Alison Giese of Alison Giese Interiors
Meet Alison Giese, Owner + Principal Designer at Alison Giese Interiors
Tell us your story, in a timeline!
10 YEARS AGO
We were about to make a huge move overseas - to Brazil with our almost 1 year old. My professional life would forever be changed, for the better! I learned about design blogs, and instantly realized being an Interior Designer was my true calling (after a lot of education in vastly OTHER areas! - Hello, Law School!) I soaked up the design aesthetic in Brazil. It had such an impact on what I now see as my the aesthetic and branding of my business.
5 YEARS AGO
We were about to move back to the States from Brazil - with three little ones in tow. I knew I wanted to have an interior design business, but didn't know where to start, especially moving to an area I didn't know, didn't have friends or family to start with for referrals. I worked on little jobs, but was still so needed at home as a mom to young children.
1 YEAR AGO
I did get that business going, and started a real marketing effort to put myself out there. It paid off! I started getting real design jobs!
Give us a play-by-play of a (work) day in your life.
6:00 am - Alarm goes off - hit snooze a time or two, but out of bed by 6:20
6:30 - Wake my girls up for school
7:45 - School run
8:30 - Check emails, plan social posts
10am - 12pm
Make initial Client Screening calls, and follow-up on ongoing projects
12:00 - Grab a quick lunch
12:30 - Check in with Design Assistant over any current projects. Answer questions about direction of the design.
1:00-3:00 - Meet with clients, do site visits, source materials
3:30 - Kids come home from school - quick snack and catch up on their day
4:00 - Return emails
5:00 - Try to wrap my "office" day
7:30 - Work on proposals and leftover paperwork
9:30 - To bed to read, surf socials
Tell us the real sh*t that goes on behind the scenes.
Alison: I don't have a lot of experience and portfolio at this point, so I'm still working on building confidence in my abilities - the confidence in my design aesthetic, the confidence to price my services appropriately, and the confidence to be grateful and present in what I have NOW.
I'm terrible at comparing my current place (year 2) to other's place (year 5, 10, 15, etc), and always try to remember we can't compare our beginning to someone else's middle.
Even when clients are acting crazy, or the creativity just isn't coming, I come back to the notion that I know I have something to say, something to contribute to the design world - I just may not know what that is, just yet.
Tell us your favorite work playlist!
Alison: I'm the least hipster person I know, but I listen to Hipster Cocktail Party Radio on Pandora, and it makes me feel a little bit cooler.
What systems do you use in your business that keep you sane?
Alison: Our systems are still fluid - I'm always thinking about them - how to develop them, how to make them better, more efficient, etc. The main thing that has brought me sanity is getting HELP. I love the little team I've put together - we're rarely, if ever, on-site together, but I feel like I have this little village of experts I can turn to, and it's an incredible support system.
Any words of wisdom for other bosses?
Alison: I realized recently (and vocalized) that my daily actions and role is more that of a CEO than a Designer per-se, and guess what - I like it! I think it's important to see ourselves in the role of Chief, and if we enjoy it, let it play to our strengths. After all, there's a reason we're the Boss - it's not for everyone, but we chose the role because we have something to contribute in a leadership way.
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