EP 216 | Persistence Pays with Kate Hougen

April 6, 2021

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Every new business owner needs a bit of luck to get started. Sometimes a peer or colleague is willing to share generously, and you learn something invaluable. Other times, you’re just in the right place at the right time and you’re willing to put in the hard work required so you can grab the opportunity in front of you. BOD™ member Kate Hougen says persistence pays off in every situation.

In this episode we learn:

  • there is plenty of work to go around for
  • most successful projects are true collaborations
  • carve out time for goals and setting intentions
  • don’t underestimate the power, clarity and focus of a clear set of goals
  • find your niche
  • raise your rates
  • be open to different kinds of projects—knowing your ideal client doesn’t mean one type of aesthetic or style
  • the importance of BOD™ and finding the right mix for your business



It’s okay to say NO – and it’s okay to tell clients they have to wait.



Some of my favorite projects are those in which a designer came to me and said, “can you do this?”.


  1. a Great Pyrenees custom wallpaper design for a powder room in Minneapolis.
  2. custom crab wallpaper design for an interior designer’s project near the Chesapeake Bay
  3. a custom colorway for an interior designer’s project in Arlington, VA.


Kate’s background is in Studio and Fine Arts. She moved around internationally, as a child. The result? She is passionate about textile design and creating spaces that evoke a sense of place and make houses and interior spaces feel like homes; spaces that mix just the right amount of texture and color.

Five years ago, Kate took the plunge and left a full-time career in marketing and communications to launch a boutique textile line, Mira Jean Designs. The line combines her passion for design and fabrics with her love of nature. Designs are printed in the U.S. and on natural and organic fabrics and environmentally friendly papers.

The collection has been featured in Traditional Home – print edition, The Washington Post, DC by Design, Pattern Observer, Home & Design, Alexandria Stylebook, Arlington Magazine and more. Most recently, Mira Jean Designs wallpaper won Editor’s Pick for 2021 via Arlington Magazine’s “Best of Arlington” annual awards – an award entirely based on word of mouth and local recognition, at the editor’s discretion. (I still can’t believe it!).

In 2018, she began offering interior decorating services . . . and she hasn’t looked back since.


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