Texas-based interior designer and business owner Savannah Jones says Spoak is a one-stop shop for all of her design needs. Learn how she utilizes Spoak’s features for her business — from creating renderings, managing budgets, client approvals, and more.
For Savannah Jones, lead designer and owner of Where the Heart Is Designs, the pull to start her own business and pursue her passion for interior design had become increasingly hard to ignore after a big life change. "After I had my daughter, I quickly realized I wasn't returning to my nine-to-five job in the automotive industry," says Savannah. "I felt like I had already lived this whole life — I was married, a new mom, and had already purchased a house. I was very comfortable and steady, and I just wanted to try something new. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it." And that she did!
Savannah started Where the Heart Is Designs, a home staging, styling, and design company, in 2018. Since then, she has hired eight people to join her team, moved into a new office space in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, opened up a showroom, and has worked with hundreds of clients — helping each of them bring their vision to life using Spoak's software. "I wanted to be a designer that could give people functional, beautiful houses but not completely drain their savings because I think that's not what design is about," Savannah explains, which is something that her clients love about working with her.
When it comes to Savannah's design process, it's not just her authentic approach that brings her clients ease. She also provides them with professional presentations that feel streamlined and easy to understand. Before using Spoak, Savannah said, "There wasn't a whole lot of structure, let alone one place our clients could go to get the information they needed. It just felt all over the place." That all changed once she started designing with Spoak.
She admits that, while it may sound cliche, her discovery of Spoak felt meant to be. "I remember pulling up the website and seeing what Spoak offered, and it was exactly what we were looking for. I was so excited because it was just so freeing." As a designer and business owner, Savannah says it was like a weight was lifted off of her shoulders because she could finally give her team (and clients) something that made sense. "Spoak is a one-stop shop for all of our design needs."
With Spoak's Business Hub, each design project that Savannah and her team create can be meticulously organized to their liking. Once the complimentary introductory consultation is complete, they begin the design process by creating a custom cover image identifying their client's name to define the project. From there, they create sections and sub-sections within the project to ensure a clear and concise future presentation for their client. "It's very easy for us to navigate, both as the designer and for our clients, once that project is sent to them," she says.
Savannah's team is all about personalization and efficiency. Once it's time to start sourcing products, they utilize Spoak's product clipper Chrome Extension to easily drop products into their project in just a few clicks, saving the team more time to focus on designing. Before discovering Spoak, Savannah had to do everything manually, which wasn't beneficial for her or her clients. She shares, "Doing everything manually took much longer, which created more billable hours for my clients."
One of the best parts of being a designer is getting to put your ideas on "paper" (or, in this case, a screen) and creating a visual representation to share with your client. Creating mock-ups in Spoak has been a real turning point for Savannah and her team. She says, "Before Spoak, we had to sit down and explain things multiple times. It's just so much easier when you can build out their room (in Spoak), and they can see what we plan to do. It's been a total game-changer for us and them."
Gathering client feedback can sometimes feel like a game of chase, but not when using Spoak's client feedback and approval features. Once a client's information is added to a Spoak project, they are prompted to create a free client account, granting them access to give feedback directly in the platform. Savannah shares that it has been amazing for their process. "Our clients log in directly and leave feedback — they give a thumbs up, thumbs down, and give the reason why." Because the feedback is organized all in one place within the platform, this prevents any confusion for Savannah and her team, and it allows them to define a clear purchasing list and receive client approval quicker than before.
When speaking with Savannah about her secret sauce to becoming an interior designer, the answer was clear: Curiosity and drive. She says, "There's no one book that tells you how to design or what price you should set for your clients." Despite the interior design industry's reputation for being hard to get into, Savannah found her path. "I'm very much self-made. I've just figured it out through a lot of trial and error. And now, I have some great friends in the industry, so we'll bounce things off of each other or ask questions."
She credits her creative thinking to her family, a hardworking group with both an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset, and her ambition to her willingness to put in the hard work in order to reap the rewards. “I want to build something for my family to enjoy. I want to make people’s lives better and brighter by sharing the natural talents and gifts I have honed in on and trained over the years. Inspiring others fuels me, my support system fuels me, and the thought of 'I have to keep going' pushes me through the harder days.”
As a self-made interior designer, Savannah values her experience and the opportunities Spoak has brought her. "As somebody who didn't go to school for interior design, having the ability to make renderings and present something so professional and unique to a client has been really rewarding." That's part of what sold Savannah on trusting Spoak for her business, sharing, "Spoak integrated the creative, visual part with the business side." From product sourcing, design and floor plan tools, client feedback, and help with the procurement process, there's something here for everyone.
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