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From Design Assistant To Lead Designer, Our Wonderful Julie Is Off To Start Her Next Exciting Chapter

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Julie Rose started with EHD a little over 3 years ago. I remember her first day vividly, as does she I’m sure, because I had to leave her in my office, mid introduction to puke in the bathroom because I had overdosed on vitamins. What is worse is that I had to go back into my office and tell my new employee that I had just puked because I had overdosed on vitamins. It was pretty cool. We later laughed about it, but that must have been SO awkward for her. I hired her straight out of design school, with an impressive portfolio but no on-the-job design experience (or very little that I remember). She played it cool like she didn’t follow the blog or had seen the show (this is a normal trend with new employees but then I find out the TRUTH later :)). But she had good calm energy, like I said impressive interior architectural skills, and most importantly to me she hiked (by herself) the Pacific Crest Trail for weeks from Socal all the way North to… I don’t know where it goes but it’s LONG. I know that not every employer is like me and cares about “extracurriculars” but someone who can hike by themselves physically and mentally for weeks without seeing their friends and family (or sometimes a single human) is IMPRESSIVE. It told me about her perseverance, her willingness to put her head down and work and not to mention her love of nature and spirituality (which I think is a nice touch to a well rounded human being.)

But she started in the middle of a real EHD design panic (not to mention the physical vitamin OD). I was underwater on the Portland and mountain house projects and needed help like ASAP. She was not the first nor the last person who I have interviewed on a Monday and asked them to start on a Tuesday (it’s not my best move as a boss, I know). So needless to say she was thrown into a company that doesn’t just design and we are not traditional in our work process. We had two projects going – one in another state that was supposed to be a “cute remodel” that ended up being a 5k square foot new build, and one where I had given the audience all design decision making ability (remember I Design, You Decide) thus us needing to design each room TWICE!! That’s all to say, she was THROWN into the EHD world and while I’m sure at home she told a different story, at work she was so on top of it and cared so much almost immediately about the projects. She was very often the first one in and the last one to leave (and trust me, people – your boss notices this). She even came in on a Sunday and worked all day with me because the bathroom sketches were due the week before and I couldn’t do it on my own. And on our many trips to Portland and the mountain house, I loved hanging out with her, working with her, and drinking whisky with her. 

She was very responsible for catching so many of my mistakes and we got to make so many more together! 🙂 We learned so much on both those major projects, not the stuff you can learn in school (but you will learn in my next book – PLUG PLUG). But having her feel as invested as I was in them was SUCH a relief and made me feel supported and frankly not alone. I would usually have the idea and she would help to make sure that it would work (and do the subsequent drawings for it – of which I can’t do). 

Over the last year and a half, after those two projects ended, she became the lead in-house designer taking over so many room makeovers and sponsored design projects that at first I helped oversee, and then I didn’t even have to. She has such creative talent AND SKILLS. See for yourself. 

She and Emily B. led the Velux Project in Utah: 

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: how we brightened up a room (and some deserving lives) with velux skylights

The Atlanta Project (with Emily Bowser):

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a budget and rental-friendly living and dining room (with 80% thrifted finds)

Then Violet’s Bedroom:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a little one’s mid-century magical bedroom reveal

Chandlers Bachelor Pad:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a mid-century eclectic living room with kilz primer and paint – the dark room problem solved

And Of Course, Suzanne’s Bedroom:

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: one of emily’s best friends gets the cozy yet sophisticated bedroom makeover she really deserves

AND Grace’s bedroom and her bathroom refresh – both coming soon! 

Training an employee to not need you on projects, to lead confidently is truly a win-win and made it so we could both grow in different ways.

So what’s going on now? Well, with the potential move to Portland, our permanent move from LA AND the pandemic, our day to day “designing” had drastically shifted. Knowing that within the year (we think) we’ll be up in Portland made taking on any major new design projects in LA difficult, or I would be doing it just for her because I didn’t want to lose her. So after a lot of open conversations, we realized that it’s time for her to move on, to seek out other opportunities to grow on her own or with another designer. AND GUESS WHAT??? She is going to be working with Velinda on design projects! And guess what else? Grace (remember Grace?) is ALSO working with them. Guess who shoots their work? Sara. Guess who styles it? Emily Bowser. And guess where it’s published after they’re shot? STYLEBYEMILYHENDERSON.COM. So not only is she still finishing up a couple of makeovers that we have (our next Velux Feel Good Makeover), and going to be a contributor on design posts, but she is going to be working with former EHD on design projects, published here. It makes me so happy I can’t even tell you. And while I want her to fulfill her dreams of designing a boutique hotel (and she will someday) this year probably isn’t the year for it. 

