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Explore Home - A Podcast from Universal Furniture
75 minutes | 10 days ago
Explore Home with Kyla Herbes, Creator of House of Hipsters
Welcome to Explore Home Podcast! This week we explore home with Kyla Herbes, creator of the House of Hipsters blog.Neil and Kyla begin by talking about the birth of House of Hipster, which started as a hobby after her second child was born. Kyla knew it was special and was willing to put in the time and effort to turn it into one of the top blogs in the country. Today, House of Hipsters is a consistent award-winning blog and launched Kyla into the limelight.Kyla details how when she featured Pinterest on her blog, the SEO would go through the roof, so she started creating tons of Pinterest content. One day, the call came from Pinterest themselves, asking Kyla to join their “Pin Factory.” Kyla notes that the Pinterest community likes more of an “I can do it look.” She had a knack for following brand standards while knowing how to create an eye-catching graphic.Kyla and Neil finish by noting her favorite Universal pieces and how her perception of a “home” has changed over the past year. To learn more visit Kayla’s blog at houseofhipsters.com.
33 minutes | a month ago
Explore Home with Sara Serarle, Account Director at Promoboxx
Welcome to Explore Home Podcast! This week we explore home with Sara Serarle with Promoboxx. Neil and Sara discuss her time spent on the account management team at Snapchat.While there, Sara took note of how the platform fostered conversations between friends using Snapchat integrated content, allowing people to interact with brands in a personal way. Out of this experience grew a passion for advertising and social media.Sara then describes the challenges her multi-generational small family business faced when trying to implement social media into their marketing strategy. The time it takes to develop a cohesive social media strategy and the education needed to learn how to implement it, is often not feasible for a small business. This is what drew her to Promoboxx.Promoboxx is a platform that connects brands to retailers and their consumers through organic and paid social media, e-mail marketing and downloadable content. Brands go into the Promoboxx platform and invite their retailer network to join and share their branded content through their social pages. You do not have to be a social expert to set-up this tool, it makes relevant social media content accessible and easy for even the most inexperienced user. Sara notes that because society is obsessed with social media, it is important for brands to have a presence on as many social media outlets as possible to stay relevant. Promoboxx is a tool that can level the playing field for all types, and sizes, of retailers. To learn more about Promoboxx visit promoboxx.com and to sign up with PromoBoxx and Universal go here.
32 minutes | a month ago
Explore Home with Benno Duenkelsbuehler, (re)ALIGN CEO and Chief Growth Sherpa
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! This week explore home with Benno Duenkelsbuehler, (re)ALIGN CEO and Chief Growth Sherpa. Neil and Benno discuss his background as a buyer and a seller. First, a buyer for Ikea and Pottery Barn for over a decade. He then changed careers to sell to exhibitors in High Point and Atlanta. This background inspired him to start his own company to help others start and grow their brands. His company, (re)ALIGN, lives at the intersection of growth and execution. Benno can help new brands grow and take their products to market. He guides his clients on how to create an experience that makes people fall in love with, and purchase, their products.Benno details how “disruptive” brands like rh (Restoration Hardware) and Apple have changed how people think about shopping. They make consumers fall in love with their products and remain loyal to their brand. This is the goal he hopes to achieve when working with a client. Benno and Neil talk about how furniture consumers often struggle with confidence in their style choices. Companies need to help them envision how the product will fit into their home and boldly claim “this is what we love and you will too.”Benno shares his favorite quote from Thomas Edison, “Vision without execution is hallucination” and discusses how if a person or company doesn’t have the resources to execute an idea at a consistently high level, that idea may not be a good fit. He relishes helping clients discover their perfect fit.Benno finishes with speaking about his podcast that he started during Covid-19, “The Third Growth Option.” It has provided him the opportunity to re-connect with friends and colleagues to share growth experiences. Learning from others has provided tremendous insight and inspiration for Benno to use in his personal and professional life.To discover more about Benno and (re)ALIGN, visit realignforresults.com.
