When I first formed my design business in 2002, my dream was to incorporate art and my passion for creativity into a successful business background, which happened to be in a completely different field – energy trading. Coming from a male dominate industry, being in the mid eighties, I was one of less than a handful of women in my industry. Starting on the New York Mercantile Exchange is relevant to what I do today because it taught me tenacity, relevancy and confidence, which is hard for most women to overcome in business today.
Starting your own business is a challenge and the amount of risk that goes with it is the underlying factor of making it or not. Most people do not factor this in when assuming the responsibility of running and owning a company. It takes much thought and crunching of numbers up front in determining how much risk you can take on.
Design was not my orignal career but because I came from a challenging industry, and was one of the most successful women in my field, I embraced risk early on and did not fear it. I also moved many times from across the country to Texas and change was imbedded into my career early on. One must be able to accept change and roll with what comes your way or you will not endure ups and down in your business, changes in the economy and changes in strategies that will affect your company.
I started out working with clients and their homes, creating beautiful rooms. I also had a love for real estate and embraced old homes with beautiful character. Slowly but surely, after my company was formed, I started buying properties. Each property was a challenge in itself but my love for transforming homes was exciting and it became the core of my business. In between it all, I started collecting beautiful antiques and architectural decor that would become the basis of my style.
Although I guide clients with style and design, a client’s home should be relevant to themselves and I help them develop ideas that speak something about them. My business has evolved from doing what I love to serving a purpose. Life is about telling a story and I use my past and memories to guide me. I also allow my spiritual journey as a means of designing, which you will see me often refer to as “Design Through Consciousness” or “designthruconsiousness”. Meditation is a core part of my life; learning who I am and my true self, the inner voice is my guide.
It has become a rather interesting journey with my background in energy and Wall Street to living as a Texan to living in the far north suburbs of Houston where my most recent home will be photographed and memorialized in a book being written, to a legacy property my family owned on Lake Ontario. Design and art is my life now. My real estate experience, coming from a family who’s business surrounded it, is most important to me because it not only drives my decisions economically and fiscally, but it gives my intentions direction for what I love to do. Without real estate, there is no design and without beautiful rooms, where would I showcase art.
Michele Marrano is a Consultant in Design and Real Estate. Michele is a Certified Chopra Meditation Instructor and provides guidance in Meditation.