IDS 2016 RECAP/ It's A Wrap!

The Interior Design Summit was magical this year… that’s the best way to describe the experience for our team and for the designers that attended.  Our audience ranged from start-ups, to the “magic 16” (we seemed to have a lot of companies that had been in business 16 years), and some had been in business as long as 30 years.

We had companies with “start-up” revenue levels (0 – $49K) and companies with multi-millions of revenue. Some hadn’t been published and some had been published numerous times. Commercial design firm owners, residential design firm owners and mixed practices attending. There were solopreneurs in the audience, and firm owners with as many as ten employees, and some of the firm owners brought their team members with them. Every firm owner that brought their team highly recommended to others to do the same thing… the team members learned about their owner’s perspective and challenges and left with enthusiasm and commitment to help their company go to the next level.

Photo By Dana McGrath

No matter where each person was in their practice, they loved the connections they made with their peers who were also experiencing the same things… burnout, frustration, feeling alone, needing a breakthrough… and we had many of those and many tears. We loved the tears because that meant that people had breakthroughs. Some breakthroughs were powerful and dramatic.

Since IDS, I’ve had a great time connecting with many of our clients, and all of them are feeling energized, renewed, excited and best of all for me as a coach, they are taking massive action. Mastermind groups were formed informally, and they’ve been “reporting in” on their progress to each other. New friends were made, and everyone had a great time.

Photo By Dana McGrath. Pictured left to right: Mike Michalowicz, Gail Doby, Erin Weir

Mike Michalowicz wowed our crowd with his fun and energetic presentation about his book, Profit First. He even signed copies of his book for each attendee, and then over-delivered by teaching memory techniques in a surprise bonus session.

Lisa Kahn wowed the crowd with her “Living Your Brand” presentation. Her speech was poignant at times, then funny and deeply moving. Even the men cried. A-MA-Zing!

Our coaching team presented sessions on Breaking Through Your Financial Glass Ceiling, Productivity, Project Management and we even did a Laser Coaching Session with Drue Lawlor, Nancy Dale, Yasmine and yours truly to do “on the spot” solution-finding with our courageous volunteers.

Kimberly Merlitti enlightened everyone with her great session on Interior Design Cash Maps… she made finances fun.

Anna Ruby with JBanks shared amazing “client getting” strategies.

Special thanks to Dawn Brinson who did a beautiful VIP session on Branding and Marketing.

Our attorney, Curtis Shortridge, shared Employment Law must-knows, and much more in his “scary” but illuminating session.

Special thanks to all of our Boardroom Members and VIPs who helped to welcome our guests, and to our great team that worked so hard prior to, during and after IDS to make all of the details fall into place.

Photo By Brittany Beach for Editor At Large. Pictured: Yasmine Bijan Wilson

Yasmine Bijan Wilson was amazing as our emcee as always. She’s been a long-time friend and great part of our coaching team as our Director of Communications.

Erin Weir, our Co-Founder and VP of Operations and Marketing made everyone feel loved and welcome.

Thanks also to Red Elephant and the Ritz-Carlton for their organization and management schools and amazing venue.

And to our sponsors… we appreciate your support…

Our Sponsors




Photo By Brittany Beach for Editor At Large. Pictured left to right: Terri Fiori, Christi Barbour, Erin Weir, Gail Doby, Becky Charton

And of course, special recognition goes to our award winners this year:

  • Terri Fiori, Fiori Interior Design, LLC, Wyckoff, NJ —
    Winner of the Profit & Passion Award
  • Becky Charton, Table Setters, Inc., Little Rock, AR —
    Winner of the Sustainable Business Award
  • Christi Barbour and Christi Spangle with Barbour-Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design of High Point, NC —
    Winner of the VIP Leadership Award

Congratulations to our new VIP Intensive Members who will be joining us December 1 & 2 for their business transformation… we can’t wait to see you again.

2016 Testimonials/ Hear from attendees

Video Testimonials

Keynote Speaker/ Mike Michalowicz

We are pleased to announce our 2016 IDS Keynote Speaker, Mike Michalowicz.

