Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why My E-Design Isn't the Cheapest

Because I don't post prices on my business site, I am constantly getting emails asking how much I charge for E-Design. Once I get to know a little more about what each person is looking for, I quote them a price for the package that seems to be the best fit for their unique project.

At that point one of three things usually happens:

  1. They say "Sounds great! Please take my money! I want to get started right away!". As you might imagine, this is far and away my favorite response.
  2. They say, "Oooh, I'm really interested but that's more than I was ready to invest right now". Usually, this person and I are able to work something out and find a solution that makes us both happy.
  3. They drop off the face of the earth or shoot back an email along the lines of, "Are you freaking kidding me?? How can you charge SO MUCH when I know so-and-so-with-a-DIY-blog charges half that??!!"
I realize this is a potentially touchy topic, all most designers want to do is create amazing and beautiful work that makes their clients supremely happy, proud or pee-yourself-ecstatic. And on a really great day, all three. Simultaneously. The money talk is not where most designer's passion lies. At times it can be downright uncomfortable. But, at some point in every project the "How much is this gonna cost me?" talk is necessary.

I know that design services aren't something that everyone is willing to pay for. A lot of people think it's all "pillow-picking", "shopping online" or "playing with color" and they're blissfully unaware of all the hard work that actually goes into creating and implementing a showstopper of a room that is everything your client hoped for but could never imagine.

So rather than getting all defensive and curse-y, how about I show a little bit more of what clients really receive when they sign up for an E-Design with me?

In addition to a pretty fabulous Design Board like zees:

Depending on the size and scope of your project, there may even be multiple boards. Each board contains items selected from vendors I know and adore whose prices are right in line with what you've told me is your budget. You may think that this page is where an E-Design package begins and ends.

The welcome page at the beginning of each and every E-Design package spells it out best:

Whaaaa?? A design board, easy-to-follow floor plan, Budget & Ordering worksheet, aaand Helpful Tips & Tricks page to make installing this beautiful beast a breeze?  Did you ever in all of your wildest dreams imagine there would be all of that in an E-Design package?

Oh, guess what, there's also this business:

That would be individual spec sheets for every single element that goes into your room.  Complete with dimensions and finishes (so you don't order a red lacquer headboard instead of hand-rubbed black).

At this point, you might expect that since I've given you everything you could ever want or need in order to purchase and install one hell of a gorgeous room that I'd send you on your happy way without any support or follow up. I've got your money, you've got your E-Design package and now you're dead to me!

Well that would be obnoxious.

After clients receive this package that is positively filled to the brim with pictures, specs and helpful worksheets out the wazoo you get my help (in the form of email conversations or sometimes even Skype sessions) for the next FOUR MONTHS! And sometimes a little longer if absolutely necessary.

You're not too sure you like the vintage alabaster lamp I suggested and want to see a second option? Absolutely! I'll email you a couple of alternatives.

All the furniture has arrived but you're a little unsure of where to place the dhurrie rug? No problem, let's Skype and I'll help you place it just right!

You found a table at a vintage store that looks a lot like the one I suggested but it's half the price and you want to know if it would work? Nice shopping! Email me some photos and I'll tell you what I think!

Helping clients achieve the stunning spaces they absolutely love and deserve is what I'm most passionate about. So there's no way I would feel good about my contributions if all I did was email a one-page PDF for a couple hundred dollars and called it a day.

My goal with offering E-Design is to do more than give people pretty pictures of furniture. I want to help people who love great design and who are excited to do the ordering and installing themselves transform their homes from "just ok" to something that truly represents their unique style, who they are and the things they absolutely love.


P.S. My E-Design packages and traditional design services are super reasonable! Email me today for more information.


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