As we returned to business after a two month summer break, it was wonderful to find Kathleen Bivona had baked and brought us amazing treats, from scrambled eggs to banana bread, fresh fruit, yogurt, home-made granola and more! Holly Sutton-Darr also contributed baked good and coffee.
Our program consisted of a Panel Discussion led by Donna Moss on Defining Our Industry in Today’s Challenging Market. Three specific topics were discussed-
Donna spoke about the need to define your niche. Find the one thing you can do that will set you apart from other designers – perhaps a specialty. Why not post a You Tube video? Promote yourself everywhere you go. Convince the potential client that they need a designer to put it all together for them. DIY’ers will try to do it but often run into snags when the product arrives and they just can’t pull it all together.
Holly Sutton-Darr gave us something to think about… plant your seeds everywhere you go and eventually it does pay off. Promote yourself to everyone everywhere, ask for referrals, and give back to your community. Value yourself or others won’t see how good you are. Not only should you Think outside the box, you must Do outside the box! Separating your schedule into work days and free days can help you to be more productive and don’t feel guilty when you don’t read work emails on a free day!
Elaine Curley Urban talked to us about contractors and setting boundaries with them. Always be your best. Show up on the jobsite able to walk it – no high heels! Be one of the guys there, within reason. Today’s contractor see themselves in a new role – one of a designer on the job! You must get in early on the job. Be sure all the details of your work are listed in your contract with the client. Remember to use change order requests when you need them. Why not keep a day book on the jobsite for anyone working on the job to record what was done that day or any questions or concerns to be addressed?
Many good ideas came forth from our general membership as well. It was a great meeting! You should have been there…