Blueprints

Small Business. Driven by Design.

A Textbook Case

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“Each student is a puzzle,” explained Erin Robison, Program Manager at Hammer Prep School in San Diego, California. “You have to find your best match from your tutoring staff, someone who can tailor his or her approach to the way that student learns. It’s challenging and it’s fun.”

What has also been challenging, but not very fun at all, has been dealing with the company’s old laser printer. Hammer Prep, founded in 2002 by Stanford economics major Andrew Hemmerich, provides one-on-one academic tutoring, ACT and SAT test preparation plus admissions essay coaching. That makes Robison, as both program director and operations manager, a very busy woman who needs the equipment in her office to work well. So when Epson offered Hemmerich a chance to beta test one of the new EcoTank™ office printers for an extended period of time, they jumped at the chance.

The top of the line model of Epson’s EcoTank lineup, the new Epson WorkForce® Pro WF-R4640 EcoTank all-in-one, comes equipped with very high-capacity ink packs that are true workhorses. These ink packs are so high capacity that, eight months and thousands of printed pages later, Hammer Prep has yet to replace one.

The school’s 23 educators work with the students’ textbooks or classroom materials, but often supplement them with exercises they create on their own or find in the company’s library of commercial textbooks. The EcoTank printer has been helpful in encouraging tutors to share the materials they create with one another. Until they received the EcoTank printer, tutors would have to ask for assistance to scan or copy materials, because the old printer was simply too slow and hard to use. Hammer Prep keeps a computer next to the WorkForce Pro printer, so if a staff member wants to scan a document, they open the easy-to-use Epson scanner app, save the file to their own computer over the network, or email it where they wish. “It’s all very simple,” Robison says.

Even simpler is the ease of printing, something that is a drastic improvement from the laser printer they were using previously. Instead of needing a CD-ROM to install the print driver on every device, the Epson driver loads automatically from Windows 7, 8 or 10, and no driver is needed with Apple computers or mobile devices equipped with AirPrint™. And visiting students and other guests enjoy the ability to use Epson Connect to print directly to the EcoTank from Android™ and iOS devices.

The final nails in the old laser printer’s coffin include high quality, low cost and reduced maintenance. Robison and her colleagues are amazed by the print quality on the EcoTank, which are better than what their old printer produced, and eliminates the need for employees to drive to an office store or print shop for the best output. As operations manager, Robison is not missing the need to order, store and dispose of old cartridges, boxes and the additional packaging that comes with most business printer upkeep.

Hammer Prep prides itself on helping students overcome challenges, and now the new EcoTank printer has helped the business overcome one of their own. “We love it,” remarked Robison. “Nothing was ever as easy as it is with this printer. At this rate, we may never need to go back to that old laser printer.”

High Point Market: Design Trends for 2016

Cropped HeadshotTwice a year, the quiet town of High Point, North Carolina, is transformed into the center of the universe for the Residential Design trades. A “good show” during the week of High Point Market (@HPMarketNews) can make or break your year (or your entire Small Business) in terms of product orders, design direction and ongoing sales relationships.

For this, my second High Point Market, I was invited back as a social media influencer to network with retail owners, interior and furniture designers, to review hundreds of new color trends and collections, and to make valuable product inroads for our Epson printers, scanners, projectors, and home entertainment lines into these imaging-rich markets.

Each year, High Point Market selects globally leading designers, media and trade influencers to serve as “Style Spotters” to host educational panels, networking events and design awards throughout the HPMKT show.

I sat down with one of this year’s 2015 Style Spotters, Arianne Bellizaire, a renowned interior designer, small business owner, blogger (and mother of two!) from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to talk shop and get her thoughts on the Fall ’15 HPMKT show.

Q: What did you think of the Fall show?

A: It was a little hectic, in terms of trying to be in as many showrooms as possible—as a Style Spotter, it’s my responsibility to be the eyes on the ground. I really enjoyed not only being able to connect to the showrooms and the brands, but to see what was new and up-and-coming and to project what I foresaw to be the upcoming trends in the future.

Q: And what did you spot as the upcoming trends of next year?

A: I’ve noticed that there’s a real focus on artisan pieces and craftsmanship, with the materials and the process ensuring that it is a piece of art in itself.

