Designer Spotlight Series - Mindy Gayer Design
Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I was born and raised in Southern California, in Orange County, and have always loved being immersed in design. I started my residential design studio in 2014, with a distinct focus on full home remodels and new builds.
The majority of our projects are along the coastline here in Southern California, as well as a few others sprinkled around the country. Over the years, our team has grown to include very talented designers and a wonderful group of creatives. Our team is the heart behind MGD and we are incredibly fortunate to get to work with the best clients and trades.
What are some things that inspire you?
I’m inspired by so much, and particularly so when I get to travel. Over the years, I’ve loved seeing design in motion through places throughout the Eastern seaboard, small towns in Europe, and other historical destinations. I love quaint, well-designed communities like Nantucket, the Cotswold's, and many of the towns and cities I’ve been lucky enough to visit.
Communities like these are so inspiring to me because they have been designed so beautifully for so much longer than I’ve been around, and it’s refreshing to see design that stands the test of time and ignores trends. Seeing architecture on display is the best.
Do you have a daily routine or morning ritual that you find helps you, or is every day different?
At home, mornings start with our baby boy, Ollie, and soaking up time with him before I head off to work. In the studio, every day is a little different, and days are often determined by our various project deadlines, site meetings, constantly shifting priorities, the occasional fires to extinguish, and everything in between.
I love having a studio space that feels like a reprieve in the midst of very busy schedules for all of us. It makes such a big difference to work alongside people you admire and respect, and because we work together so closely every single day, it’s really important to me that we have a work space where we all enjoy being, and one where we feel we can be creative and productive.
What challenges have you come across running a business?
I like to look at challenges in business as opportunities to grow and improve things. Typically with one challenge, comes a domino of other things that are impacted and thus need attention and thoughtful care.
Every year we’ve been in business has presented wonderful opportunities paired with unique challenges to tackle and solve. In the beginning, it felt huge to hire my first team member, and then to grow from there.
Each employee I bring into the company brings unique talent and they very much impact our projects and internal systems for the better, so it’s important to hire well and get time with one another to learn how to collaborate and work well together.
Other opportunities to grow include continually refining our internal systems, client contracts, design process, and vetting vendors so that we continue to offer and provide our clients with the very best service and products.
Favorite place you have ever traveled to?
Travel is a huge inspiration for me as I mentioned earlier, so it’s nearly impossible to pick one favorite place! A few travel destinations where I’ve experienced incredible design, food and culture are Morocco, Columbia and the Yucatan Peninsula.
I’m also incredibly fond of the UK, where I studied abroad in college and have visited a few times because I just love it so much.
Favorite paint color?
A favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Sandy Hook Gray.
What is your favorite design style?
Truthfully, I don’t have a favorite design style. I am, however, drawn to classic and timeless design that is played out through many different architectural styles.
Is there a designer that you look up to?
I admire so many seasoned and established designers because, from my perspective, their designs are filled to the brim with endless details that take a home to the next level and don’t live in a time period or obvious design trend.
What are your go-to pillow sizes for a bed and sofa?
We typically start with a 22”-24″ square pillow depending on the size of the furniture. From there, you can mix in 20″ squares and oversized lumbars to find a size combination that feels right.
If you could give any advice to a person dreaming of starting their own business, what would that be?
Figure out what you want your business to look like 1 yr, 3 yrs, and 5 yrs from today. If you have a direction you hope to head in, it really helps you hone in on what you want to be about, who you will need and want to hire, and how to set yourself up financially to achieve your goals.
Also, remember everything will take you 3x as long as you think it will to tackle, and good things truly do take time. Stay the course, pour every ounce of time you can give into the business, and surround yourself with people you can truly rely on and trust if you bring them into the fold.
People make or break your business and culture, and people are vital to a company’s growth, sustainability and success.