How long have you been a designer and why did you decide
to become an interior design business mentor/teacher? 

I became a serious Interior Designer when I suddenly found myself in the middle of a divorce. It was the late 1980’s and I had been a stay-at-home mom, working part-time in my husband’s real estate business, and the reality of parenting my five-year-old daughter by myself (and not having a job) was very real and very scary.

So, I did what I do best … found solutions.

I quickly accepted a commission based job at a high-end furniture store design studio in Tucson, AZ. There was little to no financial security at this studio, since the tiny draw was less than my mortgage payment. But I believed I had a creative gift and that my life’s work was to share it with the world – so I took the leap of faith and began learning the “furniture store” process of giving away my time and ideas in order to sell furniture.

Every day I hoped a customer would walk into the store and ask me to create something significant and wonderful. Unfortunately, hoping didn’t get me those great clients and nobody wanted to help.

My coworkers acted as if there was a secret to the business of interior design and no one was going to share it with me. I also realized there was no “instruction book” on how to attract clients and found myself at another crossroads; either give up and get a job at a drug store makeup counter OR figure out the business side of interior design.

I chose option #2 and made the commitment that design was my life career.

I began chasing down every lead I could get my hands on and passed the NCIDQ. I also started doing a million little jobs – worked long hours, made mistakes, and learned from them all.

My first major break came when the furniture store started photographing mwork and using it for their advertising. This lead to me winning my very first local ASID chapter’s Design Excellence Award. The store continued to showcase her work and soon more of her projects were published in local and national Interiors Magazines.

Then came the fateful day…the furniture store manager came to me and told her me that I HAD to sell pink sleeper sofas, because the store had bought too many and needed to get rid of them quickly.

That did it!

I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and made the leap to go out on my own. Even though I had a tween at home, a mortgage, and a new car payment – I knew that the time had come and I HAD to decide what kind of future I wanted to create for myself and my daughter.

I started marketing to my ideal clients, creating systems for selling design services, and writing letters of agreement and proposals. I even created a system for specifying, pricing, selling, ordering, tracking and delivering merchandise.

I couldn’t believe it – I started having more time to spend with my daughter, no longer worried about paying bills, and was having fun!

I quickly created a backroom system and developed staff to help me grow a multi million dollar business. My roster of clients included model homes for national homebuilders, luxury residential, and commercial projects. The cherry on top came when I won the ASID National Award of Design Excellence within 5 years of starting on my own.

My reputation continued to grow and I found my phone ringing off the hook from fellow designers looking for help in crafting contracts and capturing new jobs.
I was happy to help and after my daughter graduated from Design School, I felt like it was time again to make a change and created Interior Design Business Academy

I have since made a commitment to dedicate my life to supporting other self employed, sole practitioners and small business interior design professionals who face the same struggles I had those years ago. I share my “real life” design business knowledge and experience so you can bypass the hard times and mistakes and start having the life and business you’ve dreamed about.

Since then I have worked with thousands of design professionals, spoken in front of countless groups and created a 2 year plus curriculum: a series of important design practice-building systems that every design professional needs to know to create a business filled with ideal clients, creative jobs, abundant income and personal freedom.


Who are your clients exactly?

I work with people just like you, design professionals who work alone or with a small support staff who are really good at what they do; however, have never been taught exactly how to attract clients, figure out a design fee, write a good Letter of Agreement that sets boundaries around your time and sells the job or set up a system that will manage the back-end paperwork.

Sometimes they have design degrees, sometimes they have a degree in another field and sometimes their “degree” comes from real life experience, it doesn’t really matter. What they all have in common is a passion for “all things design” and a desire to use their creative gift to make their clients lives better.

That said, the professions I have worked with run the gamut of “creatives” who provide service and product in the built environment in North America.

Residential Interior Designers

Commercial Interior Designers

Hospitality Interior Designers

Model Home Interior Designers


Medical Office Interior Designers

Residential Interior Decorators

Furniture Stores/Showrooms

Custom Cabinet Shops

Upholstery Shops

Floral Designers/Showrooms

Artists/Faux Painters

Window Covering Specialists

What happens if you haven’t worked with people in my field?

