trade tales | Mar 19, 2021 |
Are you expecting a business slowdown post-pandemic?

While there were a few weeks of uncertainty at the beginning of the pandemic, many designers saw a boom in business once people started spending every day at home. But with vaccination rates rising, are designers anticipating that flood of new clients to slow to a trickle? We asked nine designers—Regina Correa, Sarah Goesling, Kirsten Krason, Kate Lester, Tamara Magel, Erin Morgan, Sarah Stacey, Marlaina Teich and Maria Viola—to share their thoughts.

Regina Correa
Regina CorreaCourtesy of Regina Correa

Newfound importance
“I am not anticipating a slowdown in projects. One thing that really surprised me during this pandemic is how people have decided to update their interiors. At first, I figured they would hold off because of the uncertainty of it all. As for those who haven’t done anything yet, they will definitely do something once we move back to a sense of normalcy. By now, many have realized the importance of cozy, nurturing interiors. Also, since a lot of people have bought new homes during the pandemic, they will address their interiors once things normalize.” —Regina Correa, Studio Riche Designs, New Orleans

Maria Viola
Maria ViolaCourtesy of Maria Viola

Party time
“While no one can predict the future, it is probably a safe bet to assume that once people can start spending money on travel and entertainment again, some of their dollars will move away from home design. However, people are also going to want to start hosting events in their homes, which is something they have not been able to do for quite some time. So, while right now most designers are seeing a high percentage of renovation and new build projects on their docket, this may eventually convert to more of a focus on refreshing interiors than rebuilding them. Since we have always had a foot in both of those worlds, we can be agile and adjust to those changes accordingly.” —Maria Viola, Viola Interior Design, Philadelphia

Sarah Stacey
Sarah StaceyCourtesy of Sarah Stacey

“It might slow down some, but not too much—at least not in Austin. Things are booming here and have been for some time, and I don’t foresee this slowing down, especially with so many of us finding the value of our homes more than ever before. I think a lot of people will continue to work from home in some capacity post-COVID, as well, because we are realizing that working full-time in an office isn’t completely necessary and functional.” —Sarah Stacey, Sarah Stacey Interior Design, Austin, Texas

Kirsten Krason and Erin Morgan
Kirsten Krason and Erin MorganCourtesy of House of Jade Interiors

Promo time
“We do anticipate that there could be a slight slowdown in business, especially as travel picks back up through the summer. The last year has been very good to us, and we have stayed very busy, which means we will have amazing projects to be promoting, which will in turn hopefully get us continued work!” —Kirsten Krason and Erin Morgan, House of Jade Interiors, Salt Lake City

Sarah Goesling
Sarah GoeslingCourtesy of Sarah Goesling

A permanent change
“Personally, I can’t imagine sustaining this pace for much longer. With the world opening back up, I’m sure that people will once again be traveling and putting their funds elsewhere. But I do feel strongly that this last year has taught people to appreciate the space around them. It’s given our clients a newfound appreciation for their homes and highlighted the importance of personalizing your environment. So while I do expect things to slow down a bit, I think that COVID has changed our industry forever, for the better.” —Sarah Goesling, Goesling Group, Chicago

Tamara Magel
Tamara MagelCourtesy of Tamara Magel

Bright future
“Since we are fortunate enough to be in two extremely booming areas, the Hamptons and Palm Beach, most of the projects we recently started should last for the next two years, and financially, these clients are actually doing better than ever. I think we’ve also seen a long-term shift that will not change, like using our houses in new ways. I anticipate that our business will stay important for some time.” —Tamara Magel, Sag Harbor, New York

Kate Lester
Kate LesterCourtesy of Kate Lester

Roll with the punches
“I used to work in the world of corporate finance, and there, I learned to always run my business lean and market like the phone isn’t ringing. This means that when things are busy, like right now, we work harder and put in longer hours as a team, and then if things do slow down, we are not letting go of excess staff or having to rethink unnecessary expenses. Another expert piece of advice I received from a mentor was to always have six months of cash for expenses in the bank. This will allow you to sleep at night and formulate a pivot strategy if things do unexpectedly slow down.” —Kate Lester, Kate Lester Interiors, Los Angeles

Marlaina Teich
Marlaina TeichCourtesy of Marlaina Teich

Make me over
“The residential design side of our business was extremely strong pre-pandemic, and we’ve been in the fortunate position of waitlisting and even turning down projects mid- and hopefully post-pandemic. The other side of our firm is focused on commercial work. We recently completed a medispa and a beauty salon, and we anticipate that line of business continuing to ramp up as the world reopens. People will be flocking to the salons and spas, getting ready to go back out into the real world again!” —Marlaina Teich, Marlaina Teich Designs, Merrick, New York

Homepage photo: A project by Kate Lester | Photo by Lauren Pressey

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