How to utilize a downturn to spark creativity and innovation?

Pause. Reflect. Analyze.

How to utilize a downturn to spark creativity and innovation?

Many business owners focus on clients, trying to find new business or just trying to keep up with the present, which leaves little time to really look and review where they are (other than financially). This time of year, especially after the changes, pauses, and upheaval that the Pandemic brought on, can be a good opportunity to do that and plan for the future. When was the last time you visited your business plan or goals for both you personally as well as the company?

Time for More Questions and Introspection:

What is working well? Make sure you are in sync with your brand vision.  Continually ask yourself and your team are we supporting our core values. Also, think about efficiency, what items are clients asking for that from time and financial standpoint make sense.

What isn’t working?  Make sure your structure both physical space, employees and others involved in your business. We realized we didn’t need the large office space and overhead as most can work remotely, so we adapted and moved to Hayvn a great co-working space which has so many more benefits and costs are better.

How is your team?  Is everyone that is supposed to be, as author Jim Collins says, on the “right” bus.  It is time to query and get feedback. People like to be valued, acknowledged and asked for their opinions.

Try something new.  Ask your team if there is something they need or want to learn.  Consider a class online.  There are no more excuses as you can do it from your home anytime, day or night.    Business of Home, a design industry trade source, has ongoing seminars on everything from pricing and legal to licensing to product design, etc.

Explore doing new things or doing others differently. Experiment. Take your passions and see if they can be other business avenues. For example, designer Donna Benedetto used to do a lot of decorative painting prior to interior design. She’s tapped back into her creative side and developed an art business to compliment her interior design practice. Fuel your passion.

Designers are creative types who use problem solving to find new opportunities. Check out Robert Passal, designer, retailer and now product designer.  He was looking for wallpaper for his clients and couldn’t find what he wanted. Now he has boutique self-produced line.

Lastly, there is the head/gut connection.  If things don’t feel right, there is typically a reason.

Take the time for yourself and notice.

Here is to 2021: The Year of Possibilities.

If you are looking to craft your story and need help. Reach out.

To learn more, contact or (203) 966 8203

How to utilize a downturn to spark creativity and innovation?2021-01-04T21:04:49-05:00

Creating Your Persona

Creating Your Persona

A Picture Says a Thousand Words… Today that Saying is Very True.

Visual storytelling has become the norm in how we market our businesses. Everything about your brand is packaged in a specific way to tell your story.

Everything starts with your name. Is it you or what you offer? Can your potential customer identify or relate to it? Does it focus on being remembered or clearly state what your business is? Whether it’s your name or related to your business both have validity in the marketplace. The most important thing to remember is you are in business for the long haul, so think about a name that is adaptable to expansion and will stand the test of time. Images& Details, Inc. allows for versatility and can be a company or an individual behind it. Eleish Van Breems utilizes the partners last names which gave them the ability to grow their business in many directions from antiques, a design studio and home store without needing to rebrand.

Then comes your logo, the first visual touch point others will receive and the first point of remembrance. This is your visual footprint that will be repeated on almost all creatives going forward from business cards, websites and social media to events and sponsorship materials. The best ones can be recognized  and last in people’s memories for years to come. Ford, for example, is over a hundred years strong. Our I&D logo is still pertinent 34 years later. Just a small tweak on font as needed because of technology.

A tag line is a phrase that catches attention, sticks in one’s mind, it can uniquely describe what your business does or or what you want people to take from your brand. DEANE, INC. – Rooms Everlasting  does that as they are more than a kitchen company, they sell cabinetry and a lifestyle.

Assets that tell your story. No matter if you’re a product driven company or a service business, you need to make these as relatable, usable, post-able and aesthetically beautiful as you can. They need to communicate your core values and business goals. Videos, photography, illustrations are multi-dimensional ways to get the word out. Today it is key to invest in professional photography, graphics and videography. It needs to peak curiosity and tell a story to convey your message, which allows media sources to utilize it and consumers to share it. Hire the best when you can.

Outlets to target for your messaging. Think of the best method to tell your story. Where will you have the most impact? Print, Digital, Podcast. Start with one then layer onto the approach if you are gaining traction. Look at what you are doing that is unique to your company and see if there is a good story. In the case of Eleish Van Breems and Avante Garden they collaborated on a lighting collection. Great photography and a good story angle are recipe for success and interest both internally and externally.

Get the word out about you. If you are the brand put a face to it and if you are a larger company make sure people can relate to it. Speaking opportunities both in person and now with webinars, Zoom, etc. all give you exposure, build credibility and position you as a thought leader. Your and/or teams headshots, and profiles convey a message about you and your brand.

