We had the good fortune of connecting with Sormeh Rienne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sormeh, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my business for various reasons, but at the core it was to truly be of service to my clients. I studied architecture, spent several years in construction, and combined all I had learned to create my company. After careful review of the operations of many other firms, I found what I considered to be a gap in the market. Often times designers pass their work off to their staff, and while there is nothing wrong with this process of working, I felt myself disconnected from my projects. I feel, to truly design, I need to be in all of the details. I consider myself a concierge of sorts, I help my clients from start to finish, including branding. I often help influence operations, uniforms, silverware etc. By having a holistic view on the design process, I can ensure that all decisions are with the business’s success in mind. Design for me goes deeper than surface level aesthetics. It’s the movement of a restaurant, the feel of the silverware, the energy of the laughing friends to your right and left. I have purposefully kept my company small, so that I can engage in the creative process fully, with my clients, and as thus only take on a handful of clients per year.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
It is our appreciation of value, our desire for something special. We create it and consume it. This transfer of value, the communal trade-off, is as traditional as the first markets. A handshake. Sormeh Rienne’s mission is to create that value by doing what is so highly prized: conveying your emotions into an experience, so that your expression becomes the experience. A collaboration of ideas and intentions, Sormeh Rienne carries a sense of purpose to create value in the form of physical spaces; turning emotions into environments, and environments into emotions. We specialize in hospitality spaces. We are most known for our restaurants, coffee shops, nightclubs and hotels, but that doesn’t keep us from turning out one-off specialty food stands or branding concepts. Our clientele range in style and personality but they all have one thing in common, an interest to bring something of passion to the world. A desire for creative expression is in us all, and our mission is to put your expression into form for others to experience and enjoy. We are a multi-disciplinary design house that derives fulfillment from collaboration and pushes through on a project from conception to completion. What sets us apart is that we keep our portfolio of projects very exclusive and limited, allowing us to be holistic in each project, and flexible to take on additional roles such as branding/identity, construction management, and owner representation if needed. It hasn’t been easy road and there have been plenty of very difficult days. However, I’ve always tried to maintain a strong and persistent attitude, knowing that while everything may not have been easy as I was going through it, I will say with truthfulness that it has all worked in my favor to put me where I am today. Not everyone wants the best for you, but I committed to myself to view their efforts, good or bad, as working in my favor and something that I could use to my advantage. I’ve learned through many situations that it is the hard times that give way to the great times, and there is no getting around the fact that there will be hard times, but keeping your eye on the lessons you’re learning as you’re going through things builds your foundation and puts you in a position to seize the great things.
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.
Ooooo this one is exciting. If my best friend were to visit the area, driving to me of course, after several negative tests, and a guaranteed bill of health, I would show her to my very exciting kitchen, followed by the dining room, perhaps then the living room. All joking aside, I believe in supporting small businesses, so I would certainly order food from as many local establishments as possible, but do believe this is the time to stay safe, and stay home.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I certainly am a product of those whom love and support me. I cherish them all deeply. First and foremost I dedicate this shoutout to my incredible husband and partner, whom has supported many endless, sleepless nights. Times spent sleeping on the couch while I work on into the late night, only to keep me company because the lack of sleep was making me feel easily spooked! And of course to my parents, whom have supported me every moment of my life, I certainly wouldn’t be where I am, in any manner of the word. Also to my sister and my friend Vicky, whom have each supported me in countless ways along my path. Lastly, of course I am grateful to all those whom I have come across through the years, each of whom has contributed something on this journey.