What Level is Your Design Business?

Dala Al-Fuwaires: Commercial Designer, Focused Business Owner

Episode 392 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to today’s episode of A Well-Designed Business! Dala Al Fuwaires, the Principal of FJI Design in Scottsdale, Arizona, will be joining us on the show today. Dala is a dreamer, designer, and doer, and she has begun to niche and focus her firm, FJI Design, in the food and beverage industry. Dala runs her business with very clear strategies for building her client base, for managing and motivating her employees, and also for making a name for herself and for her firm in her community. Listen in today to find out what she has to say about getting yourself into the driver’s seat, in order to create a really successful business.

Dala Al-Fuwaires, Principal of FJI, a hospitality design firm with a sweet spot for food and beverage interiors, is a dreamer, designer, and doer. With over a decade of experience in the interior design field, Dala has worked on hospitality, retail, and residential design projects ranging in size from boutique to national rollouts. Dala graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Purdue University. Outside of design, Dala can be found exploring the world, hosting dinner parties for friends and family, remodeling her home, and photographing all of the above. Listen in to find out more.

Show highlights:

  • About sixty percent of Dala’s business is food and beverage related and Dala really wants each of her projects to be it’s own thing, in terms of style.
  • The importance of having good design and lighting in restaurants.
  • Dala really creates an experience for restauranteurs, and she even has a specific playlist of music that she plays when doing a presentation, to set the right tone.
  • The intentional plan that Dala had in place for making money, when she first opened her business.
  • Dala spent eight hours per day, for a whole week, reaching out to the people that she already knew.
  • Dala talks about the High Stakes Mastermind Group she joined in her first year in business.
  • Why Dala offered her services, pro bono, to one new (or growing), local food and beverage business per year.
  • Dala gives the details of the Design It Forward competition she’s been running for two years.
  • How Dala informed her community about the pro bono design services she was offering.
  • The applications for Dala’s competition open in June of each year.
  • How the book Profit First, by Mike Mikalowitz, really helped Dala to strategize effectively, and to keep her business expenses low, in her first year in business.
  • Setting herself up on Payroll, so that Dala is actually an employee of her business, in order to maximize her profit.
  • The importance of having enough money put away to keep your business running for at least three months, in case of an emergency.
  • Dala’s really awesome way of motivating her team to reach their quarterly goals.

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Candy Scott #279

Claire Jefford #237

Michele Williams #180

Chris Kofitsas #152


Website: FJI Design

Instagram: FJI Design

Facebook: FJI Design

Pinterest: FJI Design

LinkedIn: FJI Design

About our birthday party:

Sponsor, Kravet Inc, is hosting the 3rd birthday party for the podcast! So, if you are coming into New York for NY Now in the 1st week of February, or you want to come just for the party, please join us on Feb 5th at the Kravet showroom, in New York,  from [5:30] to 7:30 pm. Go to Luann Nigara and look for the event rsvp—the party is free and the more the merrier so please plan to join us!

What Level is Your Design Business?