Behind the Design: Ivy Designer Lindsey Borchard of Lindsey Brooke Design
Ivy Designer Spotlight: Lindsey Borchard of Lindsey Brooke Design – Thousand Oaks, CA
Lindsey – how did you get where you are today?
Here’s the short version…I grew up in San Diego, moved to Los Angeles to go to fashion school right after high school, and worked doing costume design for awhile. Fast forward five years, I left the film industry and started working for Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic; here is where I fell in love with interiors. Fast forward another five years, I got married, had my first child, and was a stay-at-home mom living in Thousand Oaks, CA. I desperately needed creativity back in my life so I started an Instagram page for all things related to interior design and decor. One thing lead to another and I started getting inquiries about designing people’s homes. I also had a few great first projects thanks to my mom and my best friend which lead me to amazing and wonderful referrals. After a year of doing this as a hobby, I finally decided to make it an actual business and that’s when Lindsey Brooke Design was born. My official one year in business is coming up and it’s amazing to me that I have been able to really find my passion and start over at the age of 35.
Lindsey Brooke Design does not sacrifice beauty for functional spaces…how do you achieve this with your design projects?
I think it starts with balance. When you have kids and pets, it can be hard to want nice things when they are constantly getting beat up. I love finding upholstered pieces that have great protection plans on them. It’s kind of like ‘furniture insurance’. It gives peace of mind to my clients. I also like to get quality pieces that are being used everyday. Spend more money on the sofa but maybe less on the rug. Also make sure to know which fabrics and textiles will withhold a lot of wear. Function does not have to be ugly, but it does have to be realistic, so don’t spend money on designing a space that is not fit for your lifestyle. I incorporate bold textiles and unique accents to pull together a space, but that can also be easily switched out if something happens to them.
Currently, you’re based in Thousand Oaks, CA. What’s the design scene like in the Greater Los Angeles area? Who are your favorite vendors and people of the trade to work with?
We are about one hour north from Los Angeles and about 45 minutes south of Santa Barbara, an ideal spot. There are not a lot of new homes being built but a lot of new young families settling here so a lot of my clients are families with kids, have active life styles, and want to update their current homes to fit their own needs. It’s been fun seeing the transformation of older houses and bringing them back to life in a new way. My favorite vendors right now are Four Hands, Dovetail, and Selamat Designs. We also have a wonderful little Antique Market here where I find great vintage pieces.
You dabble in E-Design as well…what’s been your experience with this so far? Do you use a specific platform to manage this side of your business?
I really got my start in E-design, so it has a special place in my heart. I do more local business now but I think it’s a great option for someone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on a designer or wants to manage their projects themselves. I use a lot of the same platforms for both my local clients and E-design clients. I do all of my design boards in Keynote, resource out for renderings, and use Ivy for all of my invoicing. The difference is that I provide my E-design clients with a buying packet including links to products (it’s a simple excel PDF). There are many people doing E-design and I think it’s the best way to ease yourself into design, especially if you didn’t go to design school and don’t want to jump into taking on full-service clients. We are able to knock out E-design projects much faster and it’s a great way to fill in the gaps when local business is slower.
What projects are you currently working on?
We have some amazing projects finishing up right now. A modern beach retreat in Dana Point which is a new area for me to be working. I’m wrapping up my first bathroom remodel and finishing up one of our bigger projects to date later this month. We also started two new projects. For the new Santa Monica project, we’re going a little out of the box, using a lot of color, fun prints & patterns.
Your portfolio is stunning…who are your go-to photographers?
I love photography and almost went to school for photography instead of fashion design so I like to be involved in the shots. I’m always moving things around to see how they affect the image. I work with an amazing photographer, Lucas Rossi, here in Thousand Oaks and will also start working with Amy Bartlam later this month.
How does designing make you feel?
It fills up a creative side of me that I can’t get from anything else. It’s like this drug that I can’t get enough of. I have always been heavily into the arts in any form, so for me right now in my life, this feels like my calling.
What’s your business mantra?
“You can do anything, but not everything.” Here at LBD, we are a team and work better and stronger because of it. I am where I am today because of so many people other then myself and I always want to remember that. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and that’s exactly true, the same goes for starting a new business. This is not a one-woman-show and acknowledging my team’s strengths and accomplishments will only make us all more successful.
You have over 10k followers on Instagram…that’s impressive! How much time do you allocate to social media, email/newsletter marketing and content marketing?
Thank you! There is one rule in social media to gain followers: consistency. For me, Instagram is a place I like to be a real human and show not only my triumphs, but my failures and struggles, not only pretty pictures. I want people to relate to me and make connections on social media. To be honest, I’m still figuring out Facebook and Pinterest and just started creating my newsletters and email marketing. I like to dedicate half of my day on Mondays to marketing and scheduling posts; I plan one week or two at a time. I know how important social media marketing is to my business so I specifically dedicate time or it each week, this way, it’s done and out of the way. I try not to stress if it doesn’t get done.
Why did you join Ivy?
I needed to streamline my processes and my invoicing. The clean design of Ivy drew me in. The ease of creating proposals and invoices nailed it for me.
What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Network (the private FB Group)?
Oh my gosh, where do I even start? First of all, I learned all about product mark-ups which has helped me grow my business and my bottom line. I also learned that “competition” is not a word Ivy members use. It amazes me that many amazing designers want to help and mentor the less-seasoned designers. With the help of fellow Ivy members and my business coach, Reisa Elden of Rize Collective, I’ve probably shaved off at least 3-5 years of costly mistakes because of the knowledge I’ve learned from these powerful, incredible business owners. This part of Ivy is priceless.
How does Ivy help streamline your day-to-day workflow as an interior designer?
Goodbye to a million different excel spreadsheets! I have been able to actually come up with a process from start to finish with clients because of Ivy and their easy way of managing all of the moving parts. I am able to have everything I need in Ivy, all in one place, and can reach it now, no matter where I am, on any computer, iPad or phone. That’s pretty amazing.
What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
There are so many, but I would say the Ivy Product Clipper is pretty genius. Having photos on proposals has helped our clients approve merchandise more easily and help move our projects along more quickly. Lately, we’ve been using the Project Tracker to help streamline larger projects; it’s so easy to see everything we need all in one place.
Are you an interior designer in search of an interior design software for your business?