41 minutes | 3 months ago
Explore Home with Scott O'Neil, VP of Global Sales for Cylindo
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! This week explore home with Scott O’Neil, VP of Global Sales for Cylindo. Neil and Scott discuss how Cylindo’s focus on 3D product visualization platforms allow manufacturers and retailers the ability to provide customers the power to visualize products while shopping from home. You can preview the work that Universal and Cylindo have worked on here.Scott comments on how 3D technology is now front and center. With more people shopping online before stepping foot in a retail store, it is important that consumers “experience” the product online. Scott talks about how manufacturers and retailers have had to rethink how they present their products, the buyer journey has changed forever. Buyers now insist on narrowing down their product choices before going to the store or purchasing online. Scott details how Cylindo can help, it can be a challenge to show product online when it comes with options and customization. Consumers must be able to visualize the product online in the exact configuration that they are interested in purchasing. Neil and Scott then discus how visualization tools support the buyer journey. High quality content on a website has become mandatory as consumers do high level research online instead of in the retail store.Scott finishes with stating that augmented reality (AR) is the next big thing. This conversion tool can show how an item will fit and look in your home. This technology is getting better and better and becoming more accessible. To discover more about the power of product visualization visit Cylindo.com
64 minutes | 4 months ago
Explore Home with Lori Paranjape, A full service luxury designer from Nashville, TN who also stars under the handle @mrsparanjape on Instagram
Welcome to Explore Home Podcast! Today we explore home with Lori Paranjape, owner of her own design firm based in Nashville, TN which focuses on luxury homes and new construction. Lori's work has been featured in publications like Domino, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful and Traditional Home. Discover how an English Literature major and former TV reporter turned her beloved hobby into a powerhouse interior design firm. Lori discusses how the tempo and style of interior design has changed over the last year with the arrival of Covid-19. From directing installations via Zoom calls to finding your groove when apart from your team. We also discuss how Lori uses Instagram, the impact it has on her business and some tips that could help you. To learn more about Lori and her firm we encourage you to visit redohomeanddesign.com and follow her on Instagram at @mrsparanjape.
46 minutes | 5 months ago
Explore Home with Melissa Galt, Interior Design Business Coach
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! This week, we invite you to Explore Home with Melissa Galt, a premier interior design business coach. First, Melissa shares a brief history of her professional journey with Neil, detailing what influenced her transformation from being an interior designer into an interior design coach. They then touch on the advantages of digital technology and the rise of e-design and remote working, especially in the age of COVID-19. Next, they discuss how to not only define but attract your ideal client for your business. Plus, they go on to chat about how your own online presence can help get you far in the eyes of potential clients. They conclude with Melissa’s recent move to Scottsdale, Arizona, and a fun childhood story that involves her great grandfather, Frank Lloyd Wright! For more on Melissa, you can visit melissagalt.com or follow her on Instagram @melissagalt and discover her new book you can visit melissagalt.com/books.
42 minutes | 5 months ago
Explore Home with Michele Wiebe, President, Founder and Principal Designer of Studio M
Welcome to the Explore Home Podcast! After a bit of a hiatus, we are back and excited to start the series back up with Michelle Wiebe, President, Founder, and Principal Designer of Studio M based in Clearwater, FL.First, Neil and Michelle start from the beginning, detailing Michelle’s initial launch into the design industry. They then chat about the unique evolution of her business throughout the years, as well as how Michelle and husband Tom have found balance working together at Studio M. Then, they go on to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on her firm this year, as well as how technology has played an integral role in her day-to-day business operations. They conclude with Michelle detailing some of her favorite Universal pieces as well as the work and dedication that went into planning the Seasonal Living Virtual Show Home Project, which debuts December 3rd.For more on Michelle and Studio M, you can visit interiorsbystudiom.com or follow her on Instagram @interiorsbystudiom.
41 minutes | 8 months ago
Explore Home with Stephanie Cohen of Stephanie Cohen Home
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Stephanie Cohen of Stephanie Cohen Home.Listen as Stephanie begins with her professional journey to interior design, one that includes switching from a law student to a full-time design student. After detailing this transition, Stephanie shares more about her business which is comprised of an interior design firm as well as a brick and mortar storefront. After delving into both the challenges and opportunities associated with owning a retail storefront, Stephanie then shares with Neil the unique impact COVID-19 has had on her business. They then discuss what changes have been made to adjust to 2020’s world, as well as certain design trends that have come about as a result of the pandemic, including an increased need for outdoor living spaces. For more on Stephanie and her business, you can visit stephaniecohenhome.com or follow her on Instagram @stephaniecohenhome.
39 minutes | 8 months ago
Explore Home with John Hillman, Real Estate Developer at Crane Island (A Coastal Living Community)
This week we invite you to Explore Home with John Hillman, Vice President, and Broker at Crane Island Real Estate, an exclusive Coastal Living community. Crane Island was also the location of Universal’s second Coastal Living photoshoot featuring the Getaway collection.First, John touches on his background in the design industry and what led him to the custom home business. He then touches on the holistic community aspect of his developments and why his clients gravitate towards this kind of living. John also explains why he loves Crane Island and what makes it such a unique place to live and work. Then, Neil and John delve into the effects that COVID-19 has had on not only the developmental side of his business but also in the building and designing of a home remotely. They then touch on the advantages of spec homes and how that can be a beneficial tool for not only selling homes but for promoting furniture, lifestyle aesthetics and general inspiration. They end their conversation with their thoughts on what the future might look like for homeowners and home designers as we continue to navigate through this year and look forward to the next.For more on Crane Island, you can visit www.craneisland.com and ollow them on Instagram @craneislandfl.
