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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson
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That’s my ‘let’s have a chat’ pose. SO MANY EXCITING THINGS are happening that I want to tell you about. 1. We are moving studios (sale next Saturday) 2. I have stopped (temporarily) taking on private design clients, therefore, 3. Ginny and Mel are leaving EHD. 4. The Flea is (possibly temporarily) shut down, 5. We bought a fixer upper 6. I invested (kinda) in a high-end flip in Portland, 7. I’m hiring both here and Portland and 8. I’m pregnant …… WITH HAPPINESS. A big belly full of relief and excitement with no baby inside of me. I just really liked having the power of all your emotions for a second and wanted to be able to feel your collective gasp. It’s a lot. But it’s all good….

So many questions, so much to tell you.

It’s hard not to lead with the most gasp-worthy of those announcements – the fact that after 4 1/2 years Ginny will not longer be here everyday by my side. I mean, we did The Fig House together, which feels like decades ago. We went to South by Southwest and worked with Snoop Dogg!! Ginny, remember how we had to temporarily call him Snoop Lion and then his PR people were like, er, never mind, please go back to ‘Snoop Dogg.’

Snoop Dogg Ginny Emily

When we first worked together I was working out of my house (three houses ago), then we worked out of my basement just the two of us. She’s seen me through two pregnancies (where I’m grumpy but productive) and two births (where I’m happy but cry a lot). She’s the only one that knew me pre-children which gives everybody else proof that former Emily was cool (although I got pregnant days after I met her). My kids know her! Brian loves her! We have done so many projects that we are both proud of, and a lot that were totally weird.

Ginny came from corporate retail design with SKILLZ but hadn’t done many residential projects and I think that ‘styling’ wasn’t something she thought she would end up doing so much of. Her attention to detail and understanding of overall art direction, flow, function and cohesion were invaluable. Meanwhile as you know I have zero computer design skills and I like to run-and-gun it. So together it was honestly really great. I think she thought I was NUTS at first, and I know that over the course of 4 years of course I drove her nuts at times, but it was a really amazing creative partnership and friendship. It’s 5am and I’m crying…. but happy tears!!

So why is she leaving? Well. Two years ago when I was pregnant with Birdie I made a big list of what only I can do and what I can delegate out. Under me was writing the blog, partnerships and media (where my face/body is needed) and mom. Nobody else can actually dress up as me and attend a media event in New York or do a Target commercial. And nobody else can mother my children. But Ginny could take over the client work, under my art direction and supervision. I kept thinking Nate does it. He has 15 people in Chicago doing client work while he’s doing his TV show. I could do that too! 

I would usually go to the first meeting and then she would present the design plan to me and we’d tweak before presenting to the client. Depending on the client I would be there for the install and the shoot, but there were a couple that I never even met – which they were fine with because they hired us when I had just had Elliot and were warned, but it always bothered me.  I was just too busy and client work is so time consuming and full of too many decisions every day. I was constantly turning down new client work, I wasn’t available to meet as often with the clients we did have and then (and worst of all) I would often come in at the end and change things that I didn’t like or question their decision – which is the worst thing you can do to creative people who are working their bums off for you. Honestly I loved 95% of everything they did so that only happened a couple times and maybe that’s normal but it still sucks. I felt a lot of guilt about all of those things. And guilt is my truly my #1 source of stress. Nothing stresses me out more than knowing that I’m disappointing people that I care about. I would often “joke” when I turned down clients saying ‘I don’t need one more person to disappoint’. Haha. just hilarious…

It always seems crazy to turn down work, right? But at a certain point you have to prioritize everything you do and cut out what just doesn’t make sense, even if you enjoy it in theory. I can’t do both design clients and the blog well. Design clients can last a year and a half and while most of them agree to be blogged about at the beginning it only ends up working out about 1/3rd of the time. Sometimes they run out of budget and are pretty satisfied with 80% of the room (but we aren’t so we don’t shoot), sometimes they move 1/2-way through the project and we don’t finish, sometimes they make enough choices that we don’t agree with that we choose not to spend the resources to shoot and show you, or sometimes while they have agreed to letting us put it on the blog in the beginning they seem reluctant to let us shoot and show you and we don’t force it. We had one major project, that took a year, a huge renovation of a celebrity in the hollywood hills and when we were 75% done she decided to rent out the house and didn’t want to furnish it, and we didn’t have time to shoot before that happened. Now, that is typical for most designers obviously, and most designers don’t need to document their projects for hundreds of thousands of people. In order for you to come here and us to grow as a blog, we need interesting, transparent process and reveals of design projects.

We can’t be totally transparent about client design process and costs and we certainly couldn’t do any ‘ask the audiences’ with them. To me the design clients were to support the blog (which I realize is opposite from every designer out there) so when I realized that this wasn’t really the case anymore, I knew things had to change. But I couldn’t lay off GINNY!! Besides we had so many houses that we have designed that were such amazing content.

Meanwhile with my house almost finished I realized that we needed content (the editorial calendar was looking EMPTY) and so I needed some projects that I could document completely. So we started looking for a fixer upper and found one (announcement next week, got the keys today!). How I’ve explained it to my friends and family is that pretend I’m a movie director that self-produced a film that was very successful (our last house). Once it’s out and done, what do you do? Write another movie and do it again. So this new house will be a totally different style than any I’ve done and you are going to have a huge role in it. Stay tuned, we are VERY excited.

Then my brother and sister in law bought a high end fixer in Portland and enlisted my help to overhaul it, make it STUNNING to sell (I would say flip it, but I don’t want to taint the project with that word … it’s going to be grand). It’s gutted now, waiting on permits but it’s also going to be a style I’ve never done before. GAH. I’m dripping with excitement right now. So much design work, and it’s all up to us. WAHOO!!

