The Entrepreneurial Gene

When I was 5, my family immigrated to the USA from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  My parents were both practicing architects but when we moved, their architecture licenses didn’t transfer and their remedial knowledge of English was a challenge.  They eventually started a design/build furniture business that has now been around for almost 30 years.  I grew up in their wood shop, watching my mom and dad sketch out custom pieces for their clients and watching their woodworkers carefully craft each piece with pride and care.  My dad would set up an area for me to build my own pieces with scrap wood and glue.  I loved the process of turning an idea into a physical object.  I also learned from my parents that hard work is rewarding and that anything is possible if you work hard enough at it.  

My dad is an inventor at heart.  Growing up he was always coming up with ideas that we thought were useful and totally ahead of his time.  We watched many of those ideas eventually become household product.  He once came up with the idea of strapping a radar sensor to his car so that he could be alerted if he was getting close to an object.  Later, we saw the advent of the back-up beeper which eventually led to the back-up camera.  Over the years, he has come up with many furniture ideas, many of which I thought were brilliant.  But the crib was one that I personally connected to and wanted to share with the world, after all it was invented for me! 

I later went on to architecture school, and for 5 years worked harder than I ever had.  I became totally dedicated to the study of architecture.  I asked a lot of questions and let my creativity run freely.  I had incredible professors that pushed back and taught me to look at the physical world in new and innovative ways.  I spent my summers working in the college’s metal shop building wood and metal furniture for the school.  I learned about craft, discipline, sustainability, the principles of aesthetics and beauty and most of all about process.  My thesis, strangely enough, was about tracing the steps of nomadic people and designing an implement that could serve them.  There are many parallels between that study almost 20 years ago and this crib.

When I finished school, I moved to Los Angeles.  I worked at a few different architecture firms and was so grateful for the amazing experiences I was afforded in these jobs.  The highlight was getting to work on the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.  Having had grandparents that survived the Holocaust, this project was especially monumental for me.  I eventually was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start my own practice and design a world-class home in Beverly Hills, at the invitation of 2 friends who believed in me.  I started my practice in my tiny 1-bedroom condo, hosting all my consultants and clients at my dining room table.  It felt right.  I worked 16 hours a day and set the foundation for the practice that I have today.  I am so grateful for my female owned, all female architecture practice and for the amazing, talented, dedicated women I work with.  

During this time, I married the man that I had been waiting for my whole life.  He was (and still is) my biggest cheerleader.  He has offered unwavering, unconditional support.  I would say, this (he) has been my biggest asset.  When those you love believe in you no matter what, you really can accomplish anything.  In 2014, we were blessed with our son, Judah.  Nothing has been more rewarding, more challenging and shown me more humility than having a child.  

Having a child has forced me to think even more about consequences.  What really happens if I buy products where working conditions are unfair or workers are underpaid?  What happens to the women and children in these communities?  What really happens if I buy clothes that I won’t want in a few weeks?  Where will the clothes end up?  How much pollution was created in order to fabricate it?  All of this was important to me before, but it was abstract in a sense.  Mothers and fathers have a common bond, and therefore have a responsibility to each other.  Everywhere.  I am so proud that our brand is father-daughter owned, made in the USA, and easy to assemble without sacrificing style.