Interior design business coach

Cheryl Kees Clendenon


Founder of THE DESIGN PARADIGM™ & Damn Good Designer®


An interior design business coach who has successfully managed a design firm and retail showroom for 21 years non stop.

No part time work- this is full time, full steam ahead! 
Cheryl strives to stand out with a researched opinion and "proof is in the pudding" attitude. Her approach with each design project thrives in a detail-oriented, well-analyzed, deep-down goal-driven design rationale and she wants to share this attitude with others.  Previous to design, Cheryl was the local sales manager for a Fortune 500 company that owned various media outlets.

The sales and marketing training afforded her working with Gannett informs her brand of relationship marketing even today.

She feels business coaching for interior designers is a calling to share what has worked for her incredible growth over the past 22 years. 

Who better to share savvy strategies for interior design business coaching than a working interior designer for the past 20 years engaged in the day to day running of a profitable design firm?

Get clear and direct talk on growing your interior design business- business coaching for Interior Designers with insights from someone who’s right there with you in the trenches. 

Our team faces the same challenges and issues as you do but our approach is often not the same as the typical business coach might preach.

3 ways to work with us. All designed with your needs in mind.

Invest in your own success! 
Challenging the status quo of how to grow a thriving interior design business and reach your personal goals. 

Click links  below to learn more about each program and give us a shout if you have questions! 


1. Group intensive coaching with one on one assessments and individual access for interior designers and creative entrepreneurs

This program is not like any other out there. If you do the work with us then The Design Paradigm™ philosophy will deliver. There are live workshops to put the work into action. Plenty of opportunity for one on one discussions of specific problems too. We got you covered and you are not alone. We are with you for the better part of a year helping you grow as your partner in this crazy business!

  • A core system of ideas and concepts including principles, design philosophies, business psychology and strategies you will use daily.

  • A business model based on projecting income, marketing to your people and planning for sustained growth.

  • A guide to achieving specific goals in a creative business while remaining adaptable to the needs of growth and a changing marketplace.

  • A structured approach to a successful business model that will unleash your creativity.

  • A veteran of the interior design business, coaching, retail, managing people and wearing all the hats. to be your partner in this adventure.

2. One on one coaching opportunities for
interior designers. One time strategy session or a longer partnership program.

This program is about envisioning, planning and then elevating your business to the next plateau and building a legacy business. A one year partnership specific to your firm and integrating The Design Paradigm® principles alongside one on one intensives throughout the year. This is the ticket to growing a sustainable business and being prepared for whatever gets thrown your way.

One time strategy session

Want to meet with Cheryl to go over a specific issue? Then a strategy session might work for you. We are currently taking these sessions on a case by case basis so please email us to find out the scheduling availability before you book it! This is a 3 hour intensive to deep dive into a specific issue or problem. Cheryl will review your information prior to the meeting so that we can hit the ground running!

3.Disruptive Reinventor Group

It's the year of disruption and we are meeting it head on, standing up, standing out and owning our share of the market. Run a successful business that does not run you. Stay on top of all the things--because Cheryl is going to make sure you know the news, how it impacts you, and her experienced but frank take on it. Then we are going to talk about it---in a select group setting of your peers, in monthly town hall meetings and in private podcasts that are too hot for public ears.

People Talk

"I was charging randomly. No set way and every project was different. Very inconsistent. We would have large projects here and there but they weren’t steady and the smaller projects filled in. Now we have 12 employees (3 designers, purchasing/expeditor, design manager, retail staff, marketing) and 3 contract staff support people. We moved into a 3500 sq ft office in Oct of ‘21 and are already bursting at the seams. On average 35-40 projects and I charge flat fee with min spend 90% of the time. We work with numerous builders on their spec homes and for their prospects. The biggest takeaway from projecting profit and fees is that you can’t scale up in any capacity without it. Just not a possibility. If you can’t project then you can’t know when to hire more people, order inventory or even take a vacation. Without Cheryl's coaching I’d probably have run my shop and company into the ground. So serious about that! So fortunate to have met her."
Cristi Holcombe
Cristi Holcombe Interiors
"We worked with Cheryl both in one on one coaching and her group coaching program and quickly realized that we were not charging enough to cover our operating expenses and pay ourselves what we were hoping to make at the time. She helped us understand how to calculate our profit margin, account for all of our expenses for the year, and work backwards to know how many clients we needed to have and how much we needed to charge for that work to make what we wanted to make. We also do design for custom new builds and use Cheryl's model to come up with design fees for those projects. Being able to project our income has changed everything, but it started with understanding how much income we actually needed to run our business. Until I shifted my mindset to understand exactly what the design fees needed to cover, I didn't charge appropriately. I am so thankful that I met you Cheryl, you changed my life and my business. I knew I was drawn to how you were thinking about business as compared to all the other designers I was following and how they were doing it. I'm building an empire, and you taught me how to actually be profitable doing it. Thank you."
Shandy Arend
Collected Living Design
I got this surprise Christmas gift from my favorite person ever!!! #damngooddesigner Cheryl’s guidance and no BS advice has been the saving grace of my business!! I went from an ok business w a sh*tty partner to totally owning the business I started, making more money, managing my costs, tracking my profits and margins to make the most out of every dollar. I now have a team of 5, a full calendar and opening a second shop. I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT YOU!! Read that again... Thank you for the kickass cap and THANK YOU for my kickass business.
Christina Woody VanBlake
Home Design Furnishings Decor
"I’ve been an interior designer for a few years now but I knew I needed to hire a well-established and experienced designer to mentor me and help me develop better systems for operating my business and engaging with clients. From what I had seen of Cheryl at High Point Market last spring and what I had read from her Facebook group,

