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Business of Design

Three Ways Interior Designers can Thrive in Today's Challenging Business Environment


Reflecting on this incredible year, it is clear the interior design industry is in the midst of massive transformation.

I’m awe-struck by the power of technology to completely disrupt the value chain of entire industries. In some ways, these innovations - internet transparency, DIY tools and solution bundling - appear to threaten the central role of the interior designer in the design process.

Nonetheless, I’m convinced that designers and their individual creative genius play an indispensable role in creating stunning interior experiences.

However, there are precious few resources to help designers successfully navigate this ever shifting landscape - and quickly generate sustainable long-term value.  I purposefully emphasize speed and sustainability.  There is a time-based urgency to interior design businesses.  Interior designers don’t have the luxury to acquire venture capital funding that provide long runways for testing and iteration (and potentially facilitate irresponsible spending).

As the owner of Fortuny, a small business struggling against the headwinds of constant disruption - I became obsessed with the idea of building a first-ever incubation space that provided solutions to the three pressing problems facing interior designers.

Problem #1: Right-Fit Space

Typical co-working spaces are sterile and pre-formulated - and dramatically fall short of the needs of interior design professionals.

The concept development and sourcing stages are mission critical - and Fuigo Studio was consciously built to maximize successful execution.  Spacious light-flooded workspaces, dedicated drafting tables and 10,000 material and product samples from 1,000 A&D vendors in the world’s largest lending material library was the result. Together, these amenities enable exceptional creative and business execution. 

Problem #2: Creative Community

I believe community is a critical concept at multiple levels. First, Fuigo Studio exemplifies the clustering theory of innovation. By virtue of close proximity - there is an inevitable collision of ideas and inspiration that morph into groundbreaking design.

In addition, the dynamic force of this community possesses convening power - bringing together leading voices in the industry - making Fuigo Studio the perfect canvas for dialogues that move the industry forward.  I see Fuigo as a modern day salon, a meeting place for the weighty and meaningful conversations in art and design.

A recent conversation at Fuigo Studio with architecture luminary Charles Renfro - Partner at Diller Scofidio & Renfro (DS+R) - about the theory and practice of experiential architecture is a perfect example of thought leadership happening in this space.

Problem #3: Professional Development

Working intimately with interior designers over the past decade, I noticed a fundamental gap between their business skills when they launch their practices and the ones they need to run successful small businesses. As a result, I built an industry-leading project management to efficiently manage their project portfolios - increasing business productivity and intelligence. This software is complementary for all Fuigo Studio members.  

The Studio’s unparalleled resource library and business concierge services also professionalize and transform the daily requirements of every interior design practice.

I’ve dedicated my career to building spaces and tools that foster creative and business excellence for interior designers. In 2019, I invite you to submit your information below or book a tour now to how Fuigo can empower your design practice.

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