Designer, Artist, Artisan Series

In these interviews, selected designers will be answering 3 questions… about their perspective on the current interior design industry, the changes in how they are running their businesses now, and their predictions for the future.

1. What are the biggest changes you have seen to the industry and to your business in the last 5 years?
2. What have you done in your business to respond to those changes – and how is that working for you?
3. What do you predict for the future of the interior design industry – and how can designers prepare for that?

I am so happy to be offering this to you and so grateful to the designers whose generosity and contribution to other designers and to the industry is inspiring and greatly appreciated.


December 2014

Featured Designer: Larry Deutsch

Hinsdale Powder Room

I met Larry in the late 80’s….he and Bill Parker (my best friend and an earlier Featured Designer) had just startedLD headshot seeing each other and naturally, Bill wanted us to meet. We had a drink at the Westin in downtown Boston and began what would become a decades long friendship. Larry is an old lion in the Chicago design scene. Read on to learn more …..



September 2014

Featured Designer: Susan Victor and Sue Shannon

Nandina Home


I really don’t remember how I met Susan Victor….all I remember is that I liked her immediately.  I do remember that one of our first conversations was about a great (competitor’s) sales training program that she had been through recently and how much she learned from it. She has such a natural affinity to the sales process and executing it with intention and grace that she could teach people how to sell, and does in her own company.  I had the pleasure of working with Susan and her partner Sue Shannon and their Atlanta showroom several years ago when they opened that location.  It’s in a darling neighborhood and has fabulous accessories, so I did all of my Christmas shopping there that year!  Read on to learn more about the many talents of these entrepreneurial women ……..

xo Jody


August 2014

Happy August!

Starting this month, I will be expanding the “Featured Designer” post to featuring Designers of many stripes, plus Artists and Artisans. My circle of talented people is growing and I am finding many similarities in how they run their businesses, what their challenges and concerns are, and what they are doing to not only to survive but to thrive. If you are following my Gallery 65 on William posts, you know what they are doing to evaluate how they use the retail/studio space and the product/art they are offering. I am delighted with this new direction as it aligns with ‘building abundance and options for success’ that I am totally committed to providing and living.


August 2014
Featured Artisan: Jeff Steele
Steele & Rowe Inc.: Serving the Yachting Community from Newport to Cape Cod

Jeff Steele and son Leo

This month our Featured Artisan is Jeff Steele of Steele and Rowe – third generation canvas fabricators for yachts and boats in North Dartmouth, MA. I met Jeff a couple of years ago through his fiancé, Courtney Saunders, one of my favorite peeps who is incredibly driven and creative, with energy to spare…and Jeff shares those qualities and then some, which makes them a dynamic duo. Jeff’s photo (above) includes their beyond adorable son, Leo. Knowing what Jeff does for work, I asked him to replace the canvas on my vintage directors chairs (the orange and white striped one featured) and not only did he do a beautiful job of replacing the fabric (on chairs that are not supposed to be replaced!) but did a lovely job of refinishing the wood arms… I had to know more!

jodys chair 1 of 4

So I asked him to show me other work that he did, which you will see. He also do leather work on yachts that is equally lovely.
And while he is fortunate to have more business than he can say grace over, like all small business owners he is looking to the future for himself and the next generation, and the changes to make in this business to continue to be profitable and relevant.    Read more about Jeff here.

September 2013

Featured designer: Tylor Devereaux
Grand Rapids, MI |

Picture 2

I had the pleasure of meeting Tylor Devereaux a few years ago when I was speaking at the Michigan Design Center.  The connection was instant.  I was drawn to his personality, his humor, his direct style of communicating, and his inquisitiveness and willingness to take a look at how he was running his design practice.  And while his business was good, he was looking for opportunities to take it to the next level.  We worked together for a few months and made some structural changes that improved several aspects of his business.  He has since gone on to be a contestant on HGTV and continues to thrive as a designer.  I’m delighted that he’s our Featured Designer for this month!

Read the full interview here.

August 2013

Featured designer: Dakota Jackson
NYC & Los Angeles |


It’s August and it’s vacation month and I am celebrating my birthday week with a few days off and time with family and friends.  I didn’t post a Featured Designer yet and was fortunate to receive this link this morning from Dakota Jackson.  He and I had the chance to spend some time together several months ago and discuss his business and the interior design and luxury furniture business and I had the opportunity to introduce him to Jennifer Flanders in NYC.

Dakota’s perspective is positive and innovative…I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Read the full interview here.

