The Alimond Show

Lori DuVal & Julie Hoffmann of J&L Interiors, LLC

March 27, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Lori DuVal & Julie Hoffmann of J&L Interiors, LLC
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine creating a business with your mirror image – quite literally. Our latest guests, a pair of visionary identical twins, have done just that, nurturing their shared passion for home design into a thriving 26-year legacy. Together, they recount the evolution from their initial careers to becoming connoisseurs of craftsmanship, proving that with a blend of dedication and that unique 'twin telepathy,' building an empire is more than just a dream. As they share their commitment to high-end, personalized service, you'll be whisked away into a world where every stitch and hammer swing is a note in the symphony of their clients' stories.

When the world was put to the test by the pandemic, so was the resilience of businesses everywhere. Our guests unveil how they, with their distinct personalities and strengths, navigated such turbulent times. They transformed challenges into lessons of patience and the art of communication, serving as a beacon of inspiration for entrepreneurs and dreamers alike. Join us as we celebrate their tenacity and explore the opening of a new kitchen and bath showroom, marking not only a business milestone but the heartwarming introduction of the next generation into their family enterprise.

Finally, we delve into the essence of what it means to 'just be lovely.' These sisters believe in the power of spreading kindness, a lesson instilled by their mother and grandmother, and one that resonates in everything they do - from the way they approach design to the infectious joy of one's smile. Their story is a stirring reminder that amidst the hustle of ambition, taking the time to share a moment of loveliness can have a profound impact. So, settle in and let the warmth of their journey inspire you to find the beautiful details in your own life.

Speaker 1:

So tell me a little bit about how you guys started your business.

Speaker 2:

So are you related. No, so actually it's funny that you say that, because we get asked a lot if we're sisters.

Speaker 1:

That's the first question.

Speaker 2:

Because people are too hesitant to ask us if we're twins, so they always go with the sisters' questions first yes, we are related.

Speaker 1:

We're identical twins.

Speaker 2:

We're identical twins. We've been in business for 26 plus years now Wow, yeah, a lot.

Speaker 1:

We practice like saying that in sync.

Speaker 2:

We don't, you know it's amazing we will find in this conversation where we finish each other's sentences All the time. Some people think it's rude, but we're used to it, so we just roll with it. Yeah, so we started it. Our first careers were actually marketing and telecom, and when we stepped all the workforce to have our kids, we were like we want to do what we love. It's not that we didn't love our first careers, but we recreated ourselves around our families and we've been doing it ever since. Well, it's a little bit more to the story than that, but we grew up doing a lot of sewing, canning, baking, everything kind of 4-H.

Speaker 1:

Flower arranging antique here. Yeah, our grandmother and our mother.

Speaker 2:

My mother wallpapered for living to get extra money. Our great uncle had an antique store. We would come home and our houses would be, our bedrooms would be moved around and stuff like that so organically. We were always around it and our father was a commercial electrician and then they went into building. So we were always around construction and everything home. So by the time we stepped all the workforce, we both had already designed our own homes and we already had friends asking us to help them with their homes. So that's really what launched us At that time. We actually designed and sewed everything ourselves too. So we also had the fabrication side and we were getting asked from other people, other designers, to actually fabricate for that. So when we kicked off J&L, everything that we designed we also sewed and made and installed for them. So it was extremely when something went up on the walls or we delivered something, it was just such a proud moment that we had actually created it in our mind, made it and then installed it Like it was art.

Speaker 2:

It was everything in design, and so I think that gives us a great appreciation for a lot of things that goes into our business, because we do know how many hours it goes into it for the fabrication side, whether it's a simple pillow with a zipper and all the work that goes into that.

Speaker 2:

Well, I think it's also the resources the upholsters, the artists, the furniture makers, the cabinet companies that are rub and finishes on and rub and finishes off to get the color exactly that you want, or they're spending hours a day putting distressing on something. Because we come from a place of creating ourselves, I think there's just an appreciation of all the resources that goes into each element that we put in our designs.

Speaker 1:

And you work with the best of the best, with material.

