“In business, and in Life… I find the most important thing one can say is to someone is…Thank you. Two words often missed – when needed most, that should be said ALOT!”
Architecture was my main love, even at age fourteen, when a brick (quite literally) fell on my head in Barcelona, Spain. It was no ordinary brick though. It was from Basilica Sagrada Familia, designed by legendary architect Antoni Gaudi. And when the stars finally stopped swirling in my head, I looked up so see the most intricate structure I’d ever laid eyes on. I was transformed by this dusty bit of jagged building material crumbling in my hands. To this day, I am not a big fan of Gaudi but I do love everything architecture creates, especially classical architecture and anything inherently oddly patinated.
I started my career working for the New York Times, like my mother and father before me. To this day I have a love for words. I started working there in my Junior year of college while studying architecture. I worked with the Home Design issue team and architectural critic Paul Goldberger. It was great fun, had a ridiculously fast pace, and strengthened my obsession for coffee table books, product sourcing and talking to designers and manufacturers about their passions. In the process, I discovered mine.
Born and raised in New York, I knew my home state was the only place I could do the work I wanted, meet people integral to my career and be close to my favorite museums and miscellaneous cultural events happening on a weekly basis. Plus I adored being around my family.
My first real job out of college landed me at SOM, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, often referred to as an elite modern architectural firm in New York. It was beyond intense.
“stop complaining, you’re paying your dues, it’ll pay off later in your career”
All the men wore white shirts and Armani ties, flung over their right shoulder for protection from graphite and ink. Women’s heels clacked constantly, among the 5,000 square foot reception area dominated by a HUGE Henry Moore sculpture. In the fever of it all, we crunched the work out in record speed.
Weather permitting, a bunch of us would go to Tudor City during lunch time and dance our butts off, returning to the office and assuming the stank face position, working like fiends! It was a tremendous process and opportunity, just to get a job there. I feel like my career has been blessed from the start.
Two years went by rather quickly, from working on weekends and evenings way past 11pm, as the partners committed to ridiculous deadlines the architectural and interiors teams needed to meet. I still have bags under my eyes from those days! My dad always said “stop complaining, you’re paying your dues, it’ll pay off later in your career”. I think that was his weekly response whenever I curled my mouth up to complain. But you know what? He was ABSOLUTELY right!
… some clients who have pushed me, when it felt like I didn’t have anything left. THANK YOU!
SOM led to other incredible high end design firms… Swanke, Hayden Connell, Naomi Leff, John Saladino, Thierry Despont, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani to name a few. Along the way, my emphasis switched from architecture to interior design. To this day, I’m blessed to straddle both disciplines. This skill set enables me to work on projects in an unlimited and special way.
Clients immediately acknowledge this ability when hiring me, keenly aware they are hiring someone who understands the architectural components, functions and core integrity of the space. Resulting in a greater role beyond selecting fabrics and furniture. I’ve had to work my butt off for each position I’ve ever held. But the discipline first developed and ingrained in me at SOM twenty plus years ago, set the trajectory for everything I have have done ever since.
Simply with those important words my father spoke “pay your dues”. So now, when I work on projects for my own business, Joy Moyler Interiors, internationally in Moscow, London, Paris and Gstaad (and of course Domestically). I know my incredible clients respect me because I “paid my dues” and I know what I’m talking about. By no means or measure am I embarrassed by that.
And through these projects I am able to feed my other passions – photography and travel. Both keep me highly motivated and creatively nourished especially photography. When living in the moment is so vital, it’s a blessing to have a visual etching of what was.
My obsession with coffee table books, words and awe inspiring people, places and beautiful things continue to hold my attention. To mesh these loves into work I still love is such a blessing.
So Dad (and Mom) Thank you! The hardest and easiest thing to sometimes say. To my toughest architecture professors, critics, crazy design directors and some clients who have pushed me, when it felt like I didn’t have anything left. THANK YOU!
This is a guest post by Joy Moyler.