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Rising Stars: Meet Leslie Archila

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Archila.

Leslie, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born in Los Angeles, but I grew up in Guatemala. I earned a degree in Interior Design from the University of Istmo https://unis.edu.gt/en/facultad-de-arquitectura-y-diseno/. I started taking design jobs before I graduated. After college, I opened my own design studio in Guatemala City where I slowly grew my client base and added projects to my portfolio.

I arrived in Baltimore and found a job working for Su Casa as their lead designer. Over the last decade, while performing this role, I’ve had responsibilities that include designing the stores’ layouts and vignettes, curating upholstered furniture, case-goods and rugs, and finding new vendors.

When the pandemic hit back in 2020 I started working remotely. I’m still the lead designer for Su Casa, but I also take on independent projects. This has been working well and it has made my work much more productive since I only commute when I have to meet with clients to test furniture and select materials. I’ve established my reputation for interior design through my work with my clients based throughout the Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and DC areas and even Florida. I specialize in floor plan development, decor setup, space planning, color and finish consulting, furniture design, furniture and material selection, project management, 3D renderings, and home staging. To keep up with the latest design trends and offerings, I routinely attend the largest furniture trade shows in the country.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it hasn’t been easy! Interior design is not an easy field. I went to college to learn and specialize in it. Of course, some designers are just born with a knack for design, but talent will only get you so far. You also need some actual training and experience. It’s not just about hanging pictures and putting flowers in a pretty vase. I don’t think that a lot of people take this career seriously. But I learned that there are a bunch of people out there that really need my professional service and respect what I do, so I focus on them.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I mainly work on residential projects. I’ve been doing this for at least 18 years. The majority of my projects are new homes where my clients are ready for their new long term home to enjoy with their family, or their second home at the beach, or even the customers that are downsizing.

I really focus on trying to give my clients the best designs and options based on their needs and what they like. I want them to be happy at the end of the day when they come back home and open the door. I want them to feel like it’s their own space, with what they like, and what they’ve chosen. I’m there to assist them, to help make sure they are making the best decisions when selecting their new furniture.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
Well, I think that I would have to give credit to my mother. She was the one working hard to make sure that I would get an education. I have to admit, I wasn’t the best student in high school, but she made sure I stayed on track.

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