Elaine Griffin


That is the only question New York-based designer Elaine Griffin thinks we should focus on when dealing with difficult clients. Elaine was all jokes and gestures when encouraging the crowd to be less emotional about the process of interior design and more focused on the business side of things.

“I used to wonder if the client liked me if I were doing enough or being enough. Then one day a good friend of mine who was way more successful than I was pulled me aside. He asked if they were paying me on time. I was like “yeah!” He then said “That’s all that matters. Your only concern is if the check cleared.” – Elaine

Elaine later stated how adopting that mantra saved her career and how she used the lessons from those early days to build her business. Elaine’s career would take her all over the country, making her the most recognized African American Interior Designer in the nation, brand ambassador for some of the industry’s top brands, contributor to national shelter publications like Elle Decor and Good Housekeeping, and the Good Works designer for Queen Oprah herself.

Elaine was very candid with the next generation of designers giving then stern advice for getting the most out of the industry and encouraging them to take advantage of social media and all the opportunities to build their brands that were absent in her day.

Lucky viewers were able to catch Elaine in action when she competed as a contestant of the NBC prime-time decorating show “American Dream Builders”. If you missed Elaine there, but would like to learn more about her, please visit her website www.ElaineGriffin.com

Elaine Griffin Opening Keynote for the 2016 Black Interior Designers Conference, Americas Mart Downtown Atlanta