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Emily Motayed    

Cofounder, Havenly

When she cofounded Havenly with her older sister Lee Mayer in 2013, Motayed didn't know much about interior design -- other than she couldn't afford it. After moving into her first "big-girl apartment" in New York, she discovered traditional interior designers weren't interested in working with her modest budget. "Everyone deserves to have a beautiful home, whether you have a $1,000 or a $50,000 budget," she says. Working with a roster of over 200 freelance interior designers, Havenly charges a flat fee of either $79 or $199 per room. Every interaction, from agreeing on a budget to assembling a shopping list, takes place online. The Denver-based company also sells furniture, allowing shoppers to buy a whole Instagram-ready look. In three years, Motayed and Mayer have increased Havenly's team from 2 to 60, raised $13.3 million in funding.


How She Got There: Emily Motayed & Lee Mayer, Co-Founders of Havenly

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

Emily Motayed: There’s no real typical day! There is a lot of travel involved with my role, as we have small teams on both of the coasts and our headquarters are in Denver. My responsibilities include thinking about growth, scalability and new customer acquisition as well as working on strategic partnerships and opportunities (such as our latest team up with Domino). Also just making sure that everything keeps running smoothly on a day-to-day basis!

Lee Mayer: As CEO, I focus most on building out our winning team, including hiring and identifying what type of roles we need. I also make sure that the company has the resources it needs in order to succeed - which includes a lot of investor meetings and pitching the company and our product!

Emily Motayed & Lee Mayer, Havenly

We tend to think that great, innovative ideas happen like an explosion, hitting us at the least expected moment and promptly knocking the wind out of us (you know, the "Eureka moment"). But the reality is that the best ideas often just come out of a personal need...

Emily Motayed’s, BA’10, Havenly targets millennials with quicker, more affordable design help

The Washington Post featured Havenly, co-founded by Emily Motayed, BA’10, and her sister Lee Mayer in the article “Two companies target millennials with quicker, more affordable design help.” Havenly provides online design service for clients seeking affordable interior design...

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