Episode 99: Project Management: Giving you the Freedom to Create and Grow with Annie Aldridge


Show Notes: 

Do you want to get out of the project management role and get back to designing? Wish you could have someone help you with tracking, backorders, re-selections, and scheduling. It is possible, and my next guest is here to explain how.

In this episode, she explains why outsourcing the non-creative parts of your business is the best option for continued growth. We also discuss the benefit of working with their team vs. hiring in-house and the importance of SOPs for work-life balance.

With 20+ years in many aspects of the interior design industry, Annie Aldridge and her team at The Designers Concierge are competent and ready to be of service. Annie believes in fostering a culture of collaboration, communication, and trust, to create an environment where everyone is free to create and grow. Think of TDC as your Design Companion.



Mentioned in this episode:

Profit First and Clockwork by Michael Michalowicz

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare


Visit www.thedesignersconcierge.co to learn more and download Annie’s free guide to the best ordering platforms for your business. Connect with Annie and her team on Instagram @the_designers_concierge.

Get more info about our year-long mentorship and coaching program: https://www.designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery 


Text UPDATES to 214-380-1969 for all our DFCM updates.


 Thank you to our sponsor for their support!

  • Sidemark is an all-new, all-in-one software that organizes sales, marketing, and business services all in one convenient location. Join mysidemark.com to help grow your interior design business.  


About Michelle

Michelle Lynne began her interior design career after spending more than two decades working in Corporate America. She began in the home staging arena and has since built a successful, award-winning, full-service interior design firm, employing talented designers and serving clients across the country.

In the summer of 2018, Michelle began focusing on a big gap she saw missing in the interior design industry: teaching interior designers how to run the business of an interior design business. She now engages in private coaching and leads an in-depth, 12-month group coaching program, both options focus on teaching designers profitable processes, systems, strategies, and mindset needed to run a streamlined, profitable interior design firm.

Her motto is simple: we rise by lifting others.



Connect with Michelle

 Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/designedforthecreativemind/ 

Join our Free Facebook Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/idbizlaunchpad 


Have ideas or suggestions or want to be considered as a guest on the show? Contact me! https://www.DesignedForTheCreativeMind.com/contact 

Podcast edited and managed by Haili Murch LLC.

If you are interested in starting a podcast or you are currently a podcaster needing help managing or relaunching your podcast, you may email Haili Murch at [email protected] or you can click here to book a call: https://calendly.com/hailimurch/podcast-discovery-call 




Michelle Lynne: Welcome to Designed for the Creative Mind, a podcast for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs to run their business with purpose, efficiency, and passion. Because, while every design is different, the process should remain the same. Prepare yourself for some good conversations with amazing guests, a dash of Jesus and a touch of the woowoo, and probably a swear word or two. If you're ready to stop trading your time for money and enjoy your interior design business, you are in the right place. I'm your host, Michelle Lynne.


Michelle Lynne: Well, hello, everybody. Welcome back. I want to introduce you to my guest today. Her name is Annie Aldridge, and she has worn all of the hats in the design industry, from project manager to designer, buyer, and sales rep. She now owns The Designers Concierge, which is a project management firm that helps with back-end tasks that are necessary, but the non-creative side of the business. So the designer brings the ideas and TDC takes care of the rest. What a dream. That sounds fantastic, Annie.


Annie Aldridge: Thank you.


Michelle Lynne: So thank you so much for being here, first of all, and I just love what you're offering to our industry. How did you get started in it.


Annie Aldridge: Ultimately, it was out of a need that I saw while I was traveling in my sales rep role. I was predominantly on the design side of the business, helping designers with projects, that sort of thing in the East Coast. And there was just, if I would come to a meeting with some samples pulled, with ideas for designers, we could get a whole lot farther, both for a project and for the sales side of the business making a sale.


Michelle Lynne: Right.


Annie Aldridge: So being top of mind. And then I also saw with that little bit of background coming in, ready to go for a project, that designers could get a lot farther. So that is what kind of The Designers Concierge stemmed from, is just being a source of information for designers.


Michelle Lynne: I love that. And I think on your website, you said it is the left brain, you, meets the right brain, which is our audience. And it makes perfect sense because as designers, we just want to make the pretty stuff all the other things are almost a nuisance.


Annie Aldridge: Sure, sure.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's exciting. So I'm a huge advocate for outsourcing. But in your own words, how would you explain the benefit of working with your team versus hiring in-house?


