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Meet Alexis Manfer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexis Manfer.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alexis. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been drawn to art & design for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I loved to play in my mom’s closet with her brightest, most colorful clothing and mix up the different patterns and textures. In my early teens, we were remodeling our family home and my mom let me help interior design my own bathroom. I picked out the wallpaper, which was a green snakeskin, and deep red wine colored accessories. My mom was really impressed and encouraged my creativity. As the years followed I found my favorite classes were in Art History. I went on to college to study Art History as my major. During my last summer in college, I studied abroad in Spain. While in Barcelona, I toured and explored all of the Gaudi architecture and interiors. His work was incredibly impressive and forward thinking. It really sparked my interest in Interior Design. When I returned to college after the summer in Spain, I interned for Kelly Wearstler and absolutely loved the experience. I decided to pursue interior design as my career, enrolled in and completed the UCLA interior design graduate program, moved to NYC where I gained loads of experience working for 2 big interior design firms, and then moved to Newport Beach to start my company 6 years ago. It’s been such a rewarding journey and career thus far!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I knew quickly that I wanted a career as an interior designer and it’s been exhilarating pursuing my passion. Moving to NYC after graduate school and job-hunting for my first interior design job was challenging. But…I networked like crazy and worked really hard, and eventually got that first big job.

Starting my business was also tough for the first few years. Navigating the ebbs and flows of workload took some time, and gaining clients and consistent work on my own was also a learning experience. Although starting my firm took hard work and perseverance, eventually I got in the groove and gained a steady flow of amazing clients and projects. Today, I am fortunate to have lots of happy clients who graciously refer me to their friends, family, and coworkers.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Alexis Manfer, Inc., is a full service, national interior design firm. We work on residential and commercial projects from ground up construction, to renovations on existing spaces, down to the details of selecting furniture, window treatments, Art, and accessories.

It’s always my goal to create interiors that are completely unique to each client. When I meet with clients for the first time, we spend time discussing the way they live, how they want their interior to feel, and what inspires them. After collecting this information, I start pulling together inspiration for their design. No client is the same and it’s really important that I capture each client’s unique personality, wants, and needs.

There isn’t one style or aesthetic I prefer. I embrace all styles of design. Over the six years I’ve owned my business I’ve designed contemporary style spaces, an elegant modern/traditional home with stunning ocean views, a sophisticated Art Deco style office in NYC, and am currently finishing a mid-century modern house in Venice beach, just to name a few. Each client’s own individual style inspires my designs and allows me to create one-of-a-kind interiors. It’s most important to me that my clients love the outcome of their interior long-term, rather than following current design trends.

I attribute much of my success to my education and work experiences before opening my own company. I completed an intense 3-year interior design graduate program at UCLA after my undergraduate study at USC. The program taught me the technical skills required to create cohesive and properly planned spaces. The experience of working for 2 incredible, well established, high-end interior designers before opening my company taught me the importance of professionalism, follow-through, and deciding which types of vendors to work with. When you’re designing custom interiors, custom furniture, and custom window treatments, you need to make sure you have amazing vendors to execute the designs. I’ve spent years finding my vendors and know they will produce beautiful, quality products.

Finally, I pay very close attention to design details. Small design decisions such as a kitchen faucet or a shower door handle give an interior that extra special wow factor. I make sure to put that extra effort into each design decision.

What were you like growing up?
I’ve always liked to stand out and have my own unique style. I loved dressing myself as a young child. I loved creating little ensembles and wearing different styles than anyone else. One of my sisters would get so embarrassed my parents let me out of the house in my carefully curated outfits (like cowboy boots with one of my dad’s oversized shirts clipped on the side). Maybe not the chicest—but as a 6-year-old, I rocked it! And my passion for design has only grown since then. I guess I have always had my own vision, drive, point of view, and not been afraid to take risks, in life and in style.

I love to travel and been fortunate to live abroad and visit many places around the world. There is always something to learn and gain from other places and people and I find a lot of inspiration for design while traveling. But for me, I find inspiration in the small things. Color combinations, floor plans, materials, etc. There is beauty everywhere.

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