What Level is Your Design Business?

Ronald Alvarez and Monica Santayana, Moniomi Design: Project Management + Design = Success in Interior Design

Episode 193 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today’s guests are Ronald Alvarez and Monica Santayana, the principals of Moniomi Design in Miami, Florida. This is really going to be a great show for the takeaways, so if you’re in business with a partner, whether you’re married to them or not, you will really get some great value today! Listen in as this very special husband and wife team talk about how they work and relate together and how this contributes to the great success of their company.


Ronald and Monica met while attending Florida International University, where they were both studying Architecture. They started Moniomi about five years ago and they’ve become unbeatable, due to the fabulous way that they lead their team, in the up and coming River Area of Miami. Monica focuses on the creative details and finishes and selecting the specifics of the Design Process, like the textiles and the furniture, while Ronald, who has his background in Project Management and Advertising, keeps everything running on time, within the budget and moving forward. They offer Full Service Interior Design, for projects of any scale, as well as Custom Art and Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Space Planning and Project Management.  Moniomi’s commercial work includes a private aircraft terminal at Orion Jet Centre and their Hospitality Projects include Hyatt Place, Comfort Suites, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Pincho Factory Restaurant. LuAnn really thinks that you’re going to enjoy this talk with these two very special people, as she really enjoyed getting to know them and she thinks that you will too! Listen in now, to hear their conversation.


Today, Ronald and Monica talk to LuAnn about:


  • The organic development of each of their different roles, within the business, which runs in a similar way to how they organize the rest of their lives.
  • The great level of respect and trust that Monica and Ronald have for each other.
  • How Ronald and Monica really support each other and also even push one another at times.
  • That Ronald initiated and brought systems into the business, while Monica concentrated on developing the firm.
  • Their one on one Discovery Consultations, to really get the feel of the client and ascertain whether they will be compatible, or not.
  • That they really look for creative freedom, with their projects.
  • How they coordinate and work together on a new project.
  • Where they fork off from one another with the projects and Monica focuses on the Design side of things, while Ronald focuses on the organizational side.
  • How they handle their vendor meetings.
  • That their construction documents and drawings need to be really clearly defined, for the Project Manager.
  • That clients tend not to see the Contractor as separate from and the Designer, which can be a little unfair on the Designer.
  • That most of their projects involve some type of renovation, which is bigger than the decorating side of things.
  • How the communication between Ronald, Monica and the rest of the team is organized, during a project.
  • That it’s really just Ronald and Monica, as a team, that deal with the residential projects.
  • That their design team works with the Hospitality and Commercial Projects.
  • That their Residential clients know and feel comfortable in that they can reach out to Ronald and Monica, personally.
  • The great respect that Ronald and Monica have for each other’s capabilities.
  • Why you need to focus on building a really strong team.
  • Monica shares some things she’s learned, in hindsight.
  • Ronald’s advice and number one take away- that all relationships, with your clients, employees and vendors really need to be valued.
What Level is Your Design Business?