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Meet Melanie Perillo of Boston Design Guide in Boston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Perillo.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 1997, I launched Boston Design Guide (BDG), an annual publication providing a platform to a select group of tradespeople who would be proud to showcase their work and products. At the time, there were only national magazines dedicated to the home; it would be eight years before another regional home publication surfaced, and ten prior to the arrival of the two other major players.

Right out of the gate, I was fortunate to have “the cream of the crop” in my publication, with top-of-their field architects, builders and professionals including visionaries like Patrick Ahearn, Kenneth Vona, Jan Gleysteen, Tom Catalano and Richard Bertman.

Over time, Boston Design Guide has grown from a 144-page first edition to a 300+ page comprehensive resource trusted by professionals and homeowners alike. About ten years ago, we embraced the digital era, expanding beyond our yearly coffee table-worthy printed edition onto the web. Today, our website and social media channels feature up-to-the-minute curated content, offering a daily dose of design and inspiration.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have been blessed, that’s for sure, and haven’t had to endure too many obstacles beyond what one might expect from growing a business that launched when I was raising a one, three and five year old.

Professionally, however, perhaps my biggest challenge was that I began BDG during a time when advertising was almost taboo. Architects and the design community didn’t do marketing. Many professionals were wary of how they’d be perceived or if they’d look desperate for work if they participated. Thankfully, that wasn’t the perception at all, and I was so fortunate to have clients (many who remain clients today) take that risk, signing on to an unknown product at a time when most design professionals didn’t advertise.

Boston Design Guide – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Boston Design Guide is New England’s first and foremost publication dedicated to the home, featuring the “best of the best” in the home industry. We are different from other regional home publications in that we only showcase elite companies and resources within BDG’s annual print edition, online companion, social media channels and marketing initiatives.

We pride ourselves on being as useful as we are inspirational. Through our searchable format (in print and online), advertorials, insider tips and in-depth features, BDG takes the guesswork out of finding professionals who share the exacting standards of our readership, allowing homeowners to envision and realize their ultimate sanctuaries.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The dinner reception celebrating Boston Design Guide’s 20th anniversary celebration at Pine Brook Country Club was undeniably the proudest moment of my career. Beyond achieving that milestone, which was great in and of itself, what struck me most about that evening was the 260 something people gathered in that hall. There, celebrating right along with me, were design and building professionals who were also commemorating 25 and 30 years in business, many whose firms were experiencing a changing of the guard and ushering in the next generation of ownership.

I looked around and saw faces like Andrew Goldstein of Thoughtforms, who was the very first person who signed on with Boston Design Guide, and Finley Perry with his daughter Allison Iantosca, now owner of F.H. Perry, on his arm, and it was hugely gratifying. There was the sense that we were all a part of something much larger than a reception; I could feel both the personal and professional bonds.

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Image Credit:
Warren Patterson

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