Maintaining Your Luxury Brand During Turbulent Times

September 21, 2022

On our most recent KBB – From the Tap podcast, we spoke with designer Nar Bustamante of Nar Design Group in Sacramento, Calif., about maintaining the integrity of a luxury brand during our industry’s ever-changing landscape. He began by telling us about some of the challenges he and his firm have undergone during the current state of the housing and stock markets, but he never loses sight of the quality of his work, delivery of products and services and successful project outcomes.

Bustamante says that although he still has 30+ projects on the table at any given time, those that are dropping off are the average kitchen or bath remodels because they are being priced out. He also mentioned that in California especially, prices for contractors and materials have increased to a non-sustainable level.

Those clients who do have bigger project budgets are still trying to bring costs down, and as such the designer says he’s seen a lot of value engineering taking place. There is also less focus on secondary spaces like laundry rooms. Despite this cutback, he says it’s important not to tone down his luxury brand or his quality of work and shared with us some of the ways he stays on track.

In terms of supply-chain issues and product availability, Bustamante has his own clever ideas to bypass those issues or at least minimize them. Hint: It all starts with a phone call to fabricators and his connections to top-level contacts. He also told us how he maneuvers a situation where a potential client is not a match for him and his firm and shared some ways he has become more flexible with his employees of late.

Lastly, the designers shared his tips for how other luxury firms can maintain their brand. Making a connection is important these days, and perhaps leaving the business talk out of the discussion now and then goes a long way.

To learn more, watch the full video above or listen to the podcast on SpotifyGoogle PodcastsApple PodcastsPandora and other outlets.

By Chelsie Butler, KBB Executive Editor