What can possibly change in an interior design business that’s been running successfully for 30 years? A lot! It’s all about finding the problem areas and taking what’s working to the next level!

In this episode, I chat with Katherine Joy Porath, founder of Katherine Joy Interiors, about all of the things that have allowed her to run her interior design business successfully for many years and how Power of Process gave her some major lightbulb moments that made her change how she ran her business.

Katherine, founder of Katherine Joy Interiors, has over 30 years of experience in the design world and she shares how she got her start, the various affiliations she’s joined over the years, and how they’ve helped improve her business. She talks about her focus on universal design, what it is, and how she educates her clients about it, as well as all the ways she’s implemented her POP experience into her business and the incredible results that followed.

I was beyond inspired by her insights into time management, increasing professionalism, being more selective with her projects, and the growth mindset she brings to her career. I know you will be too!


Read the Full Transcript ⬇️

Rebecca Hay: Hey, hey, hey, it’s Rebecca and you’re listening to Resilient by Design. Today I get to interview Katherine Porath from Katherine Joy Interiors.

[00:00:09] She has been an interior design professional for 30 years, so she knows what she’s doing. This woman is so smart. Such an incredible light. She was an award-winning accredited and certified interior decorator specializing in full-service design, creating and customizing the perfect plan to fit any style or budget.

[00:00:29] Katherine brings diverse solutions and personal attention to all her project details from conception to completion. She’s a POP alumni and a proud member of DDA. IDC KBA and the New Market Chamber of Commerce, which is amazing. We talk about this in the episode, the power of joining professional organizations, taking courses, and continuing your learning.

[00:00:54] She studied design and decor in Montreal back in the nineties. 1995, and she achieved an outstanding performance award. She’s one of the first graduates of CLIP, which is C L I P P, Certified Living in Place. We talk about this in the episode, and it’s something I’d love to bring Katherine back on the podcast to talk about.

[00:01:13] She’s been focusing her designs on creating safe and inviting indoor and outdoor spaces for her clients. Wellness, beauty, and joy are the key ingredients to all of Katherine’s design projects. She is really leaning into learning how to design a space and showing her clients how a space can be designed to live for tomorrow, no matter what your age or disability is.

[00:01:38] And I think you’re going to really like this episode with Katherine. She did take Power of Process after 30 years in the business and talked about the tweaks that she’s made to her business to make it run on time. So much more smoothly. And so that she’s able to tackle the projects that really light her up, the ones that she enjoys to do and have more time for herself, like golfing on Wednesday afternoons.

[00:02:00] So I hope you guys enjoy this episode with Katherine. Welcome to Resilient by Design, Katherine. It’s so amazing to see your lovely face. Well, thank you. It’s so nice to be here. It’s lovely to see you too. And I just saw you at IDS, so it feels like only a couple of weeks ago, really, at this time of this recording, that we got to hang out in person, which was so nice.

[00:02:22] Katherine Porath: Well, the nicest thing was we got to celebrate your birthday at IDS, so that was really exciting.

[00:02:28] Rebecca Hay: Yeah, it was. It was really fun. Okay. So I just want to dive right in because I have so many questions and I’m so excited for you to talk about your business and share all the wisdom because you have so many years under your belt and I can’t wait for you to share.

[00:02:42] But before we get all into that, why don’t you just give everyone a little bit of an overview of who you are and

[00:02:48] Katherine Porath: Well, my name is Katherine Horath and my middle name is Joy. So my business name is Katherine Joy Interiors. I started my business in Montreal, actually in the nineties. That sounds like so long ago, but when we lived in Montreal, my, What we had to do when we started a business, it had to be in one language.

[00:03:09] It had to be in all French. So my business name is actually Katherine Joy Interior. So it translates nicely into English, but I am bilingual and I speak French. So a lot of people don’t know that I’ve been in business for over 30 years. I do full-service design and this year I’m really focusing more on universal design.

[00:03:32] So I’m trying to educate my clients on safety and living in their home for a longer time, not having to go to a senior’s home, and even making the home safe for all ages really. I’ve had a few projects that I’ve done for clients that have needed accessible features in their home and I just really love that kind of a feeling of satisfaction from the clients that when I’ve done that.

[00:03:58] So I really decided that [00:04:00] this here is going to be my Dive-in opportunity to be the expert.

[00:04:05] Rebecca Hay: I freaking love that. It takes what we do, which is helping others to a whole new level. And it must feel so rewarding to know that you’re not only making it beautiful and functional and all those things, but you’re actually making it livable.

[00:04:20] For someone exactly from a marketing standpoint, like, I know that’s not why you’re doing this, but you’ll want to really shout it from the rooftops because I don’t know that there’s enough designers really differentiating themselves this way and becoming an expert in that. And I, that is, I mean, you already know this, but that is the, You know, our population is aging and there’s going to be a massive need for knowledge on how to, how do you, you know, what, if you’re going to do a bathroom, make sure you put in the blocking in the shower so that maybe down the road, you could put a grab bar, for example.

