We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Pinto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Five years ago, I founded Garaki, a workshop that focuses on commercial and corporative design. The one thing we do is work with everything that has a brand behind it. During this time colleagues, friends and family have come up to me and expressed that Garaki should also focus on residential design too, especially during lockdown since everyone was trying to re-create the space they were living or working at the moment. But something told me that as a designer and brand I had to continue with the one thing I had decided for Garaki. With which we have created more than 200 spaces both nationally and internationally and received achievements in Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and Italy, including an award for designer of the year by the Asociación de Interiorismo de Guatemala for two years. And even though we had hard months during 2020, we finished it as the most profitable year. We stayed true to ourselves as a person, brand, entrepreneur, team and designers.
And that’s the secret to our success. Keep believing in Garaki´s reason why. We are focused on one thing and we have become masters at doing it. All our energy, knowledge, strategy and research has helped us stay top of mind, especially when someone was looking to start a restaurant, retail store, office etc. That’s the reason why our clients keep returning. Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.
And this applies to everything in my life too. I realized that where I´d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing. When something doesn’t feel right with my ideals, designs or brand it is important to listen to yourself and remember that one thing that started all. We are going to be tempted all the time, but if you are not going to have the passion to do something, it is not going to work.
Another factor I can attribute to Garaki´s success is staying curious and keep learning each day. Our team keeps experiencing new things, researching and staying ahead of the market trends. We wouldn’t excel if it was not for our team’s passion, we enjoy the process.
I strongly believe that success is not about reaching a goal, success is all the in between that makes the way to the goal enjoyable.
What should our readers know about your business?
We love to make spaces where GOOD things will happen. Thats our reason why we make what we do. We love to transform this spaces with art, design and also being an amazing experience where you can feel with all your senses. We design restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores, offices, gyms, hotels, beauty salons… whatever has a brand and wants to communicate its essence in this space. We love to make creative and disruptive spaces where people feels good and finds mental and phisical health.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Personally, I like to take in what the country has to offer: its people, the culture and new experiences. This will not only create a good time but it will help you grow, get out of your comfort zone and keep the creativity and ideas flowing. Guatemala is a great place for this to happen.
First we have the city. Small, but vibrant where you can find chic places. After touring through la zona 1 where the cathedral and plaza central are located, I would take her to La Esquina, a foodhall designed by Garaki inspired in Guatemala. After showing her our architecture around we would end the day at San Roman a rooftop where we can enjoy they sunset, drink some michelada- beer and enjoy ourselves for hours.
After taking a cup of the best coffee in the world, Nahual, our road trip would continue to Antigua Guatemala. Picturesque, colorful and filled with small shops, restaurants and bars. Of course, we cannot miss our visit to the market, its people and crafts makes you want to buy everything. This will be our pitstop before hiking the Acatenango, a volcano with amazing sunset and sunrise views. What is a trip without nature and adventure?
Our final stop of the trip is Lake Atitlan. A lake surrounded with different towns named after the apostles and saints. My favorite views are in Santa Catrina and San Marcos. Navigating in a true Atitlan boat from one town to another, you can find a lot of the Mayan religion, some Xaman´s doing rituals, and a cacao museum. Each town has its own colors and traditions. Its magic captivates everyone who visits.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have found that the road to entrepreneurship is tiring, a roller coaster where at moments you can be at the top and others you can fall. I am thankful that I have found my tribe.
I feel so proud of Garakis team. They share the same values, passion and vision that have led us to achieve and make amazing things happen.
I am also lucky to share all these experiences with MEG, a group of entrepreneur women in Guatemala. They have been a great support to both me personally and Garaki. We get together once a month and share our stories, moments, experiences and together celebrate Women’s entrepreneurship day.
Last but not least I dedicate this shout out to my family. My parents, that have given me all the opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. They have taught me the will I need to take on the world. My dad with his great business career and my mom that recently started studying showed me her determination and that its never to late to make your dreams come true. Finally, my husband who during the last 12 years has been by my side; from late nights at collage doing mockups to creating Garaki, its difficult times and of course its celebrations.
I am grateful I have this people surrounding me, definitively success is always better shared.
Linkedin: Andrea Pinto
Facebook: Garaki Taller
Julián Castillo Marcelo Gutierrez