Interior design is probably one of the most rewarding and difficult jobs out there. I sense that others perceive interior design as a fun, somewhat easy job. I guess like any service related industry, our job IS to make work look seamless and flawless. Here is some insight into the interior design world: this is a hard business to do well!
As most of you know, I entered the interior design field in Portland, Oregon as a second career. While interior design schools may prepare you with drawings, CAD skills, and basic textile knowledge, they leave out key processes necessary to run a successful project and an interior design firm. My background in marketing, customer service and operations became assets to the business.
The daily workflow of a successful interior design business has been a full of fine-tuning for us over the past few years. I find that we are always striving to provide a better experience to those we serve. It is the perfectionist in me: I always want to get better. Learning the hard way coupled with seeking out professionals in our industry have provided us a working blueprint to follow. While I want our clients and partners to recognize the beauty of the interior spaces we design, I think that is only a small part of our job. It is our goal that our contractors and clients see us as the best at customer service and documenting the design of the project – so details are executed perfectly, in harmony with our client’s desires.
Two years ago now, my respected colleague and friend from my former business life agreed to join the Angela Todd Designs team. I say the word “team”, but actually at that time Laura was the second member of our team. I needed someone with the operational skills necessary to help support the growing business, so I could dive deep into creative activities. Her organizational management background and breath of operational knowledge made her an adept and ideal fit for the growing business. As much as I tried to find someone else when she kindly refused me time and time again, I knew she was the one. She told me once her biggest obstacle was being concerned she would grow bored. Her experience of consulting with businesses to make them more operationally sound, concerned her that she would “fix” the business operations and then her heart would want to move on. How fun and challenging would operationally running an interior design business be for someone with only moderate interest in interior design? Like the general public, she thought business operations in interior design would be easy to whip into shape. I must have been persistent, she finally said yes after 24 months of getting her used to the idea of running the operations at Angela Todd Designs.
Laura Rowe has been such an asset to Angela Todd Designs that it is hard to put into words. Laura is able to see the company and processes like an eagle from above. Her eyes can see the whole landscape, while still spotting each grass blade down below. She has the work ethic of a business owner (probably because she has been one), and has a memory so acute I jokingly call her Rainman, the part Dustin Hoffman played in the movie with the same name. She naturally is always looking to improve our operational flow. She manages our business operations including accounting and payroll support, initiates all clients orders, and ensures receiving and deliveries. She also reviews our designer specifications of documents for our contractors and subcontractors, and provides back up design implementation support as needed. (Our installation days are full of hard work, but that is another blog altogether.)
Ms. Laura Rowe is the glue that ensures your project runs smoothly and that benchmarks are met timely at Angela Todd Designs. Our clients frequently tell me how much they think of her. She is both friendly and proactive. I wholeheartedly consider her the backbone of our business, and our success is significantly attributed to her talents and abilities.
When you work with us and relish the experience of building, remodeling or furnishing your home, it might be fun to think of the gal in the shadows that ensured your great experience.
Thank you Laura.