So knowing that I had those two big projects lined up, while in Portland, I made the final decision to stop taking on clients. I had the design work to support the blog, so it was time to close down shop. My plan was going to be to ask Ginny and Mel if they wanted to continue to help with these two projects, but the thing was that I wanted to design them so they were going to be my assistants and both of them are kinda above that at this point. Going from being a design director for two years then basically doing your boss’s bidding on her personal projects might have felt understandably unsatisfying.

The day I got back from Portland Ginny asked me to coffee and told me while fighting back tears that it was time for her to do her own work. She was so nervous and I was like ‘GAH!! IT’S PERFECT TIMING!! I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND YOU CAN HAVE OUR CLIENTS!! She agreed to stay on for a month or so to finish some jobs and then freelance after that on any loose ends. I honestly think we’ll be working together in some capacity (like Orlando!) for years, but technically she won’t be part of the EHD staff in a few weeks.

If any of you need a designer in LA and like what we’ve done here, HIRE Ginny MacDonald. I can’t recommend her enough. All our clients have loved her and so will you.

So what about Mel? Well, I told her about the two new projects and said I would love if she stayed on to assist but would understand if she wanted to do her own work, too (she only worked for me 4 days a week and has been doing her own client work). She was taking a second to think about it, but then the next day Homepolish offered her a bigger job and she was like, hey guess what??!!! The universe was telling us all that this was the right thing to do, and the timing couldn’t have been better. We were all actually giddy with excitement that week as we shopped for some jobs and talked about how they can potentially rent a desk at the new office, and that I’d feature their projects on the blog, etc. I think knowing that we were ending our working relationship in a way that was so healthy for all of us gave us all such a huge sense of relief. Everybody feels they are growing and moving in the direction they want to, and everyone is happy for each other. I can’t tell you the relief I felt, it was HUGE.

Speaking of Mel, she’s been with me for a year and a half and while she started as an assistant she has definitely made her way into higher rolls in projects and I’ve personally LOVED having her style, experience, knowledge and personality in the office. I like funny people, and that girl is funny. She helped me so much on my house despite her style being totally different than the style of this house. And when it came to all our custom furniture, she designed and managed them expertly. She is taking on clients with Homepolish and I know that you all freaked out about her house so those of you looking for that style, she is your girl. You’ll love her as much as our clients and we have.

Here’s the crew a few months ago when we were in Round Top. Mel is the tall blonde, Jess is in the plaid dress and Sara is in the brunette in the middle. I’m the blonde in the tiny skirt and spray tan, Brady is the strapping man and Ginny is on the far left.

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So that’s the end of the design client era for a while. It’s all good news, but the REALLY good news is that we have a lot of projects that we are finishing that we’ll show you soon – clients that have loved being documented on the blog. The Griffith Park house is being shot in a couple weeks, the bathroom of the Silverlake Hills house is scheduled to shoot, Jaime Derringer’s family room is scheduled for reveal, The office and living room of this house is still in process, and the bedroom of this house is in process.

So what does this all mean for the blog? Brady, who has been the editorial director for the past year and a half (he’s been with me for 3 1/2!!!) is taking an even larger roll and helping to produce the makeovers. He wears so many hats because he is so talented in so many different ways, so we’ve taken some of his smaller hats and will give them away so he can wear two HUGE HATS as editorial director and producer. Sara has become our in-house photographer and Gif-maker (as well as graphic designer and general life-advisor) and the lovely Jess who has been with us for a year has taken over all market research, design boards for the blog, contributors and office management. They have all worked so well the last year together, while I’ve been a bit crazy trying to finish this house and I can’t thank them enough for their hard word.

But now we need another person – a junior designer who has graphic design and interior design program skills who is looking for experience. It’s a blog and design assistant position in Los Angeles.

I also need a part-time designer in Portland. A designer with rendering and photoshop experience that can be my eyes when I’m not up there, and can help photograph and manage the process. If you are interested or know someone who is please email jobs@emilyhendersondesign.com. We’ll look at resumes Monday 8/8.

Emily Henderson Studio Sitting

Next up – we are moving studios which means that this one is available (and awesome). It’s three separate buildings (we have two of them but the third is available). Our square footage is 1200 + 1000 in the back. I’m not sure what the other space is like nor what the total rent will be.

We are moving because we found one that is really pretty, closer for everyone (in East Hollywood) and it has a separate office for me – which I’m desperate to have. Having it be all open is great in theory but not everyone needs to hear every conversation and there is no place for us to take conference calls, etc. Plus I’ve found I need to focus and be by myself to write (DUH) and I’m too social and like to gab too much to try to do this in an open concept office.

We are having a STUDIO SALE next Saturday, 10-1pm in Eagle Rock on Colorado blvd. I’ll instagram the address the day before and the morning of. So stay tuned for that. It’s not a ton of furniture, but a lot of small stuff of pieces left over from shoots.

As for the Flea, we might have big flash sales once a year, but buying to sell wasn’t a business model that I liked because as any retailer will tell you, after all the overhead was accounted for we had to charge too much for these vintage pieces. Even I was like ‘WOAH, that’s WAY too expensive’. Plus managing the inventory, paying for the storage, having a dedicated person on it (Thank you Ariel!) just became too high maintenance. It was fun at first because we had sooooo much stuff leftover, but it stopped making sense. We are doing a collab with Chairish in the fall who has taken the inventory and most of the other awesome vintage stuff that we would sell. So the sale on Saturday is definitely good, but it’s not this crazy vintage bonanza or anything, but a lot of decent stuff or design materials.

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It’s been such a great 3 years here but man am I ready for the move. It’s 10 minutes away from our house – I can bike! And it cuts many of my crew’s commute down by 20 minutes which makes me feel good 🙂

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Adios office… (and yes those plaid tiles come up with concrete underneath).