So in case you are looking for a fantastic design team in LA (they do e-design too!) you now not only get Velinda, but Julie, Grace, and Bowser. Spread the word, guys. 🙂 

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: makeover takeover: julie’s huge (and diy packed) bedroom upgrade

Now I wish I could go back in time and write tribute posts for each person. I feel like Velinda and Emily B., since they went freelance at the same time, didn’t get a full post on their own, nor did Grace (and I’m sure others). But know that I love you, Velinda (great designer, hire her), Bowser (great stylist – hire her), and Grace (great designer – hire her) so much. Anyway, after Sara went freelance I’m sure you have a lot of questions about the size of the team reducing. Is everything ok? What’s going on?? The truth is – I’ve loved so many of my team members over the years, deeply, but I like running a small team. I was on the precipice of making the choice between going bigger or going smaller (medium size of 10 – 20 employees is strangely difficult to manage) and I realized that I don’t want a 100 person empire. At least not right now 🙂 And now we get to have this incredible small and lean team, plus a lot of amazing contributors  – both former EHD AND new diverse voices that you are just getting to know (more to come that we are very excited about). So nobody ever really LEAVES leaves (not like a horror movie, obviously), they just transition into doing their own work, growing somewhere else and bringing that perspective and growth back here for us to see their beautiful work and read their compelling words.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: a mid-century eclectic living room with kilz primer and paint – the dark room problem solved

But back to Julie. Yes, today is her last official day as full-time EHD staff. Writing this made me cry. You, Julie, have seen me cry SO MANY TIMES that I’m sure you can picture it. Thank you for 3 amazing years and I can’t WAIT to see what you do next, in every way. You’ll always be Team EHD to me 🙂

Fin Mark

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Leigh

I feel sad to hear this! All the best on your next adventures Julie. I have really enjoyed your work with EHD.

thank you so much Leigh, such a bittersweet time but you will see more projects from Velinda, Grace and myself soon!

Heather

Aww, congrats to Julie, although I know she’ll be missed dearly by the entire EHD team and all of your readers. Julie, your designs are so good and have inspired me. My daughter’s bedroom is now green, including the trim – couldn’t talk her into the half wall and black line though!

Anxious to follow your journey. I know you’ll do amazing things!

Ah, that’s so sweet. Follow her on social and don’t worry, she’ll still be contributing here!

So sweet of you and that sounds so cute!

jill

What a lovely way to say goodbye!

Veronica

Julieeeee!!!!! You have been one of my absolutely favourite EHD designers – heck – just designers in general! I’ve probably pinned ALL your work that I’ve seen and I am constantly going back to reference it.
I hope we still see lots of you here!
Emily – what a beautiful tribute! I was choked up at the end! Semi-related: I appreciate getting glimpses into your life as a boss. I’m sure it’s insanely hard to be a boss but you seem like such a genuinely wonderful person who is sincerely trying her best and I so appreciate all your transparency so I can learn from you!

Oh no….the tears they are starting! Thank you so much, these comments mean a lot to me.

Brigitte

Good luck and congratulations on your next move🌞

Alice

I know this isn’t the point, but how and why does one end up ODing on vitamins to the point of throwing up?

Kelly

Vitamins can make me really sick.

Rebecca

I’ve done this too – I took two vitamins one day at the same time and went to walk to work and ended up puking in an alley. The “take with food” suggestions are no joke sometimes.

hahah. yes I think it was vitamins and probiotics that I was supposed to take with food and yah, didn’t 🙁 sadly/idiotically that wasn’t the only time its happened.

Sara

I heard a statement recently around women in the workplace and it resonated with me, “lift as you climb.” Thank you for lifting these women up with you as you have succeeded in the design world. Best of luck to you in all the changes to come.

Stephanie

This is beautiful, Sara. Thanks for sharing. And best of luck to you, Julie!! I can’t wait to see your future contributions to the site!

She truly does, we are all lucky to have/had a boss like Emily!

Emily

What a tribute! It is sad to say goodbye to so many EHD favs lately. Emily- I’m sure I speak for other readers that I really appreciate your honesty with how you manage your company and the decisions you bake.