Mike is the entrepreneur behind three multi-million dollar companies and is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and what BusinessWeek deemed the entrepreneur’s cult classic, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.

Mike is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the former business makeover specialist on MSNBC. Today Mike travels the world as entrepreneurial advocate speaking to groups just like ours. He is globally recognized as the guy who “challenges out dated business beliefs” and teaches us what to do about it.


Speakers/ 10 Industry Experts

Photo of Gail Doby

Gail Doby, ASID, DSA, IDS

DSU, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting, Interior Design Summit - CVO & Co-Founder

Gail’s passion is transforming interior designers’ businesses and incomes. Her clients have doubled, tripled and in one case, 10Xd her business through her coaching with Gail. Gail positions her

Mike Michalowicz

Speaker, Author, Entrenpreur

By his 35th birthday MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-‘kal-o-wits) had founded and sold two multi-million dollar companies. Confident that he had the formula to success, he became an

Curtis Shortridge, Esq.

Shareholder Shortridge, Fitzke & Hultquist, PC.

Curtis is Gail’s attorney, and she met him at a Denver Design Center presentation over twenty years ago. Curtis specializes in working with interior designers, architects and builders, so

Photo of Drue Lawlor

Drue Lawlor, FASID

Director of Coaching, DSU & GDCC, Gail Doby Certified Coach, Owner of Make Green Go Green — Boomers With a Plan B

Drue is a passionate educator and interior designer, and the Director of Coaching for Design Success University. She and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching program

Photo of Yasmine Bijan

Yasmine Bijan Wilson

Director of Communications, DSU & GDCC

Yasmine is a passionate, inspirational speaker and business advisor with expertise in Business Leadership Coaching and Consulting, Relationship Marketing and sales, and Self-Empowerment. Yasmine is our emcee and will

Photo of Kimberly Merlitti

Kimberly Merlitti

Interior Designer’s CFO, Owner, KMM Consulting

Kimberly’s passion is helping interior designers run profitable business. She has her Masters in Accounting, and has helped large firms like Swinerton Builders as well as boutique firms like

Anna Ruby

VP-Creative, J Banks Design Group

Anna Ruby, originally from Virginia and a graduate of Virginia Tech moved from New York City to work for J Banks Design. Anna has worked with J

Nancy Dale

Gail Doby Certified Coach

With over 20 years in the Financial Services industry, and having built successful companies, Nancy is very knowledgeable in how to optimize productivity and get results. She

Lisa Kahn

Owner, Kahn Design Group, Inc.

Graduating with a degree in Interior Design and Housing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Lisa started her career as Corporate Interior Designer for Lutron Electronics in Pennsylvania. After

Dawn Brinson

Vice President, Strategic Marketing, The Media Matters, Inc.

Vice President of Strategic Marketing, aka Big Ideas, Dawn Brinson brings more than 25 years of marketing, public and media relations, and promotional event development experience to her work

The Visionaries/ Your Interior Design Summit Leaders

View More: http://ross-photography.pass.us/designsuccessuGAIL DOBY, ASID, DSA, IDS

Gail Doby, Chief Vision Officer and Co-founder of Design Success University, Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting and the Interior Design Summit, holds a BSBA in Finance & Banking and a degree in Interior Design. Early in her career, Gail worked in sales and marketing for a global fortune 500 company in the home furnishings industry where her clients were architects, builders and interior designers.

With her extensive background, Gail loves mentoring and coaching interior designers to help them save years of costly mistakes and is a passionate student of business, information marketing and social media. Gail is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Interior Design Society, Designer Society of America, and is NCIDQ certified.


Home is your greatest luxury. At Luxe Interiors + Design, we celebrate regional architecture and design, and encourage design enthusiasts to seek out and connect with local design professionals in the place they call home.

We impart this philosophy through multi-platform channels – in print and digital, and at our events – where we inspire, inform and engage with affluent design enthusiasts, architects, interior designers, home builders and the design community at large.

Gail & Erin’s passion for helping interior designers through education, coaching and mentoring brought IDS to life.