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Cheers to such an amazing crew. Ginny and Mel you will be missed (although they are around for 2 more weeks). And don’t worry, there is a very good chance that you’ll see their work documented here like Orlando does. We’ve created this little LA design family and while we may not work together, I hope we still hang out, collaborate and share sources. In my fantasy our space would be big enough for them, Orlando and Scott to rent a desk from me so we can just hang out all day every day!! Yes! If another space opens up in the building that is what we are going to do (Plus bring Brian’s company there, too).

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We have so much content scheduled but it might be a bit rocky this week as we get our internet and server set up at the new space. Thanks again for all the support and of course just for coming as often as you do. I hesitated telling you all the details of why we are dropping client-work, but then I was like A. I tell you everything so why not this? B. Ginny and Mel would be absent from everything soon and I didn’t want any weird speculation or gossip. Our relationship means a lot to me and having that negativity out there would kill me. C. I want to help promote their new ventures and get the word out that they are for hire, and D. I think that talking openly about running a small creative business and the mistakes, pitfalls and changes we make while growing is valuable.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned recently is that just because you have “good opportunities” does not mean that you need to take them. I’m not talking creative risks, I’m talking ‘business’ opportunities. At a certain level it’s smart to hone in on what your passion and real strengths are and develop those. Trying new things is certainly important, but knowing when to shift and being flexible is even more.

Right now I have some pretty good “opportunities”. The opportunity to create the best design content for you, Target and my other partners. The opportunity to be a better leader for people that I care about and who care so hard about my company. And most importantly the “opportunity” to be a wife and mom to the most important people in the world.

Those are all pretty darn good opportunities, I’d say. :)testtest

  1. Well said Emily! Sad but happy tears and best wishes for them both. I have been reading for YEARS and love all the reveals and Ginnys living/dining room makeover is definitely in my top 3. Im sure we will be hearing from them both again like that hilarious Orlando. x

  2. Good for you! Knowing when and how to let your underlings take flight in the healthiest and and most supportive way possible is the best thing you can do as a Boss (speaking as an underling who is currently taking flight!)

  3. Good luck to Ginny and Mel.

    And as *always* thanks for sharing your life with us. You don’t have to but I’m so happy you do.

  4. Wow! I’m almost tearing up myself. (And feeling so silly about it!). Will you miss client work? Is that how you started?

  5. Wow! Amazing Emily. So many changes that I feel like I need some time to process. It sounds like everything just lined up so well. So glad that Ginny and Mel are completely leaving! Looking forward to these new projects! Good luck with all your upcoming transitions and thank you for all the behind the scenes looks you give us! One of the many reasons I’ve been around for years and years.

    1. ACCCKK. That was supposed to say “so glad Ginny and Mel are NOT completely leaving” !!!!

  6. wow! So excited for you. Can’t imagine how much work that must be to refocus and make changes even when they seem right and so well thought out. Excited for the new content and all the guest spots.

  7. I was ready to have a fit when I saw that Ginny and Mel were leaving, but now that I know the circumstances, I am sad but super, super happy for them. I’m glad you will likely keep featuring their work on the blog!

    Congratulations on all the changes!

  8. Such a good post. Reminds me of this amazing podcast I heard with Sandra Funk Levy, where she said, “stand in your space. Say no to the opportunities that don’t make sense for you so that you leave space for the ones that do.” Butchered that a bit but essentially that’s the idea. Keep being you !

    1. Yes! I’ve heard it worded as “learn to say no so that you have the ability to say yes.” SUCH a valuable lesson (that I’m still working on learning…).

      This is all awesome and exciting Emily! So glad to see you honing in on what you love, and doing it in a way that not only makes sense for you, but also allows your people to grow and succeed in their own careers and lives. You are clearly a great boss on top of being a talented designer, and you should be proud of the work you’re doing here. Can’t wait to see how these changes lead to more growth!

  9. Oh so happy for you all. Glad the transition is working so well for you and your staff. I honestly can’t wait to see the new office. I do love an organized, beautiful office space!!

  10. Congratulations on all of the changes! I’m looking forward to reading about the 2 house overhauls!

  11. This is so wonderful! Thank you for sharing the ways your business is growing and changing, and for letting us know that everything is working out positively!

  12. Wow wow wow! This is all so exciting and I’m so happy you are pursuing what you are passionate about, Emily! Honestly, I’m so inspired by this—I know change can be scary sometimes, but often times it’s so GOOD. These days I’ve been feeling like I’m in a rut and hearing about people making those leaps towards what they want motivates me to do the same. Best of luck to you, your incredible team, and your precious family!

  13. So much change for a Monday morning!! But loving that it is for the better for your whole team 🙂 Congrats to Ginny and Mel! I’ve always appreciated that you take risks and still care about how those decisions affect others. Thanks for still allowing us to go along, this is one of the bright spots in my day!

  14. I’m so excited for you!!

  15. Congratulations to everyone involved! Ginny and Mel will be missed for sure but I am so happy to hear that the timing seems to be working out in everyone’s favor.

  16. It’s just a treat to watch you grow and evolve as a person and an entity. Thanks so much for your transparency and willingness to let us in behind the scenes. It’s what keeps me reading and what makes you feel like a friend. Good luck to Ginny and Mel! (I do wish you were pg though, if only to hear you reference three toddlers, haha.)

    1. Agreed, to all of this.

    2. What she/they said. Never miss your blog. Have some of your pieces from last garage sale in front of me. How you inspire people to feel so close to you is amazing. the other day someone said reading your blog was the best 10 minutes of their morning…10 minutes?! Ha! You’e part of my everyday life for longer than that. When the comments get into the 100’s i do have to stop sometimes. :)) Love and luck to you in all your endeavors! And your great team also!

    3. Same here! Congrats on all the exciting new changes – as always, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  17. SOOOO Excited!! This means more home makeovers from you and in different kinds of styles. ARGH! So excited for you and the entire team!

  18. Wow! That is a lot to process. Best of luck to Ginny and Mel! I can’t wait to see the Fixer Upper and the Portland house! Exited for all the new content.

