Building a Design Firm w/ Julia Miller –

Episode #128 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Julia Miller is the owner of J Miller Interiors, a design firm based in Minneapolis, MN. She strives to use vintage, textural, and artisan pieces to create welcoming and balanced spaces. While she can’t be considered a ‘baby designer’ anymore, she’s found great success in a short time. Listen to hear how she took action and made it happen!

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:20] Today’s guest [Julia Miller] is super freaking impressive!
  • [4:12] How did Julia get 15,000 Instagram followers?
  • [7:55] Julia’s secret to her quick success
  • [12:30] Investing money in the beginning saves you in the long run
  • [14:48] Don’t be afraid to develop your own authentic voice
  • [20:10] Julia’s ‘Sunday Saves’ catapulted her career
  • [24:08] The ONE thing Julia would do differently
  • [25:37] Delegation is key to scaling and growing
  • [26:31] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [29:10] What makes Julia stand out from the crowd
  • [32:03] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Julia Miller

Resources & People Mentioned

From side-hustle to full-time designer

Julia has always loved and had a knack for design. Her journey started when she and her husband bought and renovated their own house—and documented the whole journey on Instagram. What started as something informal became a huge opportunity. People were reaching out asking Julia if she’d be willing to take clients—so she did.

Her husband was 100% on board. He believed in her talent and knew she had the drive to success. But she would need to button-up the business side of things and get a plan in place. So what did she do? She started listening to podcasts. She binged Wingnut Social, The Business of Design, A Well-Designed Business, and Real Talk Design.

She took in a lot of information quickly—and acted on it. She hired her CPA after listening to a podcast he was featured on (Peter Lang). She also found her VA and lawyer from the free resources that podcasts were providing. She had a system and process in place and it boosted her confidence. Above all—she took action. She learned what she needed to do to be successful and ran full-speed ahead with confidence.

Julia’s ‘Sunday Saves’ brings designers together

While many designers are hesitant to share the work of other designers, Julia embraces it wholeheartedly. After all, other designers’ business savvy advice is what got her business off the ground. So what is ‘Sunday Saves’? Every Sunday, Julia shares 15-25 images that she’s saved throughout the week on her Instagram story. It can be spaces she’s loved or a tile or backsplash that was intriguing. She credits the appropriate designers, photographers, and stylists.

She then takes her favorite from that group and features it on her post feed that day. She’ll save the last 100 features in her highlights. She’s not worried about featuring someone else’s work over her own. Julia believes it is an amazing way to connect with other designers and build relationships. The best part is that it works. It has catapulted her business forward. Clients love the resources she provides and fellow designers thank her for the recognition.

This episode is jam-packed with other resources and strategies Julia has used to build her business from the ground up. We talk about software, mentorship opportunities, authenticity, and much more. Be sure to listen to the whole episode!

Connect With Darla & Wingnut Social

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