Up Close with Georgina, Vice President of Brokerage

It’s a tough time in the world right now with a lot of decision makers wondering how to get their employees back to the office.  Georgina – or George, or G, as we often call her – gives us the scoop.

George – Tell us a bit about your background in the commercial brokerage industry.

G: I fell into it by pure happenstance! I moved from Denver to NYC in July 2014 – without a job or many connections/friends in the city. Back in Denver, I was working with at-risk youth and obtained my Master’s Degree in Legal Administration from the University of Denver. My first job in New York was working the counter at NY’s best beer and cheese store – Malt & Mold! 

Needless to say, I was completely green when I entered the real estate industry. My first “real job” in NYC was with Boston Properties, working as an administrative assistant. This was an incredible opportunity for me, and I will always be so thankful for this experience, as it helped open doors for my career. After Boston Properties, I worked at CBRE & JLL, two of the largest brokerage firms globally, where I focused on landlord and tenant advisory. 

I started at Artisan in 2021 and feel so fortunate to be at a startup led by two powerful and inspiring women, surrounded by industry specialists in brokerage, design and build. 

What are you seeing in the market and how do you feel Artisan can be of help to decision makers?

G:  Companies are continuing to figure out their office needs, trying to find the right balance in terms of in the office full-time or a hybrid approach. There’s a range of needs in the market right now, from companies looking to grow, downsize, and/or reconfigure existing spaces. Artisan’s full-service advisory approach helps clients understand not only how much space they need, but also how to reconfigure existing spaces. Companies still need the right office to attract talent and develop a culture that is truly sustainable. So much of the workforce wants to physically be in the office, collaborating and engaging in mentorship opportunities – and that goes for both seasoned office workers and people who are just getting started.

If you’re reading this and you’re interested in meeting with our team, please fill out our quiz and we’ll be in touch soon to discuss your office needs!

Outside of real estate, what are a few things you enjoy? 

G: I am a perpetual tourist in my own city, and I’m constantly exploring new restaurants, museums and getting lost in the beauty of NYC’s diverse offerings. I love to run in Prospect Park (I ran the 2017 and 2021 NYC Marathons!) and getting out of the City to camp, hike and ski. I’ve recently started getting into pottery and just completed my third pottery course at BKLYN Clay – it’s been fun to learn a new hobby! 

Brokerage 101 | Our Process for Finding Your Office Space

Needs, wants, tours, budgets, proposals, leases…there are multiple things brokers handle when finding office space for a client.  Sarah, Georgina, and Carleigh from our Brokerage Team explain. 

Brokerage Team – would each of you please give us a summary of what you do on the team?

Georgina: As a part of the Brokerage Team, I work closely with Sarah and Carleigh.  I’m responsible for business development, real estate advisory for our current clients, lease negotiations / executions, financial analyses, and putting new systems in place for our organization. I’m also fortunate enough to be part of the Artisan Mentored program and enjoy teaching and mentoring our mentees!

Carleigh: I am a Brokerage Associate and assist the team in canvassing the market, coordinating tours, producing tourbooks (information on each space we present to the client), drafting proposals for spaces the client is interested in, and assisting Sarah and Georgina in negotiations, analyses, and anything needed in connection with our Design, Furniture, and Project Management departments to make the process as seamless as possible for our clients. 

Sarah: I’m very fortunate to have a rockstar brokerage team so I get to focus my time collaborating with Georgina, Carleigh and our different departments on strategy, negotiation and execution.  We use our expertise to help our clients make the best decisions for their respective businesses.  I’ve always enjoyed when people come together from different backgrounds to brainstorm, problem solve and compete.  I think the best part about brokerage at Artisan is working with our design, build and furniture teams throughout the process to make sure nothing is missed and there are no surprises for our clients after a lease is signed.  From our first pitch to the punch list, we’re all in it together. 

How can a company looking for office space start the process with Artisan?

Georgina: It’s really simple! They can quickly fill out our quiz to get the process started or reach out to us via emailLinkedInInstagram, and our other social media platforms.