  19. This is exactly what my Monday needed! How exciting! I know deciding on where to cut back and where to add must be incredibly hard, but from the sounds of things EHD is headed in a great direction!

  20. Thank god Brady is staying. But, I will be sad to see Ginny and Mel leave–I loved both of their personal home reveals. I’m super excited for the fixer uppers to come though.

  21. All. The. Feels! Nothing but happy years for everyone!!

  22. Ginny- I actually went into your blog a little bit ago and was sad it wasn’t super active. Now that you will be taking on your own business, could you pretty pretty please keep on writing and blogging??? I need another blog besides Emily’s to obsess over!

  23. Best of luck Ginny and Mel! I’m sad to see you guys go!

  24. I’m sure I have nothing unique to add to the comments thread that hasn’t been said or won’t be said again, but this is so exciting! I can feel a fresh, crisp enthusiasm and it makes me happy for all of you. May God bless you all as you move forward! Can’t wait to watch. The two houses sound incredible!

  25. Jenny Komenda has been saying the same thing lately – say no to the good stuff so you can say yes to the great stuff. Glad all of you badass designers are finding your way, especially when it means stepping out and doing something new or emotional transitions. Three cheers for the future!

  26. A few things:

    1) I am so elated for all of you!

    2) I can’t believe you chose the blog over client work. *happy tear*

    3) You’re hiring in Portland!!!!! Damn I should have studied graphic design. I can’t wait to see what style you do for this new house (it’s not Memphis, is it…?)

    1. Aaaaahahahaha! But I would still read even if Emily did both new makeovers in the Memphis style…

      Emily, awesome life choices. So excited to follow along!

  27. Thank you so much for always being transparent about small business and creative work. I learn so much from you! Very excited for all the changes, can’t wait for more great content 😀

  28. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go team!

  29. As a long time reader, I think this all sounds so great! I always remember a line you had in a career advice post about quiting before you burn a bridge – so true – and sounds like you and your team are following that great advice!

  30. Tough decisions but all so very exciting!!! Congrats to you all.

  31. Thank you Ginny and Mel for all your hard work and beautiful content you’ve created for us over the years. It’s been so wonderful to see different design perspectives and your humor and personalities came through when we heard from you on the blog. Best of luck with your next adventures and we hope you keep in touch and share with us what you’re up to! Also congrats Em on your new spaces to design, can’t wait to see them!

  32. I think you are amazing. Good luck with all the changes, I know it will work out beautifully for everyone. Thank you for sharing your stories and struggles with all of us – I know how much time and energy it takes, and I appreciate it very much!

  33. So glad everyone is glad about the changes 🙂 I love things staying the same, but always am excited about how any changes I fretted about make life even more awesome! So although I’m sad and nervous, I am super duper excited for you guys!

  34. At first I was super sad to hear about Ginny and Mel leaving, but as you explained it, I am so excited! I can’t wait to see their independent stuff. Do you know if Ginny will have a blog documenting her work? I would be very interested.

  35. Sounds like such an exciting time for you and your team. Good luck to everyone. An
    d Ginny, if you ever fancy a project in the UK I have just the room!

  36. Congrats! This sounds like wonderful news all around – can’t wait to see the new projects ❤️

  37. Big or small, it seems like small business creatives have the core issue of having to force themselves to focus in what makes best sense. Your choices seem hard but smart. 👍

  38. Congrats!!!! Super exciting!! And huge congrats to Ginny and Mel as well:):):):)

  39. I have a nose for these things 👃🏻…..I actually thought something was up with Ginny more than a few months ago. I also knew when things changed with Orlando, ALL those times…haha. 💋

    You did however fool me with the prego news, I have been thinking you’re pregnant. Two’s really good.🥈

    Good for you for doing what’s best for the Emily brand. Keeping it YOU.

  40. So exciting and inspiring Emily! Must be a whirlwind of emotions but sounds like everything is working out like it should.
    Congratulations and I can’t wait to follow along on the new projects. Thank you for sharing!

  41. Announcing you were preggo was hilarious, haha. But of course I totally thought that was a possibility when reading the first few sentences, good fake out. Congrats to everyone! I’ll miss Ginny’s and Mel’s design style and hope to see more here or online elsewhere. And I can’t wait to see more of your designs in Portland, Emily! It’s so awesome to see such growth for everyone.

  42. Good luck to Ginny and Mel, their work has been outstanding, and I’ll be happy to look out for them doing their own thing!
    Congratulations to Brady for his well-deserved promotion!
    Best wishes to you Emily for making the best business decisions for you at this time! I can’t wait to see what’s next!

  43. Big news! Congrats on all the fun developments and the new direction. I did notice one typo where you said you were hiring in “Portland,” when clearly you meant to say hiring in “Denver.” 😘

  44. Congratulations to everyone! It’s exciting to hear about all these projects and that Ginny and Mel are breaking out and doing their own thing. You ladies are going to kill it. I love each of your styles, and I’ve loved watching Ginny grow as a designer.

    Can’t wait to see how things go!

  45. I was gasping the entire time. My eyes were darting. My pulse was up. Information OVERLOAD. But ultimately, SO GOOD. Happy for all of you, things work out the way they’re supposed to. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  46. major kudos for your transparency, and general fabulosity (as always!). best of luck to ginny and mel–they will be missed, but i can’t wait to keep up with them as they embrace their own ventures! excited to see where you head next (MORE MAKEOVERS, HOORAY!).

  47. Thank you for being so transparent about your business’ evolution! Not because you owe us anything, but because it is always so interesting to me to read about how a creative business continues to change and how you manage your life as an entrepreneur and a mom. I really appreciate these stories because they are something I look to when I feel the pull to make a change in my own life. I’m excited to see these two houses and I’m excited for Ginny and Mel! Also, I think most designers can actually sympathize with the photography/content challenge. There have been so many times that I’ve wished I could get something to the point of photography for my portfolio but it just doesn’t get there. I want a fresh portfolio that attracts the right clients but that’s never as easy as it sounds!