I have worked with thousands of design professionals in a wide scope in design related practices and industries. Most likely I have worked with people in your specialty. Yet, I have to share with you, If I haven’t, you are not at a disadvantage, quite to the contrary. Here’s why: people in your field are probably ALL doing the same thing to attract clients. I would guess that creates a lot of repetition. What my current and past students have found extremely helpful is that I bring extremely fresh ideas and strategies and give them resources that they didn’t know were available. Because of this, they stand out in a competitive market.

How are you different from other business coaches?

To start with, Interior Design Business Academy (IDBA) is an education based company with 2 year + curriculum. I designed this curriculum based on my 30 years in design business, starting at the bottom of the business (my first job was upholstering a chair) to being the “go to” designer/contractor in my community. My studio staff of 12 and I produced award winning residential and commercial deign/build remodeling projects, model homes for national homebuilders, hospitality projects and medical facilities.

The combination of my design business knowledge culled from years “in the trenches” combined with developing systems for and problem solving with thousands of design professionals over the past 10 years has evolved into a comprehensive curriculum that starts with marketing “getting clients and making money”, moves through building systems, and a “backroom and team” that creates efficiency and time saving, and cumulates with “moving up-market” into big high profile jobs and substantial design fees, and published work.

The coaching component in my Growth, Structure and Masters programs is included because I believe in coaching… it works. Personalized help and support to stay focused, positive and confidant creates an environment that is primed for success.

Because my focus is very narrow, what you get with me is no-nonsense, undiluted expertise on what works for independent design professionals. I’ve simply become an expert at this stuff and that is why my students get predictably great results (and I throw in a healthy dose of compassion, humor and encouragement, which ALWAYS helps!)

What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?

Interior Design Business Academy’s trainings, workshops and retreats are geared for design professionals who are passionate and deadly serious about signing up more ideal clients and getting over what I call the “the 3:00 am sweats”, meaning, not waking up in the middle of the night and saying
“Am I ever going to have good clients with decent budgets? How will I ever get a new build with all the specifications and all the furniture? Will this ever happen for me?”

They were created for you to put systems in place within a few months (sometimes weeks!) which will lead you getting all the ideal clients you need – not three, four or many more years, which is a conservative estimate on the traditional time it take to get a full design practice going.

Being a heart centered high achieving, go-getter myself, I’m known to work best with other heart centered high achieving go-getters who are super ready to get their design businesses going and want to know exactly the steps to move their practice up-market.

Consider what you will do with me as an action-learning program, I call this “flying the plane while you build it.” 🙂 You will be expected to take serious and consistent action. No excuses anymore, just a very different way of thinking and full support while you achieve this incredibly exciting goal; a design business with great clients, generous budgets, creative projects with a first rate support team behind you, all in record time.



Wendy is a designer who’s a member of our Structure program. We were introduced a few years ago through one of the members in her local round table of designers. But the truth is, we almost didn’t meet. Like many other designers, Wendy had one singular thought that was holding her back and keeping her business from reaching its full potential: “My business is fine.” Sound familiar? Watch her story and learn how IDBA coaching changed her life!


Janet had worked for large design firms for over 15 years. And she never got credit for all the incredible work she did during that time. When she’d finally decided to be her own boss, she found herself inundated with learning all the nuances of her new job. Fast-forward to three years later, when an architect approached her to design a 5,000 square foot condo. The only problem was that she drastically underestimated the work involved, and ended up working for pennies for a year to complete the job. Janet then got the IDBA coaching she knew she needed, and signed a new contract for 5x more on her next job, and start earning what she deserved. Watch Janet’s incredible story!


Megan always had the right components in her business, but needed guidance on what to do and what order to do it in. When she joined my coaching program, she received the education and support to build the business of her dreams. She had the exact recipe to follow for success, and it showed when she had her first 6-figure year! Watch Megan’s story:

What type of design professional is this program NOT going to work for?

Please know I am very selective about who I work with and I cherry pick my clients, choosing (gently) to turn away people who aren’t suited for my programs and won’t get the results they would have signed up for. (It wouldn’t be fair to them.)

The IDBA programs are NOT for those who have no money coming in and are financially desperate. It has been my experience that people in financial crisis do not trust the recommendations I give them and often do not do the work (perhaps because they are worried about where they are going to get the next month’s mortgage payment from.)

