We had the good fortune of connecting with Briana Ellis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briana, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Everything good I have created in my life and career are because I was willing to take a risk. It’s scary at first. But once you’re successfully on the other side of the risk, you realize the feelings of uncertainty and nerves are the same as if you didn’t take the risk and stayed “safe.” The difference is, the nervous feelings of uncertainty when you play it safe come from feeling powerless and unfulfilled. The nervous feelings of uncertainty when you take a risk to do something that fulfills you is energizing and life affirming. Once you realize and experience that, risk taking becomes almost addictive.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think what sets my work apart is that is interdisciplinary. I am not an architect. I am an architect that geeks out talking branding and marketing, is addicted to interior design, and has a heart for the environment and social causes. All these are present in my work. A big lesson I’ve learned is that some people are not meant to stay in one lane. If you have passions, they were given to you because you were meant to explore them. It’s also not your job to see how it all will come together. You just have to trust your gut and get curious about everything. Have the “beginner’s mind”. Dabble and play. Have hobbies and learn skills “just because.” It isn’t easy, but I will say it is synchronistic. I have made many friends and connections over the years and it is amazing to see how they come around to support you in your work in some way. It would be impossible for me to succeed in my work if I didn’t have an amazing circle of people, both professionally and socially.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
An iced “best drink ever” from Better Buzz in a to-go cup so we can walk the beach Lunch at Point Loma Seafood and paddle boarding through the marina on Shelter Island. A visit to Balboa Park to see the museums and gardens. (It’s my fave place in the city by far!) Dinner at the Prado and a show at the Old Globe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to acknowledge Jen Derks of Four Fin Creative. She is a close friend who is some steps further down the road of creative entrepreneurship than me. Her support has been unique in that she speaks to me as an equal- offering advice and encouragement with respect and admiration. While other mentors and colleagues may have insight and advice from a place higher up on the ladder of success, Jen supports by standing beside me. She’s honest and straight-talking and has the biggest heart. Her support as a fellow female business owner has given me that boost I’ve needed on many occasions.
Haley Hill Photography