I’m Julia Quisumbing, an Entrepreneur living in Sydney but originally from the US and Philippines. I create content part-time and showcase my lifestyle, travels, Freediving, modeling, and business (property design and short-term rental management).
Ever since I was old enough to hold a camera, I would photograph and record everything. When Youtube was first introduced I would post fun videos in school. Then, whenever there was a new social media platform, I would open an account to share my photos and videos. Once Instagram came along, I started my @juliaquis page. At first, I did it for fun until I started modeling in 2012, right after college. I started sharing the print and commercial projects I did and gained traction through that. At first my page was a mess where I’d share everything about my life, modeling, things I liked, etc. It had no clear direction and neither did I, as I was young and confused about what I wanted to do. When I started my first property project and got certified as a Freediver, I began focusing on the aspects of my life that brought me joy and success. The more niche I got, the better my content became.
I am a one-person army when it comes to photography, writing posts, and editing videos. My brand name is JuliaQuis, which is a shorter version of my name Julia Quisumbing. I also used my initials for my property management company - ‘JQ Properties’. My friends and family have always liked me using my name for my businesses since it seems more personable. I’m also very proud of my last name and wanted to use it since my father created one of the top law firms in the Philippines called, ‘Quisumbing Torres’ - forever following my father’s footsteps.
First, I’d like to share my backstory with you so that you can understand why I share the content that I do. My father (Filipino) is a confident and successful lawyer, passionate sportsman, resort owner/entrepreneur, incredible bird photographer, world traveler, and nature lover. My mother (American) was an adventurous, warm and loving human being who loved animals and nature. Mix those two and you got me!
I was born in the US and brought to the Philippines to spend my childhood. My parents sent me to International School of Manila where I got an amazing education full of culture and opportunities. My parents enjoyed many sports and would frequently go scuba diving on the weekends. By 13 years old, I was certified with my PADI scuba diving license. My weekends as a child were spent at my father’s resort, Eagle Point Resort, in Anilao, Batangas. I learned how to swim very well in the ocean at a young age because my parents would submerge into depths leaving me at the surface. I’d dive down with my mask and snorkel and try to reach them and would keep doing this until I naturally started going very deep. Little did I know, I was Freediving. I felt such peace and comfort while in the ocean and was very confident being underwater. People always called me a little fish.
I wasn’t passionate about modeling and wanted to find my path. I remembered that I was always interested in houses and interior design as a child, but I never got to study it. I decided to one day invest in a small studio apartment in the Philippines (with my income from a large commercial project), design it, and put it on Airbnb. It did so well that my father wanted me to do the same for him – so he hired me to find an apartment in Bonifacio Global City for him, renovate and design it, and manage it on Airbnb. This started to have such great feedback that we did this with more properties and I got more clients.
I hired a team of Guest Relations Managers, Housekeepers, and Maintenance employees, and that is how I created JQ Properties. I started an Instagram page for JQ Properties which displays the properties I designed and manage; @JQProperties. The hospitality management side of the business does incredibly well because I was able to implement aspects I learned from University in Switzerland where I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Arts of Hospitality Management and Marketing. But, my favorite side of JQ Properties is actually the Interior Design of the property. It is where I can really challenge myself creatively. I have created content about house flipping and Airbnb management and posted videos on my Youtube Channel JuliaQuis. I have also written articles about the beginnings of JQ Properties on my blog www.juliaquis.com which were featured in online magazines such as Female Network.
A simple quote that I have kept in mind and that has motivated me since the beginning is, “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today”.
I have continued to create content showing my lifestyle and passions because I have gotten inspiring feedback from people who have followed, subscribed, and listened to me. I received messages where people thank me for advice I gave on Freediving and Property Management. Me inspiring them has in return pushed me deeper into my passions. I am so grateful for all of the kind words I have received.
Since I have started my business I have gotten to employ several people in my property management business and it is fulfilling to be able to provide jobs where people can feel respected and still have their freedom.
