From Day One of this business adventure, we have taken education and business development very seriously!  We are always on the lookout for ways to improve our process, make the AsterHouse Design experience better, more easily defined, approachable and simply fun!  As with any business model, we find our weaknesses greatly impact our daily operations and so we are always on the hunt for “the cure”!  When we first decided to head to High Point, a big part of our agenda was to take in as much information from the many seminars and workshops provided as our minds could possibly hold!  Here were our greatest take “aways”…

 

From Lisa Mende and Traci Zeller:

We learned the importance of making your social media presence work for you…by being sure it is communicating what you want to be heard saying!  So…action point…update and refresh blog to better reflect our “brand”…and I am pleased to report that this action point is just about to be in the “done” column!  Stay tuned for the fresh blog look!!

 

From Genevieve Gorder:

We smiled as she so honestly shared her HGTV journey…and inspired us to let the road lead where it may…and enjoy the ride!  (She also reminded a couple of disgruntled designers in the audience, that TV design shows are made for entertainment and are not intended to reflect reality…you don’t say?!)

 

From Lisa Ferguson and Kati Curtis:

lisa ferguson katie curtis

 

There were several take-aways from these gals that greatly impacted the rest of our time at market…the primary one being the decision to take on a couple of specific furniture, bedding and accessory lines.  The advice to stop spending so much time “shopping” really struck a chord with us as we began to consider how much time we spend going to larger cities to look at pieces, pick up fabric samples, mail fabric samples back.  We saw that if we could find the right furniture lines, with the right fabric options at the price point our clients would be comfortable with, we would be able to simplify the process for us and our clients!  So, the hunt for “THE” AsterHouse Design furniture line began…and we are soooo excited to share our fabulous new lines with you…stay tuned!!

And last but certainly not least, from Lloyd Princeton:

Lloyd Princeton, Interior Design Business Consultant

We went to one of his workshops our first day at market. (Funny story…we are in this historic old furniture factory turned into level after level of gorgeous showrooms.  We were served  these adorable, gourmet ham biscuits and mimosas…it was early in the morning and it was North Carolina, for goodness sake!  As we settled into our seats, we began to look around and realized we. were. in. the. wrong. room.  So, I grabbed all the bags, Amanda had the food and we hightailed it out of there…but somehow I totally lost her in the process.  She was just GONE…nowhere to be found.  So, I decided to head to the seminar, figuring she had already beat me there…no such luck.  I sat for the first 20min of the seminar wondering what to do…her phone was with me…how would I ever find her?  What if she was lost forever…that would be easy to do at market? So, I really didn’t hear much of that first session…until, to my great relief, she finally made her way to the workshop room!) We were so impressed by his presentation, we decided to take his extended session several days later.  And we were so glad we did!  From process to marketing, photography to billing, he covered so much our heads were spinning!

Each time we attend an intense business seminar (read this for a summary of another fabulous event we attended!) we are reminded that the fact that both Amanda and I are both “creatives” leaves alot of room for growth in our business prowess. That part of the gig just doesn’t get us very energized!  Accounting, letters of agreement, money, advertising…all VERY important to the success of our team…but seriously?  Give me some piles of fabric or books of wallpaper and I can forget all about deposits and spreadsheets in a nanosecond!  But we are committed to making the design process simple, fun, approachable and clear for our clients and Lloyd opened the door to new, fresh business ideas as he reminded us several times that we are not stuck with one particular method or approach…as we find the processes that work best for us and our clients, we will eliminate the ideas that are not working and build upon those that are!  And that was exciting to think about!

To say High Point was fabulous, would be a huge understatement.  We made new friends, met up with old ones, learned A TON, found another layer of who we are as designers and had a blast in the process!  We will be back…for SURE!!

labels: Inspiration