Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 38

STORIES FROM THE FIELD

Beating the Odds

Pros share innovative
solutions for coming
out ahead of the
global pandemic

AS MARCH OF 2020 ROLLED IN, so did one of the toughest times our industry
has ever faced. Suddenly, the usual project challenges of difficult clients and
hard-to-meet budgets didn't seem so hard to overcome. Instead, we have
been busy wrapping our heads around suspended - or even canceled - jobs,
communicating with clients virtually rather than face to face and just staying
afloat in extremely turbulent times.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the design professionals we
have heard from have been using their creativity to conquer these hurdles.KBB
spoke in depth to some of them to learn firsthand what they have been able to
overcome and what advice they have for their industry peers moving forward.

Rebecca West

Patricia Davis Brown, CKD, CBD,
NCIDQ

SERIOUSLY HAPPY HOMES, SEATTLE

Financially, I'm fortunate to have run my books well enough that we can
absorb the dip in revenue from having to put our projects on hold for more
than a month. I credit being able to keep afloat to having good business
practices before the crisis, which also meant my records were in order enough
to make applying for the Paycheck Protection Program less painful than it
might otherwise have been.
We hadn't been marketing or practicing virtual design at all prior to
COVID, so we had to do a quick 180. We needed to not only market virtual
design but also practice this new way of meeting with clients.With both those
goals in mind, I gave away free 30-minute consults throughout March and
April.That accomplished three things: It let us help folks who needed it and
were not in a position to pay during this crisis; it let us practice having color
and design consults virtually; and it gave me a way to provide work hours for
my team.This process helped us promote full virtual design projects, and we've
already completed one full design and have two in the pipeline.
Her Advice: Do whatever you can to use this time to improve your systems.
Map out your marketing calendar.Tidy up your website copy. Improve your
Instagram feed. Reach out to existing and new contractors to form referral
relationships. Email all your archived clients and see how they are doing so
you can be top of mind as they dream up post-COVID projects. Basically,
go back to being scrappy just like you were when you started your company.
If you don't feel like you have enough to do right now, you're not thinking
like a business owner. 

Michael Kaestner

KAESTNER DESIGNS, PHILADELPHIA

I did face a potential issue with commencing a project in a large building in
Philadelphia because of enhanced provisions from the management company
alongside an executive order made by the mayor on April 29th stating that
no work was to be done within an occupied home. Several weeks ago, when I
placed the order for the cabinetry, I had estimated that we would be clear for
installation within two months. I had done my due diligence by contacting
the logistics company to weigh my options with storage or delay of delivery,
as I do not own a warehouse. In addition, I was forced to call my client for
clarification of a few items in the space, as Philadelphia had reached an alarming number of COVID-19 cases, and an impromptu site inspection was not

38
38-39_KBB_0720_SpecialSection.indd 38

in the cards for me. This project has called for my
complete patience and heightened organization. I
was also forced to sharpen my pencil and learn a
few things about operations of the building and
my logistics company; things that I had never
truly considered with the normal ebb and flow of
kitchen design and remodeling.
His Advice: Prepare for the unexpected and reevaluate your processes. I took the initiative and
created additional forms to my statement of work
regarding COVID-19. I provided additional
transparency for my clients regarding our current
state of affairs and how I planned to navigate the
path in the event we were delayed. In addition, always be honest and up front with your clients with
no exceptions. Last, but certainly not least, find
activities that keep your mind fresh and clear. Exercise daily and make sure you are getting enough
water and nutrient-rich food. If you don't feel well,
how can you help your clients?

PATRICIA DAVIS BROWN DESIGNS LLC, VERO
BEACH, FLA.

By CHELSIE BUTLER

I have learned to keep my overhead low. I outsource all of my work, so I did not have to keep
up with a payroll other than myself. As I take
on work, I outsource what I need so I am not
responsible to keep employees busy, which will
be helpful when I do get a lull in work because of
our real estate season being disrupted. All I can
do is play it like a chess game and be smart with
my moves going forward.
I have a son who is at high risk if he were to get
COVID-19, so my challenge has been leaving my
house to go to a job site or a meeting. I make sure I
have my mask, gloves and wipes with me. If I meet
a client at my design center, we keep a 6-ft.-apart
rule, and I have continued working with national
brands using Microsoft Teams and Zoom.
Her Advice: I believe in diversifying what you do
and not putting all your eggs in one basket. If you
can have more than one stream of income, it will

"A lot of times, as designers, we get
tunnel vision, but if you think outside
the box about what you bring to
the table, I am sure you will find you
have a lot of services you can offer to
more than one audience."
PATRICIA DAVIS BROWN, CKD, CBD, NCIDQ
Patricia Davis Brown Designs LLC

/ JULY-AUG. 2020 / KBBONLINE.COM / The official publication of NKBA (NKBA.org) and KBIS (KBIS.com)

7/13/20 7:12 PM


http://www.KBBONLINE.COM http://www.NKBA.org http://www.KBIS.com

Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020

Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020
Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Note
NKBA Note
Happenings
Hot Topic
Research Roundup
Trends
Better Business
Stories from the Field
Readers’ Choice Award Winners
Wellness Design
Balanced Budget
All Abroad
Solutions
Universal Design
Sustainable Design
What’s Hot
Merging the indoors and outdoors in a Big Easy home
A designer delivers every project request for his long-distance clients
Last Word
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Intro
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Cover2
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 1
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Contents
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 3
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 4
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 5
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 6
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 7
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 8
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 9
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 10
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 11
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Editor’s Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 13
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Show Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 15
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - NKBA Note
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 17
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 18
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 19
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Happenings
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 21
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Hot Topic
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 23
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 24
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 25
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Research Roundup
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 27
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 28
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 29
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Trends
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 31
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 32
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 33
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Better Business
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 35
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 36
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 37
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Stories from the Field
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 39
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Readers’ Choice Award Winners
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 41
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 42
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 43
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Wellness Design
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 45
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Balanced Budget
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 47
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - All Abroad
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 49
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 50
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 51
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Solutions
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 53
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Universal Design
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 55
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Sustainable Design
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 57
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - What’s Hot
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 59
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 60
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 61
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Merging the indoors and outdoors in a Big Easy home
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 63
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 64
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 65
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - A designer delivers every project request for his long-distance clients
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 67
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 68
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 69
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 70
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - 71
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Last Word
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Cover3
Kitchen & Bath Business - July/August 2020 - Cover4
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