Behind the Design: Ivy Interior Design Firm Cooper Studio
Ivy Design Firm Spotlight: Cooper Studio – Rochester, NY
How did you get where you are today?
My interior design career has been a journey and I feel like I am still constantly learning and navigating the industry day by day. I am from Rochester, NY and upon applying to colleges, I knew that I wanted to do some type of art and design; interiors always spiked my interest. Right out of high school, I moved to New York City to attend Pratt Institute’s Interior Design program – that’s where it all began. I worked in New York City as an intern for a high-end boutique firm doing editorial spaces and projects for some of the editors of Domino Magazine. It was an amazing place to start my first job!
The recession played a big role in my career path and I decided to leave the city in 2010. I met my now husband in Rochester and followed him to Seattle in 2011. Seattle is where I began my career again. I worked in retail at Ethan Allen which gave me the skills and confidence to be able to have a conversation with anybody and to be able to sell my designs. I then worked for a small high-end design firm and really got the taste for custom boutique design. I decided that it was time to work for myself and started a partnership in 2014. I learned how to hustle and grow a business without having any type of network. I wish I had Ivy as a resource back then! I would’ve avoided so many mistakes and to have the community support would have been amazing!
In early 2016, my husband and I decided to move back to Rochester to be closer to our families. Since my network in Rochester was much larger, we thought that my business could thrive there; that’s when I started Cooper Studio. Business has been very busy with little to no marketing yet. I feel very fortunate and grateful, especially since Rochester is such a conservative city and I technically have never worked in the interior design industry here. It’s very different from New York City and Seattle, but I’ve been networking and getting to know other designers in the area which has been key to figuring out who’s who and where to source from.
“I wish I had Ivy as a resource back then! I would’ve avoided so many mistakes and to have the community support would have been amazing!”
How do the Rochester and Seattle design hubs differ from each other?
The Rochester and Seattle design hubs are much different. Rochester has a small Designer’s Library that carries most of the fabric lines, wallcoverings, area rugs, and furniture lines. They are a great resource for a one-stop shop. There is no centralized design hub in the city like there is in Seattle. There is no singular building with all of the individual showrooms displaying fabrics and furnishings. Seattle has a central design district with the tile showrooms, slab yards, and design center in about a mile radius. There’s a little more running around involved to source furniture and finishes, and a lot of online sourcing and ordering of samples. It’s a bit more time consuming, but I’m finding my niche and my go-to showrooms which is nice!
Who are your favorite local vendors, installers, and people of the trade in Rochester and Seattle?
I source most of my furnishings and lighting through a local dealer who carries almost every single line that I love such as Lee, Visual Comfort and Co., Four Hands, Cisco Home, CR Laine, etc. They are in the process of opening a showroom and I am so excited to bring clients to a place where they can sit and see before they buy (that’s a big thing here; clients need to sit in it before committing to the purchase). Designer’s Library has been a wonderful resource as well. I have been using ProSource for my carpeting and engineered hardwood, and the Tile Shop and Tile Wholesalers for tile.
What trends, colors, materials and styles are you particularly into right now?
I still love the batik indigo mudcloth matched with clean, crisp upholstery. I love the hunter green trend happening right now in fabrics, wall color, built-ins, kitchens, etc. I think it’s such a timeless color, like navy and indigo, that can pair well with almost anything. I’m also loving the “new trad” style that has emerged…the mixing of modern materials and textures with antiques and vintage. It’s fresh, modern, layered, and timeless.
How does designing make you feel?
Designing makes me feel happy, invigorated, creative, confident, excited, giddy, and focused. All of the good feels.
What’s your business mantra at Cooper Studio Interiors?
I truly believe that when you feel good in your home, you feel good in your life. I like to help people create that happiness, peacefulness, and balance in their homes.
Another quote or mantra that I remind myself of often is, “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will” by Susan Kassem. Anytime I start to doubt myself, I read this quote and it automatically changes my tune.
“I truly believe that when you feel good in your home, you feel good in your life. I like to help people create that happiness, peacefulness, and balance in their homes.”
How much time do you allocate towards content and social media marketing?
I’ve put my social media on the back-burner at the moment. Figuring out my groove is my priority at the moment as I’m working on many projects right now and I’m trying to keep up with each day. My website is being revamped and I plan to blog and consistently post on social media once that’s complete!
Do you buy your clients gifts for the holiday season?
I usually buy my clients a delicious balsam scented candle and put together some greenery in vases that they can display throughout the holidays.
Why did you join Ivy?
I joined Ivy because I needed a streamlined invoicing and proposal system. I had just moved back to Rochester and was transitioning into Cooper Studio in NY. I wanted something new since I was starting fresh. Once I saw all of the amazing features during the demo, I couldn’t say no. It’s been the best investment.
How does Ivy make your life as an interior designer a bit easier?
I love that I can keep all of my client information, project information, invoices, and payments in one place. I love the streamlined functionality and that it looks so professional on the client’s end.
What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Community?
I have learned that I am not alone and not the only one that has been there and done that. I love that everyone is there to take a minute of their busy day to give advice or help source a particular piece I’ve probably spent too long searching for on my own. No matter how seasoned they are, they are so open and supportive. It’s really remarkable and invaluable.
“I have learned that I am not alone and not the only one that has been there and done that.”
What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
The Ivy Product Clipper! It’s genius and it makes putting together proposals and invoices so much easier.
Here at Ivy, we’re more than just an interior design software. Our mission is to provide interior designers with the community, resources and tools needed to manage your business beautifully. Are you searching for a business management tool to help streamline your workflow as an interior designer?