What Level is Your Design Business?

Arlene Angard – Mix 1 Part Passion + 1 Part Strategy = Success!

Episode 33 of A Well-Designed Business®

Arlene Angard is a New York City Interior Designer. She manages a full service interior architecture and design firm that specializes in luxury residential and new age commercial. She has been an Art Curator and table top connoisseur most of her life. She has curated global art exhibits, participated in art culture panels and collected fine art from around the world. She recently launched a colorful collection of area rugs inspired by her extensive travels abroad.  

She tries to learn as much as she can about her clients’ lifestyle and her design decisions are made within this context. Her work has been featured in prestigious magazines such as  Elle Decor, The New York Times, Traditional Home Magazine, New York Spaces Magazine, Luxe Interior + Design Magazine, Ocean Drive Magazine, EL UNIVERSAL, 1stdibs Introspective Magazine, NYC Cottage & Gardens and numerous other design and art publications.   

  • Arlene came from Venezuela to New York in 1997 to pursue her Orthodontics program.
  • She enjoyed New York and pursued another specialization, TMD (temporomandibular) after completing her Orthodontics.
  • As creativity has always been in her blood, she enrolled at the New York School of Interior Design and decided to become an interior designer.
  • As an interior designer, she noticed that her clients didn’t have the right art pieces for their homes and she was always looking for the correct art pieces to match her clients’ furniture pieces and décor.
  • Arlene decided to open her own art gallery. She owns and manages an art gallery at Madison Avenue.
  • She set up the art gallery to help both her clients and the artists community in the city. She gives the artists a space to feature their artworks.
  • She sets up art gallery events depending on the season, one for the winter, one for spring, one for summer, and one for fall.
  • She focuses on contemporary art pieces but she loves learning anything about art. Emerging artists attract clients because they offer a different budget. Arlene has pieces for different budget levels.
  • To source art, she goes to art events to look for new artists worldwide. She is also approached by artists and art dealers who know her as a contemporary art dealer.
  • Arlene discovered that since NY spaces are small, she had to custom-make the furniture pieces to fit the client’s space. Still they are all high-end pieces made of exotic woods and with high gloss lacquer.
  • Her exotic wood furniture includes tables, dining tables, meeting tables, and coffee tables, wing back chairs, ottomans, classic chairs.
  • The main idea of Arlene’s line of furniture is to have the best quality to help the interior designers and clients to complement the pieces they already have.
  • Most of Arlene’s clients go to her Gallery to discuss their projects. Then if projects are feasible, Arlene visits their home.
  • Distant clients communicate with her first by sending measurements of their space.
  • Arlene is a member of the prestigious 1stdibs.com family.
  • Arlene is also designing custom area rugs.
  • Learn what materials she is using for rugs.
  • She compares a project to delivering a baby.
  • Know that if a client is decisive, work would take 6 months, if the client is indecisive, it would take 9 months, sending samples back and forth.
  • Arlene serves high-end national and international clients.
  • Her advice to new designers: Write down the list of goals to be accomplished daily and week. You have to pursue your dreams with passion. It’s a lot of work to be an interior designer and if you want to succeed, don’t count the hours, the sky is the limit….Do it with passion and every time that you find a product that doesn’t work for you, go far beyond, try to design a new one for your client. If you cannot design, go to a manufacturing company and ask if they can do a custom piece for you.
  • She also recommends that a future designer must have a strategy, persistence, patience, dedication, and must be highly organized. A business plan is also a must.
  • I’m a humble connoisseur but I have an expert eye. I want to be active as an art dealer and as an interior designer as well. – Arlene Angard.
  • When you love what you’re doing, when you have the passion to do it, then the time you spent doing it doesn’t matter at all. – Arlene Angard

  Arlene’s Art Gallery: 15 East 71st Street & Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

E-mail: arlene@arleneangard.com

Arlene’s website: http://arleneangard.com

What Level is Your Design Business?