BOLD Means Business
With just under three weeks until launch, Julia Molloy is putting the finishing touches on BOLD Summit, an intensive 3-day conference tailored to interior designers and others in the industry who are ready to catapult their business. Mixing business development and collaboration, Molloy describes the event as “the Oscars meets Tony Robbins meets interior design.” In other words, there is no better place to co-experience the emotional rollercoaster of transformation than in a posh setting with about 150 of your fabulous peers.
This year, the Business of Luxury Design unfolds September 25th - 27th in the historic 1889 Auditorium Theater in Chicago. Designed by Louis Sullivan, the venue which boasts stand-out architecture and stellar stage, is also known for its crisp acoustics which are so important as attendees will want to absorb every word. From the moment Molloy stood in the theater, she imagined BOLD unfolding on its stage. This is the kind of clear vision that enables her to create everyday.
BOLD, as the acronym suggests, is not for the design hobbyist. Design professionals who attend BOLD have their fundamentals – website, portfolio, etc. – in place and have a fairly well-developed sense of self. They service the upper end of the market and are ready to step it up, positioned to receive and put into practice the knowledge, tools, and inspiration, that Molloy, a seasoned coach and consultant who has spent much of her career inside of interior design firms shaping infrastructure and operations, will bring on.
With programming from morning till eve, Molloy’s pace is relentless. Her mission to create a totally awesome experience and change lives requires that she goes all out. Joined by a splendid cast of design talent (some of whom will be honored at an awards ceremony) culled from the pages of eminent shelter magazines as well as leaders in marketing, branding, technology, and finance, panels, presentations, and roundtables address brand growth, billing, online sales, alternative income streams, and harnessing social media. Molloy ensures there is also time for meditation, intention setting, and hugs. “You might find yourself dancing and jamming out,” she adds.
The itinerary sounds mind-blowing and business-altering; it is not for everyone. In fact, Molloy has turned down emBOLDened wannabes who simply aren't ready. She explains, “BOLD is advanced level content. If you are still swimming in the shallow end, you will be overwhelmed and won’t be in a position to actually implement what you learn here. It’s just not a good business decision….yet.”
Deborah Main, designer of high-end artisan custom pillows, was hesitant to commit to BOLD because she didn’t know if she was ready. After several phone conversations with Molloy, coupled with a payment plan and encouragement from her husband, Main was confident and signed up. Her goals are plenty: to learn how to replicate her top tier accounts, get solid licensing info, fine-tune her marketing skills so she can attract different types of luxury buyers, and get her work into magazines and show houses. Main is also participating in the BOLD Designer Showcase which enables a select group of product designers, many of whom are also interior designers, to display their goods at the conference.
BOLD Summit happens every other year. Molloy estimates that it can take up to two years for designers to implement the education and insight gained at BOLD. Plus she needs to do a thorough assessment of what just happened before plotting anew. In addition, after pouring heart and soul into BOLD, Molloy simply needs to recover. On September 28th Julia Molloy will not get out of bed. She will remain in her hotel suite burrowed in luxury bedding. There will be room service and movies and she will sleep. Her exhaustion is complete yet sweet, coupled with deep satisfaction.
BOLD Summit. Chicago, IL
September 25 - 27, 2017