If you fall into this category, it is absolutely OK. We have all been in times of financial crisis at one time or another. Do yourself (3) favors:

1. Get some money coming in with a full –time or part – time job at the very least, and then call me. This will take the edge off and provide a little more peace of mind. Mostly, it will de-clutter your mind enough to focus on your IDBA assignments and see the BIG picture. Once you start seeing clients coming in as a result of our work, you can start reducing the hours you work at the other job ad focus on your own practice.

2. Be sure to listen to the weekly newsletter video and explore the IDBA library of blog articles about the business of design.
CLICK HERE This resource contains hundreds of free tips and advice for running a successful business.

3. Attend the IDBA monthly free online CEU offering. These CEUs are hour-long studies of topics I feel are extremely important to having a successful business and will give you a LOT of things to think about.

Doing these things will get you primed for our work. When you are ready, call me and we’ll get you started. (I am in no rush and will be here when you need me.)

Another type of person that I won’t work with (without exception) is the whiner or the chronic skeptic, as well as individuals who consistently make excuses for not getting their assignments done, or challenging every aspect of the program. If you are one of these people, I gently and respectfully ask that you not call and I hope you understand why. We’ll probably just not work together and I wouldn’t want you to waste your time or money. Is that fair?


What exactly is the Interior Design Business Academy program and what does it include?

The IDBA programs are year long curriculums with coaching support that focus on attracting a consistent stream of your ideal clients with a marketing program that keeps going even when you are busy, making offers for design services that meet your clients needs and keep you well paid, taking care of yourself by setting business boundaries that clients respect and developing systems and a back-room team so your business can run successfully when you are gone (think real vacations).
The following section shows you what the program gets you to do:


The IDBA programs are year long curriculums with coaching support that focus on attracting a consistent stream of your ideal clients with a marketing program that keeps going even when you are busy, making offers for design services that meet your clients needs and keep you well paid, taking care of yourself by setting business boundaries that clients respect and developing systems and a back-room team so your business can run successfully when you are gone (think real vacations). Here is what the program gets you to do:


Discover exactly who your ideal affluent client is and what is the problem is that you solve for them. Speak clearly about the results you provide. Understand your Wealth Consciousness to allow and receive financial success.


Develop relationships with influential people, build your referral partner network (this alone will keep you busy for years), create your version of design celebrity within your community so your ideal clients are anxious to work with you.


Understand the questions to ask a potential client that allows you to create offers for design services that clients jump to say “yes” to and leave you very well paid for your services.


Qualify your client and stand out from the competition by helping them agree to a job budget in minutes, at the first meeting… and never again waste your time doing do-overs from client “sticker shock”


Your value you bring as a designer is worth far more than the sum of the hours it takes to complete a job. Step into this new Wealth Consciousness mindset that allows you to be paid by happy, grateful clients far more than you ever thought possible.


Gain respect from your clients, get control of your time, set communication expectations and create extra income by setting boundaries around your availability and services.


Gain respect from your clients, get control of your time, set communication expectations and create extra income by setting boundaries around your availability and services


Start with the end in mind to create design jobs that are on budget for the client and on profit margin for you. Develop your vendor relationships for increased profit and service, systemize your pricing, P.O. tracking and cost management.


Discover time management systems to expedite the design process and protect your personal time. Develop a support team (in house or virtual) and systems to help your business run along smoothly without you. Keep the increased income and put the fun back in your business and your life.

Congratulations!! Your 9 Step Process for Success is in place and you will never need to worry about how to run your business again.

These are the Process for Success Steps that I have created after working with thousands of design professionals over the last 10 years that help them attract ideal clients and grow the business they needed.

In addition to these 9 categories, you will learn hundreds and hundreds of things to help manage clients and jobs more easily, to make your time work for YOU, to close the sale without feeling like you are selling, to work smarter not harder, set up proven design business systems, to eliminate the fears and self-sabotage holding you back, and just make more money in your business.

Does this really work?

Yes! The result of our work is an approach to marketing your services and systematizing your your job production that, over time and with your dedication, works consistently to attract all the ideal clients you need and run your business in a way that creates freedom in your personal life.

See Designer Stories HERE

What results can I expect?


