Creative Genius Podcast

Season 5 Episode 9

Bringing Designers and Vendors Together (Lee Hershberg)

Bringing Designers and Vendors Together (Lee Hershberg)

Much has changed in the interior design industry in the past decade, often to the benefit of designers. Along with the recognition that designers are best equipped to enhance the lives and ensure the health, safety and wellness of clients has come the acknowledgment of designers’ collective buying power and their influence on which products and materials end up in people’s homes. That has led some manufacturers to actively reach out to designers and seek greater collaboration on how they can better serve each other.

In this podcast, Gail and Erin talk with Lee Hershberg, CEO of DesignEdge, which operates an online multimedia marketing platform developed to close the gap between design-oriented makers and manufacturers and the professional designers they serve. DesignEdge also presents invite-only, trade-only events in major cities around the country, featuring the best home furnishing and kitchen and bath brands in North America, that bring together professional designers and top-manufacturer executives to share ideas and feedback.

Gail asked Lee about the benefits of attending a DesignEdge event. “Imagine having presidents and senior executives from leading brands you know, and even from some you don’t know, sitting in your living room, having a conversation with you,” replied Lee. That is the kind of intimacy and one-on-one attention they strive to achieve at DesignEdge.

Lee described the one-and-three-quarters-day event as “product representative of each brand, not product heavy,” so as not to overwhelm designers and to allow more time for engagement between designers and manufacturers.  In addition, the events include educational programming and activities that support and celebrate the regional design culture and community.

Gail also asked Lee for any insight he could provide on the problem many designers are having with freight damage. Lee said that, unfortunately, it was one of the side-effects of the “industry pandemic” everyone is dealing with due to COVID-related shutdowns, backlogs and supply chain issues.  He urged designers to communicate with manufacturers about the problems they’re experiencing but said that they’re likely to persist until backlogs start to clear out.

At the end of their conversation, Lee offered three pieces of advice for designers:

  • Be a part of the solution. Designers should verbalize and socialize their needs to inform manufacturers.
  • Stay engaged with manufacturers. Don’t hesitate to communicate, whether it’s about a problem, an idea or a suggestion.
  • Stay connected to a community of your peers. They will spur you to do your best work.

Along the way, Lee shared some personal insights as well. To find out why Daring Greatly tops his list of books he’s ready lately, who he would take with him if he were stranded on a desert island, and where he hopes he and DesignEdge will be in 10 years, listen to the entire podcast.

If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, read the full shownotes here:

Mentioned in This Podcast

For more information about Lee Hershberg, DesignEdge, and upcoming events go to the website at

To learn more about Pearl Collective and our interior designing business coaching services, read more about our programs.

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