Julie- you are so talented! I love your designs so much and I look forward to following your career. Good luck with everything!

thank you. I will someday write a book about running a business as a creative woman. its been challenging, which is why having such an amazing team is so important. Julie will do incredible things and i’m so excited for her (and feeling a lot of emotions today). we love you julie!!!

Love you!

Thank you Emily!

Suzanne

I’m sad to see Julie go, but so excited for her next adventure! I love that so many EHD alum will be working together and continuing to contribute here. Emily, I see how having a smaller team will allow you to bring diversity to the blog and lift more designers and stylists up in the process. And when Julie designs that boutique hotel, please feature it here.

I HOPE a boutique hotel design is in my future and if/when that happens it will for sure be featured here! thank you so much 🙂

Julie

What a beautiful tribute! Julie congrats and I’m glad you’re not going too far! Emily, your thoughts on being boss and running a company reminds me of Oh Joy’s decisions to down size (pre-COVID). It’s helpful to hear about your perspective and vision for your company-and how sometimes you have to make difficult decisions in order to grow. While it’s sad to see people leave, I love how you champion so many young designer/photographer/stylist voices, and I also particularly love how they will still show case their work on this blog. Can’t wait!

thank you. Joy and I are good friends and have spoken a lot. And yes, i’m also so excited for their work to be here! Velinda/julie just showed us their next project (an awesome kitchen) that we are going to feature and you guys are in for a real TREAT. xx

Martha

Thank you, Julie, for your wonderful work here and all the lovely images we got to take in. This site has been such a welcome respite from the stresses of the era, and your contributions are a large part of that. Good luck with what’s next!

Thank you Martha! Two more reveals coming soon to bring a little more joy to your day 🙂

Bo

When I saw your name associated with a project I knew I was in for a treat. Good luck. Your talent will carry you far.

thank you!

Mk

I clicked on Grace and link went to Velinda.

she is working for Velinda and I’m not sure she has her own site. y’all need to hire them!!! its honestly a dream team. xx

Mk

Ah, thanks.

Design team reunited and it feels so good!

Kelly

I feel kind of awful asking, but I’ve been a follower of this blog for years and years, and I can’t remember who Grace is? Was she more of a support staffer than featured staff writer?

Separately, am I not the only one that wanted to buy those yellow pants immediately after Julie was featured in them?

Best of luck to Julie, she’s a real talent!

Donna

Julie,
I will miss your unique design aesthetic, but will look forward to seeing your projects on this blog, and other places, in the future. Your bedroom MOTO just slays me and I have it saved (along with Heidi Caillier work – my other favorite) for inspiration. Keep true to your vision – and good luck!

And, Emily, as an entrepreneur, I would love to hear more about why a staff of 10-20 is more challenging than a smaller or larger staff.

WOW. You have me speechless…Heidi is one of my favorites so this means so so so much to me. Thank you so much, Donna!

Laura

Good luck to Julie! I have always loved her projects. Can’t wait to see what she does next 🙂

Possibly a silly question but can you explain the difference between a designer (Julie or Velinda) and a stylist (Emily B)? I understand the difference in tasks when you talk about designing vs styling, but don’t get why it would be 2 separate people.

SARAH

Can’t tell you how much I loved your MOTO bedroom design. And dang totally forgot about that pretty Atlanta living room. Cheers to you on your next adventure!

Suz

Sending lots of love & good wishes for you, Julie. ❤️👏

CINDY KEAS

I am thoroughly impressed with you, Emily! Every time I read that one of your staff is going on to other things, you seem genuinely happy for them and engaged in their future success. Kudos to you for caring about others’ endeavors and not just how things affect your own business. Good luck to you, Julie!

I love how everyone is so talented in their own right and grown and developed and been encouraged to do so! I love they are all spreading their wings including you!

I’m so impressed with this approach to transitioning the business. So many companies make changes without considering how it effects employees. The fact that you’ve made a transition that benefits everyone involved is inspiring as a small business owner!

Sahaja

Oh! I’m simultaneously so happy for you and sad. I truly love your eye and aesthetic, Julie and your writing style. I told you this already, but I referred back to your bedroom post multiple times. Congratulations on your new ventures and journey and I’m glad you’ll still be on the blog in another form.

Sarah T

Gotta chime in on the appreciation for all of your work here, Julie! I’ve loved your style and voice. Your green trim bedroom will always be a fave! Big congratulations on the new chapter and can’t wait to follow along on your future posts. Good luck!

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