Annie Aldridge: Sure. So my favorite saying this year is delegate to elevate.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's a good one.


Annie Aldridge: I think every single one of us can take something from that short phrase. But in-house, there's a lot of expense that comes with that. I mean, there's getting folks computers, there's putting the ads in the paper to hire folks, it's time to do the interviews, all of that. So the big thing for us is we come with the knowledge, we come with the background, we come ready to kind of jump in and learn how you go through your systems and processes. And then we can interject ourselves rather quickly, versus hiring somebody in-house. Maybe they're not a great fit. Maybe they're just getting out of school. Maybe there's some things that are missed in the interview process.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah. Hiring and managing people is a whip.


Annie Aldridge: Oh, yeah. Yeah. So we come with the knowledge, organization, experience, and we don't want to be designers. So we're not going to take any of that private knowledge of yours or your vendors or any of that and run with it.


Michelle Lynne: That's a great point. So if anyone is feeling protective.


Annie Aldridge: So there's no fear there. Yes, exactly.


Michelle Lynne: So I've noodle through your website. Explain to our listeners, like what services do you offer? Because there's quite a variety of ways people can use you.


Annie Aldridge: There is. I would say our key service is the project management and procurement side of things. So that can be done in hourly chunks, and we go for 10 hours or you can hire us on a retainer basis per month.


Michelle Lynne: Ah.


Annie Aldridge: That's another little nice thing is if we're not a fit and you signed up for 10 hours, then we move on. It's gonna be okay.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, takes the risk out of it.


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: Now, what do you define as project management?


Annie Aldridge: Sure. So pretty much everything from ideation to installation. We take care of, designers come with the ideas and then we take care of ordering samples, getting you ready for a presentation, getting your proposals and pricing pulled, making the proposals, and then through to ordering, tracking, and scheduling the install.


Michelle Lynne: So you are just like the perfect work wife.


Annie Aldridge: Well, we'll go with business bestie.


Michelle Lynne: Business bestie, that's a good one, too. Okay, that makes sense. So it's just all of those little nuisances almost. So the designer has the idea, you basically pull it through.


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: And do you do the design board for their presentation?


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: That definitely gives back a whole lot of time.


Annie Aldridge: Yes, it does. And it allows the designers to stay in the creative lane. It's ultimately what you got in the business for to begin with. Your clients are hiring you for your vision. So we're just here to elevate it.


Michelle Lynne: That makes perfect sense. And give designers more time for more projects.


Annie Aldridge: Definitely.


Michelle Lynne: Because if you're doing all of the administrative work, then they have time to go out and hustle actual designs.


Annie Aldridge: Yes, exactly.


Michelle Lynne: Now, what if a designer comes to you and they're just all over the place? Let's just say they have not gone through the Interior Design Business Bakery, and they have absolutely no idea of like a process for standard operating procedures or anything like that. Do you just like send them away until they have their shizizzle together? Or do you help them pull that shizizzle together?


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, we help pull it together. SOPs, or standard operating procedures, are huge for any business, but I think certainly something that can easily be overlooked by designers because they can be intimidating. And time is of the essence for a lot of folks. So taking a minute to get those sorted out is huge. So I think that's important, and that's something that we can certainly work through. And I enjoy that part of it. The process mapping, the kind of systems and the steps, who takes care of those, and what they're taking care of it with. Like what tool, what program, that sort of thing.


Michelle Lynne: So speaking of tools, how do you go about, let's just say procuring? So we're on, what are we on? We're on DesignDocs, we used to be on Studio, there's people on Ivy, there's DesignFiles, like all the things. How do you, like do you require people to be on one?


Annie Aldridge: We don't. We project manage in ClickUp.


Michelle Lynne: Ah, yeah, I just had a ClickUp expert on here.


Annie Aldridge: Yes, Kaci. That was great. She's great. We love ClickUp. It can be very intimidating, so we come with some templates. When you sign on to work with us, we utilize templates that we've created in in ClickUp to start the procurement process.


Michelle Lynne: That makes sense.


Annie Aldridge: We have a launch call. So if you have a new project sign up, so say the Smiths have signed up and we want to start the project process, we have a call, we go through an ID8, like per room, say entry, we know we're going to need a lamp, we're going to need a side table, we're going to need a chandelier, and we're going to need an area rug.


Michelle Lynne: Right.


