EP 179 | The Power of an A Team with Holly, Phoebe and Justine

July 13, 2020

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About this Episode

As a design professional, most of us cannot do our work without the help of others—a team. Ideally, a team of individuals who make us look good consistently, project after project. We call that an A Team.

In this episode, we learn:

  • licensing, thus far, is not meeting the needs of the interior design professional
  • creating a niche for your skillset positions you as an expert
  • being fully responsible for vendor selection works for us and for the client


Design Intervention

Holly Gagne | Charge more! It is until you charge more that your business will soar, and you’ll feel confident.

Justine Sterling | If you’re unsure how to react, don’t.

Phoebe Russell | Perfection isn’t attainable, but if you continue to pursue it; excellence is.


Holly Gagne

Holly says her life didn’t really start until she found Interior Design, a second career that began after spending many years working for a consulting firm and learning how to manage people and structure projects. She has a masters of Interior Architecture from the Boston Architectural College, and has been running independent design projects since 2007. She has a team of 5, and her studio is located in an historic barn. She specializes in renovations, additions and new construction projects where she can have a strong hand in designing the interior architecture.



Phoebe Russell

Phoebe started her business in 2008 after getting a degree in interior design from New York School of Interior Design in NYC. During college, her love of interior design was formulated with experiences at Victoria Hagan and Schumacher, where she had the honor to work. Phoebe’s firm consists of 2 full time employees and a part time draftsman, and she considers her workroom and industry professionals part of her team as well.

Phoebe is known for calming, clean interiors which are achieved by blending complimentary patterns, soothing color palettes, unique furnishings and always keeping our eye on the details.



Justine Sterling

Justine’s journey began almost 30 years ago in Cape Town, South Africa. A graduate of Cape Technikon School of Art and Design, she found a home in interiors due to her love of art, organization and the inherent nature of finding structure in chaos. Innovative and prestigious firms have driven her career. She worked in the interior design field as a hospitality designer in Cape Town and Johannesburg, and after moving to the United States in 1999, furthered her career in corporate design in the world of interior architecture.

When she became a mom in 2008, her need for effective space planning went into overdrive and Justine Sterling Design was born. The same structure, effective space planning, and intention-filled interiors she used in commercial projects suddenly had new meaning in her own home. Justine has a portfolio of residential projects which vary from small, urban condominium redesigns to kitchen renovations to entire home remodeling endeavors. She has one full time employee and a purchasing and expediting team.


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