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S23 E8 – Die-hard Designer John McClain

On this new week of the Chaise Lounge, Nick talks with John McClain of John McClain Design about passion, the power of marketing by being on TV and the value retail locations can add to a design business. 

245 – Shirry Dolgin and Toma Clark Haines: Eye for Design

Today in The Lounge, Nick catches up with Toma Clark Haines, The Antique Diva, and chats with Shirry Dolgin, an HGTV regular and owner of ASD Interiors. Nick and Shirry talk about getting into the interior design business and television fame.

83 – Vanessa DeLeon: Reality TV Designing Star

vanessa deleon and associates

Vanessa DeLeon:  Reality TV Designing Star

Joining me today in the lounge is my new friend Vanessa DeLeon, an interior designer based out of New York. A featured designer on the hit shows Restaurant Impossible-The Food Network, HGTV’s Generation Renovation, Designer Challenge, Bang for your Buck, Design Star, DIY’s Rev Run’s Renovation, Ice Loves Coco, and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing. She has made guest appearances on The Better Show, NBC’s Today Show, and is a contributing designer for Open House NYC. Vanessa had a segment on PIX 11 “Vanessa to the Rescue” and was a featured host and designer for You Tube’s Channel Spaces TV ” Your Place is a Deal Breaker”.

In my normal fashion, I start our conversation asking Vanessa how she got into interior design, where she tells be about growing up in her family’s furniture business.  No doubt this is where she learned her love for interior spaces and her drive to work hard. From there we talk about her experiences on numerous designer reality shows and the resulting effects on her interior design firm.

One of the biggest themes that came out of talking with Vanessa is how hard it is to build an interior design firm.  From the outset, a lot of people could look at her and determine that it is a lot of luck and good fortune.  In reality, if Vanessa had not shown up each day to figure out how to leverage each opportunity and maximize her exposure, she would not be sitting on a successful design business.  To balance out her abilities and her time, she had to find someone that would be present and action on her design vision on her projects.  Vanessa talked about finding that person in her right hand project manager Tim Davis.  As the business owners, we need to find those people that compliment and can do the things that we either do not like doing, or that we are not as skilled at.  Vanessa shared that she does not like to deal with the production side of things.  From my point of view, if she didn’t have a competent project manager, her company would not be as successful. 

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!

 

 

 

82 – Robin Baron: New York Interior Designer, TV personality, and ASID chapter President

Robin Baron Design

Robin Baron: New York Interior Designer, TV personality, and ASID chapter President

Live from New York City, your Nick May and Robin Baron in NYCHost Nick May interviews Robin Baron, and HGTV network star designer, on today’s episode of The Chaise Lounge.

A New York City girl, ‘born, bred and raised,” Robin states when asked how she became interested in Interior Design, “You know, it just is a part of my being, I’ve known since I’m a very young girl, maybe 9 years old, I started writing compositions for my grade school about wanting to be an interior designer and my equal passion was fashion design. I’ve always known it and actually started my career in fashion and then transitioned into Interior Design.”

Robin actually studied fashion and interior design simultaneously in school, starting her education on the east coast before transferring to UCLA to complete her degree, but leaned into a fashion design career after graduation. Robin describes to Nick her very first collection in fashion, and how she started her own business at just 19 and 20 years old.

“I moved back to New York, and the truth is, the fashion industry is a very tough industry, it’s a tougher business. I really started doing interior design because clients started to approach me to do their homes and their apartments. I was doing some antique dealing on the side as a hobby, and it sort of blossomed. What I loved about it was; I do have a bigger impact on people’s lives by working on their homes.” Robin describes as her transition from fashion to interior design.robin baron commercial

Robin Baron Design is a nice sized, full service firm comprising of 6-7 full time staff members mostly focusing on residential, with a small amount of hospitality and commercial design. Tune in to hear Robin tell Nick about the areas of the country she’s worked and the first growth of her interior design business. “Over the years, I’ve definitely grown, I have been bigger in the past in terms of staff, but I felt I had to make a decision ‘how big do I want to get?’ I really wanted to have my fingers on the pulse of every job.”

Nick asks Robin when she first felt the need to take on help, and how she identifies people that will be a good fit for the company, “I think you have to first define ‘what are your goals?’ because unless you know what you’re a goals are, you don’t know how to set a blueprint or a plan to get there. That also applies to who you hire and when you hire them. I wanted positive people around me, someone who’s jaded or negative does not jive with my own sensibilities, so understanding who you are and how you work is very important.”

Robin is the current ASID President of New York Metro which significantly impacts her schedule among other things in her business, “it’s a lot of extra work but it’s very rewarding.” Robin talks about her goals she had when she started in this position with Nick. Robin has been featured many times on television, “The more high profile you are, the more things come to you. I think this goes back to talking about ‘what are your goals?’ My goal was to do TV and to be a spokesperson and to be a little more public and so I’ve taken steps and done things to help prod that along a bit.” Be sure to listen to the show to hear Robin list a few of those specific steps that she’s taken to get to where she is today, especially with the TV roles. Robin talks about how her TV appearances have brought her new clients and how being herself in that role helps attract clients.

Robin attributes her success to “my positive attitude, giving 1,000%, which I know we all do, I give without expecting the same thing back and I think being authentic, being true to who you are and what your beliefs, and belief structure is and you know, working like a dog!” She also talks about how everyone defines success differently.

When it comes to time management Robin states, “It’s definitely a challenge on a day to day basis, and I do try to take it one day at a time. I try to give as full attention as I can to what’s in front of me. Often it’s the shiniest thing that gets my attention, and having a great staff certainly helps. They help me organize my time; sometimes they have to force themselves to be the shiniest thing!”

Nick and Robin discuss social media and marketing and specifically the power of video as a media for marketing. “We all have our marketing tools at our finger tips with social media, so it’s critical that we know our goals and we take what we do and make them work for us.” Nick talks about how to use social media creatively, and how you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to get yourself out there.

As far as what is next for Robin, “I’m working with an agent; I’m working on some licensing deals that are coming out soon, more TV and spokesperson gigs, among other new things that will be announced soon!” To learn more about Robin and see some of her amazing work visit www.robinbarondesign.com or follow her @_robinbaron on Instagram.

If you are interested in joining me up in Vail, CO next week, please register for the Vail Social Media Summit for Aug 2-3. If you are interested in posting a job you have in your design firm (you need an intern, a JR designer, a SR designer, etc) please visit our new Job Board for interior designers.  If you are looking for an internship in interior design, an interior design job, or anything related, see our open jobs.

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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