I was asked why I would feature another designer as my first post on the Design It Live It “People” section. Besides wanting to know the woman behind the brand, I believe that as women we need to applaud and raise each other up. As an interior designer myself, I do not see her as my competition or enemy, I have an immense respect for Sofia, believe she is a game changer in our field and shares her passion with the new generation.
Our conversation went on for almost an hour and it flew by because she is truly a beautiful soul.
Meet Sofia Joellson owner of SoJo Design with offices here and in New York City. Her firm designs residential, commercial, yachts and have even dabbled into aircraft design. She launched her own furniture and accessories collection, a design magazine called Curated Living which is breathtaking and gives us a fresh new spin on the design world. Her SoJo Living Collections, are 6 ready-made interior design packages that give everyone the capability to have a well-designed home.
One of her signature spaces that she is known for is Wine Rooms which she has designed in most of the projects she has completed. Believe it or not she also owns a wine label and she explains that “it was an obvious step to launch my own label with a friend from Napa a couple of years ago. Since her name is Mary and mine Sofia, we call it S &M. Corks are engraved with handcuffs. Who would have known the whole Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon would happen simultaneously!”
I got to sit with Sofia at the Elle Décor Modern Home where she was partnered up with Williams Sonoma Home to design the family room. She is now redesigning the home for her new clients that purchased the $16 million dollar beauty.
She opened up about her love for animals, business tips, and what she wishes for as her ultimate legacy.
What are three words that describe you?
Passionate, Creative and Grateful
Who is Sofia Joelsson besides an interiors and product designer?
I am an animal lover, an art collector, a world traveler, a wine connoisseur and a foodie
How do you juggle between all the hats you have to wear?
I have been fortunate enough that by nature I am very business oriented. I sometimes think its fun to attribute it to being a Capricorn – we are known to be entrepreneurial. I love what I do and that includes the juggling of all of my companies. At the same time, I make sure to take the time to travel so that I am always stimulated with refreshing inspiration to culminate new ideas for interior design, furniture and my textile design.
What advice would you give someone that wants to find their brand / niche?
Always strive to be the best you can be in your field, never take things for granted, always think of angles that sets you apart.
How do you and your company give back to your community or the world?
We love to give back to the design community and we are in the process of setting up a scholarship program for design students with extraordinary ability. This is something I cannot wait to see come to fruition. We also have an in-house internship program and several members of my team were brought on as students directly out of school.
How do you describe your personal style?
Sophisticated, functional and comfortable. I always have a big influence from art and sculptures. I also never leave home without keeping some “wow” factor in mind.
What would be the best business advice you would give to a room full of people wanting to grow their business to the next level?
Set your goals high and come up with a structure to support that goal and don’t let anything stop you from implementing it.
What do you do for fun?
I love animals so playing with my dogs and cats is one of my favorite things to do. I love traveling for fun as well! One of my favorite trips was a couple of years ago when I went on a South African Safari. It was a life changing experience being in the wild with Mother Nature and all the beautiful animals. I love food and wine and try to travel the world to get new culinary experiences. I also love being on the water so boating is a passion and a favorite past time of mine.
Do you have a favorite saying that motivates you and your employees?
Yes! “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”
Who influenced you growing up and why?
My parents took us traveling through Europe every year and that inspired me to always look to the world for inspiring influences.
What women do you look up to now and why?
Since I am in the middle of my career I am looking at women that have mastered branding themselves, spanning over several fields and in this generation I think that Kelly Wearstler has done an amazing job. She is not only a designer, she has her textile line, dinnerware, furniture, accessories, clothing, jewelry – she is a visionary.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I think that Elsie de Wolfe (the woman who defined Interior Design as a profession) quote sums it up for me : “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”