July 2013

Featured designer: Bill Parker
Chicago & Tucson |


Bill Parker is my best friend and I love him beyond words.  He and I met when we worked together as designers at Ethan Allen in Tucson in the early 1980’s.  We became fast friends, worked on many projects and store events together.  I am so fortunate to have learned from him as a designer and as a salesperson.  He’s a perfect example of how you can combine both of those skills and talents to operate a successful design business in Tucson and Chicago.  Bill’s passion for 18th century – furniture, textiles, porcelains, silver – informs his aesthetic sensibilities and his design projects.  He has a passion for classic elegance that imbues his lifestyle, and an inquisitiveness and pure interest in client’s desires being fulfilled beautifully that have him retain clients for years.  Bill has been a national board member of ASID and their Arizona South Chapter President and he also sits on the board of University of Arizona Museum of Art Partners’.

Our conversations about the industry and its changes over the last several years have been rich in content and inquiry of what the current need and the future holds.  Here’s what Bill has to say….

Read the full interview here.

June 2013

Featured designer: Joie Wilson
Naples, FL |


Joie and I go way back.  Surprising, since we are still so young!  She and I were Training and Development Specialists for Ethan Allen in the mid 80’s after being successful Designer Salespeople on EA retail floors.  We reconnected a dozen years ago after bumping into each other at High Point Market when she was working for the Hearst Corporation (Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Veranda, Elle Decor, and more).  She’s a talented designer and a great sales person who has just opened a small retail hot spot in Naples, Florida – where she serves something cool and sparkling late every afternoon.  With her innovative style, and her enthusiasm and sense of fun… plus a couple of dogs on the sofa…her new digs (Joie Wilson Design Studio) will be the place to stop and shop in the on season and off!

Read the full interview here.

May 2013

Featured designer: Mark Sunderland
Atlanta, GA |

MSI Designer Series

Atlanta is a sizable and supportive design market. ADAC (Atlanta Decorative Arts Center) was the last design center to be accessible to the public via designers and every seminar I have ever done there has been wildly successful. At my first ADAC seminar, Mark Sunderland sat in an aisle seat, nodding vigorously at comments that he agreed with and raising his hand and sharing his opinion at comments he found lacking. He was equally quick to share his best practices and his trials and errors that taught him how to run not one, but three profitable businesses. His formidable design business and his art and antiques businesses support each other. His Anglophile aesthetic and countenance, and his generous and sharp sense of humor comprise the hard-working gentleman I know him to be. Enjoy him and follow him on Facebook– he’s sure to have something for you and your next project!

Read the full interview here.

April 2013

Featured designer: Susan Shulman
West Newton, MA |

Susan Shulman

Jody: I have enjoyed knowing and working with Susan for several years now.  When I asked her to participate in the Designer Series, I was pleased that she included how we met and enjoyed reading her perspective on that time.  Since then we have kept in touch and speak regularly about the challenges facing the industry and the designers and how to best use them as opportunities for growth and success.  As I am, Susan is a straight shooter who is always looking to make things just a little bit better.  I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

Susan: When Jody Seivert invited me to contribute to her selling design, I was truly honored and excited.  What better way to show my appreciation to a woman who has immeasurably impacted my business and it’s bottom line with the most useful and insightful business practices of any single person in my more than 20 years in the business.

I first met Jody in 2002.  As a charter member of the Boston Design Center‘s Designer on Call program, the design center management brought her before us to improve our individual businesses which would reflect back to the DOC bottom line as well.  Upon completion of the BDC’s program I saw the value of staying on and investing in myself by earning a certificate after completing one x one’s “build your own business” program.  The return on my investment, and then some, occurred with my first client and continues to this day.  My association with Jody has flourished all these years.  She’s been an invaluable resource for solutions to present day issues.  She is my best sounding board and most trusted confidant, lending an ear and marvelous “Jody speak” when I need it the most.  Jody’s understanding of all aspects of the business from every sector in the marketplace is nothing short of phenomenal.

Read the full interview here.

March 2013

Featured designer: Ted Boerner
New York, NY |

Ted Boerner

New York Design Center’s annual “What’s New What’s Next?” is a wonderful gathering.  Lots of designers and magazine people create a great buzz in the building and the showrooms feature new products and host interesting speakers.  I met Ted Boerner at this event a few years ago when he was speaking in his eponymous showroom about his creative process.  It was a visually imaginative presentation with shots from around the world, enhanced with idea and development sketches of new product and collections.  Ted was engaging and charming and a delight to his rapt audience.  He has a dedicated showroom in NYC (also represented in multi-line showrooms in San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Vancouver and Toronto) and his product has a simple, earthy elegance and comfort that I trust you will enjoy.  Thanks, Ted for being part of the Designer Series!

Read the full interview here.

