We had the good fortune of connecting with Julianna Mathers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julianna, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I run a small interior design firm in the North Dallas area. My passion is to create thoughtful, pretty designs and vibrant, livable spaces for busy families. I want my clients to delight in the spaces they spend so many hours a day. As a Certified Color Expert, I love color and I understand its power. It can transform the way we see a room. But it can be tricky to get just right. I help clients identify what’s right, what’s wrong and where to begin to refresh and update their homes with colors that bring them joy. I love to mix colors and neutrals and I believe color, done properly, is a timeless and classic design choice. In many ways my success, though modest by some standards, has surprised me. I have established a great word of mouth client base and many of my clients prefer to add on new projects once we’ve complete the initial job. I consider this is a tremendous compliment to me and my work. I think the most important factor to my success is the relationships I forge with my clients. I truly care about them and their home design needs. I believe a functional, beautiful, refreshed home environment can really affect a person’s happiness and productivity. I understand the needs of busy families, the challenges of family life and the need to find rest and comfort at home. I tend to get really excited about my clients’ projects…sometimes more excited than they are. The minute a job becomes about money, or status, or worrying if it’s pretty enough to post, I know I’ve lost the enthusiasm and I won’t do my best work. Then I need to take a step back and find the connection and excitement again. Another element of my success is really knowing myself and who I am in my business. I know my strengths and try to build on those. I’m a big fan of coaching and education. If I don’t know how to do something I hire someone who can teach me or find a resource to do it for me. I’ve also worked hard to understand my ideal client. If we are not a good fit, it won’t be an enjoyable process for either of us. Because of my family obligations I’m not able to work full time, it’s more like part-time plus. So, I strive to make sure I have clients that are a good fit for me so I can serve them well.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Interior design is really my third personal reinvention. I initially started my career 20 years ago in corporate marketing and product management for high tech and telecom companies. So, I learned corporate business practices as a young adult. My second reinvention was as a momma. Sixteen and 12 years ago respectively, my husband and I adopted two wonderful babies who had medical and learning needs. They required full time parenting and I found being a stay at home mom so rewarding! During that time my husband was in the US Coast Guard and we moved around a lot. I became proficient in creating beautiful homes quickly and within budget. My kids have taught me patience, as all kids do. But also, as I watched them press on through their learning issues and some pretty serious medical issues I learned a kind of perseverance and determination to embrace hope, faith, and beauty every day. It’s there, if you look! My mother is a fine artist, seamstress and designer, and I grew up in aesthetic environments, fabric stores, and amidst renovations. My love for beautiful interiors was established at a young age. As a young woman I loved decorating my tiny apartments and devouring shelter magazines, reading them cover to cover. As a young mom I began working for an ASID architect and designer and that’s when I realized I wanted to combine my personal passion for interiors with my business experience and turn it into a vocation. My work started organically with friends asking for help with renovations and decorating. It grew from there. When my family moved to the Dallas, TX area in 2016, my design career was already informally established. In 2019 I created my LLC and invested in business development coaching. My business has grown from there. Becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging, as many will tell you. It’s like adopting another child, and a needy one at that! Some days it’s just survival, making sure you’re spinning all your plates and keeping your clients well taken care of. But as I gain experience, establish repeatable processes and automate or hire where I need to, things are taking shape. Learning my strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to manage them well has helped grow my business from a hobby to a legitimate enterprise.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh goodness I would love a girls week! I met my best friend when we were both teaching Bible Study in Virginia. As I write this our nation is observing Covid precautions, so I have not seen my BFF in person in over a year! So if she came to visit today, we would get a lot of take out from Torchy’s tacos and enjoy hours of chatting at home by our backyard pool. But we would have to sneak in a trip to the Dallas Market Center. I’m so grateful of how safe it feels there with all the precautions they are taking, and we love going to market and finding inspiration! If restrictions were lifted we would still eat a lot of Torchy’s tacos! We would spend a lot more time at the Dallas Market and in the Dallas Design District dreaming and planning new spaces (my BFF just moved to a new home). We would drive up to historic McKinney for shopping on the square and dinner at Harvest. Then we’d take a few days and drive to Fredericksburg, stay in a beautiful Inn or B & B, and tour wine country and antique stores. I love a good Texas road trip! Then we’d probably need to go buy her a pair of cowboy boots. She always buys boots when she visits Dallas.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
In my Interior Design Career I have met some amazing mentors and coaches! I have also been significantly influenced by the talent and styles of other designers. Michelle Lynne of Designed for the Creative Mind and ML Interiors Group has been a very instrumental part of my business success through her coaching of interior design business practices. I have adopted and customized her 4-phase approach for interior design business processes and it has become the firm foundation my business rests upon. Her help has significantly improved my business and increased my profits. And her encouragement and friendship has spurred me on to keep pursuing my goals in business and life. My husband has been an enormous support as I’ve embarked on entrepreneurship. He’s my biggest cheerleader and has this crazy confidence in my abilities! We are still actively parenting our preteen and teenager and he’s the best most involved dad. He’s also my bookkeeper and tax man, and he deserves an award for that alone! Julianna Mathers Design exists because of his undying belief in me.
Linkedin: Julianna Mathers
Facebook: Julianna Mathers Design
Sarah Linden Photography