7 Deadly Distractions Stopping Your Interior Design Business Growth
6 Ways To Calculate Interior Design Fees With Transparency
How To Find The Best Interior Design Business Coach For You
tell me more...
Tough-love Business Coach. Marketing Magician. Inner Imposter Buster. Cocktail Connoisseur. And Queen Of Unpopular Opinions.
Interior design sourcing in less time means you have more time for design, more time for marketing, more time for client care, and more time for your life! And it’s not about hiring a team or short changing your client selections by using the same old resources all the time. In fact, when you smart source you’ll have access to more resources in less time and professional assistance for free to help you find exactly the right pieces for every project. Sound too good to be true?
As a former purchasing agent in hotels (if you ate it, drank it, wrote with it, or slept on it, I bought it), I learned the power of great vendors early and brought that into my design practice. Whenever a client has asked, “how big is your firm?” I’ve always replied “how big do you need me to be?” I have the world at my fingertips with my suppliers and see them as an integral part of my talented team, instead of just another supplier.
Here are 4 home furnishings and decor one stop shop resources exclusively to the trade that you can count on to accomplish your interior design sourcing in less time. I’d love to hear which one’s you already knew about and which one’s you use and recommend in comments. Leverage these resources to not only save you time and money, but also to expand your product horizons and project visions. Often the best finds are the ones you didn’t know you were looking for.
Steelyard Access, formerly TODL (Trade Only Design Library), was the original one stop to the trade resource online, launched in 1997. Over 20K designers are on board using the service regularly and saving huge amounts of time. There are thousands of trade only brands available and search is easy by brand, by product, by style, even by color. You can save any piece to a project file or a favorite file and get full details including a specification sheet and pricing in just minutes.
You eliminate all the drive time, wasted weeks in traffic, and frustration of not knowing if it’s in stock or not, in just a few clicks of your keyboard. As a qualified interior designer, your account is free. And Steelyard Access provides one click service so you can be in touch with the right person at any given brand to get all the information you need including information and details about customizing your pieces.
Designer Inc is the proverbial new kid on the block having launched in 2017. Led by CEO Heather Gillette and Chief Designer Mark Cutler, their mission is to cut your sourcing time in half. To date they have over a thousand brands available at your finger tips and several thousands designers raving about the ease of use.
Interior design sourcing in less time is particularly important for designers located beyond major city centers whose access to design showrooms and galleries is location limited. While we all know nothing beats a good sit test, many clients will trust your knowledge and enable you to save them the time of long trips to out of the way trade showrooms and let your fingers do the walking online.
Design Trade Services was launched in 2015 by two experienced home furnishing manufacturers and retail experts who wanted to deliver a more streamlined solution for trade resourcing. They have over 50 manufacturers catalogs available on the site and have the unique ability to customize a catalog for your own design practice. You can then provide this catalog on your site for both clients and potential clients to browse, it’s a great selling feature.
They offer two tiers of membership, one is free and the second is $29.95/month providing deeper discounts and perks if you purchase over $500/month. Interior design sourcing in less time is facilitated by these online one stop resources being available 24/7, so if you’re a late night browser or early morning (that’s me) specifier, you can source at your convenience instead of scheduling your day around showroom hours.
Eporta was founded by two friends in design who’s mantra is “meritocracy in design and transparency in business.” They now have a team of 15 millennials ready to assist in search, order, project management and delivery and installation. They focus on residential as well as commercial and hospitality design.
Eporta offers a wide range of brands including many European and smaller boutique vendors that are sure to keep your projects fresh and original. They provide the lens of completed projects by designers who use them as an easy way to see how powerful less time sourcing and more time designing can be.
The resources suggested here are to the trade only, the public have no access beyond landing on the site but unable to get beyond the velvet rope. In my next post, I’ll share consumer resources that offer trade services and can also save you significant time in sourcing.
And remember….DESIGNERS DON’T SHOP, THEY SOURCE! Your clients shop, use the right language to set yourself apart as the talented design expert and professional you are.
Grab your FREE copy of “20 Time Management Tips for the Trade” just click HERE.