Speaker 2:

The best of the best.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I think that's one of the things that the amount of years and experience that we have is having those resources. I think it's one of the things that our clients like most about us is vetting all of those contractors and the resources so that you don't have to worry about that part of it. Well, I think it's also in creating a curated boutique look for each client knowing that we've heard something from the client or we've seen something about their travels or a color that they're drawn to, that then we can create around, and so I think that that's something that's really special to the clients is that we just listen.

Speaker 1:

So that's not the word on the street when anybody talks about you guys is just that attention to detail and working with the best of the best and your reputation. How did you get to that point? You told me a little bit, but I think there are more to it.

Speaker 2:

That's actually a great question. I think we've worked really hard for it. We spend a lot of time, even with contractors, vetting them, even in our own homes, right? So how do you get to that? I think is by trial and error, a little bit, lots of research. We do a lot of research.

Speaker 1:

A lot of research.

Speaker 2:

And you know the community is so important for things like that. Think about all the people who move into the area and don't know a doctor, they don't know a plumber, they don't know anything right. So in different instances it may be a new experience for us, it may be a new design that we have in our head, but we've never actually implemented it before and it's a matter of going out and really doing the due diligence to make sure. And I think experience also helps us to ask the right questions. So we do a lot of destination properties now and people always ask me like how do you get a great resource when you go into a new country, a new part of the country, right? So we did one in Jackson Hole, wyoming, and I had to find a new receiving company, I had to find a new painter, I had to find a new contractor and it's because of experience we know what questions to ask. That helps vet it for the clients, because the clients want it to be seamless.

Speaker 2:

That's what we all want, right? We want to all have a great experience so that we feel confident and the person that you're hiring to do something for you, your trust, and I take that very. We take that very seriously. It's a pressure, but we take it on because we want to deliver that kind of service For sure. I mean Lori and I like to kind of give the analogy of a high-end hotel that people stay in around the world, right, how you feel when you first walk in, what does that feel like? The experience of everybody you come in contact in the relationship during your hotel stay? And that's one of the things that we try to strive for with communication what the overall experience is, what our behavior is, what our contractors' behaviors, what the communications like, all that kind of good stuff.

Speaker 2:

And they do. They look to us to be the quarterback, right? So if we are doing a renovation, they don't necessarily want to direct with the contractor, they don't want to talk to the painter, they don't want to talk to the countertop person, and so we're the front person and we want to make sure that all the information is going through us seamless and that they love it and stay excited, because people get fatigued and for us it's exciting. I mean, we're delivering their dream and we want that to be exciting for them too. It is true, we love what we do after all these years, I mean, despite different things that have happened over the course of the years, of what we call learning opportunities. Right, we still love it because no two projects are the same, no two clients are the same and trends are changing and I think for our type A personalities, that's probably what's going on.

Speaker 1:

I was going to ask the personnel. They're just listening and watching you guys. You guys seem very similar in presentation and decision to detail.

Speaker 2:

It's interesting. I think you say that because it wasn't until Zoom came in that I realized I actually have a slower speech pattern than she does. Yeah, I think I run a little faster.

Speaker 1:

Have you noticed that?

Speaker 2:

I think in general, I run a little faster and furious. I love the pace, I love the energy. I think in our hearts we are extremely alike. We're very much alike. I think we compliment each other, though I think that there's things about the business that she enjoys more and there's things about the business that I enjoy more. And we rely on each other's strengths and I will tell you, it's been amazing.

Speaker 2:

The COVID environment for us was traumatic and I had somebody tell me, when you're in a situation in your business, when you've been in business for so long and something comes up like that, that everybody gets to wear a superhero cape to help you through it and everybody in our team has done that. We've all found what all of our strengths were and really, really rely on each other's strengths. And that's hard when you're a twin, because you don't want to think one's better at something than the other one is. We definitely have our lanes that we like to stay in, or things that are nearer and dearer to our hearts or easier for us, because it comes natural and I think, going back to even just how, when we were growing up, I can have a great ability to sit and do stuff for hours, whether it's cross stitching or reading or playing with Legos or whatever.

Speaker 1:

Like I, have the patience to color, colour Like you used to color a lot more.

Speaker 2:

I would color for hours, but and Lori's a little less, so that. So, when it comes to accessorizing anything, She'll play with each little leaf on the flower or something Like I just I really embrace that, where she's like okay, okay, okay, let's. Look I got this vision here, it's going to go Right, okay.

