Be True to Your Vision

Creative Genius Podcast
Season One Episode Two

Welcome to the Creative Genius Podcast with your hosts Gail Doby and Erin Weir, co-founders of Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting, a creative consultancy for interior designers. In their own honest musings and in their open conversations with industry leaders, experts, authors, and influencers, they share how they inspire each other and work through whatever life and business challenges come their way.

What does it take to be a design superstar? In today’s episode, Gail and Erin talk with multi-award-winning designer Jamie Drake, founder and partner, Drake/Anderson in New York City. Widely admired for his stunning interiors and sophisticated product lines, Jamie is a member of Interior Design magazine’s Interior Design Hall of Fame, ELLE DECOR’s prestigious A-List, and of the exclusive Architectural Digest AD100.

In this episode, Gail and Erin talk about:

  • Jamie Drake’s business principles
  • How to make difficult decisions about clients and employees
  • Why you should be willing to adapt to change

Over the course of their conversation, Jamie shares his thoughts about why after many years he decided to take a business partner, his vision for his firm, how to handle problem clients, hiring and managing a work team, developing product lines, and the future of the industry and how it will be shaped by the impact of the pandemic.

Gail and Erin ask him for three pieces of advice for success that designers could apply to their own businesses or their own lives.

Be True to Your Design Self

If there’s one thing that defines Jamie, his work, and his business, it’s integrity, as evident from the business principles that inform his practice:

  • Supply great design.
  • Do it in an efficient manner, in an industry that has efficiency issues.
  • Be transparent, honest, and direct with clients. Give them your opinion honestly but diplomatically.
  • Make the case for what you believe is the right thing to do, but respect that it’s the client’s money and their home.

Trust the Warning Signs

A valuable lesson Jamie says he learned early on was “try to stay true to your design vision.” When he’s strayed from that, the result has never gone well. He also talks about why sometimes it’s best to turn down a project, even a lucrative one, or to “fire” a client if things aren’t going well. Watch for the red flags and trust your instincts.

Go forward in life optimistically, with eyes open and accepting of new possibilities, new technologies and new experiences.

Things are always changing—fashions, design, technology, the industry. Stay open and curious and be willing to adapt to change.

Listen to the podcast for more insights and to learn about Jamie’s latest design collection.

Mentioned in this Podcast

Over the years Jamie has been involved in many charitable organizations and fundraisers, including co-chair of the 2020 Kipps Bay Decorator Show House, which this year included the New York show house, Palm Beach show house, and a new Dallas show house.

Collections that Jamie mentions in this podcast:

Jamie Drake Collection, Theodore Alexander

Jamie Drake Designs, Labrazel

Profil Collection by Jamie Drake, THG Paris

Jamie Drake Collection for Stark Carpet

Jamie Drake Rugs, Safavieh

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