Volume 3 Issue 2
A Note From Your President
Cynthia Hensice, ASID

   January is usually a quiet month, however, we have had two informative events.  Interior Designers and Industry Partners met at Euro American Design Showroom on Stutz in Troy to discuss how we can work more closely together to benefit each others' business and how compensation is made.   We are considering having a Task Force to consider this endeavor.   Whether you are an Allied, Emerging Professionals, IP or Professional, we have chosen to be members, lets work it!   Coming to Events, participating in new ideas, supporting Emerging Professionals are key. 

   I went twice last weekend to the Novi Home Show.  This was the first time I participated in any kind of show like this that I actually enjoyed!  ASID Michigan was given an awesome space that would have cost us over $8,000.00!  You missed the boat if you are an independent interior designer or any member wanting to grow their business in the residential field.  Make sure to let us know you are interested in being involved next year. Like Debby, our Administrator, tells new members:  it's like joining a gym,  you don't go, you don't get the benefit.
Live life fully.
A Note From Your Emerging Professional Director
Korinne Ishmel, Allied ASID

The Hidden Benefits of Volunteering

   I just wanted to share a little tidbit that I learned. Sometimes volunteer work can open the door to more opportunities. Yes, it is ideal to go from formal training and studies straight into the job of your choice; however, sometimes life just doesn't work that way! Sometimes the path to a dream job begins with working for free. Yes, F-R-E-E! (Gasp). I remember becoming a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. I was not looking for a position. I had a job at the time. When Habitat began to look for people to hire, who do you think was the first person they called? Yours truly. The crew I volunteered with recommended me. A job found me! That's one of the benefits of volunteering, not to mention that when you volunteer, you are thinking of others instead of yourself. Giving of yourself is truly a gift. When you think of others, others think of you. I say this to encourage our Emerging Professionals. If you are waiting for that dream job to come, think about volunteering your time while you wait. 

A Note From Your Financial Director
Rebecca Luckhardt, Industry Partner ASID

   Hi All! Since I am financial director, I found some usful advice on the web concerning the fast approaching tax season for all you small business owners out there. And now- 5 Tips to Prepare Your Small Business for Tax Season. 

Even if you're staying on track with your New Year's resolutions, every small business owner still has to prepare for tax season. The major deadline may be a month or two away, but it will approach faster than you think. Here are a few tips to think about as you begin.
1. Try bookkeeping online

For all the times a cashier asked you, "Do you need a receipt?" hopefully you said yes when it was for business. Now is the time to organize all of your receipts and records from last year, whether in paper or online, and keep them all together in case of an audit. If you find paper receipts cluttering your workspace, consider storing them online using nifty apps like Shoeboxed and Neat. When it comes to taxes and the Internal Revenue Service, it's better to be safe than sorry, especially if your business is in its early stages.

2. Separate personal and business deductions

For small business owners especially, make sure that your personal and business expenses stay separate. As you follow the Section 179 guidelines and divide up costs, check your personal bank accounts for any business expenses or employee reimbursements.

Remember to check for any changes in the rules for deductions. For example, business rates for standard mileage deductions have gone up this tax year to 57.5 cents per mile, an increase of 1.5 cents from 2014. Another thing to note is the new simplified optionfor home office deductions, in which home use for business can be calculated by square foot, not just percentage. Just be sure to know the limits of these deductions as they apply for your business.

3. Apply for an EIN

If this is the first tax season that you have employees or you recently restructured your business, you will need to get a new EIN. This is an Employer Identification Number, a nine-digit number given by the IRS so your business can be identified consistently on taxes from you and your employees. Make sure to apply online as this will be the fastest way to receive your EIN.

4. Keep taxes for your employees and contractors straight

Distinguishing your employees from your independent contractors is crucial. Simply put, an employee's work can be monitored for what and how things are done, whereas a contractor's work can be controlled only when it's complete. For taxes, this freedom of action makes the contractor a self-employed worker who files a Schedule SE (Form 1090), or the self-employment tax.

For employees, payroll taxes include income, Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes - employers withhold the first; withhold and pay the next two; and pay the last. Then employees can file their W-2s. Since contractors don't have payroll taxes, mislabeling an employee as a contractor can look like tax evasion in the eyes of the IRS and result in serious repercussions. Employers can be charged with penalty fees and interest on the employee's payroll taxes.

5. Know the important dates

Your deadlines will depend on your business structure. For a sole proprietorship, your deadline to fill out a Form 1040 with a Schedule C is April 15. For an S corporation, the deadline is a bit earlier. You have to complete the Form 1120S for income taxes and pay by March 16. For any shareholders, provide them with a Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) so they can calculate share of income, deductions and credits.

If you miss the deadline, the IRS imposes a penalty fee of 5% monthly for late filing, up to a maximum of 25%. The total penalty is calculated from your deadline to the date you filed the tax return, so it's in your best interest to file your taxes.

Make sure to prepare your business for the inevitable, and you will glide through tax season with minimal stress.


by Spencer Tierney on January 20, 2015 | posted in Small BusinessSmall Business FinancesTaxes

A Note From one of your Industry Partner Members: Blakely Products
Marcus Perry, Industry Partner ASID

   A small group met last week at a fellow industry partner's showroom to discuss some issues facing our industry. Our main topic of discussion was  regarding compensation for design services. We discovered there are two elements that need to be defined and communicated.


1.There are multiple models that are currently in use between designers and suppliers (industry partners) that insure payment to the designer for their services. These business models need to be clearly defined so that all ASID designers know what their options are for getting paid.
2.ASID then needs to identify which industry partners will participate with each business model. Some may not be able to accommodate all of the options, while others have maximum flexibility to work with a designer. A short questionnaire will help you define what each industry partner can do.


