In this episode, we welcome back the talented and wonderful Elizabeth Cinquini to talk all about restarting her interior design business after her big move from NYC to Naples, Florida, and dive into her experience getting featured in magazines and other publications without using a publicist!

During the episode, we go into detail as Elizabeth catches us up on her big move, how she had to re-grow her business from the ground up, and why she decided to move outside of her comfort zone to foster real personal connections. She shares the importance of hustling and patience, as well as being selective in where you spend your time and energy so that the seeds you plant have the space to grow.

We also go deeper into her journey of getting published and featured in magazines. She talks about how the editorial process works and how she specifically participates and cultivates those connections by playing the long game and believing in her process.

Her advice about being your own advocate inspired me so much and I know it’ll light a fire under some of you too!



Read the Full Transcript ⬇️

[00:00:00] Rebecca Hay: Hey, hey, hey, it’s Rebecca, and you’re listening to Resilient by Design. Today I interview repeat guest for the podcast, a POP or POP alumni, Elizabeth Cinquini. And Elizabeth is a very talented interior designer. She is the lead and owner of Elizabeth Cinquini Interiors. From originally New York city. She was previously on the podcast in episode 126, where we talk about her leaving behind the chaos of New York city, picking up her family life and business and moving to Naples, Florida.

[00:00:36] That episode aired just under two years ago. And so we’re catching up with Elizabeth now that she has been in Naples for a little while. This episode’s really great. Cause we. She really dive into all things networking and getting press and how to do it on your own without a publicist. We talk about how you can market yourself and build your business in a brand new city.

[00:00:58] Essentially it’s like starting from scratch and she shares specifically what was the hardest part of getting started in a new city and how she found the right places and people to connect and network with. She also shares how to get your work featured in a magazine. Really refreshing, real life advice that we’ve kind of touched on on the podcast before, but never in this depth.

[00:01:22] This is going to be a really inspiring episode for you, but she’s going to give you a good kick in the butt to get you out there outside your comfort zone, not settle and strategically build your business and get your work featured. So guys dive into this episode with Elizabeth. It’s a juicy one. Enjoy.

[00:01:41] Welcome to the podcast, Elizabeth. It’s so nice to see your face again. Thank you, Rebecca. It’s so amazing to see you again. I love it. It’s been, I don’t even know when the last time was you were on the podcast. I know it was episode one 26, but I don’t know when we recorded that. It was probably two years ago.

[00:01:56] Yeah.

[00:01:57] Elizabeth Cinquini: I think it was about a year and a half ago. Yes. When [00:02:00] I had just moved. Yeah.

[00:02:01] Rebecca Hay: We’re going to talk about your big move, where you’re at today and like your amazing success and All the things you’re doing so that other designers can do them, too, in their own cities. But before we get there, maybe just give everyone a little intro, for those who don’t know who you are.

[00:02:15] Elizabeth Cinquini: I am Elizabeth Cinquini. I am the owner of Elizabeth Cinquini Interiors. We are a full service interior design firm. I started my business in New York City after about 10 years of working in corporate design. I left the corporate world, started my own company, built it from scratch just through referrals and Then after several years of being somewhat established, having like the best year I ever had in business, I decided to move to Florida to a place called Naples, which I had never been, didn’t have any connections, had no clients.

[00:02:51] and essentially had to start over.

[00:02:54] Rebecca Hay: I love it. Like I’m finally built my business and everybody knows me and I’m doing well. I’m like, Hey, let’s leave. Yeah. And guys, if you’re listening right now go check out the first episode I did with Elizabeth. Cause we’re not going to dive into that whole story.

[00:03:08] It’s a really good story. It’s actually episode one 26. From the chaos of NYC to a peaceful new way of doing business with Elizabeth and Queenie. So that was back in September of 2022. So Elizabeth, what has changed? Like just catch me up here. So you had just moved in. It was going to be so peaceful because it’s Florida,

[00:03:33] Elizabeth Cinquini: Florida is peaceful.

[00:03:34] I love Florida. I love living here. I love the quality of life we have here. But at that time, when we spoke in September, I was, I was in Florida about three months. Luckily for me, before I moved, I had secured three big jobs in New York city with previous clients that I had. So I did have income and work to keep me busy because I knew.

[00:03:58] Building a business [00:04:00] somewhere you’ve never had been before was going to take some time. So I have been for the past year going back and forth completing those projects. And actually in March, about two weeks ago, I was in New York, finished the last of the three custom built homes. So wrap that up. We did the photo shoot.

[00:04:18] It’s amazing. And then I came back home and I was like, Oh my Okay, do I take more jobs in New York or now I really have to start getting work in Florida. So for the past year and a half, I’ve been networking like crazy, meeting with contractors, builders. Naples, where I am really has an amazing community for small businesses, which I didn’t even know before we moved here, but there is a lot of opportunity.

[00:04:45] There are networking events. Every day you can immerse yourself in so much. So it’s really putting yourself out there. Like this is not for the week. Especially in the industry that we are in, where we are looking for those, you know, luxury clients and the projects are big and you know, I didn’t really want to settle and do one room here or there.

[00:05:06] Like I, I knew the projects I wanted and I knew the clients I wanted and I was willing to wait for that.

[00:05:12] Rebecca Hay: Wow. I love that. What is the hardest part of moving a business to a new city?

[00:05:16] Elizabeth Cinquini: It was basically like I had to get people to know who I was. When I left New York, I had the best year I ever had. I had a ton of clients.

