Interior designers from the Raleigh, North Carolina, region gathered at The Shade Store’s recently opened showroom on November 15 for a morning filled with lively conversation and networking. Business of Home editor in chief Kaitlin Petersen hosted “A Designer’s Point of View”—a panel discussion with local talents Don Ricardo Massenburg of Design Inkredible, Dana Waldron of Murphy Waldron Interiors and Heather Garrett of Heather Garrett Design. The conversation explored how the three designers have built their successful businesses, how they approach day-to-day operations, and the way they communicate their value to clients.
One of the most striking takeaways was how crucial the onboarding phase can be in shaping a client’s understanding of the design process to come. As each panelist explained, a designer’s earliest choices when delivering information often set the tone for how the rest of the project will unfold. Garrett and Massenburg outlined strategies to corral conversations into a single platform (Trello for the former, MyDoma for the latter) in order to systemize the workflow. Waldron, alternately, discussed why it’s so important for the client to understand from the start that flexibility is her number one priority.
Attendees had the opportunity to network while browsing the showroom displays of various custom window treatments offered by The Shade Store, pulling samples from its selection of more than 1,300 in-stock materials and discovering how they can collaborate with The Shade Store on projects anywhere across the country.
“A designer’s onboarding process truly telegraphs the value of their firm’s work—that’s why it’s absolutely essential to carefully assess the way you talk about your business from the outset of a project,” said Petersen. “I’m so grateful that Don, Dana and Heather were excited about the topic and ready to share their hard-won strategies. This was a group curious about different points of view, open to laughing over past failures and eager to learn from each other’s successes. It made for such a joyful morning at The Shade Store, which continues to foster community by bringing design professionals together for important industry conversations.”
“Raleigh is a new market for The Shade Store, with our showroom having just opened in late summer, and this event offered us an opportunity to make great connections with designers in the region, introduce them to our local team and give them a better sense of all the ways that The Shade Store can be a resource for their business,” said Kara Marmion, senior vice president of marketing and communications for The Shade Store.