Hone in on the EXACT clients that will pay you what you are worth, let you design fabulous amazing interiors and send you qualified referrals.


Create a compelling marketing message that will make your ideal client say, ”Wow, that is exactly what I need, can I have your card?”


Make your design service stand out in your industry and your marketplace.


Understand proven ways of educating your environment so more than just your clients are sending you referrals.


Set design fees and create packages that sell easily and keep you well paid.


Create offers in your Letter of Agreement so your clients stay longer and get better results, write compelling testimonials for you and have you make way more money.


Learn how to handle your clients (and your time) more efficiently so you actually have free personal time to do the things you love.


Discover how to get out there and have fun networking efficiently.


Reach your clients in large numbers consistently and inexpensively.


Work smarter at building your design practice, not harder.


Close the sale without feeling sales-ey.


Become the “go to” expert in your field (and be paid as such.)


Create new goals for business every 90 days to keep pulling yourself into the future as opposed to pushing so hard.


Stay accountable to these goals and achieve them.


Create powerful referral partnerships and strategic alliances that consistently bring you new ideal clients.


Get proven systems, actually step-by-step “recipes” that consistently work for:
      – Finding and signing up your ideal clients
      – Figuring out design fees that keep you well paid
      – Getting agreement on budget
      – Setting boundaries with clients on jobs
      – Creating more profit on product purchasing… and more.


Create greater exposure and visibility for yourself and your design business.


Learn time savings techniques that will up-level your productivity and dramatically cut down your working hours every week.


Make more money than you are making now, while enjoying having your own business even more.


Implement systems so you consistently market your services easily and end the up and down cash flow roller coaster once and for all.

Can I contact some of your former clients to see what it is like to work with you?

Yes, I encourage you to do so! 

Please go to my website: InteriorDesignBusinessAcademy.com and read all the testimonials and Designer Stories HERE. See which ones you seem drawn too, either because the person has gotten the results you want to get too perhaps the design professional came from the same kind of background or has the same sort of practice. Feel free to email or call them and ask what they got from working with my programs and me.

How quickly can I expect results?

Obviously, this depends on how long you have been in business, how much of the information and systems we give you; you apply to your design jobs and how much you put into the assignments. That said, virtually all of our designers see results in the first couple of months in the form of new clients or prospects, clients who stay longer, greater revenue from these clients and less time spent signing up clients and actually producing their design jobs.

How much time do I need to allow for my IDBA program?

Not a lot… I know you are crazy busy so I have designed the educational modules and coaching time so that you need only about 5 to 6 hours per month for “learning “ time. Then applying what you have learned to the design jobs you are working on NOW is where the big learning happens. We like to call this “Flying the Plane While You Build It,” that is education and running your business at the same time. 🙂

How can I guarantee that I will be successful?

Be totally focused on your education program, show up for the scheduled workshops and Q & A calls. Engage, ask questions and get the answers you need to go forward. Listen to your curriculum lessons and attend the in-person retreats. Apply what you learn to your jobs, if you don’t quite know how, ask… we are here to help you. 

Understand that this is not a “quick fix,” it is not magic and it takes up to a year for you to plant all the seeds and the seeds to grow into the fruit you can enjoy. All of my designer students who have diligently applied every step of my Growth and Structure programs have successfully grown their businesses, in much less time than they would have on their own AND have made way more money than they were making before.

Will I recover the investment I put into this program?

Yes, definitely YES! Many designers are excited to report that they were able to recover their investment often with just one new client/job. I want you to stop reading for just one moment and ask yourself, “What is one new ideal client worth to me, and what is the average revenue from I make from the lifetime of that one client? Chances are, that amount will more than cover your coaching investment. 

Most likely, you will make 10 times what you invested in this program in the next 3 years. The information and skills you learn with my Growth and Structure programs will likely net you 100 times what you invest over the next 10 to 20 years…something to think about.

What you are getting in this program is a lot of AHAs! Lots of “that is how it works!” moments that will move your design business ahead faster than you would on your own. Expect to get a lot of these as well as many resources that you haven’t found until now.

As we go along and you gather information and skills, the really big AHAs will happen you when you apply them to a new design job opportunity and see the difference in your revenue, profit, boundaries, time and respect from your clients. 