  48. So excited for all this news! Can’t wait to see the new studio set up too!

  49. Congrats to everyone! I was always a little perplexed on the client design situation. It seemed to exist but we never heard about it (in a few years, anyway). It all sounds like the perfect situation. I look forward to seeing more!

  50. This sounds wonderful!!!! Again, I say “well done em”

  51. You will get to see your Portland people more often! Good luck with all the hard work of transitioning and congratulations to all. If/when I have the opportunity, I’d hire Ginny in a hot second.

  52. In my excitement I legitimately missed the “with happiness” qualifier. So I read the whole post, and then it ended, and I said (aloud): “What the eff? Where is this baby going to sleep?” (For some reason that’s all I was thinking about as I read all of the lovely stuff about Mel and Ginny and exciting stuff about the new flip and Chairish.)

    But for real, baby or no baby: CONGRATULATIONS to y’all. Growth, personal and professional, is always good. I sincerely look forward to stalking you (albeit separately) on the internet.

    1. I keep re-reading the baby bit and laughing, thanks for that!

  53. Congratulations to you, Mel, Ginny and the rest of the EHD crew!

  54. Congratulations to you and your crew!! Making changes that are the best for you and your family will ultimately be what’s best even for your team……………..and look, it was!! It’s so refreshing and lovely how you lead with your heart! That’s why you resonate with so many.

    Now, I hope your next change is that you are going to do a podcast AND a Netflix show with Orlando!!!

  55. Congratulations to the EHD team! You all work so hard and the changes are well deserved! I’ll miss seeing Ginny & Mel’s contributions on a regular basis, but so happy to hear they have their own exciting ventures to pursue and will pop in once in awhile. I also can’t wait to see the new projects here on the blog from the remaining team. This blog is the only one I consistently come to everyday. One question regarding blog content – will you still be doing various round ups and finishing your style quiz series of combining styles? Being totally transparent and self-serving – I just bought my first house and was hoping you’d do one on traditional (me) meets rustic (my husband) for inspiration!

    Love your blog and all you and your team work on! XO

  56. So excited and pleased for you all!

  57. You made some truly tough decisions and I have to applaud you for having great priorities. Putting aside extra income from working with personal clients is a sacrifice, but keeping your family (and this blog) as your top priority(ies) is admirable and I believe it is the right decision. You are such an inspiration when it comes to being a working mother, you balance family life and business so well, I hope that I can find that balance so gracefully when it comes time.

  58. Thank you so much, Emily, for your honesty about the business side of it all! I appreciate it a lot, as I am running my own creative venture and this post pretty much came as free business advice, which is awesome 🙌 I am excited for what’s to come here and wish you all lots of success!

  59. You seem like such an amazing boss! I absolutely love Ginny and Mel’s style, and am so excited to see their future projects. Good luck everyone!

  60. 1) OMG 😱

    2) Best of everything to all y’all!

    3) Can we talk about the projects you and Ginny did that were WEIRD? How have we not talked about that before? I mean, we talk about a lot of things on here, and your sidebar bio LITERALLY says, “Let’s get weird.”

    4) Ok I’ll go read the rest of the article now <3

  61. Very exciting!!! I’m on the edge of my set to see the fixer-uppers. Congratulations on the new office space. Can’t wait to see it. Here’s wishing Ginny and Mel the best as well.

  62. I am going to miss the standing in for Emily posts. Good luck to the team. I applaud your decision to reassess and make the changes needed. Its a great strength when the team have gained so much development that they are ready to move onto bigger personal roles. Looking forward to reading the new blog and of course the new house!

  63. This was really well written! You took what essentially seemed like bad news and made me actually feel excited for it to happen. Now just don’t do anything crazy like allow Brady to leave – throw money towards his general direction if he even thinks about taking another job, lol.

  64. Excited for you & your team — and excited to see these 2 new projects!

  65. I would love to meet you one of these days, and guess what I live in Portland 🙂 Not a designer, but a refinisher of stuff – kinda, sorta (ish). I’m The Paint Factory LLC. Check me out, maybe you’d be interested in using some of my pieces for staging. I’m sure if I look hard enough I could find a coffee house in PDX to buy you a coffee 🙂

  66. Cannot wait to see what you create on your fixer upper. My husband and I are doing the same in the fall and going to rent it out! Your style is so inspiring.

  67. Congrats and best of luck! Question: are the white top office tables for sale? Those legs are so sexy!

  68. So excited for the new reno projects. You rarely cover topics that I’m not interested in, but reno progress posts are my favorites, hand down! Glad it’s a win-win for both of us 🙂

  69. So awesome of you to share this! Love hearing the small business details! It is SO important! 🙂
    Thank you!

  70. I found this to be one of the most interesting blog posts from you! Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes peek at the running of your business. I love pretty pictures of your designs etc but it is nice to get an inkling of the bigger picture.
    Best of luck to you and your team with all the changes. I look forward to what you have in store for the blog.

  71. ahh that’s so exciting. Congrats Emily! Changes can be exciting and bring many great opportunities to showcase what you can and want to do. And can bring a sense of relief when you can say good bye to old projects that burden on you or simply already fulfilled their need. I know you’ll have great content and great opportunity to create beautiful spaces with these new projects and a new studio. Good luck to Ginny as well. She’ll do well.

  72. This sounds very exciting! Can’t wait to see the process for the two new houses…one in my PDX no less! I only wish I was a pro designer instead of an armchair one cause I want the Portland job so so much! Best of luck to Ginny and Mel! Amazing idea to feature their work on the blog like Orlando…can’t wait for it all!

  73. So exciting! And timing of it all sounds so serendipitous. Thanks, as a always for sharing and bringing us with you on the ride!

