Unlocked: Danielle Rollins

We recently chatted with circaphiles ambassador & Stylish entertainer

Danielle ROLLINS

Founder of Danielle Rollins Interiors, she is known for her bold, feminine and fresh designs. In addition to interior design, she is an internationally known tastemaker and trendsetter, clothing designer, author, and online influencer. Today she is unlocking her studio and giving us a look at how she created a successful firm and the lessons she has learned along the way.


1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

I started off working the “old-fashioned” way, straight-up markup. Several years into working feeling like I couldn’t work any harder than I already was, couldn’t take on more work in order to make more, I threw in my own capsule clothing collection which really taught me the value of margins.  I had to reevaluate my design business.  With the help of other designers who have been very generous with their business structure, I have been able to create a business giving the same creativity but in a way that was more balanced. Subsequently, understanding the numbers has made me a lot more confident, and comfortable charging what I charge. Margins need to be the equation from the get-go and the numbers never lie. 

2. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it

I did not go to design school, but the advice I’d give to anyone in a “creative” field is don’t rely on your creative gifts only. Take business classes. And to any student, take every internship opportunity you can to learn from others in the field. And while I hate to say this, I’d say it to anyone in school, make sure you’re really passionate about what you’re doing and that you’re good at it without having to be “taught” to do it.  



3. When a client asks for a resource, how do you answer them?

Because I have the “influencer” side of my business, and I’m generous about sharing information, I’m very used to a following who expects sources.  I have managed those expectations by offering virtual design packages. I try to educate a client’s expectations from the beginning of the relationship and the compensation that is earned from decades of building trade relationships. 

4. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

I have always been more of a word of mouth referral, but I do have a steady tick of potential clients through Instagram, too.  I make sure I or someone on my staff follows up immediately.