Everything you say and do is part of your communication strategy.

If you are looking to craft your story and need help. Reach out.

To learn more, contact or (203) 966 8203

Creating Your Persona2020-10-07T10:14:19-04:00

Navigating The Media

Navigating The Media

Learn how to reach new target audiences by diversifying your exposure.

There are many and varied opportunities in today’s ever-changing world to build brand awareness. Today the landscape is everchanging and now dominantly a digital environment which for some can be a hurtle. How information is consumed is unique and layered to each individual as it depends on your interests, abilities, and industry focus. In the past, companies relied on traditional media like print publications, radio, and TV. Now there are more than just media outlets to garner exposure, from podcasts, Youtube, and blogs to influencers and self-published magazines or books. Even traditional media sources are shifting as consumers and companies are wanting to blend in with the new sources.

The key is first to familiarize yourself with the basic knowledge of the tools or platforms people are using then determine what is right for your company and target audience. Golden Rule:  Know your customer.  Know what they consume.  Is it Bloomberg News, Apple TV, the New York Times online or is it Instagram, YouTube, or an NPR podcast?

Here are a few examples of tools and outlets we’ve utilized for clients and for the agency.

Video: We created a series called ID Inspires which has enabled us to connect and celebrate a variety of different people who Inspire Us.  We allow them to tell their story via a 1-minute video which dominantly lives on our Instagram and Facebook page, but we also promote through Linkedin, Youtube, our blog, and twitter. But this has also turned into a tool for these brands that they might not have thought of, for instance, check out the one that Eric Gajou of La Tuile La Loup. After our post gained 375 views he reposted on his paged and received 15.2K views, cross-promoting is a great way to promote and build new audiences.

Instastories: As most retail locations found out, communicating services and products was difficult at the height of COVID when everyone was on lockdown; now it is still a struggle due to safety. Eleish Van Breems was able to overcome this with the help of a media source that was also shifting to utilize videos and social platforms more. In collaboration with Editor in Chief Steele Marcoux, Veranda used their Instagram audience and credibility to produce live Instastory retail shopping tours that support small businesses.

Podcast: Tish Mills Kirk wanted to communicate her strengths and specific areas of expertise as an Interior Designer.  The Chairish Podcast hosted by noted editor Michael Boodro and Ballard Designs How to Decorate Podcast to enable her a forum to share stories and illustrate how she solved problems for clients.  A great medium to be able to communicate your message as well as create content and a sense of community.

Zoom Webinars: Wakefield Design Center shifted its annual To The Trade Only Day with New England Home to a digital trade day on Zoom. With the help of the NEHome team and the Zoom platform, Wakefield was able to communicate to over 100 people in less than an hour. The panel discussions were recorded and then promoted through social channels to a larger audience.

Brand Publications: Vendor your work with might have publications that you can get exposure for yourself. Schumacher’s Bulletin looks like a glossy design magazine and comes out twice a year. Cambria and Lee also publish projects and profiles as booklets and ezines.  Review who you do business with and see if there are ways to cross-promote and leverage your exposure.

Creating new communities is essential to attracting new clients.

If you are looking to grow your business and need help in creating a message or defining target markets, call us.

To learn more, contact or (203) 966 8203

Navigating The Media2020-08-20T11:14:00-04:00

Creating the Customer Experience

Creating the Customer Experience…

Customer experience and brand reputation are more important than ever before.

Customer experience and brand reputation are more important than ever before. The present environment creates more available options for consumers, so what you as a business offer needs to be valuable and relatable. In industries like retail, restaurants, and real estate you need to be present both in person as well as online when it comes to experiences. Each has its own set of standards on what consumers want and now expect.

These are a few things to consider, especially in today’s pandemic market. Think like a consumer, how does this establishment or brand make you “feel”? Do you trust the business? Does it have your safety and well-being in mind? It starts at the core of your business beliefs; you need to build a human aspect to your brand that is both internal for employees and external for consumers. For example, Danny Meyer the restauranteur and founder of Shake Shack is not just ‘selling food’, he is selling comradery, community and creating a memory that is supported by the best quality food and service. When you think of your travel’s what typically comes to mind is a fond “memory”, like the little Café in Paris or the Lobster Roll on a picnic table in Maine.  A positive experience of a brand, in a place or space, tends to stay in one’s memory more.

In retail, typically the brands that focus on creating excellent customer experiences tend to be more successful and build a loyal following. In the past, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, Mitchell’s of Westport achieved this as they were nimble, flexible, and listened to what customers wanted and expected. This helped the companies adapt to the consistently changing market. At this moment, health and safety are top priorities. If you have recently been to a Trader Joe’s, from the start they took their employees well-being as a first priority along with that of their consumers. Those who opened with curbside pick-up or expanded their e-commerce, both thought of the health first then access second. Zappos is known for its service and that’s because they trust and value their employees and empower them to handle customer service situations.

