Get To Know Co-founder, Jason Haloossim
Recently, Kiran Singh of My Unique Home magazine took the time to interview InteriorDesignPro Co-founder, Jason Haloossim. We’ve included the interview below, but you can also view it in My Unique Home’s most recent online publication (page 104-109).
So far, what are the highlights of your career?
Creating the website InteriorDesignPro.org has provided the most good for the most people so far, so this is something that I consider worthwhile to highlight. Helping interior design professionals promote their services to reach new clients in this down economy means a lot to me.
Our family business located in Los Angeles, Contempo Floor Coverings, relies on the patronage of design professionals. Sustaining an online platform that helps stimulate business for the design industry is something I will continue to work hard at. The website currently includes over 1,500 design professionals from over 30 countries and has connected its members with hundreds of new design projects.
What are your goals for the next 5 years?
I am focused on tuning InteriorDesignPro.org to better serve design professionals and the industry at large. There are many websites that enable designers to share their work via a profile of some kind; our team is already breaking through that model to provide more comprehensive online solutions specifically tailored to serve the design community.
Describe yourself in a 5 words:
Curious. Energetic. Creative. Friendly. Focused
What inspires you?
My imagination inspires me. From abstract thinking and ideas, inspiration seems to present itself.
I’m good at…Listening
I’m bad at…Accounting
What do you enjoy most about working in the interior design industry?
First, I love design. I love colors, textures, functionality, architecture, and art. InteriorDesignPro.org has allowed me to experience all of these great elements, while also presenting me with an opportunity to provide something for the talented individuals who are truly the backbone of the industry.
How did the name InteriorDesignPro.org come about?
Before selecting the name, Matthew Brooks and I had a purpose we wanted to fulfill: to create a rich resource that enhances relationships within the interior design industry, including professionals, organizations, vendors and the community at large. Considering who the website was going to serve, we thought that InteriorDesignPro was the most appropriate name.
How did you develop the concept for InteriorDesignPro.org?
When developing the website for our family business, Contempo Floor Coverings, I had included a special section that showcased the design professionals who frequented the Contempo showroom. Designers were able to upload their photos and link to their websites. This section of the site was reserved exclusively for designers who had actually shopped at Contempo Floor Coverings.
But after dozens and dozens of designers from around the country saw Contempo’s designer directory and requested to be listed, it was clear that I needed to create an exclusive website to serve the needs of the design community. And since then, InteriorDesignPro.org has been my total focus.
What has been the most exciting collaboration you’ve worked on so far?
In all honesty, getting to interact with designers from around world is the most exciting part of InteriorDesignPro.org. The professionals are eager to share their work with me, we exchange ideas about how to improve the website, and I have created some great friendships and business relationships through these interactions. What excites me is that InteriorDesignPro.org is receiving positive feedback from the design community (especially on our Facebook Fan Page). The possibility to reach and collaborate with more professionals is very rewarding.
Are there any areas that are particularly difficult or challenging?
The InteriorDesignPro team is not very big; essentially there are 6 of us right now. What is sometimes challenging is switching gears and wearing different hats. I am highly involved in all aspects of the website including our creative, marketing, site usability, customer service, implementing new features, and more. I really have to thank Matthew Brooks and our entire team for caring so much about the work they do and creating such an enjoyable work environment.
What do you believe sets you and InteriorDesignPro.org apart from your competitors?
I would never give our family secrets away, but we are committed to providing design professionals with meaningful tools that assist with marketing their businesses to new prospective clients online.
What are you working on at the moment?
Because there are so many popular websites that enable designers to list their services and photos of their work, we are entertaining the idea of creating a simple module that would enable professionals to create and manage all their different online listings directly from their InteriorDesignPro.org account.
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on?
Do not shy away from what you are passionate about. Creating something beautiful takes time. Stay focused, stay positive, and surround yourself with people who inspire you to deliver your best.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Be kind and compassionate towards others.
What do you feel are the most important trends / changes happening in the industry that you feel designers should be aware of?
Based on conversations that I have had with dozens of design professionals, all I can recommend is to deliver the best work you can, digitally document completed projects, and make sure to represent your work online. The benefits of this will not be noticeable 5 weeks from now, but it will be a tremendous asset to your business 5 years from now.
What is your most treasured possession?
The experiences and memories I have had with my childhood friends who I am still very close with today.
What is your must-have item for next season?
More hours in the day.
Most inspirational person you have met?
It took me 29 years to realize this, but my father. He has let me make all the mistakes I needed to succeed.
Your favorite location?
Anywhere with crisp, cool weather.
In a nutshell, your philosophy is…
Make people smile.