trade tales | Dec 27, 2019 |
How does your firm kick off the New Year?

Whether it’s eating black-eyed peas or writing down resolutions, the start of a new year is often marked with special rituals. We asked six designers—Tim Campbell, Shelby Ames Steed, Darla Bankston May, Allison Babcock, Jonathan Bigham and Megan Winters—how their firms ring in the New Year.

Tim Campbell
Tim CampbellCourtesy of Tim Campbell

Chat Room
“We have a tradition where I sit down with my team the first week of the New Year and assess what went wrong and what went right in the past year as it pertains to clients, projects, prospects and the office in general. Everyone is invited to offer their thoughts, insights and advice. It’s an important time to reevaluate our company values, talk honestly about client relationships and assess how we performed as a team and as individuals. We are a small office, so I’ve found it's important to keep open lines of communication with my core players. Everyone is heard, goals are established and course corrections made if needed.” —Tim Campbell, Studio Tim Campbell, New York and Los Angeles

Darla Bankston May
Darla Bankston MayCourtesy of Darla Bankston May

Get it together
“We kick off the New Year by getting organized the first day back. It helps to ease back into working mode after being gone. We also sit down to discuss what we learned from projects the past year, what we can improve on and how we can use that for upcoming projects in the New Year.” —Darla Bankston May, Bankston May Associates, Houston

Allison Babcock
Allison BabcockCourtesy of Allison Babcock

Year in review
“In January, we perform an active client review. This entails making client to-do lists, reviewing all open orders and going over the project timeline. Though we are constantly reviewing open orders and deliveries, we like to hyper-focus on these in January, so that we have ample time to troubleshoot before project deadlines and installations. We much prefer to have an item waiting to be installed than to have the client waiting for an item after installation. With a system in place and a client who makes timely decisions, we are setting ourselves up for successful installations and happy clients.” —Allison Babcock, Allison Babcock Design, Sag Harbor, NY

Shelby Steed
Shelby Ames SteedCourtesy of Shelby Ames Steed

Take action
“I take time over the holiday to plan and evaluate my goals for the New Year and reflect on decisions that have been made (both profitable and not) throughout the year. I come up with two action words that set the tone for the year. For example, one of my action words for 2019 was ‘pursuit.’ I set a goal to pursue additional business opportunities within the creative industry.” —Shelby Ames Steed, Shelby Ames Interiors, San Antonio

Megan Winters
Megan WintersCourtesy of Megan Winters

Picture that
“My first order of business is to create my design inspiration boards! I collect spectacular images all year long, from equestrian magazines, fashion publications (there’s always a lot of Chanel), lifestyle shots and photos of my travels. Every year, I like to start off by surrounding myself with all my favorite images; it puts me in such a fresh, happy place! ” —Megan Winters, Chicago

Jonathan Bigham
Jonathan BighamCourtesy of Jonathan Bigham

Get strategic
“We begin each year by identifying a few key strategic initiatives that we believe will drive growth in the coming year. We assign one or two senior employees to each initiative, who work with our executive team to drive the [project] forward during the year. These initiatives are communicated across our company so everyone understands our goals for the year and who is leading up each. During our executive team meetings, we receive regular progress reports on each initiative and adjust our plan throughout the year. Obviously, company-wide communication is critical to making this work.” —Jonathan Bigham, Pembrooke & Ives, New York

Homepage photo: A project by Shelby Ames Interiors | courtesy of Shelby Ames Interiors

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