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Office  What will you do with your next 365?

Part 1 of 3: When restaurateur @lindaderschang opened her first business, she quickly realized entrepreneurship was the perfect path for her: “There was no grand plan. It started off simply to create my own world. I might have had some trouble with a few of my part time jobs in my early twenties—a little bit of a punk—didn’t get the tattoos, still have the skull ring. And I used to say, I would prefer to work 60 hours a week—or more—for myself, than 40 hours at a job that I hate. I really felt like I was creating my own destiny—my own world—I could control everything, from the time I worked, to how much I worked (which was a lot), from the way the store looked and felt, to the sort of people that we were hiring. It felt like we were able to hire a lot of like-minded people, so there was already this sense of community in our little store in Denver, the same way they are still in my businesses today.” #FirstDrafts

Part 2 of 3: “Every time it’s different. King’s was inspired by a tavern near Crystal Mountain. Tallulah’s has large windows and it’s on a sunny corner with a big patio, so I wanted to use a lot of plants. I guess I was channeling Big Sur in the 1970s mixed with a little bit of Morocco. That tied in with the sort of food that we wanted to do, which was a very vegetable-driven menu. Sometimes, I even make up a story about the person who owns the business. In my mind, The Bait Shop was opened by a fisherman in the ‘40s who saved all his money and had always dreamt of owning his own business. His son inherited it in the ‘70s and added some of those elements to its original late-forties-early-fifties design. Then, he crashed his Firebird, and all that was left was the hood, so he mounted it up on the wall. I was telling my sister and she was like, ‘Wait…how did you end up with it?’ And I said, ‘No, that’s the story I told myself.’” #FirstDrafts

Part 3 of 3: “When I’m thinking up a business, I often have a blurry idea of what the interior looks like in my head. But years ago, I found it really challenging to explain it to people. So, I started making mood boards in Word, where I was almost able to create the room. Rather than a piece of fabric here and a photograph there, I could actually draw out the entire space. I found that it was so helpful for everyone I was working around to understand what the vision was. So, although they were sort of for me, they were more for the people around me to believe that, yeah, that chair makes sense with that clock. And yes, we would use brass here, but we would use those lights there. Because now I see what’s in Linda’s head and it actually looks really great; I like it." – Linda Derschang, Founder of The Derschang Group
Each environment created by @lindaderschang starts to take shape when she makes her vision tangible. Transforming an idea into a reality requires innovation and the determination to take that first step. So what will you do with your next 365? #FirstDrafts

Part 1 of 3: Luis Rodriguez reflects on the moment he discovered the building that would become his beloved café, @thestationcoffeeshop: “One day, I remember I was walking around my neighborhood, and I saw this garage. I’d been in this neighborhood for twenty-two years, and I had never seen it before. I immediately fell in love with it. I knew that the moment I saw the building, the building was looking at me, too. I listened to a lot of people seven years ago, and they were saying, ‘We need coffee. We need an actual, real coffee shop.’ And that was my love, my passion—coffee—so that was an easy choice for me.” #FirstDrafts

Part 2 of 3: “The first step I took was to come up with ideas. I started getting to know the business, and exactly what I wanted to do with this location. They were opening a light rail station next to us, so that’s how the whole idea for The Station came to life. It was also important to me to have a place for people to hang out—like a living room in the neighborhood—a place where everybody can talk. A lot of customers that come here are elders who may not have had a place to go before, but now they do. It’s become a hub for diverse, multiracial communities to come together. That’s really rewarding. Building a community of people respecting one another—that, to me, is success.” #FirstDrafts

Part 3 of 3: “My advice for someone starting a new business is: Be ready. Understand the business that you’re opening and that you might be there all the time. Be okay with the challenges of people criticizing you, and learn from those who criticize. And love what you’re doing. I can be here eighty hours a week, and it will feel like ten hours; it might not even feel like I’m working. I think that you have to go with the gut feeling that you have inside, right? It’s always been very natural for me. My alter-ego, my soul, is The Station.” – Luis Rodriguez, Owner of @thestationcoffeeshop
Luis married his passions for coffee and community when he opened his neighborhood café, The Station. If you pursue what you truly love, achieving comes more easily. So what will you do with your next 365? #FirstDrafts