There was also an incorporation of natural materials, like gemstones and geodes, limestone and onyx. I’m sure we will see this nod towards natural elements continue in the future. Although I saw these materials as accents in case goods (tables, credenzas, chests of drawers), I loved seeing them incorporated into lighting—chandeliers and lamps. It can be a bit over-the-top, but it’s a great way to give a room that extra sparkle. They’re also pieces that can be easily changed out when the trend passes.

Q: What new technologies are influencing or empowering you as an interior designer?

A: It was my privilege to be invited to a 3-D printer demonstration, where they installed the first ever bathroom fixture to have been designed and created on a 3-D printer. I get so excited when I see technology that will allow us to have crazy ideas and hold a model in our hands before fabrication—it’s truly amazing.

But mobile technology is important too. I can capture images and transpose them onto a photo of a room to see what they’ll feel like, or I can catalog them in Evernote for managing projects on the go. It’s so wonderful to be able to pull together a photo of the room and inspiration images to put in front of a furniture designer, like John Strauss, who can then create a customized piece based on the shape, size and accents I need. That’s the beauty of technology.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration—from websites, social media or magazines?

A: I usually get a lot of inspiration from both High Point Market shows, honestly, being able to see the vignettes and feeling the energy. I also go old-school non-technology—I love coffee-table books from designers, as they usually write about how they came up with the concepts for their clients.

As for online, I look at Instagram more than Pinterest. Instagram is very visual; I follow a lot of designers and I like seeing their process. The important thing to note is that many of the photographs featured on websites like Houzz.com and Pinterest, are already a few years old, so you want to be careful to understand where the elements used in that space are on the “trend curve.”

Q: So if your client brings you their Pinterest page of inspiration, how do you deal with that?

A: I look for the color palette and elements in the room. One of the hallmarks of my business is to bring my clients sophisticated spaces that are also timeless. If they want trends, I show them how to incorporate them in a way that’s easy to fix, change or move, should they go out of style. I like for my designs to be current, but always timeless. That will win you every time.

Q: What are your biggest challenges as a small business owner and interior designer?

A: In this business, you go through certain phases. The first phase is when you’re just starting out, and you’re so hungry and need a portfolio, you’ll just take any job you can. It’s a painful phase because you’re not making any profit. But my mentality is that everything is a learning opportunity, which I used to figure out whom I did and didn’t want to work for.

One of the most challenging things about running a small business is that when you get clients, but you have to wear so many hats—you don’t have a PR person or a marketing team to promote you, or an assistant to go over the contract with the client. You have to do it all yourself. At the same time, you have to build your credibility with your peers, make appearances and go to the conferences.

As an interior designer, there’s also the challenge of educating the client, calibrating and setting the right expectations. You have to be very open and honest about how the process works, and they’ll give you their trust. By the end of that process, the client knows that I create highly functional, beautiful spaces, but what it looks like will depend on what they like.

To see Arianne Bellizaire’s work and read her design blog, visit her website at www.InspiredToStyle.com. The next High Point Market is April 16-20, 2016.

 

 

 

Swimming in Success

Epson’s September 24th “Swimming in Ink” event in Times Square was a truly unique, high-energy happening developed to showcase the transformative marketplace potential of Epson’s innovative, new EcoTank printers – printers that come loaded and ready with up to two years of ink in the box1.

When the green light was given to build a 17,000 gallon, CMYK-colored, see-thru swim tank; get approval from the City of New York to place it in Times Square; and get the U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team to execute a series of original performances, we knew we were heading towards something monumental. Add to that a massive printing tent filled with EcoTank printers, photo opps for fans with the athletes – printed, of course, on EcoTank printers — and not one, but two celebrity guests.

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“Swimming In Ink” was held in Duffy Square, adjacent to the iconic TKTS Booth. Folks had the opportunity to visit the Printing Tent, which featured a range of EcoTank printers in action, and guests were invited to print from their mobile devices. On the other side of the tent, guests were taking pictures with U.S. National Synchronized Swim team members – some of which were featured on several billboards in Times Square, in addition to live streams of the performances and EcoTank product information throughout the day. And, those who visited one of 16 Staples stores in the New York area were able to print all they wanted for free, courtesy of our partner Staples.

