A New Year and A New Beginning


As most people roll out of bed on Jan 1st tired, groggy and perhaps hungover, I am bounding with excitement.  Why, you ask?  It's a new beginning for my design company DESOUSA DESIGN. I’ve been operating DESOUSA DESIGN for quite awhile, but it was only recently that I made the decision to rebrand and restructure my fledgling design business. So why now?

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Over the past 12 months, I have noticed a strong demand for design services, especially for clients who require expertise in kitchens, bathrooms and general space planning. Coinciding with this demand was also my growing desire to explore my true potential as a designer. Although my current talent and skill set lays in kitchen and bathroom design, I have often dreamt of expanding my repertoire to include furniture and industrial design. This may sound like wishful thinking, but I don’t think I'm alone in this fantasy. I think many designers see the world as an empty canvas, and want to make their mark on anything and everything. I realized that I needed a creative outlet in the here and now in which I could explore my design ideas and share them with my audience. I decided that a redesigned website could serve as the perfect “lab” to showcase those designs.

The new website would achieve three main objectives. First, I would start with the Design Lab concept, where I began to restructure my site as more of an exploratory journey instead of the standard portfolio format. Second, as I laid the groundwork to newly express my love for design, DESOUSA DESIGN would need to be an identifiable and unique brand. This perhaps was the most difficult in developing. I began to ask myself, what makes me special, and why would a client choose my services? Understanding the core principles that define who I am and what I could offer would ultimately provide the answers I was seeking. What I landed on boils down to six points:

1. Transparency
Creating and designing is such an interesting journey yet, many designers and design firms choose to cloud their design processes and business practises so much that it obscures the clients from understanding and experiencing the true design process. My approach is to not only to be transparent about my services but to provide all the steps involved in renovations from beginning to end.

2. Simplification
Simplifying the process of understanding and obtaining design services is another objective of mine. There are so many designers and design firms that offer great services; however, their websites, showrooms and overall messaging can often confuse, mislead and scare customers, preventing them from getting the answers they need. I think it's very important as a designer to be clear, consistent and simple with all aspects of the design and business process.

3. Efficiency
Efficiency plays a big part in creating a successful design experience for both the client and the designer. Being organized, preparing for meetings and understanding the clients’ needs enables a more streamlined and productive design service.  

4. Accessibility
Sharing ideas is the whole purpose of a design service, and that's why each of my customers will be invited to a shared folder pre-loaded with helpful tools to organize their plans and ideas.

5. Communications
Keeping the lines of communication open is one of the keys to client satisfaction. Besides the obvious phone and email, I also provide direct messaging through social media as well as shared documents. Being able to have constant access to the latest concept drawings, or to be able to comment on the last revision is a great collaborative tool and keeps the client involved throughout the entire design process.

6. Relevance
Quite often, designers and design firms become stagnant in their branding, messaging, websites and information. It’s important to stay fresh with new content and ideas along with current trends in the industry. I provide a service that is modern and easy to use. This is achieved by using the latest 2D and 3D CAD software, online data management, cloud accounting and fresh website design.

My third objective with my rebranding is to provide a more personal touch. This is achieved in a couple ways. First, by creating an area dedicated to my story; there would be little snippets explaining my background, education, work experience and ultimately why I became a designer along with some of the challenges I face. This is important for potential clients to understand my personal journey; I want them to feel more connected to me. Second, by creating a blog. This is not new to me as the previous iteration of desousadesign.com was entirely a blog. I believe that writing about my experiences in design not only benefit clients and the general public, but it also allows me to be a better designer.

As I grow my business, there will be a continuous evolution of DESOUSA DESIGN. I will stay true to my core principles, and continue my life long journey in design exploration. So please check my site and my blog periodically, as I add more content and make changes to improve my design services. If you have any comments or suggestions, please leave a message below or email me at martin@desousadesign.com.

Thank you