This is a gorgeous sunny afternoon. Time to keep looking forward!!! In these past couple of weeks I have learned an amazing amount about the Design Industry by investigating, watching, talking and networking in many new ways. I have set up my Facebook Fan Page all by myself and have learned to manage all kinds of blogging nuances. It has been rewarding in a non-cash way, but still very rewarding! It's fun and educational to mix with new faces in the Los Angeles area and it's good to be home to see what wonderful things can come from these new connections and new bases of information.
On my first day back, I started to reconnect with those who have missed me and needed me most during my absence (OK, my dogs, too) - my clients and vendors alike. E-mail is awesome, but not for every little thing. I've worked on their resolutions and asked questions regarding the flow of business around Chi-town this past month.
The faces on the news stations have been questioning whether we will be entering into another "dip" in this recession and I don't know if we will, of course. Some aspects of the construction/design/architecture industry have absolutely "picked up". Not to the pace of 2005, but lots better than 18 or so months ago. Will construction stumble again? It might. Will clients and consumers WANT to spend money again? Will they be afraid to touch their hard re-earning savings? Maybe. But this is my quick comment:
If you are contacting suppliers, vendors, professionals who have weathered the past couple of years, you are most likely dealing with the "cream of the crop". Some great/reliable/long-standing companies have closed and MANY capable people have left their jobs involuntarily and even by choice. I am starting over with personnel in some offices and many showrooms and it's hard for me to do that, too.
Therefore, unclench your fists, relax, shake out the hands that you want use to grab people by the throat and remember we are all in this together. Make this an exciting time to renew or restart a project. Realize that much of the "riff-raff" is gone, so you are left with good options and the top professionals. Everyone needs to support themselves and their families, too, so don't expect "something for nothing". You will then get what you've negotiated for, and that will be someone who isn't going to be excited about your project. Companies might seem understaffed and it might be quiet for now, but they have held on to the "good guys" and you want eager, happy people to be involved with when you finally make those "go" decisions.