We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica D. Higgins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Garagify helps families build wealth by turning their backyards into an income-earning asset via a backyard home. These backyard homes, formally known as accessory dwelling units or ADUs, provide a meaningful boost in their household income. This income boost helps reduce their housing cost burden so they are paying less than a third of their income for housing. This allows them to improve their finances by increasing their savings, paying down debt, and investing for the future, all of which relieves financial stress and improves their physical and mental health.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets Garagify apart from others is that we are a trusted end-to-end design and build partner. As a one-stop shop, our team of architects, designers, interior designers, engineers and contractors takes care of everything from feasibility and design, to permitting and construction. Our number one priority is to help our clients achieve project success with a backyard home that matches their unique space, budget and needs without sacrificing affordability.
While I’d love to say getting where I am today was easy, the reality is I’ve faced many, many setbacks along the way. Each setback has presented an opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes the lesson and growth are evident at the time of the setback, other times they are not evident until some time later. One recurring lesson whenever I’ve been faced with setbacks is to never lose sight of my vision and pivot to possibilities. Keeping my vision at the forefront of my mind, along with the reason why I started Garagify in the first place helps me continue to move forward.
Growing up, I helped my parents manage and renovate distressed income properties. The year after my father passed away, I witnessed something no homeowner should ever have to experience…my mother getting ripped off big time by a shady contractor. That horrific ordeal inspired me to become a construction manager and write “Remodel Success” an international bestseller. It also inspired me to establish Garagify as a design and build company working with homeowners every step of the way, establishing costs early on, while virtually eliminating unnecessary change orders.
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.
As a native Los Angelena, I would want to take my bestie on a week-long taste trip.
We’d start with Sunday Brunch at Red’s Flavor Table in Los Angeles for the best breakfast, New Orleans style. The generous portions mean we’ll be able to take a doggie bag home and have leftovers for dinner. Monday, we’d head over to The Original Farmer’s Market for lunch at Pampas Grill for their delicious bacon wrapped chicken and amazing assortment of side dishes, followed by shopping at The Grove. Tuesday, we would hike the trails of Kenneth Hahn Park in Baldwin Hills, then take in a panoramic view of the city while enjoying a The Halal Guys platter (their lamb platter is my favorite). Wednesday would be reserved for a Netflix and chill night with hand-tossed pizza from Pizza Show in Hawthorne. Thursday would be another picnic day, this time at the serene 104-acre Magic Johnson Park in Willowbrook. We’d wrap the week up with a concert and dinner under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. Saturday would be a day to eat light and recover from our food coma.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There would be no Garagify without our clients. I am always humbled and honored when homeowners entrust us with their projects because it confirms their desire for a trusting relationship with an experienced and caring team.
Speaking of team…We could not do what we do without a team of collaborating professionals bringing our clients’ backyard homes to life. There are hundreds of decisions that must be made, from the initial concept through completion and final sign off. Also, thousands of minute details must be handled, weighed and considered, each one affecting the next phase of construction. I’ve been blessed to have worked with architects Marlene L. Ramirez and Mark Nichols, interior architect and designer Tauska Trusaun-Kennedy, interior designer Jennifer Mackey, designers David Koch and Yakov Zariadnov, structural engineers Danniel Kang and Ivan Castro, general contractors Cortland Jackson and Steve Laszlo, as well as their respective teams to help our clients achieve their backyard home goals.
Other: If you’ve got a dream for a backyard home that you’re ready to turn into a reality, let’s crush your backyard home goals with our Backyard Home Investment Report https://garagifynow.
Purchase Remodel Success: https://www.amazon.
Architect: Reli Architecture | Interior Architect/Designer: R U M E by Tauska | Structural Engineer: DKSE| Contractor: Access Construction Remodeling | Photographer: Alex Linares, Homejab