Kesha Franklin: A Different Path to a Career in Interior Design

Episode 370 of A Well-Designed Business®
370: Kesha Franklin: A Different Path to a Career in Interior Design

Welcome! Today’s show was recorded live from the High Point Market on Friday, October 12th, 2018, as part of the Designer Viewpoint Series. We are very happy to introduce you to Kesha Franklin today, the principal of Halden Interiors, based in Greenbrook, New Jersey. Kesha has a background in the fashion world. And as a designer, she started out on a path that initially appeared to be destined for failure, which really rocked her world, but then things took an interesting turn for her. Listen in today as Kesha candidly shares her story, offers valuable insights, discusses the growth of her firm and explains her really intentional way of framing her conversations with potential clients.

Kesha’s intuitive sense of style, creativity, and harmony goes back to her formative years, where luxurious interiors and fine men’s wear captivated her creativity, through her father’s vast collection of Architectural Digest and the renowned GQ Magazine. Kesha continued expressing the artist within her through various creative means, but only after an encounter with a New York City architect, who recognized her eye for interior design and complimented her on it, did she take the leap and start The Beautiful Experience, a boutique design firm specializing in residential and special events design and planning, in 2006.

Kesha spent years immersed in the exclusive world of couture fashion as a backstage production manager and wardrobe stylist for the iconic Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Surrounded by the work of well-known designers such as Vera Wang, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, Donna Karen, and Lanvin…Kesha sharpened her attention to detail, distinct eye for exquisite styling and sensibility to craftsmanship.

The spaces Kesha reinvents today are impeccable. However, her striking aesthetic as an interior designer is not only shaped by her ability to curate color palettes, balanced textures, and distinct furnishings but is also influenced by her ability to understand and connect with people. Every single design project begins with a heart-to-heart. Listen in today to hear what Kesha has to share about how she supplies her clients with a full experience, from the ground up, that goes way beyond just beautiful things.

Show highlights:

  • Kesha shares the great story of how she started out with design in 2003.
  • She began with very small projects.
  • Moving from doing jobs for free to starting a business and attracting clients from the luxury market.
  • Kesha learned a lot- the hard way.
  • She had to learn to understand her true worth.
  • Reading books really helped Kesha to understand the processes and the business side of the world of interior design.
  • When things started to pick up in 2011, Kesha realized she really needed to figure out what her niche was.
  • Kesha’s process of rebranding to become Holden Interiors took three years.
  • In 2013 Kesha was really fortunate to be a part of the Goldman Sachs 10 000 Small Businesses Program. And that really set her rebranding in motion!
  • It really is okay to charge a higher price that truly reflects the level of service that you’re giving.
  • Not all consumers really understand interior design.
  • Kesha gets excited about the kind of job that makes her nervous.
  • Kesha explains the rates she charges her clients.
  • Some things that need to be highlighted in the service agreement with a client.
  • Kesha’s approach to clients about her contract.
  • Kesha explains her weekly project update.
  • Teaching her clients to trust the process.
  • Be careful of becoming a ‘client pleaser’.
  • Time management is still a challenge.
  • Presentation is everything, so it’s very important to invest in really good, high-quality pictures.
  • Kesha’s work will continue to change as time goes on.

Previous episodes mentioned on this show:

Adam Urbanski #192 and #280

Links:

Kesha’s website: Halden Interiors

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