Posted by Mary Ann Kelly
We recently caught up with Jenny Wu who started her own interior design business, Jenny Marie Designs. After spending many years as a marketing strategist in the high tech and advertising industries, she decided to pursue her love of transforming interiors into interesting experiences that speak to the senses.
JS: How did you start out? What was your first design gig?
JW: My first ‘design gig’ was very informal and happened many years ago while I was still working as a marketing strategist. I worked with whoever would let me help them with their space! However, a couple of years ago, I left Saatchi and made a commitment to making a change. I was taking course work at Parsons, and a year later, I filed my papers and that was it! I should say that after going through Parsons and now having done a couple of projects, I would have done my first ones very differently!
JS: At what point did you realize this could be a viable full-time job? Do you still take on strategy work? How you decide to prioritize your time?
JW: It was less realizing this could be a full-time job and more realizing that I wanted to follow my passion no matter what and believing that all would fall in place. I did do some part-time work when I was in school, but I found it difficult because I get very entrenched and passionate about whatever it is I’m doing and I ended up giving my consulting job more and more hours (paying less attention to interior design) because they really needed my support.
JS: What projects are you most proud of, and what kind of work do you want to attract?
JW: I focus on high-end residential, and I am most proud of the projects where I have developed a close and collaborative relationship with my client
JS: Any advice for people in our industry looking to turn a personal interest into a full-time business? Lessons learned?
JW: Follow your gut, and just do it! If you are really passionate about it, the steps you need to follow will feel quite intuitive. I think the hardest part about doing this is making the leap, and staying positive through those moments of doubt that inevitably come. My advice to those who want to do this is to do the research, know what is involved, know your strengths and where there might be holes. Develop a brand/business approach that focuses on your strengths. And surround yourself with positive, successful individuals (those who have been through it), as well as those who are also going through it, and believe in yourself!
Talk to Jenny about her services, here.