Annie Aldridge: And then we show you how to start plugging those exact things in.


Michelle Lynne: Okay, so if I was working on my DesignDocs, would I work parallel and drop things into DesignDocs for my accounting and then drop them into ClickUp for you?


Annie Aldridge: You could or we've got a workaround.


Michelle Lynne: Oh.


Annie Aldridge: So I think, and with DesignDocs specifically, I just had a chat with them last week, but we can upload everything in ClickUp and then transfer that whole file into DesignDocs.


Michelle Lynne: Amazing.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: Yep, definitely found your SOP for that.


Annie Aldridge: Yes. Because double entry is no one's friend.


Michelle Lynne: No. That makes perfect sense though. That is very cool.


Michelle Lynne: Imagine trying to bake a cake without a recipe. You kind of know what the ingredients are, but you don't know how to put it all together. After lots of hard work and trying different combinations, all you are left with is a sticky situation and a stomachache. Babe, running an interior design business can feel exactly that same way. That is why I created The Interior Design Business Bakery. This is a program that teaches you how to bake your interior design business cake and eat it too. If you don't want to figure out the hard way, and you want guidance to follow, a recipe that has already been vetted, someone that has already been there and done it and will help you do it too, then check out the year-long mentorship and coaching program, The Interior Design Business Bakery. If your interior design business revenue is below $300,000, or if you're struggling to make a profit and keep your sanity, this is the only program for you. You can find that information at designedforthecreativemind.com/business-bakery. Check it out. You won't regret it.


Michelle Lynne: So when we're out there, and let's say you just talked about you've got the living room, wait the entry, it was the table and the chair and the rug. If I'm stuck finding something that fits into budget, do you help source any products?


Annie Aldridge: Yes and no. So, like I mentioned earlier, the designer is hired because of their style. So I think, personally, I feel like that's the quickest waste of your money is to have us go out and try to source something and then bring it back to you. And you're like, oh, that's not quite it.


Michelle Lynne: Right.


Annie Aldridge: If it's something that it's, oh, this console tables out of stock, or it's not quite the right budget, certainly. Like, I love a vendor. I love vendor relationships, I love the thrill of the hunt and linking people up. So that process is not something we do too often, but we certainly can help when you're stuck on something, looking for a price point, trying to fill a need of something out of stock.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, because you see things all the time that we might not be as familiar with that you could just bring to the table and replace that console table that was out of stock.


Annie Aldridge: Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: Okay. So you're just an extension and an assistance without being an assistant designer?


Annie Aldridge: Correct.


Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. And why say no, if you have the solution?


Annie Aldridge: Thanks. Yes. Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: It just makes you all that much more valuable to the designer.


Annie Aldridge: Right. Right.


Michelle Lynne: How long have you been doing this?


Annie Aldridge: So I started The Designers Concierge, kind of in the thick of COVID.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, yeah.


Annie Aldridge: That was January of '21. Just because I saw the backlog and how much time it was taking to get an answer on where said console table was. So that was ultimately the kick in the pants for me. I was also in a spot with work where I felt like I was just disappointing and couldn't provide the answers that I liked to provide to be the source for. So I took matters into my own hands.


Michelle Lynne: There you go. Yeah, better than being in between a rock and a hard place.


Annie Aldridge: Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: Okay, that makes perfect sense. And it's so interesting, because it's such a need for our industry. And there's not a lot of solutions out there for this specific. Just because it is the left brain versus the right brain with the organization and the processes and the details. Oh my god, the details. Yeah, and I highly recommend anybody who's listening, if you have an interior design firm, procurement does not make you money. What makes you money is going out and selling your services and then fulfilling it with a design solution. You make money designing, you don't make money ordering. So I love what you're doing, Annie, it's so important.


Annie Aldridge: Thank you.


Michelle Lynne: What's the most difficult part of this, for you?


Annie Aldridge: I would say the management of technologies. There's always, I mean, as you ran through that list of ordering programs, there's always a new one coming out. So that's another thing we look at. And another reason why I think SOPs are so important is because, you know, if you start with a mood board in your systems and processes, then there are certain softwares that aren't for you. If you start with actual tangible samples and fabric samples and wood samples and going that market and that sort of thing, there's different programs to look at.


Michelle Lynne: That makes sense.


Annie Aldridge: So I think just managing that technology stack that could get overwhelming.


Michelle Lynne: So do you have a login for all of these programs?


