Jarret Yoshida: A Philanthropic Interior Designer
On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Jarret Yoshida, a philanthropic interior designer. Jarret talks about breaking into the design industry, running his own business, and his passion for working with charities.
Get to know Jarret Yoshida
Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, Jarret has also lived in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and was born and raised in Hawaii. He has loved living in each of these locations for different and unique reasons including the culture, climate, and community. Similarly, Jarret’s favorite vacation spot is Florence, Italy for the beauty of the architecture and design. He and his partner are currently renovating the parlor of their 120+ year old brownstone and are excited to continue the legacy of this historic home.
How did Jarret get into interior design?
At just seven years old, visiting a family friend, Jarret first remembers being concerned with his surroundings, specifically considering whether cinder block or lava rock would be a better option. Jarret has no formal interior design education, but does possess a double undergrad in East Asian Studies and International Relations, both of which have helped in his design business.
After school Jarret started working in political fundraising. He soon started supplementing his day job with design studies in Paris as well as the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons. He let his donors know of his design interest and got his first job as a Design Assistant through one of these connections. Jarret mentioned that it can take some time to find someone to give you a shot, but recommended being persistent. Within two months of this role, Jarret was thrown into the role of Project Manager and eventually encouraged by a client to start his own firm.
What does Jarret’s business look like today?
Today, Jarret employs three full time and seven part time associates. And with one associate now in school at FIT, he is seeking a design assistant with a positive attitude and ability to multi-task. Almost all of the firm’s work is residential in Hawaii and New York. With Jarret’s educational background, he is able to source from all over the world for unique items and great pricing. He touches every project.
Challenges in running an interior design business
Jarret said that the hardest part about running the business is the actual operations: how to invoice, collect money, get paid in full, etc. Without a business background, he has lost more money than he wants to admit, but is learning from it. Jarret is willing to share any mistakes to help others learn. He wants to leave something for someone else to build on. Jarret said that no interior designer can be responsible for a client’s happiness, but they are responsible for delivering on a project.
Charging what you are worth
Jarret charges the standard rate for his peer group in New York. The market is changing based on information availability online. When there is a pressure to lower rates, the relationship usually never works out. Jarret uses a hybrid model including an hourly rate during the design phase and a fixed model for the rest of the project called Net + 30. Net + 30 means that the Interior Designer charges their net price on an item plus thirty percent of that cost as an administrative fee.
What Jarret loves about owning the business
In running his own business, Jarret loves being in charge of his own path and steering his own ship. He enjoys learning about himself as a person and a business owner. As the firm rises and falls, so does his self worth and awareness of strengths and weaknesses. Jarret has been able to improve his work-life balance to be more available for his partner, and like Nick, enjoys an afternoon trip to the gym.
Getting the phone to ring
Jarret works with Kendall at Kennedy Rowe PR, who helps him focus on marketing and networking. In addition, he shared his passion for and interest in non-profits. Jarret is involved with Womankind, The Dream Foundation, Brooklyn Animal Action, and
The American Cancer Society. Not only has this involvement been good for Jarret’s soul, but has also taught him leadership skills and has led to referrals from fellow board members.
To learn more about Jarret, please visit JarretYoshida.com.
So after talking with Jarret, while looking over his website, I realized that he worked for one of my favorites! Daniel Craig! Yes, Jarret worked for 007 and lived to tell the tail. While I try not to get too hung up with names and client lists, this one stood out, so I thought I would share. Click on the image below, and it will take you to Jarret’s portfolio to see more images.
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