[00:04:55] Right?

[00:04:55] Katherine Porath: Exactly. Well, not only that, we’re putting in the grab bars now, but not, they don’t look like the hospital institutional ones. I’m trying to get sexy in the bathroom for safety.

[00:05:09] Rebecca Hay: Sexy

[00:05:10] Katherine Porath: for

[00:05:10] Rebecca Hay: safety, I like that. You need to trademark that.

[00:05:13] Katherine Porath: Right? I just, yeah, I am loving that whole vibe. So I’m making grab bars look flashy and bring on the bling in the bathroom.

[00:05:22] And the safety. So I

[00:05:24] Rebecca Hay: love it. But also for resale, right? Like people aren’t staying in their houses forever anymore. And so if you can set that up to appeal, I mean, that’s a whole other conversation. We’re not even really here to talk about that. But I would love to we could certainly I think we need to talk about this on another episode because I don’t know that a lot of designers know as much about this as maybe they Should or could to help really that’s just like additional knowledge and expertise to help your clients and I love that.

[00:05:50] You’re just leaning into that. I think that’s an amazing thing.

[00:05:52] Katherine Porath: Yeah, I did my first universal design about 15 years ago, and I wasn’t certified. Now I have the clip [00:06:00] certification, which is a certified living in place. And so now I know more about it, but it’s, it’s so cool to be able to work with clients like that, that have their own needs and they’ll actually tell you what they need if you don’t have the certification, but when you have the certification and you go into a client’s home that actually needs your help, they may have like a, a PSW or they may have, you know, help in the house that will tell you, you know, they need to have a grab bar here and they need to have, you know, support there.

[00:06:29] They need to have all of these different things. And there’s so many things out there now that people don’t even know about that. I just, I have been implementing them in different people’s projects secretly. And they’re like, Oh, I didn’t know that that was happening. Like I have an amazing story to share with you, Rebecca.

[00:06:45] And it just like, it melts my heart because. I have a client that I did their kitchen. They’re in their mid-50s or 60s, and they’re in their retirement age. Unfortunately, he got cancer. He ended up having a walker for a while. And I went back after he was recovered to take photos. And they said, you know, the kitchen worked so well for him when he was with a walker.

[00:07:09] And he said, I don’t know how you managed to design this space. But the microwave under the counter was so helpful. All the drawers were easy, and accessible. The space between the island and the counter just worked so well for him. And I was like, Amazing. I

[00:07:31] Rebecca Hay: know. So validating. Yeah, so those kinds of stories.

[00:07:34] Yeah. That little extra level of care and detail and expertise that you brought to the project. Sometimes it takes time for people to appreciate them. That’s really amazing. What a beautiful story. So now you’re doing that. Let’s talk about your beginnings. So you’ve been doing this for 30 years. So you are a seasoned professional.

[00:07:53] Tell me, what did it look like? How did you get started? Did you go to school? Did you kind of just happen into this industry and, you [00:08:00] know, 30 years is a long time. And I met you, what, maybe a year ago, two years ago. Yeah. A couple of years ago, maybe. Yeah. When you took power of process, I’m super curious how someone who’s been doing this for 30 years lands.

[00:08:13] My stuff and my course ended up joining and finding so much value. So I really am so excited to hear your story

[00:08:20] Katherine Porath: when we lived in Montreal. I had three young boys at the time and I was actually a floral designer before this for about 15 years. It just wasn’t enough. I was bringing clients, their flower arrangements, and changing around their furniture.

[00:08:34] So you can have your sofa here as you’re moving things around, but it has to match the flowers, you know, it just didn’t work. So it’s like, Maybe I should make this go to the next level. That’s amazing. No, no, no. This can’t be. You can’t have your sofa facing that way. You have to move it this way because the flowers look better like that.

[00:08:51] So anyways, I went back to school when I was 30. I took interior design and I just loved it. And I’ve been actually learning. things ever since then. My husband actually was working for the railroad and we got transferred a lot. So we moved from Montreal to Edmonton. We ended up building our own custom home out there.

[00:09:11] It was fabulous. The builder there loved what I did so much and all the different designs and finishes that he hired me. So I worked for him for a while. So that was fun. When I was in Montreal, I worked for a design firm there and I learned a lot because I mixed paint and So wallpaper and all that kind of stuff.

[00:09:29] So I’ve had a lot of different experiences when I worked here. I actually had a client that moved here from California. They moved back and they couldn’t find anybody in California. So they asked me to come down there to fix their house. It was like, yeah,

[00:09:45] Rebecca Hay: nice. Nice. Oh, we got to talk more about that one.