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, so we utilize whatever the designer comes to table with. We certainly can recommend suggestions if somebody doesn't have a software that they utilize, but ultimately pulling pricing and that sort of thing, we're doing it via the designer's accounts.


Michelle Lynne: That makes sense. Different tiers and so forth.


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, I can't imagine trying to keep up with all of the technology.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: As soon as we stop recording, I'm gonna ask you your favorite.


Annie Aldridge: Sure. I do have a little chart that kinda points you in the right direction. But yes.


Michelle Lynne: I think I saw that on your website.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, the freebie.


Michelle Lynne: So if anybody's looking forward to what sort of design software, we'll be sure to let you know how you can connect with Annie and her company at the end of this program. And you can go download that.


Annie Aldridge: Thank you.


Michelle Lynne: So that's very fun. Okay, so Annie, who's your ideal client? Like, who do you love working with?


Annie Aldridge: I have, this is kind of a real in-depth question, or answer, I have a soft spot in my heart for single or solo entrepreneurs. I love folks that have married and are maybe divorced. That this is, like I said, we're gonna get deep here.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, good.


Annie Aldridge: Because I have been there before. So I know that struggle and trying to make it, you know, make life work by yourself.


Michelle Lynne: Yes.


Annie Aldridge: So I love that. And creativity had, for me, also kind of been snuffed out. So the opportunity to share in those creative moments and know that your life can be lived, as a creative, is really important for me.


Michelle Lynne: Well, I love that. And you bring another side to their, let's say, solopreneur company, because first of all, it's lonely being an entrepreneur, you know that.


Annie Aldridge: Very.


Michelle Lynne: But then when you're trying to create these designs in a vacuum, you bring a second set of eyes, an opinion and whatnot, you know, as wanted, and just that conversational piece, too.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: Because otherwise, we're just sitting here in front of our computers and talking to our clients and our dogs.


Annie Aldridge: Sure. It's so true, and we do see the good, bad and ugly. So we can interject where needed. But that would be my ideal client. Smaller or solo entrepreneur, that, you know, that's really just trying to make it work, has that great creativity, and just needs a little help.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, and especially from the business side. Because even just working with the standard operating procedures and pursuing the best pricing and those details that you bring, I mean, that in itself brings time back to their plate.


Annie Aldridge: Right. Yes.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And then like you said, they can go out and live their life. Because yeah, if you're a solopreneur, and maybe you're a single mom at home, or just, you know, maybe you're a married mom at home, there's still so much for us to navigate.


Annie Aldridge: Oh, yeah, definitely.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah. And if you're relatively new in business, I wish people like you would have been around when I started my business.


Annie Aldridge: I equate it to, you know, driving down the highway in the car. And say you're in the right creative lane, and you get a text from your client. You look down at that text and start to drift into the left non-creative lane. We're here to handle that for you. And to keep you in like a safe navigational space.


Michelle Lynne: No texting and driving.


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: That's a whole new analogy, but it's so accurate. It is so accurate. Oh, that's fun. So that takes us back to the importance of SOPs, standard operating procedures, to have that life and work balance.


Annie Aldridge: Sure. Sure.


Michelle Lynne: And that's, you know, that's one of my passions is just, every project is different, but the process should be the same. And that's what I teach in my Interior Design Business Bakery is like it's wash and repeat over and over, even though it might be different shampoo.


Annie Aldridge: Sure, exactly. Good point.


Michelle Lynne: It can totally give you that opportunity to have a life.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, yeah. And I think the SOPs, the reason why I like them so much is it helps bring attention to clients that could be red flags earlier.


Michelle Lynne: Yes.


Annie Aldridge: So if you keep getting kickback on your standard SOPs, then maybe that client's not your ideal.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, that's, dodge them. It's like dating. If they don't brush their teeth or have a job, you really don't need to be going out with them.


Annie Aldridge: True. true. Swipe left or what, I don't know.


Michelle Lynne: I don't know, but yeah, exactly. Just swipe quick and run. So I'm sure I'm asking, you know, preaching to the choir, but why is outsourcing the best option for you to grow? Like you had said it earlier, you know, delegate to elevate, but why?


Annie Aldridge: I think it ultimately boils down to knowing your, like we know our role. We know what that is, we stay in it, and it just helps bring things to light. It helps keep everybody in the right space, in their lanes, and allows things to flow more smoothly.


