As part of Expressing Motherhood’s interest in creative moms I interviewed Julie Goldman, a Los Angeles mom who is an interior designer. Julie also blogs on her site. She just did a great interview with Alyson Fox which you can read about here.
Julie launched her own company, J. Latter Design.
Having recently moved to a new home I didn’t know how to decorate it. My brain does not work that way. I’d buy one item, realize it didn’t work and then return it. Wasting lots of time. When I found out the Julie was a decorator I quickly emailed her, our kids went to school together. She’s been great working at the speed in which our wallet can afford and keeping it kid friendly.
Here is the interview:
Expressing Motherhood has been my creative outlet since becoming a mom. Was interior design always your creative focus? What is your background?
I have always been interested in making things – from crafts to food. Interior design provided the opportunity for me to explore and experiment with my environment. From painting to weaving to pottery, I get to work with all sorts of creative makers. My background is in art history and oddly, forensic science. I have always been interested in the process of making things that are visual, whether rugs or fingerprints.
How has becoming a mom changed or molded your creativity?
How has it not?! From creatively managing my time to designing and re-designing our home to suit our current needs. We’ve gone through phases where everywhere I looked was teeny tiny baby clothes to teensy doll clothes. I get to do crafts and cook with my kids which I love. I think the biggest changes/challenges has been learning to enjoy the process, letting go of the mess we’re making and not focusing on the final product.
How old are your girls? How many hours do you work a week?
My girls are 10 and 6 (and a half). I work a minimum of 20 hours a week including bookkeeping, marketing, billing, etc.
When did you launch your business? How do you find clients? Besides me, at our kids’ school!
I launched my business in LA in 2000 or so, working first out of a small home boutique. Up until last year, I mostly acquired clients through personal referrals or word of mouth. Now that both kids are in school all day, I am able to spend some time focusing on marketing the business.
How do you balance motherhood and work?
It is a constant juggling act. Having my own business allows me the flexibility I need to juggle trips to Target with the design center. I try to schedule certain days for certain activities like meetings (which usually require that I shower) and trips to the upholsterer (which don’t), some personal time to exercise and some required family stuff (grocery store, b-day gifts) but it never fails that any given day gets switched around. I am rarely able to work between 3-8 unless it is the two days a week I have a nanny. Then I am back at it after 8. It is the upside and downside to doing what you love.
I bought some amazing hand tie dyed pillows from you, how did you make them and how did you get them into Harbinger?
I’d been inspired a few months ago by painting on textiles. There is this trend of splatter paint and watercolors happening at the same time right now, sort of a modern 80’s redux. I am friends with the designers who own Harbinger, Joe Lucas and Parish Chilcoat. It is important to build a community of support no matter what industry you’re in and I really value my professional relationships – especially because I am working solo so much of the time.
Interior design is such a different field to me. What is your favorite part about it?
My favorite parts of interior design are two-fold. 1. Thrilling a client. Knowing that they are creating a home, raising their kids, relaxing, eating, creating memories in the spaces and that what I have provided for them really works for them and their lifestyle. Giving them even more than they expected. 2. Working with vendors – from the painters to the metal smiths. These people are outstanding in their fields so watching them create, learning about their expertise and bringing my vision to reality is really satisfying.
Creating a space for people, families in particular is so intimate. Did becoming a mom change your designing ways?
I think it made me really understand the practical side of things. I am not a ‘fancy’ person, but nothing is as hard on your furniture as a busy, growing child. So I think a great deal about storage solutions, durable fabrics and finishes and timelessness. I look for things to be versatile and long-lasting. A few years ago, I created a line of slipcovered beds and headboards that allow you to completely change the look of your space with a new cover. Many designers focus on paint to give a new look, but though inexpensive, painting is intrusive and a pain if you’re doing it yourself. With this idea, I could slip on a new cover and change my whole bedroom in a flash or re-use a daybed from a kid’s room in a home office without having to send it out for reupholstery.
The National Play About Motherhood – Established in 2008