Last month we launched The Collective Scholarship and today we get to announce the winner. The Collective Scholarship was created to lift an interior designer from under the crushing circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we continue on with even more shut downs, closures and restrictions and Covid-19 cases skyrocketing, today is the day.
We received dozens of submissions, which was an immense honor. The application was not an easy one and there was a bit of homework which certainly took applicants some serious time. The task of selecting a winner was a grueling one. Believe me when I say, we wanted to award every single applicant.
custom branding package
IDCO website template of your choice
1 year website hosting
website implementation by our team
custom investment guide to send new inquiries outlining your rates and process
30 days of Instagram content creation
total value: $10,155
There were a lot of contributing factors to selecting a winner for the scholarship. Our team reviewed numerous aspects of their business like finances, support/team, upcoming projects, etc. Additionally, we really wanted to focus on and highlight their design capabilities. With the parameters of no-budget and endless possibilities, we asked each applicant to create the design board of their dreams.
Most importantly – we made sure to eliminate anyone who didn’t follow instructions. This may seem silly, but it was surprising how many people didn’t create an original design board, skipped over questions, or submitted answers with significant typos or lack of capitalization. The applicants who most stood out to us were those that had obviously taken time to put their submission together, letting us know they’d be a great client to work with. They thought through their goals with working with IDCO and were candid about their current shortcomings.
When those first parameters narrowed the pool down to a dozen or so, we began investigating what marketing strategy each applicant was already using. We wanted to help someone who was making great efforts to market their business, but needed someone to guide them to make strategic efforts to market their business.
We had finally narrowed down to three finalists. Every one had amazing talent, a great work ethic, a solid business plan. The deciding factor came when we revisited our original goals of the Collective Scholarship. This was about helping a designer most struggling during these times. So many of our applicants took a hit when the pandemic hit, but watching them over the last few months, we’ve been able to see things begin to stabilize for them as they adapt their business. Our final decision came from understanding their personal story, their financial need and their commitment to move forward.
Congratulations to Chelsey Meyer of Elliot Interiors. Based in Nashville, Chelsey is a single mom of three. She has an immense passion for creating a company that acts as a collective for other designers, allowing multiple designers to work under the same umbrella brand. We LOVE this business model, as it allows designers to share overhead costs, refer work back and forth, and uplift and support each other. The interior design industry can be very secretive and isolating (especially in a Covid-19 world), so Chelsey’s mission to bring designers together under Elliot Interiors is so inspiring and desperately needed.
At the beginning of March, Covid 19 instantly ground her new business’ momentum to a complete halt. Like so many designers, her full renovation projects scaled back (or backed out entirely) and left her with very little work. She has a small team, including an assistant and junior designer (more on that below), so there is swelling pressure for her to provide for her family, and team. Over the last three months, she hasn’t been able to get back on track, and we knew, that’s where we come in.
We are so excited to help Chelsey position her business for the growth she is projecting. The IDCO team felt strongly pulled towards her mission, and in turn, felt like helping Chelsey was going to help many other designers as well. Through our custom branding, website template and implementation, bespoke copywriting, and marketing materials, we’re confident we will be able to catapult Elliot Interiors to the sought-after design studio it’s meant to be.
We will be tracking our progress with Chelsey over the next two months closely in an in-depth case-study. This will give us the opportunity to collect metrics on our process and how it converts for Elliot Interiors. We’ll kick things off with custom branding and begin implementing the website template for interior designers of her choice. We’re kinda hoping she selects The Elliot template.
As for our other applicants? Our journey together is not over. I can’t express how much your time, effort and trust means to us. However, we think a small gesture may help communicate it. This week, I’ll be responding to each and every applicant with a personalized follow up including brief consultations on small changes they can make immediately. From advice on pricing, to quick website feedback, there are small tweaks we’d love to encourage them to make to make an immediate, maximum impact.
Thank you, deeply, to every single designer who submitted an application to The Collective Scholarship. This is something we’ll be running every quarter, so our Fall Scholarship will be opening soon. Make sure to follow us and turn on post notifications on Instagram so you don’t miss the announcement. You can also sign up for our emails here to ensure you’re first to know when applications are open.
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