Founder and CEO
After nearly a decade of working in the financial industry, Julia Amory found herself struggling to find the perfect table linens for her own wedding. It was at that moment that she decided to start her namesake brand. Julia partners with artisans in Jaipur, India who use the 4500-year-old technique of block printing to create beautiful linens, accessories, and clothing. We had the privilege of chatting with Julia about her story, design process, how she draws inspiration.
Out of college you worked in finance, at what point did you decide to follow your passion and start your own business? How did working in finance help you start Julia Amory?
Growing up I was always very artistic, I painted, and submitted my art portfolio when I applied to college. I took classes at both Parsons and FIT during high school summers and was certain I was destined to end up at Vogue. There is however, a very competitive and driven component of my personality that led me to make what I felt was a more pragmatic career choice and found myself working at a large financial firm until I was 30. Those years were completely invaluable and really helped me develop the business acumen and professional accountability that are crucial in running one's own business. I learned so much about sales, marketing, and good business practices while working in sales and trading. Later when I joined the Capital Markets team, I got a primer in how the venture and private equity worlds worked as well as what the IPO process looked like and how syndicates worked together to draft an S-1 and execute and bring a business to the public markets. I am forever grateful for those years of personal and professional development even though I never want to see a Theory suit again....
How did growing up in New York influence your style and your brand?
New York is an incredible place to grow up. I spent a tremendous amount of time at the Met when I was young instilling in me a lifelong love of impressionist art. I was also able to be near my grandparents as they also lived in New York and my grandfather's reverence for history and the formality of an old-fashioned New York existence was something that by osmosis has become a part of my reverence for tradition and a bygone era. My love of color and design was so inspired by spending time with my grandparents who used to take me to the Pucci townhouse on Sundays to pick up a little present post lunch where they would eat lunch with lacquered chopsticks, they brought with them (matching their outfits) which they also confirmed was a way to eat less! I miss the city very much, leaving post-pandemic seemingly overnight was hard.
Looking back, what has been your proudest moment since starting your company?
The loyalty and support of our customers through the pandemic was incredible. There were months where we had to transition to a pre-order model due to supply chain disruption and difficulties importing our inventory and that was a real inflection point in growth for us - our sales boomed, and it was all due to a resounding battle cry of customers who loved what we were doing and wanted to uplift us during what was a very scary time for everyone. I am forever indebted to our customers who were willing to wait a few more weeks for their tablecloths and will never take for granted how differently that could have gone for any small business.
You have an incredible eye for tablespace design. Where do you first start your design process?
I generally like to create a tonal palate meaning I'll start with a color story based on the print and build from there. There is no algorithm, and the best rule is, there are no rules. I enjoy the process of building a vignette as much if not more than the final result.
Walk us through a day in your life.
I wake up around 6:45 / 7 and get the kids up (if one is not already in bed with me) and get Honor out the door to school followed by a check in with our manufacturing team in India; given the time difference, early morning is the best time for us to chat real time. 9AM is a standing zoom with our team in the US to go over marketing, inventory, and any projects we're working on. 10AM is a workout, followed by shower, H getting home from school and meetings / calls in the afternoon. Some days I’m at the showroom in the afternoon, other days I just find it more efficient with the kids to try to work at home. Evenings are either home (preferable) or a work event (maybe once a week) - I really try to limit social activity to 2 nights a week and pick one night on the weekends to see friends.
What is the most memorable piece of advice you have been given and by who?
My boss in capital markets always said, "All meetings are good meetings". I can be somewhat introverted and sometimes would rather crank behind my desk than do an in person, but I really do try to push myself to network and make time to connect with people even when the immediate benefit of doing so isn't totally clear. Second to that and in the same vein, my mom used to pay me 25 cents for every hand I shook at a cocktail party, so I guess I’ve been groomed to network from a young age!
You are now a mother of two! How do you balance work and home life?
There is no balance, you have to go with the way the wind blows - some days kids need you more and some days work is going to need you more. I do my best to be there for both but have really learned to be as flexible as possible and give myself the grace to know that all’s well that ends well and that I just need to go with the flow. At the end of the day, it’s most important to be as present as possible when spending dedicated time with my family.
What is next for Julia Amory?
This year was about getting settled in Florida and opening the showroom. That also meant building out our team with some new faces. Next year will really be focused on product development and perhaps some private label ventures.
At the end of the day, it’s most important to be as present as possible when spending dedicated time with my family.
What is your favorite Mi Golondrina piece you own? How do you style it?
I have always loved anything Mi Golondrina does in white on white - I was first introduced to the brand on a trip with a good friend who was wearing the Olivia Dress in all white in the Bahamas and I had ordered three versions of it within about 5 minutes of seeing her in it. I adore the Reina Dress which is on heavy rotation for me in Florida and the Andrea Top which I love to pair with our pareos.
Describe your style in 3 words
Classic, effortless, colorful.
What is your holy grail beauty product?
Can't live without Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream or St Tropez Self Tanner for body and face
If you could have a meal with one person, who would it be? Why?
Henri Matisse - not alive but - his art feeds my soul and his color palate and endless vision and creativity makes my heart sing
What does your ideal weekend look like?