Designer Tobi Fairley uses digital media to share the secrets of how to build a booming business.
Award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley admits that she is part of an industry that has been "hesitant to share our work and our 'secrets,' but that is no longer the case today."
"The world has evolved," she says, "to a place where every piece of info is shared at the speed of light, and it's important for us to follow, and try to lead, when possible, this pattern to stay relevant."
Regarding social media, Fairley adds, "It's important to share what you're doing and really follow up with your blog readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans."
Passionate about learning (she has degrees in interior design and accounting, and a master's degree in business administration) and teaching, Fairley has expanded her repertoire into advising other designers.
Fairley's biggest piece of advice for young designers is to learn about the business side of owning an interiors firm. It's what prompted her to start her Designer MBA Camps—three-day sessions geared specifically for designers who are looking to grow their businesses. "Literally all of the designers who have taken this course have seen amazing results in their growth," she says.
In addition, Fairley offers extensive learning opportunities with her year-long Mastermind Consulting Course, during which her firm mentors designers to tackle the most challenging issues of owning a design firm.
Through this course, Fairley offers private consulting for clients who want a more in-depth, hands-on approach. In this scenario, Fairley and her staff help her clients with everything from creating a dynamic brand and designing a new website, blog, or other social media platforms, to helping them develop a price structure, starting product lines, and getting their work published. "It really is a turn-key branding experience," she says.
In addition to offering luxury design services, consulting her peers and prospective designers, and launching her own home furnishings line, Tobi Fairley Home, she also posts on her own blog, which is read in more than 124 countries worldwide. "Not only do I like to share my recent projects, I use the blog to share my advice," she says.
While not free, Fairley's InBox Interiors is yet another design solution for "people who are DIY-savvy and can handle the work on their own, but need help with the overarching design." She adds, "It's a great solution for clients who want all the pieces of a typical design project but are also looking for budget-friendly options."
Fairley reveals before-and-after photos of some of the amazing room transformations accomplished through InBox Interiors on her blog. (View one of her favorite projects.)
Tobi Fairley's Favorite Paint Colors
Fairley says she's influenced by the charm of Southern hospitality. Her style is strongly rooted in neutral backdrops with bright pops of color sprinkled throughout. "For the majority of my rooms, the walls and ceiling are a neutral or a soft shade of color like a pale lilac or serene blue," Fairley says, adding that Benjamin Moore "hits these colors spot-on, so they are not too strong, but rather subtle and sophisticated."
When she wants to "pop a bright color in" as an accent—either on a furniture piece or as an accent stripe or detail on a wall—Fairley says, "Benjamin Moore gives me a wealth of pure hues to make that happen." She also values Benjamin Moore's "amazing quality that I can trust for any project."
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