Julie Tice is the owner and principal of Eastend Design Group in Baltimore, Maryland, and has a background in sustainability and historic preservation. Her focus is on small projects like residential renovations and rehabilitations, which satisfies her need to help find solutions to problems, as well as catering to her short attention span. Thanks in part to her compulsive volunteering, she has developed a network of contacts and clients that has kept her firm busy entirely through referrals, but thinks that it’s time to get her own website. In her abundant spare time, she serves as a board member of two non-profits and is working on the finishing touches of her recent home renovations.
1. How did you get started doing what you do?
I decided to be an architect because of my 7th grade history class – I fell in love with ancient Rome at a time when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, and realizing that I loved both art and math and wanted a career that could encompass both. (I wonder if I really figured it out way back when, or if I’ve just been too stubborn or lazy to come up with something different.) After finishing my degree in architecture and working for a few different firms, I realized two things: 1) I really love small projects and working with people to create spaces that make their lives easier, and 2) if I’m going to work for an idiot who only knows half of what he thinks he knows, it might as well be me. So, in 2004 I quit my day job and started working for myself.
2. What is your biggest joy and what is your biggest headache?
My biggest joy is getting to see the construction of my ideas, and hearing from clients how well the spaces work for them. It’s also been extremely rewarding to be able to work entirely from referrals, because it means I’m doing my job well. My biggest headache is dealing with taxes and health insurance.
3. Where do you spend most of your time online (business-wise)?
Most of my work-related online time is spent collecting data from the city and state land records. I’ve been lucky in that Baltimore has put a great deal of public record data online, which saves me tons of time and hassle.
4. What is the one thing, person, service or resource you can’t do without?
Professionally, it would be my computer. Personally, it’s my great group of friends who know just when to drag my butt away from the aforementioned computer and shove wine down my throat.
5. What do you wish someone had told you the day you started your business?
Get an accountant and a housekeeper. Seriously, I think the biggest problem for women is that we’re so used to having to do (or choosing to do) everything, that we resist delegating the “simple” things. So, before your dust bunnies start exercising their Second Amendment rights, and the IRS starts sends hate mail, delegate to other professionals and cut yourself a break.