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Meet Greg Bleier of Studio UNLTD in Boyle Heights

Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Bleier.

Greg, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My interest in Interior Design began when I was working in a restaurant during my studies at the University of Pittsburgh and there was something very compelling to me about the space that I worked in because I felt that it contributed to much of the places draw. In fact, it’s still open today. Fast forward about five years and I was back in school in Cincinnati studying Interior Design. While there, we were required to have multiple internships which is what led me to Los Angeles (a city that I had never even been interested in visiting prior to that time).

After working here, I fell in love with the place, particularly because it offered so much culture, nature and supported the arts in a way that didn’t have the pressure of NYC (with the exception of the film industry). Once here, I cut my teeth at a few unremarkable offices in LA where the work always left me feeling a bit flat because, while I was engaged in the projects, it didn’t really speak to me and what I was about.

Then the economy crashed in 2008/09 and I had been laid off in both of those years, the latter of which was the birth year of Studio UNLTD, which allowed me to get back to my roots and focus on Hospitality Design with a specialization in restaurants.

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?
Having to birth a business out of thin air in 2009 after losing two jobs and in the midst of the biggest economic downturn that I could remember was certainly a big bump in the road. I had never been focused on opening my own office to that time so it was an incredibly awkward thing to navigate. Since then, there have been further bumps along the way which are fairly standard to business, like finding a home (we have been in five locations). Hiring my first employees, bringing in a partner… Other than that, the business has had some growing pains as to getting out of our early pool of clients to the next level and so on.

One of the biggest struggles for me personally was starting to experience burnout last year. It made me do a lot of self-evaluation and reflection to help me find my center and my motivation. I think a lot of business owners take so much care of the business, that they can lose track of themselves and not provide the time and attention that one’s personal life and well-being require. This allowed me to see the business differently and to better address the deficiencies within the company and to accept and refine the identity.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Studio UNLTD is a multi-disciplinary design studio focused on delivering unique, functional and inviting hospitality spaces. Our main focus and expertise revolve around food and beverage space, but we are expanding into the hotel and product sector.

Our studio thrives at being a bridge for our very talented clientele to realize their respective dreams. We focus on all factors related to the complexity of a given project by evaluating: the story, needs/ goals, spacial limitations and time and financial constraints. For us, it is a pleasure to work with passionate people who are dreamers and realists. The people that want to pursue their craft, but also understand the gravity and the challenges of their chosen field (the success rates of restaurants are not in their favor!).

I am proud that we show a lot of care in our design process and in turn, we put a lot of energy at each and every client and want them to succeed. We are happy to take on the challenge and responsibility of knowing that the role that we play can affect their bottom line. We also love to create customized products and design solutions for each project, we don’t care to iterate our own style over and over without unique evolution.

What were you like growing up?
I was more of a go-with the flow kind of kid. Who liked to have a good time, explore and was very friendly. I wasn’t a great student and was a dreamer who liked to draw and play sports. I was obsessive about sports for many years both as a student athlete and fan, but always made the time to draw and create.

I was not what you would call a rebel. I played it pretty straight, following the rules, etc., but I was a wanderer and I haven’t stopped that bit!

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Image Credit:

Tanveer Badal, Jeremy Samuelson, Scott Morris

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