It takes a village as they say and we couldn’t agree more. In last week’s episode on Partnerships, we discussed the importance of agreeing on what outsourcing expenses to incur as a company such as bookkeeping, tax prep, social media etc. Today we are going to talk about all the other people we rely on (and why) to make our business successful.
2. ART AND WINDOW TREATMENT INSTALLER
We have been working with the same window treatment/art installer since the inception of our business. We worked together at the design showroom (Decorating Mart) where we met. It has been an incredible partnership. A few important expectations we live by:
1. Be super courteous to our clients.
2. Be professionally dressed – no holes in shirts, no belly hanging out, no smelling of smoke, no dirty shoes
3. Come prepared – every tool, ladder, grommet, drill bit, saw, touch up paint, glue, paint brush, steamer etc. should be on that truck.
4. Be on time- need we say more?
5. Be flexible – installs can get hairy and hectic – you have to be able to go with the flow with no attitude and a “make it happen” attitude.
3. WINDOW TREATMENT AND SOFT GOODS FABRICATOR
Quality, professional custom window treatments, pillows, headboards, upholstery etc. is a huge part of our business. For years and years Kelly took all the measurements, wrote up all the work orders and ordered the custom hardware herself. We still do some of that but we’ve also started outsourcing a lot of this. Mistakes are big and expensive in our business so why have the stress? A ton goes in to custom window treatments –
1. Our fabricator goes to the clients house to measure, writes up all workorders, orders all specified hardware and delivers the window treatments to the job site to assist the installer and make sure the quality is perfect.
2. Tricky walls and ceilings, molding and corners sometimes require a custom template to be made for that the hardware or how the mounting board is cut.
3. The quality of the lining and pillow inserts we use are items we have perfected over time.
4. Motorization for unreachable windows, room darkening treatments in media centers, unlined sheers in sunrooms – all items we need to discuss with the client.
5. You need to be able to make your design concept or a clients particular wish come to life and it’s all about your workroom’s abilities to make this happen.
6. Remember – you get what you pay for.
4. RECEIVER AND MOVERS
Being established designers, we order 85% of our product direct from manufacturers. Most manufacturers don’t drop ship to residential addresses (nor do we really want them to for quality assurance purposes). So this means that most of our product has to be delivered to a loading dock, inspected for damages, and stored safely until install. Upon install, this same company delivers all of the product at one time (hopefully) to the install.
1. Our experiences from Chicago to Charleston to Atlanta.
2. All the same expectations that we have for our art installer (which sometimes requires babysitting- story of the belt).
3. The cost for receiving and inspection, storage and delivery are big costs in our business and ones that have to be managed carefully. For example, as soon as the last time arrives for a client, we plan the install.
5. FURNITURE MAKERS
These peeps are a huge part of our team and our ability to make visions reality. When you can’t find what you want in the market place, what are you going to do? When you have a client with big dreams that he or she is looking to you to create, what are you going to do?
1. Curating relationships with artisans.
a. Thad at Modera
b. The Jersey guys making the banquet for Allure
c. Mitch – Joann’s bed, my mirror, custom sized kitchen tables, Klein’s sofa table, the arched doors at the Magnolia Showhouse
6. WALLPAPER INSTALLERS
1. Quote thoroughly and quickly
2. Be prepared for ceilings and tight spaces.
3. Sometimes working with difficult papers – MAKE IT HAPPEN attitude
We’ve used the same painters for 18 years. When we call for our clients, they get the utmost service because of our partnership with our paint company and the respect we have for one another.
1. Our expectations
2. Big crews – efficient and timely completion
3. Few call backs
4. In uniform
5. Quality paint at all times
8. KITCHEN & BATH REMODELERS
When the recession hit Atlanta in 2008, we were still super busy. People could sell their homes or build new ones because the market was in the toilet but they still had money. So lots of people started remodeling. This began our quest for really good contractors especially in the kitchen & bath arena.
1. How we work together – it doesn’t always work out.
2. Working such that we alongside our contractor are both making a profit.
3. Contractors that can think outside the box and collaborate with us.
4. Contractors that have a good steady team of office peeps and reliable subs.
5. How good are they with follow up issues and/or problems at any stage of the project especially the very end.