Speaker 1:

You got that, Julia.

Speaker 2:

Then she goes into the next thing. So when you guys were talking about the pandemic Was that what you were talking about the learning opportunities.

Speaker 2:

Yes, oh yeah, so, oh my gosh. So. So COVID, in our industry it was the most disruptive thing in 26 years that we've ever had. I mean, we weren't getting correct information and we were really worried about our integrity of like. We didn't, we couldn't control anything as the first time, and I would say we're control freaks. I mean our clients pay us to be control freaks right To manage a process for them. I was using type A personality. Well, I mean you need to, you need to.

Speaker 2:

And what we had to do, and it was. It's amazing Like we're coming out of this better business people, because we had to put policies and procedures, logistics into place that we never would have had to do if the pandemic didn't happen, because, you know, timelines were different from one industry to the other. So we could get a couch, maybe quickly, but we couldn't get what I say for one segment of our business to another it was different and it's even different now, coming out of the pandemic Right.

Speaker 2:

So now we're having to readjust. But you know, just to your point, like some of the challenges we thought, are we going to let a pandemic, like, really impact our business or are we going to figure out what the workarounds are? So, like Lori said, policies and procedures, really understanding and Tracking systems a lot better now.

Speaker 2:

Really getting into our business model of what is what is the right opportunities for us. How do we want to move forward? Where do we want to focus our energies? And instead of concentrating so much more on the creative side which we've all, I think, probably, if you, it's so natural, yeah, it's so natural we gravitate to that. That's a fun part. We've had to. We kind of had to gravitate a little bit more to the business side of it. Yeah, and I think the clients are appreciating that. Yeah, we, when we were in the pandemic, right, we were just happy to deliver anything, right, so if a piece of art came in, you're like let's throw the piece of art up. You know, whereas before we were yes, yes, so before we would give them, you know, whole room visions, like we would deliver in a room, and now it became give them anything to keep them excited, because it may be six more months before the next thing comes in.

Speaker 1:

It's crazy, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

We spent a lot of more time being busy just to try to deliver anything instead of controlling it. It can kind of control us, it did, it controlled us, and I think that that's where we got better.

Speaker 1:

We started pulling it back.

Speaker 2:

How did you overcome that, Really understanding how to control it? Well, I think that communicate with the clients in a different fashion. I mean, you know, like you said, everybody wants Instagram notification right now and with the Amazon's in the world, that's not going to change. But you can never get a curated look like that. You can never get a good design if you want something instant, Because I'm hoping to go into a store to find the right scale, the right color, maybe with the right fabric, is impossible. So anything that was available was only to make it available, not because it was a good design choice, and so communicating that to the client of it's worth the wait. Let me, let me give you the dream. It's going to cost you more if you're having me go pick up a lamp you know locally and a piece of art that might work, instead of letting me get you the perfect lamp, the perfect piece of art, the perfect carpet, the perfect sofa. So it was communicating that message to the client that I think really helped us kind of bring the control back in and then deliver products that we were really excited and the clients loved in the end.

Speaker 2:

I'm a firm believer it set realistic expectations and then exceed them. You know, and I think in that kind of environment that was the most important thing is this is going to be challenging and it's and we're going to be frustrated and we might have to reselect and we're only as good as information that we were given and we promise you that we will check on it all the time and we will stay on top of your project, but there's only so much in our control and for most reasonable people and business, business owners which we work with a lot, we had a great understanding for that. You know, once you got through the initial of ah, pull your hair out. This is crazy which I think everybody during the COVID thing went through different cycles of it Of hey, I'm frustrated, hey, I'm understanding.

Speaker 1:

I'm frustrated again.

Speaker 2:

Don't you think this is gonna?

Speaker 1:

end. When is this gonna end? I?

