Happy first Flourish Friday of October!
If you’re new to How I Flourish in Des Moines, this blog series shares the stories of local women in business. Get ready to learn more about these passionate women, how they started businesses in the Des Moines area, and advice they have to share.
Introducing Jen Haywood and Texturious Designs
I’m thrilled for you to meet Jen and read more about her story!
Jen and I met through FemCity Des Moines and found that we live in neighboring suburbs of Des Moines. Since then, we’re known to catch up over coffee, trading off on visiting our local coffee shops. As you’ll learn below, Jen took a sharp pivot in her career when she launched her design business, Texturious Designs. I think you’ll agree with me in saying that she is one inspiring lady!
Learn more about Jen below.
1. What is your business, and what do you do?
I own Texturious Designs, an interior styling and online home design business. My mission is to educate others about the power of design and the impact our interior environments have on our mood, behavior, and overall wellbeing. I am on a mission to bring design to more homeowners and help them create an interior (within their budget) that reflects the best version of themselves.
2. How long have you been in business?
I formed my LLC over one year ago and have been doing this full-time since January 2018.
It started as a DIY blog, sharing with homeowners the projects I was working on around the house (furniture design, landscaping, interior remodeling) and then grew from there. Friends and family started asking for my help and wanted to make their house a home but didn’t know where to start. That’s when I realized that there was a gap in the market, a need to help people furnish their homes even if they have a Target or Wayfair budget. Most people don’t think design is accessible or affordable and I want to change that.
3. What sparked your interest in becoming a small business owner?
There were so many things…I suppose it was last June when things in both my personal and professional life weren’t so great and I was pretty frustrated and not satisfied with where I was in life. I literally remember thinking to myself, “Do I really want to be doing this for the next 30 years of my life? Is this the only path to retirement? There’s got to be more. I see people doing what they love and living their passion all the time. Why not me?!”
A year ago, I was working for a medical records software company, but I have a Master of Arts degree in Interior Design. Last year, I started really tuning in to other female friends and entrepreneurs who were growing their own businesses and having the financial freedom to travel the world, pay off their debts, and just live a happier, more fulfilled life.
That’s when I decided to dust off the old Master’s degree and really considered using it, using the skills and training that I received while in school and during my internships.
4. What gap does your business fill?
Interior design has traditionally been viewed as only accessible to a small group of people, particularly those with larger budgets and high-end taste within the residential sector. Even in school, we weren’t given a lot of resources or training to design for the “average” homeowner. That concept really bothered me. I just wouldn’t accept that as a reality. There’s a huge market of renters and homeowners that value good design and will take the necessary steps to improve their interiors, they just may not have believed design to be available or affordable for them. So, my business is focused on helping clients, spanning a wide range of budgets, to create a space they love and feel good in.
5. What do you enjoy most about operating a business in the Des Moines metro?
I think our community is so supportive of small businesses and really empowers entrepreneurs to grow and succeed. It might have to do with being ‘Iowa nice,’ but we don’t say ‘no’ a lot here. Our community comes together and will do anything we can to help each other and figure out a way.
6. What is the best business-related advice you’ve received?
Get comfortable being uncomfortable. My business coach (Anna Grymes) tells me this all the time. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It takes real work and is sometimes really, really tough. You put yourself out there and that can make you feel so vulnerable but nowadays people want to do business with someone they can relate to and that includes showing up, speaking up, and doing things you’ve never done before. But the result will be worth it.
7. What tip do you have for other women in business?
Ask for help. I believe women are superheros but even superheroes get help from their sidekicks. Don’t think you have to do it all or do it all alone. Outsource, outsource, outsource. That frees up your time to focus on your passions and your strengths.