Regina Garay of Garay Artisans Part 2 : Design Focus

My interview with the warm and delightful Regina Garay of Garay Artisans, faux finisher extraordinaire  continues…

Regina Garay smiles big

What was your most disastrous design/ industry experience and how did you turn it around?

Just when I started to working with my brother, I fell of the ladder. I hired another finisher to take over the job.  It was a disastrous idea.  The replacement did not put in the time to connect to the client or to produce the level of professionalism that I believe in giving to our clients.

It took a lot of effort to fix the damage.

Lesson learned: If you cannot do the job for any external reason, either have the client wait till you can get back to finish, or walk away from it altogether.

Tell us about your favorite client experience and why?

Debbie Golding, a hotel designer in the Kessler Collection.  She has a fun, elegant vibe and she brings out the very best in the artisans she works with.  She gives strict guidelines for faux finishing and then allows us to bring her ideas to see what could work.  Plus, she has an impeccable eye.

We love working with designers,  they bring in colors and parameters, which makes the job so much easier, and the clients know what to expect.

How do you show appreciation to your clients?

Once the commission begins we create an organization  file for them, which includes their paint information and color schemes.

We send them this along with a thank you note – you’ve no idea how much that helps later on down the line if the client needs a touchup.

Regina’s thoughtful gift reminds me that its not the size of the appreciation but the direct worth to the client that matters.

Identify your most effective free or inexpensive marketing tool or strategy.

Social Media & Blogging.   What makes it so much fun are the people behind the blog, and what they share.

Great  for keeping up with upcoming trends, and connecting with real people.  Being active in this world has had a tremendous positive impact on her business.

Regina does not have a single regret about blogging.  and she has the most incredible blog, which has definitely identified her as an expert in her field.

Where do you go for trends and inspiration?

Design blogs, Twitter, Facebook, on line  & real magazines. Kelly Wearstler’s book Hue.  Regina follows over 100 blogs – anything and everything including blogs like Cinemastyle, Plushpalate.

How have you changed the way you do biz to meet the challenges of a changed world?

Diversifying – working on different surfaces. Adding the mirror finishes. Offering different services to meet different budgets.

Gold Leaf, Mirrors and Aging done by Garay Artisans

Top Social media tip, if you indulge?

Watch your Google SEO adwords.

Bonus of social media is helping people you like.  (I love this and agree with Regina, its an incredible high)

Any advice for would-be or for upcoming designpreneurs?

Research, books.

Read business books on blogging.  The social media world is full of people who are willing to give you a leg up, when you become involved in the community.

What is the craziest thing you have done that resulted in helping your biz?

For us, doing the HD Boutique trade show.  It was a huge investment for someone in our industry – but to do such a show as opposed to a local home show worked beautifully for us, nationally.

Name a well-loved way you celebrate your life:

Road trips with the husband.   Regina notes that you can’t do a road trip with just anybody.   They argue over music and enjoy the moments as they roll by.

What is something you could not live without?

My family. An endlessly entertaining  over sentimental, loud wonderful loving group.    Regina paints such an inviting picture, I feel like moving closer, so I can join in!

Food is a big part of family. Her husband was welcomed in to the family, when Regina’s mom discovered his healthy appetite.  Second helping requests are a winner!

Name a favorite item or place, or tell us something unusual about yourself.  add your favorite dish and drink.

Eel and Thai food.  (Regina and I discovered a mutual love of , and plan on meeting to eat over eel )  When ever she spots eel, she gets so excited because it makes her think of dinner.

Pop culture addict– anything about any movie, I’m there.

Drink = Chocolate Martini

What’s next for you & how can we help you?

Gearing up to do more mirrors, presentations and create more patinas for our line.  They can be shipped anywhere.

Contact Regina  Twitter @fauxology

Her incredible blog

Well, after seeing how gorgeous Regina’s mirrors are, I am ready to find a place to put one, what about you?  are you intrigued by the look of a mirror that adds depth to the imagination?

If you are looking for a Space of Sacred stillness to celebrate your inner Goddess, contact me, Jennifer Duchene, I would love to help you  650.644.8592

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