41 minutes | 9 months ago
Explore Home with the co-founders of Regina Andrew, Carla Regina and James Andrew
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Carla Regina and James Andrew of Regina Andrew, maker of luxury interior products with an emphasis on lighting.Listen as Carla and James take us through a brief summary of their individual professional backgrounds and detail the beginning stages of Regina Andrew. They also touch on the pros and cons of running a business with your significant other as well as some lessons learned along the way. The team then discusses their home base of Detroit and how that particular location affects there unique perspective on design. Then, Neil delves into Regina Andrew’s new lighting venture with Coastal Living and how that project perfectly complements Universal Furniture’s lines with the same brand. Carla and James then speak on how COVID-19 has affected their approach to running a business and some adjustments they have made to remain flexible for all of their employees.For more on Regina Andrew, you can visit reginaandrew.com or follow them on Instagram at @reginaandrewdetroit.
37 minutes | 10 months ago
Explore Home with Rachel Shingleton of Pencil Shavings Studio
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Rachel Shingleton of Pencil Shavings Studio.Rachel is a self-described color obsessed interior designer with a background in graphic design. We were able to chat with Rachel about a recent collaboration that we worked on together along with Crypton Home in Oklahoma. This collaboration featured items from the Coastal Living collection, proving that this laid back, relaxed style can work just about anywhere — not just at the coast. Listen as Rachel shares how both her blog and her travels have positively affected her design approach, opening up new perspectives and ideas. Neil ties up the conversation by asking Rachel how the meaning of home as changed for her as we have all weathered COVID-19.For more on Rachel and Pencil Shavings Studio, you can follow her on Instagram @pencilshavings.
44 minutes | 10 months ago
Explore Home with Kaitlin Petersen, Editor and Chief of Business of Home
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Kaitlin Petersen, Editor-in-Chief of Business of Home magazine.Listen as Kaitlin shares her start to journalism and what eventually led her to Business of Home. She then discusses what’s involved in putting together an issue of the magazine, from longer lead times to incorporating meaningful themes that designers will not only enjoy but benefit from, and more. They then discuss how COVID-19 has affected the design industry and Kaitlin’s personal observations on where things are headed for the future. Before finishing up, Neil and Kaitlin touch on BOH’s Future of Home conference and their plans to pivot to a virtual experience.For more on Business of Home magazine, you can follow them on Instagram at @businessofhome now and get connected with the Future of Home conference by visiting businessofhome.com/futureofhome.
39 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with Sean O'Connor of Universal Furniture
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Sean O’Connor, Universal Furniture’s Senior Vice President of Sales and chief merchant for our upholstery program. Listen as Sean shares with Neil more about his personal and professional background within the furniture industry as well as how he eventually found his way to Universal Furniture. They then touch on the beginnings of Universal’s upholstery offering and how that has grown the last several years, including the launch into special order upholstery. Sean then elaborates on what the special order program consists of, including approximately 425 fabrics, 50 leathers, nailhead options as well as various leg options and more. Lastly, Sean then shares what he is most excited about with the launch and how he believes it will put Universal Furniture on the map in completely new ways.For more on our new special order upholstery program, you can visit universalfurniture.com. We are now accepting orders
37 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with Sita Montgomery from Sita Montgomery Interiors
This week, we invite you to Explore Home with Sita Montgomery, interior designer and owner of Sita Montgomery Interiors based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sita shares with Neil a bit more about her professional history and what eventually led her into the interior design industry while raising her children. They then chat about how COVID-19 has affected the business. They also discuss social media marketing and how Sita approaches Instagram and imagery as well as maintaining authenticity. For more on Sita and her work, you can visit sitamontgomeryinteriors.com or follow her on Instagram @sitamontgomeryinteriors.
34 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with Jane Dagmi of Designers Today
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Jane Dagmi, Editor-in-Chief of Designers Today. Listen as Neil and Jane discuss Jane's vast background in publishing as well as her love and appreciation for design. Jane also shares more on her unique professional journey that ultimately led her to her current role at Designers Today.Later, Neil and Jane delve into not only the challenges but also the opportunities that designers are facing today as we social distance during quarantine. They also touch more on working from home and how it has impacted designers as they digitally connect with coworkers and clients.To learn more about Jane, Designers Today and their Virtual Design Experience, you can visit https://designerexperience.pbmconferences.com now or follow them on Instagram @designerstoday.
