Jillian Lare is the co-owner of Morris Lare Interior Design, a full-service residential interior design firm in West Des Moines. “We enjoy guiding our clients from the earliest stages of their projects – large scale or small – all the way through to the finishing details.” Learn about Jillian Lare…
Hometown: West Pittston, Pennsylvania
First job: Aside from babysitting, scooping ice cream at a local dairy the summer I was 15.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: Going out for breakfast at local restaurants, hanging out in our backyard, long walks on the trail, window shopping in the East Village.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is shared with Alicia [Held-Morris]- the starting of our firm in 2021 and growing it over the course of the last two years. We hit the ground running and now have a team of five and purchased our dream design studio in 2022. Interior design is my second career, and there were years during which I questioned if making the switch from engineering was the right decision. But now, I am definitely confident that I made the right choice!
The biggest obstacle you overcame: After my husband and I got married in our mid-30’s, we spent several years trying to have a baby without success. That was one of the most difficult periods of my life (after moving away from my family in Pennsylvania). I feel like I overcame it not necessarily when we had our son after three miscarriages but when I accepted I’d be OK and at peace no matter what happened.
Someone who inspires you and why: I am really inspired by the women in my family from my mother’s generation. They were often the first in their families to obtain higher education including multiple professional degrees. In one generation, they propelled our family from immigrant laborers to highly educated professionals. Nothing I’ve done would ever have been possible without their accomplishments. My mother, my aunts and their cousins have been an inspiration to me my entire life.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Work for at least two established firms for several years before trying to start your own business. Absorb and study as much as possible both about design and business from people who have done what you want to do. Never stop learning. You don’t need a degree but classes in the basics like drafting go a long way.
Favorite quote: “There is nothing more brave than filtering out the chatter to be someone you’re not. There is nothing more genuine than breaking away from the chorus to learn the sound of your own voice.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Someone who doesn’t know me might be surprised to learn I’m very introverted. I definitely recharge my energy by being alone and wake up most mornings before 5:30 a.m. to get some quiet time alone before the day starts.
What makes someone fabulous: When they’re excited to share their passions and what lights them up.