[00:09:48] Okay. Amazing.

[00:09:50] Katherine Porath: I know. But I think, what was the best for me is that I joined affiliations. When we moved back to Toronto from Edmonton at that time, I joined SEDECA, [00:10:00] which is now DDA. And I, you know, went to a lot of different affiliate events and courses and I took every course that I could take.

[00:10:09] So I think that was something that really helped me get to where I am networking with people and, and, you know, taking courses. And I just think that the more you can learn, the more is powerful for you. Absolutely. So in those 30 years, I’ve had lots of different projects in lots of different cities in Canada and in California.

[00:10:31] I’m very thankful to have actually won probably about 10 awards for some of the projects that I’ve done, which is, that’s the beauty of working for all of these years. You know, you get recognized and that’s, that’s the best part of it is being recognized by your peers for projects that you’ve done. But as you know, working in a sole proprietor, it’s very difficult working on your own.

[00:10:56] You know, wearing all of the different hats and doing all the things.

[00:11:00] Rebecca Hay: Have you always worked on your own? I mean, I know now you have a lovely design assistant working with you. Did you always have assistants or design help? Like, or have you always kind of been a solo show? I’ve always been a solo

[00:11:12] Katherine Porath: show.

[00:11:13] The crazy part about that is that during COVID, I probably had 20 projects I was working on at the same time. I don’t think I slept for a couple of years. It was, it was nuts. Yeah. And then I, I don’t know. You know how they when you say when you want something done, ask a busy person. Well, while I was busy and just sitting, watching, going through my phone.

[00:11:42] Your name always came up and I would be starting to get emails from you and like power process and I should be looking at this and I’m thinking Somebody that has a system that’s gonna make my life easier. Hala friggin. You like you Yeah [00:12:00] So I was just really intrigued by what you were offering. So I started listening to your podcasts and I started thinking about, you know what, yeah, there is better ways out there.

[00:12:12] And so that’s, that’s where I landed after so many years of working by myself. And then I did take power of process in 2022 after all of that busyness, but because I was so busy, I couldn’t finish it. So it was like, sorry, Rebecca, but I’ll have to put you on just the side of my desk. Not too much on the back burner.

[00:12:33] You were never too far away. I did take your advice from the power of process and hire somebody, which is Sierra, which is she’s been immensely helpful. And it’s nice to have the opportunity to have a specialist on your team that does just something. So she does the chief architect and all the Instagram posts, which is like two big things off my list, which is great.

[00:12:56] Rebecca Hay: Totally awesome. Good for you. I know. So all these years, 30 years, you’re working on your own. And then all of a sudden out of the blue, you’re like, I’m going to hire. I mean, I am sure, I probably said hiring is a great idea, but like, what was it that changed for you?

[00:13:13] Katherine Porath: I think listening to your podcast and, and taking the power process where, you know, you go to through all of the different modules and, you know, your suggestion of, you know, hiring people.

[00:13:26] I’m thinking that’s a great idea. I should really look into that. I love it. What

[00:13:31] Rebecca Hay: a novel idea. I’m going to look into that. That’s amazing. Well, you have been so busy.

[00:13:35] Katherine Porath: Yeah. And Georgian College has actually had students come and work with me before. So I have had those opportunities, but it’s not the same as somebody who stays on your team and is.

[00:13:48] You know, kind of helping you all along. It’s more like you’re teaching them. I’m still teaching Sierra because she’s still new in the industry, but it’s just been nice to have somebody [00:14:00] who knows what can help take some stuff off of your agenda. And so I should have done it much sooner, but honestly, I’ve never been as busy as I was, like, especially during COVID and it was just like, I can’t do this anymore, or I’m going to like, just go nuts.

[00:14:17] Yeah. So that’s when I decided, and it was really thanks to you, Rebecca, that I did that, and it was the power of a process that, you know, Helped me kind of like see the light was like I had the light turned on. It was one of those aha moments when I was walking my dog in the morning, listening to your podcast, which is what I do.

[00:14:34] It was like, ah, stopped at a red light. It was like, look at that. That’s what I have to do.

[00:14:39] Rebecca Hay: Amazing. I love that. I love hearing these things. This is why I do what I do. It’s amazing. So let’s talk about that. So you’re in this industry for 30 years, you’re running projects successfully, you keep getting more clients, and you’re busy.

[00:14:52] As ever during the pandemic, and that speaks to your years of experience and the name that you’ve built, right? And so people are coming to you in droves. What was it that you got from Power of Process that you was, that was missing? Because you must have had some systems in place. Did you have certain ways that you did things for every project, or were you just kind of winging it for 30 years?

[00:15:17] Because I have a hard time imagining that.

