Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Working Designer Wednesday: Renting A Consultation Area

As many of you know from one of my previous posts, I worked from a home studio when I owned Bliss Flower Studio. I also held my consultations in the home studio space by appointment only for several years. At times, however, I felt a loss of privacy because brides felt comfortable dropping by to visit about their weddings or drop off things. While I was happy they felt comfortable enough to drop by, I also wanted to be able to kick around the house in work clothes and no makeup from time to time without the worry of being seen! My solution was to rent a small space in a local home furnishings store to hold my consultation appointments. I had a temporary wall built to give the space a little privacy from the rest of the store. I added a table and chairs…portfolios and framed pictures of my work…a sign and business cards. When I wasn’t there for an appointment, shoppers could still browse my space and look through the portfolios during the store’s regular business hours. The arrangement worked great and I regained the privacy I craved at home.

Here’s a glimpse of the space…

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…an antique vendor in the space next to mine allowed me to use props from her shop (such as this vintage lace dress)…

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…here you can see the temporary wall enclosing my small space…

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…occasionally we held an open house after regular business hours and several vendors decorated around a common color scheme with each vendor showcasing her wares…

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…I loved the old warehouse feel…

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…I had fun bringing in different props to play up the color palettes…

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…a Fall open house…

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While this small space was quite affordable, cost is always a consideration…especially for new businesses. I know many designers who work from home studios and meet clients at coffee shops which is a great inexpensive way to hold consultations. A well-organized portfolio is helpful if you don’t have your own consultation area.

Here are two of my favorite consultation areas…

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image via Red Ribbon Studio

IMG_1231 new consultation area Beautiful Blooms

image via Beautiful Blooms

Where do you hold your consultations? What do you feel you need in your consultation space to make it functional and comfortable?

Hope your Wednesday is wonderful!

1 comment:

~My Fleur Journey~ said...

Thank you so much for this post!! Atm, I am doing consultations at coffee shop, which is ok but not ideal. I will love to have somewhere fixed for consultation as I think it will come across as more professional. I will have a comfy sofa, coffee table, some wedding flowers magazine and a lab top in the consultation area.. and a small arrangement of some seasonal fresh flowers!