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An MND Look Back on 2023

What a year, friends.

We've seen the highest highs and definitely some low points this year, as you may have seen in a post from last month. Speaking of that, I have to say a profound thank you to the people across the internet that reached out about that post. It truly touched my heart to have so much love poured out for my candor about the hard side of running an interior design business.

This year has involved a lot of shifting and figuring out what works well for us as we steadily grow. I used to take on any and all projects that came our way, but lately I have been forced to start focusing on those with larger scope. I have learned over the years that although I want to help everyone that I cross paths with, I simply can’t. I came to this realization a while ago, but didn't always stand by it firmly.

I tend to run myself into the ground to make sure everyone is getting everything they need, but I very quickly spread myself too thin. So by focusing on fewer larger projects, my team and I are able to really provide a higher level of service to our clients, which is so important to us.

Whenever anyone asks what I do for a living, the response is almost always something along the lines of “oh that sounds so fun! I love interior design”! What most people don’t realize is how challenging of a field it actually is. The way that design and home renovations are consumed these days, primarily due to social media, puts so much emphasis on the final product. The singular images that try to capture years worth of work and labor by many hands, a million details and decisions and items being coordinated, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of investments from clients, just scratches the surface.

But those scroll-stopping images don’t capture all of that, especially when that scroll is only stopped for a matter of seconds. It doesn’t capture the stress and pressure to make sure everything is done correctly, that no details are missed, or the middle of the night panic wake up moments thinking about a client’s window treatment details (yes, this is a frequent occurrence). 

Every interior designer that I know (some whom I talk to daily, and others that I’ve chatted with on Instagram from time to time) has expressed at least once this year how challenging our career is, and that they have considered throwing in the towel. I felt this deeply at the end of 2022, and really spent a lot of time trying to decide what I wanted to do. Luckily, I love design, and there is truly no other field that I would want to be a part of. 

There is so much I have had to learn and develop since I started Madison Nicole Design. I have found myself so deep in the business end of the company, with so much less time to focus on design than I would have ever anticipated. I have tried to give my team as much creative freedom as possible while still keeping within the aesthetic that we have worked hard to develop over the years. It has been a year of growth and challenges, and figuring out my role as the owner of a company with multiple senior designers has been a learning curve, but so rewarding to see my team developing their skills so well!

I have always been ambitious, and although I can’t say that I’ve done a great job of it this year, I am really trying to focus more on the wonderful aspects of what me and my team do, and acknowledge all of the successes and high points, instead of a continual focus on growth and improvement.

So much of life is what you choose to focus on, and although I will forever strive to do and be better for myself, my team, and my clients, we are going to reflect and celebrate our wins at the same time!

I don’t share any of the below with the intent of self praise, because if you know me, that is so far out of character for me and I absolutely hate being the center of attention... So much so that I debate changing the name of the company all together to better represent the wonderful people that make up our team and make all of this possible. 

But we did have some incredible things and projects happen this year!

Exciting things

I was included in a very impressive list of the Top 40 Interior Designers under 40 by the LA Times -- Seeing my company get the recognition that it has in the past year is very surreal and humbling.

We officially opened up the retail shop -- We have been welcoming people in to our studio and getting to know the community a bit better through parties and shopping events and it has been so fun!

The team has continued to shift and grow as the business changes -- We have two senior designers, an operations manager, and a new design assistant starting soon! We also have 4 people who work remotely keeping the business afloat in terms of marketing and social media, drafting and design assistance, and bookkeeping. So many hands go in to making Interior Design look so fun!

Our La Buena Tierra Project was featured in Sunset Magazine -- This is one of the projects I am most proud of, and it's so fun seeing it get the recognition it deserves!

We sourced and launched a vintage rug collection in our online shop -- My travels brought me to Turkey where I got to spend time sorting through and hand selecting a beautiful collection of vintage rugs in varying sizes. A lot our still available to shop online!

Our MND Pillow collection continued to grow -- our pillow collection is all shoppable online, and watching it grow and change has been the absolute best!

Amazing Upcoming Projects That We are so excited to share!

- Funky and colorful mid century modern in Ventura Harbor with lots of fun conversation pieces

- Coastal traditional project right across the waterway with a very different feel from their neighbor, but a wonderful moment of calm and relaxation

- Super exciting remodel in Montecito — can’t share too much yet but it’s going to be awesome!

- A second phase of our Hope Ranch home for the sweetest family that we love and get to continue working with

- Several others in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Malibu as well! Hoping another out of state project pops up also, as we love the challenge that comes with that!

- We also have 3 photoshoots scheduled at the beginning of 2024 for projects that have been recently completed, and it’s some of our most favorite work to date! So many beautiful things to come from our small but mighty team!

2024 will be a big year, and I am going into the new year with a hope for renewed energy, a great team, and big plans. Thank you as always for being here, and please enjoy your holidays with the people you love!


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