Speaker 2:

mean, don't you feel the same way? And so that's what Lori's driving at. Is that the communication of setting the expectations. And I think we probably do those same expectations on our custom builds, our larger projects. Yeah, because some of these larger projects that we work with we're in those people's lives for two, three years. Because we started the architectural level. We're picking every tile, the hardware, what the door knobs look like, what does the roof, what does the garage door lay out on all their cabinets, cabinet finishes, hardware where the knobs go on, all the way through to the soft furnishings of the last piece of art. And we tell them you're gonna have design fatigue, decision fatigue, change order fatigue with the builder by the time you get to the end, but stay with us because we promise you we're gonna get you across that finish line and you're gonna love your home when you're in it. But there are gonna be challenges along the way.

Speaker 2:

So I think we were equipped for it. Yeah, I do wanna back up. I think that one of the things that did come out of the COVID thing that our clients that came out loud and clear with our clients was during the COVID thing, vendors were trying to rush out product and a lot of times we'd come in and the quality wasn't what it needed to be and I would say I'm sorry, this is not a J&L type of quality that we want. I want you to use it for now. I'm gonna get you a new one, Right, Right, so keep them in a situation where they had something, but know that it was more important to me that we got it right and people were willing to accept product, that just accept product in that environment, and we were the ones that say no, no, no, you shouldn't have to accept it like that. We wanna make sure that it's perfect for you. So I think that that really came through too in that environment. But we have that all behind us now.

Speaker 1:

What are the lessons from that? And applying them to the future, right, what does things look like so you can move on in the next five, 10 years?

Speaker 2:

Ooh, that is a great question.

Speaker 1:

We're still.

Speaker 2:

I'm curious, I'm curious how you answer it versus how I answer it. So it's interesting because we have two of my boys now working for us, which was a shock to both of us that they wanted to stay around. That they wanted to really join the team and they're embracing it and they love it and I think that it would have been different if we we would be remiss if we didn't say that it's been incredible adding men into our office and getting a different perspective.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and of course we also like working with the youth because they come on board with the technology that we don't necessarily have, or it's said that they're better at it, quicker at it, and we've been able to push our company to be having leading technology, and I think that's important All right, so you go first.

Speaker 1:

Okay, go first.

Speaker 2:

So five to 10 years. So, like I said, we're opening the kitchen and bath show room which we're super excited about. We brought in cabinets eight years ago now. I thought we just said it was like 10. It goes by quickly, it goes by quickly. We don't consider this kind of thing, yeah, that was like a dark hole.

Speaker 2:

No, so it has been 10 years and my oldest son is our cabinet designer and he is a genius. I mean, he sees how it's put together and we just look at him and go, can we just make it pretty? And so I think it's now about building a legacy. Before it was building something together that we loved and wanted to share. Just wanted to share it with anybody who would let us. And now it's really about building a legacy, and so I think that we're in it for another 10. Yeah, we're in for another 10.

Speaker 2:

We're in for a question and more. No, I never want to quit. Yes, so my life changed a little bit. This year. I became a grandmother for the first time. Congratulations, Thank you so much. And he is just pure love and light. I mean, I just love it, right. So I think that's probably why Lori's like are we on the same track? Because you don't want to lose those moments and you don't want to lose that time and you want to be able to embrace it too. But I can tell you that I also know that what I do if I didn't have Jane Elb, it's such a part of my life. So I, we have like two marriages. We're married to each other in the business and we're married to our spouses.

Speaker 2:

I think we have some lofty goals and obviously we want to open the new show room. We want to expand the cabinet division. We love that part. Had no idea without my OCD personally. And I say that because I love things organized and kitchen design is all about that, you know. Or cabinet design is so much about that functionality and that organization and while I always kind of did it peripherally, now it's such a mainstay and I really love it. So I know that that part of our business will grow. You know, we've toyed around with online design or online website, like Lori and Julie's favorite things. We'd love to have a website store of the designers, the designers, the designers, designers, picks, you know, because there's so much that we have like we buy from all over the world, so there's like certain things I like to get from here and certain things I like to get from there, and I'd love for do you remember the?

Speaker 2:

home and design that one year where they asked us at Christmas in their Christmas edition. They asked us like, give us like one of your favorite gift ideas. And then everybody kept calling us to buy it. And mine was like a bed tray, it was a breakfast bed tray and yours was like a really beautiful decorative frame holder, like for a couple of cases, and we sold so many of those because people liked it. So I'm like Lori we could do this on an online store of these things that we kind of curate.