  74. Mixed feelings about this. Very glad for opportunities for your staff, but, by far, my favorite posts of yours are the “actual” design ones with “roundups” in second place. Of course, you can’t just keep redesigning your home for content.

  75. The best of luck to Ginny and Mel with their work/life choices. I felt a little sad, which change can do even when it doesn’t directly impact a person, although by the end of your post it felt like a positive growth.
    Continued success for you and everyone else in all aspects of your life. I look forward to following everyone’s journey.

  76. So many big changes for you! Can’t wait to follow along and see how it all unfolds!


  77. Wow that’s big but amazing news. Your life is going to feel so good. And I am so pleased that your lucky but solid staff are going to fulfil their next challenges and dreams and it didn’t end on a bum note. Karma my dear karma x

  78. I love this, and read every word. Sounds good to me, I love Ginny’s work, its good quality so I know she’ll do well. I subscribe to Homepolish and I hope to consult with them when i finally purchase a home, since they can do long distance via facetime/skype etc. I’d love to look Mel up, Homepolish is not too shabby. Good post, thanks for the transparency.

  79. Cheers! 🍻 Here’s to new chapters! Happy for you all! ♥️ Love this design village you’ve created, Emily. It is a joy to watch from the sidelines!

  80. Best wishes everyone on your new ventures. Thanks you so much Emily for sharing this process with us and the reasons behind it. I’m getting ready to launch my own business and have been bogged down by the vastness of it all and the continual comment to grab every opportunity. Reading your thoughts has confirmed for me that I should follow my own instincts and go from there.

  81. Happy for all of you, and look forward to what the future brings.

  82. Does “client work” also mean e-client work? Just curious….

  83. 👍

    Yay – more project reveals in our future! Those are my fav. Must have been a bummer getting so close on those other client projects and then not being able to post.

    Glad that stars are aligning for you and your design family!

  84. Happy to hear your team is changing for the best. It’s so refreshing to see leaders/supervisors/mentors encourage their team members development. Best of luck EHD family!

  85. Wow, you are just so brave. I don’t know you, and it sounds trite, which I really don’t mean it to – but I am so proud of you for taking control of your career and making changes as they come your way. You just inspired me to really do what I want. Best of luck to you, Em!

  86. So happy for you! Thank you much for your transparency and passion for your people, fam and design! Can’t wait to read what’s next and see the transformation of the Portland property!

  87. These are all good things! Change is, as always, a bit of a hardship and is wildly exciting. I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds. 🙂

  88. You’re amazing, I absolutely love the honesty. It helps us understand your business and YOU. As someone considering starting a small business, all of your little tid bits hit home for me. What a major change for you, I’m excited to follow along and also follow Ginny and Mel! I’m obsessed with your style and admire you, and even all of your mistakes. Keep being you! xoxo

  89. One of the best teams in the biz! I feel so lucky I’ve gotten to work with all of you in the past, and I know for certain Ginny and Mel will shine no matter what!

    1. Awww, I have to say selfishly I’m a little bummed. Your team e-designed two rooms in my house and it was such a good experience I was hoping to work with you all again soon. But as a mom to an almost 1 year old, I am 100% in support of streamlining and focusing on the things that make the most sense for your sanity. Ginny and Melanie are obvs talented and will do great. Looking forward to seeing guest appearances by them both 🙂

      1. Ooops! Sorry, didn’t mean to post that as a reply!

  90. Your design is fantastic but it’s your personality and “real-ness”, work ethic and efforts to find balance that keep me coming back for more! Kudos to you for being an example to all of us mamas out there who aspire to have it all…you help us believe that it just might be possible:)

  91. I’m impressed with your vision, courage and discipline when it comes to making these changes. You’re very inspiring to me!

  92. Pregnant with happiness for ALL of you guys!! Here’s to good friends, lasting relationships and new opportunities! Love you guys! Xoxo

  93. This is exciting! I can’t wait to see what’s to come!

  94. Wow Emily, talk about change. “CONGRATS” Especially on the clarity of what you want.

    Without going on I have been following you since the HGTV competition you won. (I predicted/or could see after the first part that you were the one who would win).

    I am a designer too, in business for a while and always admire designers and you are one of my faves. (probably the fave). Other than the great personality that comes through, your style, your authenticity, how you document a great mix of personal, behind the scenes and just overall captivating content in your blog.

    Although in business for a while, designing for a while I have only been blogging for a howrt time and am still learning (no age discussion avaialble 🙂

    Anyhow, lots of exciting changes and your peeps are fortunate to have obtained all that experience, fun and weirdness working with you – it’s all part of the process.

    Wish you all the very best, I understood after reading Essentialism recently that is best to less but do it better, more of what you want, more effectively.

    I don’t live far from LA and only hope to meet you someday. I would love to apply for the LA position but I don’t think I have all the skills and experience you need.

    You are the most fun designer/styler/blogger I know ( virtually) and love seeing your kids, family your amazing homes etc. Your shoots, and cannot wait to see the two flips.

    Love what you do and am a huge (none creepy) great admirer.

    If you ever feel like you can handle and observe for a day- not to copy at all- to learn, to see someone you admirer doing her genius.

    Anyhow, this a CONGRATS poist and excited for the changes ahead for you, your team and the new studio location.

    Thanks, for sharing this. All the best to all the team, you and your family.

  95. As a business owner, I can totally relate! You are so smart to focus on what really makes sense to you, rather than try to do it ALL. Best wishes for much continued success!

  96. This is all so exciting! I trulynapplaud you changing your trajectory and doing what you love. Life is far too short. I love reading your blog and seeing your instastories and feeling your good vibe and energy. It will all fall into place for everyone. I raise my glass of red to you as I ponder my own trail and know whatever happens it will all be worth it. Xo.

  97. oh man, this is so great and inspiring! It’s hard to make those big business decisions, I am so impressed with you! Good luck with everything!

