Taylor Spellman - Founder of TAYLOR SPELLMAN New York

FINISH – complete the tasks you start. It sounds commonsensical, but a lot of people don’t finish. It makes all the difference to finish the task at hand.

Venturing to New York just shy of her 18th birthday, Taylor Spellman arrived to dance with the prestigious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She soon realized that while her love of the performing arts fed her creative spirit, she loved a steady paycheck and a cheeseburger a bit more. Transferring to a business major, Spellman graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and soon there after, launched her interior design firm.

A decade later, Spellman is recognized as a top interior designer and staging expert by, among others, Forbes, Architectural Digest, The Real Deal, and Elle Décor. Spellman has the unique and unteachable talent of mixing high end one of a kind pieces with treasures found on an afternoon in the Goodwill. Her penchant for witty banter paired with her signature bold design style has made her a standout in the design community at large.

Spellman’s impressive stable of clients includes real estate heavy hitters, such as BRAVO’s “Million Dollar Listing” Ryan Serhant. Additionally, her vast portfolio of private clients entrust her and her firm to design their nine figure properties. An average day for Spellman involves upwards of 30 million dollars worth of real estate under her direction.

In addition to leading her team, Taylor is an influential voice in the industry and a go-to personality for all things creative. She is a contributor to several outlets, has been a brand ambassador and regularly appears on-air as an entertaining and lifestyle expert. Taylor is host of the BRAVO series “Yours, Mine or Ours” alongside real estate agent Reza Farahan.

How did you start TAYLOR SPELLMAN New York?

I actually used to be a dancer and went to New York at age 17 to study at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. There I realized though, that I wanted a to switch it up and doing something where I could still be creative, but also find a system of financial security that worked for me. I switched over to a business major, became President of the class and have been running full speed ahead ever since.

In the start of my design career, I found a niche doing interior design for bachelor homes in NYC. There was a gap in the industry that needed to be filled, so I owned it and made it my own. Word of mouth spread and at as work continued to be steady, I created TAYLOR SPELLMAN New York.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Every day for me is a lot of running around between different clients and projects to make sure that everything is running smoothly, according to planned, and that every detail is aligned. I’m extremely detail oriented and very hands on.

I wake up, I grab the biggest coffee I can find and I hit the ground running. There’s always so much going on and so many people to connect with throughout the day – electricians, clients, plumbers, my team, new clients – that always having so many plates in the air is really the most productive motivating factor. You have to keep going.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I do a lot of pen-to-paper. I draw everything out, write everything out, and I think that’s just the way my brain works, but it also immediately brings the idea closer to reality because already it becomes tangible.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I usually stay away from trends in design, because they are trends and they will pass. I want to develop residences that last. However, I will say that the growth of social media over the past few years has been a phenomenal accelerator to my business. It’s crazy to sit back and think about how much it spreads up the word-of-mouth system. I can now get clients in Los Angeles and Atlanta that I probably wouldn’t have ever connected with, were it not for social media.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am constantly thinking and writing down new ideas. I never am impressed with myself. I’m proud of what I accomplish, but I’m consistently aware that there is always room to grow.

As I said before, I keep great attention to detail. Every single detail of the project matters, and it makes all the difference. I truly believe that.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be patient. Everything will come. But in the timing that it should.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

I can never get a natural tan. I actually can’t. It is impossible.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

FINISH – complete the tasks you start. It sounds commonsensical, but a lot of people don’t finish. It makes all the difference to finish the task at hand.

I tell my team ‘cross the finish line’ when you come to the end of the project, even if you lose interest or you feel like ‘its good enough’ already… figure out what you need to seal the deal successfully and make it happen.

I always cross the finish line with everything. Add those finishing touches. It makes the difference.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Word of mouth – it is often an underestimated power because we have so many other channels, but providing a client a good experience and them then sharing that with someone else is still, in my opinion, like no other.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One? How about one thousand. Honestly, in a way it sounds cliché, but I can’t even possibly list how many times I’ve failed, but the point is you just keep going. The most important lesson is to learn the insides in every failure. In every failure you become better off.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There should be a better system in place for how to push forward ketchup and mustard in the bottle so that there is zero waste or residue left at the end.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It was on a massage. I don’t take very good care of myself because all I do is work. And I’m working on changing that. However, the massage was totally worth it. If nothing else, it was a step in the right direction. I’m learning that you have to take care of your body and mind so that you can perform your best.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I’m not technology savy, but I absolutely love GoDaddy and own over a 100 websites. Whenever I have a new idea or concept, I’ll immediately buy up the intellectual property. GoDaddy is great for that.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I know it has been completely commercialized, but I would recommend reading The Secret. Mastering the ability to visualize what you want is the key to life.

What is your favorite quote?

Albert Einstein quote: You have to learn the rules of the game. And then, you have to play better than anyone else.

Connect:

http://www.taylorspellman.com/
TAYLOR SPELLMAN on linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taylor-spellman-a3840515
TAYLOR SPELLMAN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaylorSpellmanNY/
TAYLOR SPELLMAN on twitter:@Taylor spellman

Key Learnings

  • Be patient. Everything will come. But in the timing that it should.
  • The most important lesson is to learn the insides in every failure. In every failure you become better off.
  • Finish – complete the tasks you start. It makes all the difference to finish the task at hand. Even if you lose interest or you feel like ‘its good enough’ already… figure out what you need to seal the deal successfully and make it happen.
  • Read The Secret. Mastering the ability to visualize what you want is the key to life.