We’re excited to continue sharing more of our amazing team. Up this week is our fantastic project architect, aspiring chef, and footballer (a.k.a. soccer player), Nicole Jui! She is celebrating her one year anniversary at Terracotta this week, and has been a joy to have in the office for both her killer design skills and warm personality.
RP: First, we hear people struggle a lot with your last name. How do you pronounce it?
NJ: Yes! All the time. Siri pronounces it “J-U-I” like it’s an acronym. But it’s actually Chinese, pronounced just like it’s spelled. It rhymes with “chewy”.
RP: Tell us where you’re from and how you ended up living and working in Decatur.
NJ: I grew up in Littleton, Colorado, which was really beautiful. After my husband, Nate, and I got married, we moved across the country to New Jersey for graduate school and then on to Boston before coming to the Atlanta area. We moved to Decatur when he took a job at Emory University two years ago. I miss my family, friends, and the Colorado weather, but we love it here.
RP: Tell us more about your sweet family.
NJ: I have known Nate since I was 15 and we just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this summer. Together we have two adorable boys, Carter (4) and Everett (2). We have a little bungalow in the Oakhurst neighborhood surrounded by great friends and neighbors.
RP: How did you first become interested in design?
I was always a creative, artistic kid. Painting, drawing, crafting, and I especially loved my box of crayons in perfect color order! I loved building forts in the backyard and little houses out of the couch cushions. As I got a little older, I loved helping my dad work in his wood shop. He used to make all the furniture for my American Girl dolls.
RP: Did you always know you wanted to be an architect?
NJ: Not exactly. I knew I always wanted to do something creative, and almost went to school for interior design instead of architecture. I know I made the right decision for me, though, and have been very fortunate to find the perfect mix of interior design and architecture here at Terracotta!
RP: What inspires you?
NJ: This may sound cheesy, but being excited to come to work every day, and getting to bounce around ideas with some pretty awesome people.
RP: What are your hobbies outside the office?
NJ: I spend as much time as possible outside! I play soccer on the weekends, run around with my boys a lot, and love to garden at home and grow our own food. If I hadn’t made it as an architect I probably would have tried to be a farmer or a chef. I’m also slowly learning to embrace the southern culture and music. I love Zac Brown Band!
RP: And now for the hard-hitting questions… what’s your favorite 90s sitcom?
NJ: It’s a tie between Saved by the Bell and Friends.
RP: And what’s your favorite color?
NJ: That’s actually a tough one. To wear, it’s black. In design right now it’s peacock blue, but that’s always changing.