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Hidden Gems: Meet Fernando Cuevas of Flipping Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fernando Cuevas.

Hi Fernando, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
As a child, “design” was always something that I was inclined to. Not really understanding the context at a young age never stopped me from willingly figuring it out. I can recall my mom’s routine voice calls after coming home from school. She’d say, “What changes are you helping me make to the living room this week?” I remember, all I could feel in these moments were emotions of joy and feelings of accomplishment knowing that the new wallpaper border or new powder room paint color would make my family happy. It was at this very moment, knowing without “actually knowing” that Interior Design was yet to make a huge impact in my life.

Growing up in California as a Mexican-native and born to foreign immigrants from Mexico was a blessing. At least that’s how I chose to view it. My parents migrated to a San Francisco suburb at the early age of 4. Passports…Check, Visas…Check, bags…check! Time for a change they said. But a better opportunity for everyone awaits. So, my siblings and I made the most of it as the days, years and decades soon followed. Being raised in a Latin cultured household was beautiful in itself but being able to share the culture in such an opportunity-driven country is what soon became the backbone for the rest of my life.

I moved to Los Angeles when I was 22 years old after studying Architecture and Interior Design all within a three years period. All I remember thinking was, “where am I going to start?” LA is so huge and I literally felt so inexperienced, to say the least. But those were just self-doubts. Self-doubts soon propelled me to come into my own because as we all know, you need a little thick skin if you’re going to be successful in this town. The market crash in 2008 was a blessing in disguise as I turned to work in fashion and visual merchandising for some time. Though I felt inspired to style people and merchandise beautiful boutiques on a regular basis, there was still an aspect of my creativity that never felt whole. Learning to take a leap of faith and being determined to make a change, I launched Flipping Design in 2013. It was quite nerve-wracking at first but they say, “If you want to see a change, be the change!” So… change it became and very quickly at that because becoming an entrepreneur is the hardest thing and the most rewarding thing that I have ever done.

Fast forward into now almost ten years since I’ve become a business owner, #FlippingDesign has flourished into such an amazing “tree” full of life, with branches of possibility. Knowing the industry for quite some time now and realizing the dream was always in allowed me to curate my most prized possession, the CASAminimo brand of Minimalist Furniture which thrills me to talk about. Designing furniture is something that brings joy into my life. Almost therapeutic if you will. It’s like the joy I felt as a child every season as the living room setup was reconfigured. That same joyness is the same emotion that is feeding my soul as I immerse myself into this new chapter of Flipping Design. Today, you can find bespoke furniture pieces online and I encourage people to continue to check in with #CASAminimo every season as new add-ons to the #MinimoCollection are released.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. As I mentioned before, being an immigrant and foreigner here in the US comes with its challenges. It wasn’t until recently that I was honored my legal status, making it possible for me to travel abroad, as well as really start to set ground with my “footprint” in the states. The struggles of feeling like you’re in limbo while wanting to keep pushing for a lifelong dream of design was something that I had to work on spiritually. When you finally realize and connect inner peace with outer circumstances and experiences, that’s when you realize the path… YOUR path of least resistance is what led you to where you are today.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Flipping Design?
Recently, Flipping Design was published in Architectural Digest in the subscribers issue of February 2022. It’s been a long road landing a full page on this magazine and for that, I will always pinch myself for it. “I did it Mom!”

Now that Flipping Design has launched CASAminimo, a bespoke furniture line, we plan to expand into decor as our next goal. Having its first flagship store in Los Angeles is where I see CASAminimo’s future. I couldn’t be more proud of a brand that is dedicating its products to being fully handmade and artisan-crafted in Los Angeles. Materials are sustainable and special thought goes into each design. I think what sets us apart from other brands is that the furniture has a very minimal yet bold and comfortable vibe. It’s hard to find a happy medium. Sometimes in design, comfort will be sacrificed for high design impact or boldness, and vice versa. Not the case with CASAminimo.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I really have to credit my Mom as a silent investor in this brand, CASAminimo. I wouldn’t be as progressed in this brand if it wasn’t for her belief in my craft. Thanks Mom! Also the support of my partner in crime, Dan Sabin, for always pushing me to do my best and keeping my head in the game. I really thank him for my focus and admire his innate ability to get “the job done” in perfect order. All inspiring attributes that I’ve learned to acquire throughout the years.

A big thank you to my great friends that surround me on a regular basis. An amazing singer-songwriter by the name ANGELICA ARTIFEX (I am.Artifex) to whom has shown me so much love and support in the last few years. Her tenacity and drive for what she does inspire me so much and I could not be where I am today without her. Especially her partner in crime, Juan Carlos Arvelo, and his amazing gift of photography. Inspiring me with beautiful product photographs for this season. You can find his craft @JuanCarlosArveloPhotography.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Angelica Artifex Juan Carlos Arvelo Photography

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