We had the good fortune of connecting with Melinda Trembly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melinda, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Like everything else in life, there are seasons. I view work-life balance the same. I have a plan for an ideal week, but I have learned to remain flexible. There are periods where family has to take priority over business, and other times where I need to ask for help on the family front to be able to make a big push on the business end. It’s an ebb and flow.
Time is fleeting, and the little in-between moments with our loved ones at home are the moments we’ll one day miss the most. When I find myself caught in the busier side of life, I remind myself of two things: Rincon Road’s origin story, and the most important thing I bring to my client’s design.
I started Rincon Rd. on $100 worth of art supplies, some good ideas, and a lot of heart. I had just become a new mom and created a block print business. What started from notes to friends, evolved into partnering with local boutiques and working through nap time to fill orders. I reached for big goals led by my passion for interior design, all the while balancing family. Now, I have the privilege of creating spaces that foster a slower-paced life and the opportunity to reconnect with our roots – my ultimate goal as a designer.
I balance work and my family by simply trying my best. Of course, things get derailed from time to time but that’s what keeps life interesting.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Rincon Road is the product of my personal lifelong journey. I’m a born and raised California girl, living on my family’s avocado ranch in Carpinteria. I never felt the need to move far – did I mention the avocados? I was taken along on many of my parents’ adventures. We would drive from horse show to horse show, across the country we would travel, a bit like gypsies. Always off the beaten path, finding the hole in the wall restaurant or discovering a new trading post along the way. I loved this time with them, and the treasures we collected.
When I wasn’t traveling with my parents, I spent a lot of my time with my grandmother and her two sisters. Coming from a strong Italian immigrant family and living through the Great Depression really left them no choice other than hard work, family, and tradition. And while we sadly lost all three ladies within a year, this has only proven to give the stories more meaning. For it’s these strong ties to things we have that hold history that inspires me, this is why I want to keep the stories alive.
I’ve always loved design and art. After graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the Design Institute of San Diego. I returned home, working for prominent Santa Barbara-based architecture and design firms, providing me with invaluable relationships and experiences. Rincon Road design studio was founded in 2009, after becoming a mother. We enjoy a simple life on our ranch close to family, and our growing animal menagerie. I’m so happy to be able to pass these stories and traditions on to the next generation, and to continue doing what I love to do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Growing up, I bounced between Carpinteria, Montecito, and Ojai. Rincon Road now serves as a base between those places, representing all the back roads I took to where I am now. My upbringing in these places naturally led me to my favorite things to do today.
For a day in Ojai, I’d take a drive over the 150 with my windows down – in the summer, you can smell the citrus from the orange groves. After getting into town, and slowing down to eye-ball any new boutiques, I’d head over to grab a bite to eat at The Nest. Then, crossing my fingers in hope of seeing some baby chicks, I’d walk off lunch by meandering through the feed store or maybe even a pampering at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa if I feel like treating myself.
Taking things back to Carpinteria, my local favorite things to do are a little more biased – because nothing beats a sunset from my happy place on the ranch with a home-cooked meal. Tough competition, however, is a trip to The Food Liaison for a drool-worthy salad.
If we’re looking to go antiquing – my guilty pleasure- I’d spend a day hopscotching from Summerland to Montecito. For design inspiration and a good coffee-pastry combo, I’d stop at Field & Fort and follow it up with a stroll through The Well… If I want to lose my mind window shopping, I head straight for Montecito Country Mart.
To chase the perfect summer day, you can find me in Santa Barbara walking the streets of the Funk Zone, snacking on all the good food, and stopping at Loveworn for jeans or Diani for shoes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by strong women in my life, my mother, my grandmother and her two sisters (my great aunties). Each have shown me the importance of family, honesty, and hard work. They are the true definition of grit. There isn’t a day that I don’t find myself in a situation asking myself how the ladies would handle it. They are my North Star.
We used to all drink iced tea on the back patio and share stories I fell so in love with that I can recount word-for-word today. How “Mamma’s” pan was the best to use for polenta, or how they found a chandelier on an evening walk through Montecito – the same chandelier that hangs in my own dining room today. Each year that goes by gives their stories and traditions more meaning. Among many things, they taught me that home was a collection of the people and places I love. I now carry their memories, values, and good luck both in heart and design.
Annie Meisel Photography Amy Bartlam