Building an emotional connection with clients is key to gaining loyalty. Whether that is having a background story people can relate to, supporting local communities and social changes, or in-person connections through employees. Online shopping and food services are more popular, but it is harder to make a personal connection, so you need to make the digital experience easy, aesthetically pleasing, and worth it. Use digital social tools such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook in a positive way, so you can build a following. Show you are available and accessible

Know your customer.  Listen to them.  Proceed with a purpose.

Limited brainstorming and creative strategy sessions available.

To learn more, contact or (203) 966 8203

Creating the Customer Experience2020-07-09T15:38:42-04:00

I&D Inspires

I&D Inspires…

Sometimes it takes exploring to find inspiration and motivation. We asked a few of our friends around the world and across the interior design and communications industries to share what inspires them.

Follow along on our youtube channel…

To learn more, contact or (203) 966 8203

I&D Inspires2020-07-07T14:53:02-04:00

Be Inspired…

Be Inspired…

Crafting new products, ideas, strategies, and businesses are positive outcomes of the pandemic.

Personally, I am lucky that ideas come naturally. In our office, it’s an idea a day…

If producing ideas is not a strength, then figure out how you can start to think more creatively. It is 50% intuition and the rest training. Right now, most of us will be looking at our businesses through a new lens. It is time to reprogram your mind to see new ways to operate and communicate.

I try to use all of my senses to clear the clutter. Here are a few ways that I try to stay inspired:

  • Now more than ever I do walk talks (safety in mind) with industry colleagues or other professionals. Not only do new ideas get generated, but you get a new point of view and a fresh perspective
  • Create flow by viewing new things, for example, take a virtual museum tour, watch a movie, or check out new travel destinations (this one also brings hope). Then see how it makes you feel. Take the positive and think about why it makes you feel that way.
  • Open your ears and listen. Whether it is music, books, or podcasts, the sense of listening helps provide an escape from visual stimulation that can be too distracting for some. Podcasts are a great source of learning from others’ experiences.
    • I was recently listening to the Jo Malone NPR podcast segment How I Built This by Guy Raz. She and her husband had no budget for PR before they opened in Bergdorf Goodman, so to make their brand known they walked around NY city for a month with empty shopping bags to build buzz. Free association, got me thinking…
  • Try boosting morale and positive thinking by doing something that excites you, something you really like.

Through channeling and creating new ideas, we found one we thought was the right fit for us. We’re starting a video series ID Inspires. Check it out and make sure to comment on our Instagram.

Limited brainstorming and creative strategy sessions available.

To learn more, contact or (203) 966 8203

Be Inspired…2020-06-02T14:28:56-04:00

Home is Where the Heart is… Ideas to Grow your Business

Home is Where the Heart is…

There are Opportunities for Growth…

Over the last few months of being at home, we’ve learned a lot, so now let’s see how we can adapt to find new opportunities and silver linings.

Home is where the heart is.  How we live and work in that space will shift and the design might include health, safety, and well-being components. Here are a few things to consider:

People are starting to reimagine how they will use their home and even where home should be. Guiding factors are more and more people will be able to work from home, whole families utilizing confined spaces, shifts from living in condensed cities back to the burbs. New realities will leave the home market with vast opportunities as these homeowners start to renovate and relocate. Be prepared.

Every room in a home will be rethought to provide flexibility and multi-functionality. Architects are already receiving requests for new kinds of spaces like aging parents’ suites as a result of the nursing home epidemic. And pool houses are being converted into year-round guest and quarantine spaces.

Designers will be transforming extra rooms like guest and grownup kids’ rooms into home offices or function as both. Exercise and workout spaces will be designed for homes like home gyms, yoga spaces, spas, and pools. Most importantly, mudrooms will be more of a necessity as they become decontamination rooms for groceries, packages, and clothing.

For homeowners, designers, and architects, this is the time to be creative. Probe clients. Can they redesign existing space or is expansion necessary? This will depend if you are in a home vs an apartment. Most will need multipurpose rooms, for an apartment, this will need more innovation in small space designs like adding pocket or swing doors, so rooms can be closed off.  For houses, open kitchen might not be optimal for multifunctional use. Also, storage will be key for people as stocking up on provisions is now something new…freezers and additional pantries are being requested.

