Interior design industry veteran Lisa Davis lends her expertise and over two-and-a-half decades of hard-earned skills to top-tier clients looking for that marketing edge.
Lisa Davis walks into the Design Center on Henry Adams Street in San Francisco and the space comes alive. The tall brunette has a charismatic effect on practically everyone that walks in and out. Hugs, air kisses, and shouts of greeting ring out of showrooms as she passes. For Davis, this is home. “I’ve been working here, in essence, since high school,” she relates.
Born in San Francisco, Davis grew up in the leafy East Bay suburb of Moraga. She credits her grandmother and maternal great grandfather for her artistic genes. “My great-grandfather was a custom sign painter in San Francisco,” she recalls. “He was enormously talented and had gone to school to be an artist. My grandmother grew up watching him work and she became a terrific painter. She had a wonderful eye for color.”
Davis instinctively knew that she wanted to go into the design business. “I’ve always been interested in decorating,” she notes. So, she set her sights on an interior design degree and attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. “I started working at the design center the summer before college. I managed to get a job at Kravet in the sample department and then came back summer after summer. Once I graduated, I started working at the Regency House showroom and stayed for years. Being on the showroom side of the business, I was able to utilize my design skills and build long-term relationships with interior designers, suppliers, craftsmen, and architects.
Having a young family changed Davis’ career path for a bit. “I needed flexibility in my schedule, and showroom management just didn’t allow for that, so I started my own design business from home.
It was a great time. I had a handful of clients and could make sure that I was there for my daughter as a baby and toddler too. When she reached second grade and the door closed as she said, ‘Bye, Mom,’ dashing out the door to school, I realized I had the time to go back to design full-time.
Fast-forward a few years, and designers increasingly turned to Davis for help and guidance in how to market themselves to clients and as a resource for all things design-related. “I have a reputation for being a cheerleader,” she says with her infectious laugh. “When I admire someone’s work, I can’t help but promote them.”
Award-winning interior designer Blair Morgan, who owns Morgan Design Group in Menlo Park and the marvelous furnishings and accessories shop HOME, convinced Davis to strike out on her own once again-this time for public relations and marketing. “She has an uncanny knack for this side of the business, and most designers just don’t have the time or the ability to do what Lisa can,» notes Morgan. Davis explains, “I tackle the marketing basics, from collateral and website to social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as mainstream media pitches.»
But what she’s really excited about is business development. “Leveraging connections for clients,” she says, “is what it’s all about.”