Lesley – how did you get where you are today?
Growing up in Ontario, Canada, I never expected to be living in the US – but I’ve lived and worked in Minnesota, California, and now Waco, Texas. I always knew I wanted to be an interior designer. I was “that kid” who was obsessed with rearranging and redecorating my bedroom and I’m grateful to have parents who gave me free reign and supported my crazy design ideas! I focused heavily on art and design classes in high school and received an honors diploma in interior design from Sheridan College. I was totally eager to get started in the design world and got an internship at a high-profile firm in Toronto before graduation where I was then hired as a Junior Designer. It was a bit of a Devil Wears Prada-type job – it looked great on paper, had some rad perks (like traveling to NYC and Nice, France), but it was grueling with lots of overtime, little pay, and overall, just wasn’t sustainable for my well-being. I learned a ton in that first job about what I wanted to do when I had my own business, and more importantly, what I didn’t want to do. It took 10 years before I felt ready to go out on my own, and in 2015, I launched Lesley Myrick Art + Design, LLC full-time upon moving from Pasadena, California to Waco, Texas with my husband and 18 month-old son.
How is Waco, Texas unique from other major design hubs? Who are your favorite local vendors, installers, and people of the trade in Waco?
Waco is a “big small town” – it’s a decent size at around 125,000 people, but definitely has a small-town feel when it comes to how I’ve approached marketing and networking. Social media and an online presence is great to grow my business nationally and internationally (I work with clients all over the US and Canada) but here in Waco, it’s really about who you know. Getting connected with people through networking groups, local events, and through my monthly home column in WACOAN Magazine
has helped me establish myself locally in a short time.
I do a lot of my sourcing in Dallas since it’s only 2 hours from here and there are so many more options than what I can find locally. However, Waco is definitely up-and-coming with cool design sources and I love to shop local when I can. I dig James & Reid
for their quirky vintage and antique finds; Interior Glow
has these amazing dining and coffee tables made from teak root, steel, and glass; and Wildland Supply Co
has beautiful, minimalist furnishings and accessories.
Photo by Lesley Myrick
Lesley Myrick Art + Design interiors are a quirky but livable mix of vintage and modern, rustic and polished, color and neutrals, masculine and feminine. What colors, materials and styles do you use to achieve this aesthetic?
I’ve realized that while each space I design is quite unique with it’s own “livable mix”, there’s definitely a basic formula I follow. While I love color and pattern, I like to set a neutral foundation and build from there. Weathered wood, brass, brick and black and white tend to be foundational elements and textures in my designs. I love to bring in pattern through textiles – window treatments, area rugs, accent chairs, and pillows. I love the industrial mix of iron and wood, as well as some of the funkier elements of Mid-Century design (I’m such a sucker for a brass Sputnik chandelier!). And of course, every space needs something offbeat and unexpected – the “wow” factor. That might be through a kickass piece of art, or a one-of-a-kind antique chair, or an edgy accessory.
“I’ve realized that while each space I design is quite unique with it’s own ‘livable mix’, there’s definitely a basic formula I follow.”
How does designing make you feel?
When I get in the flow, designing is totally my happy place. Design is very intuitive for me – I’ve always had a knack for being able to choose furnishings and decor that just “feel good” together. I’m also a collage artist, and collage is quite similar to interior design. It’s all about selecting individual elements and arranging them in a new and fresh way so the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Photo by Lesley Myrick
What’s your business mantra?
My mission is to empower homeowners to embrace what they love and make confident design decisions. Too many people settle for boring, safe design – yet they feel this pull towards something more exciting, energetic, and interesting but are afraid to commit. I love to be able to give them permission to go for it and make those offbeat design selections truly work in their home.
“My mission is to empower homeowners to embrace what they love and make confident design decisions.”
How do you maintain a healthy work & personal life balance?
I’ve been really into learning more about focus by eliminating multi-tasking (seriously, it’s not possible to do and you’re only being less efficient by trying to do so!) and eliminating distractions. I have a 4 year-old son, a 5 month-old daughter, a husband I adore and want to invest in, and I’m an introvert who needs downtime to take care of myself. I’m very intentional about being present where I am – focusing and producing major value when it’s work time, and investing in myself and family when it’s not. My husband and I both try to protect our evenings between 5 PM and 8 PM when both kids are home. There are definitely nights where we both go back to work after 8 PM when the kiddos are asleep, but it’s not a daily habit. I have learned to set boundaries on my time and energy and say “no”.
Photo by Lesley Myrick
Do you attend markets? If so, what are you go-to-markets and what’s your market strategy?
I have been to Las Vegas Market
several times, but have yet to attend Dallas Market – the crowds totally overwhelm me! But, when my daughter is a little older (read: not relying on me for food every two hours), I’d love to visit Dallas Market
, and High Point Market
too. When I’m at market, I tend to skim the floors pretty quickly and check out showrooms that grab my attention. I’m clear on what my aesthetic is and I can tell pretty quickly if a vendor is going to be a great fit with my look.
What are your business & design resolutions for 2018?
I’m a total planner and goal-maker – I have a ton! A few goals I have this year are to double my newsletter subscriber
s, publish 25 new YouTube videos
, invest each month in coaching, training, or education, and to complete and photograph my kitchen, master bedroom, and my son’s room.
Photo by Lesley Myrick
Why did you join Ivy?
I was using a different platform that was way too technical and complicated. Even after using it for more than a year and paying for training, I never fully understood the system and was always feeling like I was making mistakes that took my bookkeeper and I ages to fix! Discovering Ivy was a breath of fresh air. I wasn’t sure if it would be worth the time and investment to switch, but after agreeing to a demo call with Reisa I was hooked. I’m so grateful for a beautiful, professional, and easy-to-use platform that helps my business look totally legit.
How does Ivy streamline your day-to-day workflow?
Ivy is so much more intuitive than what I was previously using. I love that I can get my staff up to speed on how to use it quickly, and it’s so powerful despite being quite simple to use. The QuickBooks side of it is not my thing, so I still hire a fantastic bookkeeper to handle that. Ivy makes it so easy to gather project information in one place and create beautiful visual proposals and invoices. I love the Project Dashboard, and so do my clients so they can see everything in one place.
“I’m so grateful for a beautiful, professional, and easy-to-use platform that helps my business look totally legit.”
Photo by Rachel Whyte
What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Community?
I am beyond grateful to the collective wisdom shared in the Ivy Facebook Group! That’s been such a cool bonus – not only is the platform and support awesome, but the Facebook Group is just bursting with smart, generous peers that are so willing to share and help. Between the Facebook Group and the free webinars, the Ivy community is so ridiculously valuable. Seriously, the webinar called Break Your Dependence on Retail Vendors
was a game-changer for my business.
What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
Hands down, it’s the tear sheets. I had been making tear sheets for my clients manually, page by page, for each product. It took hours to get just the tear sheets ready for a client presentation – never mind all the other paperwork, drawings, and samples! When I saw that tear sheets could be created with the click of a button in Ivy, I was hooked.
Photo by Rachel Whyte
Here at Ivy, we’re more than just an interior design software. Our mission is to provide interior designers with the community, resources and tools needed to manage your business beautifully. Are you searching for a business management tool to help streamline your workflow as an interior designer?