[00:05:27] I had people reaching out all the time. And so the next project was very easy to come along. But then now I’m here, I don’t know anybody. So I just really had to, and I’m a shy person for the most part. So for me to like, just start going to play, I had to go to events and places by myself and just, Try to start talking to people and meeting people and so that was, I, I was really out of my comfort zone, but I am so grateful for it because.

[00:05:55] It pushed me to really take all of these [00:06:00] steps to build my business. And I’ve really met some amazing people and just planting the seeds. I mean, for the past year and a half, I’ve been planting seeds everywhere. And now they’re all starting to pay off. I’m starting to get all the calls, you know, I will go places.

[00:06:15] Now people will know me from my social media. They’ll have seen me in a magazine. They’re like, Oh my God, I follow you on Instagram. So it’s all paying off, but it takes time. And you have to be patient. Oh, yes. And I feel like a lot of people aren’t patient and they’ll give up and they’ll get discouraged and it’s hard and sometimes you’re like, Oh my God, when is this going to pay off?

[00:06:36] But you got to stick with it and it will all pay off.

[00:06:39] Rebecca Hay: It’s so interesting. It’s like, a lot of people are, I could speak to this cause I, I, I fantasize. It’s about leaving Toronto and moving to a new city or a country or planet. I don’t know. Right. And it’s scary because it feels like in some ways, like you’re throwing it all away in the sense of here I am.

[00:06:59] And like, how long did, how many years were you in business in New York? So I started my business in 2015, so seven years, seven years, like that’s right. When you start to hit your stride, I feel like as a business owner, the first five years can be hell, right? And you are just working your butt off to establish your name, to get the projects and you’re finally hitting your stride.

[00:07:21] Obviously we kind of, we forgot to mention you’re also a pop alumni, so you took power of process.

[00:07:26] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yes.

[00:07:27] Rebecca Hay: And so you’re getting your systems totally ironed and everything, and you’re starting to land. And I remember when we talked in the last episode, you talked about how you changed your process and your pricing and you immediately started to attract different clients and even past clients were coming back and paying your new pricing, your new, your new fee structure, following your new process.

[00:07:47] So things were humming along

[00:07:50] Elizabeth Cinquini: and

[00:07:50] Rebecca Hay: it’s like, okay, I’m going to move. And. It translates, obviously you have all the experience, but it’s almost like starting all over again. It [00:08:00] is definitely starting all over

[00:08:01] Elizabeth Cinquini: again. It really is.

[00:08:02] Rebecca Hay: So then, so you mentioned like you went out, you started to hustle, you started to do things, and you’re a shy person, which I am actually so surprised to hear because I do see your face all over Instagram.

[00:08:11] And guys, give Elizabeth a follow. I love your pool talks. in your pool. It’s like, let’s just remind people that I’m in Florida. I love it. But how did you find which events to go to? How did you know where to network? Like when you’re a brand new city, like you said, you didn’t know anyone. How do you figure that out?

[00:08:31] So

[00:08:32] Elizabeth Cinquini: I actually did a lot of research on Instagram. I’m finding out Who’s who? Where are the places to be? What are the hot spots? Like, which magazines? What are people reading? You know, I, I did research and then I sort of started immersing myself in those different areas, those different network groups, like the different magazines that have events.

[00:08:56] And that’s where I started meeting people. And In the beginning, you’re going to everything, right? And then after a couple of months, you know, even when I got to that year point, I’m like, okay, now I’m being selective. I know like what’s the right environment, where are the right people. And so you’ve got to get selected with where you’re spending your time and your energy.

[00:09:16] So really honing in on that. And then just, again, When you meet someone, it’s about building a relationship, following up. I am constantly setting appointments. Let’s meet for coffee. Let’s meet for lunch. I’m going to this cocktail event. Like I had a mentor that told me this. He was like, you have to make sure your calendar is full every day.

[00:09:37] You need to have appointments. You need to have a full pipeline because Then you, you don’t have the time to get distracted and get lazy about it. You always have something going on. And it’s so true. And that’s why I always book out my calendar two to three weeks in advance. And every day I’m reaching out to someone to follow up, to make an appointment, let’s have lunch, let’s have coffee, because if people [00:10:00] don’t get to know you and get to trust you, they can’t recommend you.

[00:10:04] This past year and a half was really, Building that where people can see me on Instagram. They see me at events. They see that I’m what I’m speaking about I’m executing they’re seeing my projects come to life. So they’re trusting me. I’m building that rapport with them And this way I have strangers come up to me and be like, oh my god I have someone I recommended you the other day and I don’t even really know them, but they feel like they know me

[00:10:29] Rebecca Hay: So that’s really really important I love everything you’re saying.

[00:10:33] I’m like taking a million notes, by the way. Two questions. First question is what do you think has been more effective for you in a new city? Cause I know this, we’re going to start talking about publicity and getting press in a minute, but I just want to kind of lay the groundwork, right? What do you think has been more effective meeting one on one with people or attending industry events?

[00:10:52] If you had to pick.

[00:10:54] Elizabeth Cinquini: The industry events are good for that initial introduction of seeing who you vibe with. And then from that point, like if I go to an event, there may be one or two people that I meet that I’m like, okay, that could be a good connection for me. Then I’m reaching out. So it’s a good way to meet a lot of people, but hone in on who’s right for

[00:11:14] Rebecca Hay: you.

[00:11:14] So if I’m hearing correctly, it’s not enough to go to the events. No. You need to then. Take the relationship to the next level and go on a date because they got to remember you

[00:11:28] Elizabeth Cinquini: and they got to have that personal interaction with you and get to know your story.

[00:11:32] Rebecca Hay: I love this. I love this guys listening.

