Interview with The Beauty Shop
As hosts of Ladies, Wine & Design Madrid, we are always on the lookout for inspiring and entrepreneurial women in the creative industries. The Beauty Shop is a Portland-based studio run by four women who have those qualities in spades. So, obviously, we were stoked to interview them. We love their approach to design as much as we love their approach to business: a conscientious capitalism based on the idea of feminine economy.
Liz Gill Neilson: Partner, Creative Director
Jen Thomas: Partner, Creative Director
Julie Lesseg: Interactive and Design Lead
Kristin Wilson: Project Manager
What have been the major milestones in your career?
Jen: Going to design school, moving to Portland, teaching design, meeting Liz, starting The Beauty Shop.
Liz: Meeting Jen, moving to Portland, deciding to go to design school.
Julie: First off meeting Jen while I was in school at PSU. Graduating from PSU and then being asked to return to teach in the interactive design program.
Kristin: Following my heart and rage.
TBS: The founding of Visible - not only did it take us to the next level but it brought Kristin to us.
How do you get out of your comfort zone? Asked by Frederik Frede
Julie: I had a fortune recently that said: the path to more comfort lies in discomfort.
Liz: Doing in-depth research, trying to lose your own identity a bit and really diving into a project.
Julie: I think you can get out of your comfort zone by knowing what your comfort zone is. Recognizing and moving towards the things that make you anxious or uncomfortable.
How does the place you live in affect your style and work?
1. How much of your day do you spend working?
Between 6-7 hours, not counting the ideas we get in the shower and texting each other until midnight.
2. Where is your ideal work environment?
The Beauty Shop studio at New New Crusher Court.
3. What do you hope to get across with your work?
Beauty and Integrity.
4. What inspires you?
Each other. Doing good work.
5. What's the secret to a successful day's work?
Laughing a lot. We don't really measure our work in days.
6. Is there anything in your life that you can't live without?
7. Is there anything about you that people might not know?
That we're actually men. Just kidding. That we hire men.
8. What would be your dream project?
One with the potential to be aesthetically deep, for good, and with a decent budget.
9. What is the most time-consuming aspect of your work?
Emails and meetings. Other than that, starting out a project: the process of researching, noodling, coming up with ideas and inspiration, and striking a place to work from (which is also the fun part, really).
10. What legacy would you like to leave behind?
Women who made a difference by doing awesome design work without compromising their values.