Gosh. Studio 790 Interior Design is four. Four years old.
I am starting to type this and I am already overwhelmed with emotions as the tears fill my eyes. I am in absolute awe of all that God has done. He planted in me the desire to be a business owner and a creative and he has equipped me the whole way. And as I grew up watching my mom decorate our house and watching her put on her dress suit, bold earrings and red lipstick, little did I know I was following in her footsteps (except my redirect from majoring in accounting because she was an accountant to advertising, praise the good Lord).
And little did I know that despite designing and decorating and creating for many years that in Gods perfect timing, the business would officially be born on February 1, 2019. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!
Aaaannndddd, He knew the experience I would need (thank you, corporate America, for the 16 years we had together), the people I would need (my women's group, my team, my family, my friends, clients who said yes early on, friends that said yes early on, my pastors, the list goes on) and the resources I would need (therapist, life coach, Tony Robbins programs, financial trainings, interior design workshops, dozens and dozens of books, Scale Up Miami, podcasts, YouTube, etc.).
And He knew I would need self confidence, a full reliance on Him and the discipline, passion and pursuit to carry me through day by day. And I have. We have.
Studio 790 Interior Design (formerly Ann Ueno Interior Design) has grown immensely, with health and abundance and loads of joy and I can't - nor will I ever - not share why I believe this has happened and will continue to happen. To simplify (lol I can't ever write with brevity...#sorrynotsorry), I am giving you four key lessons I've learned as a female entrepreneur, business owner and creative director with no formal interior design training and no MBA. You ready?
First, honor and run so hard after that thing in your soul that is setting you on fire. I have been passionate about interior design and business for my whole life and when I finally got the courage to quit corporate America and start this business was the moment the magic happened. Without a playbook but with God. Which means ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. And man, I couldn't shake that desire in me. Walking into a home or restaurant or business, something lights up inside of me. Sometimes I am speechless. Sometimes I want to cry tears of joy. The aesthetics around me - around all of us - matter so deeply. The help us and shape us and make us better. They have the power to change the world for the better. And I knew this was my calling. I want to make the world better by way of interiors. And the second aspect of that, arguably even more important than design, is the business. And LOOK OUT because I LOVE running the business. It is challenging and I don't know what I am doing a lot of the time but don't worry, because I am surrounded with so many resources making it nearly impossible to not grow and get better and be successful. Hint hint - you have these same resources. I am living out my calling 100000%. And for four years I have not felt like I have worked one day. Not a one. Imagine just for a moment what the world would be like if everyone listened to that voice, honored that nudge in their soul and pursued their passion and gave back to the world as such? I did it 4 years ago at the age of 38. GO AFTER WHAT SETS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE. It's not too late. Please. You have one life to live - this is it. We aren't guaranteed tomorrow so let's live with joy, on purpose, today.
Second, remember there is one resource, one source, that is going to know best and do the miracles and make this all come to life. His name is Jesus. I know some of you out there maybe aren't Christian. Maybe you think I'm crazy. That is totally ok. I am with you still. I remember when I didn't have Jesus in my life. I was doing my own thing, with my own playbook and let's just say, it didn't yield the results I desired. When I turned my life over to Christ and grew in Him, that is when my life started. The more I got to know Him, the more I got to know - and love - myself. And the calling became cemented. And without a degree in design and without an MBA, I had to lean on him. I had to believe He would perform the miracles. My faith led the way. I had loads of hope, prayed all the prayers and still do. Faith is at the center of this business and I am not shy about it. We pray for our clients. We pray for miracles. We pray for creativity. And we always know God has it. Man oh man that makes running a business FUN! BROOOOOO God created the whole world and we have access to Him so you better believe we can design killer spaces! COME ON!
Third, the HDC factor, as I like to say. Healthy habits (H), dedicated discipline (D) and crazy consistency (C). This is not new. There are 5 million books and podcasts on this. And guess what? They are all right and true and good. A few years ago when I went through my divorce I double downed on my already healthy habits and dedicated discipline. I went to Orange Theory 1-2 times more a week. I woke up at 5:30am instead of 7. I invested in world-class coaching and trainings and DID THE DAMN WORK. I showed up and served my community, my people, my women's groups, all of it. Regularly. I gave my time and my talent and my treasure more than ever. I decreased my time watching TV or reading tabloid magazines. I increased my time reading business books and listening to podcasts that were aligned with my goals. I said no to things that weren't a hell yes. In other words, if it's not a hell yes, it's a no. I prayed for everything - from winning clients and parking spots to hiring people and creating at new levels. ALL THE PRAYERS, ALL THE TIME. I could go on and on but the point is this - if you want to live your best life it takes work. If you want to actual pursue your calling, you must create new, healthy habits. You must learn and become so disciplined it hurts. And you must do it all consistently. Not when you feel like it but especially when you don't. HDC ALL THE WAY.
Fourth and last, identify and invest into the right people. I have an ecosystem that I have intentionally created and hold very close. People that have similar goals as mine and people that are vastly different than me at the same time. People that act and not just talk. People that are real and vulnerable, that point me to Jesus. People that teach me, challenge me and call me out. People that love me. People that pray for me. And that I do the same for, over and over again. These can be individual people or groups. For me, it's my Vous Crew. It's my Women's Group. It's my life coach. My therapist. It's my team. It's my pastors. It's my close, close friends. It's my business coach. It's my boyfriend. It's my family. And in finding your people it may mean you have to disconnect with some people. When you are going to new levels and growing, inevitably not everyone will be at your same stage, in your season. And in some cases, the toxic friends or partners or employees have to be surrendered. To go to new heights, it's so so so important we are surrounded with the RIGHT PEOPLE. I 100% wouldn't be here today without my people.
Four. In the Bible, the number 4 is associated with creation. This number is directly related to God's ability to create (how apropos is that?!). On the fourth day of what is called 'creation week' God completed the material universe. On this day he brought into existence our sun, the moon, and all the stars (Genesis 1:14 - 19). Not only was physical creation complete, but the elements of that creation naturally defined day and night, years and seasons which, in time to come, defined months, celebrations and feast times. Time and its measurement was complete on that fourth day, allowing the seasons to unfold. Four means stability. Balance. Solidity. And this is how I feel, despite being challenged in new ways and having growing pains. I feel stronger than ever, ready to lock arms closer with God than ever before to create more than we ever have.
And it's no wonder we are embarking on some of our biggest projects yet! From Formula 1 and Miami Dade College college to our biggest residential projects yet, 2023 is already blowing our mind! Conversely, we deeply desire to give EVERYONE the opportunity to love the space they live, work, play and learn in so we are saying yes to the one-room jobs still and we love it. We LOVE working on it all, helping as many people and businesses as we can.
And this year we will be launching a new arm of our business, dedicated to kids interiors and it's going to be absolutely amazing. Oh and, ahem, an HGTV magazine feature that is an absolute dream and I could start crying again. BYE.
And I want to end with this. We/I have made mistakes. We have failed. I have cried. We have gotten fired. We have not gotten the designs right. We have lost money. We have had seasons where we weren't profitable. I could write pages and pages on my learnings here. So please know I am doing this humbly and hence why I have to lean on God. It's the only way! Even the mistakes and failures make us better and teach us - WE NEED THEM.
We love you, we thank you and we cannot wait to share more of our insights and learnings in the years to come. Studio 790 is just getting started and I believe our best business and design days are ahead!