Her design aesthetic, her zest for life, her kindness…
Why do your clients hire you?
Our clients often tell us that we are the second or third team they have interviewed. Generally, we find that our ability to build rapport and establish credibility very early is the major factor.
Enthusiasm and our ability to conceptualize on the spot leaves an impression.
Your favorite client experience and why?
I don’t think it’s possible for us to pick one favorite client experience.
There are always projects and relationships that are satisfying, and then there are clients who really ‘get it’, are savvy, intuitive and partner well with us, yet have the foresight and wisdom to allow us to guide them and our trades to a great finished result. We don’t take it for granted and feel fortunate, grateful that the majority of our clients are our favorite experiences.
How do you show appreciation to your clients?
On completion of each project we present our clients with a gift for their home. A favored item tends to be a great decorative mirror for entry or 0ver a buffet, otherwise an art piece they have indicated a preference for, however have not committed. Those are very meaningful for them and such a treat for us when we see their joy. Beyond that we have an annual appreciation open house where many arrive with friends wanting an introduction. We offer design tips on cards, and through presentation, and highlight trends on computers where everyone interacts. Everyone enjoys the energy and excitement, leads develop and new relationships are easily forged.
Identify your most effective free or inexpensive marketing tool or strategy
We still believe in the phone call. Often we will acquire leads through local MLS identifying people moving into our area. During our introductory phone conversation we tell them of our specialty in custom window coverings (for example) and offer a two-hour complimentary in-home consult. We arrive confident. Our prospective client has already acknowledged they need help. There’s no reason it isn’t going to be us. Once the agreement is determined for the best window treatments it follows that our new client will desire our professional guidance on all other aspects of their design. Much trust is established in a home, in two hours.
Where do you go for trends and inspiration?
My goodness….I wonder, where don’t I go!!! For colors and trends in textures and so forth, we keep a watchful eye on European Designer Fashion in Paris and Milan, both Haute and ready to wear. Our focus becomes sourcing materials that might be slightly ahead of the North American market.
We continually find inspiration in historic buildings in Vancouver, or on our travels. Simply going to a new restaurant for dinner can provide more than we anticipated. There are wonderful commercial designs that get our juices going. Trade and Designer shows, leaders in the design and fashion industry, a vast library of design books and new publications and nature.
Top Social media tip?
Establishing a Business Profile on Face Book has provided very pleasing results.
Prospective clients searching Google using key words/phrases have been lead to our posts that discuss their topic with images supporting our message. These might be trends, color theory, or design ideas for lofts and offices.
We post effectively and let search engines do the rest.
Name a well loved way you celebrate your life?
I’m quite a ‘home-body’ when it comes down to it. At least during the winter months I’m content to cocoon and feel quite pampered with a cozy fire (place), classical music, a good book and pleasure in the company of my two cats.
I cherish times with family and friends of course.
Come summertime I’m harder to pin down. A sunny day is an excuse for a five-hour drive with the car roof down, no particular destination required.
I might be out kayaking on the ocean, or walking a beautiful wooded trail, entertaining on my roof terrace.
Every day begins and ends on the terrace; watching the sun rise very early and star gazing each night.
What is something you could not live without?
Can I name two? I would not want to be without my iphone and my Mac !!
What is next for you?
What will be next is a return to my painting and drawing.
I am entranced by Catharine’s two sided approach a disciplined work ethic, with a delight in nature and enjoyment.
Find Catharine… http://www.grastydesign.com/
What is something you do to celebrate your life?