961 episodes

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well-Designed Business® is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 40 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc and Mydoma Studio.

A Well-Designed Business® | Interior Design Business Podcast LuAnn Nigara

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 722 Ratings

In today's world being a talented interior designer isn't enough to ensure that you have a profitable and successful business. Design school curricula doesn't always equip you with the business skills to have your interior design business be everything you imagined it would be! A Well-Designed Business® is here to fill in the gaps and give you real live business skills from some of the top interior designers. Your host, LuAnn Nigara shares her 40 years of success in the interior design industry, and she finds the most successful guests to share their interior design business best practices. This podcast is sponsored by Kravet Inc and Mydoma Studio.

    Laura Hodges: The Behind the Scenes of the Southern Living Showhouse

    Laura Hodges: The Behind the Scenes of the Southern Living Showhouse

    Today With Laura Hodges Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. We all know that Show Houses are big undertakings…but what if it wasn’t just one room—what if it was an entire house? Would it be worth it if it landed you in a major publication like Southern Living? 
    My guest today, Laura Hodges, recently designed the Idea House for Southern Living. And while she put in countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears, she absolutely believes that a show house can be worth the investment. Today, she’s here to share what it takes and what you can get from a show house experience.
    Pick It Apart:
    [5:25] Laura shares how she got started with the Southern Living show house, and what her responsibilities were.
    [14:34] LuAnn and Laura dive deeper into the ROI for designers and vendor partners participating in such a large project.
    [24:34] Laura shares more about the connections and partners she worked with.
    [30:30] Laura reflects on the importance of diversity in the design process.
    [37:00] Laura discusses the practical side of how she maintained her business while doing the show house.
    LuAnn Nigara and Laura Hodges's Ah-Ha Moments
    “We started with having the confidence to say yes to a major opportunity. But this is not for the meek of hard work. This is not even just doing a regular show house where you design one room, which is a monumental project to do.” -LuAnn 
    “It was really important to me that the design house was welcoming and accessible for a wide range of people, variety of cultures.” -Laura
    More About Laura Hodges

    Laura Hodges is an interior designer with a boutique design firm and retail shop in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. With a focus on creating beautiful spaces that reflect her clients' taste, Laura's signature aesthetic is narrative, layered, classically tailored and modern, featuring unique vintage finds and curated art. Laura is also a brand ambassador for the Sustainable Furnishings Council, working to increase awareness for sustainable design.

    Connect with Laura Hodges Website
    Website
    Cabinetry Collection
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara LuAnn University - Registration is now OPEN for the Winter 2024 semester!
    Watch the Docuseries!
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies! For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here: Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Audiobook: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2
    Connect with LuAnn Nigara LuAnn’s Website
    LuAnn’s Blog
    Power Talk Friday
    Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast
    Other Shows Mentioned: #908 Jessica Bantom: How to Be a Culturally Competent Design Activist & Why You Want to Be One (Part 1)
     
    #912 Jessica Bantom Continued: Take Action With the Six Habits of Culturally Competent Designers

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Power Talk Friday: Traci Connell: How to Take Calculated Risks in Your Interior Design Business

    Power Talk Friday: Traci Connell: How to Take Calculated Risks in Your Interior Design Business

