What Level is Your Design Business?

Jillian Lare: An Engineer-Turned-Designer’s Take on Tech

Episode 898 of A Well-Designed Business®
898: Jillian Lare: An Engineer-Turned-Designer’s Take on Tech

Today With Jillian Lare:

Today on A Well-Designed Business, I am joined once again by Jillian Lare, a trained engineer, experienced college lecturer, and award-winning interior designer. A few years ago, Jillian partnered with her friend and fellow designer to start Morris Lare Interiors in Des Moines, Iowa, and it has been a growing success. Jillian credits a lot of her success and smooth business operations to the technology she implements. She is sharing what is working well in her business, along with suggestions on where to get started integrating technology into your businesses as well. She’s also got a great prompt if you want ChatGPT to create a great Spotify playlist just for you.

Pick It Apart

[4:12] Jillian explains how she uses various project management software platforms in her firm.

[19:04] Jillian shares how her team does a daily check in each morning on Slack to stay up to date on their priorities without having to meet in person.

[27:20] LuAnn and Jillian discuss tracking time and expenses within the project management systems and by using the app Harvest.

[30:07] Jillian talks about how she is using Milanote.

[44:03] LuAnn shares her thoughts on naming conventions and how these need to be thought through at the beginning so they are easily searchable.

[48:33] Jillian explains why she uses DesignSpec to keep a record of all of their specs in one database.

[54:16] LuAnn and Jillian discuss using AI for idea generation, making a great Spotify playlist, and prompting Midjourney.

LuAnn Nigara and Jillian Lare’s Ah-Ha Moments

“I’m about just get something that works. And email is not the answer.” – LuAnn Nigara

“f it’s not easy to do, it doesn’t matter how good it is. It’s not going to get done.” – LuAnn Nigara

“I just want everything to be accessible wherever I am. The minute it’s like not accessible is when I’m kind of like start to lose interest in it, because we’re just out and about so much.” – Jillian Lare

“Every time you enter the same information in multiple places, that’s an opportunity to get it wrong.” – Jillian Lare

More About Jillian Lare

Jillian Lare is a native of northeastern Pennsylvania. She achieved a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and spent her early career with Intel Corporation. During her time as an engineer, she honed the invaluable skills of critical thinking, project management, leadership, and effective communication, which she applies every day as an interior designer and entrepreneur.

Jillian made the switch from engineering to design in 2007 when she apprenticed with a local designer. Upon relocating to Des Moines, she enrolled in the MA of Interior Design program at Iowa State and graduated in 2013. She joined the faculty shortly after and served as an instructor for five years, specializing in residential design and visual and graphic communication. While teaching, she continued to design for clients. After the birth of her son in 2017, she launched Jillian Lare Interior Design, her eponymous firm focused on residential new construction and remodeling.

Jillian enjoys working on a variety of residential projects including new construction, kitchen remodels, decorating, and furnishings throughout the Des Moines area and with clients coast to coast. She resides in West Des Moines with her husband Keegan, a registered landscape architect, their son Ashton, and two dogs Booker and Arlo.

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Other Resources Mentioned:








Studio Designer

MyDoma Studio





Google Suite

Chief Architect


Type Form

Design Spec




Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg

Atomic Habits by James Clear

What Level is Your Design Business?