Cat French: The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business®, #babydesigner Killing It!

Episode 376 of A Well-Designed Business®
376: Cat French: The Things I Learned From A Well-Designed Business®, #babydesigner Killing It!

Welcome to today’s show! We have Catherine French, the founder of Catherine French Design, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with us today. Cat has been listening to this podcast since it first started, about two-and-a-half years ago. This was around the same time that she started her design business. Recently, Cat sent LuAnn a really nice email, telling her about the things she had learned from A Well-Designed Business. In the letter, she listed the things that she has really taken seriously from the podcast and implemented in her business. And right from the start, she has really been tremendously successful! Cat’s firm is currently approaching half-a-million dollars in gross revenue per year- in under two-and-a-half years! So listen in today, as Cat talks to LuAnn about her business, and gives some context to the way that it all began for her.

Cat loves color, pattern, texture, form, and has a passion for working with people. She focuses on color and balance to make rooms more warm, inviting and habitable. Her design is a unique blend of psychology, culture, color, and function with an emphasis on the principals of design and art taken from her formal Arts education and training.  Embracing full collaboration in creating a harmonious space, she spends time in the spaces with her clients developing their vision and then guiding them through the full process of a turn-key installation.

After obtaining her Bachelors in Psychology from Wake Forest University, Cat later went on to pursue her Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While teaching the Environmental Design Studio at UNCG, she presented her work at several State and National conventions as an expert on Interior Design and Historic Preservation. Now Cat leads a passionate and enthusiastic team of design professionals that guide inspirations into reality at Catherine French Design. Listen in to find out what Cat has to share with you on the show today.

Show highlights:

  • Cat talks about the beginning of her business, two-and-a-half years ago, and everything that happened at the time.
  • Enlisting the help of a stylist for the first time.
  • Taking advice from this podcast turned out to be one of the best things she ever did.
  • Cat enlisted some help from a neighbor, Jamie, and he’s still with her business now, almost two years later.
  • Now, Cat’s team is really diverse and wonderful!
  • How Cat came up with how much to charge her first clients.
  • Cat explains why she mostly still charges an hourly rate.
  • All about how Cat managed to have the hard conversation with one of her very first clients and hire someone to get the project finished on time.
  • Cat had to make time to be with her family, or her business would have been pointless for her, so her whole firm does not work in the evenings or over weekends.
  • Cat’s way of dealing with unforeseen problems.
  • Hiring the right person at the right time.
  • What happened when Cat realized that she couldn’t make payroll one month.
  • How Cat learned that you have to always have to show up and put your team first.
  • How Cat first started marketing her firm with blog posts to get SEO exposure.
  • Showing her team that she wasn’t giving up!
  • Dealing with accounting problems in her business.
  • Working out how much needs to be brought into the business, in order to keep things running smoothly.
  • Talking to Caroline Hipple, co-author of Pathway To Profit.
  • Making everyone in the team feel important.
  • Maintaining boundaries and being brave enough to only work with clients that are the right fit.
  • Untangling from projects that aren’t the right fit.
  • The importance of maintaining an attitude of professionalism and respect.
  • LuAnn’s second book, co-authored by Michele Willaims of The Scarlet Thread, will be launched at the next birthday celebration in February, next year.

Other episodes mentioned on the show:

Dina Holland #354

Michele Williams #137 and #180

Resources:

Book: A Pathway to Profit by Caroline Hipple, Anita Pugh, Chris Matthies, and Dixon Bartlett

Links:

Website – Catherine French Design

Instagram – Catherine French Design

Pinterest – Cat French Design

Facebook – Catherine French Design

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