    Today With Traci Connell  Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. On today’s sponsored show, Traci Connell, founder of The Gloss—a free online learning community for designers—breaks down her upcoming Mastermind program.
    She also walks us through her proven framework for overcoming money mindset blocks and learning how to take calculated risks that pay off in your business.
    Pick It Apart:
    [1:40] Traci and LuAnn discuss why money mindset is what truly holds most business owners back from reaching their goals.
    [11:13] Traci begins unpacking her RISK framework, discussing how important it is to view mistakes as learning opportunities.
    [15:21] LuAnn and Traci discuss why investing in your business and in yourself is a key to success.
    [23:48] Traci reflects on the value of knowing your numbers—and using those numbers to make smart business decisions.
    [39:05] Traci breaks down her coaching programs and how they can benefit you. 
    LuAnn Nigara and Traci Connell's Ah-Ha Moments
    “Our money mindset belief becomes a filter by which we consciously and unconsciously make decisions.” -LuAnn
    “I’m so passionate about numbers because I want you to take a calculated risk, and to me the three components to doing that are having time, having money, and having a team of great people.” -Traci
    “I had to find a way to set myself apart in order to become the expert and specialized and even charge higher design fees.” -Traci
    More About Traci Connell 
    Since founding her eponymous firm, award-winning designer Traci Connell is an expert in delivering tailored interiors that are as luxurious as they are livable. With her keen eye for design, space planning and art, Connell brings understated glamour and elegance to a vast range of high-end residential interiors, commercial projects, vacation homes and custom site-specific requests. Her inspiration is attained from her explorations of the world of design, travel, art, nature and culture.
    With a renewed appreciation for transforming homes into an ease of escape, Connell breaks through predictability with art curation, cutting edge technologies and custom artisan talents, weaving in special, unexpected elements into every design project. As one of the most trusted design firms in Dallas, she delivers an expertly perfected, streamlined system of service that simplifies and organizes the design process. Her impeccable eye for space planning and design, combined with the team’s in-depth knowledge of project management, proves invaluable for clients ranging from busy young families to empty nesters and those seeking vacation homes.
    Connell’s philanthropic work within the Dallas design community includes the Dwell with Dignity “Thrift Studio” fundraiser, a design project aimed to raise money to combat homelessness in the city of Dallas and surrounding areas. She is currently serving on the ASID Texas Community Board.
    Traci Connell Interiors has proudly been named a Kips Bay Decorator Show House Designer of 2021,  D Home Best Designer in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 and has been included on the Luxe Interiors + Design Gold List in 2018, 2020 and 2021. The firm’s work has been recognized in national and regional media publications including Luxe Interiors + Design, Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home, Modern Luxury Interiors, D Home and AD Pro among many more.

    Connect with Traci Connell The Gloss
    The Confidential
    Instagram
    Register for the Buy Wholesale for Profit intensive!
    A Big Thank You to Today's Sponsor: Today’s show is sponsored by The Gloss.
    Other Shows Mentioned: #525 Traci Connell: Take Your Business from Setback to Success
     
    #554 Power Talk Friday: Traci Connell: Buy Wholesale for Profit
     
    #909 Power Talk Friday: Traci Connell: Normalizing Wealth With The Gloss
     
    #950 Overheard: Insights on Hiring Exceptional People

    • 57 min
    Overheard: What I Wish I Knew Then: With Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso

    Overheard: What I Wish I Knew Then: With Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso

    Today With Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso: Today on the podcast I’m joined by Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso, for the second in our new series, Overheard. We’re taking a trip down memory lane and talking about what we wish we knew then—spilling the tea on times we’ve tripped up, and sharing the qualified advice and business-savvy gleaned from those tough times. Because whether you’re a beginning, rising or seasoned designer, there are always mistakes made along the way, but, more importantly, lessons learned.
    Pick It Apart:
    [9:02] Alex talks about the power of saying no.
    [16:56] Kate talks about why setting baseline standards is important, as opposed to creating the client expectation of going above and beyond.
    [29:57] Kate shares a cautionary tale about scaling.
    [40:38] Erika tells about how she learned not to spend her client’s money as if it were her own money as a luxury designer.
    [44:03] Jennifer shares her origin story and how it tested not only her business, but her marriage.
    [56:35] Alex explains the hard-earned lesson of assumptions—when it comes to your team and your clients.
    LuAnn Nigara, Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso's Ah-Ha Moments
    “If you find yourself in a position of not being able to define—if not your niche, at least your ideal client—then you might be in that pattern of the of the yes mode. And life gets a lot better, and the job gets a lot more fun, when you're able to identify your ideal clients.” - Kate O’Hara
    “When you're giving somebody something for free, they need to know about it.” - LuAnn Nigara
    “Document. Document. Document. Write everything down. And then don't just hold on to it, but make sure you share it, or it's in a place where it can be accessed [by your co-workers] if you're not available.” - Alex Alonso
    “If you want a business to scale, neither you nor anyone else can be irreplaceable.” - Kate O’Hara
    “You will arrive, but it may be via a different mode of transportation…I think keeping that in mind, prevents you from trying to model someone else's process and really staying true and authentic to making this business part of your lifestyle.” - Erika Ward
    “What is meant to be is meant to be, and that was always meant to be part of my journey. So I can't hide my head in the sand about it. I just have to take my lumps and move on.” - Jennifer Stoner
    “The larger you let your business grow into that, the more challenging it can be, I think, to steer a change, you know, the ship keeps getting bigger, it's a little less nimble now to turn and shift.” - Kate O’Hara
    “There really is no perfect business. There are stagnant businesses. There are struggling businesses. But I think that if you have an abundance mindset—if you're open, if you're self reflective, if you're proactive—then you'll always find yourself on a path that's going to serve you.” - Kate O’Hara
    More About Kate O’Hara, Erika Ward, Jennifer Stoner, and Alex Alonso

