What Level is Your Design Business?

Sara Barney: The Power of SEO and Business Acumen in Interior Design

Episode 650 of A Well-Designed Business®

Today with Sara Barney

Welcome to A Well-Designed Business. Design is a second career for Sara Malek Barney. Sara was an executive in the entertainment and sports industries before she became the Founder and Principal Designer of Bandd Interiors in Austin, Texas. With plenty of business savvy under her belt, when she launched her design firm, Sara knew to concentrate on two tactics to create and grow her digital footprint. She’s also sharing her advice on how to expand your own business knowledge and deal with those unhappy clients.

Pick it apart:

[12:05] Sara details how she got started with her SEO vendor

[24:47] Sara provides commentary on what’s lacking in the coursework for interior design degree programs

[31:33] Sara describes the scope of her design projects 

[37:11] LuAnn and Sara discuss the nuance of saying yes to smaller projects

[49:17] Sara explains why she isn’t big on detailed renderings

[53:40] Sara reviews the makeup of her team

[1:06:24] Sara give advice on reacting to unhappy clients

LuAnn and Sara Barney’s Ah-Ha moments:

“I’m very big on hiring out. I’m not an expert in everything.” – Sara Malek Barney

“We don’t just quit our job and hope it works. We have a plan.” – LuAnn Nigara

“It’s never just black and white. There’s always a decision process through it.” – LuAnn Nigara

More About Sara Barney:

Sara is the mastermind behind the design. Prior to launching BANDD DESIGN, she spent the first phase of her professional career working in the fast-paced entertainment and sports industries, as an executive at companies such as SXSW, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Her past experience helps her deliver timeless, unique designs for her clients. She believes the design process should be highly collaborative and feel authentic to each individual.

An Austin-native (a rare breed!), Sara spent nearly a decade in sunny Los Angeles, California, where she met her writer husband, Dana, while they were both chasing the Hollywood dream. Now back on home turf, Sara and Dana enjoy endless amounts of breakfast tacos and college football (hook ’em!) with their two daughters.

Sara, a University of Texas alum, has degrees in Corporate Communication and Interior Design. She was named one of Fortune Magazine‘s Most Powerful Women {Next Gen}, one of Austin Monthly‘s Women to Watch, and is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers and the Female Founder Collective.

When not designing, you can find Sara wearing sequins, learning a hip hop dance routine, watching Seinfeld (yes, still), trying to be a cool mom, or daydreaming about Napa.

Connect with Sara Barney:






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A Big THANK YOU to Today’s Podcast Sponsors:

Kravet: Kravet is always finding ways to make shopping easier for you. That’s why they refreshed their website to help your experience be even simpler. With the new redesign, you can quickly access all of your tools, like your account settings, price lists, current and past orders and more. Designers can now also search more specifically by color with Kravet’s new advanced color search, which allows you to create the exact custom color you are looking for and get filtered search results that best match your selection. Visit Kravet.com and explore the new site for yourself today!

What Level is Your Design Business?