What Level is Your Design Business?

Flashback Friday: Studio Thomas: Finding Clarity on the Brand and Culture of Her Interior Design Firm

Episode 686 of A Well-Designed Business®

On Today’s Flashback Friday

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. On this week’s Flashback Friday, we’re taking a look back at episode 314 with Kristen Thomas of Studio Thomas. 

Like many designers, Kristen started her business taking on any work that came her way. But four years in, she wanted to gain clarity on the experience she wanted to create, the clients she wanted to work with, and the philosophy she wanted to connect with as she approached projects. She made the decision to niche down and gain clarity. The results spoke for themselves.

Pick it apart:

  • [6:16] Kristen shares how she transitioned out of taking every job that came her way by focusing on her work and her reputation. 
  • [16:07] Kristen and LuAnn discuss the importance of creating the right culture through your staff and hiring process.
  • [25:19] Kristen discusses the revamp in her business and the results that it brought.
  • [38:22] Kristen shares her process for rebranding and how it influenced every decision she made in her business.

LuAnn and Kristen’s Ah-Ha moments:

“It was a pure faith thing. We just said we have to believe in ourselves and work hard. For me, there was no option of failure. It just wasn’t even an option, because for me, I was going to work so hard and treat everybody so good, and get my reputation where I felt like it was strong enough where I could ride forward on that reputation and get better and better jobs.” -Kristen Thomas


“When you look at Studio Thomas, when you look at your Instagram, when you look at your website, and you are a designer that maybe is in business one or two years, or maybe a designer that’s in business seven, eight, or 15 years, and you’re not doing that type of work, it’s very easy to be down on yourself and think ‘Oh my goodness, what am I doing wrong? How do I get there? Why don’t I know how to do that?’ But to hear how hard it was for you—that doesn’t come through on Instagram.” -LuAnn Nigara


“I never planned on being a leader. I never planned on being a boss. Never. I was going to be an interior designer and I thought that’s what I was going to do. And the more people we got on our team, the more I thought, ‘I got to learn to be a leader.’” -Kristen Thomas


“It’s like a tug-of-war. If you have a client who doesn’t think the same kind of things that you’re thinking, you literally feel like you’re going back and forth like a tug-of-war. It’s not flowing well. It’s not fun for them. It’s not fun for you, and you don’t want to do that. You want your highest contribution, and you want to be the very best at what you do.” -Kristen Thomas

More About Kristen Thomas Kristen is the principal designer and owner of Studio Thomas. Her career started in real estate, where the world of home building eventually led her to study interior design. With nearly 20 years in the industry, her education pairs with experience to create a refined expertise in designing and building homes. Since founding her firm in 2013, Kristen has worked on a wide variety of projects, each unique in size, scope, and style. Her aesthetic is clean and modern, focusing on the power of architecture, simplicity, and texture. Her design method is one that elevates your own style, while adding value to your home and depth to its story.  Connect with Kristen Thomas



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A Big THANK YOU to Today’s Podcast Sponsor:

Kirsch: Kirsch is the leader in drapery hardware. Their Briza Motorization, allowing your clients to control their draperies in an instant from anywhere. It’s simple to install, quiet, and easily integrates with third party systems. It’s even available on most of their most popular rods. Visit kirsch.com today to learn more! 


Other Shows Mentioned: 

#174 Power Talk Friday- Fred Berns- Own Your “Only” Word & Tips to Discover Yours


#256 Nancy Ganzekaufer- A Powerful Strategy to Attract More Clients


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


#606 Phoebe Oldrey: How a Niche Can Give New Life to Your Business


What Level is Your Design Business?