What Level is Your Design Business?

Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller: Tactics to Building a Thriving Interior Design Business During any Economic Climate

Episode 884 of A Well-Designed Business®
884: Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller: Tactics to Building a Thriving Interior Design Business During any Economic Climate

Today With Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller:

Welcome to a Well-Designed Business. Running a business is hard. Running one through economic downturns and recessions is tougher. My guests today, Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller of Toledo Geller, have been running their firm together for 17 years. They’ve seen ups and downs in the financial climate—and through it all, they’ve pivoted, built up their network, and come out stronger than before. Today, they’re sharing what you can do in your business to come through even the toughest of economic climates.

Pick It Apart

[3:58] Jessica and Virginia share what they’re most proud of in their business over the years.

[17:03] Jessica and Virginia discuss how they’ve always ensured they had a strong pipeline of clients.

[26:40] Jessica, Virginia, and LuAnn talk about the importance of flexibility in business.

[43:28] Jessica and Virginia share their onboarding process for their operations manager.

LuAnn Nigara, Virginia Toledo, and Jessica Geller’s Ah-Ha Moments

“If you have a business model that you are looking to scale and you have a staff, you feel responsible to keep employed and fed at the end of the day as well as your own family.” -Virginia

“It’s clear in observing you all these years, that there is a bond and there is respect and admiration. You couldn’t have survived all these years, you couldn’t build a team of eight women behind you without it.” -LuAnn

“It shows the importance of flexibility. If we just said that we were one thing, and we followed one path, and that was it, we probably would never have made it this far.” -Jessica

More About Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller

Toledo Geller is a boutique firm that excels at delivering turn-key, custom residences for singles, couples and families who value exceptional design.

Virginia and Jessica’s approach begins with a deep dive into how each client dreams of living. Getting to know their clients intimately, thoroughly understanding their wish lists and worries, allows Toledo Geller to create a unique, luxury living space that truly reflects who they are—and what they love.

With their mastery of both the design and construction process, Toledo Geller partners with architects and builders from the blueprint stage to completion, providing project management and development oversight. The team works tirelessly to ensure the integrity of each project from start to finish—intent on not just meeting, but exceeding, clients’ expectations.

Toledo Geller was founded over a decade ago and they have been declared House Beautiful’s “Next Wave,” and have been finalists in Innovations in Interior Design, “Ones to Watch” and “Rising Stars” by industry magazines and associations.


Virginia founded Toledo Geller in 2006 after recognizing a need in the luxury residential market for a firm with specialized knowledge in both the design and construction process. Formally trained in interior design, she also gained invaluable experience working along side her father, a general contractor, on construction sites.

A native of Brooklyn, Virginia is a mother who loves historical fiction and entertaining in her 1920’s Craftsman style New Jersey home, which she is constantly updating.


The experience of renovating a children’s hospital playroom sparked Jessica’s decision to switch careers from social work to interior design. Her intuitive design sensibility is both innate and learned from experience in the field, and she gravitates towards the perfectly imperfect—such as introducing a color that seems “off” but magically completes the design.

A mother of three, Jessica moved to Essex Fells within a year of renovating her 1850s Hoboken townhouse to embark on transforming a 1920s center hall colonial into the perfect cozy home for spending time with her family.

Connect with Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller





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Other Shows Mentioned:

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#395 Power Talk Friday: Michele Williams: Financial Health Checklist for Your Interior Design Business

#634 Power Talk Friday: Jessica Harling: A Specific Process for Onboarding a New Hire

#663 Andrea Hysmith: Structure and Flexibility, Keys to Reaching Goals in Your Interior Design Business

What Level is Your Design Business?