This week I decided to take work home with me! I used my employee discount to get some furniture for my own room and put my design skills to the test! This is a picture of what I came up with The bed, bench, rug, and amoire are all from value city! Getting to use my works own furniture in a situation where it affects me was super fun! In interiors we often forget that clients are just like us, and no matter how frustrating they get, we need to remember how to put ourselves in their shoes. We need to treat every client exactly how we would want to be treated!
This week has been crazy. The store itself did over $60,000 this weekend. The big lesson I have learned from this week is how to multi task. Sometimes in the design world you’ll be challenged with juggling different tasks and clients all at the same time and that’s exactly the challenge I faced this week. There were many times where I had to make sure I was splitting my time equally between my customers in order to give them all the best possible service that I could. We also had to make tons of accommodations for customers due to stock issues. Offering an additional 10 percent off sometimes would help make up for back ordered items. All in all it was a fun and busy weekend.
This week the company decided to test our product and company knowledge with a quiz. Some of the questions on the quiz included naming sofas, information on non productive stops, custom orders, stock issues, etc. This is very important information to be aware of in the retail design world. An HFC needs to be knowledgeable on all aspects of their products all the way down to their construction, but it’s also important to be knowledgeable in the company’s policies and procedures as well. One aspect the company is struggling with are non productive stops which are when a delivery is not completed for some reason resulting in a pointless trip/delivery. This can happen because of many things: write up errors, items do not fit, the receiving party was not home, etc. The non productive stops cost the company money because they will have to make return trips to correct whatever mistake was made. So, it’s always important to make sure your clients have correct measurements, you’ve wrote up the correct order, and to make sure you’ve scheduled a delivery tone that works for the client in order to avoid these circumstances. Below is an example of a ticket I wrote today.
In honor of the holidays, we have had new inventory come in that’s unlike anything we’ve had before! We have introduced leather convertible furniture, upholstered beds with storage, reclaimed wood furniture, and many other exciting new options. New accessories have been flying in and flying right off the shelves as soon as they get here. The best part about new inventory is getting to create new display bays and staging. These have certain guidelines like how many items can be in a group, color schemes, and price ranges. Here’s one of the new bays we created for our upcoming Veterans Day sale starting on Tuesday.
I can make a list of at least the top 5 things that will carry from being in studio in college to being out working in the design field that will stay consistent. One of those top 5 things will be that all nighters don’t just stop in school. This week I was told mid Monday that I had to design a college basketball teams locker-room for a meeting on Thursday. At first I was a bit nervous since it’s such a short notice but after talking to the head project manager and architect helping in the project it seemed that I would be getting some help in the modeling department. The original plan was that I would come up with the design and deliver all the information to the architect to model in 3D and place in a quick 3D rendering program to show reflective surfaces and lighting in a 360 degree view. I dedicated my Monday to catching up on hotel stuff since we had a meeting on Friday were I had to present all of the furniture finishes to the client. Come Tuesday it turns out that I was not getting help any longer because the architects grandmother passed away and would be out all of Tuesday. At this point I told my boss about it and how now I needed to model and design the space and that there’s no way I would have time to fit rendering into the small time frame we had. After talking to the head-architect he said it was fine if we didn’t have the rendering component done because he would have someone else take care of it. Tuesday was dedicated to researching and coming up with a general idea for the design. Come Wednesday I started to 3D model some of the ideas and from start to finish it took 22 hours to get it done. I had a 22 hour work day but was worth it because the client was happy with the design. Unfortunately I can’t share any image of the space since we’re not allowed to say who the school is yet until they officially announce that information to the public. Friday I received the news that the hotel meeting was postponed to this week’s Friday which gives me plenty of time to have everything ready for the client. We were giving a 2 week deadline to finish up the 100% CD set of the hotel which can become a problem if I get swamp with work from other projects. In order to get a good head start one the hotel to do list I came in this weekend and worked for about 10 hours. This week overall is going to be extremely busy for me because I’m taking a week long vacation starting Saturday so I need to finish everything due this week and next before I leave. The image below is a sheet showing the details of the standard Marriott reception desk that I need to update completely because the client wanted to go from the started long single reception desk to single unit pods. I came up with a new design for the desk and now, I have to update elevations, sections, and details to match with the new design.
This week, we had many first time renovation customers. What this means is that customers can be very unsure of their preference in stone and tile. I had to really get to know my clients and their personalities and styles to begin to understand which direction they may go in. You must ask many in depth questions to get to the root of their issues, such as old cabinets, existing flooring, or current layout. I was fortunate to help guide these customers design decisions. I feel like I am there to offer advice but also to guide them to make their own decision so that they also feel confident. Through these encounters, I am learning about the personal touch that we as designers leave on our clients. Often these customers will return just to work with me again, and that’s how I know I have left my footprint in a positive way.
The weeks leading up to Black Friday are crazy. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into Black Friday. Schedules have to be changed, floor moves are happening, retagging furniture, signs have to be created, etc. This week was the first week of Black Friday prep. The first thing that was done was posting our hours and getting the new work schedules. Secondly, we had a floor move where we are in the process currently of moving our best sellers to the front of the store in order to maximize possible business. By moving the best sellers to the front, these pieces will be the first items people see as they enter our doors and possible will bring in window shoppers as well. Advertising is huge in design. If customers don’t know what you have to offer, then why would they choose to do business with you? Our ads are currently being created and placed throughout the store during the next few weeks. Here’s an example of one of the circulars being sent out to customers at home.