I can't tell you how many hours we've spent swooning over Studio McGee's feed. Today we interview designer Shea McGee, read her thoughts on motherhood and work below:
What do you do professionally and how did you get to where you are?
My name is Shea McGee and I am the principal designer and co-founder of Studio McGee, a full-service interior design firm based in Salt Lake City. A few years ago, I started a little design business out of our spare bedroom. What started as "consulting" for friends and neighbors turned into a full-time job with a client waiting list. During this time, we knew that my husband's contract would be ending soon and that he needed to find a new job or startup company to dive into. After months of agonizing over our future, we finally realized that his business experience and my creative vision would make a great team.
It was a very difficult decision, but we sold our home in California and moved to Utah (closer to my family and it's much less expensive) to start our business.
Eight months (and very little sleep) later, our business is growing quicker than I ever dreamed possible. Syd runs the whole operation, I oversee the design, and we even have a new textile line launching soon!
How would you describe your design style?
My personal style is bright, clean and collected. I love tailored pieces mixed with organic elements and always a hint of color.
You started your career in a totally different field but design seems like your true love. What advice would you give to other women looking to make a similar leap?
I received my BA in Communications and worked in public relations, but discovered pretty quickly that it was not the right fit for me. I always knew that I loved interior design, but was scared to take the leap! One day, I mustered up the courage to sign up for a few night classes at the local community college and there was no going back. Once I started my design classes and taking on small projects, I knew that design was my true love! I wake up excited every single day.
Think you feel that way about something? Try it out before diving in headfirst! Take a few classes, offer your services for free to get experience, and tell your friends what you are doing. If you are diligent and love what you do, good things will happen.
Any tips for juggling a family and owning a business?
Oh, I don't even know how to begin answering this question! It is so hard to do it all. When you own a business it never ends. I feel lucky that my husband and I work together, so we trade shifts. Syd works very early mornings and then we switch in the afternoon...then I work until about 1 a.m. after our little girl goes to bed. I sleep less, so I can be at home more. It can be tiring, but it's totally worth it.
My best advice is to learn how to be present during family time. I still work on improving this skill daily! It's so easy to feel pressured to check emails or respond to questions constantly. Our family has created a self-imposed "no cellphone" policy during the hours of 6:30-9:00 p.m., so we force ourselves to focus on what's happening right in front of us.
What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
We love to be outside! We go for bike rides, walks, hikes or even picnics with our takeout.