Interior designer Jarret Yoshida has traveled the world to develop his distinct style. His unusual combination of career, study, and international life experiences have equipped him with a unique ability to effortlessly integrate elements into a space with an elegance and ease that few designers can claim. We recently interviewed Jarret to learn more about his impressive background, his creative process, and the solutions he uses to keep his interior design firm running smoothly.
Growing Up in Hawaii
In the warmth and welcome of his Hawaiian childhood home, Jarret grew up with a keen awareness of craftsmanship. He can recall memories of his mother baking, sewing, and teaching him traditional Hawaiian crafts, such as how to make a pillow with a Hawaiian breadfruit tree embroidered on it. Although he didn’t see the value at the time, he distinctly remembers that everything he wore was handmade. “Only when I say this out loud now do I truly realize how lucky I was to appreciate that and to see the kind of effort it took,” he says.
When Jarret was in the 4th grade, his mother let him design his own room, and he was drawn to the art of interior design for the very first time. He can still remember the pieces he chose, including his very own Venetian blinds, a Prada green wall, and a blue and green water-patterned rug, which was not a retro look at the time but very of the moment. Little did Jarret know, this childhood memory would later help him discover his instinctual understanding of material culture and his true calling to become an interior designer.
From Hawaii to Tokyo and Paris to New York
Since then, Jarret has lived in Tokyo, New York, D.C., and Los Angeles and has earned dual degrees in International Relations and Asian Culture, particularly in the Northeast countries of Japan, China, and Korea—cultures which influence his design work today. “I think one of the things about living in a variety of places is that it really opens up your aesthetic and what you’re comfortable with,” he says.
Jarret also worked on the information technology team at the Smithsonian which further refined his sense of connoisseurship for material culture, art, and for the necessities of curation and preservation. Jarret later studied at the Corcoran Gallery School in D.C., Parsons and FIT in New York, and École des Beaux Arts et Décoratifs in Paris.
Although Jarret’s background is exceptionally intertwined with international influences, he has a uniquely New York story. After working as a designer for a mere two years, Jarret found himself taking a leap of faith and embarking on a brand new adventure. Encouraged by his three clients at the time as well as various high-profile figures in the design world—including Calvin Klein’s spokesperson and the head of Women’s Wear Daily—Jarret founded his own design firm in New York in 2002. “That’s a pretty amazing thing for someone who’s only been doing design for 2 years,” he says. “That’s how it started. I’m fortunate.”
Today, Jarret is a seasoned and highly successful interior designer, having been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Digest, and New York Spaces. His design work is deeply inspired by the quiet harmony of Japanese aesthetics, and it evokes a feeling of accessible indulgence, luxury, and well-being for real, everyday living. When working with Jarret, clients can expect their first conversations to revolve around their lifestyle and desired aesthetic. He also begins each project with an “Ask Me Anything” call to learn more about the client’s dreams and to explore all avenues.
The Software Solution That Is Transforming Jarret’s Life
“Thanks to Design Manager we can do more design, and I can go through my day with less anxiety,” says Yoshida. “How do you place a value on that?”
For most of his career, Jarret has been a sole practitioner. However, in order to truly give his clients the attention they deserved yet preserve the quality of the design that he desired to create, Jarret decided to hire more employees. Over time, he hired an assistant, a few project managers, a bookkeeper, a bookkeeping assistant, a social media manager, and a PR practitioner; however, it ended up making for unwieldy business processes.
Jarret sought to make life easier for his employees. In doing so, he began to realize that what he really needed was to improve his firm’s structure by finding a streamlined solution for maintaining all of their data in one, unified place. This way, his entire team would be able to see how much money was on retainer, how much had been deposited, and how much was profit.
Struggling to create an organized and streamlined structure with Quickbooks, Excel, and Google Docs, Jarret needed a software solution that was truly tailored to meet the needs of his firm, so he connected with Design Manager through a referral. “Design Manager has been a game changer for us,” he says. “It has entirely shifted the paradigm that I view accounting. Bookkeeping used to be super intimidating and filled with anxiety.”
Design Manager allows Jarret and his team to easily collect deposits, retainers, and payments; track expenses, and access a complete picture of his firm’s finances. “Thanks to Design Manager we can do more design, and I can go through my day with less anxiety,” says Yoshida. “How do you place a value on that?”
Jarret especially loves that Design Manager presents him with data that is visually tagged because everything is communicated in a way that he can quickly understand, analyze, and continue on with his design work. “Inherently, designers are visually motivated people, so having the format that Design Manager offers is really exciting for us.”
Jarret can now focus more of his time and energy on the things that matter most to him: developing the relationships his clients deserve and creating high-quality designs. “My administration and my project structure are no longer a distraction,” he says. “That’s an amazing thing.”
Are you ready to streamline your interior design business with a software solution tailored to meet the needs of your design firm? Start your free trial today.