Lawler Design Studio has traversed the gauntlet of the design industry for almost 20 years. And she has a substantial portfolio of gorgeous residential and commercial projects to show for it.
Half of newly opened design firms go bankrupt within the first five years. Within the next five years, half of the design firms that managed to claw their way through the first chapter of their opening will also go bankrupt.
The secret to Lawler Design Studio’s success lies with its founder, Suzanna Lawler. Lawler has wrapped an unstoppable blend of talent, astute client instincts, networking, and business acumen into her design firm. The proof is in her gorgeous portfolio and business longevity.
You don’t celebrate almost 20 successful years in the business if you don’t have an eye for design. Lawler has an undeniable talent for creating interior and exterior spaces that exceed the ordinary in terms of beauty and functionality. Moreover, her visions are versatile; she is able to design for a wide variety of clients and tastes without sacrificing an ounce of aesthetic integrity.
Suzanna Lawler is like a conduit for her clients’ design desires. Her process and natural intuition get at the heart of what each unique client needs and wants. “It’s not about me; it’s about my clients,” Lawler explains. “If I am true to the concept of extracting their inner style, every project will be as unique and special as each client.”
Lawler Design Studio executes projects for both residential and commercial clients. When working on a residential project, Lawler explores her clients’ personal needs, family dynamics, lifestyle choices, likes and dislikes. She asks probing and important questions about her residential clients’ daily life, entertaining aspirations, and future family plans, then guides clients as they select finishes and furnishings. Ultimately, the interiors she creates are very personal to each client, functional yet aesthetically charming, and timeless.
Suzanna learned early in her career the value of surrounding oneself with people who amplify your light while emitting their own. Angela Neel is one such person. Neel served as a mentor to Lawler during the early years of her career. She encouraged and even enabled Lawler to launch her own firm. “That was 17 years ago, and the faith and confidence that she had in me gave me the courage that I needed to get me to where I am today,” says Lawler.
Since then, Lawler has prioritized professional relationships that are similarly generous and rewarding for all parties. “Everyone, from the architects and builders to the clients and employees, must be in it for the right reasons,” says Lawler. “That means finding those who are dedicated, kind, team-oriented, honest, and live by an abundance posture rather than a scarcity mindset. We have a great time at work most days, and that is by design.”
A Head for Business
The final but crucial component to Lawler’s success is her business acumen. She puts it bluntly: “No matter how talented the designer is, you will not make it if you can’t run the business.”
Lawler formerly taught a Professional Practice course at the University of Mississippi. She imparted indispensable wisdom to her students related to the business side of running a successful interior design firm. In this class, she started her students’ training process insofar as billing clients, sourcing products, coordinating team members, and the other necessary operations of running a business are concerned.
For Lawler, her passion for her profession stems from the entire blend of qualities that make her so successful at what she does. “I love the artistic expression mixed with the challenge of being a business owner and the fantastic people with whom I get to be creative, not only in the design aspect but also in problem-solving,” explains Lawler.
More Success Ahead
So, what lies ahead for this dynamite designer?
Suzanna and her team at Lawler Design Studio have been working together over the past decade to create a curated cabinetry line called Curated by Lawler Design. They started the line by coordinating with crafters, woodworkers, and designers within an Amish community. Over the years, Lawler’s team has studied the latest and greatest innovations the industry has to offer. This enables them to infuse modern functionality into timeless craftsmanship.
On the horizon, Lawler looks to open this cabinetry line to retail customers, thereby sharing the cabinets that the Lawler Design Studio clients know and love with the general public.