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Ten years, but who's counting...
Last Thursday was Mixed Greens gallery 10 year anniversary. It was quite the celebration. They even had an ice cream truck handing out free ice cream! (Read my previous blog if you are curious.)
The reason I mention this is not only because its my favorite gallery and is owned by my fabulous client Paige West, but also because I realize that if they are turning 10 it means I, Ghislaine Viñas Interior Design, is too. The design of the first Mixed Greens, then an online art gallery, was my very first job.
One day about 11 years ago, my good friend Chris Kerr suggested to his friend Paige that she should talk to me about the new office she was going to be opening. A couple of days later I was sitting at a table discussing a raw 10,000-square-foot space, in the then undeveloped Starett Lehigh building. So there we sat, Paige with her brilliant, kind blue eyes and long blond hair and me, a designer, as green and naive as could be (with no portfolio since I had been working at a company that designed modular office furniture; great for learning design and sales but not so good for creating a portfolio).
She said to go ahead and send over a proposal. I left the meeting thrilled, but a little freaked out. I put together a proposal (can you say cut and paste?) and sent it over. She signed it and wrote a check for the deposit. It was that easy.
Did I say I was a little freaked out before? Now I was really flipping my lid! On top of it all, I had a full time job working at Techline. Luckily, I was pulling in most of the sales for the company, so I had a bit of clout when I told my boss about my new project and that I would need to be making some calls during my work time. Another good thing was that we would be using Techline for the workstations and all the filing and storage areas. It was a win-win situation, right?
Somehow with the help of my friend, Vincent Palestro, we managed to design the project and see it to completion. It was a wonderful learning experience. I knew absolutely nothing about the design process before I started since I had never worked for a design firm. Luckily, I realized pretty quickly that it was ok to say that I had never done this before. It was astonishing to see how many people wanted to help and were willing to go out of their way to explain things to me. By the end of it, I got a feel for the what it was all about and then some. The best part was that I knew there was nothing else for me to do but continue designing like this and there was no looking back.
It was a crazy, exciting time in my life. I was young, gutsy, and energetic, and I had no idea quite what I was doing or how lucky I was.
Mixed Greens now lives in a new gallery on 26th Street that I was also blessed to be able to work on with Leven Betts Studio. Thank you, Paige, for believing in me and jump-starting my career (and continuing to fuel it) and congratulations to Mixed Greens and their amazing staff for making it this far.
The shown images are of that very first space.