Speaker 1:

And people you could source it or something as everyone's calling you to Right people don't know like that.

Speaker 2:

If I have a glass company that I like to buy from out of Mallorca, right, so how great is that? Nobody has that around here. And we have Turkish rugs that we like to get from a truck that comes by the office, and things like that that we were able to put into our projects but that you can't really source locally right, we have to be able to cherry pick a little bit. The other thing is I love PBS. I would love to do a PBS TV show.

Speaker 1:

Recommend the TV show. Okay, make sure we're on the same page. Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, did you already tell her about it?

Speaker 2:

No, oh no, I didn't tell her. Okay, because I think that there's such a great interest in the kind of behind the design and you know, the ones that they have now are what's what's wrong and people fighting with each other, and for me, some of the PBS shows that are very interesting and informative. Like I would love to introduce people to the artisans who maybe do our upholstery or, like Lori said, the hamplin glass things or you know, and they have such a story behind their lives, right, and I feel like it would be a personal interest kind of right.

Speaker 1:

I love inspirational things.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, and you know what. There's so much in our background. I mean, we're the forefront, right, but there's so many people in the background that help us deliver the dream right that we've been able to kind of collect our people through the years that really help us and have the same integrity, right. It really matters to them too what type of product they're delivering.

Speaker 2:

So it wasn't until Lori's husband, tom, said about us living the American dream because for us we just work right. It just is something that we started, something that we do, something that we love. But he, especially in the pandemic, he's like do you know how many people you give work to? The painters, the electricians, the plumbers, the fabricators for the window treatments, the upholsters, the gentleman who does all of our rugs, the people who do our floor, refinishing our contractors? You know we are really on the forefront of kind of making an economic world go around to a certain extent. And when he put it to us plainly like that, because like we're gonna get out there and work harder.

Speaker 1:

Is it the inspirational, motivational, like that was one of the talks? It was one of the talks, that was one of the talks, you know it would really put things in perspective.

Speaker 2:

Sometimes you need that perspective.

Speaker 1:

Get outside here. Yeah, Fuck off. Please Look at how much impact you make. Just drop it on, honey. Let's go Exactly Look how much impact you make.

Speaker 2:

Get out the door. Look at how much impact you make.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, look at the impact, yeah, and we just want to make people's homes beautiful, yeah, yeah, so, during the pandemic, though, I also redid my kitchen, so it was one of those situations where I was so excited to try out a new cabinet line, some new contractors. I'm like I'm gonna do my own, and it was the first time. It was the first time, though, that I was the client, and so I said to Julie it made me better because I was the client, and I know that I don't want somebody leaving a couple of my counter. Right, I don't want a contractor to come in leave a couple of my counter. I know that I want the job sites swept at the end of the day, and so I became a better teacher for all of our faculty?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, teacher for whoever resources that we brought onto one of my clients have expectations. Yeah, to set it to personality. And then you plus plus, that's bonus. It may be a plus, plus, plus, plus, plus we're back to that question of how did we get to being known for that?

Speaker 1:

That's him. Yeah, as a became a grand client. Yeah, I think that's where a lot of business owners. It's hard when you're in it all the time from the business owner perspective, because we've done it ourselves, we've heard or other, or I've heard my other business brands kind of complaining about certain, oh I can't believe they got upset about this thing. It's not a big deal, but then it's like when you put yourself in that place exactly. Actually, it was really annoying that they left a cup on the counter Right it's unnecessary, it's unnecessary.

Speaker 1:

It could have been taken away or cleaned up for yourself, really Right.

Speaker 2:

Right, exactly.

Speaker 2:

That leaves that impression I was telling you about, right, that leaves that emotional impression that they have when they walk in the door. At the end of the day they're like, oh, I got to sweep this dirt because they didn't sweep up before they left and I have construction. Well, it's also back to exactly what you were saying about studying expectations, right? So it became a when are they showing up? Do I know what Tamara's going to bring? Do I need to back my car out of the driveway? Do I have a schedule to know? And so now we know what the clients want from us, right? And I think that, like you said, when we get into it and we're all working in our jobs and working in our careers, we speak that language, we know the expectation, we don't worry, right, because we know who we've got. Yeah, we know who we've got, but are we communicating that effectively to our clients?

