Juli Kaufmann is a local leading woman entrepreneur in a male dominated field garnering national recognition. She is the CEO of Fix Development, a real estate development company responsible for one of Milwaukee’s most talked about buildings in terms of sustainability and innovation. In 2013 alone, the Clock Shadow Building received numerous accolades including the LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Milwaukee MANDI (Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Initiation) State Farm Building Blocks Award, AIA (American Institute of Architects) national chapter’s Top Ten Green Project, and AIA Wiscsonsin’s Merit Award.
Kaufmann’s path to entrepreneurship came after recognizing a common thread in her life was her passion for the environment. In college, she spearheaded a recycling project that grew campus wide. Today, she’s most widely known for developing the 7 million dollar Clock Shadow Building in historic Walker’s Point.
At the same time, Kaufmann is also a wife and mother who has to balance sometimes competing priorities.
Ife Blount (Examiner): You are a mom of one. How do you juggle being a mom with being an entrepreneur because I know you don’t necessarily clock out at 5pm?
Juli Kaufmann: Well, I have a very committed business partner, and my husband is a very hands-on dad. He’s very supportive, but he has a full time job, too.
Ife Blount (Examiner): What advice would you give to other young women who are interested in careers that are not typically geared towards women?
Juli Kaufmann: Basically, step one is figure out what makes you happy, and step two is go get it! That’s really the only thing between you and your dreams…I have coffee with somebody every week who read about what I’m working on and thought it was so inspirational.
Ife Blount (Examiner): Besides the Clock Shadow Building, is there a project or projects of which you’re most proud?
Juli Kaufmann: My deconstruction work…Instead of demolishing the physical structure, I salvage it and recycle the parts…There are so many wonderful rewards…We can give young or unskilled laborers the opportunity to learn how to build a house basically backwards…We are also able to take some of the parts…and donate it to charities like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
…Fund Milwaukee…It’s a group of volunteers, and we’re working on moving our funds from Wall Street to Main Street…We’ve invested in Purple Door Ice Cream, Bolzano Artisan Meats, Martha’s Pimento Cheese…We’re up to 30 members and growing…
Afterglow Farm in Port Washington…The client hired me to help build a more sustainable enterprise…Our next part of that project is to recruit and launch a goat farm.
For more about Juli Kaufmann and her ventures, go to www.fixdevelopment.com.