Download “The Things I Learned From Judi Kieffer”

My guest today is Judi Kieffer, who has over 24 years’ experience in hospitality, luxury residential, and restaurant design. Her portfolio is full of top tier projects and satisfied clients. In our conversation, she shares advice about how she built and now manages her design firm in Boise, Idaho. Judi is involved as an advocate for personal and professional development and for sustainable products and developments.

She participates in several local philanthropic and civic groups and is a mentor for women’s and children’s organizations. She was recently appointed as a spokesperson for the American Society of Interior Designers and is a certified Green Globe auditor. Her passions are yoga, fine wine, riding horses, hiking, and inspiring other designers to run more profitable and enjoyable businesses. Join me for this conversation with Judi!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Judi’s career began, working for three different companies before opening her own firm
  • The benefits of experience, classes, and various job positions before going out on your own
  • What it’s like to build your own design firm in the beginning: cold calling, mailings, projects, and referrals
  • What the builder or architect needs to hear from the commercial designer: how our services can fit into your project
  • How to use directories for leads on upcoming commercial projects
  • How to find free top sheets in your local area
  • The benefits of long-term relationships in the design business
  • Judi’s recommendations for software, including Quickbooks, Studio Designer, and MORE!
  • The challenges as your business grows: having systems in place and using personality profiles as you add more people to your team
  • Day-to-day running the firm: journals and calendars
  • Judi’s superpower? Using the interior as a marketing tool
  • Clear practices for charging fees
  • Judi’s advice to a new designer with no portfolio: show your passion and excitement, have confidence, ask questions, and present solutions
  • Judi’s interest in green building products
  • The recent surge in green products
  • Advice Judi’s received that is still with her:
    • Be absolutely true to your passion
    • Honor yourself
    • Allow yourself time to breathe, renew, and relax
    • Be transparent in communication
  • What’s ahead for Judi? Hiring an office manager and hosting eco-glamping retreats

Resources:

Find out more about Judi!  Kieffer Design Group

For the free WindowWorks newsletter, text 444-999 and enter “designbiz”

www.usgbc.org  (Find out more about green building products)

Search the GreenWorks or Green Standard group in your local area

Judi recommends the following books:

ECO-preneuring by John Ivanko

The Northwest Green Home Primer by K.L. Smith and Kathleen O’Brien

The Philosophy of Sustainable Design by Jason F. McLennan

Women in Green by Kira Gould and Lance Hosey

Value Pricing for the Design Firm by Frank Stasiowski

A Guide to Principles and Practices for Interior Designers by Harry Sigel

Marketing and Selling Design Services by Mary V. Knackstedt

Interior Designers Business Handbook by Mary V. Knackstedt