Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Sinclair.
Leslie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Comfortable in jeans with a paintbrush in hand, I originally enjoyed a successful career in corporate sales and marketing after graduating from the University of Texas. Hoping to spend more time with my husband and three children upon launching Segreto Finishes in 1995, I soon found this new venture was more than a full time endeavor. Named after my husband’s family, Segreto rolls up all of my passions- architecture, interior design, art, people and business- into my idea of the perfect job. 22 Years later, with a staff of 40 artisans, Segreto has become a premier finish design firm working mainly in Houston but often throughout Texas and occasionally across the United States. Teamwork is a critical part of our success. All of the expert artisans and painters are chosen for their work ethic as well as their tremendous skill and talent. I believe in encouraging the uniqueness of each individual artist and still insist on hiring people that I would enjoy a meal with and feel comfortable leaving around my children.
When creating designs; color pallets, clients’ personalities, lifestyles and preferences are considered. I try to adhere to the highest artistic standards while keeping budget and the design’s longevity in mind. By mixing paints and plasters, conceiving new cabinetry finishes and devising architecturally interesting ceiling designs, a connecting flow is woven inside each interior, enhancing the homes architecture and homeowner’s personal style.
Being asked to purchase my portfolio books for their ideas, I decided to self-publish a book. Loving the learning process, I enjoyed, going on photo shoots, working on layouts and writing about what I love. Segreto: Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, 300 pages and oversized was quite a venture for someone who had to go back to the basics of learning past and present tense. Since it’s sold out status, I have published two more books, Segreto Style and the newly released Segreto Vignettes. I really am humbled when people come to appointments books in hand with hundreds of ideas tagged. The book isn’t just about finishes but touts examples from the many wonderful designers, builders, architects and trades people with whom I have been honored to work with. I feel it takes an army to design a beautiful space and it gives me great joy to recognize all the talent that contributes to the finished product.
I have been blessed to have Segreto’ s work featured in numerous publications including Veranda, Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Lux, House Beautiful, Country French, Elle and Southern Home to name a few. Inspired by all aspects of artistic painting, I write a regular column for Antique Shops and Designers magazine, own an art gallery, small boutique, and author “Segreto Segrets,” awarded “Best USA Interiors” blog by Amara Interior Blog Awards 2016.
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?
There are always challenges. For me scheduling 40 people 6 days a week 51 weeks a year can be stressful, especially if a slated job isn’t ready. Managing different personalities to inspire them to take ownership and do their absolute best can be over whelming. Trouble shooting and aspiring beauty uniquely for each client can be stressful. Most of all not having enough time in the day to create or get everything done can be frustrating. But at the end of the day, I am truly blessed to call my hobby a job!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Segreto Finishes story. Tell us more about the business.
I feel that Segreto’s techniques and “look” has totally changed the industry. The world of decorative painting and plastering is limitless, ever-changing and richly complex. Finishes for walls, ceilings, floors and cabinetry are crucial to the embodiment of a home’s character. My niche in the world of design motivates me to constantly explore new techniques and finishes that complement a vast multitude of styles and personal tastes. Working with designers, architects, builders and homeowners inspires me to interpret many beautiful ways to finish a home. My philosophy is that when you enter a room, your eyes should not be drawn to any one element or finish, but instead, you should view the surroundings as a whole. I aspire to create the perfect backdrop that enables fabrics, art and furniture to blend and establish a particular mood. A palette developed to complement your home’s architecture and design can give your surroundings a completely new perspective.
We aspire to constantly develop new products. Recently Segreto began a furniture line made from Plaster. Our newest product, SegretoStone, is now being installed in kitchens and baths as counters and is being used for our newline of custom sinks. Made from plaster, the product is hand poured and polished, giving a natural breathable appearance who’s luster compliments traditional, transitional, European and contemporary aesthetics.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Personally, I feel lucky I married such a supportive person, have a healthy happy family and a wonderful group of friends. I am not sure I would contribute luck good or bad as a contributor to my professional experiences. Not being afraid to put yourself out there, working countless hours, learning from all experiences whether good or bad, being grateful, never giving up, and delivering exceptional customer service might have more to do with being able to maintain the ups and downs of my business. Basically doing what it takes for as long as it takes and keeping a good positive attitude. What makes me happy at the end of the day is a truly satisfied client.
- Address: 1414 Antoine, Houston Texas 77055
- Website: segretofinishes.com
- Phone: 713-461-5210
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: #segretofinishes
- Facebook: segretofinishes