When it comes to designing properties, I usually go through Pinterest and choose the color palette and style that best fits the property. I pin several style options to guide me through my design process. In each Pinterest board, I create categorized sections to be even more detailed. I like to use the Home Design App to create 3D renders of the property. Also, I use Notability on my IPAD Pro to write and draw using the IPAD Pencil. I don’t like wasting paper and enjoy scribbling my thoughts and ideas because I believe that keeps you connected to your creative side. Evernote and Google Drive are other APPs I use to organize my files. The task APP that I am using at the moment is Asana and has been quite useful in keeping track of my projects and assigning duties.
I taught myself how to use Final Cut Pro which is my favorite video editing software and is quite user-friendly. It can get complex the further you go into it if you like. Adobe Lightroom is my favorite app to edit with, especially my Freediving images. The other photo editing APPs I use are Snapseed, Facetune, and VSCO. You can see some before and after underwater photos I have edited on Adobe Lightroom below. If you’d like to see all of my freediving photos, check #juliafreedive on Instagram.
You can find me on:
I was definitely fearful that things would not work out and that I would have wasted my time on something that no one would like. But I had to overcome those thoughts and just go for what I wanted. Once I showed genuine passion and experience about the things I do, people received it with open hearts.
If you do something, do it with all your heart because it is better to have tried and failed many times than to have never tried at all.
I still have negative thoughts about things I do but I keep reminding myself that the only thing that matters is that I enjoy what I do. Because if I enjoy it, how can others not?
I post an Instagram photo and story almost every day, around midday. This is just something I do out of habit and it has worked for me over time - consistency is key. I have been slow on editing videos and writing articles during the time that I was building my business (flipping and managing properties). But I plan on increasing the amounts of videos and blog posts I create every month. It is never too late to begin– there is always room for improvement.
I had no help with my content but always went with the flow and followed my gut instincts. Not all of my content is received the way I want it to but sometimes I can be pleasantly surprised. I have only 26 videos on Youtube and always expect a quick response in engagement. I stopped posting as I thought engagement was low but as months passed, I checked my Youtube and saw that some of my videos gained up to 63k views. This recently inspired me to post more and also be more patient. The most popular videos on my Youtube Channel are the following:
Some of the top Instagram photos I have posted in the past 2 years are:
If there was something I would change over the past few years, it would be to write more on my blog and edit more videos for Youtube. Majority of my content is on Instagram but the great thing is that I can always start now. I am putting goals and plans to improve the amount of content I release each week. I already post one photo a day on Instagram. My plan is to publish one blog article and one Youtube video a week and start from there. I believe it’s best to give yourself small goals and turn them into habits.
The quality of your content is very important. If you can, learn how to edit photos and videos well in a good software - I like to use Adobe Lightroom and Final Cut Pro. Try to choose a theme when releasing your content - use a similar filter or style. You should design your content the same way you would design a house - each room can be different from the other but there should be something that ties everything together.
I finished my Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Hospitality Management first and started working as a model. I stopped modeling once my business JQ Properties started trading well and I could hire employees.
I used my platforms to market the properties and the services I provide. My social media is my brand identity and I use it to attract clients and invite guests to rent our homes.
The best milestone was when clients would find me through Google search and be led to my property links and explain that after all of the research they did they thought it would be best to hire me as a property manager because of my achievements.
Another great accomplishment was when I would get messages from people who would tell me that they became property managers and are doing well because of the inspiring words I gave them. It is very fulfilling to know that I have guided people to succeed in their own lives.
The only reason I believe I succeeded in what I do is because I truly love it and I am passionate about it. When you have passion you are willing to take risks and find that the journey is more pleasurable than the destination. When you treat every step of your process with care and detail, the quality of your work will always be great. I don’t have any real marketing strategy other than being genuine and providing quality.
Someday in the future when I feel that my business needs to take further steps, I will do research and hire a marketing expert to guide me.
I don’t do a lot of brand sponsorships because most of my content is personal and about my own business and passions. Sometimes, I do accept a brand sponsorship deal if it has to do with my lifestyle or business.