Story Time:: Suing my first client
I know I know... I've been M.I.A after saying I was going to blog consistently but I've been doing a lot of brainstorming about my next move. Reading the Branding + Interior Design book helped me narrow down what I need to focus on. I've come to realize that I am more interested in hospitality design and my content catered more to a budget-friendly residential market. My ultimate goal is to design hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs so with that being said, I have a lot of exciting ideas I am putting together so stay tuned...
In the meantime, I want to share a little story about my very first in-person client, exciting right?
About a year ago I was put in touch with a guy who was looking for an interior designer through a mutual friend. He recently purchased a nice two bedroom apartment in Downtown LA. Even though his budget was very small (red flag #1), I agreed because...why not. I knew this wasn't going to be a project I was able to photograph but the experience is priceless.
After getting the approval on everything and receiving a check for purchasing, the check didn't clear right away (red flag #2). Once that situation was settled I quickly realized the biggest downside to a small budget is having to be responsible for all of the grunt work. Looking back on it I should've made it clear that I am not responsible for the assembly of any furniture pieces but there I was, putting things together until 3 am some nights after working long hours at my full-time job.
Fast forward towards the end of the project, I sent over my final invoice before the project was complete but he preferred to pay after he saw the final result (red flag #3!) and I agreed. My client went out of town for a few days so I made arrangements to wrap everything up and stage the house as a nice surprise. After he saw how everything came together, he was very pleased and as expected my final invoice soon followed. Needless to say, the final invoice was unpaid and he miraculously disappeared.
After getting some legal advice, I filed a case with small claims court which was a headache! Currently, I am waiting for the sheriff's department to go after his account because one thing I do not play about is my money, honey!
A lot of lessons to be learned here but that's life and one of the many reasons I am no longer interested in strictly focusing on residential design.