I recently attended a round table and book signing at the Houston Design Center where Jeffrey Alan Marks was featured.
And yes, he's just as handsome and entertaining as he is on MIllion Dollar Decorators ;-)
Three designers were there discussing some of the secrets of their design businesses.
The topic: branding yourself, how to maintain your great clients, and how to manage your business.
One of the questions asked by the moderator was if there was a specific point in these designers’ careers when they had a turning point. If they felt they had a “moment” when everything changed for them.
Because all of us who aren’t celebrity designers are looking for our moment. It’s too hard to make money at this business as an ordinary, down-in-the-trenches designer. Trust me, all you wanna-bes out there... if you think it’s easy to make money in this business, you’re wrong. Challenges are lurking around every corner.
If you want money, go back to college to become an engineer. They make money when they step out of class, designers don’t. I struggle with it every month even though I have business coming and going. Everyone wants good design, but no one really wants to pay that much for an intangible thing - that is unless you’re a celebrity designer, with products and millionaire clients and design books to sell.
So, for the rest of us, we’re all looking for our turning point. Our moment.
I was so glad she asked for everyone to reveal their professional turning point. When JAM answered with that quirky , light-hearted smile of his, I listened intently to his response:
“When I put that row boat on the ceiling.” :-)
This, the pic to the right, was what he was referring to.
He said that when he did something kind of crazy, outrageous, attention-getting, unusual, that’s when the world and the design powers-that-be took notice.
That’s when his design business really fell on the map.
This has me thinking:
What’s my rowboat gonna look like?
And who will be that client with my rowboat on their ceiling?