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Meet Trailblazer Jaki Yermian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaki Yermian.

Jaki, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in San Diego. I’m the only American in my family and the first to graduate college. I always knew I wanted to major in art but hadn’t quite found my calling until a co-worker introduced me to Design Institute of San Diego. From the day I toured that school, I never looked back; it just felt right. Throughout my four years of school, I worked multiple jobs at a time. I worked in the restaurant industry for years while working for interior design firms. This really helped me grow into the designer I am today. I gained insight in all aspects of the business by working in firms of all sizes.

The first job I ever took as a solo designer came from a customer that I met while tending bar. It was a huge commercial job, and I was definitely in over my head, but to this day, I’m proud of the work I produced. It was a happy accident that made me take steps such as applying for a business license and making a Yelp page. Over the course of a few years, I was still working for other designers, and taking a few small remodels here and there on the side.

It got to the point where I could no longer manage my own clients and work a full-time job. I had to keep my business a secret from my employer, which was becoming more challenging as I got more clients. It became evident that it was now or never and I made the rash decision to leave my stable, full-time job to pursue my dreams. Almost immediately, the stars aligned. I started to get exposure with magazine features and even had a TV appearance a month after leaving my job. Now, I have two full-time employees, an office space, and an ever-growing business. My journey has really proved that listening to your gut can never lead you astray!

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?
I don’t reflect negatively on my past struggles, as I feel they’ve taught me to be a better business owner and designer. I could share just as many mistakes as successes.

We’d love to hear more about JY Design Interiors.
We specialize in residential interior design. I personally love kitchen and bath design because there are endless design possibilities with tile and cabinetry. We use a computer program called AutoCAD to create visuals and construction documents that detail everything from which light switch will turn on a light, to which direction your tile runs. This helps keep track of the tiny details that often get missed during construction. Because we are so involved in the project from start to finish, we are able to truly partner with the contractor and give our client the best experience possible.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
My advice to anyone starting their journey would be to always find lessons in your challenges. Everybody has struggles on their road to success, but in order to evolve, you have to be adaptive and eager to learn.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Samantha Goh Photography for all interior shots. Natalie Nayer Designs for headshot.

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