trade tales | Jun 4, 2021 |
Do you save profits for a rainy day or reinvest in your firm?

It’s something of a boom time for the interior design industry. With that in mind, we asked eight designers—Lindsay Anyon Brier, Demi Campbell, Rhonnika Clifton, Mark Cravotta, Holly Kane, Emily Mangus, Debbie Mathews and Beth Webb—if they’re investing extra profits back into their business or saving them for the future.

Rhonnika Clifton
Rhonnika CliftonCourtesy of Rhonnika Clifton

Looking at the big picTure
“My business wasn’t thriving in 2008 when we experienced the devastating recession, so I didn’t really experience the large and long-term effects of it, but now, to experience this pandemic while running a thriving business, I worry about the long-term effects once the world goes ‘back to normal.’ While my firm is currently experiencing an all-time high in projects, I am focusing on putting away funds in the event that once more people become vaccinated, they get back to other big-ticket activities like vacations. While I don’t believe that my business will completely decline, I am still very conscious of the need to save for a rainy day.” Rhonnika Clifton, RJ Clifton Designs, Houston

Mark Cravotta
Mark CravottaCourtesy of Mark Cravotta

Level up
“Both! There’s no substitute for cash in the bank, but good times are also the time to reinvest in the firm to create something that will take us to the next level and allow us to deliver even more to our clients and team—new digital design technology, new hires, office upgrades, to name a few.” Mark Cravotta, Cravotta Interiors, Austin, Texas

Demi Campbell
Demi CampbellCourtesy of Demi Campbell

Keep learning
“I am a firm believer in investing profits back into my business. I am forever a student, so I am always conscious of learning more about the industry. This includes attending both High Point Market and Atlanta Market, paying for professional photography, and learning about new design software. You owe it to yourself and your client to provide a service that is current and in line with industry standards.” Demi Campbell, Decor by Demi, Atlanta

Holly Kane
Holly KaneCourtesy of Holly Kane

Win-win
“I look at reinvesting in my business as a double win! With more resources available, our company can further support the tradespeople that breathe life into our designs and our clients’ homes. Our company collaborates with fine furniture makers, artisans and manufacturers that focus on superior craftsmanship, sustainability and ethical sourcing. When we invest in ourselves, we can better serve our partners and their communities.” Holly Kane, Holly Kane Interior Design, Montecito, California

Lindsay Anyon Brier
Lindsay Anyon BrierCourtesy of Lindsay Anyon Brier

Best of both
“We do both. We save profits to cover three months of overhead should something unexpected happen, or for future employee bonuses. At the moment, we are reinvesting in our company. We invest in photographing our projects as well as in press and marketing strategies. Our biggest investment to date is purchasing our new flagship retail shop and design studio. We felt the downturn in retail real estate in 2020 was the perfect opportunity to do so.” Lindsay Anyon Brier, Anyon Design, San Francisco

Debbie Mathews
Debbie MathewsCourtesy of Debbie Mathews

Balance training
“When my business is booming, I often do a little of both! I think it is always important to have excess funds stashed away should the unthinkable, like COVID, happen. I am fairly conservative and sleep better knowing my business is not on the verge of bankruptcy! I like to have several months of office overhead and expenses put aside in case I should become ill, injured, or need to temporarily close down. On the other hand, I also think it is important to reinvest in the business. I always have a wish list, like perhaps hiring another employee, new signage or marketing materials, a larger office space or print advertising budget. When I have excess funds available, I am more inclined to splurge on these wish-list items. Of course, it is always a balancing act. However, many of these items can pay great dividends and will be worth the investment!” Debbie Mathews, Debbie Mathews Antiques and Designs, Nashville, Tennessee

Emily Mangus
Emily MangusCourtesy of Emily Mangus

Stepping up
“We have chosen to invest back into our firm with website updates, professional photographs of past projects and upping our marketing game! It has also allowed us to pick and choose the projects we are truly passionate about accepting, which is a win-win for everyone. On a personal note, I also bought the set of Hickory Chair dining chairs I’ve always wanted!” —Emily Mangus, Emily Mangus Interiors, Roanoke, Virginia

Beth Webb
Beth WebbCourtesy of Beth Webb

Press cycle
“Business has been incredibly busy for us and we have made it a priority to invest in stellar photography of our projects and have them well documented for our portfolio, website, social media and public relations. We have also invested in a professional PR partner and hired a social media expert to help us update the website and our Pinterest activity.” Beth Webb, Beth Webb Interiors, Atlanta

Homepage photo: A kitchen by Mark Cravotta | Courtesy of Cravotta Interiors

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