Friday Focus on Design – Interview with Leslie Carothers Part 2

Leslie shares some of her working philosophy, in the second part of our chat:

How do you differentiate yourself from your competition?

According to Leslie,  it’s her desire to collaborate. She believes that what one does has to reflect one’s own personality.  I feel like I know Leslie, her work definitely reflects her. Her spirit surrounds us.

Keeping the goal in mind at all times even with multiple distractions. Maintaining fluidity & movement even if there are changes.  Admitting that she is easy going, Leslie can keep calm in chaos, her eye focused on the big picture.

Sounds like a handy skill to me. Oh where is that Keep Calm in Chaos poster in pink?

Any advice for would-be or for upcoming designpreneurs?

Find a very specific niche. Do not try to be a generalist.  Look for your microniche.

For example: pick project design as a niche.

Be sure to balance actual work, with new clients

Incorporate business development with work execution.

Sage advice indeed!

Gone are the days when one could be everything to everyone.

Cozy niche in Leslie Carothers Home - Dont you love the mix of textures.

What is the craziest thing you have done that resulted in helping your biz?

Stole this from Regina Garay of Fauxology from her interview with Leslie: “ I had also always loved the Internet and was intensely curious about it.  Even back this many years ago, I was sure it was going to change how furniture retailing worked.  However, no one else believed me…then. “

Leslie is definitely a deep thinker and a visionary,

She has such incredible big picture plans for creating a new kind of playing field in the design industry. Educating the consumer, and communicating their wants to the manufacturers and furniture retailers she represents & beyond. Vice versa too. Taking what the retailers learn from consumers and sharing with designers and manufacturers. Supporting designers. Encouraging interaction, communication, forging new partnerships.

Tying in parties events & experiences to create strong bonds. Using online tools to deepen and widen the offline experience. for all of us!

Leslie is in a unique position, having worked in the furniture industry in many guises including as a designer, and a trainer, she has her pulse at the heart of the  industry.


Name something you could not live without?

Balance.   An essential part of what makes all of Leslie so dynamic.

Talking with her hands  (I know that one!)

Her family.  (so important.)

She is addicted to Colors, Food and the joy of taste.

Share a well loved way you celebrate your life:


Leslie adores taking pictures, photography.

Loves to read, and write. Enjoys browsing bookstores.  She is a nature lover, and is attracted to exploring & travel.

Is drawn to anything that inspires her. Leslie loves to cook and says she doesn’t do it enough.

(wish I lived near Leslie, I know we could have so much fun.)

Favorite drink? Leslie doesn’t drink much, she opts for the occasional vodka and tonic or a glass of wine.

Favorite food? Leslie says she is crazy for spinach, no matter which way it is served.  Her favorite food is pancakes. Reminds her of her childhood. Leslie says she is giving up pancakes for spinach in 2011.

Hmmm I wonder how many ways you can make spinach?

How can we help Leslie?

With her skills of communication, connection, and innovation, Leslie has found a way to combine passion and livelihood.  We can help her in her quest to link and educate consumers, designers, furniture manufacturers and retailers to enhance the experience from forest to living room, by sharing what she shares.

Engaging in this conversation.

Leslie believes that our homes are a spiritual repository of our souls.

No one who lives in a mess, or who is surrounded  by possessions they abhor, can be in a healthy space.  Some of the poorest people have the most immaculate homes.

Well designed furniture has a depth, richness and life span that is an integral part of this value.

Certainly if you get on twitter make a point of connecting with Leslie.@tpkleslie

She is the most generous person I know.  Pay attention to what she tweets and how she tweets..Pay it forward.  Leslie believes in mentoring others,

check out her webpage, her articles, and the events Leslie is involved in and makes happen…

where design and social media meet

Leslie is with a smile, ready to laugh and draw you in to her magic circle.

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