What Level is Your Design Business?

Paloma Contreras: High School Teacher to Elle Decor’s A-Lister

Episode 581 of A Well-Designed Business®

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business! Today’s guest is the Paloma Contreras – the Elle A-list, Forbes recognized, shop-owning, fabulously talented design influencer. You know, the Paloma Contreras that has163,000 Instagram followers? This lady is one amazing powerhouse! Keep listening, though, because it wasn’t always that way. She is a lady who cried on Sundays because she dreaded her work week so much, then went on to find her niche, love her job, and become that Elle Decor A-Lister.

Don’t miss LuAnn’s and Paloma’s inspiring conversation about trusting your gut, taking action even when you’re afraid or unsure, and going for the big dream in your head and making it reality.

Based in Houston, Texas, Paloma has honed her eye for style over more than a decade in the design industry. She has developed a reputation for designing beautiful interiors in a broad range of styles which are executed in a manner that is polished, refined, and effortless. 

Paloma has repeatedly been named on the prestigious ELLE Decor “A-List” of the top interior designers in the world. She’s been recognized as a “Next Wave” interior designer by House Beautiful and has been named to LUXE Magazine’s “Gold List”. 

Paloma was named #4 on the Forbes list of the Top Social Media Influencers in the Home category and according to ELLE Decor, is one of the Top 10 interior design Instagram accounts to follow.

She recently debuted a licensed collection with Williams Sonoma Home and has done special projects with many major brands including One Kings Lane, Bravo Television, American Express, KitchenAid, Kohler, Auberge du Soleil, and Peninsula Hotels. 

Paloma has a book named Dream Design Live and a curated retail shop, Paloma & Co. And last but not least – she’s a lady after my own heart – she just launched The Style Files Podcast.

When she gets a free second, Paloma enjoys traveling with her husband, Fabian, and spending time with their sweet dog, Tate.

Show Highlights:

  • Paloma credits her success to her passion, tenacity, and the ability to recognize opportunities.
  • Consistency is necessary when you’re trying to build an audience, a brand, or a name for yourself.
  • How Paloma went from being a bored high school Spanish teacher to starting a design blog as a creative writing outlet.
  • Paloma shares the opportunities that enabled her to hone a different set of skills and her new design career that followed.
  • Just because you’re seeing “xyz” in your social media feed because everyone is doing “xyz” doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you.
  • Things that you need to have in place before hiring a publicist.
  • What it takes to be recognized by the press.
  • Success can take years of hard work, sacrifice, and even some failures.
  • “Make it a pleasure to work with you!” – Paloma Contreras
  • Paloma addresses being an Elle Decor A-Lister.

Connect with Paloma!

Paloma’s Website

Paloma’s Instagram

Paloma’s Blog

Paloma’s Podcast:The Style Files Podcast

Paloma’s Email 

Order Your Copy of Paloma’s Book, Dream Design Live!

Links :

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Other shows mentioned to link to  and to tag in SM

Visual Comfort #408

Amber Lewis #169, #184

Robin Baron #32 #540 

Shea McGee #236 #270


What Level is Your Design Business?