Client Surrenders!


Getting the best out of your designer isn’t simply about handing over a big check. You have to really be able to surrender—let go and trust that they are making decisions that will lead to a gorgeous end product, even if you don’t understand what is going on and are all-over-the-place anxious.

Client trust can be hard to develop

Not too long ago, my friend Will designed my first business card. I barely prevented myself from constantly interjecting on details after I had given him a big picture idea of what I wanted. I had to keep reminding myself, “Martha Stewart has Will in charge of entire books and magazine issues. If he is good enough for Martha, he is good enough for you!”

So when a client says, from the get-go, “I trust you. Just do what you want,” my heart stops a beat. This doesn’t happen often in the real world unless you have a client from the design world. When it does, though, the results are usually spectacular.

I learned my initial lesson in surrendering to the designer from Patrick McCarthy, long-time editor-in-chief and creative director of US fashion photography leader W Magazine. He was also, happily, my first client. He gave me some visual guidelines, checked in with me throughout the project, but otherwise set me free on his apartment in my very first job. His home was a memorable project to this day because of the freedom he gave me.

Over the years, I like to think I have been able to ‘let go’ with designers I have hired over the years to help me with graphics, my website and the like. But my difficulties with surrendering have made me empathetic to clients who still want to control every step.

So now that I get to hear those rare words of surrender for an interior design project, my imagination is running wild. What was it I saw just recently in France?

( Tags ) Clients