Interview with Erika Lin, from Erika Lin Architects and Interior Design Studio
EL Architects is an architecture and interior design company founded in 2007, originally under the name EL interiors. It is a team of talented professionals with backgrounds in different fields and sharing a common commitment to excellence. In all their projects, they take care to take into account the materials of the local environment and to respect their commitment with respect to the environment itself. They strive to create buildings and spaces that exceed customer expectations and inspire those who live there, they want their customers to step into works of art, designed exclusively for them. EL Architects was chosen byLuxury Lifestyle Awardsas the winner in the category ofBest Luxury Architecture (Unique Residential Project) 2021 and Best Luxury Commercial Interior Design 2021.
We spoke toErika Lin, owner, and founder of Erika Lin Architects discover what is this exclusive business all about.
Can you tell our readers about your background?
I am a Mexican businesswoman and architect. I studied Architecture at the City of Tijuana. When I finished, I went to Mexico to continue my apprenticeship and work in specialized design companies. After two years, I returned to Tijuana and founded my Erika design office Linen Architects – now part of EL Design Group. I am passionate about luxury projects, I like to solve large structures based on design and at the same time going to surprise, small details. As my business grew, I got married and started a family with my husband and three children.
What prompted you to start your business?
I wanted to take my vision of flawlessness beyond my work, to extend it and pass it on to my teams, creating a company that not only provides architectural services, but also creates design experiences for collaborators. and customers.
Where is your business based?
In San Diego, USA, and Tijuana, Mexico.
How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
My first step was to identify the foundations of my company – what did I want to dedicate myself? With this goal, I started a small interior design business and a boutique of design products. I started with very small projects, remodeling bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, but from the beginning I focused on creating a working methodology, so over time the projects have increased in size and number. Being organized, training and training my team made us grow very organically until we landed our first project to work on a public figure mansion. It really blew us away. Larger residential projects began to arrive, and many of our clients also entrusted us with their commercial, corporate and medical projects, so the company’s commercial and medical architecture division also began to grow. Another milestone was in 2015 when we started our operations in the United States, with some fear, but with faith in our working methodology. Today, we have completed 750 projects and more.
What was the most effective way to market your business?
Impeccability – the company aims to build successful projects based on milestones. We make sure to achieve each objective, from one to the next, and are aware and attentive to critical processes, giving them special attention. What is very important for us is to be able to measure ourselves – how do we know that our project is successful? In our company, we measure success with these 5 points: Did we meet the project specifications? Did we meet the deadlines? Is the customer satisfied? Is the company satisfied? And finally, have we sufficiently documented the project? The last point allows us to go around the process, admire the result, and always find ways to improve.
What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
I think it was the start of the business in the United States. When we started here, we had already established the company in Mexico, with resources and clients coming to us to carry out their projects. Coming to the United States meant leaving my comfort zone, driving appointments on my own, introducing myself to clients, selling, and on many occasions measuring homes myself. It was very different because just across the border I had a wonderful assistant, driver and crew always doing these things for me. But as exhausting as that sounds on its own, I had to remember how I started in Mexico and where it got me, so I kept going, and today customers come looking for us.
How do you stay focused?
I am very disciplined with myself, I motivate myself, I remind myself every day why I do things and I give myself instructions to move forward.
How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
We are a unique international company, with excellent learning molded and embodied in work methodologies executed by a talented team with a passion for design. We are here to take charge of your project and experience it as a satisfying process with you.
What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
Let people know who I am. They can check out my portfolio or talk to other clients, but I like letting them know where we’re from and what our values are, especially me as a founder.
What’s your best advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Be flawless every step of the way and you will forge a solid path.
What is your favorite app, blog and book? Why?
I love motivating myself with Brian Tracy’s books or listening to various artists on Trent Bell’s AD&P Podcast.
What is your favorite business tool or resource? Why?
In the Cloud and Zoom, I can review assignments and work from anywhere, and we save a lot of time for ourselves and for our clients in virtual meetings. Also, thanks to Zoom, we have more long distance customers.
What is your business model? Why?
Arianna Huffington, I love the way she views success, the way she builds a business from an ideology, and the way she manages human talent.
How do you balance work and life?
I like to organize my goals with deadlines and assess day by day what needs the most effort to achieve them. That is to say that I don’t try to balance every day between all my roles – as a businesswoman, artist, mother, wife, person, etc., yes, it would be possible, but it would not be definitely not effective.
When I’m about to deliver a work project, I can go several nights in a row without my kids sleeping, so I take care, and let them know how much I love them, but that right now a project needs of me and I must be there. I send them photos to make them feel like they’re part of a project.
When I’m on vacation with the family, I know I can rely on my team, who are trained to run the business, but they know that in any situation they need me, I’ll be available.
What’s your favorite way to decompress?
Exercise, self-care, and good times with people.
What do you have planned for the next six months?
Set up our business in a third country.
How can our readers contact you?
I’m on social media – Instagram: @arq_erikalin, Facebook: ERIKA LIN and our website is erikalin.com
About Luxury Lifestyle Awards | Luxury Lifestyle Awards is a global award that selects, recognizes, celebrates and promotes the best luxury products and services around the world. The company’s goal is to connect people with the finest in luxury. LLA has rated over 10,000 diverse goods and services in 400 categories from 60 countries and analyzed the results to give you a TOP list of the best of the best in the world. World famous brands such as Chanel, Dom Pérignon and Ferrari were proudly named winners. This victory brings companies status and recognition, global promotion and exposure to a whole new market of customers. For more information, visit: https://luxurylifestyleawards.com/