Behind the Design: Emily Mughannam of Fletcher Rhodes
Emily Mughannam of Fletcher Rhodes made her “comeback” in the 2012 SF Showcase after taking a break from design for her marriage and family. After having her second child, Emily was re-born with a new sense of creative energy, eager to jump back into the design world. Being the mother of two young children, her mornings are crazed getting the kids out of bed and ready for school, before “catching [her] breath, drinking [her] coffee and indulging in Instagram”.
Emily is a true believer in doing things that bring her joy. As she says, “very simply, I feel at home when I design, creating beautiful spaces makes me happy to my core”. Whether she is working closely with a client, or taking time out of her day to give a pep talk to a fellow entrepreneur, Emily prioritizes daily moments to “soak in all the goodness”.
Why do you design?
I design because I love making my environment beautiful. I think it’s a “Virgo” control thing for me.
What is the most memorable space you’ve ever been in? What did it look like, how did it feel?
Growing up I would say the cliffs of the Southern California coast. I grew up in Colorado and the surroundings are incredible. But, I always felt “trapped”. When I started experiencing the ocean, I really felt an incredible lightness. Sitting on the coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula when I first arrived in California, I thought “now this is what life’s about.” I feel free.
Can you talk about your favorite project to date? What made it the best?
I think doing the SF Showcase House in 2012 was a highlight for sure. It was my “comeback” project after I pulled away from design to get married and have a family. I had just had my second child and was full of inspiration and new energy. The room I designed was super fun and outside my comfort zone! The whole experience was so incredible, I met a ton of great designers, clients, and vendors. It was a great way to jump back into the design world!
What is your favorite city for design? What shops or museums do you visit?
NYC for sure!! I love not having a plan. I just wander the streets and enjoy getting lost in random sideways, shops, stores and residential areas. I like feeling like I’m discovering a new shop, church or restaurant every time. There is urban beauty around every corner and that experience is really want inspires me for design.
What are you favorite meeting spots in SF? (for business, fun, or both)
Since I live an hour away from SF now, I usually head straight to the Design Center for shopping. My time is short and sweet. I’ll try to meet a friend for a coffee while we wander rows of textiles, I’ll hit up Nopalito on my way out and pop by SF Moma Artist gallery at Fort Mason to go peek at art on my way back over the Golden Gate.
There is urban beauty around every corner and that experience is really want inspires me for design.
Share your favorite Pinterest board (one of your own, preferably).
I love my Country Board. I’m longing for property and building a house of my own. It’s on the #dreamlist for sure! https://www.pinterest.com/emughannam/country-home/
Complete the sentence “When I design I feel…..”.
Joy. Very simply, I feel at home when I design, creating beautiful spaces makes me happy to my core.
What is your morning routine?
Being the mother of two young kids, it usually consists of me pulling myself out of bed at 5 or 5:30 to exercise, breath, or work for a little bit before the kids wake up. It’s then hustling to get ready, getting them fed and off to school! Once I get them to school, I sit quietly in the car catching my breath, drinking my coffee and indulging in Instagram!
How do you relieve stress and stay calm?
You will often find me having a dance party in my living room with my kids. If they don’t join, I relieve stress by laughing at myself. My life is pretty much non-stop so I make a conscious effort to take moments and really soak in all the goodness.
What is one thing you do every day, for YOU?
Check in with someone I love for a pep talk. Either giving or receiving. I have an amazing group of women entrepreneurs and we always find ways to send a quick text or call. I find the community really keeps me going everyday with our mantras.
My life is pretty much non-stop so I make a conscious effort to take moments and really soak in all the goodness.
How would you describe your personal style? How is your “off-duty” style different (or similar) to how you dress for work?
My personal style is very similar to the way I design spaces. Liveable, timeless, black + white, clean and simple – my pop of color is usually my red lips! I dress the same for work and personal life!
What tips do you have for staying organized at home?
Clean up every night before bed. The key is staying on top of it!
What’s always in your bag? Why?
Red Lipstick and Wet Wipes! No matter what, red lips always pump me up and make me feel beautiful. And the wipes, I’m around kids and job sites all the time and I hate when my hands feel dirty. ; )
Who are your role models?
My sis! I like to call her the “biz tech guru”. She never seems stressed out, she works super hard and is fearless. She has ideas and just does it. She’s such an inspiration for not just thinking about it, but doing it! I wouldn’t be where I am today without her encouragement, knowledge and just all around bad assness!
Do you have any business mantras or inspiring quotes that keep you going?
So many…here are a few of my favs:
“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every area of your life” – Rumi
“Show Up. Shine. Let it go” – Danielle LaPorte
“When you feel good, you act smarter” – Danielle LaPorte
How would you define running a successful business?
For me, I’m learning it’s about doing what makes me feel good. It’s not always about what type of client or how much money I’m making, if what I’m doing is bringing me joy, I KNOW I’m doing the right thing. All the other things fall into place when I have my head on straight!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
You have to want it more than you are afraid of it. Hustle with Heart.
It’s not always about what type of client or how much money I’m making, if what I’m doing is bringing me joy, I KNOW I’m doing the right thing.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned working in the interior design business?
Reassess often. I’ve learned that it’s ok to reinvent myself and take my business in different directions. I feel like I’ve recreated myself every year and I’m learning to be ok with that.