[00:11:35] Take some freaking notes, please. This is really good. Even for me, I’m like, that’s something it’s interesting to hear you say that it’s very like reaffirming for me because this year one of my intentions is to Network and just meet with people and try every week to meet somebody for coffee or go for a walk or something because those connections, sometimes it’s intentional, but more often than not, it’s not even intentional.

[00:11:58] It’s just, hey, I [00:12:00] like what you’re doing. I want to connect with you because who knows what opportunity may come in the future or what idea might just come from a conversation as opposed to sitting in the ruts or hamster wheel of take the kids to school, go to work, pick up this kids, have the dinner, put the kids to bed, maybe get some me time and go to sleep.

[00:12:21] And like on repeat.

[00:12:23] Elizabeth Cinquini: Exactly. And it’s also about the approach to you. Also, like for me, it’s always about how can I provide value to you? What problem can I solve for you? And I think that that’s important because there has to be an exchange, you know, for me, I never want to meet with someone with the attention of like, what can I get out of this?

[00:12:42] Like we need to build a relationship first. I need you to get to know me. I want to get to know you and see, you know, at some point in the future, something may come up this. You know, like I met with the builder the other day and we, and we had a great rapport, we met in an industry event and I reached out to him and he’s like, he’s like, listen, I’m going to be very honest with you.

[00:13:01] He has two big development projects happening. He goes, I love everything about you and your work. He goes, but I am legally under contract with another designer. He goes, so if you still want to meet, I’m happy to have a conversation. And probably most people at that point would have been like, Oh no, forget it.

[00:13:18] Because they’re not getting anything immediately, but I was like, I absolutely still want to meet with you. We had coffee, we spoke for two hours, and we are building a relationship where if he hears of something, he will think of me now.

[00:13:31] Rebecca Hay: And it may not be to work with him, but likely he has other friends who are also builders looking for designers or a potential client that he can’t serve or what have you.

[00:13:41] It’s a long game. It’s

[00:13:42] Elizabeth Cinquini: a long game, yes. Especially with what we, with the clients that we want. It’s, it’s a lot of planting seeds and it’s going to take a while. I’m, I’m at a year and a half now. But now I’m starting to see all the work pay off. Oh

[00:13:56] Rebecca Hay: my God, I love this. We’re going to have you on the podcast every like year and a half, and we’re going to [00:14:00] follow your trajectory of your career.

[00:14:01] I love it. I love it. This podcast is going to exist forever. So we’re just going to follow your entire life. Yes. I love it. Okay. My second question that came out of that was, what do you think has been more effective for you? The social media, because I’ve definitely seen you up your social media game or the in person connections.

[00:14:18] I think at the end of the day, it’s

[00:14:19] Elizabeth Cinquini: the in person connections. for sure. 1000%.

[00:14:24] Rebecca Hay: Okay. I think that’s important for designers to hear. I think we get caught up in, you know, the comparison traps, seeing how well somebody is doing on Instagram. How many follows? Oh my God. Look at her real. Like you had a real, I don’t haven’t paid attention lately that got like, however, how many thousands of views?

[00:14:42] Elizabeth Cinquini: I’ve had a few that have gone viral. There’s one that’s up to like 750, 000 views right now. And I’ve gotten in the last six months, I’ve gotten. I want to say 12, 000 more followers. Okay, but has it turned into sales? No. So it’s, it’s great because you have followers, but at the end of the day, it’s the personal relationships.

[00:15:04] It’s the reaching out to people. That’s how you’re getting business. Especially for us, like there’s nothing I’m selling that’s like a low ticket item that is for the masses. So yes, if you have that kind of a business, it could be beneficial, but

[00:15:18] Rebecca Hay: yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I don’t know about your city, but I know in my city, some of the most financially successful designers Instagram presence.

[00:15:31] Right. The rest of us are all kind of getting caught up in the like vanity metrics of it. Yeah. Meanwhile, When you really go out and you make the connection and you have those relationships with people, that’s where you start to get those, especially the bigger projects, I would say, yeah,

[00:15:47] Elizabeth Cinquini: and I think, I think the social media and the advertising, the marketing, it’s all very important because You know, when people Google my name, there’s a lot of things that come up and I have credibility.

[00:15:57] I think it’s good for building credibility [00:16:00] and closing your portfolio. So I do think it’s very important, but at the end of the day, it’s the personal relationships, meeting people one on one, going to the events, putting yourself out there, networking. And that’s how I met all my press contacts to be featured in magazines, writing editorials.

[00:16:16] Like all of that came from those kinds of networking opportunities.

[00:16:22] Rebecca Hay: Okay. So now let’s dive into that because I’m so excited to talk about this. Designers love press, but you know, let’s face it. Not everybody can afford to hire a publicist who is doing the pitching on your behalf. And so, and it’s my understanding that you, a lot of the press that you’ve received since you’ve been in Naples, you have got yourself.

[00:16:42] In the sense that you’ve pitched and you’ve, so talk to me about that. Like, how do you go about getting press?

[00:16:49] Elizabeth Cinquini: Several events that I’ve gone to, like I went to an event hosted by a magazine. So I met the owner of the magazine. We have a conversation, he knows I’m new to the area, so it’s like, there’s an opportunity.

[00:17:02] How can I, you know, and Naples is very good about helping new businesses. So he was very, very helpful. forthcoming with me. And he’s like, I would love to feature your business or write, you know, at first it was a little tiny, like little tiny blurb, and then, you know, a couple of months later, it was a full editorial, you know, of course it’s an exchange, right?