[00:15:19] Katherine Porath: I had a system, but it wasn’t as clear and concise as the one that you presented to everybody. So I kept on rewriting it. It was like, you know, okay, here’s the Here’s the contract, but let me just rewrite it for you. Instead of having just more generalized things.

[00:15:37] Right. And I would have like a letter, you know, that would be partially programmed in there, but I would be changing most of it. And then it was like the, okay, well now I even took here pricing with confidence, which was like, it gave me another kind of like that more confident pricing with the confidence thing that I was like, I’m doing, I’ve been always doing flat [00:16:00] fees, but it’s kind of like it’s estimated.

[00:16:03] Design hours. So it’s like, oh, I’ve done this kind of a project before. How many hours am I gonna give this client? Just like, just pulling numbers out of my hat, ’cause I’ve been doing it so often. Oh, I think the last time I chart, you know, it only took me like 20 hours to do that, or 15 or you know, and then you tell the client, well I told you it was gonna be 20 hours, but we’ve made like so many changes, I have to charge you like another 15.

[00:16:25] You know? And it’s like, if I had a better system, I wouldn’t be in this situation. So the more you. are in business, the more you need to learn about your business. So if anything, I learned to spend time, not on your business, but in your business.

[00:16:43] Rebecca Hay: You, I think you mean to spend time on your business, not in your, on your

[00:16:48] Katherine Porath: business,

[00:16:49] Rebecca Hay: working on your business and not working on client projects.

[00:16:53] Katherine Porath: Correct.

[00:16:54] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. Yeah. So I needed to do more of that. So how did you carve out the time? Like you were so busy because I like I love that you say that and I love that we’re talking about this. I haven’t talked about this for a while on the podcast, this idea of working on your business. And for me, when I first started the podcast, I felt like that’s all I talked about because it was still such a new aha for me.

[00:17:14] Because for me, it took so long and I want to hear your story, but it took so long for me to make the time to work on my business. I kept hearing this thing like work on your business and my, in my head, I’m like, yeah, okay, sure. Yeah. When I have time after all my seven projects are done, or after I like to send off that thing.

[00:17:32] And I never had time to work on my business until I slowly forced it. And it was very slow, it took a really long time for me to get there. There. Now I’m seeing all these people take power process and they’re like, boom. And then everything changed. I’m like, God, where was power process when I started?

[00:17:46] That’s okay. Right. And so it’s the question I have for you is this idea of working on your business. It sounds really great, but in practicality, how did you make that happen? Cause you were busy. It’s never

[00:17:58] Katherine Porath: easy. And again, it’s [00:18:00] like, I’m, I’m in my sixties now. So it’s hard to, you know, kind of like finding that balance of everything that you want in life.

[00:18:07] Okay. So you have to find time to take care of yourself. So you’re going to the gym or you’re going in the walking and then you’ve got to take the time to, you know, walk the dog and, and then you’re going to find time to carve out that time to work on stuff to make your business better. So it’s like, okay, I’m going to take an hour for this.

[00:18:24] And I started, you know, your calendar thing got me going on that. Like carving out time in my calendar for an hour here, an hour there. That’s the time for me. That’s the time for the dog. That’s the time for that, you know, so I really started to go, Oh, you can do that. So it was like,

[00:18:42] Rebecca Hay: yeah,

[00:18:43] Katherine Porath: wow. So instead of just running with your day, like everybody else, like I was doing for so many years, I really started to learn to slow down.

[00:18:53] And by slowing down, I actually got more profitable and more confident in everything else,

[00:19:03] Rebecca Hay: right? 100 percent that was my, that was 100 percent my experience. It seems counterintuitive though, doesn’t it, at the time? It does. It does. Even just like designing your calendar, like, Why would I want to have such a structured calendar?

[00:19:17] How am I actually going to get things done? Where’s the space for creativity? But in fact, having structure to your week and certain blocks of time for certain activities actually gives you more creative freedom. And it gives you the time when you know you can actually You’re not, your brain isn’t thinking about the hundred things you still have to do, because you know they’re already blocked out in the calendar.

[00:19:35] You’ve got time for them. And then also just that idea of like, I can take on fewer projects. I can, those projects can take me a little longer to deliver because I can charge more money. And all of a sudden, Your life is more in balance, and you’re actually making more money. Yes. Yes.

[00:19:51] Katherine Porath: And the fact that you can actually tell yourself, Yes, you do have time to work out.

[00:19:56] Yes, you do have time to go golfing or whatever [00:20:00] you need to do. Yeah. Because if you put that time in the calendar, you’re going to work harder on the rest of the day, so that you can get to that. Yep. So, it’s really important. Kind of like magic.

[00:20:13] Rebecca Hay: I love it. Everybody takes part in the process and I will wave my magic Rebecca wand.