Speaker 1:

And I can say it's Because they may not know yeah, and at times we weren't right Because it was our everyday life and when I-.

Speaker 2:

It's like using acronyms in a business that you know all the acronyms but nobody else knows. Yeah, so it did, it made us better. It made us better. So I always say that's the line, like if it was your home, would this be okay?

Speaker 2:

Right and I think that that's the other thing that you and I have done really well over all the years is that we are open to learning each day and listening to other people and again that goes back to our team that's come into each person, that's kind of worked within our organization, has elevated us or brought us knowledge or taught us a lesson. Well, I think our clients are fascinating. I mean they are, they've taught us so much. I mean they're smart, well-educated, well-traveled, have families you know, and they've elevated us. They elevate us every day. They're just lovely and giving and charismatic and-.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you guys are both very involved with each client. It sounds like it.

Speaker 2:

So it's actually we each have our own clients, but before a client sees any of my designs, she sees it first, so she's always gonna have the more critical eye and me on hers as well. So we bounce ideas off each other, but no, some like. You've got a couple clients right now. I've never even met Right, which in the early days. That would never, happen, right, but, and it's fun when we go to photograph the projects, because I'm like, damn Lori, this looks great, she'll walk into mine and she'll say whoo Julie, good use of color or texture that's different than what Right, and it's fun.

Speaker 2:

It's like we get our own reveals for each other's projects. Yeah yeah, it is, it's nice. Are you guys competitive? Not anymore, no, not at all anymore.

Speaker 2:

I think it's innate between siblings and it was very pressured against us in high school, this one's prettier, this one's smarter, this one's faster, this one's friendlier, whatever it's faster Defended? No, I can answer that If we raced against each other, she was. If we raced against the clock, I was yeah, there we go, yeah, so that's a safe, very dependent, and so that was put on us a lot by friends, teachers, family to a certain extent.

Speaker 2:

And so we kind of went through young years like late teens, early twenties, where it was a more competitive environment, and then we were like we had a life-changing episode. Let's be honest.

Speaker 1:

That's what happened.

Speaker 2:

Well, when we first started our business, we were two chief snow Indians. We argued about the bags, the signs, the colors.

Speaker 1:

That's how I would imagine it.

Speaker 2:

No, but we were our own worst enemies. I mean, it was literally so bad of like, no, I'm not buying that. No, I really want this. We were arguing over such minute details that we couldn't say, okay, you handle that. We actually embarrassed ourselves on a couple of occasions in front of some of our employees On front of our clients?

Speaker 1:

I don't think.

Speaker 2:

Not on occasions on buying trips.

Speaker 1:

No, no, I'm talking about at the office earlier but fast forward.

Speaker 2:

Unfortunately, our dad got very, very sick and he passed away from cancer. But going through that together collectively was a real perspective gainer for us.

Speaker 1:

And now we are not.

Speaker 2:

His brother was his business partner. Yes, and his brother. Literally. It just showed us that she's my best friend, Right. What is any of this math? I mean, really, what a gift we've been given. Stop being crazy people. What a gift we've been given.

Speaker 1:

Crazy people separately, not with each other. Right.

Speaker 2:

So what it did make us is it's kind of us against the world now.

Speaker 1:

Which is how it should have always been Right.

Speaker 2:

And we're forced to be working with. We like to bring everybody into our creepy little world now yeah yeah, like yeah. Yeah, and I think some of the reason we were so competitive, like I said, was when your siblings it's automatically innate and all the pressures of being you know when we were growing up, twins weren't as common as they are now Right.

Speaker 2:

And it's hard to go through life in the same phase, with the same face, with the same friends, and you're going through birthdays together, graduations together, I mean I don't think. I think the weddings were the first time that the two of us ever did anything.

Speaker 1:

That were our, that was uniquely ours, yeah.

Speaker 2:

We were in business, but happily now we're choosing it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're choosing it.

Speaker 2:

That's the difference.

Speaker 1:

I think it's just like look at happy, fun, wholesome story, right? Oh yeah, I think so.

