This recession has forced many professionals (in the construction industry) to rethink . . . the box. (As if many aren’t already “outside the box” thinkers.) But it is always inspiring to see some of the creative ways these people reinvent themselves, or reinvent the way that they do business.
Here’s one — Patricia Davis Brown (Patty as I like to call her sometimes) is a multiple national award winning interior designer, one part of the Dream Team that I have mentioned in these pages ever. so. often. In 1992, Patricia opened a high end cabinetry showroom in Vero Beach, Florida. Through the years she expanded into whole house interior design, lighting design and commercial design. Her business, this business, thrived for many years. That is, until 2009 — when the recession hit both the high-end market and Florida specifically — like some sort of 100-year tropical storm. For the first time in a long time, she found herself looking for work, but . . . and she found quickly, there simply was not enough to go around.
Time for a Change …
She was one of those designers who still drew by hand, yet had CAD designers working with her. Her staff had been downsized during the downturn . . . just her and one other designer. . . . Time to somehow reach beyond the state of Florida to find new clients AND keep doing what she knew and loved to do — design. Turning to the internet, she found a quick answer — VIRTUAL DESIGNS. She quickly learned how to design on CAD and started an online virtual design company, www.professionalkitchenandbathplans.com.
Patricia now frequently works with her clients via Skype, meeting with them and their contractors to develop their room design(s). She offers three different price ranges for her design packages and individual services so her clients can basically build their own contract. But it didn’t stop there — shortly after learning about and creating that interactive website, she launched the e-commerce site, PDBHomeStore. Now her clients and, well, anyone, anywhere . . . could shop for home furnishings and products.
What makes it different — all of the products are hand selected by Patty. Always a fan of shopping and finding the right product at the right price. It shows — the store has been such an early success, Patricia closed her big showroom in 2010. She still maintains her full-service design firm, but now she runs it out of her house. By deceasing her overhead, she is able to pass along these savings to (all of) her customers.
The store has 8,000 products to date and is growing daily. Patty says, “. . . (I) LOVE the freedom that the internet gives me, and not being tied to a retail space — I am now far more flexible and can work anywhere in the world . . . with anyone.” She calls it “NO BOUNDARIES.”
Patricia is also the author of Dig This Design, a design blog where she offers design tips and answers interactive questions with her readers. Dig This Design shows Patty’s (cat woman-like) personality a bit. She blogs about art, fashion, interior design, and cooking, but often posts on items of interest to others in her industry.
Patricia continues to think outside the box and stays boundary-free. While she is currently revamping her blog to include numerous experts in various fields . . . (she plans to launch Dig This Design 2.0 in a couple of months), her seminar — “How to Survive a Kitchen or Bath Remodel” too has become quite popular The next scheduled for December 3rd will be filmed and will be offered later as a four part series for purchase.
Patricia is simply one designer (and lady) who will never stop reinventing herself, never stop trying to be the best she can be both for herself and for her clients. You can find her, as with many of our friends, on Twitter @Patriciadavisbr. Thanks for reading. ~jb