Friday, March 9, 2012

Keith Granet on Success and The Business of Design

     Keith Granet

“Walking Under the Sun.”   It is a term most often associated with nomadic travel adventurers in the tradition of Patrick Leigh Fermor and Bruce Chatwin but it is how Rhonda and I always think of our great friend and advisor, Keith Granet.  Keith walks in the sun.  He is seemingly everywhere, always traversing the globe, unearthing the latest innovations and innovators, shining light on them and always encouraging the best out of us, our colleagues, and the design industry as a whole.

 The Business of Design

With his latest book, The Business of Design, heading up the bestseller list and now standard issue at design schools across the country, Keith is poised to continue his role as senior advisor with a follow up book and as one of the founders of the Design Leadership Network. We were thrilled and honored to contribute to Keith’s One Kings Lane Tastemaker Event this weekend featuring Eleish van Breems, Tara Shaw, Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Tucker and Celerie Kemble.   Visit our Eleish van Breems selections HERE.

 Eleish van Breems items are available this weekend on 
"The Business of Design"  Tastemaker Sale on One Kings Lane.

The Business of Design Tastemaker Event on One Kings Lane runs from Saturday, March 10th – Tuesday, March 13th and is a great place to view our latest design selections including antique armoires,  our new scandinavian inspired sofas and chairs, Gustavian style chandeliers and so much more. This also the place to pick up a copy of Keith's wonderful book if it is not already a part of your library.  Rhonda and I caught up with Keith as he was putting the finishing logistic touches with his team on the upcoming and much anticipated Design Leadership Summit that he, Peter Sallick and Meg Touborg have organized this year to be held in Morocco. 

Keith's secrets to success are revealed in The Business of Design.

Edie and Rhonda:   Keith, this is your first book and it’s a runaway best seller!    
Did that surprise you? Tell us about how it came about and what your plans are for a sequel.

Keith Granet:   It is one thing to write a book and it is a completely different thing to write a book that is well liked.  Yes, that was a surprise because although I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to share the information, when you are not a writer as your "day job" you don't know whether people will relate to it.  The book has been in my head for years, it wasn't until I met Jill Cohen, my agent that it became a reality.  Jill knew this was a book that was needed and she truly made it come to life.  As for a sequel, I truly never thought I had it in me to write another book.  However, I am now on a mission to help our profession communicate the value of design and I think my next book will address that in a big way.

Keith in Copenhagen at last years Design Leadership Conference.

E / R  What do you feel are the qualities that must to be nurtured for all of us to be good 
at the business of design?

K.G. As I say in my book, there are six qualities that every successful designer must have and they are: 1. Talent, you need to find your particular talent.  2. Passion, if you don't have passion for this industry it is the wrong profession for you.  The love of design must be in your veins.  3. Discipline, you must have the ability to work at something a little bit each day to reach your goal.  4. Good Knowledge, you need to understand the profession.  5. Common Sense, the world is too hard to navigate without it and finally 6. Chutzpah, you need to be able to take risks to grow and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

E / R  You work with so many different types of clients, from architects and designers to furniture and fabric companies. What issues do you find unique to each discipline or is there an over-riding theme that comes up again and again?

K.G.  The common thread that gets most companies in trouble is their ability to communicate.  Whether it is in educating the client or communicating expectations, communication is the single biggest issue that makes companies fail.  I think the design industry is so closely attached to each profession so whether you are an architect, an interior designer, a manufacturer or a retailer in the design world, you share many of the same issues: “Does my product/service communicate its value?”- Not value in how much does it cost but value in “Is it worth it?” If something is expensive that is okay as long as it is worth it.  A designer's time is hard to qualify but the better at communicating the value of your time the more respect and ultimately the more value you will create for your time.

E / R  You are known for your inspirational business retreats - is this a practice you recommend for all companies both small and large and if so why?

K. G.  Yes, I think it's vital to your growth to get off the daily treadmill and stop and set goals for the coming year or years.  Tomorrow will be not be a new day it will be the same day if you can't stop and look at what works and what doesn't.  Retreats also connect the senior members of your firm to help support the company's growth and their own personal growth.

Keith spreading the sunshine at his book launch event in New York.

Join us tomorrow as Keith sees for the first time the unveiling of what we, Tara, Celerie, Suzanne T.
and Suzanne K. have selected for his special The Business of Design Sale on One King Lane.  We are going to find out his personal favorites – can’t wait to join him for coffee via Skype on the West Coast! 

All photos courtesy of  Granet and Associates and One Kings Lane.


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