[00:17:21] So you may have to like advertise and, and, you know, maybe get like a half a page ad or whatever you can afford. But a lot of times if you do do an ad, you’ll get, you’ll get editorial. They’ll ask you to come

[00:17:33] Rebecca Hay: back and do more. I think that’s actually really important that you’ve shared that Elizabeth, cause that was something that I didn’t realize until I started working with a publicist in my early, you know, the first couple of years of running my business.

[00:17:44] And what I learned from that experience was it’s a pay to play game often. And so when you work, you know, in my case, the publicist had clients that were. vendors that were product companies. And so [00:18:00] they were placing ads in these magazines. And so she would leverage that to get one of her designers featured.

[00:18:06] So, you know, you always wonder like, how does one magazine pick one designer over another? There’s so many factors. Obviously it’s not just that, but it’s not just based on talent alone, right? Because there’s a lot of talented designers. Sometimes it’s the type of feature like, okay, it could be seasonal. It could be, this is a small spaces issue that.

[00:18:25] Type of thing. But I think that’s important that you share that. I mean, not every publication needs that because they have a lot of ad revenue, but especially if it’s a local publication, you could take out a smaller ad and then an exchange. Listen, I want to do an editorial.

[00:18:40] Elizabeth Cinquini: They’re going to support the people that support them.

[00:18:44] And I can look at this from a different perspective because before I was in interior design, I worked in the magazine industry. I work for Condé Nast and Fairchild, which are two of the biggest publication companies. And they have all the top magazines back then over 20 years ago to get an editorial, it wasn’t a pay to play.

[00:19:04] Like they, the editorial picked who they wanted, you know, so there was a lot less leverage with advertising. So the industry’s completely changed from my personal experience of being in it so long ago to now, whereas now you kind of need to advertise and then now you have that relationship with them.

[00:19:23] And so. They’re more willing to look at the photos submitted from the people that have supported their magazines for editorial than if you’re out the gate, like they don’t know who you are.

[00:19:36] Rebecca Hay: Absolutely. It’s like anything in life, right? Let’s just like, let’s, it’s a business, it’s a business, but it’s also people.

[00:19:43] It’s a people business. So we all want to help each other, but I’m more likely to help somebody who’s helping me back. Like, who do I have on my podcast? Do you know how many podcast requests we get a week? It is unbelievable. We can’t even keep up with the requests for people to be [00:20:00] guests on this podcast.

[00:20:01] Right. And we go through and we have to handpick Based on topic, obviously we want to make sure we’re bringing value, but also based on who are these people? Do I have any connection with them? Have they taken power of process? Are they one of our biggest fans? Can I support them? Like, can I return the favor?

[00:20:16] The same as in a magazine, right?

[00:20:18] Elizabeth Cinquini: Like I just completed a big project, so now I’m getting all my professional photos back. So now I’m going to reach out to all of the magazines that I have worked with over the past year. Cause now I have a project and I’m going to present it to them and see where I can get it featured.

[00:20:34] Rebecca Hay: So let’s talk about the editorials. You mentioned writing. Yeah. This is something I, I’d love for you to talk about this. I think there’s a bit of a misconception because this was mine.

[00:20:43] That magazines are just going to call you and then they’re just going to write about your project. Just send them some photos. But it doesn’t always work that way, right? Sometimes you have to do the writing.

[00:20:53] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yeah.

[00:20:54] Rebecca Hay: Talk to designers about that experience.

[00:20:56] Elizabeth Cinquini: In my experience in the past year, mostly everything that I have submitted, I’ve had to write.

[00:21:04] There have been instances where I think twice, two of the articles they interviewed me, So, that’s recorded and they’re using those statements, but for the editorials, I’m writing them and submitting them. They may tweak them, but it’s very different. Like I said, when I was in magazines a long time ago, editorial handled all of that.

[00:21:25] They had writers, they had teams of writers. They didn’t need your approval. Yeah. You know, it was what they wanted, the point of view they wanted to say. Now, you’re submitting everything and sometimes they may tweak it or they may use it as is.

[00:21:39] Rebecca Hay: Absolutely. And so that was my experience too. So it’s interesting.

[00:21:42] Yeah. It’s interesting that, you know, the world of, of magazines from before. That’s so fascinating. And, and my, what I, what I see the trend is, is just magazines. It’s just not as lucrative a business, right? So they don’t have the revenues to have the editorial, the writers that are doing all the [00:22:00] interviews and some of the bigger magazines still do the big national publications, but some of the smaller ones they don’t.

[00:22:06] And if you can make their life easier. They’re more likely to pick you. Yes, and you get to tell your own story. Yes. So talk to me about that. How do you decide what to write? So if you’re submitting, if you’ve finished this beautiful project, how do you determine what aspects to write about?

[00:22:22] Elizabeth Cinquini: So right now I have a partnership with Hot Living, which is a luxury lifestyle brand.

[00:22:29] So they have a magazine, which I was featured in, but they also have a design program where every week there’s a topic that they select. And then I write almost like a blog post about it from my point of view. So that’s something that I’ve been doing for the past couple of months. And it’s, it’s great because it’s.

[00:22:48] It gets your name out there. It’s more exposure and it’s getting your point of view out there.

[00:22:52] Rebecca Hay: So they provide the topic, but if you’re trying to submit a space for publication, like you finished this house, let’s say in New York, right? Yeah. Are you sort of giving them the angle or ideas for the angle?

[00:23:04] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yeah. What I’ll do is I’ll reach out to the editors send them photos of the project or highlight ideas that I think are important and then get their feedback. Yeah. Before you write it, right? And then hopefully there’s an issue coming up that aligns with, you know, my project with what they’re looking to do, and it’ll be a good fit.

