Spring 2018

Spring is here!!

Worlds Largest Furniture Show/
Fashion Week For Designers

Off to Market! 

Spring: April 14-18

High Point Market Tour is sold out! We are on our way.  Market is very thrilling. Experience just some of the energy and excitement that makes Market Week the "fashion week" of home furnishings. We can all report back and share pictures for the newsletter. I will gather as much interesting information as possible to share with you - prepare to be motivated! You can also attend High Point without a tour. However, it's the largest furniture show in the world 
and can be a bit of a challenge so be ready. 

Send us an email if you will be attending.  support@dsasociety.org

Fall: October 13-17


What is High Point Market? Watch this video:


Happy Spring!

Natasha Lima-Younts DSA


Designer Society of America


                To Shop or Not to Shop 

In Today's Market…Does Shopping “With Your Client” Still Make Sense?

We're all pressed for time these days and work hard to use our hours as efficiently as possible. So do designers benefit from time spent on shopping trips or should they use their time elsewhere? That is the question Editor at Large recently posed to Sean Low, founder and president of the consulting firm The Business of Being Creative.

Unlike 20 years ago, clients had little access or knowledge about interior design inventory and what was available, and vendors would rarely deal directly with a client. Today, thanks to technology and the impact of design-related television shows, consumers are well aware of the vast array of inventory available to select from and are able to fairly easily source the items and services a designer would provide.

Designers must be clear with clients about what the shopping trip represents. Your design process requires acknowledging that there is a difference between collaboration and design. Collaboration is when a designer explores possibilities with a client without asking for a specific decision. For some designers, this phase is very short; for others, it's much longer. Those who use shopping trips as part of their design process fall into the latter category, according to Editor at Large.

Eventually the collaboration has to become design, at which point the client is no longer perusing options but is instead expected to make purchase decisions based on items presented by the designer. “For those designers deeply invested in presentation, without any shopping trips, this is an easy concept to embrace and is probably already implemented,” says Low. 

However, for shoppers the line is blurred. Designer and client could shop ‘til they drop in the name of collaboration, but there must be a transition to the design phase. Making shopping trips very specific, such as establishing beforehand whether you'll just be in discovery mode or purchase mode, can make them an efficient use of time. 

As the designer, your vision is what's most valuable and charging for your opinion makes a shopping trip a great tool in achieving the end result. Establishing a clear purpose for shopping keeps everyone on the same page and puts you in charge of the overall process.

Source: editoratlarge.com

Do You Need a Coach?

Not all Coaches Are The Same
Finding The Right Fit is The Key To Your Coaching Experience

Many Successful Designers Turn To Coaches 

Whether you are a newcomer to the industry or a professional with years of experience, hiring a business coach can be just the creative boost you need. Using a number of methods, business coaches can encourage you to work harder and progress faster than you would on your own. There are a lot of options for interior designers interested in receiving such input from coach and the range of coaches and coaching styles is vast. 

Based in Atlanta, Julie Silber worked for years as a Principal designer herself before recognizing

the value of her business practices and lessons learned that she could share with fellow decorators and designers. 

Today she runs DecorJoy, helping design professionals reach their full potential. 
“I specialize in working with designers fresh out of school ” she says, adding that she's also worked with seasoned professionals who want to streamline their processes or improve the way they do business. “So many creative types feel a little insecure on the business side.” 
Silber shares her knowledge in person, both with individuals, if requested, and through her Decorating Evolved Workshops. Among the skills she teaches are the importance of process, how to master client and vendor communications, and what to expect in the day to day of design.   

“Because so much of what we do involves project management, mastery of proper communication is crucial.” she says.
Workshop participants also benefit from the connections Silber can make between them and experts in the field.  She is also proud to offer an extensive vendor list, especially to new designers.  
“If you're new to the business, it can take you years to build up a really strong vendor list. That's one of the items I am proud to be able to turn over upon completion of the workshop,” she says.

 “Hosting the DecorJoy Workshop and mentoring new talent is my way of giving back to the design community. I love sharing my curation of “if I knew then what I know now” with new talent to help them avoid costly mistakes that can impact their confidence and reputation. I want everyone I teach to be the good guys out there!” 

Choosing the business coach that best fits your style depends on where you are in your business, says Silber. Some coaches offer really specific or sophisticated concepts and principals, such as maximizing profits―perfect for experienced clients but not for newcomers. 

“There's so many facets that we can really sharpen, but you kind of need to build that foundation first and that's what DecorJoy is all about,” she says. 

Sean Low, founder/president of The Business of Being Creative, has consulted for the likes of Nate Berkus and Vincent Wolf as well as a number of industry-leading architects. Low works with all of his clients one-on-one, customizing sessions to their particular needs according to where they are on their business journey. He offers services on two levels, one being mentoring sessions by phone and the second as more of a “virtual CEO” for his retainer clients.

“Sometimes it really is just for me to give my thoughts to their business,” he says of the mentoring calls. “Some come back to me in two weeks and some come back twice a year.”

The second service is a weekly hour and a half conversation to dissect every aspect of the clients business. “I'm not the marketing person in the sense of giving you strategy about how to get clients to show up at your door. What I do is focus on the business and the models that work based on the type of work the interior designer wants to do.”

Low engages with clients on basics such as how to answer the first contact, contract language, and processes as well as more advanced issues that a seasoned designer might face. That being said, while he might occasionally have a client brand new to the industry, his clients typically have at least four or five years of experience. 

“They have a sense of who they are, they've gone through some cycles, and they are able to really come back and say ‘Hey, this is what I need in terms of the energy I want to put toward projects and the kind of business I want to run,'” says Low. “They have a sense of it, and they come to me because they're frustrated that they're not doing it.”

For more information on services provided by both Sean Low and Julie Silver, visit Low's company via www.thebusinessofbeingcreative.com and Silber's www.decorjoy.net. 

Paying it forward


Designer Society of America has been instrumental in educating new designers.

While they are eager and educated, many are nervous about entering our challenging and exciting industry. Remember when you were first starting? Please email us a line or two with good advice for a new designer.


Send us a sentence or more about the turning point in your career that could offer them encouragement. We will feature your “Words of Encouragement” in our Inspiration series or new graduates.


Thank you in advance for Paying it Forward!



Subject: If Travel is Your Thing: Wanderlust is Now on Sale!

Headline: Feed Your Wanderlust with This Sale


Everyday Extraordinary Provence, May 15-22, 2018

Combine business with pleasure and expand your design horizons. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore Provence and all its wonders through a designer's eyes. We've put together a week of unparalleled textile education, including amazing design expeditions, craft & techniques, treasure-hunting and much more; all set against centuries of history, Provençal meals to swoon over and true design camaraderie.

Our trips are created, as designers, for other designers; so you'll experience Provence as a design insider with what has become all their tours' signature- private design destinations- to some of the best and most exclusive ateliers, workshops, studios, markets and shops in Provence.

Feed your wanderlust and secure your beautiful room in our amazing bastide, now on sale! But only for a limited time, so act now to bring on that South-of-France sunshine!

Claim your seat today and Save $500.  https://www.debbarrett.com/provence