28 Danforth St., Suite 213, Portland
Julie Larry spent five years at Tulane University in New Orleans earning a master’s degree in architecture. A native of Maine, Larry grew up in Sebago Lake Village in Standish and now lives Biddeford.
Larry knew she wanted to be an architect since she was 8 years old and now is a partner in the Portland firm ttl-architects, which specializes in historic preservation. Ttl-architects has won numerous awards, including an honor award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation for its work restoring Portland’s storied observatory on Munjoy Hill.
What were your most important needs in getting started?
In the beginning, we had a few projects at the start-up of our business, but the emotional and financial support of family was really most important. Having business partners with skills and personalities different from my own also made the venture less intimidating.
What was there about your upbringing that gave you the courage to venture out on your? own?
As an only child I was pretty independent and creative. My family always encouraged and nurtured both personality traits. My grandparents owned several businesses in Westbrook, a diner in the 1940s and the Sherwin Williams store, when it was still on Main Street. My grandmother, in particular, was a strong role model for me and she was very active in their businesses.
What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of being a female ? entrepreneur?
I was 27 when we started our firm and being a young woman in what has traditionally been a male field was daunting at times. I enjoy working with men and think that as a woman I can bring a different perspective to our projects and our firm’s relationships with clients and contractors.
What advice would you give an ?aspiring woman ? entrepreneur?
If you have a passion for what you do, it makes up for problems that may arise in your business or dealing with the business tasks that are necessary but less enjoyable. I cannot imagine working in a different field or even in a different type of architectural practice. I love the changing nature of the work and the variety of people I meet and work with. We have a great staff and we enjoy our time in the office or out in the field together.