Interior Designer Explores Small Biz Success

Most people choose one career and stick with it. Steven Favreau seems to have the talent, charisma, stage presence, and drive to continually evolve to the next level of artistic endeavor.

As one of the pre-eminent designers in the San Francisco Bay Area and two-time semi finalist for the TV home decorating reality show Design Star, Steven manages two very successful, overlapping companies in San Francisco – Favreau Design and Stage Struck. In this interview, we discovered that he’s still evolving his craft:

ISBB: What was your career path and how did it guide you to San Francisco?

Favreau: I never thought I would live in San Francisco. Having grown up on the east, California just never fell into my radar. I think maybe I was even a little intimidated by San Francisco. Having never been, I imagined it as a place where the über radical and ultra flamboyant live. Now I know I was right and I love being one of them.

My career trajectory has prepared me perfectly for this chapter of my life. Armed with training from the Boston Conservatory of Music, I immediately moved to New York City to perform on Broadway. But the universe doesn’t always have the same plan.

From there, I took off for Amsterdam where I danced on Dutch television before being chosen as soloist at the world famous Moulin Rouge. Living overseas exposed me to decades worth of some of the most wonderful design ever. From the architecture, to the museums, to strolling the streets, my design education was constant and abundant.

After three years, I hopped on a plane for the long trek to Hawaii, where I was cruise director for American Hawaii Cruises. In addition to the exposure to styles, cultures and art, I learned first hand the business skills that helped me to start my own firm: sure- footedness in unfamiliar settings, the ability to interact with various cultures and personality types, and quick thinking.

The lessons we learn on the job and in the field are often more helpful than those we learn sitting at a desk. Of course, my education at The Fashion Institute of Technology has been invaluable as well for the practical aspects of design.

How do your two companies work together and separately?

My two companies are similar, yet completely different. Favreau Design, my interior design company, focuses on unique high-end residential and commercial design for a sophisticated clientele. This often means the design choices are bold and innovative.

Conversely, when I stage a property through Stage Struck, my other company, the design has to appeal to everyone who walks through the front door. For this reason, our goal is to neutralize a property, yet give it a welcoming, bright, open feeling. I never set out to stage properties. It just fell into my lap, but the beauty is, staging feeds my interior design referrals as much as 50 percent of the time. I guess you can say I am living the best of two worlds.

What’s next on your “must-do” list?

In all of my spare time, I am working on developing an interior design television show. Of course, the concept is 90 percent of the battle. That’s where I am concentrating my energy right now: coming up with the perfect framework to showcase my talents and to be as “good television” as possible.

As a two-time semi-finalist for the HGTV show Design Star, I know I have the right mix of talent and personality, and if my mother was calling the shots, I would be in. But it is so much about luck, timing and finesse. I have always been pretty good with those things, too. Watch for me on your local station soon.

About Gil Zeimer

Gil Zeimer is the Creative Director of Zeimer's Advertising Shoppe. As a consultant with 25 years of advertising and blogging experience, he is a Mad Man who works with businesses large and small. Read his marketing musings at www.zeimer.com.
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