I have to admit, I was feeling a little jealous.
I was scrolling through Instagram and happened upon an image from another local designer, an image that looked vaguely familiar.
I went back through the images on my phone, I thought I recognized the house and knew exactly which one it was.
Yep. Confirmed. It was a job I had been considered for about this time last year.
This other designer did a beautiful job, it was really designed just how I had planned to design it.
Matter of fact, I had done a lookbook for that potential client with some of my ideas and design direction, very similar to what had been done in the photo, to make sure we were on the same page before submitting an Agreement.
This was about a month long process that the Homeowner and I went through to determine that we wanted to work together.
When I am contacted about big projects, projects that will last 6 months or more in design, I like to take my time to get to know the client and make sure this will be a good match.
In this instance, I submitted an Agreement to this client. Unfortunately, it didn't work out and this client wanted to work in a way that didn't align with the way I wanted to work. I bowed out of the project and actually gave this other designer's name to this Homeowner.
I knew this designer was a good local design firm with lots of experience and staff, that this design firm could handle whatever this client would request.
You see, I'm really a one-person show here. It's me and Jitka, my valued and trusted junior designer, who does all my CAD work, does most of the pricing for product, all my back up work. We have the way we want to work figured out, and although we can adapt and be flexible, that particular request was a little more than I thought I could offer up.
Even though it was a delicious project that could have been a beautiful addition to my portfolio, even though I needed that kind of a project for my business at that point in time, I chose not to move forward with it because I've learned one very hard lesson.
The client you choose to work with can make all the difference in the world.
I really want the client, the project, the style, the profit, everything to align with my end goals of how I want to work these days.
I don't want to have so much overhead that I am boxed into taking every job that comes along. I want to steer clear of potential situations that might be red flags and devote myself wholeheartedly to the clients I take on and have on board.
And although this project and even the next big one that came along didn't work out for me last year, I did get another similar project a few months later that was perfect for me and rendered a wonderful outcome with a beautiful way to end my year. :-)
Here's a pre-photoshoot photograph of the job I did move forward with, below.
BTW, I've decided to take this blog to an every-other-Friday time table, so I can continue to manage this myself and because, honestly, I think this industry is getting pretty heavily saturated with design business and design blog advice.
I'm really not interested in competing in this arena. I truly have no end game in mind here, aside from my little $10 eBook guides that are so cheap compared to everything else available out there.
Maybe I should say "affordable"? :-)
(I obviously don't know how to work that angle, so if you are looking to get into the design business / blogging advice business, you should definitely look elsewhere!)
So, since I sort of write for myself, for my own benefit of working through my decisions and problems, I'm going to scale it back a tad and not inundate you with emails. :-)