We have made it halfway through August, and for all of us living in Arizona summer cannot end soon enough. Most of you who live here are returning from your summer escapes as many of the schools are now back in session. Our winter snowbirds won’t start flying in until late October or early November.
My least favorite month here is September. I am just ready for summer to be over and so that’s the month I like to escape – hence our Candelaria Design Tour in September when it’s perfect in Italy. We will be departing on our 14th Tour on September 7th.
Meanwhile, now is the time where Isabel and I come to NYC for the market and to enjoy the city. We come every year this week and we both love it. We racked up 10 miles of walking just yesterday which gave us the guilty free lunch at Mario Batali's new Eataly in lower downtown New York and then our finish to the day at one of our favorite indulgences, dinner at Mario Batali’s http://www.babbonyc.com. Always fantastic and this year was no exception. We always make reservations months in advance but eagerly give our table up if we find room at the bar upon our arrival which was the case this year. We love dining at the bar and meeting people from across the world, which of course we did this year. Fabulous food, wine and interesting conversation. Love it!
So…. MC and travel….. why do I do it so much and do I really even work or am I checked out and not watching the ship or running the show!?! I quietly hear this question all the time and I know my competition loves to whip this into a frenzy. The truth is I do travel a lot – most of it for work as we currently have projects all across the country. My team and I have projects underway in Kansas City, Denver, California, Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, and here in New York. I have the best team out there, many have been with me over ten years and some over 15. They are in their prime and blow the competition away. My executive assistant, Stacey Payne, keeps me on track and helps me in so many ways! My associates, Vivian Ayala and Evelyn Jung keep things moving every day. We usually start our mornings at 5 am texting and planning the day or weeks ahead, We do our Candelaria Design Tours, two this year to Italy – both sold out, and next year we will be adding an annual trip to Spain – also already sold out. I am starting to get offers to speak about our homes, travel, cooking and lifestyle and so those now sometimes require travel.
Nonetheless, what is amazing with the technology today, I can really work and connect with my team and clients from anywhere. Most of the time it’s my clients that are somewhere else and we are connecting with them, but many times I’m on the road connecting in. All of our work and drawings are in “the cloud” so I can access them from anywhere. I love my new Ipad Pro and use it to sketch right over the top of drawings and can instantly send them back to my staff when they have questions. It’s quite amazing how we have embraced this connectivity and I love it.
You see I pretty much work all the time. Architecture and Living is what I do and fortunately I am married to a woman, Isabel, who is in the same business and shares this same passion for design and living. We pretty much eat, breath and sleep design and the two of us are on the go constantly. That is what inspires us and allows us to be so creative with our clients and projects. It is our FUEL!!!!
How can an architect or designer have new ideas by just sitting at the office and maybe delving through Pinterest images or magazine clippings and truly understand the soul, the atmosphere, the context of a space or image they see on Pinterest….. The fact is you can’t. All of our clients travel and see the world and so it is important for me and my team to do the same. How else can you be on the same level of experience and understanding as your client? And how fortunate that with our Candelaria Tours many times I share those experiences simultaneously with my clients and staff as I bring a member of my team with me on each trip. What an experience and reward for them.
We create and sell a dream a lifestyle – our focus is Inspiring Living. You cannot do that behind a desk. Our whole business model, both internally and externally, is about Inspiring Living and our mission is to work with a staff that is inspired to live and clients we can inspire to take living to an entirely higher level. Mark is not slowing down – I am transitioning into pursuing more of my other interests – writing, painting, photography, travel, cooking, product design, music - along with continuing design with my Candelaria Design Team. We are having our best year ever in our 17 years at Candelaria Design so our model is working just fine!
And so I am going to enjoy the weekend here in New York and will likely snap 1000 more photos and sketch several details that I will soak up in my ten mile hikes each day. And I will enjoy a fabulous dinner every evening at some fantastic restaurant that a client has referred me to with my lovely wife, Isabel. We will hit some galleries, meet some fascinating people, listen to some jazz, and yes maybe enjoy a martini and a cigar here or there on occasion……
You see Living and Working are all the same for me…. Every moment of my life I am working and living.