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Graduate Feature – Tina Singh of Lionsgate Design


Business Name: Lionsgate Design

Location: Missisauga, Canada

Check out Tina’s website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!


A bit about Tina…

I’ve always had a passion for design and love solving design dilemmas. I grew up in the small town of Chatham Ontario and moved to Toronto in my mid-twenties for more opportunities. Met my husband of 13 years and have two small children, girl and boy in that order. I was the Project Manager for a major telecom company for over ten years before pursuing my passion and starting my own business.

What first motivated you to get into the design industry?

Ever since I was a child I was into decorating and design. I think I mostly got it from my mother who was always re-arranging and decorating the house. This tinkering in my parents house turned into a passion I couldn’t deny so I started Lionsgate Design as an outlet, but I made sure it would be a real business and not just a hobby.

Lionsgate DesignPhoto credit: Jason Hartog Photography

At what point did you decide to enroll in an interior decorating course? What made you choose QC Design School?

I decided to enroll in the interior decorating and staging course after I had my first child. I wanted to pursue my passion and thankfully have a very supportive husband. I chose QC Design school because I was able to still work my full time job while I did the distance education. I researched the schooling and found that QC Design School was the best fit for me, and I had a wonderful experience.

Tell us! What do you enjoy most about your work?

What I enjoy the most about my job is when clients are speechless and love the overall look of their home. That is my greatest satisfaction!

We love the creative look of your website – it’s lovely! Can you talk a bit about how you ended up at your current business name, design and logo?

Thank you! I came up with the name Lionsgate Design because I wanted my company to reflect me and to tell a story. I’m a Leo, born in August, and my last name Singh means Lion. I envisioned a lion head doorknocker with iron gates to a home which is how I came up with Lionsgate Design and my logo.

Lionsgate DesignPhoto credit: Jason Hartog Photography

You’ve done an excellent job of utilizing social media to get your name out there; we especially love the monthly newsletters you distribute through Facebook! Any tips for industry newbies on using social channels to network and build brand awareness?

Thank you! The best tip I can provide is to not always sell, sell, sell. It’s all about engaging an audience and providing some honest, free advice and tips. I like to showcase design spaces that inspire me which shows my sense of style and what I too like creating. I’d say 10% advertising and 90% engaging.

Highlights of your career so far? Tell us about your most memorable project to date!

My most memorable project to date is when I was hired on to decorate a new build 12,000 sq ft home from cutlery to furnishings. My clients literally moved in with just their suitcases. Soap, towels, glasses and utensils were all purchased and ready to go.

Lionsgate DesignPhoto credit: Jason Hartog Photography

On the flip side, was there a project you didn’t particularly enjoy working on? Why?

Yes, one in particular where everything that could go wrong did go wrong; with one particular reputable company (not mentioning any names). My client was on a tight budget and they purchased items from this company because there was a great sale. 10-12 weeks for a custom sofa that was ordered only to find out at the 12th week , even after continuous follow-up calls, that the sofa was never ordered and the coffee table that arrived was warped and the ottoman was chipped. Event though it was not ordered through me but rather directly through this company by my client, I worked as hard as I could to resolve the issues. Made it happen and in turn the client blamed Lionsgate Designs and never paid me for my fees, even after working 60+ hours on the project and styling the home with all the decor items. Lessons learned: contract revised, all hours billed including any discrepancies beyond my control or outside of my A team of suppliers.

Any advice for our readers on how to deal with difficult clients?

Always stay calm, firm and note company policy. Stay professional and always make sure you have a contract. I’ve only had one difficult client situation since I’ve been in business and once I revised my contract and prequalify clients ahead of time I haven’t run into any difficult clients. Just like clients interview you, you also need to interview them to make sure you both are a good fit.

What decorating trends are you most excited to work with in the coming year?

I’m not really in to using trends since they do come and go. I try to keep with classic and long lasting designs unless a client is adamant about a new trend. Then I will design according to the trend to provide what the client is looking for. In regards to staging, it’s all about the demographics and how the home is speaking to me. I target market through lifestyle merchandising the home to get it sold fast and for top dollar.

What do you see on the horizon for Lionsgate Design?

I see Lionsgate Design expanding to the next level. My goal is to create a larger design firm and hire more stagers, decorators and designers over the next 6 months to a year.

Take a look at some more of Tina’s work!

Lionsgate DesignPhoto credit: John Goldstein Photography

 Photo credit: John Goldstein Photography

 Photo credit: John Goldstein Photography