We made a BIG announcement this week. Our speaker panel for the Spring 2023 Haven Workshop has officially been released and enrollment is open! Our lineup of influential women in the design industry is better than ever and we’re celebrating with a full week of interviews and home tours with our panel experts. Want more? Join us May 17–19th for your opportunity to learn from creatives you admire, in-person, face-to-face, real success, and failure stories shared. We’re pulling back the curtain on how we took our businesses and brands to the next level—and how you can, too. Click here to learn more and enroll.
Meet Mindy Gayer
Sharing her thoughts on long-term business growth, Mindy Gayer, of Mindy Gayer Design Co. packs tons of great knowledge into her brief but informative interview. We can tell she is a cheerleader for following your dreams and leading with your heart and we know she’ll be bringing her inspiring energy and industry knowledge to the Workshop this spring. Keep scrolling to read her interview and enjoy a sneak peek of her La Jolla project being featured on the blog this week!
We’re eager to hear your thoughts on, The Business of Design, one of your core sessions at the Workshop. What has been your biggest roadblock on the business side of design and how did you overcome it?
I think the business side of starting and running a design studio can be quite overwhelming when you’re first getting started and especially in the first year of business. You quickly see where your strengths are, and where you might need to outsource help when operating a small business. Since we all have limited time in every day and week, I found it essential to seek help with the following: setting up my business entity properly, along with weekly bookkeeping and monthly accounting. The financial side of running a business is equally as vital to your short-term and long-term business growth, as is your creativity, design skillset, and clients. If the financial side of running a business isn’t within your natural skillset, I highly encourage hiring an outside firm or person/s to help with everything above. It allows you the time to focus on what makes you profitable, and you can rely on another team of experts to ensure your books and finances are being tended appropriately.
What is one skill you think everyone in the design industry should learn?
I have two: good discernment and people skills
Have you taken a huge leap of faith in your career and did it pay off?
I’ve overcome many hurdles and leaned into several growth opportunities over the last 8+ years running my company. The first two people I hired when I was first starting out were very much defining elements in the growth and trajectory of our company becoming what it is today. One of these two ladies is still part of MGD, and she is very much the heart and soul behind many of our best projects and designs. As a small business owner, I take a big leap of faith each time I hire others to join our team. Yes, they are all talented and come with a unique skill set, but it’s still very much an unknown if we’re all honest. Each person we bring into the fold has such a profound impact on the day-to-day of the studio, the beautiful designs seen in our projects, the development and fostering of relationships with our clients and vendors, and they truly add such depth to our company culture and future growth. Every team member is like family, in a sense, and it’s so important they know their value.
Who gave you a piece of advice that changed your career trajectory, and what was it?
After college, and after having a letterpress stationery store very early in my 20s that I had to close due to the 2008 recession, I was at a bit of a fork in the road both personally and professionally. I was on an interview for a job up in Napa, to work at an esteemed winery of all places…and the very kind and gracious CEO I was meeting with said: “If you were my daughter, I wouldn’t let you work here. If you want the job, you can have it…but I can see you are far too ambitious and creative to get stuck working here. Go do what sets your heart on fire. That’s what makes people most fulfilled, and you are young enough to still pursue what lights you up.” Very shortly after this, I landed in this industry.
How do you measure your success?
Oh gosh, I don’t know that I have an equation for success. I don’t stop to think about it much. I suppose the idea of success, from my perspective, is when you feel fulfilled and content doing what you feel God created you to do – and getting to do that thing every single day. It’s the greatest blessing and privilege. That’s a successful life in my eyes. And one that’s full of taking risks, and working your heart out to see it all through to the best of your ability. And surrounding yourself with people who are better, kinder, more thoughtful and generous, and just all-around inspiring.
The Haven Workshop is an intimate, three-day learning experience for interior designers who are looking to up-level their business and build a successful brand.