Design school didn't prepare me to run my own business.

Furnishing Budget Calculator

I used to take on so much emotional weight when I had to bring up furnishing budgets with my clients. I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t want to make assumptions, but I also got frustrated when they were basing their numbers on unrealistic prices. Over the years I tested several versions of what would become the Furnishing Budget Calculator before finally launching it for HYDC. The interactive calculator has transformed the way I have budget conversations with my clients. Now I can gather important insights from my clients about what they value most and how they prioritize investments in their home. It's been exciting to give my clients the ownership they deserve without being influenced by my own money story. 

  • Photo by Charlotte Lea Photography for Wrensted Interiors

Client Purchasing Guide

Design school never taught me how to purchase from wholesalers, and it certainly didn’t teach me how to turn it into sustainable profit for a business. I just didn’t feel right asking my clients to trust me with purchasing if I didn’t understand it myself. So when I finally detailed every step of buying wholesale, determining prices, handling freight and receiving, and managing white-glove delivery it was like the clouds cleared. I knew I could confidently answer my clients’ questions and I wanted them to have a guide to the entire process that was easy to understand. I don’t feel like I have to justify how and why I make money anymore, and clients know right from the beginning that we’re going to manage their purchasing process. Implementing the Client Purchasing Guide into my client intake process, and making the switch from retail to wholesale purchasing, has been a fundamental shift for my profitability as a business.

  • Photo by Charlotte Lea Photography for Wrensted Interiors

Design Hours Estimating Guide

If I learned anything from my banking career, it’s how powerful data can be for making decisions. When I first started Wrensted Interiors I had no idea how long design work would take me, but I was lucky to have some trusting clients who were okay with my hours being ambiguous. I knew I needed to be more professional, so I started tracking all the time I spent working on client projects in my own spreadsheet. Since 2017 It’s been a living document that helps me create accurate estimates for design fees whenever I’m putting together the proposal for a new project. I would have loved to have something like our Design Hours Estimating Guide early in my career. With it, you can remove some of the pressure of whether you’re working too fast, or too slow, and that’s why we brought this guide to the shop. 

  • Photo by Sara Tramp for Wrensted Interiors