February 22, 2022
NoMad, Manhattan is home to a number of successful, growing businesses across a variety of industries. We are speaking with them about how they approach business, what fuels their success, and what they see as they look to the future. Business owners share thoughts and insights on their winning approach.
Founder Gaby Gargano and Partner Kyle McVey discuss the growth of Grisoro Studio, an interior design firm focused on residential design. The Studio was established by Gabriela Gargano in 2016, after having spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs as a Sales Trader. Gargano’s Art History studies at Brown University sparked an interest in Ottoman art, which has evolved into a passion for international artists and fabricators. The details and techniques of such works inform the Studio’s unique approach of combining textiles, vintage furniture, and art with contemporary pieces.
Keys to Success
Gargano and McVey feel there are several keys to the success of Grisoro Studio. At the core are respect, transparency, and a deep understanding of their clients.
Respect and Transparency
Gargano explains, “Grisoro is founded on respect and transparency.” This applies to everyone involved – clients and vendors alike. In today’s climate of supply chain issues and delays, managing the business with these principles at the forefront has helped to maintain good relationships across the board.
Deeply Understand Clients and Partner with Them
Gargano and McVey believe much of their success stems from their ability to deeply understand their clients and partner with them. Grisoro Studio brings its own design aesthetic and taste, but listening to what clients need and want enable them to deliver the goods. Through ongoing communication and partnership, they create interiors that fit how clients want to live and reflect the design direction they had hoped to achieve.
A majority of Grisoro Studio’s projects are in New York, but they are expanding business to new areas. They just completed their first Miami project and they are designing a new project in Texas.
Gargano reflects back to 2019 when she moved her business out of her home and into its “first real office” in The Townsend Building at 1123 Broadway. Since then, the business has grown and moved to a larger space next door in the St. James Building. “It’s been awesome.”
Reflecting on how the pandemic affected business, Gargano shares that “a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same.” Working remotely for a year was a change, but certainly not as significant as having a child, which is growth and change of a different kind.
In the spring of last year, the firm came back to the office. The staff enjoys working together, especially in a business as tactile as interiors. “There is incredible value in being able to work together as a team – in person – to review materials and colors.”
At the beginning of 2021, as Grisoro Studio continued its growth trajectory, Kyle McVey became a Partner in the firm.
Projects have been successful and they are garnering more and more exciting projects. The quantity and breadth of work allows Gargano and McVey to grow as designers on an ongoing basis.
Trends in Interiors: Clients are Looking at Space Differently
The pair identifies two macro trends in interior design today.
Looking Beyond the Great Room
Pre-pandemic, bigger spaces and all-purpose rooms were all the rage. Now, clients are “looking for something beyond the Great Room.” They want and need more division in their homes, like separate offices or workrooms for each person. Areas that used to be all-purpose are less useful as the need for functionality and discrete space rises.
Dialing Up Home as a Reflection of Self
As clients spend more time at home, there is an increased desire to have their homes reflect themselves – even more than before the pandemic. Gargano astutely describes her clients’ relationship to home, “Their home is who they are. How they live. And how they wish to be.”
NoMad is the Best Fit for Business
Gargano, who lives in Nolita, knew as soon as she discovered NoMad, it was the best fit for the business.
“As a design firm, the office space needed to feel beautiful and inspiring.” Gargano points out that a nice, small office is hard to find. Kew Management’s buildings offered tall ceilings and large windows. She was taken with the history, nostalgia, and heritage of the Townsend and the St. James. “I wanted clients to walk in and feel comfortable immediately.”
Additionally, “It’s an easy area – not far from anything. A large number of [design] showrooms like Artistic Tile, Waterworks, and PID Floors are all close by.”
NoMad Offers More
NoMad offers even more than the two expected. The NoMad Piazza combined with Madison Square Park is one of Gargano’s favorite aspects of the neighborhood. “It’s a perk I didn’t expect – it wasn’t on my list. But the ability to be near an open green space for mental clearing and inspiration is something I enjoy. It’s invaluable.” Having Eataly nearby is a plus, too.
McVey remarks on the excitement in NoMad, commenting on the strip of Broadway that has become the NoMad Piazza. “I love seeing new places opening up. It’s a lively neighborhood with unexpected things.”
As certain as NoMad will continue to thrive and bring excitement to New York, Grisoro Studio will continue to expand and bring their distinctive talents to more of the world.