If the centerpiece of “Swimming In Ink” was the tank, then the heart of the event was the U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Team. Their performances were coupled by four beautiful custom swim suits, swim dresses and bolero jackets which were designed by Triflare, the official designer of the USA Synchro suits, and printed on Epson SureColor F-Series printers.

US Sync Swimming for Epson

US Sync Swimming for Epson

“Swimming In Ink” also featured celebrity athletes, including appearances by Olympic gold medalist Kerri Strug and sportscaster Jill Arrington serving as event MC.

Overall, it was a terrific day, and we’re thrilled with the awareness for the Epson brand, EcoTank and the “Swimming In Ink” event coverage that continues to roll in, including Dylan Dreyer’s synchronized swimming segment featured on The TODAY Show.

In addition to the tens of thousands of in-person opportunities, more than 20,000 people visited the “Swimming In Ink” landing page on Sept. 24, and more than 15 million impressions were garnered from Epson social media properties. We’re so grateful to all our partners and behind-the-scenes staff who made “Swimming In Ink” such a tremendous success.

And in case you didn’t catch it live, here’s a video of one of the performances, and photos from this incredible day.

 

 

 

Based on average monthly print volumes of about 150 pages (ET-2500, ET-2550, ET-4500), 300 pages (ET-4550), and 800 pages (WF-R4640).

Epson Teams Up With CNBC’s “The Profit”

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Whether it’s our new EcoTank printers for home or office, WorkForce printers for business, Professional Imaging printers for photos, garments and more, Point-of-Sale systems, Mobile printers, Label printers or Scanners for documents and photos – Epson has a long history of driving imaging in business settings.

We are also the world’s number-one selling Projector manufacturer for home and business, in addition to developing emerging product lines in areas such as: Smart Glasses, Wearable Devices and industry leading Robotics.

Whatever category your business is in, the chances are good that a “Powered by Epson” workplace setting will place you at the forefront of powerful imaging and innovation. And we’re making more efforts than ever to get the word out on what we can do for customers.

You may have recently seen or heard our new advertising campaign with the slogan: “Where There’s Business, There’s Epson” on websites, radio, airports and signage across North America…Or seen our messaging globally, as proud strategic partners of the Mercedes Benz AMG – Formula 1 team, and Manchester United F.C. of the Barclays Premier League.

And while we can say that Epson drives business all we want, the best way to get our message across as an imaging company is to show, not tell.

That’s why we’ve also teamed up with CNBC’s hit television show The Profit – where Marcus Lemonis, a successful entrepreneur, helps save struggling SMB’s, by putting his money where his mouth is – literally.

Lemonis helps save passionate entrepreneurs from financial straits, while also coaching them up on how to go from sinking to solvent, using his three P’s: People, Product and Process. The personal stories are truly compelling television to watch.

In one episode: Lemonis evaluates Precise Graphix, a design and manufacturing shop based in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and shows the business’ use of the Epson SureColor® T-Series printer to ensure accuracy in their work and avoid future installation mistakes.

“This is a natural relationship between Epson and The Profit given our collective commitment to helping small businesses find innovative solutions for growth,” said Christina Glorioso, Senior Vice President, Client Solutions, NBCUniversal News Group.

Having the opportunity to show Epson products in action while Marcus provides his insights has been a fun and authentic way to do that so far. You can watch all of the episodes from The Profit on the CNBC website. Be sure to look for the Precise Graphix episode from June 30, to see Epson products in action helping turn a small business around.

And there’s more: Epson recently announced that we have teamed up with CNBC on their new show: Make Me A Millionaire Inventor, Wednesdays at 10 PM – ET / PT. Tune in to see small businesses with big ideas swing for the fences on funding, scalability and a shot at making it big!

The Evolution of Printing: Epson’s EcoTank Models Are Here

Introducing EcoTank™ the new standard in printing for Small Business

As you may have recently seen in the Wall Street Journal, we’re excited to announce that Epson has recently launched a new line of home and business printers called: EcoTank™. This new printing technology should really shake things up in the printer category, by offering up to 2 years of ink – loaded and ready – right off the shelf!

Having personally tested 100+ of these new printers with my small business customers over the last 6 months, I’m happy to say that I’m very proud of this product.  I’ve seen it serve as a game-changer for folks in categories like: Interior Design, General Contracting, Architecture, Real Estate, Retail Stores, Consulting, Education and more.