[00:23:25] But I think it’s easy to have that dialogue with the editors or the publishers. And from my experience, they want to support you, you know, if you’re supporting them, and they like you, they want to give you those opportunities.

[00:23:38] Rebecca Hay: When you send these emails to these editors, I know designers are thinking, okay, they’re like, okay, like I want to do this.

[00:23:43] Like how can I do this? When you email an editor, how much information is in that email? Like how do you capture their attention before they, you really have an established relationship with them? Because I imagine they get a lot of submissions, these magazine editors.

[00:23:57] Elizabeth Cinquini: I don’t like cold call email. Like [00:24:00] I make sure if I’m emailing them, it’s somebody that I’ve met that I have a relationship with.

[00:24:06] emails. I mean, I have not had any luck with that. I don’t really think that works. Personally. I just feel like it kind of goes into email heaven to die and no one ever gets back to you, but that’s just my experience. So, you know, again, it’s, You have to get them on the phone. You have to get them to know who you are, get their attention.

[00:24:29] Rebecca Hay: Yeah, that’s so interesting. So no cold emails, but you are spending a lot of time in that cold introduction through Approaching people at events.

[00:24:41] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yes.

[00:24:41] Rebecca Hay: Which is a lot scarier than sending a cold email. Let’s be honest. Yes.

[00:24:47] Elizabeth Cinquini: And, and with magazines though, they’re very interested to speak to you and meet someone new because it could be a new advertiser.

[00:24:55] Rebecca Hay: Right. They’re very

[00:24:56] Elizabeth Cinquini: open to it. So

[00:24:58] Rebecca Hay: it’s not so scary. So what would be your biggest tips? So if somebody hasn’t photographed a project yet, but they know they want to, they want to submit it to a magazine, like are there tips when you were photographing your space that you want to keep in mind if it’s going to be published?

[00:25:13] Elizabeth Cinquini: I mean, honestly, I just try to stay true to my vision as a designer of what I like and how I design the space and how I want it highlighted. Obviously photographers have their own ideas. I like to work with the photographer, but I always want to tell them my point of view, like specific shots that I want, because at the end of the day, it’s representative of how I design the space.

[00:25:39] And then hopefully the editors will like it and they’ll select some of them to, to use in the editorial. But I have to be true to myself. I can’t shoot it worrying about, well, will they take this photo? Will they like this one? I think if you just, Just let go of that pressure and just let it flow easily and be true to who you are.[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] It will happen a lot easier.

[00:26:02] Rebecca Hay: Yeah, I love that. I remember working with the photographer once and they were like, well, if we’re going to do, if we want to get a center page spread or like a two page spread, we need to make sure we get a horizontal, which I thought was really interesting because you know, a lot of the, a lot of the times these days, the verticals are the ones that are the most interesting story to tell.

[00:26:20] Horizontal can sometimes feel a little bit more real estate y, if you will. But if you do want a photo across two pages, you want it to be landscape. And so I was curious if there was anything like that that you consider when you are, maybe you will now moving forward, but taking those pictures.

[00:26:39] Elizabeth Cinquini: I always want to shoot both ways.

[00:26:41] I prefer, I like the verticals better because I feel like you see more of the space. Sometimes the horizontal, I feel like you lose the space, but in the photo shoot that I just finished, we did shoot both ways. So I have both options. And then the vertical is always better for social media.

[00:26:57] Rebecca Hay: Right. And then also your website.

[00:27:00] Like that’s something too that I learned from working with a photographer. He was like, you know, you need to go into the photo shoot with an intention. Like, what are you using the photos with the photos are going to be used for marketing purposes to get clients essentially. Right. So you need to be considerate of, okay, are we thinking of pitching this to magazine?

[00:27:17] Is this for the website? Is it both? Then we need to make sure we cover because on a website, as we all know, landscape works better if you’re on a desktop. That’s certainly complicated. The, the technology gods have not made it easy for us designers, right? But keeping that in into consideration and then I like what you said about sticking with your design integrity and what was the intention behind the design.

[00:27:38] And that’s something that I’ve actually for me, and I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience where like there’s something in the design that matters to you, but the photographer doesn’t see it or they don’t necessarily value it and making sure that you really stand out for what you want. And for me, it’s always been the decorating.

[00:27:54] So it’s something that has always been my favorite part. is the soft furnishings and the [00:28:00] finishes and the decor. And so I feel like I’m always in, in these homes with this photographer. And he’s like, Oh, let’s get this shot. It’s like of the fireplace. That’s an architectural feature that I didn’t even design because it existed in the house and, you know, and he’ll set up the shot and he does it.

[00:28:15] And I have to trust my gut and say, no, I don’t want that shot. And I always ask myself, I don’t know if you do this too, but like, where am I going to use that shot? Yeah. Like I know it’s not going to be on my social. It’s definitely not going to be on the website. And if I pitch things to a magazine, I want to showcase my decorating.

[00:28:31] And so I’ve always pushed the photographer to say, Hey, can we get that, can we get the pinch pleat detail of the drapes? But most photographers I have worked with tend to be more inspired by the architectural,

[00:28:44] Elizabeth Cinquini: probably

[00:28:44] Rebecca Hay: because of the lines. And, and so I find that I’m always pushing them so that I can capture it from my perspective, because the thought behind the design was that fabric was the inspiration for the space.

[00:28:56] And if I can capture that, It’s even a better story to tell a publication. Yeah,

[00:29:00] Elizabeth Cinquini: I totally agree with you. And I feel like based on my experience, I’m kind of a little bit of the opposite because I focus more on the architectural elements and the building of the home. So kitchens, bathrooms, all of those finishes.

