Are you struggling to grow your interior design business? Are you looking for ways to be more profitable while keeping your clients satisfied?
If this is you, you will love my conversation with one of my colleagues in the Sacramento area. Cathy Tonks’s career path from bridal consultant to thriving interior designer is a testament to resilience, eagerness to learn new things, and creativity.
She shares the secrets to a thriving interior design business, from finding your niche to joining a designer buying group and forming essential partnerships.
Join us today as we guide you towards embracing collaboration, mentorship, and continuous learning, empowering you to create remarkable spaces and a thriving interior design business.
Why you’ve got to check out today’s episode
- Discover ways to pivot and grow your interior design business
- Learn how to leverage designer buying groups and develop a profitable business model
- Take the first step towards growth by seeking mentorship or joining a design group, and embracing collaboration
About the Guest:
Cathy’s love for design, color, fabrics, and texture stems from her first career of 16 years in the bridal industry. To her surprise, when she and her husband launched a construction company, a whole new world opened up for her and she decided to return to school to obtain a degree in Interior Design.
In 2005, she opened her firm Designs With You in Mind INC, specializing in design-build projects. Kitchens and baths were her passion and she was able to use her experience in the construction industry to her advantage.
In 2009, Cathy partnered with a designer buying group that has access to a showroom with premiere materials and extended resources. The group, made up of other interior designers, has given Cathy the opportunity to mentor members and encourage them to grow their businesses and be profitable.
Cathy’s superpower is managing her team to help her create spaces that bring out the best in her clients. She has a passion for creating spaces that reflect who they are and the way they live. She is grateful for the gifts that have been given to her that allow her to have that vision.
Check out these episode highlights
02:33 – Cathy’s love for design started at a young age, and she pursued it through various jobs, including bridal consultant and construction
05:13 – The similarities between the bridal industry and the interior design industry
Connecting with clients through communication and mediation is very important to create personalized designs
06:29 – How her design group – Distinctive Design Group, an Interior Design Co-op for independent designers – works
09:00 – Cathy doubled her income and became a partner in the design buying group
12:23 – How she pivots and grows her design business
Listening to podcasts and being open-minded to learning new things or new software technology
Having a good coach/mentor to avoid common mistakes
Joining a group or community of like-minded individuals
Making time to implement new learning
15:05 – The challenges and benefits of delegating tasks and relinquishing control to employees
18:37 – The challenges of managing a growing business, including hiring employees and tracking time
20:38 – Cathy’s advice to a designer who’s starting out
Find your people to learn how to navigate the industry
Find a mentor who can show you how things are done
Join buying groups like the Distinctive Design Group to learn how to be profitable
Take the QUIZ!! Find Out What Type of Interior Designer You Should Be!
Grab your freebie:
Join the Design Mentor to kickstart a successful career in interior design!
Check out the best books every interior designer should have here.
Email me at [email protected] if you have suggested topics
DM me on Instagram at @rwarddesign if you have a burning question
Leave me a rating and review! Click here.
Thanks for listening! I hope this helps you discover if interior design is the career for you. See you next week…