It seems the biggest challenge for companies right now is how to manage hybrid working and bringing people back into the office.  What is Artisan seeing and what advice are you giving? 

Sarah: Unfortunately there isn’t a catch-all answer for all of the questions related to hybrid work that we are fielding. That said, we’re working with clients across various industries to help them figure out the right solution for their situation. The biggest hurdle for every company right now seems to be figuring out how to make their office a place where employees want to return, not be forced to return.  As you can see from the projects on our website, we have a very resimercial design aesthetic that our clients love and has certainly helped with the transition from working from home to working from a new office “home”.  Whether renewing or relocating, office space shouldn’t be a headache, it should be a fun process that makes everyone excited to get back to work! 

Please feel free to reach out to the Artisan Team via our email if you’d like to discuss your situation and how we can help or click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today!

Up Close with Katie | Head of Furniture

Finding, designing, and building out office space are equally important and necessary – but it’s the furnishings that pull all of those things together in the end, and can make or break the space. 

Katie – Tell us a bit about your experience in the industry and how you came to work with Artisan.

KL: My background is in interior design with a focus on branded environments. I’ve worked for amazing companies during my career, such as Casper and Herman Miller – helping them create beautiful spaces that best represented their brands. My time at HM in particular really helped build my foundation for great furniture design and a keen knowledge of some of the best workplace products in the industry. After creating spaces and designing custom pieces of all kinds, I wanted to hone in on furniture. Artisan gives me the opportunity to focus on sourcing and curating beautiful furniture, but also building my design skills by creating custom pieces for our clients and sourcing great local fabricators to bring them to life. 

What is your favorite part about procuring furniture?

KL: My favorite part would have to be discovering new designers and brands bringing innovative and unique products to the market – it keeps us at Artisan inspired and excited! It’s the most fun going to showroom visits with clients and seeing their faces light up with excitement to see pieces in real life and test them in person. 

You also help to create custom furniture for certain clients of ours.  How does that differ from choosing ready-made pieces? 

KL: When we design custom pieces for our clients, we have more freedom to create what we want, exactly how we want it. With custom furniture, we always approach it with the lens of solving for the clients needs while ensuring the piece still works with our aesthetic direction. We have more control over the materials, finish, and details so each piece is unique for our clients. 

Want to learn more about how Artisan can create a space that suits your needs? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

By Design – Mood Boards & How We Create Them

Minimalist, eccentric, contemporary, collaborative, office-intensive…these are just a few words that a client could present to our design team when voicing what they want for their new office space.  Where do we begin with bringing their idea to life, while putting our Artisan stamp on it?  We asked Dani and Katie who make up our design department to give us the rundown.

Where do you begin when building a mood board for a client’s space?

Dani: For the most part, clients come to us because they already have an appreciation for our aesthetic.  So it’s a mix of pulling finishes, textures and spaces we’re drawn to as well as creating an overall vision for their spatial direction.  We think about what would improve their brand and how can that be implemented in a way that’s cohesive, functional and beautiful.

Katie: First, we love to get an understanding of the client – what they do, what they believe in, what kind of spaces, textures, and colors make them feel productive and good. Then we’ll use that information to find imagery and materials that evoke that mood and act as a guide as we develop the design. 

What is the best piece of advice you could give on how to find success in mixing materials, patterns, finishes, etc.?

Dani: If you want to mix colors, materials, patterns, finishes etc, be cognisant of tone.  Katie is probably tired of hearing me say ‘tone on tone’ – but it’s a great way to achieve an interesting palette without overwhelming your eye.

Katie: With how we approach this at Artisan, our advice would be to consider a delicacy and balance to the palette when deciding on materials – combining textures, colors, and visual weight to create a timeless mood. 

What if a client is drawn to a completely different aesthetic than what you, as a designer, are normally drawn to? 