I knew she was the perfect coach for me. She is full of ideas, quick to the point, very honest, and really cares about helping people. Initially I thought I only needed her to help me with my business processes, which she did, but what I didn’t know was how she would help me get over my own personal insecurities and limiting beliefs.

I doubted my own value and pricing, and had no strong sense of my talent. Cheryl gave me a fresh perspective and even sent me a journal reminding me that “I Totally Got This.” Although our recent conversations have moved slightly away from interior design to another form of my business, she has been eager to explore this other avenue and give feedback and insight from her perspective. It’s been wonderful to have her share in my experience as a designer and push me to become a better business person and creative. "
Sherree Murray
Remarkable Spaces
Consulting Client
As a design firm looking to hone our skills and identify our blind spots, we started working with Cheryl on a consulting basis. We won the lottery with her generosity, innovative ideas, and expert sales knowledge. Seriously, she is THE sales guru!

I found myself mumbling "genius..." after a few sessions.
The cherry on top is her delivery. She is approachable, direct and fearless. We were able to apply much of our new knowledge towards measurable goals.
Heather Mauldin
Heather Mauldin Interiors
In case you have any doubt... mentoring with Cheryl is amazing. She is a generous soul that truly cares about the direction and vision for your business. Since working with Cheryl and dealing with the curveballs of COVID, my life/business has been flipped upside down.

I haven’t been able to show Cheryl my gratitude in the way I’d like... Cheryl has never judged and has always given me her best advice and has pushed me to be the best version of myself. I can’t thank her enough for being the light to guide my path. Thank you, Cheryl
Jessica Friederich
Third Chapter Design
Consulting Client
Shout out to Cheryl Clendenon, my mentor and cheerleader. It has been a great experience to have one on one time with her to help me improve, polish and see my interior design business in a new light. She has made me feel more confident on adding new (and may I say scary -for me at least) clauses like minimum expenditure on my design proposals!

Today she was Johnny on the spot and helped me through getting my selling verbiage on the right track but most importantly she cheered me on while I was feeling insecure and doubtful.

Thank you Cheryl for helping me with such a caring heart. It is hard to come by people that are confident enough to feel joy when their fellow colleagues succeed! You have already mentored me with practical and human traits that I will keep close and hopefully one day pass it on. Thank you -a very big one!
Adriana Jacir
2112 Design Studio
Consulting Client
Cheryl is one of the smartest people I know. From the job site to the retail shop to the conference table. Cheryl has been there, done that and successfully navigated the waters of our ever changing industry.

She is out there doing the work and practicing what she preaches, every day. I strive to be as organized as she is and run my projects with her level of creativity and precision. ( and to charge for it as she does!) Cheryl is like your smart and cool big sister who can be a little hard on you at times because she wants you to be the best version of yourself. From the biggest of big picture planning to the smallest nuts and bolts details , Cheryl's advice and commentary on Small Business Think Big is inspiring, invaluable, challenging---and 100% spot on.
Christopher Kennedy
Christopher Kennedy Inc
Designer Resources Products
I first met Cheryl at High Point Market where she was part of a panel discussion on profit. I learned so much during the discussion, but even more after it was over when she took the time to share more of her knowledge with a group of designers ready to learn.

At one point she told us "your value is not your time", and after that discussion I immediately went home and switched to flat fees. With no pushback from clients! I appreciate her direct, honest approach, and after working with her on a one on one coaching session, I have a lot of actionable steps to help move my business forward.
Shandy Arend
Collected Living Design
Consulting Client

Interior design business coaching to focus on building a sustainable model for success with savvy marketing and repeatable processes.

Need more great information?
Take a look at our free Facebook group - Small Business Think Big