I first connected with this week’s guest through her weekly column on the business blog Makeunder My Life. Maggie quit her desk job six months ago to pursue a career as an interior designer in Seattle and writes each week about the highs and lows of self-employment. Today her blog and her business are a testament to her passion and persistence and I’m delighted to have her here to tell you all about it!
What you do:
I’m an interior decorator specializing in rooms that mix old and new and look gathered over time.
Five words to describe yourself:
Thoughtful, feminine, traditional, determined, creative.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Mixed-era simplicity with a dash of glamour. My description of it changes all the time, but I love mixing pieces from different time periods, clean lines, gorgeous fabrics, and something sparkly (like a fantastic chandelier!).
Who are your style icons?
For interiors, Windsor Smith and Billy Baldwin. For fashion, Rachel Bilson and the Duchess of Cambridge.
How did you decide you wanted to be an interior designer?
Like many decorators, I can look back at my childhood of serious dollhouse decorating and constant bedroom redesign and know that it seemed to just come naturally. But I followed several other passions during high school and college. It wasn’t until a year or two out of college that I reevaluated my career and realized that something was missing. I’d been blogging about interior design for a year and was helping friends and readers with their homes. I thought, “Hey, some people get paid to do this!” That was the beginning.
What are the best and worst aspects of your job?
I love playing with fabric, but the best moments are hearing from my clients that they feel like I “got them” and that their house feels like a home. The worst aspect? Well, I’m still a very new business so it’s wondering where my next client will come from! And dealing with back-orders or discontinued products.
What advice would you offer aspiring creatives?
Save up money before leaving your job so that you can truly invest all your energy into your new business without worrying about bills for at least six months to a year. Creativity is cramped when you’re trying to fit it into what will make money. And get beautiful professional photos of your work or product!
Three items on your to do list.
Wrap up a mini-session for a giveaway winner, open a few trade accounts that I haven’t gotten around to, and finish up my latest e-book.
Where would you like to see your business in five years?
My overall vision changes daily… but I know that I want to be doing residential design for high-end clients in the Seattle area. In five years I’d love to have a talented and dedicated small team, possibly a product line, and be published in a magazine.
Three items on your wishlist.
I asked Santa this year for a watercolor set (just to dabble!), The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman, and my favorite candle, Voluspa’s Huckleberry.
Three tasks on your bucket list.
Have a book published about my work, visit Machu Picchu, and raise a happy family.
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Thanks, Maggie, for participating in The Design Dialogues! Don’t you want to run out and start collecting globes? I know I do!