We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Garey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Three things I have adhered to from the very beginnings of AG Designs are listening, communicating and resourcefulness. From the first meeting with a client, I want them to know that I am hearing them. By the time we’ve met, most clients have been pondering a project for a while and want to know how to turn an idea for some kind of change into a reality. There can be a lot of moving parts in a renovation and this is where communication is vitally important. I consider myself an advocate for the client with all trade professionals on our team. And finally, sometimes an idea comes to light that may require thinking outside the box such as building a custom piece of furniture or reconfiguring a kitchen layout that hadn’t been considered, or adding a surprise element in lighting or color. I’m always mindful of which resources are the best to achieve our goals.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve always loved exploring ideas for interiors. I was one of those kids who rearranged my room regularly. I’d even leave my shoes outside my bedroom door pretending it was my own house. My inquisitiveness and appreciation for what makes an interior enjoyable started way back then and continues. Growing those essential elements into a business includes the understanding that in addition to falling in love with materials and colors and all of those fun things, I am a problem solver. I do believe that form follows function meaning that you must first strip an idea down to it’s essence and then you can build it back up again. Measurements are everything! The trick then is to match my analytical side with creativity. Another challenge is to keep up with new products on the market and balance trends with long term considerations. I’m always open to learning and this is a must in the interior design industry. The lighting industry alone has evolved considerably and my job is to stay informed and also keep conversations open with the trade professionals I work with to arrive at great ideas and solutions for our clients.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you want to feel like you’ve gone to a magical place, you must visit the Venice canals. After a nice stroll, head out to Malibu for drinks at Nobu at sunset. On day two of your visit take it up a notch and go to Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hollywood. Some people think it’s creepy but it’s also kind of a thrill to stand next to the likeness of some of your favorite celebs. It’s Los Angeles after all. And finally, when you’re ready for some contemplation, enjoy a little time at Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades. Any time I go there, I feel hopeful and inspired.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have many people to thank for guiding me through the years. First and foremost, in the early days of design school, I’d often have an evening class and on the way would meet my husband at his office and bring our two young kids so he could take over the dinner hour and the bedtime routine. I’d arrive home rather late and sometimes stay up for hours on assignments and am so grateful for his support. A dear friend was also one of my biggest cheerleaders in those early days and we cooked up all kinds of fun ideas at her apartment including painting a gold metallic wide stripe around the perimeter of her bedroom. We’d talk about new sheets, pillows, blankets and throws with such determination and creative spirit! I also must thank the instructors at the interior design program at UCLA who are working professionals in the field of interior design, many of whom I have stayed in contact with for over a decade.