EntreArchitect: A Quest to Create, Design, Inspire Episode 381
Inspiring fellow architects is something that I’m
enthusiastic about, and the EntreArchitect Podcast is one of those podcasts that inspired me. Each week, Mark Lepage speaks with passionate professionals who share their knowledge and expertise to help small firm entrepreneurs and architects. I’ve been following the EntreArchitect Podcast for a long time, so believe me when I say that I was so excited and honored to be on it! We talked about my passion for architecture and my inspirations behind it. At a young age, besides being a kid who loved rearranging her room, my dad was a residential contractor in La Jolla, so I was always immersed in the world of building. I even recall going on night walks with him, where we would point out the houses we loved. I told Mark that people told me I’d make a great interior designer, so I took that in college. I explained that I enjoyed it, but it came to a point where my professors told me to focus more on the finishes instead of the building. In my senior year, I was blessed to meet Taal Safdie from Safdie Rabines Architects and tour her studio. After such an inspiring visit, I knew I wanted to become an architect. I talk about how much I enjoyed working for my family’s construction company. I learned so much more about construction and, at the same time, built my skills working with clients. Besides pursuing my path as an architect, I got a degree in Entrepreneurship in Small Business Management because I always knew I wanted to get into business.
Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, my mindset was always, “You can do whatever you want to do… Go for it… Take risks.”
Mark then asks me about my first projects. Despite initially struggling and encountering a few hiccups, it was also full of good learning lessons. After a while, I started getting more clients and getting bigger projects. One of my favorite projects is my “unicorn project.” This project has now won two AIA awards and was the start of showing the world what I can do.
During the pandemic, when the world was on hold, I was fortunate to spend more time with my daughter and work on other things brewing in my mind for years. I explained to Mark that business and architecture podcasts inspired me to create my own. My goal with my podcast is to reach out to architecture students, homeowners, people who want to start their own business or firm, and even homeowners who want to learn about the architecture design process. When clients started returning, I decided I wanted to keep enjoying my new side project while working on client work again. Despite my podcast being in its baby stages and not leading to any revenue, I’ve been having so much fun doing it.
I love getting responses from people saying I’ve inspired them through their ARE journeys. It’s the little things like those messages where I feel like my podcast has helped and inspired people.
I'm a big goal person, so when we then talk about my future plans, I explain that I plan on growing my firm so I can step into more of a CEO role to focus more on the business and marketing side of my company, like doing podcasts and courses. This side of the company is exciting me at the moment.
Even if 2020 was full of devastation and hardships, it was pivotal for me. I almost felt like I needed this disruption to create clarity to show me what I was passionate about. It helped solidify that I wanted to focus on expanding my business so I could step into doing more of what I enjoy.
What can small firm architects do today to make a better architecture world for tomorrow?
Focus on inspiring others. Whether you’re a mentor, a content creator, or even just a small firm architect, there are so many ways you can inspire others. Inspiring is an incredible thing and it will come back to you in a positive way.
Don't forget to head over to EntreArchitect to listen to the full episode!