  98. Oh wow, this is so great and inspiring! It’s hard to make those big business decisions, I am so impressed with it all. Good luck with the next chapter for Style by Emily Henderson!

    1. whoops! I did post twice. Sorry!

  99. So excited to see the flips. And to be apart of one?! Can’t wait! ❤️

  100. I so respect the process of constantly re-evaluating and readjusting to fit your life. You go girl, sounds like good news for all involved!

  101. This sounds so exciting!! Can’t wait to see all the new content from the two new spaces, and all the projects everyone else is doing.

  102. Congratulations!!! I am so excited for you and proud of you for making this decision (like a boss!). I am so sad to see Ginny and Mel go, but part of the benefit of having your own business is that you can choose to go in a new or different direction as you see fit. I’ve been reading your blog for YEARS and I remember when Ginny first started and you were building your team and that was also so exciting! Thank you for sharing with us and for always being so candid with your readers. It has been such a pleasure following you on your journey and I can’t wait to see what you do next! xx

  103. Thanks for explaining your decision to drop client work. It was especially refreshing to hear that many of your clients don’t make it on the blog because you don’t feel their spaces are portfolio-worthy for whatever reason. As a designer I always feel useless when my projects aren’t executed as designed. It’s nice to know that you guys (who are friggin amazing) struggle with the same problem.

  104. I’ve loved following you, your business and your family grow. I wish you still had that show in HGTV where you did a room two ways for a family then the end result was a compromise. It’s not surprising that moving on and changing is happening. Cool stuff:).

  105. Thank you for this! I have seen how design clients require so much time and so many projects aren’t worth photographing for one reason or another. I am happy to see someone say it out loud. They don’t even have to be bad clients!!!

  106. Really fantastic to hear another business owner be REAL about all of this. And I’m inspired by your focus and prioritizing what you are good at and where you see your company going. Thanks for sharing

  107. I’ve never commented before but I just wanted to say I’m so happy for all of you! Reading this blog is one of the positive little breaks in my day and when you guys are happy it shows. 😀

    Also, I can completely relate to figuring out priorities in life. With 3 kids under the age of 3 it’s safe to say time is something I don’t have a lot of. This season in my life has really hammered home what’s a priority and embracing that.

    So excited for you! Now it’s time to watch the Bachelorette! 😀

  108. All of this news is so so exciting. I love your blog, your ig stories and am so excited to see what’s next! I was totally over the moon for like 4 seconds when you said you were pregnant too! Haha. Cheers to you and all the changes! Also tiny note, hope this is helpful, not sassy. I noticed you put “roll” instead of “role” a few spots in this blog. Just wanted to share because I’m sure you were writing in the wee hours. Go Emily Go!!

  109. Emily & team,

    It’s great to hear that those that are parting ways are doing so that they too can hone their talents.

    I am looking forward to the changes. Wishing everyone much success.

  110. I’m in awe of you! Your honesty about everything is so endearing and unusual these days. I respect you and admire you. I love hearing you on insta stories. Best wishes in your new choices!

  111. So happy for you, but also really need to know where to get that amazing table in your office!

  112. Wow, all that is so exciting! 👏🏼 Congratulations! You are seriously my favorite designer, and I cannot believe your moving to my city! You will love it here! It would be a dream to work for you!

    1. Okay, maybe not moving. 🙈But doing your work here. That’s pretty exciting!

  113. I’m so interested to see where the blog will end up now that you’re letting client work go! You’ve always come up with content, certainly not reliant on client work. I suppose I’m now seeing your brand direction differently than before. I always saw you as a great host/personality who was growing a design business. Now it seems clear that you’re branding a personality who is also a designer. I am in no way opposed to the change, but do wonder what the end game will be. What is your projected story?
    You and your team know those answers, and I know from your track record that you’ll be transparent in time.
    Congratulations on all the big changes!

    1. I had the same thought Kari!

      Emily, does this mean less style & design content and more “mommy” & home life stuff?

      I must admit that’s not my favorite but maybe most readers enjoy it…

      Here’s to hoping we still see some of the old Emily!

      Either way, congrats to the team. Deciding to make change is tough.

  114. Shake ups like this are necessary, but so intense to live through. Thinking good stuff for you.

  115. Good for you! And good luck Ginny & Mel!

  116. Everyone will be fine! Change is hard but exciting. Do well, y’all!!!

  117. Congratulations on all the changes!! I really admire the way you have been prioritizing lately. Your excitement and relief is palpable, and I look forward to following along. 🙂

  118. Congratulations! I love to take a step back when I am feeling overwhelmed or like nothing is working well, and figure out what is a way I can simplify. Every time, it makes me happier and makes everything I am doing better! My latest was hiring a babysitter 2 days a week while I work part-time. Holy mackerel, it was a game changer! My unpaid mom babysitter wasn’t always reliable 😉

  119. Congrats on all the changes! You and your team are superstars and you’re going to have a fabulous time changing everything up! Good luck 🙂

  120. I am ok with the team changes so long as Mel and Ginny become somewhat regular contributors like Orlando.

    I hope with these full house remodels you’re doing you get into some of the real nitty gritty like working with contractors and subs, energy efficiency, traffic flow, finished surfaces like plaster v drywall, tile, wood flooring, exterior design and exterior products, curb appeal, etc. I would think since these are “flips” privacy isn’t an issue and you could show exteriors in detail.

  121. Thank you for sharing with us! It is so challenging going as a small business owner to know what decisions to make- but you are trusting your gut and your passion so you cannot go wrong! Best of luck to all of you!

    1. Sorry the word “going” should not be in there…I should really proofread!

  122. Emily – while I am totally bummed you won’t be doing client level work (I literally was going to submit my RFP early next year – I wanted the Emily Henderson California Casual Special done to my home!), I am SO excited to see what you have up your sleeve on your fixers. I think you’re going to kill at those projects! Awaiting reveals with baited breath.

