Stacy Garcia is undoubtedly one of the most sought after names within the hospitality world, and for good reason. Her bold and colourful designs – which range from textiles to furniture and accessories – have graced some of the world’s top hotels and earnt her a reputation as a leading forecaster of colour and design trends. Hospitality Interiors caught up with Stacy to find out more …
How did you forge a career in the industry, and what was it that first drew you to the world of design?
Perhaps it was foreshadowing, but as a little girl, I was always putting wallpaper in my dollhouse.
Dollhouse aside, I always knew I wanted to do something creative. I think design has always been a part of me. I went to school for design, studying at both Syracuse University and Central St Martins in London which provided a crucial foundation.
I began my professional career first as an intern selecting colour palettes and then as a freelance designer assisting in product development for Ralph Lauren’s Home Collection. Working for Ralph Lauren Home was an eye-opening experience, an important glimpse into the world of licensing and the magnitude of what a lifestyle brand could be.
It was in 2004 that I created the global lifestyle brand, Stacy Garcia. Today, the Stacy Garcia design house produces designs for textiles, carpeting, wallcoverings, furniture, lighting and accessories for both commercial and residential interiors. Each of my past experiences and opportunities helped me to cultivate a vision for what is the Stacy Garcia brand today.
Who was inspirational to you early in your career, and why?
There are many lessons that I learned from my parents, relatives, friends and mentors as well as lessons that I learn on a daily basis being a business owner, mother and wife.
My goal and tagline for the Stacy Garcia brand is built around the concept of staying inspired. In order to stay inspired you have to have an open mind and listen for the inspirations, messages and lessons that are out there waiting to be heard.
What inspires you, personally, in your work?
I find inspiration in so many places – travel, nature, fashion. I am intrigued by couture fashion, the boldness of it, the ever-evolving statement, and level of detail and artistry.
I would have to say my biggest inspiration personally and professionally are my four children.
What would you say are the defining philosophies of the Stacy Garcia brand?
“Stay Inspired,” of course. It isn’t just my trademark, it is central to everything. We look for inspiration in everything – fashion, travel, trends, the people we interact with on a daily basis. There is an infinite amount of inspiration around us all of the time, if we are open to it.
I also don’t think we would be successful if it were not for our genuine love of design. That is the core of it all, isn’t it? Creativity is constantly flowing at our office, even if it sometimes looks like a controlled chaos.
Our mission has always been to empower designers and design-minded individuals to embrace personalised style through our products.
What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you in your career so far?
There are hurdles I come up against with each different stage of growth we hit in the business. The very beginning was extremely challenging, stressful and hectic. I wish I knew then that it would all work out!
As a start-up, you have all the time in the world, but little capital. Upon growth, you have more capital and very little time. It has been a balancing act, but I have been able to navigate the challenges to organically grow the business.
Which hospitality project are you most proud of to date?
Expanding the line from 2D product to 3D product was a defining moment for the brand. We were energised by the opportunity to take on a new challenge in design. We now have three furniture collaborations, as well as a lighting collaboration, all designed for the hospitality market.
What elements do you feel are most critical to designing for a hospitality environment?
Hospitality design is all about creating an experience and a lifestyle concept. Design – although very important – is only one element of the luxury experience, but well-edited and well-selected pieces do set the stage.
Another element is quality and longevity, in both design and performance. Interior designers and hotel owners have come to trust that our products have staying power and will remain valid for a long time.
Do you feel that your clients’ expectations have changed greatly over the years?
Design is ever evolving, so it only makes sense that client expectations and tastes would change. People are more design-savvy. They are travelling more, becoming more globally- and culturally-aware. Even those who aren’t jet-setting have the world at their fingertips thanks to technology. This all means our job as designers is to keep innovating, transcend the borders that once existed. Good design is expected, even at the lower end of the market.
How do you envisage the brand evolving over the next 10 years?
Earlier this year, I launched the Stacy Garcia I New York label, a luxury residential collection. Our first line, Paper Muse, is a collection of bold, artistic wallcoverings. I intend to expand into complementary products that will give interior designers and homeowners a complete design story.
As for our hospitality division, I plan to keep innovating and re-inventing, keeping hospitality at the core of what we do.
Have you got any hospitality projects in the pipeline that you’re able to share with us?
I am excited to share a new design collaboration with Townsend Leather! Stay tuned for our first collection launching this November.
What do you like to do with your downtime?
I love travelling, exploring new places and cultures, going to the theatre, and spending time with my family.