5 Things I’d Do Differently If I Were Starting My Interior Design Business

        Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 49 seconds.

        Starting an interior design business is an exciting journey filled with creativity, inspiration, and a fair share of challenges. Looking back, there are several things I would do differently if I were to start my interior design business all over again.

        1. Invest in a Professional Website: In the digital age, your online presence is your first impression. I think this is the one I got right but I wish I had set it up sooner. Realizing that hiring a designer to create a website can be a significant expense when just starting out, consider using pre-designed templates. I built my own website on Pixieset (formerly FloThemes). Once you have a larger budget for a more customized website, I recommend hiring a professional to make your portfolio stand out and attract potential clients. IDCO is a great choice for this; they specialize in branding for interior designers, understand how to optimize your site for SEO, and produce gorgeous designs!
        1. Network More: Building relationships is crucial in the interior design industry. I would attend more industry events early on and join professional organizations to connect with potential clients and partners. This not only helps you to become more familiar with the latest trends and offerings, but it also creates more awareness of your brand. I suggest attending tradeshows such as High Point Market, NYCXDesign, and the Las Vegas Market to name a few. I was fortunate to attend Design Camp recently, a business retreat for designers that has enriched my business with a wealth of resources and knowledge. The highlight was connecting with a community of designers facing similar challenges. When I started my studio, no one told me it could feel like being on an island, so this community has been invaluable.
        Left: Jake Arnold was one of the key speakers Top Right: Finally met Christina from Sun Soul Style IRL Bottom Right: With Marie Cloud & Kia Davis
        1. Embrace Social Engagement: As I embarked on my design school journey, the sheer intensity of studio classes and work seemed daunting enough to overshadow the potential growth of my design blog and social media. In hindsight, I would have carved out time to continue updating my posts, perhaps even kick-starting a YouTube page that spotlighted student projects or provided insights into the life of a design student. This could have served as a platform to build an audience and nurture my brand. At that time, I chose to put the blog on hold and zero in on school and work, a decision that cemented my reputation as a seasoned working designer. But when the time came to launch my own venture, I found myself back at square one. Let me tell you, juggling self-marketing while steering a business is a challenging feat! So, I wish I had kept the momentum going, and it would have smoothly transitioned into autopilot mode.
        1. Hire Help Sooner: Starting a business can be overwhelming. I’d hire help sooner to handle administrative tasks, freeing up more time for me to focus on design and client relations. Whether this means bringing on an intern or hiring a VA (something I’m currently looking into) put simply, delegating tasks frees up your time and mental capacity to do more.
        1. Invest in Continuing Education: The design world is constantly evolving. To stay current on trends and continually improve skills, consider making ongoing education a priority. Joining an online community like the Interior Design Community is beneficial. Listening to interior design business podcasts, like the IDCO podcast, is an easy and affordable way to stay connected and keep up-to-date with the latest design standards. In regards to technical skills, I am grateful that our program at FIT emphasized the importance of hand-rendering, even though I initially loathed it. The image below is from a project at 24″x36″ scale from my first year in design school and was done in marker and colored pencil. This took a couple of weeks and all-nighters to complete! Needless to say, I considered it an outdated method of rendering and extremely time-consuming. Instead, I focused on 2D and 3D programs like AutoCAD, Photoshop, Revit, and Sketchup. Although these technical skills are crucial in the design industry, a decade later, I’ve come to appreciate the aesthetic of hand-rendering and recognize how special it is! I wish I had further developed that skill.

        Starting a business is a learning experience, and hindsight is always 20/20. But with these lessons, I hope you can navigate the path to starting your own interior design business with a bit more insight and confidence.

        Follow my business journey on Instagram on both my personal and business page!



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        April 3, 2024