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Meet Christine Phillips of Viola PR and Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Phillips.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am very blessed to say I have had a range of jobs prior to launching my own firm in 2005. From working with entrepreneurs to big corporations, I learned something from every situation! In early 2005, I started my own firm, Viola!~ PR and Design, a one-stop shop for high-end design implementation/branding/marketing/event planning/licensing negotiations and new business development strategies with high-end interior design projects rounding out the mix.

Demand for my services in PR, licensing and with grand luxury residential and landscape design projects soon followed. Since then, my clients have been featured in ELLE DÉCOR, House Beautiful, Veranda, Architectural Digest, Luxe, Traditional Home, Town and Country, House & Garden, InStyle, Metropolitan Home, Interior Design, Domino, Romantic Homes, Victoria, Cottages and Gardens (Hamptons and Palm Beach), The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Modern Luxury publications coast to coast. My own design work was also showcased at the 2006 Neo Con World Trade Show and the Hamptons Cottages and Gardens showhouse 2006.

I am currently designing select projects while handling public relations, new business development and branding initiatives, project management and events for a stable of A-list clientele. Over the last 12 years, I spearheaded numerous licensing agreements with A-list designers and industry leading manufacturers. I’m the proud mom of eighteen-year-old Alexander Phillips who is currently attending ASU.

Has it been a smooth road?
Oh not always, that’s not real life. I have been fortunate to have wonderful clients. All top of their game, but sometimes fundamental rules of business that I hold are not always the same as the client. I have found myself walking away from a few clients over the years and never regretting it! I truly find if you remain confident, grateful and humble, the right business comes your way. I have no regrets and I am very blessed indeed.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I love what I do. Public Relations is all that- about RELATIONSHIPS… and I am proud to say I have really great connections, friendships, camaraderie with all the major publishing houses/ editors in our industry. I never guarantee editorial or press to a client, but I can guarantee they will be pitched to the top editors in the business.

Nothing is more satisfying than getting a nascent designer published in some way! It is so exciting for them, to see their work in print for the first time.

Cutting licensing deals has become a huge part of my business. I have partnered with super-star designers such as Barclay Butera and Anthony Baratta to close licensing deals with iconic brands like Lexington Home Brands, Thomasville Furniture and the like. I am most proud of my clients who are real talents, industry icons, who I am able to help get licensing deals because they are real working designers, and genuinely nice people who deserve their success.

What really sets me apart is I am a one-woman show. If you sign with Viola!~ you get me- not passed off to an associate. I want it that way, I have been prompted for years to expand but I do not want employees! I hire contract workers for graphics, accounting, etc. It works for me, and clients love when they call, I’m the one who answers the phone.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Yes, but honestly at this point I work with global brands. I called Chicago home for many years and I am proud of that! But I do just as big of business out of Kohler Wisconsin, New York, Newport Beach CA, or at my tiny cottage in Green Lake, Wisconsin. The world is so connected now with email, phone, scanning…it doesn’t really matter where you’re based. If you’ve got the goods, you will succeed. But I think Chicago is a fantastic city to launch a business. Its clean, affordable and friendly- so your mind is free to concentrate on work.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
Viola!~ PR and Design LLC
Werner Straub- Blue Foyer
Fresh Snapped- Headshots

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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