Regency Week Five

Teacher VisitThis week has been fun. I am making the schedule for all of the furniture to be delivered to Transylvania by the first week of August. I have spent some time this week familiarizing myself with brands such as KI and Keilhauer. If you want to do any commercial or institutional design work, those are two brands that I would recommend knowing. They have a lot of furniture that is designed for durability and practicality.

There are some people who will surprise you in this business. The Transylvania budget didn’t allow for any art to be displayed on the walls. So one of the board members called Gail and told her he would like to give her $20,000 (out of his own pocket) just to put art on the walls!!! It’s nuts! So I am currently printing some pictures for artwork that Gail found for a proposal for early next week.

Yesterday, we had the Duralee representatives come and talk to Gail and I. We got to talking about how important technology is to businesses and how it is very important in today’s world of business. He had recommended that you sent packets of flower seeds to your previous clients every year, Christmas cards, even just random cards. This is a great way to generate business from clients that already like your work. They said that people use the internet and want to know the upfront cost of everything know days. They prefer to see invoices of things, which I guess in yesterdays world was totally unreal..nobody did that. It was interesting to see the generational differences between myself and Gail. Five years from now the market will be a totally different realm of clients that Gail will have to adjust to. It just shows how important I think it is to keep in touch with trends and be aware of the client base. Otherwise it can be a huge strain on your career.

Oh and Lindsey came to visit! It was awesome….

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Regency Interiors

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This week has still been very slow. I am realizing that this week is probably the week that most everyone on the planet takes their vacations. I have still been organizing the office and making sure everything is up to date. I am making connections with the design community. Another local designer came to visit me the other day. She usually comes into Gail’s office and has me order samples for her, or check pricing and stock. A lot of designers come to Gail, because she is the only wholesaler in Lexington. I ordered some fabric for a large family room project from Stout. Stout is one of the fabric brands that Gail likes to use.

Books of only trims!
Books of only trims!

I realized that things might happen when doing jobs that mess up the project, even when it is not your fault as a designer. Gail had ordered a large amount of furniture from Keilhauer and she had purchased a COM fabric for some chairs. The company accidently put the fabric on the wrong chair (that was too large for the fabric). They tried to call the fabric company Pallas, to purchase more fabric but the fabric was on backorder at that point. We needed those chairs shipped out in a week, so it put Gail in a very difficult situation.

Paying attention to every little detail is very important in this industry. When I first came here, I would have never thought that you had to pick out trim for almost everything that you do. Pillows, curtains, etc. They all need trim to look finished and clean. I was assigned to pick out a trim for a fabric a few weeks ago. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done! There are so many of them! You can see in the picture above, these are all books that are full of just trims to search and go through. They can get very detailed and very expensive. Below is an example of just one opened trim book.

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Week Three- Regency

regency logoThis week has been pretty slow for Gail and I. I have been working a lot on organizing the office and checking for currency on all of the fabric books. I haven’t finished yet, but I have at least 40 books (as shown in the photo) that I donated to a local high schools interior design class. I wrote up a proposal for one of Gail’s clients this week. I usually get one of those per week. I also had to call and check the progress for all of the Transylvania purchase orders. One thing I have learned and that I can relate back to Joe’s class in particular, is paying attention to detail. I noticed on one of the purchase orders, someone who was here before me had 10,000 worth of furniture going to the wrong shipping address.

Discontinued fabric books.

Discontinued fabric books.

I had to quickly call and change that location, before the items were shipped. Paying attention to detail is very important, because a lot of people rely on your CAD documents to get things done. If the documents are wrong, then it puts everyone on hold and they can’t do their jobs. This then costs more money, which is never good. Yesterday, the painters were to place stripes along the walls that were to be exactly lined up with the carpet stripes. The carpet was not laid, so the painters need the measurements to do their job. The document Gail gave them three months ago was so small, nobody could see it and it stopped production.

I had to recreate the entire floor in autocad (because whoever drew it up, did not save it) and get the correct measurements. I now understand what it is like to work under pressure. If I ever make a mistake, I now know what it feels like to have to try and fix it in the matter of an hour or two. Gail does not know how to use any drafting program, so I defiantly felt the pressure. So my lesson for this week, would most defiantly be PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL. Never let anything leave the office that is not done properly and always proof read everything several times over before submission. This lesson will help me greatly with my schooling, in addition to my experience and professionalism for the future.

