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Meet John Sofio of Built Inc. in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Sofio.

Thanks for sharing your story with us John. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I landed in LA in 1990, at the height of the recession. I struggled to find work in an architectural firm, so i started my own company. Initially focusing on residential, I designed and built hundreds of remodel and new home projects throughout Southern California. In 2005 my focus shifted towards hospitality design. Designing nightclubs, live music venues, cocktail bars, and restaurants has been my passion since, applying my residential experience to the hospitality space.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In the years preceding the residential boom and subsequent crash in the mid 2000s, Built was expanding. However, with this expansion Built was becoming its own entity, making decisions based on previous calculations, separated from myself. I recognized this separation and realized its snowballing effect that lead to efficiency taking precedence over creativity. I decided to compress my firm and execute strategic projects with a smaller team. This allowed me to move quickly and precisely, maintaining the efficiency the business had been working with while keeping focus on the integrity of the project. This is the key to our ability to create unique spaces, applying concentrated focus on each project from its inception to completion. So really, that bump in the road was necessary to get where we are today.

Please tell us about Built Inc.
Built Inc. is a design/build firm focused on hospitality and high-net-worth residential clients. We design all aspects of a project, from concept and branding through architecture, interior, and finishes. We have a division under Built Inc, Built Industries, that designs and builds all furniture, lighting, and case goods for our clients.
We thrive in “total control” design/build environment, meaning each step of a project’s process is handled by us, allowing for the complete design to be fully realized. This environment requires a degree of artistic integrity coupled with love for our creations, and I think that is translated through the experience of being in one of our spaces.

What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
Compressing the scale of my overhead prior to the housing downfall of ‘07-‘08 turned out to be very lucky. As I shifted my focus to nightclub design during that time, we were set up for the thirteen year streak in the hospitality design market that we continue today.

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Image Credit:

Elizabeth Daniels

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