     
    Erika Ward
    Erika Hollinshead Ward is an acclaimed and published interior and furniture designer, distinguished as the visionary behind Erika Ward Interiors—a design firm and showroom celebrated for seamlessly blending contemporary and classic aesthetics. With a passion for crafting timeless interiors and fostering lifestyle and wellness, Erika has become a sought-after figure among both discerning consumers and reputable brands.
    Equipped with a robust background in business and finance, coupled with over a decade of experience in the interior design realm, Erika has emerged as a trailblazer in East Coast design, extending her influence to clients nationwide. Since the establishment of Erika Ward Interiors in 2006, the firm has experienced remarkable growth, leaving a trail of satisfied clients who attest to the team's meticulous attention to detail and client-centric approach. Impress

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Audrey Faust: Power Talk Friday: Building Wealth Through a Positive Money Mindset

    Audrey Faust: Power Talk Friday: Building Wealth Through a Positive Money Mindset

    Today With Audrey Faust Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. For today’s Power Talk Friday, I am joined by Audrey Faust of Faust Consulting. Audrey is an accomplished finance expert with an accounting degree, an MBA, and a NeuroCoach certification. She works with women entrepreneurs to take charge of their finances. Audrey’s clients build wealth through her non-judgmental space for learning and growth. 
    Today’s episode is not your average finance conversation. In addition to some other tips, you may be relieved to know that Audrey gives one main strategy for building wealth that anyone, anywhere, at any time can do. And that is to change your money mindset. 
    Pick It Apart:
    [3:10] Audrey explains why 80% of businesses that view their finances once a month are more successful.
    [12:49] How your employees can block your growth.
    [16:41] Audrey shares the first thing you can do to build wealth.
    [27:27] The importance of showing your kids examples of abundance.
    [31:08] Why your net worth is important in the process of building wealth.
    [42:38] Tactics to start building wealth.
    LuAnn Nigara and Audrey Faust's Ah-Ha Moments
    “Businesses are 80% more successful if they look at their finances monthly,” - Audrey Faust
     
    “What you focus on grows, whether it be your money or your wealth, it grows,” - Audrey Faust
    More About Audrey Faust

     Audrey Faust is an accomplished finance expert, dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs to take charge of their finances. Audrey holds an accounting degree, an MBA, and a NeuroCoach certification, Audrey has successfully built her own multi-million-dollar wealth through various types of personal endeavors and investments.
    She is committed to promoting financial literacy among women, she provides a supportive, non-judgmental space for learning and growth, which has led to clients achieving great success.
    Audrey's vision extends beyond financial prosperity; she encourages women to attain comprehensive wealth, encompassing monetary success, time, and ultimate freedom.
    She equips women with the necessary tools and wisdom to confidently build wealth. Audrey’s primary goal? To help women build genuine wealth and foster enduring peace of mind concerning their financial future.
    When she's not working, Audrey cherishes her time with her husband, their three adult children, a grandchild, and her three four-legged friends. She loves to travel between her homes in Northeastern PA and Southwestern FL, soaking in each place's distinct charm.

    Connect with Audrey Faust Website
    Instagram 
    Facebook 
    LinkedIn
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara LuAnn University - Registration is now OPEN for the Winter 2024 semester!
    Watch the Docuseries!
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies! For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here: Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Audiobook: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume 2
    Connect with LuAnn Nigara LuAnn’s Website
    LuAnn’s Blog
    Power Talk Friday
    Like Us: Facebook | Tweet Us: Twitter | Follow Us: Instagram | Listen Here: Podcast
    Other Shows Mentioned: AWDB #895: Power Talk Friday: Sandra Funk: The Millionaire Mindset for Interior Designers
     
    AWDB #913: Power Talk Friday: Terri Taylor: The Importance of Money Mindset in Charging Your Worth
     
    WTFP: #254: Jessica Harling: Confronting or Firing Family Members in Your Business
     
