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Meet Morgan Mullen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Mullen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Morgan. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a wife, mother and designer who specializes in full remodels, kitchen design and styling.

I was raised by my extremely creative photographer mother and my entrepreneur father who was a contractor. My parents began renovating homes in Rancho Santa Fe in the early ’90s, one of which we lived in and my family still owns. It was a “haunted house” that they transformed into an absolute masterpiece, and a home they won an award for due to its redesign while keeping the home’s historic integrity. Both my sister and I were married on the property, and have a very strong tie to the home and land.

Some of my earliest memories are of construction sites and shopping for antiques on the weekends in random little towns with my family. My parents were constantly building and renovating. I truly believe my upbringing has a lot to do with my passion for design.

I graduated from college with a degree in Business Marketing. Business and entrepreneurship has always been something that really excites me. My mother described me as the child who never wanted to play with Barbies, rather, I would set up a secretary desk and play “lawyer and businesswoman” when I was just a few years old. When I was five years old, my grandfather printed my business cards for “Morgan’s Farm Fresh Eggs” and I went door-to-door selling my chicken’s eggs to save money to add more animals to my farm. My parents taught me if I wanted something, I had to figure out a way to earn it.

I always have some sort of a personal project going. I am constantly selling things and changing furniture to create a different space. I would buy a sofa and or a chair and within months it would be up for sale. Pretty sure I drive my husband insane. It wasn’t because I didn’t love it, it was because I was (and I am) addicted to changing, rearranging, purging, restyling spaces. I began noticing others asking me for design advice. Asking me to come in to help them with paint or styling. It became constant, from multiple friends and I remember thinking why?

One day, I was at the park with my girlfriend and my daughters. We began talking about the design again. I remember telling her about this mom’s page in the town I lived in and how I wanted so badly to put myself out there and see if anyone would be interested in me helping them style their homes. Maybe just maybe this could be the answer to me being able to bring in some extra money, yet still have time with my babies. I figured there had to be a reason these friends kept asking me for design help. Her exact words were “I think you should just go for it- what do you have to lose?!?”…

I will never ever forget the day I wrote my post- handshaking, I hit the enter key and sat there, refreshing and watching and hoping I would at least get a “like”. That day, my entire life changed and I didn’t even know it.

A few months after I posted this and had already begun working on multiple homes, I was contacted by a woman who emailed me and said “Hi, I know you’re creative – I found this wreath on Etsy but it’s a small fortune. Do you think you can recreate it for less? ” Sure. So, I make the wreath and she comes to my house to pick it up. She notices my garden and small obsession for succulents and asks me if I would be interested in helping her with her front yard. Hmmmm. Sure. So, I found myself in her front yard telling the landscapers where to drop the boulders and where to plant everything. I had no idea what I was doing, but she pulled up to her house and loved it enough to ask me to design her kitchen. I did not go to design school and I didn’t know much outside of what I had done to my own kitchen, but I thankfully accepted the job. That job ended up being posted by many amazing companies and is the job that exploded my design business.

From there, this business began growing extremely fast. I went from having one or two jobs at a time to five or six to adding employees and having upwards of 15 jobs at one time. I have gained so much trust that I have had multiple clients hand me their keys, their credit cards and told me to “just do what I do”…My work has been posted by the companies and places I look for inspiration. This business in just a few years has grown to a place I would have never in a million years ever dreamed of.

I start my day at 4 am daily. I started doing this about a year ago when I had my son Declan to allow me to catch up on work, exercise and have a few moments of silence before my three little ones wake up and it’s time to get them off to school. I strive daily to maintain what I call the working-mom-life-integration. Some days I have it, other days I don’t. My family is first, but my business is my fourth baby.

Thousands of people watch my stories daily where I show the ups and downs- running from project-to-project, the before and afters, my three babies and the chaos that is being a working mom. I’m as honest and raw as I can be. It’s a hard job, but it’s my absolute passion and there’s no place I’d rather be, and I can honestly say my heart is full of gratitude every single day.

Our family is just in the process of moving to a brand new home that we are completely renovating to make our own. We are weeks away from launching my store; a dream of mine for about a year now and it’s finally here. I’ll be selling many of the items I use to style my client’s homes and teaching people how to use these items in their homes. There’s a talk of opening my own store, traveling for design and continuing to grow what was just a mere idea that is now my dream job.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not. I did not go to design school, so everything I have learned I have taught myself and learned along the way. Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, but the girl I was five years ago is not who I am today. I take so much pride in learning from every project.

Morgan Mullen Design – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
What sets me apart from others is my aesthetic. I have a very specific style, I’m attracted to clean and simple lines, natural textures and contrast. People know what kind of look they’re going to get in hiring me. 🙂

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Every time I finish a project, it’s a proud moment. It’s a strange thing to explain, but the day the photographer comes in and takes those after photos and they’re posted- I am just so proud of it all.

I will get notified my work is being published by companies or people I really admire. Going onto websites and seeing my work is also this unreal feeling that is so amazing.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Susan Magre Photography, Nicole Obert Photography, Greg Nowicki Photography

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