Julia West- Owner of AZOR and West Business Interiors
Tell us about your background:
Originally from Middle TN. Attended University of TN (Go Vols!!!)
Owned and operated a bed and bath boutique business for about 3 years. As AZOR began, Butch and I joined forces and begin building and expanding the company.
Over the years, you’ve worn many different hats and have had many roles with AZOR. If you had to choose a favorite or a “sweet spot” what would it be?
I’d have to say for me, design is where I feel most passionate.
Are there any least favorite things about your time with AZOR?
Two things really come to mind: One is the need to have to constantly reinvent ourselves to stay competitive and relevant. It is SO necessary to not only our survival, but in order for us to thrive and gain an edge. I just don’t like having to push through all the time, but we do.
The second thing would be how the company’s growth has prevented me from knowing everyone on such a personal level. I understand that we’re bigger now and will continue to grow both in numbers and geography. I just really like knowing everyone personally.
Over the years, have you developed any business or “life” philosophies?
Our employees are family. We treat them like we would want to be treated. I think what makes us different is that everything runs on the rails of relationships. How you treat others will impact the success of your company and ultimately your life.
People like to do business with folks they like. And we’ve seen customers who have left us for cheaper prices, or other reasons return because they miss the service and relationship we provide.
What is something interesting folks would be surprised to learn about you?
I do some impersonations: Phyllis Diller, Lily Tomlin, and Louis Armstrong
Outside of work, what things do you enjoy?
I enjoy serving on board of Boys and Girls Club, James K. Polk association, and raising money for The Polk Home. Love traveling, in particular Europe. I also really enjoy time at the beach. Basically anything that has me in contact with people. I just love interacting with people.
With your current knowledge and wisdom, if you could have a conversation with your 20 year old self, what advice would you give?
Stay focused. Always be grateful. In everything you do, treat others as you’d want to be treated. Learn from your mistakes.