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Meet Pamela O’Brien of Pamela Hope Designs in Memorial Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela O’Brien.

Pamela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As a child, I enjoyed art and travel. My family was always interested in houses. My father and paternal grandparents were builders and involved in real estate on the east coast. My mother, grandmothers and aunts always loved decorating and entertaining. I guess a love of homes is in our gene pool!

Through high school and college, I was fortunate to travel extensively and lived in Italy and France. Exposure to the history and architecture of Europe further solidified my love of design.

I spent the early part of my career as a spokesperson and congressional liaison for a large agency. It was a fascinating job but I missed having art and creativity in my day to day routine. I spent my weekends decorating my first home and then a home with my husband and a country property that we purchased.

Still needing a design fix, I began to spend my vacation time taking design courses and doing small jobs for friends and family. After the first year I decided I wanted to pursue it full time. Pamela Hope Designs became my full-time gig in 2000.

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?
The hardest thing for me at the beginning of my career was going from a fast-paced and structured day to having to create my own agenda and schedule. I was introduced to formal networking early in my career and it helped me have set activities and programs. As I started to fill my practice, filling my day became a different sort of problem. Time management now is often the issue. We are very committed to our work and even though I tease, there are no real “lampshade emergencies,” I have to admit sometimes I can go overboard trying to make everything perfect.

As an entrepreneur, I think one of the challenges was learning how to market to the right clients. And, often those clients change as you grow and evolve. We still work diligently on that. Every week!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Pamela Hope Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
We love forming a close working relationship with our clients. It is important for them to express their preferences and we try very hard to make their ideas work. Whether it’s fitting in a beloved family treasure or negotiating different preferences, we want everyone’s ideas to have their place in the home.

While we are comfortable giving guidance and advice, in the end, the clients will be the ones to live, work and play in the spaces we help create. Whether we do it all or just consult, at the end of the day if the client loves the end result, we are happy.

We also feel that good design is a great pleasure. We want our clients to enjoy the experience as much as the results. We love design and thinks it’s super fun. We want our clients to feel that way too!

Another thing that excites us is when we have the opportunity to work on historical properties. We designed the Tradition (now Prosperity) Bank Plaza location which is housed in a once glamorous hotel that sat vacant for decades. We recently assisted a wealth management practice turn an old soda bottling factory into its new office space. We currently have two clients in historical homes. We love helping preserve the history of Houston.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
My motto is “confidence begins at home.” I feel that my childhood and upbringing allowed me to develop confidence in myself and to pursue my talents. Having a love of design instilled in me and an appreciation for homes created additional confidence to follow my dreams.

I feel lucky to have been raised that way. It helped me be successful at school and in a former career so that when the time was right, I could pursue design and give it my full attention.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Miro Dvorscak
Cody Bess
Joe Robbins
Geoffrey Lyons
Jonathan Calvert
Marcio Dufranc for the modern gray cabinets, black leather barstools, and the very colorful art

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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