Michelle Lynne: Lynne 

Yeah, because as, well, anybody, you can't be all things to all people.


Annie Aldridge: Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: You can't do everything well. You're either a jack of all trades, but you're a master of none. And if you're in business for yourself, you need to be the master of something. And most likely this audience, the master is interior design.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, yeah.


Michelle Lynne: And that's where our hearts are.


Annie Aldridge: There's a great book that recently I've been all about. Mike Michalowicz, he wrote Profit First.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah. And he has a new one, or relatively new, called Clockwork. But he talks so much about every business needing to have a creative and a doer. So designers are the creative, we're the doer, or he calls them, visionaries and implementers.


Michelle Lynne: There you go, yeah.


Annie Aldridge: So you're the visionary, and very much so, especially in this business, and we're the implementers.


Michelle Lynne: I think that's perfect. Because Lord knows, like, I don't like doing the details. So my business, like my level of interest, my client's wishes outgrew what I wanted to do. I just wanted all the creative stuff. I didn't want to have to run the business.


Annie Aldridge: Sure.


Michelle Lynne: But I had to make the choice. So I have to run the business and now Debbie and Megan are doing a lot of the design stuff. But it's true. And what I have found with myself and with all of the people that I've interacted with in a capacity of like education, is that what we don't like to do, we don't do.


Annie Aldridge: Right, right.


Michelle Lynne: If you could see my desk right now, I have bills to pay. And it is a hot mess. So if I could outsource it to you to do, like you do procurement, I mean, how awesome would that be? My bills would be paid.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah. I mean, that's one thing I ask designers when we have our discovery call is like, what is it that's in the bottom of your inbox that you can't file away?


Michelle Lynne: There you go.


Annie Aldridge: And we kind of go through a few of those and look to see what they are and if we can help with that. And if we can't, then we'll tell you, and we'll give you a, you know, somebody else that maybe can, like maybe a VA.


Michelle Lynne: A referral, maybe it's a virtual assistant.


Annie Aldridge: Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: There we go. Yeah, that makes perfect sense. So you're not a VA?


Annie Aldridge: Ah, not technically no.


Michelle Lynne: Right. Just in that specialized little niche.


Annie Aldridge: Yes. I would say we're a very elevated specific VA.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, you're not going to be organizing my inbox for me.


Annie Aldridge: Correct.


Michelle Lynne: Or booking my travel trips.


Annie Aldridge: Right.


Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all, as my interior design business grew, there were some struggles that quickly surfaced. It was balancing, management, just all of the things that come together, and especially when it came to consolidating my marketing efforts, my client relationship management, social media planning, website building, all the things. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein, just trying to tie all of these things together and it didn't really come out very pretty. I thought it would be great if I could find something that would bring everything together into one place. And I believe I have found it. The support of Sidemark, growing your interior design business has never been easier. It will be available this spring. Sidemark is an all-new, all-in-one software that organizes sales, marketing, and business services all in one convenient location. By signing up for Sidemark, you too can get access to all of the essential tools needed to help your business succeed. With features such as a built-in website builder, a custom sales pipeline, email marketing, client relationship management, scheduling on a calendar, and more. This is going to expand your interior design business and make it a breeze. Go online now to join the waitlist at mysidemark.com. You will receive 10% off your first year and get notified of all of the new and exciting updates yet to come. Visit mysidemark.com to start your journey towards successful business growth without the stress and join mysidemark.com today. You won't be sorry.


Michelle Lynne: Oh my gosh, Annie, I absolutely love what you are offering and just think it is so imperative for designers to oh, oh, and hold on, because I can hear people in their brain right now, even before I said it out loud. A lot of people say, I can't afford to outsource. So I know what my answer to that is, what is your answer to that? If a designer says, I can't afford Annie and her services.


Annie Aldridge: Again, to take a look at the things that are holding you back, like the rocks that are in the way, how much time that is to you and against you. And putting that, turning that and looking at it as to what you would spend to have somebody take care of that for you.


Michelle Lynne: It's strategic, it's an investment, it's not an expense.


Annie Aldridge: It is.


Michelle Lynne: Plus, y'all, pass it on to your clients.


Annie Aldridge: Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: You should not be paying for it. This is something your client pays for. It's either part of your fees, or it's, you know, a standalone line item. So you can't not afford to.


Annie Aldridge: Right.