It’s been a thrill to watch my customers feel free to print more often in color, because of the cost savings of this new technology…Not to mention: they don’t miss running down to the store for ink cartridges in the middle of a print job!

When you do finally go through up to 20,000 pages of printing – the replacement cost of ink will be as low as $12.99 a bottle or around $52 for a set. Fewer ink cartridges also means less waste, another part of our ongoing Epson commitment to the environment.

You can check out the new EcoTank™ lineup on Epson.com, see some of the latest 5 star reviews on Amazon.com, or see it for yourself in stores this September 2015.  I strongly encourage our small business customers to go and have a look!

Interior Design From the Heart

RobinAnderson-Jennatote-1_LR“My friend told me I had to stop with all the Facebooking,” recounted Robin Anderson, author and face of the blog Robin M. Anderson. This was about seven years ago, when Facebook first came on the scene. “She basically came over one night and told me to start a blog instead.”

Robin knew a good idea when she heard one, and set to it right away. She’d just had a baby and left her career as a juvenile prosecution lawyer, the job she’d dreamed of since growing up watching Law & Order. But she happily gave it up when she and her husband had their first son.

“I never expected the blog to turn into anything, or make money off of it,” she recalled. “It was basically something to keep my brain moving while home with an infant, and keep me connected to the outside world.”

Soon, Robin’s husband gave her the go-ahead to start painting their house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and she went to town, repainting every surface in the house and redecorating—on a budget. “I discovered that I had a knack for taking boring places in my house and turning them into something beautiful, with a little bit of money and a lot of love.”

Even though her blog and design skills have garnered some attention in the press, she still sees it as a passion project. Robin feels very strongly about keeping her blog honest, and tries to only post what’s real, rather than staged or driven by sponsorship. “They don’t mind the photos I take with my iPhone because they know that it’s what my house truly looks like,” Robin explained. “Once you start Photoshopping things, you get no realistic view of what you’re looking at.”

But when it comes to her interior design clients, realism is key—in regards to the vision Robin has for them. “I’ve done everything electronically in the past, which has worked well,” explained Robin. “But now I’m pulling all the products together and printing out storyboards. It really helps them visualize the project and pull the trigger on moving forward.”

As much as Robin understands the environmental impact of printing, she’s looking at her Epson WorkForce from a business standpoint. “When someone sees their new interiors for the first time, they’re not going to be able to refer me by showing them the plans I sent in an email three months ago,” she admitted. “But they will pull out this storyboard folder, and that will paint a better picture of my process and my talent.”

The new addition to the household has Robin realizing all sorts of other uses for the printer, including ones targeting the youngsters in the house. Although they’re not of homework age (yet!), she will continue her community service at her sons’ school in the fall, where she decorates the class bulletin boards. “I’ve always woken up in the middle of the night realizing I hadn’t bought the hearts or shamrocks for the board, but now I can just download a template to print—even from my smartphone or tablet.”

It sounds like that won’t be the only thing she’ll be printing for the boys. “Now they’re always talking about what we can copy or print,” Robin laughed. “It’s a real topic of conversation around here.”

Robin Anderson’s blog on interior design, fashion, motherhood and more can be found www.RobinMAnderson.com or find her on Instagram, her favorite social medium.

 

Photography courtesy of Sarah Winchester Studios.

Epson provided WorkForce printer to Robin Anderson for business and personal use. 

Behind the Curtains with Emily Henderson

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A pic of me with the Dream Team: Brady Tolbert, Ginny Macdonald and Emily Henderson.

“Perfection is boring. Let’s get weird.” That’s not a phrase you would expect to hear from an interior designer. But Emily Henderson came to interior design in a different way than most, and it definitely contributed to her unusual perspective.

Recently, while on the set of our Epson WorkForce video shoot, I caught up with Emily, and she answered some questions about her life in the design fast lane, her background and the design trends she sees on the horizon.

Q: Let’s start at the beginning. Where were you born and raised?

A: I was born in a coastal town in Oregon named Coos Bay. My parents lived way out in the country with six kids, a goat, dogs, cats, a sheep—not a farm, just a weird combo of very fun animals and trees. We also were highly into domestic 4-H. I can decorate a mean cake or sew an A-line skirt that your aunt would be very jealous of.

Q: Did your home life influence your forays into design and business ownership?