38 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with our friends Jack Eger and Elise Gabrielson from Crypton
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Jack Eger and Elise Gabrielson from Crypton, a leading manufacturer of performance fabric. Listen as Jack and Elise each detail their unique career journeys that ultimately led them both to Crypton. Then, they delve into the importance of performance fabric especially within the furniture industry and how Crypton presents a premium solution, focusing on wear-ability and cleanability. They then discuss the evolution of performance fabrics and all of the many strides and improvements it has made in the last several years. After touching on the importance of brand partnerships, Neil, Jack, and Elise chat on how Crypton plans to grow with the changing state of our world.For more on Crypton, you can visit crypton.com or @cryptonfabric on Instagram.
32 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with Sackett Wood, President and CEO of Moore & Giles
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Sackett Wood, president, and CEO of Moore and Giles located in Lynchburg, Virginia.Listen as Sackett shares with Neil more on his professional journey in the industry, starting in the banking business and eventually merging into the world of leather goods. Then, Sackett chats more on the growth of Moore and Giles through the years, elaborating on the company’s forward-thinking tactics to grow into what they are today, especially in regards to the upholstery industry. They then discuss leather as a livable material and its interesting fusion requiring both technique and aesthetic. Neil and Sackett then touch on the exciting ways that Moore and Giles has been able to partner with Universal Furniture to provide leather upholstery options as Universal enters into the special order business. After touching on Sackett’s opinion on how leather trends have changed over time, they finish up with a discussion on ‘home’ and what it means to Sackett. To learn more about Moore and Giles, you can visit mooreandgiles.com or follow them on Instagram at @mooreandgiles and @mooreandgilesleather.
27 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with Jessica Thuston of Coastal Living Magazine
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Jessica Thuston, special projects editor for Coastal Living Magazine.Listen as Jessica shares with Neil about her professional journey in the magazine industry, from being a founding editor of Cottage Living to serving as Southern Living’s executive editor for over 10 years. Then, Jessica discusses how the magazine industry has changed in order to suit our increasingly technology-based world, including how Coastal Living has shifted to a quarterly-based subscription and newsstand offering. After a recap of current coastal color and texture trends, Neil and Jessica wrap up with a chat on Getaway, the newest collaboration from Universal Furniture and Coastal Living premiering during Universal’s Virtual Market. To learn more about Coastal Living Magazine, you can visit coastalliving.com. To learn more about the Getaway home collection, please visit universalfurniture.com/virtualmarket now.
38 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with Franziska Neumann better know as FZK
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Franziska Neuman, founder and creative director of FZK Franziska, a creative agency that helps design-oriented clients grow and steward their online presence. Listen as Franziska Neumann shares with Neil more on her background, what lead her to start pursuing the interiors industry, and the “a-ha” Oprah moment that eventually became the turning point of her professional career. Then, Franziska elaborates on how she helps her designer clients navigate their online presence, from what content to post, how often to post, and even what social platforms to mainly focus on. With all of the appropriate tools and information, Franziska shares with Neil tips on how clients can measure their own success and reach. Franziska will also be taking part in Universal Furniture’s Virtual Market launch. Sign up today. To learn more about Franziska Neumann and FZK Franziska, you can visit https://byfzk.com or follow her @fzk_franziska on Instagram. You can also book a complimentary session with her here to review your marketing initiatives.
47 minutes | a year ago
Explore Home with with Anne Sage and Laiza Cors of Embello
This week we invite you to Explore Home with Anne Sage and Laiza Cors of Embello, a dedicated online space for social influencers to connect with home and design brands. Embello was co-founded by Laiza, who also serves as their CEO, while Anne is Embello's talent relations strategist. Anne also has a unique background in design, media and the influencer space allows perspective on how to leverage influencer relationships for both brands and influencers. Listen as Laiza and Anne elaborate on their individual journeys in the influencer marketing space through the years and how it has evolved since its inception. They then touch on influencer marketing as it specifically relates to the home design and interior design market, elaborating on the power it has to drive a consumer's purchasing decisions. Then, Neil, Laiza, and Anne discuss the benefits of a paid collaboration, highlighting the many ways it can boost engagement and produce desirable results for a home brand. They close the conversation with some exciting new things coming from Embello for the remainder of 2020.To learn more about Laiza, Anne, and Embello, you can visit embello.com now or follow @embello_inc on Instagram.
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