Dow in the Dumps
June 24, 2011
Well, I'm hunkered in my bunker trying to ride out the economy and the new face on the business of interior design. It's a brave new world for designers, and for old dogs like myself, there are many new tricks to learn!
Sink or Swim Seminar
Our local chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers recently featured national president Michael Thomas to speak at a meeting hosted by KDR Designer Showroom. Having met him years ago when I was on the board and chapter president, I knew that he would be generous and frank in sharing his knowledge. He acknowledged that design firms of all levels have been affected by the dives of the Dow. Michael as well has dramatically changed his practice; for instance high-tailing out of Florida for greener pastures. He's tackling the ever-changing technology driven by the internet to address issues such as sustainable design and aging-in-place. Lately, I've noticed a lot of designers offering different services related to design, trying to diversify and re-invent themselves. A lot of designers, showrooms, and manufacturers have simply gone down, never to be seen again. It's the end of an era.
Yours truly and Michael Thomas, President ASID 2010-2011
The fact of the matter is that the rich are getting richer and rest of us are not. This bodes well for high-end interior design projects, but when you crunch the numbers of how many potential clients are out there and how many potential designers are competing for them, it's a dog eat dog world! Soon after writing my "Cheap, Cheap, Cheap" blog, even internationally-known designer Vicente Wolfe commented on having to resort to catalogues such as Wisteria and Restoration Hardware to bring in some of his projects on budget. One can respond with fear and negativity to the prospect of seemingly dwindling profits, or one can evolve and re-invent themselves to accommodate the necessary changes to survive, and perhaps even prosper. Good design has never been more important than now, and I look forward to contributing what I can to make the world a better and more beautiful place. It will probably have something to do with interior design, art, and music...what's not to love about that?