Julia Green only started her business, Greenhouse Interiors, four years ago. In a short amount of time this mum of two has had HUGE success. For 16 years Julia worked in marketing, sales and management in the pharmaceutical industry. It is when she fell pregnant and had a chance encounter with a photographer from Vogue that her career took a very different path.
Julia is now a super sought after stylist who styles and writes for many interior lifestyle magazines including Inside Out, Real Living, Home Beautiful, House & Garden and Frankie. She also writes a regular column for Herald Sun Home while juggling the commitments of representing a number of Melbourne artists – marketing and wholesaling their work and managing their PR. To say this woman is busy is a ridiculous understatement.
You started Greenhouse Interiors in 2010, what where the first steps you took in starting your company?
God I took no steps other than to answer my front door. I was selling a couch on ebay at the time whilst on mat leave.
I decided to style up a few pieces of furniture, and ebay them. I was flooded with lovely compliments on the styling. It got me thinking..! And then, there knocking at the door, was a man buying the couch and it turned out he was a photographer for vogue and he asked me who I styled for. I said for ebay. How hilarious. He gave me his card and told me to call him when I had popped out the baby. He went missing in action but it planted the seed. Shortly thereafter, I met an artist who’s work I began to represent (Emma Cleine of Lumiere Art and Co.) and soon I was styling her wares.
I had also met another stylist whom had taken me on a shoot and it was then that I crossed paths with the incredible Armelle Habib, whom I still regularly work with to this day. I now represent a host of talented Melb artists, and we have a fab warehouse space to exhibit their wares as well as style and write for 5 different publications. It’s a tad mental and crazy, especially with two young kids in tow, but I would’t have it any other way and thank my lucky stars for selling a bad couch on ebay. That was all only four years ago.
In a short amount of time you have had huge success, what do you credit that too? (please feel free to float your own boat here)
No floating boats. The success does not belong to me alone. With Armelle behind the lens, she can make a paper bag look hot…Armelle has taught me everything I know – I am otherwise self taught. I owe her so much- her eye and expertise is off the planet. I have also had some wise and brilliant counsel from the Editors of mags I work for, where they kindly offer me critique and confidence in the pursuit of becoming a better stylist- and I listen to every word they say and respect it, as they have been in the game longer than me. There are no secrets to success… I work seven days a week, surround myself with good people, love what I do, and don’t think I have all of the answers…so I am always learning.
Finally, I am lucky to have joined forces with Jac Moore-my partner in crime in all things GI. Jac styles and writes also and runs our social media and does a fab job. I admire her immensely. Without these people by my side, GI would not be what it is today.
A lot of women are working in jobs they are not passionate about, what advice do you have for them to take the plunge and make a change?
Oh this is absolutely crucial to me (the passion part). If I didn’t love my work there is no way I could make the sacrifices I have, let alone work 15 hour days 7 days a week. I have given up a lot of time with friends and family for my work, and often feel torn and guilty about it. But my husband is running his own business too and is with our kids so they are covered and god I hope my friends still love me…
I honestly didn’t set out to be this busy or even think about making a single cent, (and am still really crap with charging people money )- interiors was a hobby and a passion, so it doesn’t feel like work at all.
Re the plunge… Don’t over think it is my advice. We get one shot at it. Be a do-er, not a talker. Over analysing situations makes them even harder. A healthy measure of confidence, backing yourself, and giving it your best crack are important to get your venture off the ground. Anyone can do what I do and I am not kidding.
How has greenhouse interiors grown since you first started it?
It’s grown enormously and organically. I started out with one artist, and one little shoot, now GI has a few staff members and eight artists with a healthy pipeline of shoots booked usually quite a few months in advance…I grew it day by day by sheer hard work and taking a punt. I didn’t do things for money but for love. True story.
Luck has also come my way. I seem to have attracted a host of great people into the fold. I love the people I work with and am super dooper loyal to them. Loyalty is extremely important to me. I would walk over hot coals for those on my team. And I do.
What are three things you would say you need to be really clear on before starting your own business?
Make sure you love the subject matter- you need to eat and breathe it.
Don’t chase it for money or fame or any of those very transient things that don’t last or provide happiness long term.
Be a do-er and not a gunna or a talker..!!!! What have you got to lose?????
What are your hopes and dreams for greenhouse interiors?
My hopes and dreams for GI have been realised and beyond. I am very contentewith my lot and now just need to factor in a day off every now and then to feel semi human.
I hope to continue to profile the artists I represent to the gorgeous boutiques and clients I work with and to continue to be offered work in mag world as it is an honor and priviledge I never ever take for granted. I am so lucky. I truly am.
Thank you beautiful Julia for your time answering these questions. We here at S+T think you are truly fab. xx