Today we’d like to introduce you to Genna Margolis.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Born and raised in New York City. I grew up in Rockaway Beach and commuted to Brooklyn everyday for school until I went away to college. I was lucky to get an urban upbringing while living on the beach. It was pretty unique and has been a big influence in my design.
When I went off to college, I had no idea what I want4ed to do so I majored in math (yes math!), I truly have no idea why I did this but I was always better at math than writing so it was an easier route. I was never totally sure what I wanted to do after college but always pictured myself running my own business that I was passionate about.
I started my career in Manhattan residential real estate in 2009 as an assistant to a real estate broker. I thought I wanted to be in fashion but unfortunately there wasn’t a ton of opportunity during this time due to the recession. I learned so much from my then boss about sales and being entrepreneurial that I briefly went on my own as a real estate broker working for myself. The minute I went on my own it hit me that real estate wasn’t for me and I really wanted to do something more creative. Through all of my real estate showings, it made me realize how much I loved interior design. I started working part-time for an interior designer while also still doing real estate. I learned the business of interior design but I still needed technical skills to really make the move to being a full-time interior designer.
I went back to parsons part-time while still keeping my real estate job and working for a designer. Shortly after I finished school, my husband and I decided to move to LA. I really just wanted to try something new so I applied for a full-time position with a design firm. The firm wasn’t for me and only after four weeks of being there (back in 2015) I made the bold decision to go on my own. I was very new to LA and it wasn’t perfect. I did a ton of freelancing for other designers along the way until I had enough business to fully be on my own. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing and it makes me realize everything happens for a reason and to appreciate the process along the way 🙂
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There isn’t enough text here to even tell you all of my struggles. HAHA!! Here are a few highlights:
1. It’s forever a struggle between looking for that next big job and then being too busy and not having enough help.
2. In the beginning when I was really trying to establish myself, I tried doing different business models. One of which was I tried an interior design subscription service that was about $300 for six months (yes, that’s correct!!). I wanted to make it attractive to get sign-ups. What ended up happening was I got sign-ups and basically worked for a free for a ton of people for a year, haha. Big mistake but lesson learned.
3. I struggled learning how to let go of control and the meaning of delegating in order to let myself grow. For a long time, I simply couldn’t let go and it was tough growing pains.
4. I have made a ton of mistakes during projects that I have had to pay the price for financially (which at the time seemed to be the end of the world) but I am grateful to have had those mistakes early in my career because it has taught me the importance of how detail-oriented you need to be in EVERY aspect of design.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Born and raised in New York City, I merge both west and east coast aesthetics. I really specialize in interiors that are modern and warm, with pops of color. and texture One of my biggest principles is I want all my designs to be a mix of my client’s tastes with a “shapeside” twist. Because of this, it gives me the opportunity to continuously grow my portfolio and evolve my style.
I guess you could say the thing I am most of proud of is that I get to successfully do a career that represents me and my personality while helping others 🙂
Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Yes my husband, mom, family, and my close friends. They all play different roles in how they’ve helped me but I’m very lucky to have people to call no matter what the issue is.
Bottom line – could not have done it without my family and friends to lean on continuously.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.shapeside.com
- Instagram: @shapeside
Photographers: Amy Bartlam and Madeline Tolle