What Level is Your Design Business?

Christine Lin: Success Starts With Your Goals

Episode 470 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome! Today, Christine Lin, the founder of San Francisco-based Form + Field, joins us on the show. Christine sent LuAnn an email a while back, explaining how well her brand new interior design firm is doing due to all the strategies and tactics she’s learned from listening to the podcast. Christine really has a lot going on for herself. She’s a multi-disciplinary creative with degrees in architecture, engineering, and business, from MIT and UC Berkeley. After spending a successful decade in the tech industry, she has now returned to her true passion of interior design. Christine’s rigorous training in corporate and startup environments gave her expert communication, management, and execution skills. She brings these skills, together with her well-honed eye for seeking out new art, design, and architecture, to her firm and all her design projects. Listen in today, to find out what Christine has learned, and how she successfully applies these lessons to her business.

Form + Field creates original interiors that honor the identity, history, and surroundings of their clients. With an emphasis on art, architecture, and eclectic modernism, they cultivate every project as a partnership. Form + Field has been widely recognized by publications such as Domino, Rue, California Homes, and Hospitality Design. Tune in now, to hear Christine’s story.

Show Highlights:

  • Christine shares her takeaways from her experience of working part-time for another designer, and from listening to the podcast.
  • Running your business as if it’s already a big business.
  • Christine didn’t want to be putting out fires in her business.
  • The salary that Christine paid herself last year.
  • When she first started out, Christine paid herself a salary of $5000 per month.
  • Establishing your company’s revenue goals.
  • Doing whatever it takes to reach your goal.
  • Some of the key things that Christine did to get clients, when she started out on her own in business.
  • Setting professional boundaries and treating friends as formal clients.
  • A contract protects both the designer and the client.
  • Boundaries create freedom.
  • Christine shares some of the growing pains from her first year in business.
  • Systemizing your hiring process will save you money in the long run.
  • Cleaning up your accounting system is very important for your business.
  • A hard lesson that Christine learned.
  • Talking about estimates and fees.
  • Learning to keep every aspect of your business within your control.


Website: Form And Field

Instagram: Form And Field

Pinterest: Form And Field

Previous shows mentioned in this episode:

Judith Taylor #340

Eileen Hahn #363

At 10 am on October 10th, 2019, LuAnn will be at the Stanford Waterside Design District, in Connecticut for her free, full-day event. This event is co-sponsored by the Stanford Waterside Design District and Aspire Design and Home. Please join us there! You can find the RSVP on the EVENTS page of LuAnn’s website. LuAnn Nigara

What Level is Your Design Business?