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Trade Secrets: The Business of Design with Celerie Kemble

celerie-kemble

To mark the debut of her third collection of prints and wallcoverings for Schumacher, we asked
Celerie Kemble of Kemble Interiors about her thriving design business and what it takes to make it work.

 

1) What is the structure of your office?

CK: Kemble Interiors has eight designers in New York City and seven in Florida. Our administrative team all work in Palm Beach, Florida.

 

2) What do you look for when you hire someone?

CK: Style, flexibility, curiosity, good manners, and a personality that fits with our team. Friendliness is required.

 

3) What are three things that have contributed to your success?

CK:
I am by nature a people pleaser, so I take great pleasure in lots of the intangible elements of our business. Relationships keep me motivated when the art of it—or the money—is disappointing.

I am a great collaborator but stubborn as hell if I believe I am right. I am hired to use my best judgment and creative voice, and to express that on behalf of my clients.

I like to write. Few people realize that as a designer, sometimes your ability to provide insight, context and process can elevate your business immensely.

 

4) What is the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known then?

CK: I wish I’d better understood the operating costs of my business and been able to communicate to clients the related labor expenses. This would have helped me become a stable and profitable business more quickly.

 

5) How has your business changed since you began?

CK: I finally don’t carry all the books and samples around New York City by subway! I love working as part of a team, and don’t miss a single moment of designing on my own.

 

Celerie’s eye-catching wallpapers below—click here to shop her entire new collection for Schumacher!

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