Well hellooooo! I am thrilled to introduce you to Jen Haywood of Texturious Designs. I met her through FemCity and love her positive personality and the work she is putting out into the world. She’s not the typical “I know I’m going to be an entrepreneur” gal and ultimately, getting laid off is what led her to her full pursuit of Texturious Designs. Read on to learn more!
What is the business you own + how long have you owned it?
I founded Texturious Designs in 2017. I provide both home remodeling and online interior design consulting services for homeowners & individuals across the country.
What does your day-to-day life look like?
I start every morning with a cup of Nespresso coffee & a little bit of cream – my favorite! A perk of working from my home office is not having to put “real” clothes on so I usually venture into my home office with either pjs or yoga pants on. I like to be comfy, always.
I’m really trying this month to be better about an actual routine, so 30 minutes of social media posting (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram) before getting into my email. Then, depending on the projects for the week, I’ll either be sourcing furniture, drawing out floor plans, or following-up with clients. I belong to Lifetime Fitness so I typically try to squeeze in a workout over my lunch hour or after work depending on what I have going on. In the evenings, I’m cooking dinner for me & my hubby. I cook, he cleans up the mess, it’s a wonderful thing. And then snuggles with our dog, Louie, and a Netflix movie usually round out the day.
When did you start side-hustling + why? / How + when did this transition to full-time?
Oh boy, this is a fun story. I was working in software as a project manager for 4 years and somewhere in between there, I took a break to get my Master of Arts degree in Interior Design. Even as a child, I loved arts & crafts and anything creative. But I didn’t really know how to make it a viable career. Even after graduating with my masters, I went right back into software. But I was miserable. I was not supposed to be doing that work and it was not my true calling. At the same time, I was doing a LOT of projects around the house: remodeling a basement, landscaping my entire backyard, building furniture, painting every wall surface, anything to distract myself from what was going on in my career.
In the summer of 2017, I started Texturious Designs as more of a DIY blog, sharing with others about all the DIY projects I was working on. Then, at the very end of last year, I was laid off from my software job. I really believe that the Universe was pushing me out of that career and making the decision for me. It took a few months for me to figure out what to do next. I really fought the entrepreneurial path believing that I would find another job in software or project management because it was comfortable and a guaranteed income. When literally every door to that path kept closing, I turned back to Texturious Designs and started to build it up as a full-time business helping others design and decorate their homes. While I certainly didn’t feel it at the time, I now say that getting laid off was the best thing to happen to my career!
What else have you done to make some extra money?
Outside of my standard package offerings, I haven’t done anything that is providing extra income yet but I would love to do more consulting and teaching. I was a lecturer at Iowa State University and a trainer while working in software so I definitely miss that side of things. In school, I learned all about the psychology of interior design and how our environments impact our conscious and subconscious behavior so I’d love to do more with educating homeowners and individuals on how to maximize this impact either through downloadable templates or a workshop series.
What has been the hardest part of the transition?
I think with any risk or change in life, you’re going to have fear and anxiety. That was something I was expecting. The hardest part for me has been the mindset. In software, when I had a bad day, I could go vent to a co-worker or rationalize it better because I was one person in a huge company. When it’s just you and something goes wrong, it’s just you. That’s why doing my daily affirmations and having a network of other female entrepreneurs to lean on and virtually ‘vent’ to or ask for their advice is crucial. It’s so easy to internalize things and think the world is crashing down. But putting things into perspective, in the greater part of life, usually helps calm me down and keeps me moving forward.
What is the easiest (most exciting) part of being your own boss?
I love calling the shots. It’s a super liberating and powerful feeling to be able to make all the decisions in my business. It’s also scary at times and I often wonder if I’m making the right decisions and choices to get to where I want to be, but that’s why I think it’s so important to network and find mentors who have been there before and can provide insight and help.
What would you say to others interested in taking the leap to owning their gig full-time?
Invest in your business as soon as possible, whether you hire a coach, marketing team, graphic designer, etc. Outsource whatever you don’t want to or can’t do. I waited a long time before throwing my hands up and admitting I needed help.
Any dreams of growing beyond Des Moines?
The beauty of the online portion of my business is that I work with clients all over the U.S. All our communication is done online and they send me photos and videos of their home which I then provide them with the strategies and plans to improve through furniture, art, or decor. The idea of having a storefront has crossed my mind but I think that’s a distant dream. I’m really happy right now working from home and only having one office to maintain and clean.
What else should people know about you?
I love history especially ancient history and will watch any documentary on this topic. I geek out in museums and art centers.