Crate & Barrel. Restoration Hardware. Pottery Barn. All easy to find, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar store or an online shopping cart. Twenty, even ten years ago, these types of stores weren’t as accessible to the general public as they are now. And it has forced Danielle Tarango to change the business model for her interior design business, Danielle Tarango Design, in Laguna Beach, California.
“In the past, interior designers would charge a flat rate for design services, and then charge a percentage of the goods that were purchased for the client’s project,” explains Danielle. “Today, everyone is so internet savvy. They know that the Targets and Walmarts of the world are competing for business and charge just pennies over cost. It’s impossible for designers to work in that capacity anymore.”
Danielle turned the interior designers’ fee structure on its head, and uses her Epson printers to make it profitable. She’s started to bill hourly for her time, and provides her clients with materials, like mood boards and lists of goods, with the information on where to buy everything.
But because she’s billing by the hour at a higher rate than her flat fee, Danielle knows she needs to provide value to her customer. “These printed materials are invaluable to me in terms of actually giving them a physical piece of property that they can own,” she says. “If I can buy it, then most likely my client can buy it too, and they do so using the materials I provide.”
Danielle’s mood boards are full of inspiration images and printed on her 11” x 17” large format printer, an Epson WorkForce 7620 with PrecisionCore™ technology, adding materials like stones, sample fabrics and paint swatches to finish the board. Her resource lists are formatted for regular letter size paper, which she prints on her WorkForce 4640.
“I download images of accessories, furniture and other home items from the Internet for the design,” Danielle explains. “I use the Epson ink because it prints as close to the original as you can get—and color accuracy is very important in my business.”
Although she’s not surprised by the time and money she’s saved from bringing print in-house, Danielle is taken aback at how low the cost is to maintain the printers. “After 18 months of owning these two printers, I feel like I’ve only replaced the cartridges once on each.”
She’s generously shared her ideas with several of her interior designer friends, even creating customized templates for them. One designer, who commutes to Laguna Beach from out of state every six weeks, calls Danielle every time. “She says ‘Hey, can I come to your office and do some printing?’”, Danielle laughs. “I’m like ‘Yeah, yeah, come on over.’ It seems I’ve become the new printing house in Laguna Beach!”