Jeremy’s technical background makes him enjoy working with contractors more while Jason’s creativity helps him work better with clients to solve design problems. Jeremy also takes care of the financial side of things, but he and Jason work together on marketing.

Bauer Clifton has always been a collaborative endeavor. It was born in their home office which gradually grew into a living showroom. They had remodeled the house to fit their style and it wasn’t until they hired their first full-time employee that they decided to move into a commercial office. From there, their professional lives grew and have been growing ever since.

A Place to Work and Stay

Bauer Clifton recently renovated and opened a 4,000-square foot former Blockbuster and made it into a mixed space with three residential units upstairs and three commercial suits downstairs. They occupy one of the commercial suits and rent out one of the residential suites on Airbnb. They took inspiration from high-design boutique hotels from around the world and wanted to bring that flare into Alaska.

The other commercial suits downstairs are occupied by Modality Therapeutic Wellness which is a collective of three established therapy businesses that operate under the same roof. This enabled Bauer Clifton to work with each of them individually to ensure that the space would be tailored to their industry. In fact, Jeremy and Jason had picked the businesses they wanted in their space before they began renovations in order to attract specific clients better.

Working with Vendors in a Remote area

The most challenging vendors Bauer Clifton works with are the appliance lines. This includes Thermador, Bosch, American Range (commercial and residential), and Bluestar. These brands hold terms and contracts with designers in order to be hosted in a showroom which have a high minimum which can be difficult to achieve in a market as small as Juneau’s. Bauer Clifton was able to convince these brands to give them a chance and have since met and exceeded those minimums.

Bauer Clifton’s showroom extends from flooring, hardware, and countertops to furnishings. They enjoy working with Showplace Wood for their flexibility of customization and cabinetry products. They also have Jaipur rugs and products from Cravt Original. All of the new lines are acquired using the same formula that was used to acquire the older ones.

The hardest part of working with vendors is finding brand representatives. It can be difficult to find someone who is passionate about Alaska, so Bauer Clifton looks for representatives who can make at least two trips to Alaska every year. They prefer that the representatives check in with them on every order so that both parties are kept up to date with any changes. Bauer Clifton also makes it a point to attend markets which enables them to meet with their representatives on a more frequent basis and develop closer relationships with them.

(Click the photo for more images of this project!)

The Benefit of Being Retail and Design

While Bauer Clifton could have survived in Alaska without a retail component, it would have been a greater challenge. They would have had to sacrifice designs because they wouldn’t be the ones to procure the materials necessary for the designs. Additionally, it provides a source for local designers and architects to draw from where there wasn’t one before.

Frenchie’s Floral Studio

Jason and Jeremy own a floral shop called Frenchie’s Floral Studio in addition to Bauer Clifton. The idea came to them when they realized Alaska was devoid of flowers that weren’t dyed or assembled in a grocery store and that they missed the abundance of flowers in their hometowns. The store was launched in July of 2016 and named for their love of French bulldogs.

Learn more about Bauer Clifton at www.bauerclifton.com and check them out on Facebook and Instagram. You may also find Frenchie’s Floral Studio on Facebook and learn more about them.

Chaise Lounge Updates

YOU CAN WIN A TRIP TO SPAIN!!!!?!?! Check out the rules here.

  • Upcoming Events

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

Atlanta Market – Jan 9 – 16

Dallas Market – Jan 17 – 23

Las Vegas Market – Jan 28 – Feb 1

Modernism Week – Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

172 – Hunter Kaiser + Randy Fiser

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Hunter Kaiser + Randy Fiser

Today in The Lounge, Nick interviews, Hunter Kaiser, owner of the interdisciplinary design firm, H K+C, followed by a chat with Randy Fisher, CEO of ASID. Learn about Hunter’s nonlinear journey to creating his own firm and his tips for growing and maintaining his business. Then stay tuned for updates on Randy and Nick’s collaboration at KBIS in January.

The Early Years

Hunter Kaiser enjoys a Saturday brunch, the local farmers market, and visits to the lake. As a child, he found himself often moving around. Then in high school, his parents built a home in New Hampshire and hired an interior designer. This was his first face to face exposure to interior design. Although he was interested in in the process, he wasn’t interested in pursuing design. Instead, he spent his first year in college taking science and math courses as a pre-med major. This all changed by his sophomore year when he transferred to Indiana University where he ultimately received his degree in Interior Design. After college Hunter worked at Grisworld, Heckle and Kelly, an architecture firm which has now been purchased by Nelson, and focused on corporate interiors in the financial sector. After working for GHK for 5 years, Hunter transitioned to a job in sales at Henrickson, an Allsteel dealer in Chicago, his hometown for the past 17 years. Upon leaving Henricken, Hunter spent an additional 5 years in furniture sales as an Architecture and Sales rep for Herman Miller. Then in 2011, with one client in the book, Hunter left Herman Miller to start his own company.