[00:20:19] And it’ll be joy for everybody. I love it. I love it. Oh my gosh. Phenomenal. Oh my gosh. Katherine. I love you. So that is really wonderful to hear. I love that the calendar was effective. I mean, I do hear that quite often. Often this idea, and if you’re listening, you’re like, what’s she talking about calendar?

[00:20:35] And I, and I assume this is what you’re talking about, but it is like this idea of time blocking. Yes. Putting things in your calendar, committing to doing things at a certain time. Maybe it’s a regular money Monday where you work on your finances or every Friday afternoon or, you know, You know, for me, I get I’m so strict about my time blocking now where I literally have two days a week where I’m available to my interior design team.

[00:20:56] So Tuesdays and Thursdays. So Tuesday, we typically do an in-office meeting, depending on the projects. It might be in office. Let’s review designs. Or sourcing or meeting clients or zooms with clients. But then now Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are a combination of working on my business and doing the coaching, the online courses, and all of that.

[00:21:16] And I’ve become pretty regimented about it. And I love waking up in the morning and I’m like, Oh, today’s that kind of day. Right. Right. Like this morning I’m like, Oh, all day I’m just recording podcasts. I’m like, cool. I’m going to do my hair and makeup. I’m going to get a bunch of different outfits and I’m going to go to the office.

[00:21:31] And like, that’s my day. Not, okay, first I’ve got to do a podcast that I’m going to give him the car and go to grab it. Because for some reason, like the fabric sample didn’t arrive, then I’m going to go and stop by the job site. Too many different types of tasks that require different skills in one day are not the best use of your time.

[00:21:47] Katherine Porath: Exactly. So I have learned a lot by that exact blocking time to do the same thing. So yeah, so if we’re going to see clients, we’re going to see a couple clients that day. So I booked [00:22:00] that. Try to complement our day so that we’re not wasting time by putting activities on the calendar for sure. And in the summer, all my clients know that I golf on Wednesday afternoon, so you can’t reach me after that.

[00:22:12] Rebecca Hay: I love that. I’m going to take a page out of your book. I’m going to find something for my summer. I do want to learn to golf. I’ll tell you, it’s on my vision board. I do want to learn how to golf. So maybe that’s what I’ll do once a week. I’ll take you. Really? Sure. I want to figure out where can I go and get a lesson?

[00:22:27] Like, I don’t know, you could teach me, I suppose, or just take me and like send me off to my lesson. I would love that. It’s all about the fun. And just taking that time for you. And I think what someone listening might be thinking is like, Oh, wow. Like she’s, I mean, obviously Katherine can do that with her clients because she has those, she’s a seasoned designer.

[00:22:46] She has years of experience. Of course, her clients are going to respect her calendar, but what about little old me? I’m just, Starting out. I can’t imagine telling a client I’m not available on a certain day, and I just wanna say, yes you can because you can control the narrative and you can control and still be very, you can still be very service oriented, but have boundaries and say, I’m just not available.

[00:23:11] You don’t have to tell them you’re golfing. I mean, your clients know, but somebody starting out could just say, that’s not gonna work out for, I’m not available Wednesday afternoon. What about Friday morning? And so I think that. Sometimes we’re afraid to set the parameters and that’s your job. It’s the only way you’re gonna have any sanity, right?

[00:23:26] Katherine Porath: Yeah, but you know, can I tell you something? It’s really funny. I was afraid to tell people that I was golfing, so I would do the exact same thing. And then one time it slipped. I said to my client, Oh, I’m golfing. You are? Oh my God. And so now they, they have more respect for me because I’m taking my time to go golfing and they probably are golfers too.

[00:23:46] So they understand that language and they actually respect me. It’s like, you go girl. And then it gives you something to talk about. Right? Yeah. So it’s, it’s connecting with them in a different way too. And

[00:23:59] Rebecca Hay: I think that’s [00:24:00] really important. Okay. Ciao. I love that. I love that you shared it. And it’s actually almost made it easier for you to say, because now you don’t feel like you’re always making an excuse, right?

[00:24:07] Just not

[00:24:08] Katherine Porath: available. I love that. Well, and I think that clients need to see that you’re real people too, whether it’s that you’re spending time with your kids or you’re going on a family vacation, or you’re taking your dog to the park. I mean, we all have lives. And so when they see that we’re making time for those things.

[00:24:29] And that we’re going to be working harder on their project when we’re back in the office. I think there’s value to that.

[00:24:35] Rebecca Hay: I mean, you’re not going to be on their beck and call. Like that’s just not realistic and they don’t expect it. So don’t act that way. That’s my tough love for designers. Stop letting your clients dictate your life. Yes. Oh my gosh. I’ve had many nights crying in bed while my clients are texting me at 11 o’clock.

[00:24:52] Like, no, thank you. Oh my gosh.