A: It must have, right? We started thrifting WAY before it was cool—two teachers raising six children meant that thrifting wasn’t a hipster thing, it was a total necessity. I loved it and brought home the craziest things/clothes/knick-knacks every single time. I think that encouraged my love of “the weird” and also my tolerance for dirt.

Q: How did you get into interior design, specifically?

A: It’s kind of a long story (as they tend to be). I moved to New York, started taking rendering classes, wasn’t good at said classes, so I sought out work at a good design store. At the time, Jonathan Adler had just started and I was one of his first shop girls. Then I met prop stylists, and they led me to styling, which became my calling at the time. Then we moved to L.A., I got bored with life and was just freelancing for weird celebrities, doing things like picking out what mug they should hold in their hand for the US Weekly shoot. So I started a style blog and auditioned for DesignStar. I won the show, got my own show, kept up the blog and now I design, style and consult for companies on both design and writing. It’s pretty much a very weird and unique path to success but certainly one that I would totally repeat.

Q: Did you have a business before hosting HGTV?

A: I worked freelance styling for magazines, advertising and catalogs. In your world, I would have been the person that found the perfect desk with the perfect desk accessories and most beautiful stack of white paper to show off your perfectly clean printer while 25 people stared at it and a photographer captured the moment. My job was to sell a product in the most chic, smart and enviable way possible. I guess in a lot of ways it still is! It’s amazing how much the context changes how a piece is perceived, and I love that challenge so much. You don’t look at me and think “She would be a great printer salesman!”. Instead, you trust that with the right context and story, our printer could go from super fast, high quality and functional, to really cool and necessary for your small business. At least that’s the goal.

Q: How do you balance and weight your time between your multiple platforms, i.e. business owner, working mom, omni-media content, etc.?

A: Whatever is highest priority at the time wins. I’m pretty sure there is supposed to be more of a system than that but, in reality, whoever is stressing us for results the fastest wins the deadline game. The blog is not negotiable because it is what drives the business but at the same time the blog is the only thing that often has no client looking at me with those “where are my side table options?” eyes. Now that I have help on all fronts, I focus on conceptualizing, art directing and writing the content and Ginny and Brady execute my ideas on both the design and the blog content. But it changes daily. It’s pretty much the wild, wild west every day and I would die without these two helping me navigate it.

Q: Do you enjoy being equal parts interior designer and in the “content business” with your blog, videos, etc. – or would you be just as comfortable being a designer all day if jobs booked themselves without promotion?

A: I think that once you have mass influence it’s hard to go back. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing that your hard work affects a lot of people. So, while I love designing for individuals and I probably won’t stop designing ever, I also would never stop writing about and shooting the projects. Here’s the thing—there are better designers out there. There just are. Kelly Wearstler, Nate Berkus, Thomas O’Brien, Miles Redd. But there are very few designers that can write, explain and show their process in a way that empowers people to do it themselves. I love when I get a client that says, “I love everything you did in my home and I’m a happier person because of it”, but more importantly I love it when 258 comments say that now they feel like they know what to do in their own homes because of that blog post. It just makes me feel so good, but I suppose that’s how power hungry people talk so I should probably monitor how much I love the response.

Q: I’ve got to ask the tech question—How does color and the printed piece influence your work?

A: When color isn’t represented accurately it’s a massive bummer. When color is represented correctly it makes our designs pop off the page and we look better to everyone around us. Color and quality printing is important not just for our clients’ presentations, but also for our own design morale.

Q: Does design start with you, then spawn out to architect, contractor, etc., or do you often do rehab / work on existing homes that need makeovers?

A: Typically my projects are more makeovers, upgrades, remodels, etc. Since my background is as a stylist I want to build my own home before I manage someone else’s new build. Too many mistakes can be made and, while I can manage those mistakes swiftly and honestly, I’d rather have them be made on me than a client.

Q: What is your job breakdown like between residential and commercial? Any cool houses, hotels or restaurants you are working on?

A: It’s funny because at this point it’s mainly residential or company-sponsored residential makeovers. I know that sounds super weird. But yes, a paint company (for instance) will sponsor a makeover of a room and hire me to do it for press, social media, photography, etc. We are launching a whole new set of services in a couple months that will be for all budgets—everything from a single question to total renovations. Out are the days of minimum budgets and in are the days of trying to figure out how we can consult on all projects while still running the business.

