What Level is Your Design Business?

Julia Miller: The Evolution of an Interior Design Business

Episode 627 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today with Julia Miller: 

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Switching careers into design and building your business from the ground up takes a great deal of planning and consideration. As your business grows and evolves, you face even more questions. On today’s episode, I chat with Julia Miller of j. millers interiors, as she shares how she tackled those questions and made the decisions that let her business evolve and thrive.

Pick it apart:

  • [12:30] Julia discusses her exit plan that laid the groundwork for her to leave her previous career and launch her design firm.
  • [20:44] LuAnn and Julia discuss the tricky question of determining your rates when you don’t have any experience.
  • [27:08] Julia shares insights onto how she manages to stay booked out almost six months in advance and communicate that timeframe to her clients. 
  • [43:51] Julia dives into how she uses Pinterest boards to keep her clients busy while they wait for their projects to start.
  • [50:39] LuAnn and Julia dig into Julia’s method for using finances to determine her project workload. 

LuAnn and Julia Miller’s Ah-Ha moments:

“I never let myself believe that I could ever make a career change until I had the personal experience and the validation from people that I didn’t know on Instagram.” -Julia

“So often, any business that we do, or any career, whether it’s interior design or whatever it is, we can fall into the trap of not placing enough value on what we’re going to charge because we’re new at it.” -LuAnn

“It was definitely a process of trying to figure out how many projects I needed at what rate and how many hours to make my ends meet financially. Part of that is knowing your worth and being able to charge for that, but also knowing how many hours it realistically takes you to do a project.” -Julia

“I think there’s a lot of scarcity mindset in this business, and I think for people who don’t have a business mindset, there’s a lot of fear.” -Julia

“When you say to me ‘I’ve never had somebody say I won’t pay you ahead of time,’ the only reason is because they haven’t been left with any questions. There’s absolutely no uncertainty in their minds what happens if they give you this money now. You’ve answered all the questions, and that comes from having that enunciated process, and having the confidence to express that process.” -LuAnn

More About Julia Miller:

j. miller interiors is a Minneapolis based residential interior design studio committed to creating carefully curated spaces with the highest level of craftsmanship. j. miller interiors focuses on developing homes that are reflections of the clients who live in them through expertly selected fixtures, finishes and furnishings. Through our collaborative, transparent process, we work with clients to create a home they love. j miller interiors serves clients locally in the Twin Cities and across the country through our signature distance design service. 

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A Big THANK YOU to Today’s Podcast Sponsors:

Mydoma Studio is the complete interior designer toolkit. Their workflow software keeps your design projects organized from beginning to end. They also offer a thriving design community so you’re never on your own. You can get started with Mydoma at mydomastudio.com/awelldesignedbusiness.

At Monogram, it’s all about the details that come together to create appliances that look, feel, and perform as if they were designed for you. Their trade professionals program helps educate you on the details and nuances that you need to understand so you can bring the best to your clients and share those details effectively. Become a trade partner today at monogram.com/luann. 

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#601 Darla Powell: Real Tips to Up Your Social Media Game

#267 Rasheeda Gray: A Pipeline With Over 20 Interior Design Projects in Under 2 Years

#291 Cheryl Luckett – From Side Hustle to Full Time Interior Design

#522 Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang, CPA: Taxes and the Coronavirus Relief Package Explained

#464 Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang: Understanding Your Finances #FreeTheDesigner

#349 Power Talk Friday: Peter Lang: The Designer CPA

#547 Power Talk Friday: Jamie Lieberman of Hashtag Legal: 5 Steps to Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills

#454 Power Talk Friday: Jamie Lieberman: Hashtag Legal – Lawyers That Speak Designer

#149 Brittanie Elms – Founder of My Design Assistant – She Could Be Your Next Employee

#566 Power Talk Friday: Ashley Uhl: Talk to Clients Like a Leader Not a Boss

#412 Power Talk Friday: Ashley Uhl: How to Deliver a High-End Client Experience


What Level is Your Design Business?