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An International Path Brought Julia McGinnis to Heritage

Although born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Julie McGinnis hasn’t spent much time with her feet on American soil.

A daughter of a Croatian immigrant, a Colorado native, and the oldest of three kids, she spent much of her childhood outside hiking, rafting, and skiing in the mountains of Colorado.  After high school graduation, Julia headed out east to Maine to continue her studies as an English major at Colby College.  During her time there she spent her junior year studying at King’s College in London, which propelled her love of international travel.  She spent time living abroad in Germany and then returned to New York to attend Columbia University where she received her Master’s degree in International Affairs.

After her studies Julia spent most of her career in the retail and fashion industry.  Working in strategy and branding, she worked for companies and retailers all over the world while living in places such as London, Southern France, New York and San Francisco.  Most recently she found herself in marketing roles at Banana Republic and then Nike. Being exposed to the fashion industry fueled her love of interior design and made her realize the impact good design can have not only on items we wear but also spaces we live in.

After a very successful career in the retail and marketing industries, she felt like it was time for both a change and a new challenge.

Julia and her husband, Rich, spent time renovating homes on the east coast and in Portland and leasing them as luxury rental properties. Together they have renovated homes from the early 19th century to mid-century modern. They appreciate the unique features and architectural history of each home and find ways to stay true to the home’s original design while also giving the home a modern feel.

After gaining experience purchasing and renovating properties she felt like she wanted to fine-tune her knowledge and skills.  She found the program at Heritage, worked up the courage to risk changing careers, and the rest is history!

“I really wanted a career that was a mix of strategic thinking and creativity.  I think sometimes you can get pigeon-holed in one or the other direction and I think that interior design is a great way to combine them both.  I love that you have to have a business mindset, but get the opportunity to be extremely creative as well.”

Julia and her husband live in Portland with their two kids. They enjoy travelling and playing in the great Oregon outdoors.

Julia is currently enrolled in the Masters Program at Heritage and is interested in opening her own business spanning both Residential and Commercial design.  She is excited for the many possibilities in the interior design industry and is soaking in all the opportunities through our courses.

We are thrilled to have Julia as a current student as she brings great experience, perspective, and knowledge to our group!

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