We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Saavedra-Gutierrez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marisa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking

As a Chicana woman, mother of three, and wife, I innately believe that risk-taking is a big part of the entrepreneurial path and is 100% what has created my own personal road map to becoming an interior designer. I’ve always been drawn to venturing into the unknown while remaining steadfast, hard-working, and certain that the next step is the right step.

During the time of completing my design education and thereafter actively pursuing interior design experience through internships and at the time, entry level positions, my career choice seemed risky in comparison to the secure government job of 11 years that I walked away from.

I had worked in a comfortable, 8-5 office setting with benefits and a guaranteed retirement. Needless to say, had I stayed for the designated 25 years, I could have earned my retirement in monthly paychecks from the age of 55 on. I was 38 years old when I resigned from my position with three school-age children ranging from 5, 8 and 11 years old.
That path, the office job doing clerical and administrative work, was tough for a creative spirit like myself. I always knew I wanted more and felt strongly about working toward a career that would fulfill all of the requirements I had listed in my mind: to culminate ideas through inspiration, design and creativity, and most importantly, create a work life which blended career and passion into one.

Today, I am the owner and designer of Spatial Harmony Color Consulting + Design, LLC, which specializes in full service residential and commercial interior design. I built my business from the ground up. I feel so proud to say that I have been in the interior design industry for nearly 8 years now, and a business owner for almost 5 years. Everyday, every project, every aspect of business ownership is a constant reminder that I am the narrator of my own story and have the ability to determine the outcome.

In essence, risk-taking, at least for me, is the scariest, most fulfilling, biggest rush that I could have ever imagined. I have learned to grow and fail all at once. I have learned that mistakes are ok, as long as they are not repeated. I have learned to let go of the reigns and look to others who can help me do it better and build it better. I have learned that being a creative entrepreneurial person takes more than imagination, it is a relentless spirit of hard-work and staying a step ahead, but also helping those who are following the same path as I did.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I believe that a person’s interior space should reflect their personality and lifestyle. We are all unique and so too should be our spaces!

I pride myself on listening to and navigating the “design journey” for my clients. I do not have a signature style that I impose on projects because I believe that every single space is deeply personal and it would be an error on my part to inflict a style that is not my client’s own. I want every single space to tell a story.

Design, much like my own personal journey, has been and continues to be about introspection, deliberate intent to create something new, and to never be satisfied with status quo. Being a creative person is sometimes overwhelming because every thought is a new idea. I’m learning to sort through each thought and put ideas into action. I also have to remind myself that sometimes the ideas that turn into action do not happen overnight. Planning is key.

I want the world to know that the power of positivity, surrounding one’s self with like-minded individuals, and manifestation of what’s to come are completely possible and my business and my story are testimony to that!

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?

First, I must start by saying that Albuquerque, New Mexico is one of the most amazing, and beautiful destinations with great year-round weather to boot!

As we build on the itinerary of things to do, I should also brag a little bit on our epic brewery scene. Marble Brewery, Tractor Brewery, Red Door Brewery, Bosque Brewery, Boxing Bear, and my very favorite local downtown neighborhood brewery, Sidetrack, where everyone knows your name (and beer), there are no shortage of options when it comes to craft beer. And because we have all four seasons, our patio game is strong – especially in the early spring and fall when the weather is just right.

But before heading to one of my favorite breweries, there is definitely some amazing hiking and biking options. In Albuquerque, we are surrounded by mountains and just a short drive away from the Sandia Mountains, where walking/biking trails are everywhere.  We also have the Bosque (Forest) trails which hug the Rio Grande River and are lined with native plants and beautiful, mammoth Cottonwood Trees. It’s the perfect outdoor excursion to build an appetite for the best craft beer and scrumptious New Mexican food.

Ba​relas Coffee House,​a local favorite for breakfast and lunch, serves some of the best ​red chile enchiladas and homemade flour tortillas!  If you’re going on a Saturday or Sunday, expect to wait in line for a little bit, but the wait is totally worth it, trust me!  Another local favorite is Sadie’s Restaurant, whose menu has no shortage of delicious New Mexican dishes, like their Taco Burger with a homemade corn tortilla shell and mounds of green chile, cheese with lettuce and tomato. Plus, their signature chips and salsa will be the meal before the meal.  Not to mention their killer Margaritas!  To be honest, there are too many amazing restaurants to name, and we have a wide variety of options from Italian, American, Greek, and so much more.  I think this question honestly deserves an article of its own!!

In short, Albuquerque is a foodie’s destination and an outdoor enthusiast’s dream! Our views and sunsets are dreamy and because of the magic of the Sandia Mountains, Albuquerque’s landscape is a photographer’s muse.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

There is absolutely no way I would have survived this journey without the help of business counseling services I received from WESST, which is a mixed-use business incubation and business training facility in east downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico and the SBA Development Center – also in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

With the help of the most amazing business counselors and training programs, I was able to successfully hone and develop my business acumen skills and develop a strong business plan toward growth and stability.

They were my ​lifeline!

Website: www.spatialharmony.net

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spatialharmonydesign/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marisa-saavedra-gutierrez/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spatialharmonydesign

Image Credits
Max Woltman Nicole Bridges Darrell DeVantier

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