Lisa is an interior designer and Principal of Lisa Galano Design Consultancy. She has been part of the Spoak team since day one and was the design expert and creator behind our design curriculum.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of knowing Lisa, allow us to do the honors and introduce you to her! Lisa is a wealth of industry knowledge (and style!) and is passionate about helping young designers succeed in the industry.
We’re thrilled to be chatting with Lisa today about her background in interior design, how she stays inspired, and which products she’s been loving lately.
Hi, I'm Lisa! I'm an interior designer and advisor for Spoak. Growing up, I was raised in an environment where visual arts was a priority. My dad was an architect and ran his own firm. In his free time, he built barns and did creative things like using discarded blueprints as wrapping paper. He would also doodle on everything, including the walls. My mom painted in her youth, so she always encouraged me to try many mediums. Eventually, I earned a scholarship to a supplementary fine arts high school that helped me prepare a university portfolio and had me drawing from a nude model, sculpting busts, and oil-painting still-lifes around age 15. I was subsequently, and very fortunately, admitted to many Fine Art programs but decided I needed to attend a university with both Fine Arts and a well-rounded curriculum, including sciences and humanities. I chose George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where I went for Fine Arts and ultimately found the Interior Architecture program. There, I double majored in Fine Arts and Interior Design. Upon completing undergrad, I rounded out my education at Sotheby's Institute of Art in NYC with an M.A. in Art Business. Now, I have my own design firm and work as a full-time interior designer—which checks out because I was always interested in entrepreneurship and business in general!
The inspiration probably came from some of my favorite musicians and fine artists like The National and Ellsworth Kelly. But I also recall the pull to own my schedule, meet new people and discover new places while designing. I will never know the exact reason why I did it, but I'm happy to be here.
That's very sweet—and same! Being a Spoak advisor over the past two years (!!) has been a labor of love at times, but it's always a gift. Working with the budding designers of the time (or even design enthusiasts) is refreshing and inspirational and helps me re-think how to explain, coach, and lead. It also supports my personal goal of thinking outside the box and helping others to work toward their version of success as I work toward mine.
Growth! After wearing almost all of the hats for five years, in the sixth year of my firm, we hired a CFO, a Design Director, and an administrative team member. It was scary to bite that off at first, but it allowed me to get my hands dirty in more projects while also focusing on our team's well-being and clients.
I love (almost all) of my projects! But I'm always thinking forward, so my dream projects would be designing another ice cream store, a sultry natural wine bar, and a yummy meditation space.
Travel and exploring new restaurants both online and IRL. I have often been up and out post-lockdown days for personal and professional reasons. Recently, I went to Morocco and Peru, and damn, I felt creatively juicy after those explorations.
Be kind to yourself! And there's never going to be a *right* time to take risks. Jump in. Ask questions.
A big announcement is coming in January 2023! I'm always in a growth mindset, so check back in the New Year!
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