Today Ted speaks with Lisa Samuel of Sante Fe’s Samuel Design Group.

Lisa looks back on her tough yet rewarding journey, beginning with her humble beginnings as a 19-year-old single mother of two trying to find her way in the world.

“I was about to become a Santa Fe statistic,” she says. “I’m not proud of that. But it’s the truth. I knew that if I didn’t get out of Sante Fe and do something really big and scary, I didn’t have a future and neither did my children.”

She tells us how she eventually received a grant to study architecture and construction and, with $900 in her pocket, moved to California to get her education before moving back to Santa Fe, where she then spent the next few years getting her feet wet in the industry.

Lisa Samuel & Ted BainbridgeSanta Fe, NM

Despite having to endure an almost endless stream of hardships, Lisa wouldn’t change a thing. 25 years after starting her own firm, she reflects: “I never expected to build what I built. I didn’t. I was just trying to make it.”

Today, Lisa has never been more motivated for growth as a leader in the world of design. In every single one of her projects, she always makes it a point to maximize the journey toward the finished productan approach she sums up in the word feelosophy.

Topics Discussed

  • [02:35] Being one of 11 siblings
  • [09:25] Lisa’s first few years in the architecture industry
  • [13:22] Imparting lessons on perseverance to her kids
  • [15:29] How lighting became a prominent industry
  • [18:11] How adobe houses are constructed
  • [25:04] What clients would say about working with Lisa
  • [27:12] How Lisa’s team stays inspired
  • [31:08] Lisa’s vision for the next five years
  • [38:25] Lisa’s most memorable projects
  • [40:44] Setting expectations with ultra-high-net-worth clients amid supply chain issues
  • [44:16] Lisa’s favorite books and podcasts
  • [47:50] Lisa’s typical day and the power of getting up early in the morning
  • [54:39] The American Dream according to Lisa

Connect with Guest

Key Quotes from Episode

  • We need layers of light to really live in our space in a way that creates different moods that we want to live in. We are sensual people—we live by our senses. Lighting is all part of that.
  • People would say that I understand, and that I take the time to really listen and honor what their feelings are and what their vision is.
  • “Feelosophy” is creating spaces that support and nurture each of our clients’ lifestyles. It’s not only how things look when we’re done; but, it’s how we get there.
  • If we’re going through trauma, imagine what they’re going through. We’re stewards of their hopes and dreams, and we’re stewards of their money. It’s really a big deal.
  • Anything we design, designs us back.

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