Courting clients is very similiar to dating. To me, designing and remodeling one's home is a very personal thing. To do my job effectively, I have to really get to know my client. This means dinner, drinks, sleepovers, etc. Some people are very guarded, and it is hard for me to implement their personality in my work when they don't share who they are. This is why I feed them lots of alcohol. People are so open and forthright when they are tipsy. Some may be offput by this method, but I take my job very seriously and want to create a space for my clients that is personal to them. I realize my personal approach is definitely out of the norm and may not be for everyone. For now, it's working for Jeff Lewis Design. When I'm considering jobs, I don't always take the most lucrative one. I accept the job where I connect with the client and know I can meet their needs and wants. A satisfied client will refer other clients. I am building a business, and my primary objective is longevity.
After meeting Seana and Brad Sherwood, I felt they were a perfect fit for Jeff Lewis Design. Although I was put off by their request to meet them for dinner in my pajamas, I enjoyed myself and I really got to know them. I was amazed at how open and honest Seana was about her past. There was an instant connection for me. I also have a great amount of respect for her after hearing her journey. I am learning that you can never judge someone until you have walked in their shoes. Then you can judge. People have told me that for years, but I was never in a place to really understand it. I am so glad I was able to show up with an open mind.
At the Buena Park project, Vlad and I are not connecting. In a better market Vlad was his own boss, and apparently, he is having trouble adjusting to the new climate. I speak from experience in that it is an adjustment. I will say, it is not all bad if you embrace it. There are positives to working for other people. I for one enjoy being employed and I really like that consistent paycheck. Financial security in this time is worth the ego-crushing dose of humility I have been getting on a daily basis.
Next week, tensions rise and drama heightens. I'm very sorry to report that a valued employee of Jeff Lewis Design "runs for the hills."