    WTFP 256: Jessica Harling: Firing a Family Member Part 2: 9 Tips to Make it as Painless as Possible

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Nina Parvaresh: Lessons Learned from Building a Global Interior Design Brand

    Nina Parvaresh: Lessons Learned from Building a Global Interior Design Brand

    Today With Nina Parvaresh: Hi, welcome to a Well Designed Business. My guest today, Nina Parvaresh, founder and principal of Concept-Me, is the definition of a go-getter. 
    After training as an architect in Paris, Nina began her career at the age of 23 by jumping foot-first into a full-scale design project in the Middle East, working primarily in Saudi Arabia and Dubai. 
    Nina has faced many unique challenges, including working in a male-dominated space in a male-dominated part of the globe, taking on projects for powerful families in the Middle East, and navigating cultural differences as she worked in various parts of the world. 
    And yet, in many ways Nina struggles with the same things that many entrepreneurs do—trying to break away from the grind to focus on becoming the CEO. 
    Today, she’s here to talk about the unique aspects of global design work, the importance of knowing your clients and understanding the market, and how she hopes to grow her firm.
    Pick It Apart:
    [0:27] Nina shares her story of starting her firm in the Middle East and the challenges she faced along the way.
    [06:55] Nina and LuAnn reflect on the importance of growth, learning, and evolution.
    [13:46] Nina shares how she found herself facing such a large-scale project with no experience at the age of 23.
    [17:36] Nina reflects on the mistakes she has made and the lessons she has learned.
    [25:48] Nina and LuAnn discuss what it takes to lead a large team and how to free yourself up as the CEO.
    LuAnn Nigara and Nina Parvaresh's Ah-Ha Moments
    “It’s a testament to tuning into your intuition and your gut instinct. So many times we say, don’t put a pen to paper until you get paid—and that’s usually right. But there’s a difference between going for it and taking a risk versus just laying down and doing something for free.” -LuAnn
    “This is not a job you can do individually. You need to be able to count on people as the years go by, and you need to be able to surround yourself with experts that are better than you.” -Nina
    More About Nina Parvaresh

     As an only child, I come from a family of strong women. With Persian roots, I was born and raised in Paris where I became an architect by training and made that my entrepreneurial pursuit. As a third-culture kid, I got to live in different cities from New York to Istanbul. This has engrained a global sense of belonging in me and fed my creative process of gathering inspiration. When I touched down in Jeddah at age 23, I was ready to grab the bull by the horns! I was excited about the opportunities I saw in the market and was hungry to make the best of it. My first project at such a young age is still one of my most important ones because it set the stage for what I’ve done since. So, in short, I remember the young excitement, the hungry ambition, and most importantly, the look on my first client’s face when I laid out my plans for their house on a 14-seater dining table and recognized that the designs exceeded their expectation!
    Paris has always been home, but I also lived in New York and Istanbul, which is by far my favorite city! After that, I traveled a lot but was based in Jeddah and Dubai. I have always been drawn to cities that have soul, character and an element of chaotic order. Cities make their character through their architecture and their people. The reason I chose Dubai as my checkpoint right now is its great energy, its being a hub of so many global people and its cosmopolitan appeal. I tend to grasp the energy of different cities and I am drawn to the stories they tell.
    As a boutique scale firm, my vision for Concept Me was to handle projects in a very holistic manner that takes the project from A to Z. Whatever we do is always focused on creating a unique personality for any space. Creativity is at the core of what we do, being able to bring life and soul to high-end residential projects. However, we also have a mission to be ‘client-centri

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Power Talk Friday: Sharon Lipovsky: The Power of a Clear Vision in Your Business

