Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Swedberg.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My family moved to Houston in ’82 (I was 4), when my grandfather was brought in to work for George Mitchell to help kick start The Woodlands. When attending Oak Forest Elementary in the 3rd grade, I figured out that I wanted to be an architect. I won’t bore you with the watershed moment, but it is specific. I graduated from Oak Ridge High School and the Academy of Science + Technology and promptly went to Lone Star College to accrue some college credits. White attending the University of Houston College of Architecture, not only did I work on campus but I found my own summer internships at different architecture firms in an effort to learn about the business, gain a better understanding of different office cultures, and hope to find my place in it all. Graduating in 2002 with several job offers in hand, I chose to work for Brand + Allen Architects, a firm at the time focused on high-end retail and interiors architecture. There, I learned about respect of materials, use of light, layering of space and effective use of small spaces. In 2004, I moved to PageSoutherlandPage, to work in the design studio where I was fortunate to work with talented designers and an amazing boss. These people really showed me how to care about my work, how to not let the bad days get you down and how to go the extra mile for the client. In 2006, I was hired at Allegro Builders, a custom home builder in The Heights, to help grow the custom business. I helped run a small design team of 7 to create increasingly forward thinking projects within the historic neighborhoods near downtown. I enjoyed being a part of the design and the build process. I understood the troubles facing the clients; I saw the perils of custom home design + construction. It’s there where I learned client’s just want to be included — they want to be educated and part of the process. After earning my license in 2008 and starting my own practice in 2009 where I wanted to focus on contextually appropriate designs. This has taken me to all parts of town and as far out as Lake Conroe, Livingston, Richmond + Rockport. Because I got my start with homes in The Heights, the community there continues to seek my firm out, all the while we continue to work across town in a wide array of sizes, price ranges, family structures and stages of life. This diversity is what makes my job so fun.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road (as any small business owner would or SHOULD tell you). Because, I am still the center of the business operations with a handful of staff, I am often working to improve my time management and delegation skills. I take solace for this is not merely an isolated issue isolated to my firm but challenges business owners worldwide. Having the accountability means I still work late, work on weekends, what ever is necessary to get the job done. And while there have been great internal victories, I am always being impressed by the clients’ knowledge brought to the table, their insights, their points of view. To this end, I am reminding myself to not have preconceived ideas of what someone is asking for in their design. I work to hear people, to truly listen and try to process their thoughts, to incorporate their point of view with my own. I think the better projects (in my eye) are the ones that succeed in this respect. Of course, this is subjective and I am okay with that.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with 2scale architects – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We focus primarily on custom residential designs. While we work on large renovations, the bulk of our work over the past 9 years has been new construction single family. We do some small commercial when it’s the right project and right client. Pride is a funny thing, actually, and because of my modest upbringing I temper my pride with thankfulness. I will tell you however there are times when I smile and feel like, “yeah, I’ll pat myself on the back.” That’s when clients become friends and I start to see photos of their kids, their families “living” in our projects. The christmas cards, birthday parties, weddings and the memorial services are amazing. When the homes we design are the backdrop, the vessel for my clients, my friend’s lives, it hits home that what we do is meaningful and impactful.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We continue to look for fun and interesting clients to work with. While I am generally “a planner,” I find it somewhat challenging to make business plans with a company that is based on referrals, word of mouth, and the fickle-ness of the client pool. So, to answer your question, I do not think I have any big changes. We are just trying to improve the quality of our designs one meeting, one idea, one project at a time.
- Our clients tend to be all over the price spectrum from $300k renovation to $3mill+ new construction.
- Address: 40 Cypress Creek Parkway
Houston, TX 77090
- Website: www.2scalearch.com
- Phone: 713.623.1222
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2Scale-Architects-112534652117326/
Benjamin Hill Photography