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Creating a personal look all your own

During a recent professional meeting of interior designers, one of my colleagues shared a story about completing a very profitable fabric sale. Before the designer's client would confirm the order, the designer needed to reassure the client that the fabric was the latest and most contemporary textile design. The client wanted to be reassured that her new sofa would be the first to be seen covered in this trendy, chic fabric. My colleague promised that this was true and guaranteed that it would not be seen anywhere in our area due to its sophistication, quality and price.

To much of the designer's chogrin, that very same fabric was covering every banquet table in a Tex-Mex restaurant that her family visited during the grand opening celebrations! She was absolutely horrified and could not even enjoy her meal because she was so worried about how to explain this dilemma to her customer!

This disturbing circumstance reminded her of an even worse scenario when she had once promised a "one-of-a-kind" drapery fabric that she later saw on the seats in a very large McDonald's!

These became valuable lessons that prompted me to reevaluate my sales techniques. I learned not to pledge a totally unique look if using items supplied by large companies. After all, a major manufacturer will not survive by selling only to one customer. Yet as a designer, I need to be creative and to be able to offer the special and the unique. In many projects, I have been very successful in creating a unique look by retaining local and independent artists. These talented and creative individuals have transformed my concepts and design ideas into beautiful home fashions.

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