Michelle Lynne: So yeah, I just get on a high horse about that.


Annie Aldridge: I appreciate that.


Michelle Lynne: Absolutely, yeah, you can afford it. You know, so I totally love to talk all things business, but I also like to have a little bit of fun. So the next segment is our Q&A sesh. And it's just so that the audience can get to know you a little bit better.


Annie Aldridge: Okay, great.


Michelle Lynne: You're ready?


Annie Aldridge: Yes. Bring it on.


Michelle Lynne: What is your favorite productivity hack?


Annie Aldridge: Oh, gosh, I have a couple. So I would say, taking care of yourself first. That can be the littlest things from, you know, making sure your grocery list is in order, or going for the walk in the morning, or getting your exercise in first thing because then that clears your mind to allow you to really focus in on the things that need attention, knowing that you've already taken care of yourself.


Michelle Lynne: I think I'm just going to replay that over and over to myself because I have fallen out of that practice lately.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, I mean, it's easy to say, harder to do.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, but once you get into that rhythm, it does make a huge difference.


Annie Aldridge: It becomes routine. Time blocking. I think time blocking is really important, especially for when you're juggling different clients and different areas of focus.


Michelle Lynne: Yes.


Annie Aldridge: Time blocking allows you the opportunity to really get all of the things in without getting sucked into any one or the other too much.


Michelle Lynne: Yes. And do not open your email while you are time blocked.


Annie Aldridge: Yes, exactly. Exactly.


Michelle Lynne: All right. When was the last time you laughed until you almost peed yourself?


Annie Aldridge: Oh, gosh. Oh, I can't remember exactly. But I do on a pretty regular basis.


Michelle Lynne: Good. Good, good, good.


Annie Aldridge: Yes. My husband is a pretty funny guy. And we have just recently acquired a neighborhood cat, so he is really spicing things up around here.


Michelle Lynne: That is awesome. Keeps you on your toes.


Annie Aldridge: He does.


Michelle Lynne: Okay, besides Mike Michalowicz or however you pronounce his name, and his recent book, what is your favorite one? What is your favorite book?


Annie Aldridge: I would say like nonbusiness more pleasure book was The Girl with the Louding Voice.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, I've never heard that.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, I don't believe the author had written much before. Her name is Abi Dare, A-B-I Dare. But it really talks about like having a vision for how you want to live your life and then like continuously reaching for that goal, even if life keeps throwing you curveballs.


Michelle Lynne: Love that. Love, love, love it. What did you want to be when you were growing up?


Annie Aldridge: Um, I was a lot of, you know, kind of work/life-oriented things. So if I was, I remember going to Take Your Daughter to Work Day with my dad one time, and he at that time worked for a radio station and they interviewed me for the Take Your Daughter to Work Day. And they were like, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I said I want to do this. Which I had zero desire to do that, but I was kind of a chameleon in that regard.


Michelle Lynne: Right.


Annie Aldridge: Service, it all usually boiled back down to being of service.


Michelle Lynne: And hence, here you are.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, yeah.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, come full circle.


Annie Aldridge: Mm-hmm.


Michelle Lynne: What is your favorite color, and what do you think it says about you?


Annie Aldridge: Oh, I would say like a slaty blue-green.


Michelle Lynne: Hmm.


Annie Aldridge: And it says, I love nature. And I think it reflects that love of nature for me.


Michelle Lynne: I think your website reflects that well.


Annie Aldridge: Yes, yes, definitely.


Michelle Lynne: I'm thinking about it right now. And I think you've got like little foliage on it too.


Annie Aldridge: Olive branch. Yes.


Michelle Lynne: So brand consistency is important. Yes. If you had one superpower, what would it be?


Annie Aldridge: Oh, probably invincibility. I feel like that, like, eliminates fear, to be invincible.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah. Absolutely. That's a good one. Then you could just about do anything?


Annie Aldridge: Yeah, exactly.


Michelle Lynne: So what does your morning routine look like?


Annie Aldridge: I get up relatively early, well, I say that. I get up around 6:30. I try not to set an alarm. I try to do it naturally. Thank you, time change.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah. Try that with a five-year-old.


Annie Aldridge: Oh, gosh, it gets ya.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah. That's been a, been fun.


