Who She Is
Julie Anderson remembers wanting to be an interior designer when she was in high school…
“I was one year away from going to college when my parents hired a professional career counselor. After he had reviewed my personality and interest test results, he asked me what I wanted to do for a living. I told him I wanted to be an interior designer. He smirked and said that while I had many similarities to interior designers, I was not flaky enough. That was true…sort of. He pointed out that I was a math freak, and that I would be best suited to a career in finance…funny because my dad was a banker. While finance was a good fit for me, and I had a seven year career in that industry, I wasn’t passionate about it. I didn’t love it. What did I love? Architecture and interior design! Thankfully, in 2001, I was given the opportunity to begin a new career as a kitchen and bath designer, which drew upon my passion for art and design and my love of cooking, with the added bonus of being heavily reliant on math (dimensions). It was the perfect career for me, which is why I never looked back.”
After working for two design showrooms and learning project management and business management along the way, Julie decided it was time to be a freelance designer.
“Once you work for yourself doing what you love, it’s a whole new ball game. You become more invested in yourself, because you want to learn as much as possible. You become more invested in your clients, because you want them to be ecstatic with the finished space and really enjoy using it. By the time a project is complete; my clients have become my friends. What would usually happen is that I would not only design the space, but many times I would jump in and help coordinate the project (even if they had a contractor). So I was basically functioning as a contractor without actually contracting anything or getting paid for my extra time and attention to the project.”
After six years of doing that really well, Julie decided it was time to bite the bullet and get her contractors’ license. Shortly after scoring high on all three State exams, she began the application process. In 2012, she was awarded her State Certified Building Contractors License; a license that permits her to build or remodel any residential or commercial structure three stories or under. Shortly thereafter, she dissolved her previous design firm, Kitchen Redesign LLC, and officially launched She Builds, a design-build contracting firm. Julie expanded on how she approaches her projects…
“Communication is key from beginning to end. Many clients have never been through a major renovation, so they have many questions. The more they learn up front, the happier they will be upon completion of the project (See SHE BLOGS if you want to learn about something). It’s crucial for me to gather as much information as I can up front, in order to translate my client’s vision into reality. My job is to educate them and guide them all the way through the process. When a project is underway and we encounter an issue, I present all the options, plus my opinion if they ask, so they can make the decision that’s best for them. By giving my clients decision making control, they feel informed and integrated into the process…and very pleased when the project is complete.”
Julie resides in Saint Petersburg, Florida with her two children and donates some of her spare time to fundraising efforts for All Children’s Hospital. She also enjoys kite boarding, paddle boarding and all things beachy.