Women in Business 2021: Lesley Myrick
A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION CHAMPIONING OUR LOCAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS. PHOTOGRAPY BY JESSICA WHITLEY.
Lesley Myrick Interior Design
Owner + Principal Designer
What is the mission of your business?
I help high-achieving moms bust out of boring homes – without stress and overwhelm.
How has your business shifted because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID greatly impacted the time I had available to work with clients and I scaled back considerably in 2020 as I had my 2-year-old and 6-year-old home with me full-time (#workingmom). But, we were already set up to design virtually so it was a smooth transition to online design! I’m originally from Canada, and have also lived in California, Texas and now Georgia, so I’ve worked with clients all over the U.S. and Canada for more than six years. It’s a service that many potential clients were skeptical about – how can an interior designer possibly design a room without ever seeing it in person? But this past year has shown people how much is possible using online tools to collaborate. Whether our clients are local and we get to meet face-to-face, or if they live elsewhere and we connect via email and video chat, the end result is still the same: a kickass home they’re proud of without stress and overwhelm along the way.
What has been the most challenging part of being a female business owner?
The biggest challenge in my business since launching in 2015 has been building a network and community. Interior design is a profession that requires strong relationships and trust to grow, and that’s hard to do when you’re new in town. I launched my business in California; moved to Texas six months later and grew my business there for four years; and then moved to Macon. I haven’t had long enough in any location to really thrive! I’m looking forward to planting roots here and building a lasting business.
I hope more women will:
Trust that what comes easily to them and lights them up is what they’re meant to be doing with their work and life.
Your advice for women wanting to start their own business in Macon?
Find a coach or mentor to help you get started. Having someone who has walked the path before you that can offer advice and suggestions to help you thrive is an investment that’s worth every penny! I would not be where I am today without several amazing coaches I’ve worked with over the years.
How do you define success?
Success for me is freedom. Freedom to work with clients who are a great fit and make this career a joy; freedom to create a schedule that allows me to be available to my two young kids; and freedom to not live paycheck to paycheck.
What are you most excited about right now in our community?
I’m loving the sense of community I’ve found in Macon, even though I’ve only lived here for a year and a half (and more than half of that has been during a pandemic!). From co-working spaces and in-person communities like The Web, which I’m part of, to downtown events to online communities and groups, it’s been awesome to meet new people and have a sense of belonging here.
You might be surprised that: While I have 16 years of experience in interior design, I took a year off at age 25 to travel as a vocalist with a music ministry! I spent a year on the road in the U.S., Canada and Taiwan.
What is the most gratifying part of your job?
With every design project we create either a concept board or 3D rendering to communicate the design plan to the client and get their approval. When the project is completed and we have the “big reveal” moment (just like on HGTV!) it always blows my mind that I’ve actually created a space that looks just like we planned! It sounds obvious that the finished room would look like the plan, but every time I’m delighted to see it come to life.
I admire women who:
Speak their truth and share their unique point of view.
What was the best business advice you ever received?
I recently watched “Stylish” with Jenna Lyons on HBO Max, which was fabulous creative inspiration! Jenna is a fashion designer and former president of J. Crew, and something she said on the show really spoke to me: “It’s not about having the right answer, it’s about having a singular point of view and moving forward. There are so many choices that at some point, you just have to go with your gut and move forward.” Interior design is so intuitive, and there’s no right answer – it’s all about trusting my intuition and sharing my point of view.
How can women better support each other?
I’m a big believer in community over competition. When I was in design school in the early 2000s, there was a prevalent attitude of competition that rubbed me the wrong way. Everyone hid their ideas for fear of being copied, and there was a general sense of mistrust and fear. I’m so happy to see this shift in the design industry toward design peers realizing that we’re not in competition with each other – we each bring our own unique vision, voice and process to the table, and by supporting each other we all rise up and make the industry better as a whole.
Looking back, I wish I had recognized:
Every time I’ve ignored a gut feeling – whether about which wallpaper to choose for a room, or a red flag from a potential client – I’ve regretted it. It’s easy to rationalize and intellectualize decisions, but when it comes down to it, I’ve always had the best results (and the most fun along the way!) in life and in business when I’ve trusted my intuition.