Peggy Haddad always knew she wanted to be a businesswoman. With a Type A personality and a knack for numbers, a career in accounting was a no-brainer. While she took the lead on dorm-room decorations and first-apartment design plans over the years, design was just a creative hobby. When her young family moved into a fixer-upper, she had every intention of hiring an interior designer to transform her own home—until she made a few calls and realized just how expensive full-service design could be.
Instead, she took on the job herself—and found that she enjoyed working with contractors and leading the overall design process. When the project was completed, friends flocked to Haddad to request her services—and for a moment, it looked like a career as a full-service interior designer was in the cards. Still, she was struck by the fact that not everyone with a limited budget could bypass professional design services and get the same results she did. Plus, she was looking for a way to stay home with her young children while fulfilling her ambitious entrepreneurial side.
“So many people—no matter what their financial situation is—really struggle with decorating their house,” Haddad tells host Kaitlin Petersen on the newest episode of the Trade Tales podcast. “It doesn’t have to be a luxury service; there has to be another way to help people build a home that they really enjoy being in.”
To fill that gap in the market, Haddad launched a design firm that offered only virtual designs, often for less than $1,000 per room. By shaving off the costs of full-service design—namely, the in-person elements of the process, plus time-intensive order management and installation—she discovered she could reach a wider client base while still providing the personalized services that would give her a leg up on similar offerings from larger retailers.
In this podcast episode, the designer discusses the tech tools that helped expand her clientele, why sharing her work with social media followers who can’t afford even her modest fees is an essential part of her business ethos, and how the pandemic has changed client behavior.
Homepage image: Peggy Haddad | Courtesy of Peggy Haddad