The business of interior design is creative but it’s so much more than that. People frequently think it’s handling pretty fabrics all day, that it’s glamorous because it is an art or that it is a business they’ll start one day when they’re finished with whatever job they’re in now. And those people are so wrong. The smallest percentage of a designer’s time is spent on the creative, the actual designing of the space that includes the colors, fabrics, furniture etc. The rest is business.That would be administration, bookkeeping, solving problems, taxes, education, licensing, credentials, marketing, and attached to the creative part, researching, sourcing, estimating, ordering, solving more problems, tracking, scheduling, coordinating, overseeing workrooms and keeping the client informed and comfortable with the process every step of the way. And even more. I can’t promise clients that there won’t be any problems, many beyond my control, but I do my best to solve the problems so that the client doesn’t have to be involved or distressed by them. Doing all that behind the scenes frequently makes it all look seamless and even easy. Don’t be fooled. It is an extremely detailed business and every detail has to be tracked from start to finish.
It takes great organizing skills and business acumen which does not necessarily complement designers’ creative talents. But without learning, developing, and implementing the business skills there comes a point early on that an interior design business cannot sustain itself.
But there is also passion and that is really what makes a successful design business, the passion for the creative process, the passion for creating the best for each client and the passion for following it through to the best possible result for each client which includes all of the business skills required.