When it comes to materials think cleanliness is godliness. Still think about eco-friendly options but make sure they can be wiped and disinfected. Just a reminder, copper is anti-bacterial. We see a trend toward wipeable, washable surfaces including walls, lampshades, textiles (Crypton/Perennials) will be preferred.  A new twist on the ’70s…tiled walls, leather couches, not sure that laminates will make a comeback, but we need to be transparent in how we can live in a healthy product home for us and our loved ones.

Homes need to be healthy, functional and calming to be where your heart is. Be ready for the new wave of homes.

Looking for Ideas to grow your business we’re happy to consult.  Give us a ring.

Think of us as your outside eyes and ears.

For more information, contact or (203) 966 8203

Home is Where the Heart is… Ideas to Grow your Business2020-05-13T16:10:56-04:00

Pivot by definition is to make a change in position

Pivot by Definition is to make a change in Position, Policy or Strategy

This subject has been on my mind for a while now. When I started to write this post, I had no idea that most business owners would be forced to pivot in order to stay in business, not just grow which was the original premise.

Pivoting is a way to diversify and gain market shares without completely revamping your business. It is also a great way to test new ideas in a safe environment. Now with the downtime and the necessity to survive, it’s your time to be creative.

Why Pivot?

  • Business is flat or stagnant and not growing at the pace that you would like
  • You’ve been working in a direction or concept that doesn’t feel right
  • Your industry is changing


Opening a store in a mall when malls are dying, and consumers rely on e-commerce and the ease of delivery. Amazon is the obvious pivotor and disruptor. They started out as an online retailer and now they have everything from physical retail spaces to health care to entertainment platforms.

How to Pivot?

  • Focus on what problem you are trying to solve for your customers.


If you are in a product classification, it can be a new iteration of what you are offering.

An example is how Apple consistently produces new editions of the Mac, Macbooks, iPhones along with releasing new technology that includes updates to make them function easier for consumers day to day activities.  

For a service business, look at how people are interacting and their habits whilst at home. Find a way to make their lives easier or more entertaining.

If you are an artist, consider different ways to expand or spread your art.

Think about creating a product line, small items like coloring books, notebooks and mugs or on a larger scale textiles and wallpaper. Check out Lori Weitzner and Heidi Holzer as they are two good examples.

  • Consider a Spinoff

Look at a new target audience for marketing your services.


Interior Designers can focus on a particular segment of their business opportunities, such as making art advising or property management a turnkey program for clients.

Review your offerings

Stacey Bewkes founded Quintessence Blog in 2010 and then started doing a series of At Home videos that reside on Youtube and now she and her partner having written books.

PR/Marketing firms can look at using their expertise in one area and sell it to another industry.

You may be in lifestyle and corp company can use your expertise, mailing lists, connections, etc. You can also have an ancillary services like social media, media buying, etc.

Your store is closed temporarily, consider virtual shopping tours or offering new services remotely. Curbside pick-ups or local delivery.

Eleish Van Breems Home is enhancing their digital presence i.e. e-commerce channels and shopping virtually. They are also providing entertainment through their channels with videos of their travels, artisans creating the products they sell, the history of the products and maintaining the products. The next phase is hosting virtual events.

Review your mission statement and your value proposition

  • Are you missing something? Can you offer other services to clients or help them to things easier, cheaper, faster?
  • Take Baby Steps
    • Make changes piece by piece. See what feels right. Test ideas. Get feedback. Tweak them.  Then roll out.
  • Focus on your key features.
    • Less is more. Weed out things that aren’t working.
  • Evaluate your pricing model.
    • Can you offer a higher level of service to set you apart from the competition?
    • To get traction and new customers perhaps having a subscription model which creates recurring revenue.

Look at Harry’s razors.  This is a product you need on an ongoing basis and you don’t want to ever run out.  Peet’s Coffee another good example.

  • Search out emerging customer needs. What are the pain points? Fear. Large Spaces.
  • Home is safe and people will continue to spend more time there for foreseeable future.
    • So, what can you offer to comfort them? Creating experiences that make them trust you.

Pivoting is like pressing RESTART.

Let us know how we can help you.   We are offering 30-minute consultations as well as blocks of hours.

Think of us as your outside eyes and ears.

For more information, contact

Pivot by definition is to make a change in position2020-04-27T12:23:44-04:00

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change…

It’s time to be planting new ideas for the future…

The inspiration behind this post was from a dear friend and colleague, Ellen Carey who started her business 25 years ago and aptly named it Seed, Inc. Her focus is on feeding and nurturing a design talent into a business that can then grow and blossom.

