Welcome to the Julio Designs Blog!
I’m Juli Hales. Owner and designer for Julio Designs. My customers are always asking how I got started and where I get my inspiration. I’m going to start out with monthly blog installments, so check back to see what’s on my mind. Hopefully this blog will shed a little light!
I’ll start with a basic introduction. I was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas. My Mother was a ballet teacher and ran her own school, so I saw firsthand that being a female business owner was an achievable goal. She exposed me to the fine arts, travel and world music. I remember travelling with her to summer ballet clinics for her students in New York City and Chicago when I was 7 or 8 years old. I was fascinated to the point of obsession with skyscrapers.
I went on to study design and architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. I worked my way through college and grad school by working in upscale retail boutiques. I learned to appreciate beautifully cut and draped clothing and I swoon over ball gowns. I studied business in grad school because my parents wanted me to get a “real job.” I tried that for a while; I worked as an accountant in banking and oil & gas. That wasn’t for me so one day I walked out – I couldn’t handle the pantyhose and the “old boy” double standards! So, I became the bookkeeper for a small boutique in Dallas and eventually bought the stores.
While I had my stores, I began making and selling jewelry. I realized that there was a broader market for my handmade jewelry, so I started selling wholesale. I was fortunate to land in a great showroom in the old Dallas Apparel Mart through my buying connections. When my son was born, I reluctantly realized that I couldn’t raise him in the stores (I honestly thought that I could pull that off) so I decided to sell the stores and focus exclusively on the jewelry, so I could spend more time with him.
Orders started to come in, so I hired a handful of neighborhood moms to help me with the jewelry production. I made it a priority that the moms that work with me are always available for their children. We operate around school schedules and holidays. We try very hard not to miss a game, play, recital, concert, pep-rally, luncheon, etc.
That’s when things really started to take off. It’s funny how all the seemingly disparate interests I had growing up - my love of good design, an understanding of retail, a basic business knowledge and a desire to be accessible for my child - have all come together to create Julio Designs. As I was writhing this, I realized that almost all these interests can be traced back to the things my mother encouraged me to learn about. My mom passed away in 1987 and I miss her every day.
So, in honor of Mother’s Day – Thanks Mom! And a big Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms of the world.