Ambassador Spotlight: Megan Hersch of roomLift
Pictured Megan Hersch, the Founder & COO of roomLift (left) and Ariel Sutro, the Co-Founder and CEO of roomLift (right)
Wescover Ambassador Megan Hersch is the Founder & COO of roomLift, a design service that connects people with professional interior designers. We sat down with Megan to learn about how she got her start, her inspiration for roomLift, and more.
How did you get your start in interior design, and how did you then transition to starting your company roomLift?
A “long time ago”, I was an executive in the film business and I worked at Universal. When I got promoted and got my own office, my favorite part was decorating my office. I started to think the film business may not be right for me. If I loved decorating and designing that much, I figured Interior Design was a better career for me.
I went back to school to the UCLA design program. While I was in school, I got a job working for Kelly Wearstler as an intern, which turned into a full-time job. I worked there for a couple of years, and then I worked for a company called Atelier AM, all in high-end residential interior design. I started my own firm about twelve years ago and I’ve been working mostly on residential design ever since.
roomLift started as a spin-off of my full-service company. I saw about five years ago that the design world, industry, and customers were changing. There was no longer a barrier for customers to find good design pieces themselves. But there was still a need for Interior Designers to guide people on how to collect multiple styles and put them together to satisfy a person’s desires. I wanted to change my service so that I could just provide that guidance and allow people to buy their own products. That’s how roomLift was born. Then it turned into its own company.
I used to do the design for all roomLift customers, but we pivoted about a year ago. We built roomLift into a platform that any professional interior designer can use to service clients in the same way. It allows for ‘à la carte’ service. If a customer just wants a little bit of design help, they can still access a professional designer who’s had years of real world experience. The technology that we’ve put into place packages projects for designers so that they don’t have to do a lot of the upfront work with a client. They just get to do the design. That’s where we are today!
How would you describe your personal design style? Can roomLift cater to customers' different styles?
My own personal style is very eclectic. I like contemporary design with some vintage and traditional mixed in. I’ve done projects in all types of styles, but there’s a sense of calm and peace in all of the designs that I do. The through-line is a peaceful space of rest, which is especially important now that our homes really are our sanctuaries.
In terms of clients, we can meet everybody’s design styles with roomLift. I focus on what the person who lives in the space wants. Clients and customers are absolutely part of the process with roomLift. We welcome all inspiration pictures, whether they’re fleshed out or just a picture you like. We want to help people understand the pieces that will help them achieve that vision.
We have many different designers on the platform now—from all across the country and of all different styles. Customers are now able to see those designers’ work and pick who they resonate with and whose style they like.
How challenging is it for designers to pivot to the new à la carte style of roomLift?
With the pandemic, a lot of full-service designers have tried to figure out how to help people remotely. They’ve already forayed into this world of not going to someone’s house, but sending them suggestions over email or mail. It’s a wonderful natural fit for designers to come onto our platform if they’re already thinking about encapsulating a project so that they can pass it on to a client to implement.
We do also have designers who are interested in roomLift that are coming from a more traditional Interior Design service where they stand with the client all the way. That becomes a learning curve. We have a lot of information to help designers transition to this different way of working. We work with people and meet them wherever they are.
Designers who hadn’t thought of working this way are finding that we’ve already figured it out and we’ve got all these systems in place. It’s really great to see designers come on and say, “This is amazing! I want to work more like this.”
What kind of projects can clients come to roomLift for?
We want to meet clients wherever they are, because every design project is different and every client can do something different than the next. We can work with people in many different ways, but there are three standard options that you’ll see when you first come to roomLift.
The first option is to book 20 minutes of someone’s design time on a video call. You might ask a designer, “How should I rearrange this space? What’s missing here? How would you lay out this tile?” We can offer that guidance without being fully immersed in the project.
Our second offering is called an accessoryLift. That is for people who have most of their big pieces of furniture, but want it to come together and have that “designer” touch. Usually we add some wallpaper, drapes, a couple of accessories, art, etc. It’s a great program for people who are moving and want to make what they had before fit into a new space.
The full flagship product is the roomLift. That’s an entire room of furnishings, a scaled floor plan, and options for rugs, paint, wall coverings, accessories, art, etc. Often people will work on two or three rooms at a time.
We also have a lot of people who come in and say, “I’m doing my whole house. How can I work with you?” We work on custom proposals in those cases depending on how much help is needed. We’re really there and able to talk with anybody to make roomLift work for their project.
Is there anything that you're working on with roomLift that you're really excited about for the future?
It’s definitely about growing more designer availability. We have nine designers currently available on the website, but we have six or seven more that are almost onboarded. Seeing people with different styles from all over the country coming onto the platform, it feels like we’re creating a village. I’m really excited to be able to offer advice from many different designers all in one place.
We’re also starting to build the designer village program, which provides support for designers. As a designer, when you’re working alone on a project and you get stuck, a lot of times you have questions. We’re creating a space where designers can ask each other these questions. It feels like roomLift is becoming something exponentially bigger, which is super exciting.
What is exciting to you about the future of interior design?
I think we are continuing to see that good design is becoming more important to people. The importance of the individual designer is also becoming more and more relevant, and not just famous designers. Social media and technology makes it more accessible for people to have beautiful things in their homes. It’s going to continue to improve everybody’s well being, livelihoods, and spaces.
Platforms like Wescover and roomLift are keeping the importance of the people at the forefront by amplifying creators and designers. That helps me feel confident that makers and designers are going to be able to continue on in a good way.