How to get designer trade discounts?

Hello - just me again with more questions. I know there are some trade discounts we get as Spoak members, but does anyone have leads on brands that have very few requirements to join their trade program? I know I need to join a trade org or two, but I just cannot do that at the moment. I’m in that awkward phase where I need to make money to spend it to make it lol. I’m getting denied by all the paint brands I’m approaching and haven’t even tried furniture :disappointed_relieved:

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I’m so sorry Kate, it’s such a pain :frowning:

I’ve actually noticed anecdotally that paint brands are harder than many furniture brands. A few things help beyond the business credentials and certifications:

  • Having a professional email address / domain (e.g.
  • Emailing with a professional signature that indicates you’re an interior designer
  • Business cards (you can submit photos of both sides, usually)

I also DMed a lot of my favorite vendors on Etsy and they were very generous with trade discounts, if that’s where you’re often sourcing from. Sometimes it helps to start with friendly smaller businesses and go from there.

Do you have a business license you can use for the bigger box retailers?


+1 to Hilah’s suggestions. Although I’ve never DM’d a smaller vendor like on Etsy, that is such a good idea!

When I set up my business account at Home Depot/Lowes (which I use a lot for paint) and Sherwin Williams, I only had to give them my business name and card. It looks like you can also make an account online too.

No, from what I can tell I might need one at some point, but since thus far my clients are out of state I don’t need it urgently. Good thing since I couldn’t afford it. I have a QR code business card I send and I want to get a more formal address but I don’t have the $$ to get the URL for that right now.

IDK if anyone will see this, but I was able to get into the trade programs at The Tile Club and Tile Bar. The Tile Club asked for an upload of a license, but the rep said just to take a screenshot of my Instagram and attach that and then she went to the folks who approve the applications and pushed it through.

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That’s awesome!! Anytime you (or someone) else replies to a post, it gets boosted up to the top of the feed, so others will see :slight_smile:

Awesome, I also got approved really easily at Interior Define. Maybe there should be some sort of group list of shops that approve newbies without resale or business licenses? Would be really helpful to those starting out.


Hi Kate, I agree it would be super helpful!