Although his path was somewhat nonlinear, Hunter credits his experience in furniture sales as the key to get him to where he is today. His career journey ultimately taught him how to run a business. At Henricksen, Hunter had the opportunity to be an entrepreneur but with the support of the company to back him up. Alternatively, at Herman Miller he learned how to cultivate relationships and how to quickly read an audience. He still utilizes these skills in the day to day operations of running his business.

Starting The Firm

When Hunter left Herman Miller in 2011, he walked straight into a design meeting for his new business. With a lean staff of 2, his company works both nationally and globally with clients in Australia, Paris and across the United States. Their main focus is restaurants, retail and residential, using a holistic design approach, graphics, branding, and client experience. In the beginning, the firm started out doing wedding events and designing store windows for clients. Working on weddings enabled his company to focus on lifestyle and experience. Hunter had control of everything from the look and feel to the floral arrangements. As the company expanded into retail and restaurants, they continue to maintain this holistic approach, curating the customer experience and focusing on the details.

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Maintaining Growth

Hunter attributes their continued growth to the layers of deep relationships they have built over the years. Reputation has been vital, as their design community is small. Not only is personal reputation important, but also the reputation of others within the design network. When a project is located in a city where the staff has never been, Hunter relies on his national network of designers to inquire about local contractors or installers, vendors and receiving warehouses for large deliveries. The strength of their reputation and consul provides him with trusted local contacts to successfully execute the project demands. He also credits speaking in front of people, networking, and social media to maintain a continual client base. Due to their continued growth and focus on a holistic design approach Hunter has rebranded his company from Hunter Kiser, LLC  to HK+C. In looking back at the last 5 yrs of business, he realized the team wasn’t just about him and wanted to celebrate all talents. The ‘Plus C’ responds to all the ways they add to the client: They are great connectors, collectors, curators, and creators.

In his many years of business, the biggest lesson Hunter has learned is how important it is for entrepreneurs to stick together. It is key to have a peer to peer experience as it is easy to feel as if you are on an island. Having a strong network where you can bounce ideas off of each other has been vital. It is also important to have a balanced mindset. Do not focus solely on operation and minimize designing, or vice versa. Remember marketing and creating must constantly be fervent and ongoing. Keeping a balanced mindset keeps everything in check. Also, look to software to keep the business organized. For example, to keep track of purchase orders for direct residential procurement, Hunter uses Studio Webware. It keeps them organized, tells them where money is and keeps the business clean.

To catch up with Hunter visit his new website www.hkplusc.com. Or spot him at one the upcoming design shows that he attends annually: HD Expo in Vegas, ICFF in NY, and Clerkenwell Design Week in London.

Randy Fiser on KBIS

Randy Fiser is the CEO of ASID. He will be podcasting with Nick at KBIS in Orlando this January. At KBIS, Nickand Randy will be at the ASID Pavilion co-hosting a session titled: “Designing for Impact”. This session will go deeper into health and wellness and seeks to bridge the gap between the impact of design and solutions that connect human beings to a space. Also in the Pavilion, there will be healthy snacks, exhibitors, and panelists such as Christine Abbate of Novita PR who will be presenting a session titled: “Getting your Stories Published for a Digital Age” and a session with ASID titled “Design Your Path with ASID.”

Chaise Lounge Updates

Be on the lookout for Randy in the Lounge in a new regular session on the podcast entitled  “Ask Randy.”

Also check out the blog post by McKenna Heck “So, You Want To Be an Interior Designer. Now What?” which focus on career paths and opportunities for future interior designers.

WHO WANTS TO GO TO SPAIN? Check out the rules here.

Resources

Porcelanosa, will be having a 40% off storewide sale from November 22 to December 2.

ASID Pavilion Join Nick and Randy at the ASID Pavilion during Design and Construction week at KBIS in January.

  • Upcoming Events

KBIS – Jan 9 – 11

Atlanta Market – Jan 9 – 16

Dallas Market – Jan 17 – 23

Las Vegas Market – Jan 28 – Feb 1

Modernism Week – Feb 15 – 25

Design Bloggers Conference – March 4 – 6

BD West – April 4 – 5

High Point Market – April 14 – 18

HD Expo – May 2 – 4

ICFF – May 20 – 23

NeoCon – June 11 – 13

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!

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