Another other thing that struck me in the conversation was that our company, Blakely Products, could offer design services by partnering with a select group of ASID designers that know our products and want to be available to be called upon should the need arise.


I hope my brief synopsis of our focus group is of use to you. Thank you for the invitation to participate. And I hope you take the opportunity to participate in similar events in the future.

Member Spotlight: Brian Clay Collins, FASID
Below are some fascinating thoughts from one of our distinguished members. We bring you a member nominated each month by their peers. To nominate the next member, please email the Communications Director, Brittany Walsh


1.) Why did you choose the Interior Design profession?

From my earliest memory, I was interested in art, history, landscape, furniture, antiques and architecture.  Favorite family field trips were to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.  As a child, doodling floor and furniture plans on my father's discarded shirt boards kept me occupied along with arranging and rearranging the furniture of our home.  In junior high, mechanical drawing was my introduction to drafting.  In high school, along with art classes, my passion became architectural design, drafting and model building.  Competing with success in regional and state Industrial Arts competitions in the mechanical and architectural drawing categories provided experience put to use, many years later, when taking the NCIDQ exam.  During my first two years at MSU, courses in art practice, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design led me to, as a junior, declaring my major in interior design.  It has always been the profession for me that draws on the many other disciplines that continue to interest me.  My nature and talents are not technical enough for me to be a good architect, nor loose and free enough to be a good fine artist. 


2.) How long have you been working as a designer?

With just two weeks 'vacation' after graduation from the excellent ID program at MSU, I commenced my career in the eighth floor Interior Design Studio of the J.L.Hudson Co. in July of 1972.  The 'city within a city' atmosphere of the 19 story red brick landmark department store covering the entire city block at 1206 Woodward Ave. in downtown Detroit was an experience without compare.  My career with Hudson's, then Marshall Field's then, briefly with Macy's, spanned more than 34 years.  In 2007 I formed my own, independent practice, Brian Clay Collins Designs, LLC and now am now in my 43rd year of interior design practice.  YIKES!


3.) How long have you been an ASID member?

My goal as a student and then as a young designer was to benefit from membership in AID, a precursor to ASID, right away.   Encouragement from colleagues and peers drew me in and got me involved during that two year period before qualifying to take the NCIDQ exam.  After passing the first ever (in the present format) NCIDQ exam in October of 1974, I became a professional member of AID which, the following year, merged with NSID to become ASID.


4.) What is your favorite part of ASID membership?

For me, ASID membership has always been about supporting the profession along with the society and all that it strives to advance.  Along the way, I benefitted in myriad ways through holding state, regional and national offices.  Opportunities for travel and to meet other designers from around the nation allowed me to grow personally and professionally.  ASID mentors and colleagues that have meant so much to me through the years include Fred Sargent, Julie Baba, Thom Grabowski, Lois Erickson, Linda Anger, Marilyn Whitney, Caroline Torley and Linda Thomas. 


5.) What is the most satisfying part of your job?

Satisfaction in my work comes from the successful execution of a project, regardless of size and/or scope.  Pleasing the client is paramount while providing them results that exceed their expectations.  It is stimulating to work with beautiful things and to benefit from the relationships that develop, sometimes over decades, with clients.  My mantra, often stated to the client is "When the project ends, you stay and I leave", demonstrating a commitment to making the end result of our collaboration right for them and their needs.


6.) What is the most challenging part of your job?

Through recent years, it has become more and more challenging to perform my work to the sometimes unreasonable level of expectation that the client has based on what they see in popular media and with their exposure to technology.  It then becomes necessary to 'educate' the client to the realities of 'real world' as opposed to television and the computer screen. 


7.) What project type is your favorite?

As always, my favorite project involves a compatible collaboration with the client.  Ideally, working with and around furnishings, art and antiques collected over time, is rewarding and highly interesting. 


8.) What designer do you most admire and why?

There are four designers that hold particular fascination for me due to their long careers and the classic interiors that they have produced and that have held up so well over time.  They are, Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, Carlton Varney and Mario Buatta.  


9.) What is your favorite trade magazine?

Trade publications that continue to inspire and entertain me include 'Architectural Digest', 'Elle D�cor' and 'Traditional Home'.  


10.) What advice do you have for design students entering the profession?

My advice to design students entering the profession is to remain curious and enthusiastic about the path you have chosen.  Be patient, realizing that each successful project leads to another and another.  Network within and without the profession because you never know how a seemingly obscure contact can lead to work.  Volunteer participation always leads to satisfaction for your efforts, whether in ASID or beyond.  This profession may be unique in the myriad ways in which you can make your way, whether in teaching, curating, product and textile design, manufacturer repping,  or even management and administration.



Here's to the bright new future of ASID Michigan.


Your 2015 Board of Directors

President Cynthia Hensie, ASID
President Elect Jeff Kolp, Allied ASID
Member at Large Tina Rossi, Allied ASID
Membership Director Christina Bliss, ASID
Financial Director Rebecca L. Luckhardt, ASID Industry Partner
Professional Development Director Cynthia A. Hahn, Allied ASID
Communications Director Brittany Walsh, Allied ASID
Emerging Professional Director Korinne Ishmel, Allied ASID
Student Representative to the Board Eitan Mendelson, Student ASID

Quote of the Month
Brought to you by: Brittany Walsh

"I believe in doing the thing you feel is right. If it looks right, it is right." 
Dorothy Draper


In This Issue
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Upcoming events are posted to our website and social media DAILY! Keep watch for information on upcoming CEUs, networking opportunities and more!
American Society of Interior Designers - Michigan Chapter | 248.649.6770 | Email us |

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