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Women Leaders: Growing Your Design Business Your Way

Watch a panel discussion on how successful women lead

Stephan Rabimov

APRIL 25, 2024

For those who are thinking about starting their own interior design business or seeking ways to grow their current firm, hear from three experienced women leaders who have successfully done so.

Watch the recording above of a lively conversation with Jessica Nelson and Stephanie Lindsey (co-founders and principal designers of Etch Design Group) and Vanessa Cooreman Smith (founder and principal designer of Flourish Interiors) as part of Houzz Pro's annual Women in Design event.

Our accomplished guests have each had a unique journey and approach to building their luxury design businesses. You’ll get the inside story on how they got where they are today, building a luxury design brand, balancing work with family, finding the right project and client fit, how to grow without sacrificing quality, and much more. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it!

Click here to watch the video and learn how to grow your business your way.

More About Panelists

Before starting their Austin-based luxury interior design group, Lindsey and Nelson were both working for another design firm. But they soon became disillusioned with that company, working long hours with little reward. In starting Etch Design, they vowed to put people first while delivering exquisite award-winning design. Nelson excels in transforming spaces, blending her creative and technology skills, especially in computer renderings and visualization. Her design philosophy is influenced by her study of architectural history and art in Florence, adding depth to her work with fabrics and furnishings. 

A graduate of the Interior Designers Institute, Newport Beach, CA, Lindsey’s experience and diverse portfolio spans nationwide. Working alongside contractors, designers, and architects, she is known for the kind of meticulous attention to detail and effective project management that ensures client satisfaction.  She has even recently taken up welding to add to her wide range of skills.

Smith owned a women's clothing store before embarking on her current venture, and in 2016 pivoted towards her deep interest in interior design. Flourish Interiors has quickly become the go-to luxury design service for a diverse clientele in Indiana and Michigan. Born in South Bend, Indiana, Smith is driven by a passion for bringing design beauty to her region whether it is in comprehensive home design, new build packages, or secondary home furnishing and setup.

The designers will share their essential advice for running these successful creative businesses, and how they have shifted and evolved their offerings and specialities along the journey. With more than 50 projects running at any given time, the 12-person team at Etch Design consistently earns high revenues and five-star reviews for their luxury residential work. The winner of 11 Best of Houzz awards, Etch takes a proactive approach to sustain growth. They've leveraged the strengths of their team by tapping into the commercial sector and leveraging their connections in the Austin region.

Smith takes on both residential and commercial projects at Flourish Interiors which attracts high end clients and has grown from two employees to 11. Running two creative businesses - a clothing boutique and now a design firm - Smith shares the importance of financial management, understanding her metrics and knowing when she needs to scale and invest in technology. 

The three leaders run their businesses on their own terms, putting a high priority on having a fulfilling personal life too. Learn their strategies for creating a work-life balance while also thriving in their careers. 

In today’s digital environment, they would not be able to do it all without assistance from technology. The business owners rely on Houzz Pro to help them run their firms more efficiently and tap into the latest technology to convey their design visions. Houzz has transformed the process of home remodeling and design by applying mobile, visual and other technologies that are driving design today. 

Stephan Rabimov

Stephan Rabimov leads Content Marketing at Houzz. Portland resident. Global citizen. Nature loving.

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