Stephanie Jeffries of The Nista Collection™
Headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, Stephanie is a native of Kettering, Maryland, right outside of the nation’s capital and is now completing her Master’s of Fine Art in Interior Architecture and Design online at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco after having also attained her Master’s of Business Administration in 2010 from the University of Phoenix. As an internationally recognized luxury modern designer, private yacht designer, and online business success coach to other creative professionals, Stephanie’s premiere fortes include providing world class photorealistic 3D rendering and opulent design services for both commercial and residential private investors, ambassadors from abroad, leading professional athletes, entertainers, and C-level executives; particularly as it pertains to ethnic affluence.
What led you to start The Nista Collection™ featuring Designista™ and 3D Rendernista™ and when did you start your company?
Over the last 20 years, my journey as a designer has covered many areas of specialization including custom modern furniture, artwork, rugs, and home fashion design for high-end international retailers and their clients’ commercial and residential projects. But, ultimately, the day I stopped limiting seeing myself as only a designer in the conventional sense and embraced myself as more of a creative force that wanted to help other creatives see themselves in the same way, things changed dramatically for me.
When the housing crash of 2008 hit our industry particularly hard, it was heartbreaking to see a majority of the incredibly talented designers, architects, stagers, artists, and other tradesmen that I was privileged to know struggle to stay afloat. My own niche was called into question as the Internet changed how we each were able to do business. It shifted much of the exclusivity the trade once had into the hands of consumers. Therefore, maximizing how to monetize oneself as a designer online was a struggle for many, including myself, until four years ago when I launched The Nista Collection™. Under the Collection, I have carved out clear segments in highly distinctive divisions for areas I have an insatiable love and proficiency for, which now also features my expertise in providing world class architectural 3D visualizations for luxury real estate developers, construction companies, real estate brokers, private real estate investors, architects, and other designers.
By re-calibrating the approach of my creative business like this, it has made my work and skill set much more unique, marketable, and relevant to the correct crowd of potential customers, both in identifying them and closing more lucrative and fulfilling retainers and contracts. Through impactful 3D rendering, my goal is to provide an exceptional three-dimensional photorealistic rendering of a space or place not yet having broken ground on to allow both residential and commercial clients the wonderful emotional experience of seeing their project conceived in a way their senses will best register; more in a ‘real life’ way we live--in 3D! Renderings also help the pre-sell phase of design and construction become more targeted and cost effective as well. Ambiguity of design intent is alleviated and ensures all interested parties are on the same page. This not only saves money due to lessening the chance of mistakes occurring, but also saves a tremendous amount of time as workflow can be simplified whenever a change does need to be made to conceptual ideas before ordering materials and the first hammer is on the wall or the first shovel goes into the ground. Executed with precision, the visual lines are blurred successfully between an actual photo of a physical space or location and one created using BIM or top-of-the-line CAD software.
What is your favorite aspect of owning and operating your design firm?
I’m limited only by the restrictions I put on myself in terms of when I want to work and whom I want to work with. I know what it’s like to work where you’re not entirely in control of your time, the quality or quantity of projects or clients you work with, and just as important, your income. I also know what that feels like even when you work for yourself. Through all of the ups and downs, backwards and forwards of growing my business, I’m now able to direct my energy in a balanced, holistic way having learned how to automate what I want to be hands-free from, and I have enjoyed showing others how to do the same for several years now. I guess you could say I’ve become a champion cheerleader for helping develop a multi-millionaire mindset for the creative professional. That part is perhaps the most rewarding of all.
What have you learned the most from opening and running The Nista Collection™ featuring Designista™ and 3D Rendernista™?
Definitely time management, stepping out of my comfort zone, and streamlining my processes through cultivating the right partnerships, relationships, and networks. I value genuine and sincere connectivity, so I’m not a ‘connection collector’. I expect to engage with others by contributing real and dynamic interactions where we can grow and share what we each bring to the table. I’ve learned to measure my success by how much shorter I can help someone else get to their success by helping them avoid mistakes, pitfalls, and lengthy learning curves that I’ve gone through myself or have witnessed happen to others.
What suggestions do you have for other’s who would like to start a career in interior design?
Don’t be afraid to be a big fish in a decent-sized pond. Interior designers can end up sounding like we are a dime a dozen by how we describe what we do and how we go about doing it. If there is a particular niche that ignites your pulse like no other when it comes to your creative juices, trust that your gift will not only make room for you in that specialty, but that you will also lead the pack if you understand how to define who your ideal clients are and what projects you want to work with. From there, marketing yourself becomes more of a natural extension. Dare to have the courage to do so with no apologies and I promise you; you will only ever look back to see how far you’ve come and never to see what you regret.
What is at the heart of your business that you want your customers to take home?
I’ll answer this based on consistent feedback that I get from customers and that is that they cherish the individualized approach I commit to each one of them in mapping out both short and long term attainable expectations throughout the design process from consultation to conceptual completion: they are my most treasured point of inspiration. I take pride in meticulously implementing all of the lovely, intimate details customers entrust sharing with me in order for me to deliver a tailor-made mosaic of spaces they’ll love to create memories in. Clients rest in my discretion, finesse, and treatment of holding their privacy with a high regard for confidentiality. If they want to have fun, laugh a lot, and be at ease throughout the entire time we work together knowing that their vision is understood by me and will be interpreted with acute accuracy, then I’m the designer or 3D renderer for them.
Stephanie’s website, http://www.thenistacollection.com/ highlights her business model, market niches, luxury partner network, links to her online portfolio, coaching corner, advertising opportunities, modern inspiration blog, and represents the best way to reach out to her to work with her. You can also reach out to connect with Stephanie, The Nista Collection™, and 3D Rendernista™ on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Finally, Stephanie is currently in the process of relaunching on Pinterest and Instagram.
Photos courtesy of Stephanie Jefffries of The Nista Collection™ featuring Designista™ and 3D Rendernista™