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Unlocked: Alex Woogmaster

With great enthusiasm, we are announcing our newest Circaphiles ambassador, Alex Woogmaster

 

 Based in Las Vegas, Alex Woogmaster is the Founder and Creative Director of Woogmaster Studio, and long-time protégé of Roger Thomas! In true Circaphiles fashion, we are giving Alex a warm welcome this week with a look into his design life. Holding a strong belief that architecture and interiors are active participants in our daily lives, Alex seeks to strengthen this relationship and offer spatial and decorative solutions that provide a fundamental essence of harmony to every bespoke space he creates. Today, he is unlocking how his passion for classic design developed and how he is most successful in bringing this style into his client’s homes. 

 

1. What did you wish you knew when you started your design firm?

I did not have the benefit of Business or Practice classes at University, and I was always on the ‘capital D’ Design side of things where I worked before I opened my own practice. The first year running my studio was a crash course in taxes, accounting, team and project management, client relations (whose importance can never be overstated), and I’m certain I made mistakes in all areas. I was naïve enough to believe that everything would be okay, and it was, but I did wish I’d known more about the business end of things to at least anticipate challenges. During my first year, I felt as though I was always putting out fires. I can’t say strongly enough how valuable it was to me, and how reassuring, to have a strong network of professionals around me who were always available for advice – and generous in sharing it. I had not always seen my network as a lifeline, but it is, and I’m happy to be here now to give back some. 

2. How have you directly reached out to a potential new client?

This is one of the hardest parts for me. I am a constant apologist and I feel that I’m disturbing clients even after we’ve signed on together. My best successes in approaching potential clients have been where I was respectful, gave them space, and was truly myself. I have met most of my clients through social introductions, so it’s critical for me that we get to know one another without the weight of a commitment overhead. I focus on getting to know others as individuals, and if that connection evolves into a project (even years later), wonderful. Building trust is the most important thing to me, which makes it that much more of an honor when I’m invited to participate in a project once we’ve built that trust. 

 

3. If there is one piece of advice you would give a design student, what would it
be?

Keep a sketchbook, and use it! The physical act of drawing what we see (both in person and in our minds) asks us to think more deeply about the subject than the act of photography does – especially with a mobile device. It makes us delve deeper into details and helps us discover things we may not have expected to find… or to design. 

4. In your design contracts, what is the most important clause to articulate and clarify
with a client?

This depends on the project. In some cases, we observe things early on (complicated timelines, challenging consultant deliverables, etc) that we feel the need to address in the agreement. Mostly, I’ve found that the agreement is an insurance policy, but I try not to refer to it over the course of the project. Projects naturally evolve, and I can’t monitor every minor shift as it relates to the agreement. Our projects’ successes are based on communication and understandings, so for us, routine dialogue with clients helps ensure a positive result – even if it doesn’t necessarily follow the letter of the agreement.

 

 

5. Is there something you do consistently as a part of your routine that keeps you
inspired and energized?

Aside from hand drawing, the most valuable thing I do is exercise. I try to run 30 minutes most mornings, and that rhythm helps me organize my thoughts for the day. Even on the hardest days, with the most pressing deadlines, these runs set my head on straight. 

6. Do you have a favorite book, blog or magazine publication that gives you endless
ideas?

I read international history books – regardless of period or locale – and the fewer images, the better.  Words and descriptions ignite my imagination, so while the author might have intended one mental image, I walk away with whole new worlds of spaces and details in my head