Annie Aldridge: Yes. I'm a coffee drinker. I mean, a tea drinker. Pardon me. Got out of coffee. I usually read a little in the morning, generally more life books than pleasure. I try to walk or go to the gym, depending upon the day, and then get started with work around 9:30 or 10.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that sounds like a good morning.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah. Yeah. It's a nice way to wake up. It's not too much pressure on jumping right into work. And it puts a little boundary there for me.


Michelle Lynne: I love that. Like I said, I might have to go back and listen to some of this myself. Play little snippets. I think I get up too early and just dive right into work. So yeah, I like that. Just kind of easing into it.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah.


Michelle Lynne: Giving yourself time. Goes back to your productivity hack, taking care of yourself.


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, note to self. Alright. Last one. If you could invite anybody to dinner, past or present. Who would you have?


Annie Aldridge: Anybody to dinner past or present? You know, I'm not real sure on that one. I would say, Michelle Obama.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that would be a good conversation.


Annie Aldridge: I would say, Michelle Obama.


Michelle Lynne: What would you serve her?


Annie Aldridge: I'm sorry?


Michelle Lynne: I know I told you that was the last question. But what would you serve for dinner that night?


Annie Aldridge: Oh, I would, my favorite is like a ceviche or something along those lines.


Michelle Lynne: Ooh, yum. Yeah.


Annie Aldridge: But being from the south, I feel like we might have to have barbecue. That's a little different than your barbecue.


Michelle Lynne: It is a little different than Texas barbecue.


Annie Aldridge: Yes.


Michelle Lynne: Now I'm getting hungry.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah. Can't go wrong with some barbecue.


Michelle Lynne: I'd have to agree with you there. Or the ceviche.


Annie Aldridge: Yes. Yeah, two totally different things. I wouldn't recommend them together.


Michelle Lynne: That would definitely be a little confusing, but still tasty. Still tasty. Oh, Annie, thank you so much for being on the show today.


Annie Aldridge: Thank you for having me.


Michelle Lynne: Absolutely. I love hearing about other women, specifically who have just taken an idea and pursued the hell out of it. And you're serving the industry so well. It's such a necessary service. So how can the audience connect with you? Where can they find you?


Annie Aldridge: Yes. So our website is probably the best spot, The Designers Concierge. And it's just dot co, no M. So thedesignersconcierge.co. We do have Instagram, it is similar, but @the_designers_concierge. I feel Instagram is a necessary evil, so don't have that reflect our capabilities, but


Michelle Lynne: You just need to outsource it.


Annie Aldridge: Exactly, exactly. Yes, I need to listen to what, practice what I preach I guess.


Michelle Lynne: Yeah, just in a different vein with the social versus the procurement.


Annie Aldridge: Yeah. And then, yeah, we're around. We'll be at Market coming up.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's fun. Yeah, so this is probably going to air the first, second, maybe the third week in April. So if you guys are at Market, you will be able to check out Annie. Are you just going to attend? Are you going to be on any panels or?


Annie Aldridge: I'll be out and about. This will be the first time in 10 years that I haven't been in a showroom. So I'm looking forward to it.


Michelle Lynne: Oh, that's kind of exciting.


Annie Aldridge: Yes. We have blister kits and band-aids because we've gotcha covered at Market.


Michelle Lynne: There you go. That's fantastic. Well, I will make sure that the details are listed in the show notes for our audience to reference. And for those of you who can benefit from even more resources surrounding the business of running your interior design business, join the growing community on Facebook's private group. It's called the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. It is a fantastic, fantastic group, y'all. Even though yeah, I know it's on Facebook. It's not my favorite either. But come and join us there. And if you enjoy this podcast, I sure would appreciate it if you would drop a review, anyplace you catch us. So thanks for being here. Thank you, Annie.


Annie Aldridge: Thank you.


Michelle Lynne: And we will catch you guys next time.


Michelle Lynne: Hey, y'all. If you love the show and find it useful, I would really appreciate it if you would share with your friends and followers. And if you like what you're hearing, want to put a face with the name and get even more business advice, then join me in my Facebook group, the Interior Designers Business Launchpad. Yeah, I know it's Facebook, but just come on in for the training and then leave without scrolling your feed. It's fun. I promise you'll enjoy it. And finally, I hear it's good for business to get ratings on your podcast. So please drop yours on whatever platform you use to listen to this. We're all about community over competition, so let's work on elevating our industry, one designer at a time. See you next time.

Back to the Blog


Business Bakery

Program Login




Let's jam on Instagram