[00:29:15] And then like the photographer won’t want to take pictures of the coffee table with the flowers on it. Right. Cause everybody does that, which is fine. But like, I have this like 20, 000 piece of stone on this bar, like, get that, you know.

[00:29:30] Rebecca Hay: But, and that’s where you have to be your own advocate. Right. And sometimes I

[00:29:33] Elizabeth Cinquini: feel bad and it, I’ve learned over having a lot of photo shoots, you know, you have to speak up and you have to kind of, I mean, I don’t want to be over their shoulder all the time, but you have to be checking what they’re shooting.

[00:29:44] Cause at the end of the day, you’re paying for it. Yes. And it’s going to be useful

[00:29:47] Rebecca Hay: to

[00:29:47] Elizabeth Cinquini: you.

[00:29:49] Rebecca Hay: A hundred percent. You always need to look at it. And I think too, like as you start to get published, you start to see what works and what looks good in the magazine. And so the next time you have a photo [00:30:00] shoot, you’re more intentional because you do want to make sure you have a balance of closeup and tight shots, but also some nice overalls and ones that can tell the whole story.

[00:30:09] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yeah, for sure.

[00:30:10] Rebecca Hay: I think that’s so funny though. The shot with the coffee table and the flowers is like, that’s what everybody sees. Right. But you should be getting that stone because honestly, Elizabeth, if that’s your passion and if you want to do more of the construction side and like, that is a high end element too, to a design.

[00:30:26] So you want to be able to show that so that when the next client comes, you’re like, Oh, I want to do it like that. So that you can say, well, if they ask, I don’t know if you talk about money, but it’s like, okay, well that is a certain level. And that’s the level we work at. They see a coffee table of flowers.

[00:30:39] Like, I’m sorry, but anyone could do that. Right. That’s exactly

[00:30:43] Elizabeth Cinquini: my point. Oh

[00:30:44] Rebecca Hay: my gosh. I love it. What else do you think has been useful? Are there any, maybe even like just little smaller tactics that you’ve done or, or mindset shifts that you’ve had to make in this new city with this somewhat quote air quotes new business to get the word out about who you are and to get that press.

[00:31:04] Elizabeth Cinquini: Oh my God. You just have to be resilient. Like you have to keep at it. It is a long game. You have to every day be taking steps to be meeting people, cultivating relationships, getting yourself out there. Your network is your net worth. People have your money, so you just have to meet the right people that want the value and the service that you are providing to exchange that for money.

[00:31:32] It’s very simple when you think about it. Like we, we stress about, Oh, I have to make money. I have to make money. No, you don’t have to make money. And a mentor told me this, he’s like, everyone that you talk to, like people have your money, you just have to show them enough value. Well, they’ll want to exchange and give you their money.

[00:31:50] And that’s when I changed my perspective on money. It doesn’t feel so overwhelming when you put it that way. It’s just about meeting the right person that has it. [00:32:00] I love that. Hello. That is a monumental mindset shift. Yeah, you just have to collect it. You don’t have to make money. You just have to collect it from the right person.

[00:32:10] And I’ll actually tell you this story because this ties into the power of process. So I got very specific with who my client is. The type of projects that I want and not compromising on that, even if I have to have no projects for a little while and wait, because I’m a believer. And if I’m going to fill my pipeline with projects, they don’t really want.

[00:32:30] Now. I don’t have the space for the good projects to come to me. So I waited and last week I got an email from someone who reached out a long time ago where I hadn’t heard from. She emails me and she’s like, I just bought a house, 2 million house. We’re moving in this week. I need furniture. I need help. So I had my discovery call with her.

[00:32:52] I did a zoom, scheduled it right away. At the end of the zoom, I got her to commit to the consultation. We said we scheduled the date. Sent her the invoice, she paid it in full for the consultation, went to her house, had the consultation, and I was like, I’m going to get back to you within 24 hours with a proposal.

[00:33:11] Because I remember that you said, don’t leave without scheduling a time to come back and review. Yes. Because I used to email the proposals. I know, so did I. I actually scheduled, I said, I’m going to come back tomorrow morning, and I’m going to present you with the proposal. Go through it all in person. So literally within 24 hours, I did that, went through everything with her, my pricing, she did not haggle with me on pricing.

[00:33:35] She signed, wrote me a check for 50 percent of the fee, and it all happened in 24 hours. Woo!

[00:33:42] Rebecca Hay: Later!

[00:33:43] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yay! Yes. That’s amazing. And that just happened this week. Congratulations! Thank you! My, my point is, you have to get the process, you have to stick to the process. Yes. And believe in the process. Because I feel like sometimes we have all these processes, [00:34:00] but we don’t really believe in it.

[00:34:01] Like, oh my god, what if the client thinks it’s too expensive? What if this, what if that? But I literally drove up to that house and I was like, I am not going to leave here without a signed contract and a check. Like I’m getting this.

[00:34:11] Rebecca Hay: But that’s also what’s going on in your brain. You’re, you are coaching yourself.

[00:34:16] You are setting your intention. You’re telling the universe this is going to happen. This is going to be a great job, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And like, you fucking, excuse me, my swearing, you willed that shit. I love it. But you had the process to back you up. And I love that you say that. And I mean, we’re not here today to talk about the power of process because that’s why I called the course that because it is, you do need to, you need to establish it and then you need to just, you just need to leave it and stop tweaking.

[00:34:41] And it’s funny, someone asked me recently, like, what is the biggest thing that’s held you back over the years of growing your business? And it took me a long time to come up with that. And I was like, you know what? It was, it was constantly trying to reinvent the wheel or constantly not feeling confident in the way I did things and be like, well, I’m going to try what that person’s doing, or I’m going to tweak that thing.

