Power Talk Friday: Bethany Mabee: Outsource the 80% Business and Do the 20% Interior Design
Welcome to Power Talk Friday! Have you ever wished that you could outsource your procurement process to a proven professional? If so, you will gain a lot from today’s show because we have Bethany Mabee with us, and Bethany is your lady if you ever want to outsource the procurement process of any interior design project! She makes it possible for you to work with her whether you’re a small interior design firm looking for some help with the procurement process of a one-off project, or you’re a larger firm with several projects going on at the same time, consistently. In today’s episode, Bethany explains the way that she assists designers, and she discusses the kind of accountability that she has built into her process. Listen in today, to find out how Bethany could mean real magic for you and your design business.
Before opening her firm, Interior Procurement Group, Bethany worked behind the scenes in the Interior Design industry for nearly 20 years. Her career began in 2001, at Eastern Accents, a Chicago-based textile manufacturer where she oversaw custom trade orders by communicating their specifications through to production. This was a perfect learning experience and stepping stone for transitioning to Gary Lee Partners, where she worked as the Architecture Firm’s Procurement Director from 2005 – 2009. Since opening her Procurement Group, Bethany has worked with dozens of designers, on a project-by-project basis, acting as an agent on their behalf. Her goal is to eliminate all non-design-related items for the designer during the furniture purchasing process so that they are free to focus on the other areas of the project that demand their attention. Tune in now, to find out more.
- Bethany loves swimming in details and finding organization in chaos.
- Bethany works with different size firms and projects.
- Bethany works with designers only during the procurement phase of their projects.
- It’s great for designers not to have to train someone up in the area of procurement.
- The vast range of procurement services that Bethany supplies.
- The kind of admin that Bethany covers.
- Why Peter Lang, the Designer CPA, specializes in the design industry.
- About Kimberly Merlitty’s specialty.
- Bethany discusses the monthly check-in that she does with designers.
- Bethany supports interior designers at an expert level.
- Sending regular status reports to her clients.
- Confidentiality is really important to Bethany.
- Bethany’s files are available to the designers at all times.
- Keeping the designers up to date with the status of their purchases.
- Working on the finer details.
- Bethany offers her support, on-site, on installation day.
- Bethany really respects designers. She sees them, she hears them, and she understands their value.
Bethany has been working behind-the-scenes within the Interior Design industry for nearly 20 years. In 2001, her career began at Eastern Accents, a Chicago-based textile manufacturer where she oversaw custom trade orders by communicating their specifications through production. This was a perfect learning experience and stepping stone for transitioning to Gary Lee Partners, where she worked as the Architecture Firm’s Procurement Director from 2005 – 2009.
In 2009 after having her first child, Bethany wanted a chance to continue doing the work she loves, while also being more available to her son. Noticing that many designers in the industry were juggling the purchasing process on their own and that most dreaded this time-consuming, archaic process. Bethany decided to branch out on her own as a consultant and provide residential furniture procurement solutions to design clients. Bethany has been able to work with a variety of clients across the country, from small boutique firms to independent designers. Bethany works with designers on a project-by-project basis and acts as an agent on their behalf. Her goal is to eliminate all non-design related items for the designer during the furniture purchasing process so that they are freed up to focus on other areas of the project that demand their attention.
Bethany remotely manages all aspects of the procurement process including purchasing, billing, and warehousing. Once a designer’s specifications are finalized, Bethany takes over by generating client proposals, processing purchase orders, and communicating custom specifications and sample approvals to manufacturers/vendors as needed. Throughout the purchasing process, Bethany tracks all costs and markups for designer profitability and maintains communication and records with the designer’s accountant. Bethany also manages the installation process for her clients by facilitating vendor correspondence throughout production, communicating material timeframes to workrooms, maintaining project production status sheets, submitting regular updates to the design team, coordinating local and long-distance shipments with carriers, recording warehouse receiving reports, tracking freight and warehousing costs, coordinating damage claims, repairs and replacements, coordinating building installation arrangements and insurance requirements, attending and supervising project installations and handling any post-installation follow up and coordination.
Bethany has a unique understanding of the creative process. Her office doubles as an art studio for her other work as an abstract artist. As a painter, she understands that projects are the designers’ own works of art and that they deserve to be handled with the utmost attention to detail. For years, Bethany would not even share with her procurement clients that she was also a painter. She worried that it would discredit her abilities to manage the logistical tasks of their projects. Over the years, Bethany has learned that these two roles ebb and flow together perfectly and some procurement clients have even become painting commission clients. She is grateful to interior designers for allowing her to fulfill her own calling to express both her logistical and creative sides.
Previous episodes mentioned in this show:
LuAnn’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For your MyDoma Studios trial, go to A Well Designed Business
LuAnn is running her Power Talk Friday One-Day Coaching Event on July 27th, 2019 in Las Vegas. If you’d like to get in, email LuAnn.
LuAnn will be at the Las Vegas Market on Monday, at 3 pm, at Uttermost.
Nancy Ganzekaufer will be in the seminar space at 11 am, with IDS, doing a presentation about body language.
The event is sponsored by MyDoma Studio and Interior Design Society (IDS).