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Meet Gina Holz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Holz.

Gina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a third generation Angelino and was raised in a family of builders, architects, designers, and real estate professionals.

As a little girl, I was always playing with building blocks and any creative project that involved color. At the age of six, I was rushed into emergency surgery and had to live in a hospital for a few weeks. It was a day that I will never forget. After an arduous day on the operating table, the surgery was, fortunately, a success. What followed was weeks of intensive care and living in a hospital room. It later occurred to me that during this time, something extremely powerful had transpired. It was something that I did not recognize until much later in life.

I remember being a vulnerable six years old, living in an unfamiliar place. My hospital room was cold, sterile, dark and depressing. Regardless of the friends and family members who surrounded me, I felt frightened and alone. It was then that I first understood how greatly we are all affected by our environment. I knew, somewhere deep in my soul that I had a purpose. I had a need to feel connected to my surroundings in a way that felt safe, loving, warm, and effortless.

When I returned home from the hospital, my physical activities were limited, and so the artist in me emerged. I became fascinated with the way spaces were designed and how they felt and would often create new ones in my room or yard. I wanted to feel peaceful in my environment, and I wanted to help others do the same. After college, I spent ten years working for my father’s construction company, as a job site superintendent. I worked with the homeowner, the architect, the designer, and the subcontractors.

I learned how things were built and understand the construction process. His projects gave me access to some of the top interior designers in the world, and I was able to be a sponge and learn some extremely valuable information about the importance of design and how people live. Eventually, a client asked me for some help with her interiors and it just grew organically from there.

Successful design is achieved by bridging the gap between form and function in an organic, authentic way. But for me, it has become about so much more. It is not just about rearranging floor plans and selecting furnishings. It is about expression and love at the highest level. It is about transforming a house into a home and giving a voice to those who may not have one.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I definitely would not say that it has been a “smooth” road. Frankly, no growth comes from smooth. Some of my biggest mistakes have been my most profound lessons. One of my greatest challenges has been to honor the artist inside of me while embracing the fact that this is a business that needs to generate a profit. In the interior design world, you are dealing with someone’s home. That is their most vulnerable place and shelter for their privacy.

It is no small task to help people navigate through the decision process while staying on budget and making all of their dreams come true. This isn’t an outfit that will be replaced tomorrow. This is a permanent structure that their friends and family will see and comment on, for years to come. It brings up people’s biggest fears and insecurities, and they are paying you top dollar to keep everything on track and beautiful.

This also requires me to stay strong and clear about my designs, because even the most successful people in the world, face indecision and uncertainty when it comes to designing their home. One of the most important lessons I have learned is, if I don’t value my time, no one else will. I think it’s hard for some people to understand just how much time goes into these projects.

I am an artist and an empath, and I want my clients to be in love with their home. These projects become very personal, and I go through every emotion with my clients. I design their home with the same passion and dedication as I would my own home. What they don’t realize is that my knowledge and experience may make it look easy, but that doesn’t mean it is. My company’s mission is to heal people through design and to make people feel safe.

This is an intimate process and requires trust and total transparency. Designing and building a home is a huge investment, and I need to be cognizant of that at all times. Not only in the furniture that I design but also in the building material that I select for the backgrounds of the house.

Another challenge I learned early on was that most people have never designed a house before. It is my job to educate my clients and walk them through each step of the process. In the early stages, I collect inspiration images from my clients, to get a sense of their aesthetic. I then generate plans and schemes for the home and present them. They may not be open to some of my ideas in the beginning, but they always come around in the end.

One of my greatest joys in when their favorite feature in the house is the thing they fought me on, the most. Like any business, there are good days and bad days. This business ebbs and flows like any other, and so it’s important that I stay relevant and I stay excited. If I don’t love what I am doing then what is the point of owning a company. I find that gratitude and joy are my key ingredients to running a successful operation. The more love and gratitude I feel, the more abundance I attract, and that is a powerful thing!

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I pride myself on being a designer who understands the construction process. I feel very comfortable with knowing what the builder needs from me and being somewhat of a liaison between them and the client. Since I worked in construction before starting my company, I feel this sets me apart from other designers. I understand the order in which decisions need to be made. I know that the job could come to a standstill if I don’t feed the contractor with information that he needs to execute.

I know that my clients feel very safe with me since I know how things work and how much things should cost. This allows them to focus on what they want their home to look like and feel like and not spend too much energy on wondering if they are being overcharged or misled in any way. Over the years I have become a purist in my approach to design and living. I spend a lot of time with my clients understanding how their life works. I want to know the daily activities of the family and only give them spaces that make sense for them and their lifestyle.

I work with them to design appropriate storage for each room and encourage them to only hold onto items that they need and love. I do not support clutter or believe in paying for outside storage. My goal is to create spaces that are peaceful and cohesive and feel intentional and thoughtful. Of course, the most important aspect of the space is that it functions correctly. If it doesn’t work, it’s not a success no matter how beautiful it is. I have a specific aesthetic, and I think people hire me for that aesthetic.

However, I do spend a lot of time with my clients, and I listen to all of their ideas and concerns. At the end of the day, I want them to feel like they were a big part of the design process. I want them to see a piece in their home and remember the day we picked that out together. I want them to feel like it’s their home that was created for them, not some cookie-cutter design that I’ve done a million times.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
This is a big one, what can I say? The stork dropped me off at the right house. I have such a supportive and loving family, and the bonus is that I get to work with them and learn from them. My father is a licensed architect and makes a living building custom home in LA. He exposed me to the building business and opened many doors for me. He really taught me how to speak with people and how to think carefully before I respond to uncomfortable questions.

He is extremely patient, kind, knowledgable and empathetic. This really molded my approach to dealing with people and running a business. My brother owns his own architecture firm here in Los Angeles and has also been a teacher and an advocate for me and my company. When I was first learning how to draft plans, he sat down with me and helped me get more comfortable with the drafting and design process. It was an enormous help and a sweet memory.

Every once in a while we all get to do a project together which is really special. I am lucky enough to have a mom, a stepmom, a sister, two step-sisters and a sister in law who all support my business. Everything from referring me to clients, hiring me for their owns homes and generally supporting my work, in any way that they can. We are a family of business owners, and their advice and support are endless.

Some of my very first clients were my sisters and closest friends. I feel so fortunate that I got to design their homes and grow my business, all while maintaining our relationships. I am the luckiest girl in the world.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Brooke Wilen and Manolo Langis

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