Full disclosure….I have a love/dislike relationship with Kathy. Sometime she NAILS it and I think holy nuts this bitch can decorate the shit out of some stuff…and then other times I think, whats up with this geriatric country vibe she’s got going on here..?? (anyone remember the Lindsay Lohan house on Million Dollar decorators….what the fuck was that??)
anyways, despite my love / dislike thing, I really respect her as a business woman, and Rue asked her some super great questions that I thought was worth repeating… I am so fascinated to hear how other decorators get down to biz-ness.
Here was what she had to say….
Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us! Tell us, what is a typical day in the life of Kathryn Ireland?
I like to start off with a hike in the morning up the Santa Monica mountains. I then answer emails and head into the warehouse design office around 11:00am. From there I visit the print shop and showroom between residential projects and textile and production design. I usually arrive home around 5-6 in the evening but every day is different.
You wear many hats in your career: interior designer, textile designer, businesswoman, reality tv star, author, mother. How do you juggle all your roles and projects?
I try to get a good uninterrupted sleep every night. A healthy life style is key and a great support staff.
Amen to that! And what do you attribute your success to?
Hard work and I love what I do.
You make it sound so easy! Perhaps you can shed a little light on that. What are five tips you have for women who are looking to turn into creative moguls like yourself?
1. Do nothing without a signed contract.
2. Make sure you have a budget and client approval.
3. Have your back of shop organized. This job consists of 80% paper work and 20% design.
4. Always be as prepared as possible at the beginning of the project and hire a good book keeper.
5. Don’t sleep with your client until they have paid all of their bills.
Number 5 cracks us up! You put yourself ‘out there’ a lot, but what is something your fans would be surprised to know about you?
I produced from the late 80s to the late 90s about 50 musical videos and documentaries. I also married one of the original team members from ‘Saturday Night Live’. Comedy has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a child I wanted to be a vet until I found out blood was involved. I very much enjoyed sowing up my teddy bears.
What was the transition like moving to Los Angeles from London?
Unexpected. I was in my early twenties and I met and married my husband within the first three months so I was very unorganized and unprepared.
Sounds like a whirlwind! Let’s talk about your home now, shall we? What do you love most about it?
It has a good sense of my European upbringing without being stuffy. It also has a southern sensibility. My children all grew up here. Houses in LA are either mid-century or old Spanish.
Favorite thing in your home?
The garden. I love how the indoors connects with the outdoors. It is an extension of the house.
Any style rules you live by?
Buy what you really like, not out of necessity. Be adventurous with your design.
Speaking of design, what’s your proudest professional moment?
I have a proud moment at the completion of every design job. Making magic for a client is a proud moment.
The best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
My first job in Milan as a fashion buyer my boss advised me that I not only have to learn to buy something, I also need to learn to sell it as well.
And for our younger readers, what career advice would you give a new college graduate?
Follow your dreams. Be prepared for a few bumps in the road as every road is bumpy but it will all pay off with perseverance and hard work. Be prepared to work for very little at the beginning but always learn from the people around you.
Last but not leaset, we have to ask! Will there be a Season 3 of Million Dollar Decorators?
The producers have until later on in summer to let us know but at this stage we don’t know.
We’ll be crossing our fingers!
read the interview here
Super great right?? Her 5 biz tips really hit the nail on the head, especially tips 1,2,3,and 4. I am currently writing the longest post known to man about what I have learned thus far being a biz lady myself and so happens one of the most important things I have learned she reiterated in this interview..
her LA home is so dreamy, a little granny…but I am totes picking up what she is putting down
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