We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Marino and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Yes, one of the biggest habits has been trusting my intuition above all else. In a world where there is so much distraction and influence, it can be challenging to stay true to your authentic self. Knowing when to drown out the noise and lean into this has been paramount. I’ve found that most of my missteps have happened when I listened to someone else’s voice rather than my own. Another habit would be saying “no” to things that no longer serve me or move the needle towards achieving my goals. I’ve come to learn that saying “no” is essential in order to leave space for the opportunities I want to say “yes” to. Doing this has also allowed me to put more time and energy into the things I enjoy most while also staying focused and inspired! Lastly, I would say surrounding myself with good people who align with where I want to be. It is such a simple yet powerful thing. I attribute so much of my growth to others who have been there to mentor, listen, and cheer me on. Having community and investing in relationships with people who support, challenge, and build you up is truly invaluable!
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is a full-service interior design firm focusing on residential interiors. I believe what sets me apart is my background. Prior to entering into the world of residential design, I started my career working as a commercial designer in hospitality where I worked on various hotel projects spanning the East and West coasts. I truly believe having had those valuable years of experience gave me a unique perspective on functionality, process, and the business side of things.
The decision to start my business came from a leap of faith after being furloughed from my previous position during the pandemic. In many ways I am so thankful the pandemic happened in terms of being the “push” I needed to go out on my own and make the jump! This past year has been a whirlwind – some of the things I am most proud of up to this point are the launch of my website, the completion of several renovation and new construction projects, and the community and new relationships I have formed with various vendors, designers, and tradesmen. I am most excited about continuing to grow my portfolio, working on more new construction, and focusing on the business goals I have set for myself.
Things certainly have not always been easy – I think anyone who has started a business would agree that there are so many facets to manage behind the scenes, but building something you are proud and passionate about is the most rewarding adventure! For me, the biggest challenges were getting started, learning to be my own boss, and taking on the added roles of book keeper, social media manager, web designer, photographer, etc. I overcame these obstacles by taking action. Once the first project was underway, the rest fell into place. Creating tools to streamline my processes while keeping myself on a strict schedule keeps me focused, creates structure, and helps me manage my time most efficiently. Hiring the right professionals when needed proved to be a great investment to kickstart things while also understanding what tasks I could take on myself.
I have learned many lessons along the way, one of the most important being to give myself grace – it is so easy to focus on all the things you view to be “shortcomings” or to feel like you are not doing enough. One of the best pieces of advice I hold on to is “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” – I find so much comfort in reminding myself of that. Everyone has a unique story and when there is talent, persistence, and hard work, the success will come!
An important part of my brand I want to share is the mission behind the work – to not only design beautiful, livable spaces, but more so to create experiences that are special and personal. I firmly believe home should be a place where you feel most comfortable, happy, and inspired. I am passionate about designing interiors that incorporate handcrafted details and meaningful objects while also capturing the true spirit of the people who live there. Knowing that I have given my clients and their families a space to create lasting memories is the most rewarding feeling!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this question. I would likely start off by taking them downtown for coffee at The Weekend, a coffee shop inside of the Joule Hotel, which is one of my favorite spots downtown. I love the interior, artwork, and ambiance there. Then, I would show them the iconic “eyeball” sculpture across the street before heading to Klyde Warren Park to scope out the food trucks and have lunch outside. I love exploring museums, so I would then say we should check out an exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center or the Dallas Museum of Art. For a fun activity I am always in favor of a cooking class, or something interactive with a fun, personalized experience! Another spot we would have to visit is the Arboretum – the sculptures and gardens are always so beautiful. I would definitely take them to one of their summer concerts on the lawn accompanied by a picnic basket with an over-the-top cheese board paired with wine of course! There would at some point be a walk on the Katy Trail or around White Rock Lake.
For dining I would say a nice balance of causal favorites and fine dining. I love Louie’s (a total dive) for pizza and martinis and the always reliable and charming S&D Oyster Company for seafood! Mercat Bistro, Grange Hall, or Ida Clare for brunch. For a fancier dinner out I love Faccini, Bullion, or Georgie – all of the interiors are really well done and feel like a true dining experience. Lastly, you cannot come to Dallas without some retail therapy in some form or fashion. Bishop Arts, Highland Park Village, and Knox / Henderson are some of my favorite shopping spots. I could go on, but that about sums it up!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Yes, absolutely! I could not have started my business without the love and support of my family. I am so blessed to have such amazing mentors and supportive friends, especially Bonnie Achariyakosol and Bailey Ward whose ongoing encouragement and support have been very instrumental in starting my business. Lastly, I am really thankful for all of the past seasons of my career, for the places I have worked, and the talented people I worked alongside who taught me so much of what I know today!
Lili Keys Regan Hanson Kelly Christine Sutton