    Also, I would love to get in contact with Ginny. I thought personal home makeover was spot on. I love her eye, and would love to possibly work with her on my rennovation for next year. Do you mind passing along my info? marisaluz510@gmail.com Thank you, thank you! And best of luck EHD team!

  123. WHEW!!! ChaChaChaChanges is Right On!!! Best of luck to All of You Talented Peeps!!
    Onward and Upward !!!!! Joy be with you!!

  124. Bravo for this post! Oh man, so much good learnings for other business leaders. It’s hard doing the work to prioritize what is important to your business’ growth. But doing that careful pruning of your business model e.g paring down client work vs building the blog pays off in dividends in the long run. Secondly, managing change is never easy. It takes a great deal of leadership, grace and savvy to handle this transition with such transparency. Kudos to you Em (can I call you that? I feel like we’re friends in my head!). Love, love your leadership and business savvy. You are a class act. Sending much blessings for the next chapter.

  125. I would usually go to the first meeting and then she would present the design plan to me and we’d tweak before presenting to the client. Depending on the client I would be there for the install and the shoot, but there were a couple that I never even met – which they were fine with because they hired us when I had just had Elliot and were warned, but it always bothered me

  126. I hope that the one room, three budgets series will continue with Mel leaving (it’s Mel who does those right? ). It’s my favorite!


    I feel so good and goosebumpy about this blog post like we are all packing our bags and embarking on a new internet-adventure. I am so inspired!

  128. AWESOME! Congratulations to Ginny and Mel for the new adventures and I will be happy to read from them again in your blog. And congratulations to you for doing what makes you happy (and peaceful). Life is way too short to do anything else. And please, what does a producer do exactly and what does it mean to produce a makeover??

  129. Amazing news! Congratulations to you all on all those opportunities! I love this blog so much because of all the awesome content, incredible resources and inspiration! Great to hear from another creative, small business owner about growth and being able to pivot! xo

  130. Amazing news! Congratulations to you all on all those opportunities! Great to hear from another creative, small business owner about growth and being able to pivot! xo

  131. Emily, I am so (selfishly) grateful that you continue to prioritize the blog. You could have looked at your busy schedule and been all, like, “Bye, bye blog peasants… I’m a mega important designer now and I’m gonna focus on the glamorous people in the Hollywood hills!”

    I discovered your blog a year ago, and, in that time, you have educated me, inspired me, reeducated me and motivated me to start tackling my own home. In the last year, I’ve taken my home, which was pretty meh, and turned it into a home that I love. I had read a lot of blogs (and browsed a lot of Pinterest) in the past, but only you were able to educate me and help me understand my personal style.

    Also, I love reading about how you push yourself to find a better balance for work and family. I’ve recently made some changes as well to prioritize family, and I’m so happy I made those changes.

  132. Changes are scary but oh so exciting!! Sounds like a lot of thoughts and feelings, and it will all work out for all parties, which is the best you could ask for! Does Brady need an editorial/production assistant who has interior and production design experience? Wink wink. Happy for your team!

  133. Awesome! As a designer (industrial designer) in client services, I fully get and support this decision! Doing client work is great and it’s what pays the bills. But certainly we daydream about creating our own products, if for no other reason than to be able to showcase the complete design process without worrying about client consent (and in our case almost always intellectual property) or compromises (which are just part of real life and not having endless budget). Looking forward to seeing the Portland flips!!!

  134. Given your ending to this post, my first comment is kudos to you Emily! In my opinion, we design the spaces we live in as part of a greater effort to design the life we want to live within those spaces. You are redesigning your life so that your time is spent in alignment with your passion and your intention. Who can do anything but support you in that? So happy for you and your crew. Speaking of the crew, congratulations to Ginny and Mel for also moving in the direction of their intentions. Such a good place to be! Looking forward to your next chapter. And thank you for your transparency. I learn so much from you. It’s kind of like having an indirect mentor, as reading your stories let’s me know that some of the obstacles I run into aren’t unique – such as the client making enough choices that I don’t like that I decide it’s not truly something I want to document in my portfolio, or the client running out of budget before I’m truly proud of what we’ve done together. I began taking on design clients last year as a result of some successful design projects I’d done for myself during the selling of our condo, and the buying and renovating our new home. I realized I was on to something that gave me immense satisfaction when friends began referring friends and their own clientele to me. So I decided to step out on faith as the doors to this arena opened for me. But as you can imagine, I have a lot to learn in the arena of design and running a business, especially since my masters degree is in healthcare. And going it alone is hard, though dare I say work it! So again thank you for following your passion, as it inspires me and plenty others I’m sure.

  135. This was a wonderful read! Thank you for being soooo transparent and giving us, your readers, insight into your story. What a special group of talent you all are. Best wishes to everyone on their new adventures!

  136. congrats on everything! it all sounds freakin’ thrilling. it’s been years since i’ve constantly lurked around here, and i for one truly welcome the change. congrats and all the best of luck!

  137. Well EH you are a mensch. Love everything you do. You and your team are great role models. So glad the Universe is looking out for you and yours.

  138. Good luck with your change. I’m a fan of keeping the overhead lower and the design clients to a minimum too. I downsized my studio this year and am looking to possibly move it home next year. My online shop was not profitable at all, I had designer showhouse leftovers, beautiful finds from Roundtop, etc. It’s hard to compete with other large online sources out there. The hardest part is separating from the people that you’ve come to love and can’t hardly imagine life without. I know too well about that. Glad everything worked well for them and well, that was the universe telling you this was the right move. 🙂

  139. Emily,

    This is one of my favorites, if not favorite post. I love your transparency, I can relate to everything you said. How amazing is it that you can focus on projects where you can be 100% free creatively. Can’t wait to see your work and look forward to more posts like these!


  140. It’s always nice to read about good things happening to good people. Best of luck to you all in your new endeavors!

  141. Congratulations everyone and well done!

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