We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Gunawan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, the decisions we make often shape our story in profound ways. What was one of the most difficult decisions you’ve had to make?
It was definitely deciding to stay in Los Angeles to build my career instead of take the easier and much more comfortable route of going back to Asia. My family is located in Southeast Asia and is involved in the Architecture and Development industry. The path was always for me to come to Los Angeles for college and then return to Asia to assist in the family business. After staying in Los Angeles for. a while, I felt like I had grown so much in such a short time span and part of it was because I was forced to, having come here on my own with no family or friends I had known from the before. There was so much more learning that I felt I had needed to do and so after graduation, I made the tough decision of deciding to work here and then start my own business thererafter.
What should our readers know about your business?
At OWIU, we thrive in thoughtful design. There is not a single project that we would take on and not approach with thoughtfulness, purpose and intention. We operate in a fine balance of receptivity and creativity – an acoustic of both listening to our clients and actively participating by giving our input in terms of design. We believe these two functions, both passive and active, are absolutely inseparable and are vital ingredients to our designs. We are able to think for all our stakeholders, making sure that we are adding value to a person’s residence both aesthetically and economically. I am architecturally-trained and dove head-first into managing the business side. It was extremely daunting at first and there are moments where I still feel lost but always have the humility to accept that you don’t know everything and be open to learning. That’s essentially what I did and am still doing every single day, reading books and talking to people to ask for advice and help when I need it.
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?
I would first take them to Maru coffee to get a matcha latte, drop by somewhere for a quick breakfast, most likely sqirl, and then I would take them for a drive around the mid-century modern houses in Silverlake. After which we’d go to culver city where I would continue the Architectural tour by walking around Hayden Tract to look at the buildings by Eric Owen Moss, who was a professor of mine, and go to destroyer nearby for lunch. I would then take them hiking or running at Malibu or Santa Monica Beach respectively to watch the sunset. Depending on what kind of food we’re in the mood for I probably would end the night with a casual dinner at gjusta or japanese food at Otafuku.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I credit any success that OWIU has gotten so far to my whole team. The determination to push every day, especially when the going gets tough is because I have such a remarkable team who inspire me every single day.
Credits to Justin Chung