Michelle Radley, co-owner of New Jersey-based JM Lifestyles, knows the importance of having a portfolio.
"I would carry it around with me because I would be somewhere socially and people always ask, "What do you do?'" she
New Jersey business is located 40 minutes outside of New York City.
has access to a lot of networking opportunities and she
takes advantage of as many of them as possible.
"We do a lot through the American Society of Interior Designers and National Kitchen & Bath Association
"We're members but not designers - they have associate memberships for vendors and other people in the industry."
says they also partner with some big-brand appliance companies such as Viking Range.
"A lot of times they have networking events or food tastings or promotions," Radley
"We'll go anywhere that attracts people interested in those kinds of things, because you never know."
Not everyone is going to have access to the networking potential of America's most populous city, so create your own networking events.
Host monthly breakfasts with bagels and coffee or monthly after-hours events with wine and snacks.
Invite designers, architects, builders and anyone in your industry to visit your showroom and see your work.
"Then you become your own hub, your own community for networking," says Radley
For Michelle Radley
best clients come from repeat business or referral business.
"If they're not happy then that's not going to happen," she
says, "but in order for someone to be happy, you have to be as upfront as possible about what your strengths are and what you can actually do."