I met Myrf through her sister-in-law, Meriel, who is also another kickass girlboss of Ozzy & Squish (my hair goddess). Meriel brought Myrf to one of my early morning fitness classes, and she is such a badass fitness buff, I immediately felt connected with her. When I found out that she owned one of Richmond's best interior designing firms, Decorum, for almost 20-years, I admired her even more.
While I'm surrounded by many like-minded women entrepreneurs, most of us are newbie entrepreneurs, having our businesses for less than 5 years. With Myrf being a successful girlboss for almost 20 years, she is full of insights and tips which helped me whenever I asked her for advice (she's become one of my best clients, friends, and advisers!)
And because I am a generous, share-the-love kinda gal, I asked her to participate in this Kickass Girlboss Blog Series, so you all can learn from her awesomeness, too!
How did you get started with your interior design business?
I actually worked as an interior designer, as part of a traditional company, for several years before deciding to break out on my own. I knew I had a lot to contribute and lots of great ideas but didn’t always have the opportunity to run with my ideas since I wasn’t in charge. Along with a coworker, we decided to break away and start out own business and have been working together ever since.
What is it like having a business partner?
Honestly, it’s great. I’m not sure I would have succeeded without her help and there were so many times we leaned on each other in order to get through (and still do!). We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but we communicate openly right from the beginning. Once we choose one person’s solution, there’s no looking back! We’re both Libras and avoid conflict, so we won’t hold a grudge or fight over that decision. We won’t let anything fester and that keeps our partnership strong.
When did you know you had something good?
Right from the beginning! Or at least, we thought we did. It never crossed our minds that our business could fail, or that it would be hard. In retrospect, we were a little stupid, but I think it was a good thing that we were so naive. If we had known some of the challenges we would face, we might not have gotten started.
Is there anything you could have done to make things easier?
We should’ve bought office space outright, long ago. We started by renting our real estate because finding the start-up funds to purchase a property is so expensive! In the long-run, we’d be money ahead by having an office to fully call our own, but we ended up making it work and didn’t have the stress of saving up that much cash or having to forego other investments along the way.
What is the hardest part for you with running your own business?
I really hate firing people. It’s great that we have enough work that we have a few employees on staff and I love working with most of them. Unfortunately, over the years, not all of them have worked out. Even when it’s obvious things aren’t working out, I don’t like being the person who has to let someone go.
The life of an entrepreneur often means very busy days with long hours. How do you make time for yourself?
I always remember that I need to take care of myself first and foremost. Being stressed or unhealthy will just make things harder. I love working out with my friends in the morning to get things off to a good start before stepping into the hustle of the day. That’s how I met Seo originally, but now our friendship goes way beyond a work-out session.
How do you push through the tough times and keep going despite adversity?
I’m a cancer survivor — and the #1 thing that taught me was to keep things in perspective. There are a lot of days when work can be challenging, but at the end of the day, I always focus on what’s most important to me and make sure that’s the priority. It really puts things in perspective.
Are you still working toward expanding your business? How?
When I have new ideas, I run with them. I created the Dip-a-di-do-da, a decorative dip container for parties and events. When I realized how often I was scooping dips into other bowls to put out for social events, I thought there had to be a better way. I started searching for an easy way to just place your dips into a decorative container and couldn’t find any after extensive searching, so I designed one. I sold out of my initial order of 500 pieces and continue to promote and sell the product.
Do you have advice for other people just starting out?
Remember that you might not find the solution in an obvious way. For my dip containers, I ended up asking around and got a producer because I knew someone who made plastic yacht parts. That probably wouldn’t be the first place I looked, but it worked wonderfully. Don’t be afraid to tell people about your endeavors or ask for help or introductions…you never know when it’ll help you along!
What do you love most about working for yourself?
I love controlling my own schedule. I don’t have kids of my own, but I still love spending time with my extended family and being part of their life and being able to attend special events. I also love that I can take advantage of meeting people out for coffee or carving out time for myself when I need it.
Meet Seo Kelleher, an intuitive coach for life and business, committed to empowering women. "I am passionate about helping women find the courage to transform their lives by embracing their vulnerability and taking the responsibility."