This week the majority of my time has been spent in meetings, meaning that this whole coming week will be spent in updating project accordingly to the feed back received. On Friday it was a bit rough with the hotel meeting that lasted 5 hours, the client wanted to go over a fill CD set page turn. The client consists of 3 partners that are extremely hands on and each one of them has a different approach and vision which makes the meetings run long because they can’t come to an agreement. This puts a lot of pressure on our side because we have to wait on their consensus of things in order for us to move on. Five hours later it was agreed that we would have a 100% CD set before Thanksgiving, which would sound reasonable but me having only very little time to dedicate to this project during office hours means I’ll be spending lots of long days or weekends to meet that deadline. As a commercial designer there’s one thing you’ll always gave to keep in mind and that’s that you have to meet the deadline line no matter how much time you spend on it. Of course this is only true till a certain point because depending on how the fee of the project was proposed to the client it could be that you only have a set amount of hours to spend on the project anything past that point is numbers in the red. I can’t express enough how time management and communication is extremely important while working. If for some reason you’re struggling meeting deadlines or you see any red flags while working on the project they need to be voiced immediately. At the beginning of the week I was working on a small Catholic Church project branding package which is the image I’m sharing below. It’s crazy how you have to go from working on a hotel, to high education, to corporate office, and religious project all in 1 week.
Materials and fabric selection is a main component of interior design. Matching colors with materials and playing with different fabric choices will be something every designer deals with on the daily. This week challenged me in this aspect of design. I had a very picky customer come in with different fabrics she had throughout her house and wanted to match furniture exactly to these fabrics. I was with this customer for several hours discussing different pieces that could mesh well with the samples she brought me but nothing was quite right for her. After several trials and errors we came up with a custom furniture order that couldn’t be closer to the fabric samples she brought me to work with. Sometimes In the design world you will deal with easy clients, but the picky ones are the clients that will really test your skill and patience. Below is the sofa she selected.
This week we were bidding for a project for Transylvania University. The clients had approved many fabrics and furnishing in their RFP, my job this week was to find pricing on all of their fabrics that were approved, then find alternates or find the fabrics from a whole seller that would be less expensive. Therefore, this week I reached out to many reps asking for fabric samples to be sent ASAP as well as a price list so we could give the client an estimated budget. Below images are attached of the fabrics with the price list.
This week I also got my first redlines on the UK Hospital standards package that I have been working on. The red lines included feedback to make the standards look more personal such as bringing in our renderings of areas, such as a montage panel system.
This week was very busy but beneficial as far as learning the bid process, reaching out to reps and making new connections.
This week taught me that sometimes you can’t handle everything on your own and sometimes you need help from others. Earlier this week I was juggling two different customers at the same time and I was struggling to provide them with the customer service they deserved. So, in order to save both sales, I got my manager to help me check out one group of customers. Another instance happened to tonight. I had been helping a customer for over 2 hours helping pick out accessories and furniture to match the urban industrial style he wanted for his house. As I was with him, a previous customer I had worked with came in to change stuff on his order and pay off. I was unavailable and so was my manager so I had to make the decision to split the sale with another salesman so that he would help me finish the sale while I was working with my other customers. It worked out great and ended up making the day because of it! I also had a return customer come in and had me talk with his interior designer to help figure out the best possible pieces for his house based on the style they were both working towards. Here was a picture of a dinette set I had sold him in his place!
This week at SuCasa we were in somewhat of a slump. After all my normal work responsibilities were finished I was asked to help clean out the back storage area so long as there were no customers. There weren’t many customers at all, so I was assigned to help clean up. There were TONS of old samples and miscellaneous items. I have learned a lot about the behind the scenes work and what it takes to run a small business. Not only do I do sales and design, I also do invoicing, purchase orders, inventory, and book keeping. I also am responsible for following up on all feedback via different website reviews and social media.
So, this week I had to clear out what seemed like years and years of collecting sample boards and other materials related to the field of business. All of the empty stands seen in the pictures below were full of loose tiles and tile boards. It was a lot of work as you can see a full sized dumpster is nearly full and we still have much more to go. This week has taught me to stay organized and keep better inventory of what is relevant to keep or discard. Keeping everything that a business ever receives can be a waste of space and energy and ultimately money you have to pay to towards labor and a dumpster.
This week was especially short because of the studio trip. Nonetheless, it was still a busy 2 days. Monday we reviewed our project load and I completed the remaining tasks from last week as well as began some detailed renderings for a project reconfigure. This was a project done last year but the client wanted a few minor changes before install. Below are renderings shown in our title block. Every company has their own way of doing their title block, mine is preloaded in my software for ease of use.
On Tuesday I completed a last-minute task and then assisted with differentiating product on a plan. All of the product looked similar but were different. Below is shown our way of hand-color coding floor plans to ensure on large projects that thing are getting drawn and will be ordered correctly. This seems like an easy task, however, it is critical and it is something we do on every large project. Although this was only an 8 hour week, it was still full of great projects that strengthen my skills.
This week the office overall seemed very quiet with half of the office moving into the side wings that are done. Currently half of the open office is empty to make room for the new workstations going up and the other half is still our old workstations. The goal is to have more open workstations and the ability to seat or stand if desired. The office will have more common areas for collaboration and the much needed phone booths for private conversations. It’s always much harder to design for your own office then it is for a client because you’re trying to make everyone happy and take everyones needs and wants into consideration. It’s nice to see that the remodel is actually taking place because it has been something I started working on when I first started with the company 4 years ago and it’s taken this long to approve and put into action. During the company meeting the principles mentioned that further updates were going to be happening around the office which is very exciting. Down-sizing table top work-space I believe is going to be a huge challenge but I am very excited about going from 2 monitors to a single large format monitor. Can’t wait for the open office furniture to get installed to move in to the new workstation :).