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The Last Word

MINGLE WITH MASTERS "Surround yourself with successful people. I work with anyone who advances the professionalism of the industry, as well as the rising stars-you can tell when someone's got it."

KNOW THE BASICS "Don't just sell the 'wow' factor. Subtle elements of sophistication also count. Know how to set a table right. Know the height restriction of your centerpiece. Listen to your client."

GET CONNECTED "If you're not online, you're five years behind. The client who has Internet capability is the one you want. Create your own Web site and put links to your vendors on it. You don't have to be Albert Einstein-these days, it's easy to be computer literate."

PARTNER UP "Partnerships are your lifeblood. Break down the walls-we're not competition. If we all work together, we're all going to make money."

DESIGNING FOR EVERYMAN "Be the guest in your mind. Most of our guests are 'Joe Public,' and if 'Joe Public' doesn't get it, it doesn't matter how great your design idea is."

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