That is what you are investing in… results, not just more information.

Terri, based on everything I‘ve read and heard about you, I know you are the one that I want to help me. What are my options for getting started with you?

Congratulations on making a decision for success! I am happy to work with you to achieve your design business goals.

IDBA is a multi-year program divided into yearlong “tracks”

To get started with attracting more ideal clients, more creative bigger budget jobs, keeping more profit from those jobs and have more time off, here are the 3 different levels of programs have created for you.


GROWTH TRACK is for design professionals just getting started in your business or long time design practices that need clarity and “next steps” to market your business. Step into a new mindset and proven processes that bring in affluent ideal clients and jobs while consistently increasing your income.

Growth Track shows you how to get more clients and make more money.

    • Two 2-Day Mastermind Retreats with Terri and your design community
    • Private 1 hour Map-out your year call with Terri
    • 8 Marketing Monday Workshop series – live trainings
    • 8 private coaching calls with your IDBA mindset coach
    • 20 Education modules; Budget and Fee setting, pricing strategies, job management, boundaries and more
    • 20 Laser focused coaching and Q and A calls with Terri and your Mastermind community
    • Templates and trainings for Project Time Estimation System and Design Fee implementation
    • Sample Letters of Agreement for different types of jobs to model
    • Proven word-for-word scripts to use – Step by step, exactly how to do it
    • Free VIP tuition to the Mastering Your Mindset Summit


STRUCTURE TRACK is for design businesses already generating $100K+ in revenues and you are looking at setting up repeatable systems and developing a team behind you, continuing to up-level your clients and employ time management tools to create freedom in your life.

Structure Track shows you how to create systems and build a team to maintain high income and create personal free time.

    • Two 2-Day Mastermind Retreats with Terri and your design community
    • Private 1 hour Map-out your year call with Terri
    • 3 quarterly private strategy calls with Terri
    • 2 half-day virtual Wealth Consciousness and Mindset workshops with Terri
    • 8 Marketing Monday Workshop series – live trainings
    • 5 private coaching calls with your IDBA mindset coach
    • 12 Structure education modules; up-leveled marketing tactics, teambuilding, backroom systems building, job management strategies and time management training
    • 20 Laser focused coaching and Q and A calls with Terri and your Mastermind community
    • All of the Growth Track education modules
    • 12 Structure education modules; up-leveled marketing tactics, teambuilding, backroom systems building, job management strategies and time management training

Free VIP tuition to the Mastering Your Mindset Summit


MASTERS TRACK is for top achievers who want to work one-on-one with Terri and in a small group of highly successful designers to accelerate your already successful business income from hundreds of thousands into millions, create new brands, position your self as a leader in the design and furniture industry, make high level connections and gain major publishing opportunities. Working with Terri at the Masters Level is for achieving the greatest rewards possible and taking the huge leap in business that you can’t even imagine right now!

Masters Track shows you how to take your business to 7 figures or more.

  • Two 3-Day Mastermind Retreats with Terri and your design community
  • 8 scheduled one–on–one private strategy calls with Terri
  • Private virtual two-hour induction and planning meeting with Terri
  • Private virtual two-hour mid-year planning meeting with Terri
  • 2 half-day virtual Wealth Consciousness and Mindset workshops 
  • Marketing Monday Workshop series – 8 live trainings
  • 20 Laser focused coaching and Q and A calls with Terri and your Mastermind community
  • Access to all of the Growth and Structure Track education modules
  • Free VIP tuition to the Mastering Your Mindset Summit


OK, I know what program I want. How do I get started?

Great! Did you know that one of the most prominent characteristics of successful people is that they take action? They take educated risks, are decisive, take action, and they move forwards towards success faster as a result of this. It is well known fact these people make decisions based on their gut instinct. So, that being said, since this feels right, go for it!

You have a Clarity Call scheduled with us in the next few days and if you have additional questions about our programs, we will be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Just one more thing we need….

We don’t spend your phone time talking about past history, instead let’s talk about what is possible in the future for you, and how you can get there. To expedite, please complete the assessment below. 

Tell us about you, what has been happening in your design practice and of course, what’s not happening and most important…  where you want to be a year from now, what does a great design practice look like to you? What is the perfect lifestyle for you?