What Level is Your Design Business?

Sue Firestone: The Malibu Collection with Kravet Inc

Episode 404 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to another episode of A Well-Designed Business! We are really excited to have Sue Firestone join us on the show today. Sue has a body of work that is truly impressive and the really happy news for all of us is that she has just launched her brand new fabric line for Kravet. One of the things that really stood out for LuAnn in Sue’s bio is that she rose from her position as a designer for the firm Design 1, to become president of the very same firm in a relatively short period of time. There’s a lot of really useful information in the way that she achieved that, that can help us, as business owners. Listen in now to find out about Sue and the organic way that she rose to success in the design industry.

Sue Firestone has spent more than 35 years cultivating her personal passion for design. With a client list that features the world’s premier five and six-star hotels as well as an A-list residential clientele, Sue has become a tastemaker for those seeking the ultimate luxury lifestyle.

In 1996, after nearly two decades leading Design 1, Sue turned her focus toward creating a boutique design firm, large enough to execute projects of a grand scale, yet personal enough to provide devoted and intimate attention to each client. The result was SFA Design. Today, Sue is also a designer for Kravet and A.Rudin, creating 70’s-inspired, bohemian fabrics and natural furniture that embody true Californian style.

Sue is the recipient of more than two dozen awards, including the prestigious Platinum Circle Award as well as a position on Robb’s Report’s “Top 40 Best Designers in the World.” Tune in to now find out more. 

Show highlights:

  • How Sue inadvertently started out in the design industry.
  • Sue talks about the things that she consciously did, as a hard-working designer, to become noticed in the industry.
  • Because of the way that Sue was encouraged when she first started out in the design industry, she’s always looking out for new talent to nurture in her company.
  • Finding and honoring the proper place for each designer to really realize their full potential in a firm.
  • Being attuned, listening, and reflecting has always been in Sue’s blood.
  • The importance of really listening carefully.
  • Sue explains how visuals are a big part of her listening process and really helpful with getting to know her clients.
  • Sue talks about her firm, Smith, Firestone and Associates Design, which started out in 1996.
  • How Sue first started out with SFA Design.
  • Sue’s secret sauce for breaking into the luxury, high-end, exclusive residential market.
  • About Sue’s really effective organic method of marketing.
  • Sue talks about The Malibu Collection, her recently launched new fabric line for Kravet, and how it came to be.
  • Sue talks about her joyful experience of working with the Kravet team.
  • Why you should always go beyond what is expected of you. 

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Joni Vanderslice #101

Eileen Hahn #363

Janelle Photopolous #364

Mabley Handler #173


Sue’s websites: Sue FirestoneSFA Design

Sue Firestone

SF Cal Collection

SFA Design

Luann Nigara Live


What Level is Your Design Business?