Dani: This a great question and one that I get from ‘non – clients’ a lot.  As noted earlier, it’s pretty rare that a client would come to us without understanding our aesthetic at least on a basic level and honestly I’d recommend another great designer if I felt they were a better fit.  The last thing you want as a designer (or client!) is to have to convince a client that your vision for their space makes sense.  That being said the design process is a collaborative one and often, the most interesting spaces are the ones where a client suggests something that we never would’ve and it’s the most unique and interesting part of the space!

Katie: I think a great skill for a designer is being able to adapt! Sometimes if a client’s vision doesn’t align with ours, we challenge ourselves to meet in the middle and find ways to satisfy their specific asks while keeping our foundation of a neutral, functional, and timeless approach. 

Follow us on Instagram to see our weekly MaterialMondays highlight – a mini mood board, if you will!

Want to learn more about how Artisan can create a space that suits your needs? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

Up Close with Tucker | Head of Project Management

How do you describe Project Management?

It’s a complex discipline that requires a broad set of skills. Generally, the PM team helps the client to establish goals for the project, creates and maintains the project budget, and develops and drives the project schedule. 

And the role of the Project Manager?

The PM typically acts as a ‘coach’, responsible for developing a plan and strategy for the project, while the ‘players’ (architects, engineers, designers, and contractors) execute on that vision. Their role often extends to the management of the project team and day-to-day activities. The PM will interact with multiple disciplines throughout the project lifecycle. They must be efficient and forward-thinking in every stage of the project. 

Why do we need it?

It is very often the most overlooked component of a project. Put simply, PMs are responsible for the success of a construction project. The Project Manager is accountable for the outcome of each discipline’s roles and responsibilities. Was the project on time? Was it on budget? Were the goals of quality and workmanship met?

A construction project typically involves dozens of people, all experts in their specific field. A Project Manager is no different. They bring objective skills and technical expertise with the sole purpose of representing the best interests of a project and their client. Tenants are often asked to make decisions without having all the information they need to give an educated answer. A PM makes sure all information is presented in a clear and concise manner (what is the budget impact?, what is the schedule impact?, what is the deadline to make this decision?).

How would you qualify the value of PM?

A PM is often a Tenant’s greatest resource. Their expertise and understanding of both design and construction can save their client time and money. 

Bandwidth – Many Tenants do not have an in-house PM team. Having a PM allows Tenants to focus on their business and reduces the stress and disruption of daily life that a full scale construction project comes with.

Cost Reduction – From the early planning and pre-construction phases through closeout, the PM will offer input on decisions that impact costs, making sure each dollar spent is used efficiently and goes towards meeting the project goals.

Time Reduction – The PM is responsible for establishing, monitoring, and meeting all critical project milestones. They have a bird’s-eye view of the entire project that can help identify how delays in site selection, lease negotiations, design, and procurement may impact completion. 

Give us an idea of your expertise and experience.

I’ve been a Project Manager for over 12 years, working as both a Tenant Representative during my time at Jones Lang LaSalle and as an in-house PM for Owner/Developers at SL Green Realty Corp and WeWork. As a result, I’ve been fortunate to work on commercial office fitouts, building redevelopments, and assets repositioning projects. I’ve managed budgets upwards of $225MM and created schedules for projects spanning nearly two years. My expertise is in commercial interiors (office space), where I’ve spent most of my career. I love partnering with clients in the very early stages of a project to help create a vision, establish project goals, and then bring that vision to life.

Take a glimpse into the future of Project Management, what do you see?

The hybrid model is becoming more and more common, requiring companies to evaluate their real estate portfolio and needs. A Project Manager can be instrumental in that effort by helping companies to understand their needs and plan for a changing future. As companies explore digital options in the Metaverse, they will need PMs just as they do in the physical world. In this role, a PM serves as the point person, coordinating across a multi-functional team inclusive of real estate professionals, designers, programmers, and more. 

Thanks for sharing, Tucker! We look forward to seeing the future of Project Management at Artisan.

