Group represents the largest class the company has seen in decades
EASTON, Md. – Eleven new design business owners from six states and Ontario, Canada completed their Decorating Den Interiors University qualification to be approved to open their new interior design businesses. “This was the largest class in decades,” said James S. Bugg, Jr., CEO and president of the Easton, Md.-based company.
“Our business model has a more than 50-year track record of providing the means for talented people, mostly women, to turn their passion and creativity for interior decorating into an opportunity to be in business for themselves but not by themselves,” Bugg explained. “So many love what we do because it has the complete structure, a turnkey business they can simply plug themselves into.”
The new group of franchisees consisted of individuals with experience in home building, real estate, corporate management, health care, teaching and interior design. Three are in Texas, two each in Florida and Illinois, with the others in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Etobicoke, Ontario.
One of the new franchisees acquired a DDI franchise that has existed since 1996 and has a team of two experienced designers who will continue to work with the new owner.
To qualify for franchise ownership, candidates must first go through an approval process that includes multiple interviews, a personal assessment, design projects, interviews with the executive team and other franchisees, and a local market evaluation.
Once approved, there is a comprehensive nine-week initial training program referred to as Decorating Den Interiors University, which consists of five phases:
+ Onboarding with four online courses over five weeks along with staff support for setting up the business.
+ Thirteen online courses on Introduction to design, products, marketing and sales over a week’s time.
+ Instructor-led virtual education and hands-on training in marketing, sales, DDI’s proprietary Back Office Support System (B.O.S.S.), and other DDI support tools over another week.
+ In-person learning at the company’s education center in Easton, Md., covering design, sales, product, and other tools over another week.
+ A review week consisting of 15 online courses.
Ongoing education and camaraderie-building with existing franchisees takes place regularly in local regions.
“Our franchisees start as a home-based business but many set goals for larger businesses and have grown to have a team of designers and support staff operating out of a stand-alone studio,” Bugg said. “We are perfect for interior designers who want to take their business to the next level, for individuals experiencing corporate burnout and want independence, and others who may lack formal design training but have the passion and natural talent.”