CAD drawing I had to finish in an hour & a half

Another Week at Regency

This week has been pretty slow at Regency Interiors. I have noticed that sometimes things in the “real world” move very slowly when everyone is on summer vacation. Purchase orders take 10 times longer to be processed, people can’t answer questions, etc. Gail and I are mainly working on finishing up Transylvania University. I had to compile a list of every purchase order and follow up for delivery. At this point in time, I am very grateful that the assistant before me was very organized. It is very difficult to go back through fifty or so purchase orders and get information from them. It is essential that they are organized and filed away properly.

Since it is slow this week, my main job is to go through all of Gail’s resources and materials. I am checking for currency and proper updated pricing. If the prices have changed, which they most often do. It is also my job to add a proper mark-up for each material. I have a lot of books to go through, I am currently working on fabrics. I have gotten to become quite familiar with Robert Allen, Maxwell, Unique, Delta fabrics, Duralee, Kravet, and many more. I have also become very comfortable with talking to reps and scheduling appointments to learn aboRobert picut new materials. R.M Coco is coming next week to tell us about their new products.

I am also building a good relationship with some of Gail’s clients and a lot of the people that we have to come into contact with when making purchases. I have learned how to use excel very well over the past month and I have brushed up on my mathematics as well. Unfortunately, when running a business you are required to use a lot of math.

Gail knows a lot of people in Lexington, and because of her client relationships I am beginning to learn and meet some of these people as well. I think interning here has really helped me with networking and relationship building. I am basically the voice for Gail, and when she needs something done. I am responsible for setting up the appointment and making sure whatever material she is using is current. I know how to use the phone very well. When we have to call companies, they laugh at me because I am immediately prepared with my account number and sometimes they don’t expect it.

Overall fun week! Below is A picture of the walls, and walls, and walls of materials that I have checked/have to check this week……Just one wall of them.

HR worked: 35School

Regency Interiors by Gail Moses

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1. I have learned many things from working with Gail at Regency Interiors. Time management is defiantly one of the biggest hurtles that Gail faces. Sometimes she has to stay and work into the night to get projects done for clients. A lot of the time she has to rely on many other people in dealing with one project, this can also set her behind. You have to constantly check to see if products are available and make sure they are not discontinued. This all has to be done in a matter of a week, depending on how large the project is.

Design process is used a lot. There are usually thousands of bumps in the road just with one project alone. There are many times in which I have had to start from square one. For instance, I had matched a piece of satin fabric perfectly to another fabric that was to be used for drapery. However, once I called on that fabric I soon found out that it was discontinued and I had to start all over again. Another example was when I was working on a paint schedule for Transylvania University and they decided that they wanted a different color after it was already painted. They thought that a red elevator was a little much and perhaps gave off the wrong vibe.

Designer/ Client relationships are very important as are Designer/ Rep. relationships. I have learned that through good relationships with clients brings on more business. Gail gets most of her business through word of mouth and the people that she knows. For example, she is the lead designer for Transylvania University and she got the bid, because she knew a lot of people on the board and they knew that she produced quality designs. Designer/ Rep. relationships are very important too, because your Rep can do a lot for you and can give you a lot of deals. For example, our rep. from Phillip Jefferies wall coverings has helped out tremendously. We were shorted two yards of (very expensive) wallpaper and the wallpaper, when unrolled would rip because it was stuck together. Our wallpaper hanger had to charge a very large amount, because he had to manually piece back the wallpaper. We called our Rep. and he managed to give us 50% discount on the wallpaper and on our next order.

This will all impact my studies, because I now realize how important other people are in my designs. You as the designer are important, but in order to make a successful design you have to rely on a lot of other people.

2.Gail’s office is completely covered from wall to wall with material samples and books. It is my job to file books away, keep books current, order materials, etc. I have become very familiar with different companies. I know who responds the fastest, the easier ones to work with, what materials are needed for different things, etc. I know there are different terms for different things. For example, I now know what a COM fabric is. I had to have a COM fabric shipped to Canada to a different furniture company for Transylvania.

3 & 4. I am in charge of placing orders, calling for quotes, Invoices, Purchase orders, proposals, CAD work, Faxing, I answer the phone, I do sales and reuse and I am in charge of sending the taxes over to the accountant. I deal with every person that calls into the office, every company, and I Know a lot of the Reps by name. I am building connections as well as my skills. I feel as if I know how to run my own business already. Gail gave me the reins and I am in charge of running this business for the most part. I feel as if this internship will fully prepare me for the job market. I have met a lot of people and called a lot of people over the phone. I have met with large clients and am getting my name out there.

 Shannon Knoch