February 2013

Featured designer: Jennifer Flanders
New York, NY |

Jennifer Flanders

About 3 years ago, I was working with the Edward Ferrell-Lewis Mittman showrooms in NYC.  It was after the economic meltdown and the shifting designer and end-user buying habits were starting to crest, and we were looking for ways to attract and serve designers and create new business with value added services and offerings.  At a D+D Market week, I provided my consulting services to the sales teams to bring to their designers to those designers they wanted to grow their partnership with and who were having some challenges in their own business  as a way of building connection.  Dana Dinges introduced me to Jennifer Flanders.  Jennifer had been in business for some time now and she wanted to get it moving in the right direction.  I was taken with her focus, her openness to really think and learn and incorporate what we discussed, and with her charm and warmth.  She is the definition of lovely, as are her project designs.  I am delighted that she is the first woman featured in this series and that she agreed to participate. I trust you will enjoy her as much as I do.

Read the full interview here.

January 2013

Featured designer: Dennis Miller
New York, NY |

Headshot - Dennis Miller

The gleaming white floors and walls of the Dennis Miller Associates showroom at the New York Design Center showcase some of the most beautiful, premium contemporary products in the city.  Having the right product is essential to the success of a trade showroom and having a great team to create and execute the designer luxury experience is equally essential.  DMA has both.

When I first met Dennis in 2009 at the showroom seminar series that I was conducting for the NYDC, I was surprised that Dennis attended every sales and coaching session, and then went beyond that to bring me in to work independently with his sales team.  It was my naiveté that had me be surprised; if I knew Dennis as well then as I know him now I would have known to expect Dennis to be always learning, listening, thinking about what’s next, about growing his business, about gaining the competitive edge.  He’s smart, talented, perceptive, a skilled architect and designer, a lover of fine design and exquisite quality, and an astute businessperson.  In short, he’s fabulous and I’m honored that he agreed to be part of the Designer Series.  I hope you enjoy him as much as I do.

Read the full interview here.

December 2012

Featured designer: Bill Barr
Mattapoisett, MA |

Bill Barr

Although I had been following his blog for quite some time, I just met Bill earlier this year after bumping into his husband (who is a friend from many years ago) at a local event…and we made plans for the three of us to get together soon.  Bill is THE designer for the SouthCoast, the region between Providence and Cape Cod, and environs beyond.  He works for Surroundings, a small high end design oriented retail location in Mattapoisett.  He’s a tastemaker and a teacher; his aesthetic and discriminating eye extend beyond interiors and his generosity in explaining design elements to his readers is articulate and spot on.  Plus, he’s handsome, charming and hilarious, a wicked combination!  Take a moment to get his perspective on his corner of the design industry.  Thanks, Bill.

Read the full interview here.

November 2012 (First one!!!!!)

Featured designer: Corey Damen Jenkins
Bloomfield Hills, MI |

I first met Corey in 2010 at the Michigan Design Center where I was speaking on “Pricing Design.”  Corey sat in the first row, beautifully dressed and with a bright smile, his portfolio in one hand and a pad and pen for note taking in the other.  He came prepared to get as much as he could from an ‘expert from afar’ as he developed his then fledgling design business.  His questions were thoughtful and on target for someone early in his design career and appropriate for where the industry was at that time.  He was his as ever gracious and charming self, poised to be noticed nationally.  Since then he has become an HGTV celebrity designer, grown his business and studio to incorporate more designers and support people at a time when other designers are cutting back, and the future is blazing for him.  We have developed a lovely friendship and I am proud and delighted that he chose to participate in the Designer Series, further evidence of his generous nature and his commitment and contribution to the industry.

Read the full interview here.

*Check back in the first week of December for the next interview! Wish I could share who it is. I’m so excited about this series, and happy to be sharing it with you.
Talk soon : )


11 thoughts on “Designer, Artist, Artisan Series

  1. Pingback: Designer Series: Corey Damen Jenkins | Selling Interior Design

  2. Pingback: Designer Series: Bill Barr | Selling Interior Design

  3. Pingback: Designer Series: Dennis Miller | Selling Interior Design

  4. Pingback: Designer Series: Jennifer Flanders | Selling Interior Design

  5. Pingback: Designer Series: Ted Boerner | Selling Interior Design

  6. Pingback: Designer Series: Susan Shulman | Selling Interior Design

  7. Pingback: Designer Series: Mark Sunderland | Selling Interior Design

  8. Pingback: Designer Series: Joie Wilson | Selling Interior Design

  9. Pingback: Designer Series: Bill Parker | Selling Interior Design

  10. Pingback: Featured Designer (Aug. 2013): Dakota Jackson | Selling Interior Design

  11. Pingback: Featured Designer (September 2013): Tylor Devereaux | Selling Interior Design

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