trade tales | Nov 19, 2021 |
Does your firm quiet down or get busier during the holidays?

Are the holidays a mad dash or a time to slow down? We asked nine designers—Rachel Cannon, Rodney Lawrence, Jennifer Markowitz, Hilaire Pickett Martin, Patrick Planeta, Nicole Salceda, Killy Scheer, Miriam Silver Verga and Georgia Zikas—whether this time of year is busy or quiet for their businesses.

Miriam Silver Verga
Miriam Silver VergaCourtesy of Mimi & Hill

Work hard, play hard
“Our goal is always to make our clients happy, no matter what. Last year, we had an install the day before Christmas Eve. We go as hard as we can to make everyone’s holiday dreams come true—then we rest. We give the whole firm time off between Christmas and New Year’s to recuperate. This year, my design partner, Hillary Kaplan, and I rented a house for our families in Punta Cana [in the Dominican Republic] to be absolutely present with them after this crazy year. We leveled up for our business, but we miss our families fiercely.” —Miriam Silver Verga, Mimi & Hill, Westfield, New Jersey

Rodney Lawrence
Rodney LawrenceCourtesy of Rodney Lawrence

Round-the-clock
“There really is no slow time in our industry. In the beginning of the year, we usually work on getting our clients’ homes prepared for summer. After the season changes, they will want us to work on their city homes while they’re away for the summer months. Then, there is always a rush as clients prepare for holiday gatherings and check off items on their to-do list before the year’s end. It’s typically a continuous cycle.” —Rodney Lawrence, Rodney Lawrence Inc., New York

Rachel Cannon
Rachel CannonCourtesy of Rachel Cannon

Plan ahead
“While we never hit pause on design work, we do notice a slight slowing of pace during the holiday weeks. I like to use that time to plan the following year’s agenda in terms of revenue streams and visibility for our firm. This year, we launched a private candle line and as well as a digital platform where we share design guides, fabric remnant sales and more, none of which would have been possible if I hadn’t made strategic plans for them in the late weeks of 2020. If your design production slows a little at the end of the year, don’t panic! Make plans to diversify your income streams for the following year so any dips in the market don’t affect you!” —Rachel Cannon, Rachel Cannon Limited, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Killy Scheer
Killy ScheerCourtesy of Killy Scheer

Calm before the storm
“We are wildly busy right up to Thanksgiving, then things tend to quiet down a bit on the communication side between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. We typically get fewer prospective client calls in January, but in February and March, we’re swamped with new calls and embarking on new projects. This year was different, though, as we were inundated with new client calls in January and wound up signing seven projects at the same time, which has been quite an adventure!” —Killy Scheer, Scheer & Co., Austin, Texas

Patrick Planeta
Patrick PlanetaCourtesy of Patrick Planeta

’Tis the (busiest) season
“It’s frenetic! The pace definitely dials up at this time of year with clients asking, ‘How can we get this done before the holidays?’ Clients are in high entertaining mode with family and friends coming to visit, and they want their homes ready, with construction items gone, punch lists achieved, lighting and furnishings in place. It’s a big push to schedule warehouse delivery time, inventory dips during the holidays, and everything gets emptied out at year-end. We do our best to communicate openly with clients to set expectations for a stress-free season. Our clients are everything to us, and we move heaven and earth to get it done!” —Patrick Planeta, Planeta Design Group, Boston

Nicole Salceda
Nicole SalcedaCourtesy of Nicole Salceda

Get it all done
“In general, there is a huge rush to complete projects before the holidays, so we are very busy up until then. Most clients want to enjoy the holidays without construction and chaos going on in their homes, so we try to answer any pressing questions before then. It’s also very important for all of us to reset and spend time with our families.” —Nicole Salceda, Eye for Pretty, San Francisco

Georgia Zikas
Georgia ZikasCourtesy of Georgia Zikas

A brief pause
“Our clients definitely travel more around the holidays, and we observe a week of shutdown between Christmas and New Year’s, but our consistent design workflow is such that we are quickly slammed starting January 2, so we work right up to Christmas Eve, then all relax for a week with our families knowing we’ll be back at it come the new year.” —Georgia Zikas, Georgia Zikas Design, West Hartford, Connecticut

Hilaire Pickett Martin
Hilaire Pickett MartinCourtesy of Hilaire Pickett Martin

Business not quite as usual
“Because the ability to meet our seasonal deadlines is out the window due to supply chain challenges, we are not experiencing the typical holiday rush this year. We are pretty much business as usual, and spending our time designing and planning for 2022.” —Hilaire Pickett Martin, Design Lines Signature, Raleigh, North Carolina

Jennifer Markowitz
Jennifer MarkowitzCourtesy of Jennifer Markowitz

A slight slowdown
“Most years, we are still plowing through the holidays with work. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is quiet, then things pick up again with everyone starting to think about spring and summer. I’d say summer is quieter than the holidays for us.” —Jennifer Markowitz, JNR Designs, New York

Stephen Young
Stephen YoungCourtesy of Stephen Young

Logistical backlog
“Usually holiday time is slower, as product shipments late in the year are often delayed due to reduced factory and freight hours. This year will be especially slow, with most vendors experiencing delays in all supply chains. But the holidays are a great time to hire a designer, so new projects can begin after the holidays are over!” —Stephen Young, Stephen Young Design, Chicago and Fairfield, Connecticut

Homepage photo: A project by Eye for Pretty | Courtesy of Eye for Pretty

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