Margaret Russell’s Keynote Speech at the 2015 Architectural Digest Home Design Show | Summary and Q&A

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August 4, 2015
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Architectural Digest
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Margaret Russell’s Keynote Speech at the 2015 Architectural Digest Home Design Show

TL;DR

Alexa Hampton and Jamie Drake share their experiences and insights on running a successful design business.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Alexa Hampton and Jamie Drake get started in their design businesses?

Alexa Hampton stumbled into the business accidentally through connections, while Jamie Drake received an opportunity to design apartments for a wealthy family after graduating from a prestigious private school.

Q: What advice did Sean Driscoll of Glorious Foods give Alexa Hampton?

Sean Driscoll advised Hampton to have enough working capital, which she later learned was essential for the business's financial stability.

Q: How does Alexa Hampton manage her design team?

Hampton's office has 14 people, allowing for efficient collaboration and micromanagement. She is involved in every decision and appreciates input from her team.

Q: How has the industry changed with the rise of platforms like first dibs and reality TV shows?

While these platforms have made design more accessible to the general public, Hampton believes that expertise, time, and wisdom are still valuable for clients rather than discounts or access.

Q: What makes a great client-designer relationship?

Compatibility and shared style preferences are key. Designers should look for clients who are honest, transparent, and realistic about their goals and budgets.

Q: Have Alexa Hampton or Jamie Drake ever fired a client?

Yes, both designers have ended client relationships when incompatibility became apparent. They believe in maintaining a positive working environment and being honest about client satisfaction.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Alexa Hampton and Jamie Drake discuss their journeys in building successful design businesses, highlighting the importance of connections and learning from other industries.

  • They emphasize the need for working capital and the benefits of having a support team in managing a design business.

  • The changing dynamics of the industry, driven by platforms like first dibs and reality TV shows, offer new opportunities for designers to shape the future of their careers.

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