BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW WITH: Marina Shektman, Interior Designer

BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW WITH: Marina Shektman, Interior Designer

What is your name and occupation?

Marina Shektman, Interior Designer

What is your instagram handle?

@designstudom

How long have you been a Boston Business Women’s Member?

Less than a year

Were you born and raised in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

I was born and raised in a former USSR, city called Minsk, Belarus. I immigrated to the US by myself when I was 21 years old. Not having my friends and family around made me more independent and self-reliant and I am very grateful for the experience.

Tell us more about your job or company and what led you to your career?

When I arrived to the US in 1989, I had to work odd jobs to get by. I was a babysitter, worked at dry cleaning, a clothing store. Being the right brain dominant, however, I felt the need to find a creative outlet for myself. About a year later, I applied to Drexel University and was accepted to an evening architectural program. It was perfect for me because I could work during the day and support myself through college. Upon getting my bachelor degree, I worked at several architectural firms in Philly and NYC, working on a variety of commercial and residential projects. During that time I got married and had two beautiful kids. We decided to move to Boston, where my husband's family resided. Back in Boston, I started working at a commercial interior design firm and that experience crystallized what I wanted to do with my life. In 2002 I quit my job and became a founder and a proud owner of Design Studio M, interior design firm that specializes in restaurant and commercial design. It's been a fun ride - so many wonderful projects, few design awards and several articles. Another area of design that I always enjoyed was millwork and cabinetry, so in 2017 I founded one more business called Studio M Kitchens. I provide needed guidance and design to my clients and supply kitchen cabinetry and other millwork throughout the house

What would your clients say about you and your company?

It's hard to speak for my clients, therefore, I would rather post one of their testimonials: ``Design Studio M provided design services for our retail and medical offices in Massachusetts which included extensive custom cabinetry and display cases. Marina Shektman worked closely with our staff to analyze their myriad of tasks so as to best identify their needs. Her design work was all encompassing, including new paint color schemes, carpeting, lighting, furniture, and art work. To say that she transformed our offices is an understatement. The staff was so uplifted by the new updated look that their outlook and enthusiasm was palpable. Marina's talents came to the fore with her conceptualization of space design. She knew instinctively what was practical as well as how to uplift our retail outlets with inspiring colors and patterns. A joy to work with from the first meeting to the last installation, she has continued to keep abreast with any issues going forward. She listened to us and she moved us along the process expertly. A nine month process from beginning to end, was made easier with Design Studio M.``

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I love this quote by Rumi (13th century Persian mystic) because it pretty much sums up one of the biggest revelations I have learned over the years: ``Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor`` - I don't always live by this motto, but I when I make an effort, it works!

What is your favorite book?

I have many favorites, I love Russian classics, anything by David Sedaris, and self improvement books, but this book by Frank McCourt is my old time favorite: Angela's Ashes

What is your secret weapon? An app, a tool, a organization method, anything?! (Can be a personal or professional life tool)

I like making lists, the app called Wonderlist really helps to organize

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don't sweat the small stuff, you won't even remember it in a couple of days.

How do you enjoy your free time?

I love traveling, gardening and cooking. Reading is a luxury, so it's a treat when I am able to sit still and get lost in a book.

What is something that not many people know about you?

Many people don't know that I am ``one with cats and dogs`` as my daughter put it.

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