I first met designer Catharine Grasty on facebook, and besides being inspired by her clever wit amusing posts and fabulous finds, I had the luck to meet her in person twice, once on a visit to Vancouver.
Catharine will remember me, because I ran in the rain barefoot at midnight. We both enjoy the small luxuries of life. Conversation, beautiful lines, a delicious meal.
The Lady Cate is unforgettable.
A well thumbed book?
I don’t have a single Go-To book or source today but rather a good collection of interior design books illustrating classic approaches whether in the traditional or modern context. The internet is my greatest resource when I need to research a Period for example, or product.
What makes you laugh?
Nothing makes me laugh harder than on-going light-hearted banter between a great group of friends. You know, when everyone knows one another so well and is comfortable with quick wit, pun and even friendly sarcasm. I take all these things lightly
What is your favorite element of the design biz
This is a challenge to answer because I enjoy each aspect, light, color, texture for example however I am rewarded greatly defining or re-defining space both vertically and horizontally.
What is your biggest strength and how do you communicate this to your clients?
I would say establishing rapport is my greatest strength. Thank goodness I guess or I wouldn’t get too far!! Building a relationship with my clients is key, and my primary concern. I’m very focused on identifying needs and desires of my clients, and not just the parents but of all members of a family, which often includes pets thus my assessment is quite thorough. When trust is established early I feel ever confident that the design will flow smoothly.
I’m really pleased to say that I’ve often been contracted by a family to re-design for their children for home additions etc because they considered me “their children’s designer”
What has been your biggest challenge or roadblock with regard to maintaining & growing your business
This won’t sound romantic however reviewing, developing and committing to a new business plan are key to growth, and require a determined focus on the part of my partner and self.
I’ve identified tremendous opportunities in our market that would provide great margins of profit but not perhaps the greatest satisfaction from a designer’s viewpoint.
Our determination to commit to a new plan is key to our securing a share.
Have you modified your pricing structure or any business strategies in the past 12 months?
In reaction to the economy two years ago we reduced our hourly fee to ease the burden for clients. We have since reajusted our fees upward, without complaint.
Our general agreement has never been amended.
What key strategy have you implemented to help keep you focused, on track and motivated?
Again, It all comes down to a Business Plan.
Part 11 will be posted next… http://www.grastydesign.com/
What is something you have changed in how you do business in this new economy?