Welcome to Morgan Julia Designs Blog! If you follow me on Instagram, you may know a little bit about me. I love Topo Chico, boating, happy hours, and stitching next to my Goldendoodle, Captain. I want you all to get to know me on a deeper level, so I thought I would do a small 'about me' post.
A not-so-brief life history:
I was born in Dallas, Texas and lived there for a few months before we moved up to Annapolis, Maryland. Through my school years, I played ice hockey and field hockey. I've always loved art and I won several art competitions growing up, but it wasn't until high school that I realized that art was something that I wanted to do as a career. However, I was worried about the financial side of being an artist, so I decided to start selling my art in high school in hopes to lay groundwork for a successful career after college.
I went to the University of Maryland, College Park where I created my own major. I tried about 4 different majors and nothing stuck and/or felt right. I didn't want to pigeonhole myself with a major - so I decided to create my own. My major is titled "Design & Merchandising" and my hope was to go into fashion. I picked all of the courses in college for my curriculum and it ended up being a mix of business, studio art, and history courses. I graduated college early because I didn't love the party culture (I'd rather stay inside and stitch). After my junior year, I moved back to Annapolis and have been living in an apartment with my boyfriend ever since!
I should mention - throughout college I was continuing to sell my art and blog. I had a successful lifestyle blog that I still frequent from time-to-time. I wrote my blog as a fun outlet from the stress of high school and college and I'm so happy that I did. I didn't know it at the time, but running my own small-business and blogging taught me a lot about social media marketing and management. It has helped me so much today in running my own business.
Upon graduating, I worked as a Merchandise Planner in a retail store. I had never worked retail before so it was definitely an eye-opening experience. I craved more independence and less of a commute (I was driving all over the DMV) - so I entirely switched careers to a Social & Digital Director for a local company. Because I didn't have a commute and they let me work from home, I had a lot more free time in my days. I have been needlepointing for awhile, but one day decided to try to translate one of my designs onto canvas. I loved the technicality of painting on a canvas and just so happened to post it to Instagram. I continued to post, and more people continued to inquire about them, that in May of 2019 I decided to take the plunge and create my own company.
If you made it through all of that, thank you! It's hard to write about yourself - so I thought I would answer some frequently asked questions to end up the post. And if you're interested in supporting me, please sign up for my mailing list (on the bottom of the page here) and take 10% off your first order.
How did I learn to needlepoint?
I am a self-taught needlepointer! Growing up, no one in my family needlepointed and I didn't know much about it. I don't live close to a LNS (local needlepoint store) so I wasn't able to take in-person classes. After seeing Mackenzie Horan learn how to needlepoint, I wanted to try. I asked for a dog collar canvas for Christmas and my boyfriend kindly got it for me. I remember crying trying to do the first couple of stitches because I was so over-whelmed - which I laugh about now!
I taught myself from joining facebook groups, watching youtube videos, and reading articles. It was a lot of trial and error but after my first project I caught the needlepoint bug and haven't stopped stitching since!
How long have I run my own business?
I opened Morgan Julia Designs in May of 2019 - but I have run several other small business e-commerce stores which really helped me to be successful.
What is your all time favorite canvas either bucket list or completed?
Oh this is a tough one to answer! Ideally I would love to stitch my own pair of needlepoint loafers. I actually do not own a pair so I think that would be a fun challenge to design and stitch.
Another dream project is stitching a rug. I just bought Claire Murray's book with Needlepoint guides so I would love to stitch one into a rug. As a child, we had Claire Murray rugs in our house so I think it would be a cute homage to my childhood.
How did you start designing canvases?
I briefly mentioned this above, but I decided to try to translate some of my own work into needlepoint canvases. I was documenting most of my journey on Instagram and the response and inquiries were so overwhelming that I knew I was on to something. It's been perfect and a dream - I'm so happy that I get to do what I do. I truly believe that this is a perfect combination of what I love: needlepoint, art, and business.
If there's anything I did not mention, or you want to know anything else about me, feel free to message me on Instagram or via email! Thank you so much for your support, it truly means the world when you support a small business! I encourage you to look around and stay awhile.