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Stephen Fofanoff - President of A Designer's Eye

01. What is the Interior Decor market in the US like?

The market is currently in a state of transition. It is an extremely fractured market with no clear dominant player. Consumers are faced with an industry that is increasingly confusing and transparent. HGTV and other media sources continue to educate clients and pull the veil back on the "behind the scenes" aspects of the industry. The internet has created an overwhelming amount of information for clients to sift through. In terms of the business end, designers are faced with competition from new sources. They are also facing more educated clients.

02. What is the 'A Designer's Eye' concept all about?

A Designer's Eye is about two things: providing value for clients and creating a compelling business for designers. For clients, especially those in the "middle and upper middle market", they gain access to a high quality designer who provides tangible results for their money--helping them navigate the home improvement landscape more easily. For designers, they gain a solid business system that helps them dramatically improve their profitability.

03. Would you describe your franchise opportunity as fun and exciting?

Absolutely! There's nothing like being on the forefront of an industry in a business that was built around your clients...making the business easier to grow and manage. Every day is a new opportunity to be creative, while working with people who genuinely enjoy the process.

04. Why do you think it is great for women?

As a home-based business, we give women the ability to balance their lives--to be able to control their schedules, have time for their family and friends, and run a dynamic business that allows them to be active in their local community. Since our concept is not product-sales based, women get the freedom to offer their services to a very wide audience: from home staging and one-day redecorating all the way through to complete full service design. We give women all of the tools to do this without needing to be "business" or "design" experts... all of the training and support is provided on an ongoing basis.

05. How successful is your franchising business today?

We experienced great success in our prototype operation, where we learned about the demand from consumers for our service and were able to build the business around their needs. We launched our franchise program earlier this year and are now carefully selecting our first franchisees.

06. What kind of support do you offer your franchisees?

We offer unparallel support. We actually built our franchise concept around two questions ‘what do our franchisees' clients need?’ and ‘What do our franchisees need to deliver that?’ Each of our franchisees is provided with a Business Development Coach who works one-on-one with them to ensure that they go through the training program and then receive the ongoing support they need to be successful. We don't know of any other concept that provides this level of individual support to their franchisees. We don't just give you a workbook and hope you get through it. Our Business Development Coaches are in regular communication to help our franchisees overcome any challenges that come up while they focus on running their businesses.

07. Can you tell us one of your Success Stories?

We've received a tremendous response to our offering and anticipate that our first franchisees will be open by the end of the summer. It's been very exciting to see the support we're receiving from the market. We were also nominated as a Top New Franchise at “"where people are able to not just vote, but leave messages of explaining why they support us... it's great to see so many clients and business associates vote for us. Their support put us in the Top 6 within days of being nominated.

08. Your advice to our mompreneurs?

Don't be afraid to try new things. If a business concept appeals to you, learn what you can about the concept and if you like what you see, don't let fear get in the way of following your dreams. There are some really great new franchises out there...and new franchises provide exceptional support to their early franchisees. You also get to help shape the future of the franchise system by creating a supportive community among the franchise owners. It's a very exciting position to be in

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