This is the moment we need to be doing the same for our own businesses, seeing them through a new lens and being open to make changes. Being an entrepreneur during the 1987 stock market crash, the AIDs epidemic, 9/11 and the 2008 financial breakdown, I have had to reflect, adapt and pivot in order to move my businesses forward. Here are a few things, that I’ve learned that can help you navigate the New Norm:

But first, remember that we as entrepreneurs by definition are risk takers. At some point, most likely alone, you started a business. You are self-reliant by the nature of having your own business. This is a scary time to be sure, yet so was starting a business.

  • Disruption is part of our world and new norm. This means you need to be flexible and adaptable.
  • Quarantine causes you to isolate. Home is where it all begins. And for most, you are working from home which gives you extra time since you no longer have the daily commute. Use this time to:
    • Recall your difficult times in past. What lesson did you learn?  Skills? Opportunities? How can you adapt these to your current situation?
    • Stay Connected. Each day reach out to 5 – 10 people. Listen and learn.
    • Keep routine your as much as possible
    • Create a morning check in list
    • Even research new platforms or digital nuances that could help you expand
  • Look at all the communities you have. For example, I have a PR Owners Group, the Women President’s Organization, Design Industry Groups, Clients, Media Partners, Friends, Family.
    • See how you can interact and expand your reach. Explore ways to collaborate or event create an expert roundtable for more ideas or even to support those newcomers to the industry.
  • Be Creative and test new ideas. This is a good time to talk about ideas you had on back burner.
    • Explore things you are passionate about.
    • Do you like to entertain, so perhaps doing short video with a few tips? If you like gardening maybe work with a local beekeeper and create your own brand of honey. This can help the environment, your health and can used as client gifts as well.
  • Think Locally. To support the new reality, some of us are going to have to reinvent how and where we live. Focus first on opportunities for local and regional markets.
    • For the foreseeable future, many local businesses and services cannot provide services that keep them going and even their adjustments most likely are not enough to keep them afloat.
    • Think about how you can help them now or plan for down the road.
  • Finally, don’t forget gratitude. Show your clients you are grateful and are capable.
    • Send a care package or go the extra mile to create a coloring book that can be sent to client’s w/pencils, etc.

Let us know how we can help you.   We are offering 30 minute consultations as well as blocks of hours.

Think of us as your outside eyes and ears.

For more information, contact

Seeds of Change2020-04-22T13:49:25-04:00

Communication is More Important than Ever

Communication is More Important than Ever

Here are a few tips and takeaways from Images & Details, Inc to help you stay on course today and in the future.

Communication is key to keeping your business alive, surviving and even thriving.

It is more important than ever to stay in communication and support each other the best we can under these circumstances. If you haven’t already, make sure to touch base with your clients, vendors and industry colleagues to see how they are doing both personally and professionally.

This is the time to go through your contacts and reconnect with past clients, associates, friends. Use this down time to network. Call, text, email, DM. 

This can be a time of opportunity. If you don’t have a plan now, it is the time to create one. Look forward to 3 and 6 months from now but keep in mind lockdown could continue for a month if not more.  Determine who your current client is, who could be a potential client, and any new services that you can provide.

Take this time to explore new avenues and platforms to keep your message out there. Boost your digital platforms or learn ways to move your brand to a digital format.

For all, make sure your website, social media and any profiles online are up to date. Post frequently on your social media along with enhancing your engagement and interactions with fellow professionals and consumers. Announce on all media platforms any alternative methods you are planning on using for your business or services you would now like to provide. Make sure your websites are e-commerce friendly and have google analytics to be able to record how people are finding you.

Emailing is an easy and cost effective way to get your message out there. Your subject line is key to getting noticed.  Make sure to create a timeline on content, short messages are easier than essays. Make sure to add a subscribe button and start building a contact list as email marketing is a direct way to target people interested in your business. 

Since everyone will be focusing on remote technology, look into digital advertising. Google advertising and social media advertising are user friendly and can be done on smaller budgets. It can also be targeted locally. Test the water and see what the analytics tell you, you can easily stop or even expand depending on results. Local media are also emphasizing digital opportunities, so reach out and see what they have to offer. 

For local retailers, think outside the box. The goal is to promote product sales, think of how you can let people view products or store. Try video chats, like IGTV, Zoom, Youtube, Facetime, for personal virtual shopping. Or take a 360 video of your store that is on your website so people can see your inventory. Make sure delivery or curbside pickup is accessible for those who want to make sure they are social distancing. 

 Please reach out to us with any questions, thoughts, ideas.  Let us know how we can be of help. Remember this is a MARATHON not a SPRINT.

Keep safety in mind for both your customers and you employees.

For more information, contact

Communication is More Important than Ever2020-03-27T14:08:14-04:00
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