    Power Talk Friday: Sharon Lipovsky: The Power of a Clear Vision in Your Business

    Today With Sharon Lipovsky: Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. For today’s Power Talk Friday, I’m sitting down with Sharon Lipovsky, owner of Point Road Studios. Sharon aims to banish the world of limiting mindsets. Sharon has helped many interior designers attain their vision, including taking an aspiring interior designer from idea to seven figure business. Point Road Studios supports human development as a required step to growing both our influence and our bottom lines.
    Pick It Apart:
    [6:42] Sharon shares an example of her own experience making the mistake of working only towards the outcomes.
    [17:32] Sharon explains her process of coaching clients on how to obtain their “best thinking.
    [26:40] Sharon describes the “vision funnel” to get to your end goal. 
    [30:47] LuAnn and Sharon discuss the importance of listening to your inner voice. 
    [50:18] The importance of having a diversity of perspectives within your team.
    [55:05] How Sharon works with interior designers.
    LuAnn Nigara and Sharon Lipovsky's Ah-Ha Moments
    “When we lead with vision we can look to the future to get inspired and also look to the past to recognize how your story may be both holding you back and propelling you towards your vision.” - Sharon Lipovsky
    “To be able to take action we have to have our ‘best thinking’ of what our vision will look like. Use your vision, including the feelings you get from it, to make the right decisions to keep you on the right track.” - Sharon Lipovsky
    “There has to be space for you to recognize when your intuition has gathered the correct data, but also honor and recognize how and when to act upon it.” - LuAnn Nigara
    More About Sharon Lipovsky
    Driven by her personal mission to banish the world of limiting mindsets, Sharon believes that there is nothing stopping you. She leverages her champion listening superpower with clients to spark awareness, shift perspectives and energize the growth process. Her work is informed by her background as a sales and marketing executive, change agent and business owner.
    Sharon partners with clients ranging from tech-savvy startups and founder-led enterprises to globally-recognized brands and corporate powerhouses. What unites the leaders and teams she supports is that they are reinventing the way we do business. Point Road clients celebrate that focusing on human development is a necessary step to growing both our impact and our bottom lines. Together we really can do more than the sum of our individual parts.
    You can connect with Sharon every Wednesday on the Design Yourself podcast where she shares tips and inspiration for how to lead a well-designed life. As part of designing her own self, Sharon relocated in 2018 from her native Washington, DC to the Catskills of NY. You can read about her adventures in reimagining home in Dwell and the New York Times. When not stewarding the visions of her clients, you might find Sharon sowing seeds in the garden with her children, delighting in the creative cuisine of her husband or cold plunging with girlfriends.

    Connect with Sharon Lipovsky Website
    Instagram 
    LinkedIn: Point Road Studios
    Linked In: Sharon Lipovsky
    Design Yourself Podcast: Apple Podcasts
    Sharon's Home Features: NYT
    Dwell
    What’s new with LuAnn Nigara LuAnn University - Registration is now OPEN for the Winter 2024 semester!
    Watch the Docuseries!
    http://www.luannnigara.com/cob
    Get The Goodies! For checklists, resources, and extra goodies from A Well-Designed Business sign up for free here.
    To Get on LuAnn’s Email List, text the word designbiz to 444999!
    Purchase LuAnn’s Books Here: Book 1: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Audiobook: The Making of A Well – Designed Business: Turn Inspiration into Action
    Book 2: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts
    Book 3: A Well-Designed Business – The Power Talk Friday Experts Volume

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
722 Ratings

722 Ratings

lildantay ,

LuAnn changed my life.

Coming from a windy road of a career path, I didn’t know how to start an interior design business and wanted to make a shift. Starting from the very first episode, Luanne’s authenticity and transparency through her questions with her guest speakers taught me that anything is possible. There are helpful tactical takeaways from each episode that’s sprinkled into my business today and I am now on year 4 of a profitable, thriving interior design business. I contribute part of this to Luannes podcast. Luann is like no other… I’d call her the “Oprah” of the Interior Design industry!

construction2style ,

A Goldmine of Wisdom and Inspiration for Creatives and Entrepreneurs

I had the opportunity to meet the talented LuAnn at KBIS during our Contractor Coalition Summit a year ago. She is a breath of fresh air, a ball of energy, and just as authentic in person as she is online. And she brings this exact energy to her podcast. Each guest she brings in is a wealth of knowledge, sharing insights generously. It’s like hanging out with the most brilliant minds in the industry. For anyone in or into the home industry - this podcast is a goldmine of inspiration and practical wisdom! It truly is a Goldmine of Wisdom and Inspiration for Creatives and Entrepreneurs.

Ghfjjgcgjfcgcgjffgjc ,

A great experience!

Being interviewed by LuAnn for my first ever podcast interview was such a great experience and such an honor after being a big fan of her show for so long. I’ve learned so much from her show and love listening to other designers and business owners she’s interviewed and I’m hopeful that what I had to share helps at least one person who listens in!

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