If you would’ve told me 3 years ago that I would have a thriving interior design business just off the idea of “I enjoy doing this, I wonder if I could do this for a living”. There has been so many things pushing me along the way – my mom passing away, my husband’s career and how hard he works at what he loves, and my children. Those three things ironically are also the biggest challenges in running my design business as well! My mom passing was obviously hard mentally, she was someone I talked to everyday and shared every exciting moment with. I know she would be so proud, running around telling everyone how hard I work and how beautiful my designs are! My husband, so supportive, but his job does trump mine in a major way. Where we live, what our schedule looks like, and when I’m available etc. We work together to make both of our career’s work, one is just more flexible than the other. Lastly, my children – bless their hearts but they are 5, 4 and 1 year old and when people tell me “Oh you have your hands full” they couldn’t speak more of the truth. My morning consists of drop offs, and big emotions about drop offs and everything in between…then squeezing in meetings and texts/calls from clients putting out fires. These moments don’t even include trying to find time to block off for actual “design”.
Two years ago, when I officially launched Natalie Miller Interiors, I went into it not knowing what I was doing or how I wanted my business to be built. I kind of just jumped in with “Hi I’m Natalie, let me make your space beautiful”. That being said, I hired a mentor, which has been pivotal in my business and how I work with my clients. (Shout out Kati!! @Kcarterinteriors). I have also had assistants, two now over a course of two years, building my back office and creating processes inside my business for the client experience and to grow my company one day as a well-oiled machine. I have also outsourced accounting, and making sure that I understand my profit and loss and where I can cut back or add and the projection of where this company is going.
I think sometimes people just see interior designers and think they run around picking fabrics or tile but really there is a whole business behind that designer that at first, they are learning to run themselves!
One of the biggest parts of my business that has evolved is the process on how the projects operate at NMI, my prices on which I’m charging for my services, and my services I offer to my clients. It’s so hard to price yourself out when you are starting but under valuing your work will only drive clients to think you are a “budget designer” when really you are building and furnishing in the million dollar market! Things evolve over time; you learn to say no to clients who aren’t a good fit and you build a business you have always dreamed of.
I was just chatting with someone yesterday on how much my business has changed in two years (for the better). I’m proud of all the hard work I put into it. I’m thankful for all the lessons I was taught, and I’m excited for what’s next for Natalie Miller Interiors! For those who have tuned in the last two years, and the last year with this blog series – THANK YOU! I appreciate the support more than you know. Cheers to what’s next!