She believes in the Synthesis of Beauty and Style, Warmth, and Function to Shape Space and Elevate Everyday Life A Conversation With Designer, Regan Baker
Q: How did you get started as a Designer?
RB: I always knew I wanted to be some sort of designer or artist. I really loved to draw. I grew up in a family of artists and was taught from a young age to view the world differently. I learned to analyze what makes something attractive, the value of light and shadow, and how a specific color and texture can evoke a certain mood. I spent the first 7 years of my career working for architecture firms. From there, I really learned the built environment and began to understand my unique style; and that my design approach was applicable on a broader yet more personal scale.
Q: Can you describe to our readers a description of your business?
RB: Regan Baker Design is a full-service interior architecture and design firm. We aim to transform ordinary homes into spaces that reflect a client’s personality and lifestyle. I think what sets us apart from other firms is our ability to infuse each project with the personalities of our clients, creating functioning spaces that support their family’s lifestyles. I’m also a mother of twins, so I personally know how important it is to have a beautiful home that is also functional where you and your family can flourish!
Q: Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
RB: Growing up I had an awareness that I wanted to make an impact on our world in some form or fashion. After realizing my passion for the industry, and really understanding the impact design has by enhancing people’s lives (a platform for artists and designers and transforming the experience and livelihood of a family’s home), I realized, design was how I could have the most impact and do what I love making things beautiful. Owning a business is perfection. The freedom to watch and guide others professionally or personally through the art of transformation is pretty special.
Q: What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
RB: I have two. :) 1) Investing in good people makes all the difference. 2) Sweat the details, (in all areas of the business) it’s what sets you apart from your competitors.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
RB: The juggling act and the guilt of the juggling act. Being a great boss, leader, parent, business owner and designer. It’s hard to be everywhere at once.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
RB: 1) Laugh often and be kind. Not everything will go the way you plan or hope, but life’s a lot easier when you live it with a smile on your face, trust me! This motto has also helped me to not only meet new clients but keep them as friends long after our projects are completed! 2) Always put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s amazing what you will learn. 3) You are never alone.
Q: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far?
RB: Two answers. One’s more a personal accomplishment, earning the cover of a magazine, and being named a New Trad … but the greatest professional accomplishment thus far is the team we have at RBD. We are a well sought-after firm because of our team.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work-life balance?
RB: Work life balance happens because of a shared calendar with my husband and a team shared work calendar at the office. Number one goal is to not to work on weekends. Weekends are family time. I don’t consider shopping working though, so my kids get to come with me when we are out and about. As a family, we enjoy getting out and exploring and everyone in my family enjoys shopping, so it’s a win-win! Weekdays, when I’m home after work, my focus is family (of course texts are answered if it’s necessary) but I try to keep my screen time to a minimum until after they go to bed, then pick it back up as necessary when they are sleeping!
Q: When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
RB: Marine Biologist: I wanted to swim with the dolphins :)
Five Things About Regan Baker
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Audrey Hepburn, an excellent role models in both playfulness, kindness, and style. The three areas I’m always working on.
2. What do you like the most about living in the Bay Area?
The proximity to the beach, mountains yet city living. Also, the people. There’s an energy I can’t describe about the Bay. It’s good and contagious.
3. What place have you always dreamed of visiting?
Australia and Copenhagen. I will one day soon. So much good design coming from both of these coastal places!!
4. What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
Hire a good bookkeeper, hire what you aren’t good at, it allows you to flourish in your strengths.
5. Is there something else you would like to accomplish?
There’s a ton that comes to mind, such as starting a textile/wallpaper line, opening offices in NYC and LA, designing a project overseas, to name a few; but most importantly, continuing to be a source of inspiration both professionally and personally.