Q: Lastly, what trends are you seeing for the upcoming year in design?

A: I see lot of mixing traditional or country with mid-century. At least, that’s where I’m headed. And less bold colors, more soft pastels or neutrals. Gold/brass is still big, and copper is taking a close second. Also white electronics, appliances and remotes are coming onto the scene. Epson better get on that movement because a pretty white printer with gold accents is the way of the future. You’ll make a million bucks with what I just told you. You can send my cut to my home address.

Want to find out more about Emily? You can head straight to her website or watch the new “day-in-the-life” video starring Emily, Ginny, Brady and the Epson WorkForce.

 

Epson provided WorkForce printers to Emily Henderson for business use. 

Visual Design Trends Coming Up in 2015

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As a blog that monitors visual trends in the fields of design, I wanted to share this article by iStock by Getty Images that I found on Digiday.

The article talks about what’s next for visual design in 2015, and the trends to watch for, like highlighting dynamic women and celebrating real, true-life people. It mentions nostalgia for the past being conjured by a good black and white image, and also slowing down with arresting stop-action photography.

It reminds me of how people are using technology to create feelings of human character and warmth, and to create memories, with both their imagery and their fonts. As screen sizes diminish, the need for visual impact grows, and the intersection between text and imagery has never been more important.

For us at Epson, it’s not just about creating richer colors and brighter whites with our technology, it’s about leveraging that technology to give the audience a better, more human experience.

To read the full article, please check out What’s Next for Visual Design: 8 trends to watch in 2015.

Style Spotting @ High Point Market

Jeanne Chung PR-square-300dpiAs the saying goes – “build it and they will come” – High Point Market may be its very definition.  Nestled just outside Greensboro, the sleepy town of High Point, North Carolina (population 107,741), nearly doubles in size (and electricity) as it twice annually welcomes one of the world’s largest furnishings industry trade shows, aptly named: High Point Market.

Interior designers, wholesalers, retailers and plenty of associated vendors, gather together for a week of trade, education and commerce.  The stats don’t lie regarding the power of “Market”: 100+ countries, 2,000 exhibitors, 11.5 million square feet of showcase space and over 180 buildings are all transformed into a world of vision, color and vibrancy.

I caught up with one of this year’s High Point Market 2014 “Style Spotters,” Jeanne Chung, to get the low-down on industry trends, and what Market means to small business attendees like her.

Q: How many Markets have you been to?

A: This is my fourth time attending High Point Market.

Q: How did you become a 2014 High Point Market Style Spotter?

A: I have a blog called Cozy Stylish Chic, and am the Color and Trends Moderator for the Google+ interior design community of nearly 30,000 members worldwide, so I’ve been able to heavily network my brand, my influence, my affiliation with the Google+ interior design community, the blog, and my core interior design business as vehicles.  The panel that chose the Style Spotter team looked for influencers with a sharp eye for design, a social media presence and geographically spread out around the United States and Canada.  I happened to fit the bill.

Q: What is the allure of Market for a West Coast designer?

A: Attending market is great for both expanding your network and meeting people in person—people whom you’ve been networking with online and are finally meeting in person! It is also the only place you can see so many great lines in one place, attend a wealth of seminars in both design and business, and socialize at after-market parties with friends.

Q: What are some trends you are seeing this year?

A: Deep, rich colors are in, especially colors with substance such as ruby red, saffron yellow and teal.  A mixing of design periods and styles also seems to be important as well as fusing classic shapes with modern materials.

Q: What trends are on the way out, or need to be?

A: I think we’ve hit our peak on “reclaimed wood” and that whole Restoration Hardware look.  It’s been too prescribed and replicated now.  Also—no more big, chunky, oversized sofas!

Q: You spent twenty years of a former life as a fashion designer.  Does that give you an advantage as an interior design professional, and blogger?

A: Absolutely. And it does so in both. Collaboration, trend recognition and an understanding of color are critical components to both fashion and interior design. The trends in both also parallel one another, with fashion preceding interiors by about a season.   Being able to analyze the trends coming down the runway gives me a better understanding of what to expect from furniture and home décor manufacturers several months in the future.

Q: What is the difference between High Point Market and other shows on the West / East Coasts?

