Real Impacts of LuAnn Live for Beginner, Rising, and Seasoned Designers
Katie Menon remembers being in the front row of LuAnn Live in 2019.
She was sitting next to Jenny Slingerland, listening to Candy Scott speak.
These three designers were all at different levels in business, but each came away from the event with many aha moments, as well as a lasting friendship between them.
“I remember hearing the different speakers and Candy talking about hiring and how many employees you had,” recalls Katie, who was just starting out at the time.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s just me. I don’t have any employees.’” But now, only four years later, Katie (CEO and Founder of Stephenson House in Alberta, Canada) has seven full-time employees. She recognizes that the growth in her business originated from hearing Candy and all the other speakers at LuAnn Live.
In the next seat, Jenny Slingerland (Founder and Principal Designer of Black Ink Interiors in Scottsdale, Arizona) says an aha moment from Michele Williams about pricing was the most influential for her.
“To be able to say, ‘This is what I charge’…and then be able to stand true to that and know there is a whole group of other designers who are going home with that same information is really empowering,” she explains.
Then, as a rising designer, being able to speak and interact with the presenters was also beneficial to Jenny, especially at the VIP roundtables. She says, “They are very generous with their knowledge, and the information is applicable no matter what stage of business you’re in.”
She was already a seasoned designer but appreciated the opportunity to network with designers of all levels and experience—some further than her who could plant seeds of possibilities for her business, some she was on par with, and others just beginning with whom she could offer guidance and direction.
“These conversations are a necessary part of building a successful business and brand if that is the goal, and they typically don’t happen on a frequent basis,” she says.
Katie, Jenny, and Candy have each had continued success in the interior design industry since that first event and continue to build their businesses and brands.
This year, the trio made a plan to attend LuAnn Live together and are even staying a few extra days to conceptualize their next plans collectively. “It’s wonderful and nourishing to reconnect with designer friends,” says Candy.
“There is always something to learn,” adds Katie, who says that sharing the experience with Jenny and Candy helps her not feel so isolated in her business.
“These women—who I feel have a very similar perspective on their goals and what they want to achieve professionally— have allowed me to rely on them as a sounding board and for advice in a way that is so nonthreatening,” she says.
“Nobody has any hesitations about sharing anything that they’ve learned along the way that has helped them with their business.”
Jenny expresses, “The relationships that you build [at LuAnn Live] are invaluable,” pointing out that she and Katie and Candy are not only wonderful friends but also accountability partners, checking in with one another once they return home, confirming each is putting their ideas and aha moments into practice.