[00:35:00] And then when I finally was like, no, this is how we do things. And I I’m not going to shift from it because I’m exhausted. Quite frankly, that’s when things just started to Yeah. And

[00:35:11] Elizabeth Cinquini: I will never email a proposal again. I will always schedule a meeting and do it in person.

[00:35:16] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. Or on zoom. If you have to do it on zoom.

[00:35:19] Right. Yeah. It’s a game

[00:35:20] Elizabeth Cinquini: changer

[00:35:21] Rebecca Hay: for sure.

[00:35:21] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yeah.

[00:35:21] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. Oh my God. I love that. Amazing. Amazing things are happening for you. I love following your journey and I am going to come to Naples. It’s so funny. I used to go to Naples for all of our holidays. My mom had a condo there. Then she sold it. And now I’m like, I never go here.

[00:35:40] No, maybe next winter. Maybe next winter. Like, I feel very proud of you, but it’s pride sounds like the wrong words. I’m not responsible for your success, but it’s just so wonderful and rewarding to watch someone really go for it. You’re doing it. You’re doing all the things. And like you said, and I think that’s such great advice.

[00:35:59] And I wrote that [00:36:00] down. It’s a long game. You know, you’ve been there for a year and a half. These things take time. And for those listening, I hope this is your reminder that just be patient, put one foot in front of the other. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s not immediately going to be an overnight success.

[00:36:17] You’re not going to immediately, it’s not an instant win. You know, I just had a great interview with a Canadian designer, Karen Bond, and she landed her Netflix show, you know, a couple of years ago. And she talked about that experience of getting the Netflix show. And it was actually years in the making.

[00:36:36] It was years in the making of thinking she had a show and then didn’t have it or being on hold with a production company. And it didn’t happen, but she just kept persevering and working on it behind the scenes until the right opportunity came her way. And it sounds like you, Elizabeth, with your business, like you just keep doing all the things and then At some point, like you, when I met this woman, like boom, boom, boom, it just fell into place so quickly, but it’s not the overnight success of landing that dream client.

[00:37:03] It’s a year and a half, a year and a half, which is actually

[00:37:06] Elizabeth Cinquini: about that long. If you

[00:37:06] Rebecca Hay: think about it,

[00:37:07] Elizabeth Cinquini: you just have to, you have to plant the seeds. As long as you know, every day. You’re making steps towards achieving what you want, planning the seeds, you’re being proactive and you’re doing it and you’re not just sitting around waiting for it to come to you, then you won’t have success.

[00:37:25] If you’re just going to sit around and wait. No one’s coming for you.

[00:37:28] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. Then you better be happy with just sitting at home alone. Yeah.

[00:37:33] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yeah. Cause I wish opportunities would fall into our laps, but it doesn’t work that way.

[00:37:38] Rebecca Hay: Totally. I love that. Such great advice. I love chatting with you and we’re going to give everybody the links to like, see all the beautiful things you’re doing.

[00:37:48] But before we get there, what last nugget of wisdom do you have for our listeners today?

[00:37:53] Elizabeth Cinquini: The biggest. Piece of advice is just to remember that your network is your [00:38:00] network. Be selective in putting yourselves in the right situations, being around the right people, surrounding yourself mentally, even with what you listen to, where you go, because that really impacts your whole entire life.

[00:38:17] And it just takes one person you could meet tomorrow that could change the trajectory of your life. And it could be a dream project or a great connection. And that’s why you should never get discouraged. And that’s why I don’t get discouraged. Because as much as I do this every day, I’m like, tomorrow could be the day I meet this person or this project comes and and it will all happen.

[00:38:37] You just got to keep at it every single day. Keep planning.

[00:38:40] Rebecca Hay: I love that advice and put yourself in the environment where the people are that can help you and where you aspire to be. Right. Like the clients that you want to work with, where are they?

[00:38:53] Elizabeth Cinquini: Make sure you’re in those, in those environments.

[00:38:56] Rebecca Hay: So interesting, like you’re saying that it’s got my brain thinking, and I think listeners who are parents can relate to this.

[00:39:02] Just in Toronto, my sister and her husband were visiting and they live in Boston and they don’t have kids and they just, they came with us and we went, took my kids to the park one day, you know, and it was a very nice park and it was the neighborhoods, not fancy or anything. And then we went on another day to a different neighborhood, to a different park.

[00:39:18] And that neighborhood, the houses are more expensive. It’s a little bit of a more elevated clientele who live there. You know, kids had a great time. Park was lovely. And it was so interesting to hear my brother in law afterwards say how it was so interesting in the second park. Because the conversations that he heard the other parents having were about this one guy starting a hedge fund, and he’s looking for people who want to get in.

[00:39:45] Well, shoot. The people in the other park are not starting hedge funds, so you’re not going to have an opportunity to get in at the, at the, the people in the other park, they’re quite happy, but they’re doing something else, and so there’s nothing wrong with either person in either [00:40:00] park, but if you are looking to get in the room to be in the opportunities to be around the people who then will be interested in giving you your money, Because I love that you said that it’s not their money.

[00:40:11] It’s like they have your money. Yeah. Right. They want, they’re going to spend it on a designer. You’re not there in that park and you’re off in the other park. They don’t even really know. And they’re not finding you on freaking Instagram.

[00:40:23] Elizabeth Cinquini: No, exactly. Last night I went to a broker’s open at a 7 million property.

