By the time Linda Hayslett enrolled in design school, she already had a decade of experience working in fashion—a journey that scratched her creative itch but left her at the mercy of strict bosses and oppressive corporate structures. While she’d worked for celebrities and at high-profile magazines, she finally decided that in her interior design chapter, there was only one person she wanted to work for: herself.
“I knew when I went back to school that no matter what happened when I got out, I didn’t want to work for a firm. I had worked in corporate long enough, and I just knew I couldn’t work for other people,” Hayslett tells host Kaitlin Petersen on the latest episode of Trade Tales. “I just said, ‘If this is my second career, this is the time—I need to have my own business after this is over with.’”
Hayslett let her mission of owning her own firm guide her time in design school and the following years. While completing freelance work for established designers, she took note of business operations she liked—and in her off-hours, she made a point to connect with individuals from all aspects of the home industry (including realtors, subcontractors and house flippers) to get a firm grasp on every area that would intersect with her future business.
Eventually, a friend connected her with the client that changed everything. After Hayslett successfully completed a redesign on their condo, the client realized they needed a bigger space. When the residence hit the market, it drew in a shocking influx of offers—more than half of which were over asking price—and inspired the client to tap Hayslett to design her next property. “It was an eye-opener to see like, Wow this could really make an impact not only on people’s lives, but it can also give them money back,” says Hayslett.
On this episode of the podcast, Hayslett shares a few of the practices she’s implemented while running a design business on her own terms—including how showing clients design options at different price points helps them understand the cost of her services, why overseeing the construction process leads to more trusting clients and why building a stable team is a top priority for her firm’s growth.
Listen to the show below. If you like what you hear, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. This episode was sponsored by Universal and SideDoor.
Homepage image: Linda Hayslett | Courtesy of Linda Hayslett