magazine | Sep 7, 2022 |
How to start charging what you’re worth

Ready to step into your full value? Ten designers share how they shifted their money mindsets.

» Focus on what your business needs.
Throughout her career, Lauren Caron has had her hourly rate set by others. In the early days, it was the now-defunct Homepolish; more recently, the Seattle designer was tapped to offer hour-long virtual consultations on The Expert. Each time, she’s found that someone else putting a price on her work has given her a fresh confidence in her own value.

» Set a financial goal, then work backward.
After saying yes to a few too many projects amid the pandemic boom, Atlanta designers Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters are reassessing their definition of success—and what it will take to ensure their firm’s financial health.

» Get comfortable with your worth.
Since Nadia Watts launched her Denver-based design business in 2009, she’s established herself firmly at the top of the local market. The secret to her success? Bracing honesty, and confidence in the luxury service she’s providing.

» Start with the client’s budget.
Eschewing hourly rates or flat fees, New York designer Alvin Wayne simply charges a percentage of the total project budget for his design work. It’s a move that eliminates complications—and ensures that he’s in control of where to save and splurge.

» Own the luxury experience.
Los Angeles–based Jaqui Seerman worked for design greats Waldo Fernandez and Martyn Lawrence Bullard for nearly a decade before launching her own firm. Those roles showed her not only how to structure her business but also gave her an innate sense of just how much a seamless design experience is worth.

» Trust your gut.
Anishka Clarke came from Wall Street, while Niya Bascom had spent much of his career as a self-employed artist. When they founded their Brooklyn-based firm Ishka Designs, the duo knew what financial pitfalls they wanted to avoid.

» Design your business around the way you want to work.
After reimagining his firm with the help of a business coach, Los Angeles–based Kevin Isbell emerged with a new outlook on what matters most. Today, his business is expressly designed to support his desire to obsess over details, his shopping style and his sense of self-worth.

» Align your fee structure with your values.
Before the pandemic, Tennessee-based designer Chenault James began to yearn for a reset. As the lockdowns that followed gave her time to think, she established a vision and a set of values that have guided her firm into the future.

Homepage image: To counteract the often-gray Seattle skies, Lauren Caron dressed a client’s home in soft, feminine blooms that offer a modern twist on traditional English style. | Courtesy of Studio Laloc

This article originally appeared in Summer 2022 issue of Business of Home. Subscribe or become a BOH Insider for more.

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