How to build a people-first business with Heather Fujikawa

Building a People-First Business with Heather Fujikawa of House Sprucing

Jul 20, 2022

confidence, creativity, employees, employer, Female Business Owners, interior design, Legal Tips, pricing, Success Story

Today, we are joined by my sweet friend Heather Fujikawa! We are so excited about the arrival of her little girl and reminiscing on our journeys as wives and mothers who are also busy in their careers! 


Heather, my friend since college, started her company and entrepreneur journey as an interior designer in Los Angeles. She was drawn to the fashion and design industry and started a hair accessory business with her twin sister who was also in California at the time. It took off quickly, being in magazines and having a line at Nordstrom. You can see their work on Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson. They saw the trend starting in the early 2000s, noticing hair accessories were very popular and knew they could supply a growing demand. 

Creative Counsel Episode 71



They then jumped from that company to writing a book called Fairy Birds, teaching children to “shine bright and help others” she says. They sold through Scholastic and Costco, and credits her communications education in allowing her to have solid media attention and skills to sell her products to retailers. 


“I was going through years of infertility and I gotta connect to kids somehow as I was waiting on these babies, it’s kind of where the heart of the book came from.”


Heather’s designs now are focused on finding the heart of people in her designs, and takes inspiration from organic environments. Watching her mother be a designer, she knew interior design is her passion and has spent time designing homes in Dalla, Texas since. 

In This Episode You Will Learn

  • Learn from the no’s- there are tips you can get from no’s. Ask how you can improve and change your problem points with your clients. 
  • Be self-aware, and be willing to change and be taught. Humble yourself to ask “is this process working for me and my clients”
  • Move forward with faith and build- you should always be building up. 
  • Heather and Heidi had to learn what was the right fit for her and their company, it is okay to say no, be told no, or learn when something is not a good fit. 
  • The right fit will feel like you are being pulled to it, when she was being pitched shows by TV producers, she felt a strong desire to not be on TV until the right situation came forward. 
  • Opportunities do not happen overnight, trust the process and have faith in it. 
  • When the reality tv show started filming, they lived in chaos and had to work hard to find balance. Set ground rules with not only the people you work with but yourself. Boundaries are incredibly important to maintain a work-life balance and allow you to avoid burnout. 
  • You will have to stand up for yourself- over and over again. 
  • Lean into it- instead of pushing and pulling into directions, lean into what is naturally happening. 
  • Communication is key- make sure your staff is matching your vision, attitude, and personality. They can then be trusted to do the heavy lifting so you can take on more projects. 
  • See your own weaknesses- Your brand will be stronger when you see these things because it means you can keep improving. Self confront. 
  • People first- Heather and Heidi were not only business partners but sisters. Finding that balance in working with someone you have a personal relationship with is key to succeeding in business ventures. While Heather admits she and Heidi get along incredibly well and don’t struggle in this area, she says the biggest way to keep things smooth is to put their personal relationship first over their business relationship. Love on the people, and people come first.
  • Don’t apologize- don’t make yourself small. Take credit for your work, and don’t shrink your vision by talking your business down. When someone asks about your company, don’t brush it off as “just a small website, etc”
  • Use actual legal counsel- the value of real experts makes your journey easier than online DIY legal services. 
  • Three tips to starting a business-
    • Start with the end in mind. Ask yourself “what could this be? What do I want it to be?” 
    • Throw fear out the window. Lean on others and their testimonies until you have your own and are confident in yourself. 
    • Write it down. Write down the small specific tasks, it makes the bigger goals less daunting. Micro steps give you the energy to accomplish building those big goals. 
  • Balancing being a mother and entrepreneur- Make sure to be present when you’re with your kids. Heather takes her apple watch off, to ensure she is not distracted by work. She says “When I’m working, I’m working, but when I’m off, I try to be off.” 


“There’s going to be a lot of no’s out there, but someone’s bound to say yes, and you gotta keep going”


“There is a no from this person, but it does not mean it is a no on the whole project. It doesn’t have to be a deal killer.”


“Remember those punching bags as a kid, the inflatable ones with the sand at the bottom? It’s like that, you get knocked down but you get right back up over and over again”


“Instead of pushing and pulling in directions, lean into what feels natural.”


“Make it big and bold”


“Throw fear out the window”


“You can give value; you can do anything”


“Have the desire to keep building; just move forward”


Connect with Heather-


Instagram- @house_sprucing

Watch “Design Twins” on Amazon Prime


Free Resources

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Let’s Connect

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*Not legal advice. For informational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship.*

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