A: High Point has a distinctly “American” vibe.  Meaning, you will see trends on the West / East Coast maybe a year earlier, but High Point is where the meat and potatoes of design happens in North America. The most marketable ideas from shows in Miami, New York and Los Angeles get translated here into business plans that require scale, and mass appeal, across the 50 United States and Canada.  But there are still plenty of innovative designs and trends going on here at Market, too.

Q: We’re seeing a lot of “influencer” collaborations between big retail brands and individual influencers this year.  What does the Jeanne Chung Collection look like in a couple of years, when you’re asked to spruce up a national brand?

A: Bold pops of colors, and a respectful, albeit risky, blend of old and new.  I’m often challenged by international clients to blend historical and modern elements that span borders and geographies.  It’s a fun challenge—and that’s the direction we’re seeing design going anyway…The ability to combine styles and looks in a fresh, cohesive and lasting way.  It’s a challenge, but I love it!!

High Point Market runs twice annually in High Point, NC.  The next High Point Market is April 18-23, 2015.  Jeanne Chung is the mother of two stylish young men, and an interior designer in Pasadena, CA.

Check out more of Jeanne’s work and musings at:

Cozy Stylish Chic

Twitter

https://twitter.com/cozystylishchic

Learn more about High Point Market at:

High Point Market

Twitter

https://twitter.com/hpmarketnews

A Life by Design: Jennifer Farrell

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The Home Design and Remodeling Show is held four times a year in Florida—twice in Fort Lauderdale and twice in Miami. It’s one of the only places that homeowners get to interact with actual professional interior design vendors. Earlier this month I caught the show in Miami, and had a chance to chat with Jennifer Farrell, an interior designer well known from her shows on the Oprah Winfrey Network, HGTV and the Fox Network. Based in Los Angeles, Jennifer came back to her native Florida to teach consumers at the Home Show how to design in compact spaces. Here’s what she had to say:

Q: How long have you owned your own design firm?

A: Jennifer Farrell Designs has been in business now for 14 years, and my clientele is about 90% residential and 10% commercial. My design business is very multifaceted, as I have clients who are celebrities, and others who are your average family in an average home who choose to live an exceptional life.

Q: Do you like being a business owner?

A: It’s a really exciting time to be an entrepreneur, because America is moving away from the mega conglomerate and towards the mom-and-pop stores we used to have. The good side is that I’m my own boss and I get to do what I want, but the bad side is nobody’s there to hand me a paycheck. So I have to maintain business the only way I know how, which is through hard work with integrity and honesty.

Q: How did the TV shows fit into a life as an interior designer?

A: When all the other girls were playing with their Barbies®, I was building Barbie® houses. I would take cardboard boxes and wallpaper them, add carpeting, hang drapes…it’s always been in my blood. I also went to a performing arts high school, then to Northwestern where I studied in the undergraduate theatre program while I was going through the graduate design program. So when the wonderful little world of home makeover shows came along, they fit all my needs. The timing was great. I was in the right place at the right time.

Q: How has technology changed your business?

A: Computers are fantastic! I can’t do my job without them. I generate design boards for my clients, and that’s why I print every single day. There’s nothing more powerful than the color image in person, and it’s wonderful that we can get such high resolution from printers now. My design boards definitely have their own look to them, you’ll know they’re from Jennifer Farrell Designs, but my interior designs don’t, because I’m a big believer in that design should not reflect my style, but my client’s style.

Q: How are the design boards used?

A: I don’t just generate these for fun. They are a fundamental tool that I use in my design work. I share these boards with my clients for them to see specifically what their design will look like—not a general idea, but the exact curtains, the exact couch, et cetera, and they can really see how the design comes together. I also share the design boards with the contractors and vendors, and they use them to communicate the design to the installers.

Q: How do you see an interior designer’s role in creating a home?

A: My job is to make everyone’s job easier: the architect, the client and the contractor. I can help facilitate all the elements to make sure we reach our maximum capabilities. A good designer can be the hub in between who can unite all the ideas and roles—that’s my philosophy.

Jennifer Farrell is currently the designer on Home Made Simple , and co-stars with host Soleil Moon Frye. Find out more about Jennifer Farrell at Jennifer Farrell Design . The next Home Design and Remodeling Show will be at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL from October 17th through the 19th, and information on attending can be found at the Home Design + Remodeling Show website.