Part 1 of 3: Ian Butcher, Owner and Principal of @best_practice, distinctly recalls the moment he fell in love with architecture: “I grew up in the suburbs, and all I knew were suburban houses and strip malls. But in 8th grade, we had a field trip to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. We went through the loading dock, got on the big freight elevator (because there were probably like 50 students), and when we got out and opened the doors, I was like, ‘Oh my God, what is this thing I’ve never seen before? I want to do that. This is so cool.’ I didn’t know that you could make buildings like that. I didn’t even really know that I liked buildings at the time. And that was the point where I decided in my life that I wanted to be an architect. Probably a lot of kids have that feeling and it changes, but it continued to progress.” #FirstDrafts

Part 2 of 3: “The first thing I did when I started my business was I bought a computer and I rented an office. What was the feeling? It was a little bit of panic because this was the end of 2010, but a little bit of, ‘Why the hell not? Let’s do this.’ I had worked for two different people for most of my professional life before that, and they were pretty disparate in terms of what they did. I took a lot from each of them in terms of molding what I wanted to do as a designer. And so I was excited to see what was going to come out on the page when I started drawing my first project. My first project turned from a small kitchen project into a big office project, and that was a launching pad for this firm, where we do a lot of office interiors.” #FirstDrafts

Part 3 of 3: “Ian and I are both architects, but we are very different kinds of architects. And he brings a certain kind of expertise and vision and knowledge, and I have a completely different set. They happen to be really complementary, and the collaboration that we do together and that we have with our other employees kind of allows the best parts of all of that experience to rise to the top. It’s not about, ‘Well that’s my idea and I made it.’ It’s about, ‘What can we all bring to the table to create a cool thing?’” – Kailin Gregga, Lead Designer, @best_practice.
Architects Ian Butcher & Kailin Gregga use their individual strengths to their advantage when approaching new projects. Working together helps every idea reach its full potential. So what will you do with your next 365? #FirstDrafts

Part 1 of 3: After a decade working for one of the world’s largest retailers, Aaron DelGuzzo, Owner and Co-Founder of sneaker boutique, @lklihood, decided to take the first step toward the next step in his career: "I always wanted to have my own store. I didn’t want to go back and work for a big corporation; I was just ready to do my own thing. My major concern with opening the business was that all the product we carry is usually on a nine-to-twelve-month lead time. So, you have to get accounts opened, but in order to do that, you have to show them where you’re going to put their products. So, I pulled hundreds of images from different stores—displays, lighting, furniture, seating—then, I started working with a friend of mine who’s an architect to create this rendering. That landed me a lot of the accounts. I don’t even think we were finished with the business plan yet. People were like, ‘Wow. We haven’t seen a store like this in forever. This is amazing.’ It started the whole thing.” #FirstDrafts

Part 2 of 3: “Persistence was definitely key in this space. For instance, when they built the steps, they built them wrong. They didn’t put that edge on the other side of it, so you could literally fall off of it. So they had to rip them out and re-pour them. Then, when they built the stadium, it was crooked. They were telling me, ‘You have to live with it, we can’t change it.’ And it was really stressful because I had to tell them no. So they rebuilt the stadium. You can’t settle with okay. You have to be really persistent about what you want.” #FirstDrafts

Part 3 of 3: “It’s our first business, so unexpected things happen every day. There were a lot of expenses and setbacks that delayed the opening of the store—everything from needing a permit to hang light fixtures to having the ceiling x-rayed. There are just so many ups and downs when you’re starting your own business, and there’s so much to learn. It can get really crazy, but you just have to remain graceful and stay calm.”
Aaron DelGuzzo took a chance when he stepped into the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship to put his vision for @lklihood into action. He used inspiration from retail environments around him to create his own, making him a source of inspiration for others. Creativity is an endless cycle. So what will you do with your next 365? #FirstDrafts