Editor’s Note: Fernando Rodriguez of Aaron Stewart Home (ASH) and Stewart Rodriguez is the newest blogger on furniture, lighting, and decor. Join him as he shares the best of his practices in the interior design business and home furnishings retail business, and what he’s learned along the way with his partner Aaron Stewart.
how it all started
When I started my interior design business six years ago, I never imagined that an interior design business would require so many abilities and skills. Of course, there are basic interior design skills that we all have and gained from design school and personal experience. But what about tenacity, resilience, tenacity, analytical skills, organizational skills, management skills, sales skills, to name a few?
I wish I had a magic wand when I started to see my future path. Or I wish I had someone who could give me advice based on their personal experience in starting a company. The interior designer of 2019 is very different from the interior designer of the 1960s or his ’70s. why? Because our profession continues to evolve, advance, and grow. It’s thrilling. But it can also be daunting.
So many skills, so little time
It is impossible to master so many skills, some of which are more complex than others. In 2019, entrepreneurs need a high degree of discipline, vision, and initiative. Before Stewart Rodriguez, I was living in New York City and working for a very well-known women’s fashion brand. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from working for her was the importance of building a “best in class” team and surrounding yourself with people who know more than you. The humbling reality is that we are not experts in every area of business.
The ability to visualize a space and decide what furniture to place in a room may come naturally to you. Why not deal with the pressure of creating the perfect Instagram board? I’m always looking to see how other designers manage their finances, manage their day’s work, or create an inspiration board. I’m interested in the best way to manage projects ranging from installations to installations.
How do you present and sell your services during presentations to potential clients? We’re not all born to be great speakers. Indeed, you may be one of the lucky ones who can sell your passion for a project. But what about those who are a little nervous about presenting in front of large groups or executives? Are they charging enough for their services? Wondering how other designers are doing? I often wonder.
Sometimes I wish I had a mentor or colleague I could turn to for advice and direction. When I first spoke to Diane Falvey, Furniture, lighting and decorationsEditor-in-Chief, it was clear that this blog was rich in articles about trends, color stories, and new product designers. But what about a place where we can all learn about the intricacies of the many business skills our jobs require? Our days are long and filled with client meetings, but then we have time to visit construction sites and call vendors to find out when furniture is expected to arrive. Time is precious, but at the end of the day you don’t have much left.
break down silos
Interior designers typically work in silos. This means people, teams, and companies working towards the same goals, often in close proximity, but also using their creative drive to share information and address concerns about other people’s challenges. There’s nothing to deal with. This happens in every profession, but in our profession it tends to be a big problem, especially in smaller markets.
I’m always interested in learning how people stay on top of their game. How can I be successful in my work? How do you stay relevant? How do you continue to learn and master all the different traits you need to be successful?
The purpose of this blog is to share best practices and daily habits that will help you as a business owner. At the end of the day, we all want to be successful and be the best for our clients and our teams. This series covers a variety of topics critical to business success, from team management to the art of selling services.
Please feel free to submit suggestions for topics you would like to read about in future blogs. My aim is to create a safe platform where we can learn from each other and share as much as we can. Because at the end of the day, you need mentors, industry friends, collaborators, and experts to take you and your interior design business to the next level. .