[00:24:54] Katherine Porath: I have learned from you for that too, that I have learned so many new boundaries. And I do not answer my phone on, after six o’clock, even if it’s a text, I, if it’s a Friday, I will only reply on Monday.

[00:25:08] Rebecca Hay: Good for you. That takes restraint, but it’s so important.

[00:25:12] Katherine Porath: Yeah, it has been difficult because I want to like, what?

[00:25:17] Sometimes it’s just like, yeah, no. You can just wait, and then I say the same thing for clients when they text me on a Sunday. I won’t answer that, and then I’ll say to them on Monday, I got your message, but here’s my answer. And they say, oh, so sorry, I didn’t want you to look at it. I just didn’t have any time in the week to say it.

[00:25:35] I’m like, okay.

[00:25:36] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. Next time, put it in an email. Yeah. Right. Exactly. And schedule the send for Monday morning. Right. That’s the next level of whipping our clients into shape. Okay. Let’s talk a little bit more about the process. I would love to know, was there anything that surprised you when you did power process the first or maybe the second time when you actually had time to go through it with your design assistant?

[00:25:59] I mean, [00:26:00] was there anything that surprised you that you didn’t expect from the course?

[00:26:02] Katherine Porath: I don’t know if it was the surprise part, but I would like to say the one thing that we did take away from that, that we just love, are your Canva templates. You know, that has really been a game changer for us because that helped us make our process.

[00:26:19] So, of course, we changed it up a bit to kind of like, you know, make it our own, but it’s like now we have templates for our own. Here’s the mood board. Here’s the welcome letter. Here’s all of the things. So it’s just Canva. Like I was using Canva for likes, posts, and cute things and stuff, but I had no idea the level of opportunity that was a waiting class.

[00:26:45] So for you to have kind of shared what you have in your system for us, that was a real game changer for us.

[00:26:53] Rebecca Hay: Yeah, I appreciate you sharing that. No one else has really talked about podcasts because it’s a huge time saver. Yeah.

[00:27:00] Katherine Porath: Yeah. I love that part of it. That was really good.

[00:27:03] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. And it’s wonderful to be able to take something and then you can tweak it, right?

[00:27:07] Put in your brand colors, make it your own, put in your wording, right? Yeah. Make sure it’s in your voice and all of that jazz. Oh, I’m so happy to hear that. That’s really great. I mean, I think a lot of designers these days are looking for templates, anything to speed up the learning curve.

[00:27:22] Katherine Porath: Yeah. Yeah. You know, when we’re sending things out to clients and you know, when we send pretty things out to them, they see it.

[00:27:29] And they go, wow, that looks like so professional. So put together, the branding is always there on every page. And you know, it just makes, it look more professional. So being in this power process, there were so many different modules just to make us feel. more professional. So even though I’ve been doing it 30 years, it’s, there’s always something new to learn.

[00:27:55] Rebecca Hay: What else did you take from power of process and implement into your business that you were not doing before?

[00:28:01] Katherine Porath: I never collected a payment from a client before a consultation. I was always that client that took payment that day. So now it’s like, I can do that. That’s cool.

[00:28:14] Rebecca Hay: But that’s the beauty of it, right?

[00:28:16] It’s like, Oh, Other people are doing this. So I guess I can do this when you start to see how others are running their business, right? It’s so empowering.

[00:28:24] Katherine Porath: It is so empowering. And I think that’s really the. The key reason for joining anything like Your Power of Process is learning what the community is doing and what we’re not allowed to do, but what we feel is okay to do because everybody else is doing that.

[00:28:43] All of the different letters that we sent out that you suggested like I never sent out a, you know, get to know me letter. I figured if they contacted me, they already knew about me. I would just say, okay, let’s make an appointment. Like, why do we have to have this pre-visit and all this other kind of stuff, you know?

[00:29:00] So, right. But it does make a difference. It just shows more professionalism. So those are all things that I really took away from the course. So it was good. I’m learning it the second time. This was like a rubber stamp.

[00:29:15] Rebecca Hay: And so would you say that as a result, you are attracting different clients or are you charging higher fees?

[00:29:24] I

[00:29:24] Katherine Porath: probably could still charge higher fees. I’m always afraid, to up that number, but I am being a little bit more picky. On who I’m, I’m taking on clients. And I think one of your podcasts said, you know a certain amount of money that you needed to have that client pay you for a project, or it didn’t make any value to your business.

[00:29:49] I’ve started looking at that too. And it’s like, well, if you just want me to do colors or just, you know, I could do it as a one consultation, but. I’m not going to run around and stuff like [00:30:00] that for just this amount. So I have learned to be a little bit more picky and just more selective on the clientele that I’m, that I’m getting in and it may be fewer projects.

[00:30:12] But they’re better projects.

