Thursday, September 13, 2012
Here is a bit about the colors from Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of Pantone Institute.
Friday, September 7, 2012
You Need To Meet Kristine Gregory
I’m Kristine Gregory, interior designer and color maven. This is my 20th year in the interior design world. Bedeckers Interiors opened in 1995. My business focuses on decorating my client’s homes with an emphasis on color and how it flows throughout the space. I work on small offices as well.
How has your business changed in the past few years, especially when the real estate bubble burst? It certainly became more interesting.
The economy’s struggles have affected most small businesses. Some of my distributors closed their doors. It was a challenge to find new sources for some of the products I sell. Fortunately, I have a good client base. I develop strong relationships with my clients that last years. There is always someone calling with a project. I don’t turn down even the smallest undertaking.
I notice you give talks about the psychology of color. How’d you get interested in this topic?
I have always been an artist. Painting, especially in watercolor, is something I love. Color matching and blending is an innate talent. Talking about color meanings and their effect on people is an interesting way to share my love of color. I speak regularly at organizations and women’s groups. It’s a great way to meet new people.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned during the recession?
I love beautiful things and very nice things. It’s worth waiting until you can afford higher quality. You end up spending more money if you buy the cheap stuff. It always needs to be replaced. Wisely spend money on quality and on the things you love and they will last a lifetime.
Is there a secret to your personal success? Perhaps a piece of advice you’ve always remembered?
Be gracious. It’s important not to take people for granted. Let people know you appreciate them and are grateful for the things they do for you. It’s important to take the time. That’s what the world is about.
What’s coming up in the next year for you and your organization? What about in the next five years?
Personally, I plan to travel more. I have my sights on Florence and Paris. That’s in the five-year plan. Over the next year, I will be marketing my watercolors. I sold one last year and hand-delivered it. It was a thrill to see my painting in someone else’s home.
For Bedeckers, I am promoting my custom furniture line by choosing fabrics to create an exclusive collection. There are several seminars in the works. Decorating Fiascos Solved is the newest. I am still undecided whether to present online as a webinar or at a local venue. Maybe, I’ll do both. In five years, I see having more clients outside of Virginia. The Internet is a great tool for communication. It makes the world a more intimate place.
What, at your business, is the most effective way to connect with customers?
I send out postcards and I write a monthly e-newsletter that touches on different design ideas and trends. Blogging and contributing articles to other companies' newsletters and websites also keeps me in front of potential customers. I am involved in several local networking groups, The Network of Enterprising Women (N.E.W.) and Richmond Women’s Network are two I attend regularly. I have made some wonderful new friends who have been great resources for things I have needed and many have become my clients as well.
What’s the part of your job you dread the most?
Installations. After 20 years, the big reveal still makes me nervous. I lose sleep worrying the sofa won’t fit though the front door or the drapery panels will be made the wrong length. I want things to be perfect for my clients.
What’s the part of your job that excites you the most, the thing that makes you want to hurry to work?
Making people happy. Most of my clients are really busy and what they appreciate most about me is I make the interior design process easy for them. My job is fun. I get to spend my days selecting pretty things. Being able to create beautiful, livable spaces that my clients enjoy and are proud of keeps me coming back.
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