When María Julia Vasile talks about design, her voice lights up, it speeds up. Words rush out of your mouth, shaping the idea you want to convey. Design is the love of his life, his passion. This is how Julia feels, this is how she reflects it in each tutorial, advice or video that he makes on his Instagram account where every day more than 770 thousand people consume the contents of Deco for two handles.
The successful account that teaches how to decorate on a budget
He is 34 years old, has two children aged 5 and 7, and studied Advertising and Graphic and Interior Design. She has lived together with her family in Recife, Brazil, for 10 years, although she has been coming and going to Argentina, more precisely to Mar del Plata, where she grew up surrounded by a middle-class family doing business. “There were always tools everywhere, we always fixed everything, we started painting on the weekends,” says Julia. In fact, her father, Lalo, is often featured on the account giving advice to a community that has been growing since July 2018.
After reading a letter in 2019 to his followers where he told them his dream of putting together a television show, this year, it finally came true: premiere Remodels without work on the More Chic signal and toured the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in search of homes to transform. Your mission is democratize design, show that you can make a hole in the ceramic to hang a towel rack or a small picture, or change the floor of that rented apartment to live in the meantime. Always with humor, as if it were a game.
You started with the account Mamis thing. ¿Deco for two handles arose in parallel?
She had a maternity blog (so she says on her Instagram account) that ended up bringing humor, because I laughed at the things that happened to me every day. That’s how I encouraged myself to the camera, because obviously I was not used to it. I started to play with my creativity, to have a little more confidence in myself, and while, at the age of 30, I began to study Interior Design. In that account I began to show them the things that I did in my house, that I always did, my whole life, like putting a vinyl, a wallpaper, and people could not believe it. And so it arose Deco for two handles. I shared it one day on social media and a month later I had more followers than the other (laughs).
How is it to be a mother and an entrepreneur and generate content at the same time?
For me it is a luxury. I am grateful every day to be able to work close to my children. I do not deny that it is chaotic, but at the same time I live things that with a more traditional job I could not. I think about my work and motherhood and say, ‘I am where I want to be today.’ I am close to them, but at the same time, feeling professionally fulfilled, and they also see a mother who is working. They may not know how to read or write well, but the kids have it very clear with the rule, they play house building.
From June 2018 to the present the account has grown a lot. Do you feel that in these years you trained people’s eyes on design?
Yes, totally. From the beginning of the blog, I always said that if you teach to design, people learn. It made me angry, because I lived consuming decoration things from Pinterest, decos magazine, programs, and I saw that no one explained why that decision, why that frame. I knew that if I began to share that type of content, people would sharpen their eyes a lot and those things that made them noise or that they liked or not, explaining why they would be able to apply it at home. In deco something very crazy happens which is that people are very afraid of it, very afraid. They get tattoos and they are not afraid, and they enjoy them, but they have to put a picture in their house and it can be kept in a closet for months because they do not dare to hang it. I want people to lose that fear.
Why are we afraid?
For the little information on how to do things and for thinking that only a part of society has the eye to decorate or have a nice house. For me, the main thing is to break with certain structures and I think that was what made the blog grow. First, the person has to believe that they can live better and that they deserve to decorate, something that perhaps before was for a more affluent type of people or who had more time. The pandemic helped us think about how we can enjoy our homes.
In this process of growing your community, how did you convince it that it is interesting to pay attention to design and decoration?
I say more design than decoration, and what I try with this is to change the way people live. It is not only an aesthetic concept, but it is a functional concept. It is not the same to sit in an armchair that has nothing to suddenly put on a blanket that you knitted or that your grandmother knitted for you. The interesting thing about the house is not that it is perfect, but that it is a house that you like to live in and that you really enjoy the time you are there. In the houses lived there is always a dish to wash, a clothesline. You don’t just have to enjoy it when it’s perfect, but you have to do it all the time.
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Julia is on a ladder and shows a red corkscrew at the camera. He swears that he will become “your best friend” when it comes to removing a dowel from the wall. With her hair tied up, a black T-shirt with a bit of filler, with a gold necklace that stands out and in jeans, she turns three times in a clockwise direction and, pulling a little, she removes the dowel stuck in the wall in question of seconds. She shows him on camera, her red nails, some of which are unpainted, melt into the spiral of the bottle opener. The video is liked by more than 14 thousand people and in a matter of days, his followers thank him, they tell him that he is incredible, that he is “the most of the most” and the emojis of hands clapping and red hearts are displayed one after other.