[00:30:14] Rebecca Hay: I love that. I love that. It’s so important. And I know no one likes to talk about the money side of it, but really looking at which service that we offer, like which is the one that’s bringing in the most revenue. And also if you take on all those little higgly piggly projects, your time is compromised and you don’t have the same time to devote to a better project, right?

[00:30:34] A bigger project, a full-scope project or what have you.

[00:30:38] Katherine Porath: Exactly. They’re the tire kickers. Yes.

[00:30:41] Rebecca Hay: Oh, there’ll always be tire kickers. Oh, yes. That’s been a real mission to try and like, what are the best ways that I can prequalify my clients to eliminate because I used to get a lot of those, right? Like, you know, young starting out, not charging enough money, you get go to people’s houses and they had no intention of hiring me and it just was like this constant waste of time.

[00:31:02] Yes. Absolutely.

[00:31:02] Katherine Porath: Yes. Absolutely. Well, and it’s funny because, you know, over the last 30 years, consultations have been very different. And so, I think when I first started, I was only charging 50 an hour. Now I’m 250 an hour, but it’s probably could still be more. You know, it has changed and evolved. You know, it would be like the, Client would invite you in.

[00:31:23] You’d sit down to have coffee, you’d chat, whatever. Then you take a look. It’s like, people now come in. Do you want a coffee? Nope. What we’re just doing is get right to work. I don’t drink on the job. Let’s just get right in it. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s changed. Yeah. So it is more business-oriented than, than let’s be buddies kind of thing at the first.

[00:31:41] Rebecca Hay: Right. Treating it more like a business. And maybe that just comes with time or like, maybe it’s, it’s also something that there’s designers listening that maybe don’t want their business. design passion to be a business. They just really want it to be a hobby. They don’t want to lose money, but they’re happy just doing what they want to do.

[00:31:58] And there’s nothing wrong with that. [00:32:00] There’s a lot of designers listening that are doing it because they enjoy it and they don’t need to do it for financial reasons. And that’s wonderful. But for those of us who will want to help contribute to whatever our lifestyle might be, or maybe some of us are the earner in the family.

[00:32:19] And so you got to treat your Creative business like a business, right? And that sort of was a hard learning for me, even though all of my money contributed to half of the household household revenue, right? And so for me, it was always about needing to make money, but I never always treated it like a business.

[00:32:37] I didn’t know how to, and for me, that’s where power process really kind of came into being was once I figured out. Oh, if I have repeatable systems, if I have like so many steps to do every project, then my life’s getting a little bit easier and I look more professional and now I can charge more money.

[00:32:57] And wait a minute, what if my process is unique to me and I can highlight what’s, what’s my differentiator and let me start looking at, and that’s where, that’s really where it came from, because I do believe there is no one size fits all to running a design business. And so there’s lots of other people out there teaching their way of doing things.

[00:33:16] But for me, power of process was always about, sure, I can show you how I do things. But really, that’s an example. You’re welcome to copy me, I, by all means, you’re not my competition where there’s enough work out there for all of us. But I do highly encourage the students of the course to take what I’ve done and make it their own.

[00:33:35] Yes. Really self-reflect on how you want your business to run and look and what steps work for you. And I’m curious, Katherine, since you’ve taken the course and started creating your process, has your process changed? It has.

[00:33:48] Katherine Porath: What about it has changed? I have to tell you on just the consultation visits.

[00:33:53] Now, the one thing about having Sierra, an assistant, and if I can give one advice to [00:34:00] somebody is to bring somebody with you to those consultations. You just look so much more professional. I mean, you walk in there as a team. You know, one of you is taking notes. One of you is taking pictures. One of you is talking to the client.

[00:34:15] It is just a game changer too. I mean, we look more professional, therefore I should be charging more and it makes it more efficient. So I think that’s the one thing that’s changed the most since all of this. And then with all of the different modules and, and forms and things that we have learned through your course, it makes it easier, easier to follow.

[00:34:37] It’s, it’s kind of like having that block in your calendar. You’ve got this one done, you’ve got that one done, you’ve got this one done, and you know, and it’s good. So I’ve implemented a lot of what I’ve always done. So that the way I charge is still by the time estimation, which is, is still. I still think I do a pretty good job on that and clients understand that I’m not trying to change the wheel too much on my business, but implementing some of the great things that you have in your power process.

[00:35:05] It’s been a great balance.

[00:35:06] Rebecca Hay: Oh, it’s amazing. I’m so happy to hear that. And you are so right. Bringing someone to the consultation with you. I resisted for a long time. I didn’t want to pay for someone to come with me. Yeah. But then you just, you just charge more for your consultation and the hours it saves you because someone else is typing up all the notes afterwards and taking all the overall measurements or taking the pictures or however you run your consultation.

