We had the good fortune of connecting with Tamara Romeo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tamara, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I find the most beautiful, delicious, inspiring, and memorable success stories are never made from just one magical thing, one special event, or one amazing ingredient. They are the culmination of a thousand little things, that when combined together, create something spectacular. This is my world…the combination of items and ideas into something that creates ‘Wow Factor.’ So how do you get to ‘Wow Factor’ when you are developing an idea? You keep developing, you keep upgrading, you never stop improving, and you approach mundane tasks with as much passion as the ones that you love. Consistency is key…collaboration is a must…and absolute love for the business (and the clients that you serve) is imperative. I also believe in surrounding myself with inspiring people: employees, mentors, business owners, and friends that are doing great things every day. We are a product of the people we spend the most time with, so I make sure that those in my inner circle are people that I can learn from and grow with.
What should our readers know about your business?
11 years ago I started a company called San Diego Office Design. It was my belief that people should be as comfortable, productive, inspired, and creative at work as they were at home. At that time, there was a strong trend to invest your money in making your home wonderful, and your office was just an afterthought…or maybe not even that. Creating a culture at work wasn’t even in the popular vocabulary yet, since we hadn’t seen the images of Google’s offices and how great it could be to go to work and actually enjoy the 8, 10, or 12 hours you were spending there. Work was a functional place, and home was a happy place and the two never met in the middle….and then all of that changed drastically around 2011, and I was right at the beginning of that trend. Today, with the onset of the covid pandemic, we are experiencing a whole new shift to working from home and all of the challenges of combining work and home lives together. For some, working from home will be a long-term solution, but for many others, returning to work will be a hybrid of schedule changes, workplace re-organizations, and lifestyle tweaks. And once again, I’ll be here to help my clients create workplaces that people actually want to go to. Was it easy to survive the last 11 years? And this pandemic?. NO..Not at all. There have been days (and months) that make me wonder if it’s all worth the effort, but isn’t that true for anything worthwhile? Looking back at challenges we’ve survived over the last decade proves a few things; I’m resilient, determined as heck, and not a quitter. That’s what it takes to survive in business (along with a lot of good luck and good clients!) Recently, we’ve grown to collaborate with builders, developers, and real estate investors to design & furnish all sorts of spaces that can span well above 60,000 square feet. From city buildings to senior living, to bowling alleys we have had some fun creating unique and entertaining spaces for just about every demographic! I feel lucky to make a living doing something that is creative, helpful, and makes such a positive impact on people’s lives and businesses. I have to admit, it’s also super cool to imagine something, develop it, watch it being built, and know that people are enjoying it for years and sometimes even lifetimes.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a 2nd generation San Diego native, I feel like I’ve really got a handle on this city and all of the cool things it has to offer. The weather makes it easy to walk, or ride just about anywhere and an awesome place to rent a convertible for a drive up the coast! So, for my fun adventure, I would start at the Hotel Del Coronado for breakfast facing the ocean and walk through the charming city to visit a few of the local shops. Next, it’s time to head downtown to Seaport Village to walk along the harbor, check out the Midway and stop at Carnitas Snack shack for an adult beverage and some people watching. . Then we’d be off for a drive up the coast to visit La Jolla (the sea lions!) and stay the night at the iconic la Valencia hotel. Of course, we’d have dinner reservations at The Marine Room (hopefully its high tide so we can see the waves crash against the windows!) Day two begins with a walk around the seaside estate homes towards Wind & Sea beach, winding our way around the streets lined with one-of-a-kind architecture and landscape design (heaven for me) Next, we would head to Del Mar and visit The Plaza that is filled with shops and restaurants. We’d cross the street to L’Auberge Hotel, then walk down the hill to Jakes for some ocean view dining before heading home for the evening. The next day, its time to go inland towards Ramona (wine tasting!) and Julian (apple pie!) We’d take our time in each place and rent a little bed & breakfast room in Julian for the night. The next day we’d get an early start because it’s time to visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo! This is an all-day adventure, and we’d definitely take advantage of the best restarant in the area afterwards- Bertrand at Mr A’s (what a view!) Finally, we are close to downtown again, so we’d visit Balboa Park and its museums and eat at The Prado. We’d head to the Gaslamp for a wonderful dinner at Water Grill and then to one of the local rooftop lounges for drinks to end the night For our last day, its time to relax and unwind..spa day! We would head to the Grand Del Mar for a spectacular spa experience and relaxing pool time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I learned to be resilient and believe in myself on the back of a horse. The saying “if you fall off, get back on” was never truer than when I was learning to ride (and jump) a horse for the first time at almost 40 years old. I know it seems strange to say that this animal inspired my success, but I never would have had the courage, focus, and determination to start and maintain a business without first learning how to ride. Add to that, I had to learn with youngsters under 12, so checking my ego at the door was essential, and laughing at my mistakes (and there were a lot of them) was imperative! Of course, I had an amazing trainer that helped me learn to ‘ask’ the horse to cooperate with me instead of expecting it would just go when I told it to ( like driving a car) and that same finesse in communicating helps me to this day with my employees, vendors and suppliers. So thank you to Pacifico, the Thoroughbred.
san Diego Office Design