Speaker 2:

I do. We are the middle class girls who like to be in blue jeans and dirt and hiking, as well as like to be dressed up and sitting in a Ritz Carlton in Paris and drinking champagne.

Speaker 1:

See, I see the Ritz Carlton. Do you Paris version? Oh, okay.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's so funny that you say that I was actually having drinks with someone last night and she has a house in DC and out in Upperville and she goes. I go to Upperville because I don't have to put on makeup Right, or do my hair. And early on when we started our business, you know we were just Lori and Julie right, and then we became designers. You have an image People want you to be a designer.

Speaker 2:

And we had gone out to Costco together I'll never forget this and neither one of us had makeup on, and we ran into a client and they kind of looked at us and I go, lori looked at me and said you never do go out again without me, you're done. You can see that they were caught off guard, that they were caught off guard. And so Because you didn't have makeup on, no, just because we were.

Speaker 1:

We didn't look the part of the designers.

Speaker 2:

You can see us as the Ritz-Krouten drink and champagne, but you can't see us as the. That kind of makes me a little sad, because I love to hike and I love to be out in the middle of the night.

Speaker 1:

I only see the. I know, I know.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

I don't hang out with people, good thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah for the branding. For the branding for sure, for the brand it is good, but it's so Like, you see, that joy that goes between the two of us. I mean, to us we're still little girls, we're still each other's sisters, and so the morning starts with me taking this picture of myself going how am I going to make this look good today? And she'll go girl, something like that. You know type things. So for us we're just the two little girls that grow up together, that get to work together and create beautiful things.

Speaker 1:

I love that. And if you had one message for the world, you could pick which part of the world, or the whole world, what?

Speaker 2:

would that message be separately? Ooh, you go first, you can do anything, and information is power. Why? Because I feel like if you're informed, then you can make your own decisions Right, and I feel like that even with working with my clients. If I give you five decisions, this couch looks like this, but this one sits like this. It's kind of like what's the perfect thing for you. By giving you the information and making you informed, then you can make the right decision. I feel like that applies to a lot of things in life and I also feel like because we've worked hard and we started our business and it's so much more than we ever thought it would be that if you work hard for something and you believe in it, you can make anything happen.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think hard works.

Speaker 2:

Mine would be just be lovely. It costs nothing and it changes everybody's experience.

Speaker 2:

What do you mean by lovely? So I have a thing called the lovely factor. That's just my thing. It's like just be lovely, because if you meet somebody on the street and you think that they're in a beautiful sweater today, why not tell them? You feel that you think that share your joy, Just share your joy, and it takes nothing just to be lovely. And I think we get that graciousness from our mom and our grandmother. I would agree with that. That was how we were raised and it's just. I just love that response you get back. I mean it is a total pay-forward. Always, right, You'll always get a smile back, or you'll always see their face light up, or even in an experience that you're creating from somebody, it changes. It changes the trajectory of that person's day, and I think that would be mine, Right? I mean just having my grandson. If you smile, he smiles back. How old is he? He's seven months, Okay, little little, yeah.

Speaker 1:

So, but that's but that's kind of what she's. She's lost her forever. I mean, she's gone, she's gone.

Speaker 2:

But if you smile, he smiles back, and it's the same principle you know, that kind of that innocent kindness that is Down his experimental girl.

Speaker 1:

That's the best day. That's said on my mind, but I'm starting to fell out a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Oh, he's delicious, he is, he is. And you know, like I'll be going through my phone to show a client like something, and I'm like, oh, there's like you want to see me. Oh, like I am a little guilty of that. She's embarrassing, she's starting to be embarrassing about it. But I mean, look at her, she's like she's getting when she thinks I'm a oh yeah, she's fantastic yeah. I'm a very proud grandma. Let's have three more of them.

Speaker 1:

We're like everybody else just multiply One at a time because you've got to like oh yeah, you have to focus right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we love that he. It's just him right now and he's stinking right. And what's interesting is it's my son, who is the youngest of our five children, that started the baby making it.

Speaker 1:

Thank you so much for being on the show. You guys are so much fun. You're like so much joy You're so great.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, we really appreciate that. I really appreciate it. Yeah, it's fun.

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Life-Changing Experiences and Sisterly Bond
The Power of Being Lovely