[00:35:28] Yeah. It’s like the consultation is over. I can move on to another project. I mean, this is how we do it. And then my, the designer who’s with me sends me the notes and the measurements and the this. And then I go ahead putting a proposal together. They’re like. faster turnaround to, to getting that proposal out.

[00:35:44] Yes. And they see you more

[00:35:46] Katherine Porath: professional

[00:35:46] Rebecca Hay: too. Yeah. Yeah. It’s amazing. Oh, great. I’m so glad you shared that nugget. That’s so good. Okay. Speaking of nuggets, it’s about that time where you get to share a final nugget of wisdom for our listeners. What have you got for us

[00:35:59] Katherine Porath: today, [00:36:00] Katherine? So what I would suggest to anybody starting out in the business, or even after 30 years in the business, Really network with your local organizations.

[00:36:10] I’ve joined the new market chamber here. They’ve been a great support for me. The DDA and KBA, all of these different organizations, power process. Anything that you can find in your community that brings you together with other people is power because networking just brings you to more information that you can learn.

[00:36:34] And more information that you can learn brings you more clients. It’s just like one of those snowball things. So I think just knowing more people. Going to these events that you’re invited to, networking with your peers. If there’s somebody that you really admire, reach out to them. Say, hey, how are you? I love your work.

[00:36:55] And then just, you know, just be there for everybody. That’s how I’ve done so well, I think, is just by networking with people and just asking questions and, and, and being around them.

[00:37:09] Rebecca Hay: I love that. It’s so funny because I one observation I had when we were at the interior design show and we were at the meetup or I don’t know where it was.

[00:37:16] And I think it was, was it Jane Lockhart? Who was like, who walked by and she’s like, Oh, hi, Katherine. And you’re like waving. Hi. I’m like, Katherine knows everybody. I don’t know. Is that who it was? I can’t remember. I think so. Yes. Yeah, probably. I mean, I know you’ve been in the industry a little longer than me, but I was, well, I was pretty impressed.

[00:37:33] So I think that’s, Very sage wisdom to end off today because it is so true. And I think, especially after the time that we’ve gone through pandemic with people getting comfortable staying home, it does take a little, even I feel it, it takes a little extra effort. I feel like I need to push myself a little bit to go to the events because I, you know, I get the invite and I’m like, Oh, do I really feel like going, [00:38:00] you know, but then when the times that I do go, there’s always some connection or someone’s like, Hey, why don’t we host one?

[00:38:06] I’m like, Oh my gosh, if I hadn’t come here, I wouldn’t have talked to this person who offered to host, let’s say a meetup, or I wouldn’t have talked to this person who reminded me that that company exists or whatever it might be. So I think that’s really great advice. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today, Katherine.

[00:38:21] I really appreciate you sharing your experience, taking the course, especially coming from someone who’s so seasoned and who’s so successful in her own interior design business. I think there’s a lot of listeners who will appreciate hearing that you’re always learning. There’s always an opportunity to improve the way you do things.

[00:38:37] And you have such a growth mindset, which is incredible. Where can people find and follow you?

[00:38:42] Katherine Porath: So it’s Katherine Joy Interiors. is the website, and you can find me at Katherine Joy Interiors on just about every handle going. Instagram, Facebook LinkedIn is all the same. Katherine Joy Interiors. With a K.

[00:38:56] That’s important. Yes. It was a pleasure seeing you today. Thank you for having me on your podcast. Thank you, Katherine.

[00:39:03] Rebecca Hay: Well, that was such a lovely conversation. I really enjoyed Katherine’s honesty and talking about how, you know, the last 30 years, She sort of was doing things a certain way and that she was still open to learning new ways of doing things.

[00:39:17] And I think sometimes the longer we get kind of set in our ways, it can be more challenging for us to learn something new and tweak how we do things. But she really. has exemplified having a growth mindset and how at any age and with any background, no matter how many years you have doing something, you can improve and tweak and tackle new, exciting challenges.

[00:39:40] I love that she’s going after the universal design demographic, meaning that she’s really leaning into. knowledge, learning, and then educating her clients and helping her clients on an extreme next level, I think it’s really commendable and I can’t wait for her to share more on that journey with us. [00:40:00] I hope you enjoyed Katherine’s experience and the nuggets that she took away from power of process.

[00:40:04] Because I. It’s important to me that on the podcast, we share stories from designers of different stages of life and with different experience levels. It’s not often I get to talk to someone who’s been in the industry for this long. And so I hope this brought some perspective that was unique to not only taking power of process, which I do hope you join us for, but also running a design business.

[00:40:25] If you guys enjoy this episode, let me know. I’d love to see you inside pop. Come on over. Check it out at rebeccahay.com/powerofprocess. It’s starting in April. I hope to see you there.