Do you consider yourself a influencer design?
I love to feel like a influencer of design, a influencer nothing more, it is very open. About design, yes, because it is the love of my life and it is what I like the most. Teach, share and help other people to feel part of the design and that it is as fun for them as it is for me to play. I try to democratize it, to share it, to motivate other people to enjoy it as well as I do.
In an interview you mentioned that when you create content you always think of the other. How is that other that you imagine? Who are you talking to?
And well, maybe to the Juli who was not influencer. I always imagine myself, in my first house, trying to decorate, with two handles. A phrase that I love is any difficulty can be a stepping stone, and I think that is the basis of this. If I had the budget to do everything I wanted, I would not have developed as much creativity to figure things out. It happens to me now too. I am always as cheaper and surpassing myself to be able to conquer the designs that I want.
Are you a retailer? How long are you to record a video?
The truth is that I don’t even realize it. Yes, I am very organized, because when you are an entrepreneur you have to have an assertive delegation, trust the teams that are working remotely to be able to continue with the master plan that you have in mind, and not be at all at once. This focus on something, really concentrate and do it well, I think is the key to everything in life. I really do the blog content with a passion, with a peace of mind, although the boys are next to me [se ríe]. I enjoy the entire blog content process one hundred percent: I reply to messages, record myself, edit the videos, even select the music.
Do you also use it as something therapeutic?
Yes, totally. It is my channel to everything, all the problems go away. It’s re therapeutic, and people tell me so too. We are in such a digital world that starting to do things with our hands and feel them more real, and proud of what we are capable of doing, is super cute. I think that when people dare to do things and put a tutorial into practice and it works for them, they trust you. And they always appreciate, they follow you in another way.
Since she created the account, Julia has a team of 15 women that she works with on a daily basis. He set up a creativity laboratory (@ decox2lab) and performs personalized consultancies at Deco Expertas (@decoexpertas). He admits that “he did not have a thirst for growth”, that he was meeting other people who perhaps had not had the facility or did not believe in his design and he felt like helping them, giving them confidence from experience. “I think it is important that women empower each other. I think it will be the factor of change, “he says.
This community that you created, is it demanding?
It is a very attentive community, very clever, it knows very well what it likes, what it doesn’t. It’s crazy, you don’t have a very good day out there and people write to you and say: “Those little eyes, I see you tired.” It is mind-blowing. You share a lot of your life with your community, I listen to them a lot, I see the consultations, I try to help as much as I can and obviously you have to know your limit. I prefer to have very present times for everything I do: when I reply to messages, I reply to messages, when I record tutorial, I record tutorial, when I am with my family, I am with my family. I can’t do everything I want, but what I do, I do it squarely.
Sometimes they question you that “it’s not for two handles.” What happens to you with those comments where you recriminate things?
In general, there are very few comments that really feel negative. We are a society that is deconstructing ourselves in a lot of things and sometimes there are misplaced comments, how it can be something about my body or about my clothing, and they say “how is it not perfect?”. And no, I am a normal person. When there is a comment that is not about my professional life, I do not take responsibility because it is not my area. That comment is not for me, but something that has to be resolved by the other person.
Did it cost you to put up that barrier?
You learn over time. People’s opinion will always be there, it is the price of exposing yourself. Everything comes with a backpack on the back, you have to work it out, because at the beginning it breaks your heart. People tell you: “Look how your nails are unpainted.” Well, I was sanding all day, when am I going to do my hands!
In 2020 you got the book of Deco for two handles (Editorial Albatros), this year a TV program, did you have to overcome some obstacles to get here?
[Se ríe] I think a lot. The first piece of advice that I give myself and that I share is to believe in one. I think that nobody who gets to do something important does it without believing in it, if you wait for the approval of the other before yours, it is very difficult to sustain. We cannot all the time look for the like to people if we are not in coherence with what we like. Moreover, the more I throw myself into the pool and do something just for the sake of doing it for myself, the more I see repercussions from the other, without expecting it.
What do you think was the key to the success of Deco for two handles?
Democratize design. Tell everyone you can, no matter where you stand. Creativity will always be the essential element for that environment to be amazing. And well, share the little secrets so that they can achieve it. No matter what budget you have, you can’t give me that excuse. We can always look around to make that space better. It may not be the perfect house for a magazine, but it is a house that you love and that is the objective of the decoration, that it is functional, that you love and that it represents you.