BASED IN: NEW YORK
What exactly is Designerlebrity™ and how did it get started?
It’s funny because the label Designerlebrity was an affectionate term I called celebrity interior designers for over two decades. I worked various jobs in the interior design industry and my interaction with some of the best in the business was as if I was working with the likes of Hollywood royalty. The name itself became a trademark brand in 2014 when a new online network gave me an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. I negotiated a deal to create the industry’s first web talk show that spotlighted these design talents in a similar fashion of today’s talk shows that spotlights movie stars.
Designerlebrity™ the “brand” was born and it quickly manifold into platforms for delivering design hot topics on syndicated television shows, both major printed and online publications and LIVE speaking events across the nation all within its first year of conception. Designerlebrity™ is formulating to be a pop culture style brand that offers it’s rapidly growing community a unique and distinctive look at the world of interior design and the people who influence it. I feel like I’m the design host version of a Wendy Williams in this industry. Laugh. I have no filter, am a bit opinionated, but have this authentic desire to get the public viewing interior design with fresh eyes from my informative and yet very entertaining perspective.
What is the best part about being an entrepreneur? What is the worst/hardest part?
Freedom of creative thinking and then executing those ideas. We all have an entrepreneurial spirit even when working for someone else. But the beauty of having an idea, then passionately acting on it to produce work that benefits others is FABULOUS! You get addicted to perform at your absolute best and deliver (hopefully) something that is valuable to the masses. It’s euphoric, lovely, incredible even and it makes it easier to deal with the difficulties of being a solo-preneur who works so hard to keep at it everyday.
My industry and I’m sure other industries too can be like high school with money. Once you start becoming popular, you have your cliques, your haters and your own insecurities to deal with. Not to mention “the struggle is real” as you are truly making sacrifices with no guarantees of “passing”. The flip side to this is you start to learn what you are made of. You filter out and attract people who become your loyal supporters and mentors. You slowly build confidence in yourself and now all the hardships are simply class lessons learned. You can’t please everyone so just enjoy the journey of making yourself happy. Smile.
What part of your personality helped you the most with your entrepreneurial journey?
Wow, I would have to say my multiple personalities. Giggles. I’m kind of serious actually. You wear so many hats when you are in business and you meet so many people with different temperaments. I personally have a very strong, no nonsense, tough and straight forward deposition by nature. But being bold and brazen all the time would kill anyone’s growth in business. I learned reading people and adjusting my approach works best to building valuable working relationships. When you are capable of being a little more open minded, kinder, even sympathetic yet still direct, you actually garner more respect and a reputation of being a good solid standing person to work with. That’s what other entrepreneurs are looking for when wanting to work with someone. In a nutshell, just be authentic because I can smell bullshit threw a phone call. Wink.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
This is a great question and my straight up answer is both! Goal setting is must. It’s a way to keep score on everything you do in life. From wanting to lose weight to trying to get your business recognized on the next Forbes list. You want to monetize how well or not so well you are doing because in business you are always pivoting.
Which leads to going with the flow. I got asked to do a second season for my web talk show by the network. (Twice) Even to host a new show for them which I kindly declined. I know it sounds insane, but off the heels of the success of my first season came lucrative opportunities like becoming a contributing editor for a magazine, getting contracts to produce and host my own LIVE talk shows across the country and now partnership deals in the works for other networks and product lines.
The key is you always want to “stay on brand” but leave your options open to receive opportunities you would have missed if you focused too much on strategizing. It’s important to embrace both your vision of achievements and pleasant surprises your business may take you. I guess in a sense that’s part of my strategy.
Success means something different to everyone. What does it mean to you?
I’m sure many have answered this question with having enough money to do what they love to do, but for me it’s always about having more time. Success for me would be having more time to do what I love to do. I have so many passions and dreams I would like to fulfill, but it seems there is never enough time to do them. I would happily give up living in a large home, scaling back on work and focus my energy on what really makes me happy. In fact I am doing just that right now. To get back time with my family and pursue a few dreams I have put on hold because life was getting too much in my way, I have sold my huge house, got more strategic with my business partnerships and have set guidelines to ensure more time in doing things that simply make me happy. Success!
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to someone?
“Never under estimate the power of your gut instincts.” – Barbara Corcoran. This advice has been given to me in so many forms, from my mother telling me to “listen to my heart”, to the legendary business mogul, Barbara Corcoran molding it into this motivational quote, to me sharing it with my own children by telling them to “trust their inner voice”, it’s been the most essential guide in my life. It has guided me from avoiding dangerous moments to making executive decisions. TRUST YOUR GUT! Gather all the information needed to make good judgement calls and then act on it from a place of confidence. It’s an important skill to master both in life and in business.