Sure, design is your passion. But it’s probably not your only one. What if you could combine your love of design with some other passion, or passions, and create a dream business? It can be done. You just need to find the right kind of client.
In this podcast, Erin has a sit-down at High Point Market with interior designer and artist Victoria Valentinas, president and principal designer, VLV Designs in Pinehurst, North Carolina. In 2020, Victoria decided to start her own firm, combining her background in interior design and the furniture industry with her love of art. She offers both interior design and custom art services, including faux finishes, painting and murals.
While studying interior design at High Point University, Victoria got to learn a lot about the furniture industry. Upon graduation, she worked in the industry for a number of years, where she developed a love of textiles and upholstery. In her design business, she specializes in highly furnished areas of the home. She told Erin she hopes to have her own line of furniture someday.
During the pandemic, Victoria found time to return to her passion for drawing and painting. She also began experimenting with faux finishing. As she became more adept, she started filming herself at work and posting the videos on Instagram. Suddenly, she found herself in demand for her artistic abilities as well. That led her to start her firm.
“I didn’t really know what I could do until I had the time to do it,” Victoria told Erin. Starting a business during the pandemic was challenging but seemed like the right time for her. “It’s never a good time to take the leap, to do something risky like starting your own business,” she said. Nearly four years later, her blend of art and design has proved a successful formula.
Victoria credits social media, along with a strong support network, with helping her to launch her business. “It’s a way for people to get to know you without knowing you,” she said.
She is relying on social media again to help her break into the design market in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she and her husband recently moved. She would also like to do some commercial design projects, particularly hotels, restaurants and bars.
Erin asked Victoria what advice she had for listeners. She mentioned three things:
- Develop your network and use it. Be both a good mentor and a good mentee.
- Look for unique pieces of art of use in your design projects. Support local artists.
- Be flexible with your plans. You never know where things are going to lead. Also be open to using experts who can help you. You can’t be an expert in everything.
To hear more of Erin and Victoria’s conversation, which touched on a number of other topics, including the importance of networking and building relationships, marketing strategies and creating a support team, listen to the entire podcast.
If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, view the full shownotes here: https://thepearlcollective.com/s7e8-shownotes
Mentioned in This Podcast
To learn more about Victoria, her firm and her mix of design and custom art services, go to the firm’s website at www.vlvdesigns.net.