You're a creative professional thinking of ways to earn more while getting yourself out there. Some say it's enough to learn the tricks before the trade--but really, it takes a lot of hard work and business smarts to turn your passion into a thriving career.
In the following days, Female Network will profile men and women who have channeled their creative energies into building highly successful businesses. Let these creative geniuses show you the steps you need to take in order to make sure that your creative gifts work for you.
Cynthia and Ivy Almario returned to the Philippines even after having successful careers in the United States. They have since become known for their modern, impactful Asian interiors. Commissioned for work locally by companies such as Ayala, and top hotels and resorts worldwide, the sisters share an unparalleled rapport that makes each new project a true collaborative effort. The pair shared their day-to-day experiences and insights at the recent SoFA Speaks lecture series, "From Idea to Icon: How to succeed as an artist in business."
1. DON'T BE AFRAID OF PAPERWORK
"All finished products begin from an idea, and these ideas have to be documented properly. At the end of the day, it is a business. Interior design is a business where dreams and inspirations are quantifiable," Ivy shares.
2. DESIGN IS A BUSINESS, BUT IT ALWAYS STARTS WITH FRESH IDEAS
"You cannot come up with design out of thin air," says Ivy Almario. It is worth noting that the most successful people expand their horizons continuously. Your market evolves, and you should grow along with it.
3. DELEGATE YOUR WORK
"If there were 10 steps to interior design, I take care of the first five, and Cynthia takes care of numbers six to 10," says Ivy. "We're always in tandem. We meet up actually on the tenth step! If you were to invert a house, everything that falls, Cynthia takes care of; everything that's attached, I take care of. We also have a team of artists we work with."
4. MAKE A BIG IMPRESSION
"Most of the time we would like, as soon as you open the door, for the most impactful element to be the one that greets you," Ivy shares on making the initial proposals for their clients.
5. LEARN HOW TO DO THINGS YOURSELF
"I do my own sketches... so I can personally feel how my idea will work out," Ivy says. Be as hands on as you possibly can. No one can flesh out a creative idea as well as the person who first saw it take shape in his/her head.
6. SOME FEAR IS A GOOD THING
"There's nothing like a deadline to get us inspired! Time constraint and fear [can be] your inspiration!" A little tension is good because it keeps you on your toes. As long as you are organized, a deadline is nothing to fear.
7. WORK WITHIN YOUR TARGET BUDGET
"You can get inspired by an idea but if you go over the budget, your client won't be very happy. They might lose your number!"
8. LISTEN AND WORK WITH YOUR CLIENTS
"Whatever your client asks, you have to be able to deliver, but they sometimes don't know what they want, so guide them."
Check out the Almario sisters' work at atelieralmario.net.
Read about other successful entrepreneurs in Female Network's SoFA series:
(Photo courtesy of atelieralmario.net)