DesignHER, the premiere tome from Julianne Taylor, creative director and founder of Taylor Burke Home, reveals the stories behind the successes of 35 female entrepreneurs. Taylor chats with EAL about her favorite stories and shares top takeaways for designers looking to improve their businesses.
Julianne Taylor and her new book, DesignHER
How did you decide to write this book?
During the past few years, there have been friends in the industry who have written books, and many encouraged me to write my own book. I thought, “What will I write about? Myself? Would people want to read a book entirely about me?” After much contemplating, I realized that all of us entrepreneurs have our own unique stories about how we “made it.” There are times when all of us feel like we are still trying to make it! With that idea, and my love for supporting and collaborating with other female entrepreneurs in the industry, the idea of DesignHER was born. I thought it would be a terrific way to bring light to the industry’s girl bosses who are killing it, and also inspire other young entrepreneurs to take the leap into starting their own business!
Above and below: Interiors from DesignHER; courtesy Alli Elmunzer of Turquoise & Palm
Walk us through some of the most inspiring stories you’ve heard along the way.
I can honestly relate to every single one of these stories in some way or another. One that stands out in my head is Jill Rosenwald’s story. She first started on the streets of SoHo selling her pottery for some vacation money, and was later criticized about her last name (and subsequently business name) sounding “too Jewish”! Can you believe that? Talk about rising above the naysayers!
What are some of the top tips you learned for entrepreneurs? What can designers learn about management and business from other industries?
There’s a wealth of knowledge in DesignHER that only people who experience the true effort that goes into starting a business can really articulate to others—that’s the beauty of sharing all of these stories! As I wrote DesignHER, I found myself learning from my colleagues as well. At the end of every story, the business owner shares at least one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs. Here are some of the trends I noticed, and find most helpful: Talk to as many people as you can to gain information about your industry; formalize a good business plan, and thoroughly research your market; running a business will be the hardest work you’ll ever do, but the most rewarding. It’s 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration; just do it. You’re never going to feel 100 percent ready, you have to take a leap of faith.