We had the good fortune of connecting with Dani Glickson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dani, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had an eight year career in Commercial Real Estate with some of the top Real Estate Investment Banks and major owners and developers of commercial real estate. Fortunately, and unfortunately, at age 31, I became ill due to auto-immune complications and years of prioritizing work over my health. After a year of getting my health back on track, I decided it was time to prioritize myself and pursue my passion for interior design. I felt the only way I could maintain my health (and sanity) was to scale things down and provide a personal service where I had the ability to manage my own schedule and was able to source projects and clients that inspired me. So, I guess, to directly answer the question, the idea to build my own business came more from necessity than thought, though my thoughts centered around my well-being and how to incorporate my skills into a creative process that I was most passionate about.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I created LVD SPACES to be an interior design firm focused on creating spaces that reflect my clients’ needs, lifestyle, aesthetics and dreams. I wanted to be able to give people the spaces they wanted that went beyond just making a “pretty room”. The process I developed and employ in every project is based on three principles: Layout, Value and Design (yes, in that order). Layout: This is the starting point for every space where I complete an extensive interview process with my client to understand how the client uses the space, functionality requirements, flow, lifestyle, etc. Value: This is an extension of the “interview process” where I determine where the client values allocating spending and consider future resale (if the property is owned), budget determination and I basically guide people not to overspend on things that they don’t value in their home and don’t carry utility. If my client is not value driven or budget conscious, I am still very conscious of how and where I spend their money. Design: The aesthetic of the design is actually driven by the clients style and not my own style as it would be in a typical interior design house. I do a deep dive discovery process to determine what the space should look like and if the client doesn’t have a preference we run with a scheme that plays to their values, lifestyle etc (i.e., if they have 5 kids and two dogs, we are not doing an all white home). Starting my own business wasn’t that scary at first because I had no experience and ignorance is bliss. But once I figured out everything that actually goes into starting a business, I doubted myself a lot and felt stressed a lot but it wasn’t like the stress I used to feel working 100 hours a week for other people. I was definitely prioritizing the creation process and client relationships because that fueled me but the behind the scenes was a total dumpster fire. Don’t get me wrong, my clients were extremely happy and I had a lot of really successful projects completed very early on as a new business, but I was extremely underpaid, unnecessarily bottlenecked and inefficiently managing my business. After a few years of thinking I could handle it all on my own, and having my rockstar entrepreneur boyfriend watching me fail with extreme disappointment, I finally asked for help. It was really hard for me to need help because I felt like I just always made things happen for myself in my former career (being a little lady in a highly competitive, predominantly male industry) and the conversation was really hard too. But the end result of that yielded a gant chart we created together, with clearly defined steps I need to take, roles I need to outsource, tasks I need to complete, etc, in a way where I didn’t feel overwhelmed and I couldn’t avoid/ignore because I taped the paper up in front of my desk and it stared at me everyday. This feels like a good place to acknowledge, that my ability to scale my business and make it profitable is a result of my main man’s mentorship and extreme patience. The moral of the story here is do not feel like you have to do everything by yourself — it is okay to ask for help!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My Covid-friendly itinerary would include a lot of quality time in our newly renovated home. When designing our first family home, it was really important to create a welcoming, comfortable and casual yet elevated (that makes sense right?) space where friends, family and kids could all come congregate. We love to host (just like mom and dad) and so there would be a lot of instacart grocery delivery happening from Sprouts, Fresh Market and Total Wine. We would absolutely also do curbside pickup from The Crust and True Food Kitchen, because my love for cooking is endless but my love for dishes is not. I would set up a private shopping appointment at Rouze, downtown, because its my favorite store that I also happened to design with the store’s owners who are such incredible people. And if I’m feeling really healthy and its not crowded, I would definitely outdoor dine at Trulia Osteria or Ocean Prime while we are downtown. The rest of the week would include taking the kids to Baker’s Park, a trip or two to the beach, tennis and bike rides (I just learned how to play tennis and ride a bike — you are never to old to learn new things!). I also usually make my guests tag along on my routine with me on my daily wellness activities which usually will include freezing myself at US Cryotherapy, sweating like crazy with Laura at Bella Diva Fitness and getting long and lean with Gina at GW Pilates.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have always felt like my parents never truly understood me (first generation American from Russian immigrant parents), but they have always showed up for me. They dropped everything when I got sick and moved me in with them, took me to countless doctors appointments, therapies, made every meal for me, administered every pill, and most of all encouraged me to think about what was next so that there was always a light at at the end my metaphorical tunnel. My business name actually started from the first initials of my family, the house I grew up in, Luba (mom), Val (dad) and Dani (me). The houses I grew up in were always meticulously designed by my parents and when we had money troubles my dad was still able to find gems and renovate them inexpensively to make them amazing (my dad has an eye to see past real shit properties). As I lived on my own I found myself taking after my parents and both my apartments ended up being photographed as model units for the buildings I lived in, even though I was in finance back then. I honestly think my love for design is a result of how my parents raised me so I wanted a tribute to them in way.