Kate Worum and Jenny Jorgensen
Kate Worum and Jenny Jorgensen

Minneapolis-based business She She, co-founded by illustrator Kate Worum ’11 and interior architect Jenny Jorgensen, began as a result of a set-up through the girls’ now exes, a dinner party, and an evening rifling through wallpaper samples.

MCAD recently caught up with Kate and Jenny to learn more about their business, what they do outside of She She, and their experience following a creative career path.

Talk a little bit about She She.

She She is a custom wallpaper company that specializes in handpainted wallpaper.

What do you mean by hand painted wallpaper? How is this different than other kinds of wallpaper?

We paint directly on the wall. It’s great because it can just be painted over. There is no hassle of having to precisely transport the paper or remove it from the wall. We also offer printed wallpaper. We have been working with multiple vendors around the country and are now able to offer wallpaper hand painted or printed on multiple kinds of paper.

How did you two meet?

Kate: We met through our exes! They set us up. My ex always said, “You have to meet Jenny. She’s so strange and cool. I think you two might have a lot in common.” He even said something about Jenny having furry shoes—to really nail home the fact that she was as weird as me.

What is a typical day like at She She?

There is nothing typical about She She—for better or worse, we have never had a day that looks like any other day. Every day is very different. We also have full-time jobs on top of She She.

What do you do full-time?

Kate: I am a surface designer for Target’s Home Trend team. I primarily create print and patterns for Target’s owned brands—my favorite being Opalhouse!  

Jenny: I have an interior design and architecture company that specializes in modern residential design with an emphasis on the acquisition of art being fused into the permanent design. I also like to volunteer in the art community. I sit on the board at Platform and am a tour guide at the Walker Art Center.

That's a busy schedule! How do you find time for both?

Kate: I'm usually at the office working on She She in the morning, over the lunch hour, at night, and on the weekends.

Jenny: I'm usually flying around to different client meetings for my business, sometimes sipping on champagne during the day (because I can) and working on She She at night when my brain is on fire.

You both have really creative jobs. What led you to your respective career paths?

Kate: I have always been drawn to making artwork. As a child, teen, and adult I have always turned to creating in times of boredom, frustration, sadness, relaxation. It’s not only my job, but it’s my safe haven! I received my BFA in illustration from MCAD. I love illustration because you can express so much without using any words at all.

Jenny: I went to school at the University of Colorado Boulder. My mom is a CPA and my dad is a musician. Not knowing what I wanted to do, I decided to give architecture a try. It was a perfect combination of the goods I got from both of my parents, so I never looked back. I majored in architecture and minored in French. As a result, I didn’t take any classes that weren’t architecture or French the whole time I was in college. I became fairly hippy-dippy while in Boulder so I prefer to focus on interior architecture and remodeling so as not to build on untouched land. I also prefer to combine modern interiors in existing older architecture.

So, why wallpaper?

Jenny: With me being an interior designer and Kate an illustrator, it just sort of naturally happened. After the exes introduced us, we had a dinner party at my house. By the end of the dinner, Kate and I were sitting on the floor looking through a bunch of wallpaper samples. We noticed a white space in the wallpaper industry: Where was the cool factor? Why was it so boring? We wanted to create more artistic options.

What is the best part about working together? 

We love having a partner to "get s*** done" with. We hold each other accountable and we each bring our own strengths to the table that She She would not exist without. This is pretty cheesy, but I think we get our inspiration from each other. Our best ideas come when we’re not focusing too hard on the task at hand and we’re just chatting and laughing with each other.

What is your process when approaching a new project?

With any project or design we come across, it always starts with a brainstorm. We try to nail down our concept or direction. From there, we gather imagery, do the research it takes to unearth exciting references, or find “the thing” that will make the design different from anything else out there and have the She She feel.

How about when you hit a creative block?

Kate: Travel! There is nothing better than wandering around a new place. I love finding inspiration in strange and unexpected ways. I also love studying creatives I admire and listening to their stories. It reminds me to think differently and feel more confident with the off-color decisions I tend to make. To push through a creative block I stop what I am doing completely. Take a break and come back when I am ready. There is something magical about an "inspiration shower.” I strongly believe in them!

Jenny: I like to change my location. I’ll take my dog for a walk, go for a bike ride, or head to yoga. I find that I need to actively move the block out of me and completely stop thinking about the task at hand and then come back to it with a new outlook.

What do you like best about working in the Midwest?

The subtlety—you really have to give it a shot to get it, and once you open your mind to it, you fall in love. The creative community embodies the saying of “Minnesota Nice,” as they are humblingly welcoming of other creatives and open to doing collaborations. Outside of that, the art, music, and lakes are pretty remarkable and are a huge component to keeping us in the Midwest.

You have done a lot of beautiful work. What has been a standout project for She She?

We really loved working on the Lora Hotel in Stillwater, Minnesota. Our primary goal when we started growing our company was to bring more art to the interior design world and we wanted to do this by someday working in a boutique hotel. We love the architectural design of this space, the location, and the way our art works in the space. It is definitely a career milestone for us.

Lastly, does She She have a mission statement?

Our mission statement is changing and growing as we are alongside our company, but it started out as, "To cover the world with art… One wall at a time."