[00:40:29] Ooh, nice. Or networking and meeting the realtors and meeting everyone, you know, very different from the people you’re meeting if you’re going in when brokers open at a 500, 000 property.

[00:40:40] Rebecca Hay: Yep. Those are small little distinct differences that sometimes, we all know these obviously, but you need to be reminded sometimes because we get comfortable.

[00:40:52] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yeah.

[00:40:53] Rebecca Hay: And sometimes it’s scary to play with in the big

[00:40:55] Elizabeth Cinquini: leagues. Yeah. You have to be confident enough and comfortable enough. or uncomfortable enough to push yourself to just say, I’m going to go and I’m going to put myself in that environment.

[00:41:05] Rebecca Hay: And the more you do it, the more comfortable you get. Yes. And I think that’s when the magic happens.

[00:41:11] It’s not the first time you go to that event or you go to that park or you go to that broker’s open that you like land the dream client. It’s the 17th time you do the thing. Then now you’re comfortable. You start to see some familiar faces. You’re used to that network. that that’s when things start to flow and and jive and all the rest.

[00:41:30] Elizabeth Cinquini: Right. And you can say like, I deserve to be here. Like I’m contributing something valuable. I can provide value to these people.

[00:41:38] Rebecca Hay: Yeah. We have to remind ourselves that. Yeah. This is so great. I could talk to you all day. Thank you so much. Thank you. This was awesome. I love, I love talking to you all

[00:41:47] Elizabeth Cinquini: the time.

[00:41:47] So

[00:41:48] Rebecca Hay: can you let everybody know where they can find and follow you?

[00:41:51] Elizabeth Cinquini: Yes. So on Instagram, it’s at Elizabeth Sinquini, Facebook, Elizabeth Sinquini interiors.

[00:41:57] Rebecca Hay: And we will, we will link that in the show notes. But [00:42:00] absolutely keep us posted. I would love, I can’t wait to follow along, see you continue to get press and keep doing those reels from the pool because they’re fun.

[00:42:08] I love watching them.

[00:42:10] Elizabeth Cinquini: Will do. Thank you. Yeah. Hopefully I’ll be able to send you a link with my new project featured in the magazine somewhere.

[00:42:17] Rebecca Hay: Woo hoo. I love it. And send it my way. I always love sharing the successes of all of our students. That’s one thing, but before we sign off, I’m just going to say, I love that you do that because I think a lot of people shy away from and what I’m talking about for those listening is whenever Elizabeth like gets a feature or I don’t know something does really well, often you will just flip it to me in a DM you’ll be like, look, I got this feature.

[00:42:41] And sometimes I get busy and I don’t share it, but sometimes I share with my audience. And I think a lot of other people might be nervous to do something like that. They feel like they’re self promoting, but you’re so good at staying in connection and sharing where you’re at. So I like keep doing that.

[00:42:56] So anyone who’s listening, if you’re like, if you’ve taken POP, you’re like, Rebecca’s helped me. Like, let me know, share it with me. It’s wonderful to see. Thank you. Oh my gosh. I love that. I know we were like, show your nugget. Where can we find you? And then I just kept talking with her. So it was really great.

[00:43:13] I hope you enjoyed that episode as much as I did. I mean, she has such a great attitude. And I love how Elizabeth has really expanded her marketing abilities. Really having moved to a new city, it can be pretty intimidating. I can only imagine it’s not something that I have done yet. I’ve sort of grown my business and stayed in the same place.

[00:43:32] And so I know that for many of you, you’re looking to maybe start your business from scratch. Like you don’t even have one under your belt, or maybe you’ve moved to a new city, or maybe you just feel like you want to get your stuff in a magazine. I hope this was really tangible and inspiring for you. I know it definitely lit a fire under my butt to like, let’s get it.

[00:43:53] Get back into that commitment that I make about reaching out to people and meeting them for coffee and networking, [00:44:00] because that is where the money is. That is where the gold is, but essentially don’t forget. It’s a long game and that is such great advice. Your network is your net worth. It is a long game to get there, but pay attention to where you’re spending your time, especially if you’re struggling to find the right fit clients and the clients who really have the money to pay you to design what you want.

[00:44:24] what you dream to do. It’s funny. I was having a conversation last night with friends saying how, you know, some designers already start out in a network of people with money. And so the first projects they get to work on might even be their own family homes where they have the money to pay for the 5, 000 sconce light.

[00:44:45] Just an example, right? Whereas other designers, we have to slowly get bigger and bigger projects. It’s not that we can’t design at that level, but if you don’t have the clients with the deep pockets to pay for the beautiful thing you want to put in the house, it’s going to be really hard to showcase that talent.

[00:45:03] And so you need to get in the rooms where those people are. And it may not be directly being with those clients in the park, like I mentioned, but But it could be being at specific events where some realtor developer, they’re working in that circle, like start getting creative. Like I would encourage you after listening to this podcast, cause I think I’m going to do this, make a list.

[00:45:23] Where are the places? What are the events? What are the things that you can do? Maybe one thing a week or every month to kind of up level, push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do you go to a charity event? Do you go to that fundraiser at the school? What can you do? To level up. All right, guys. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

[00:45:42] I clearly did. Let me know. Send me a DM on Instagram. I know I always say this, but I would love to hear from you. It’s true. Also, thank you. For those of you who’ve been leaving a podcast review on iTunes. It means the world to me. I would love to hit a hundred reviews [00:46:00] this year. I think at the time of recording, we have like 62 reviews.

[00:46:03] Please go on over to iTunes. Leave us a five star review. And leave a comment, let people know exactly what it is about this podcast that you love. Appreciate you, and I’ll see you soon.