Friday Focus on Design – Interview with Leslie Carothers

I met Leslie on Twitter. She is a mile a minute gal.   Carrying  on 15 twitter conversations at once. I am immediately struck by her energy, vitality and her kindness.  Her sharing and embracing us all. Like our Twitter mother hen, bringing us all into the fold. Supporting us. Rooting for us.

I love it. I love my Twitter

Leslie Carothers

Leslie is the go to person for knowledge and connections that link educate and promote the Retail furniture industry, Furniture manufacturers and Designers.

In 2008 she decided to switch her business Kaleidoscope solely internet focused and since that time she has been providing social media related services to her clients.

Engage by  Brian Solis – a social media thought leader, is a book Leslie recommends.   Leslie also enjoys design books that share the process of creating design.

What really makes you laugh?

Leslie admits that she laughs often.  She enjoys Irony. Poking gentle fun when people start joking around and it becomes a collaboration of humor

Anything The Moggit Girls put out, on their blog – “it tickles my funny bone and switches my mood”

What is your favorite element of the design biz?

When Leslie was in design Textiles was her favorite.  Still seems to hold a big fascination.

Now Leslie is drawn to the simplicity of line: The poetic and ethereal Todd Boontjie Ephemerius light

Gorgeous fun fresh textile creations like those of Lorna Syson

Classics that are imbued with the spirit of a craftsperson like George Nakishima

Leslie’s Secret Sauce to connecting so many people, so many ideas.  Getting points across with such efficiency and charm?

Leslie laughs when I ask her this.  She  says she is a listener.

And it’s a funny thing she adds: an extreme speed reader. This enables her to quickly get the point and retweet at warp speed.

I imagine Leslie sitting in her pink room? (Leslie loves pink – I always think pink when I think of Leslie ) With a dainty desk hitting the keys like a super hero.

Leslie loves to read. She also pays attention so she can see where she can make connections. If the right connections are made we can all work together. This appears simple and so profound.

Leslie, you amaze me with your grasp and ability to make this happen.


What is your biggest strength and how do you communicate this to your clients?

With over 20 years in the furniture and design business Leslie has vast online and offline knowledge of how things work from all angles. Who the stakeholders in the business are, and pulling them online means bringing designers, manufacturers and retailers together, in a common cause.

Communication breaks down barriers, allows everyone to work together toward to creating greener more efficient products, to meet the needs of everyone involved, including the consumer.

With the power of  the internet and social media this speeds up the process of what can get accomplished, for the benefit of all. Instead of spending a lot of time researching on the ground there is the ability for anyone  to educate themselves,  do their research, find the price and options for what they are looking for.

It is far less restrictive, with a lot more choices. Consumers furniture retailers and designers no longer have to be dependant on traditional open hours and time lines.

Your biggest challenge or roadblock with regard to maintaining & growing your business?

Took in a partner in 2010 and then at end of year they decided not to continue the partnership. Definitely can have one going in a different direction, so I am glad Leslie is back in her groove.

Have you modified your pricing structure or any business strategies in the past 12 months?

Yes as clients needs have shifted, Leslie has shifted in how she practices her craft.  Doing things, connecting people in different ways from traditional PR.

Creating a buzz online that translates into exposure for Retailers like her client Von Hemert Interiors @vonhemertinc who are having a Royal Wedding Celebration, in April in Orange County California.  Which sounds like an absolute blast.

I heard there is going to be Tiaras, an elegant spread and bubbles….

I decided to split the interview into two sections, to save you from overwhelm, so tune in next week for part 2 to discover Leslie’s tips for the designpreneur.

In the meantime :

Check out Leslie’s  webpage her articles and all the events Leslie is involved in. She makes happen….  I cant wait to meet her at Blogfest 2011.

Share your thoughts on Leslie by commenting below.

For the past 5 years, she has written Furniture Today.com’s online  “Retail Ideas” blog.  Find Leslie on twitter  @tkpleslie

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