Want to learn more about how Artisan creates spaces that suit your needs? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

By Design—Q&A with Anchor & Canvas

We are particular at Artisan in that we are committed to working with vendors and contractors that we have vetted and trust, as they help to shape the final product for our clients. Anchor & Canvas is exactly what we look for in a vendor in that way and therefore we bring them on to build custom furniture pieces – designed by us here at Artisan.  We took a trip to their Brooklyn workshop to see a bit of their build process, and asked their Lead Fabricator, Piotr Shtyk, a few questions as to how they take our designs and turn them into real life quality pieces.  

What is your general process when working with design clients? 

It usually starts with a request for a quote. We review the visual materials and start a conversation to fill in the gaps. The goal in the beginning is to figure out the intended effect of the piece, find out what details are important to the designer and what is left to us to decide in consideration of structural integrity or economy. We often send drawings or models back and forth to confirm the details that are most important to the quote. Once everyone is on the same page and we know exactly how we are going to build it, we provide an accurate estimate. Then comes the final model, and the drawings we generate from the model, and once those are approved, we make the finish samples. We like to document the process and send a few pictures to the designer as the piece starts to take shape, and then again once the piece has been completed. 

What is your favorite part of the process and why? 

There are two definitive moments in the process I particularly enjoy. Arriving at an elegant solution to an engineering problem is very rewarding and the feeling stretches into the build process when parts just click into place like pieces of a puzzle. Then there is the moment of seeing the piece assembled for the first time and realizing how remarkably similar it looks like the rendering we made just a couple of weeks ago. I recall twirling it around on my monitor, and now here it is on the floor, tangible and, more often than not, very heavy.  

What is the most exciting challenge when getting new furniture designs to fabricate? 

The most exciting challenge to me is an opportunity to use a new technique or process that really stretches our abilities just past our typical comfort zone. It should be far enough removed from our skillset to force us to really focus and learn, while being related enough that we have a solid foundation upon which to build that knowledge – that’s the sweet spot.

Stay tuned for the final products! 

Ready for an Artisan space of your own? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

Artisan x Malala Fund – The Inaugural Project

Since March is Women’s History Month, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by featuring the incredible Malala Fund.  Our Co-Founder and Head of Design, Dani, and our Head of Project Management, Tucker, weigh in on how Artisan came to work with the girls’ education non-profit and what Malala wanted in terms of design and build.  

How did Artisan get connected to Malala and ultimately end up working with her to design and build the Malala Fund’s office space?

Dani: ‘Amanda, Chief Operating Officer of Malala Fund, actually reached out to me after following my Instagram account! It’s quite surprising the caliber of potential clients that social media brings.’

What was Malala looking for in terms of design and build?

Dani: ‘She was looking for a space that integrated the organization’s branding and ethos in a cohesive way.  After meeting with the team and understanding that they wanted a bright space filled with plants, we wanted to focus on the overall architecture.  We sourced materials, furniture, and decor that allowed those areas to shine while keeping the aesthetic light and playful.’

What was the biggest challenge, as far as Project Management goes, in executing Dani’s design?

Tucker: ‘The Landlord was underway with construction of a pre-built unit by the time Artisan was brought on board. Implementing change to an in-progress project required lots of coordination between Artisan and the Landlord team, and constant communication between Artisan’s design and PM groups in order ensure the final product would meet Malala Fund’s expectations and Artisan’s quality standards.’

To see more of the final product, follow us on Instagram and stay tuned for additional photos coming soon!  

Want to learn more about how Artisan can create a space that suits your needs? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.

‘Her Workplace’ Interview Featuring Our Very Own, Carleigh Bettiol

Her Workplace – a newly launched, female-founded platform that provides a safe space for working women to network, share stories and knowledge, and build long-lasting relationships – has interviewed Artisan’s very own, Carleigh Bettiol, on what it was like to transition from a career on the Broadway stage to working in commercial real estate. 

Carleigh spent several years on Broadway, with one of her biggest accomplishments being as a member of the original cast of Hamilton. Although she loved performing and acting, after experiencing the lack of promotional opportunities as a Broadway performer, she decided to completely change industries.

“Coming from a different industry, I’d like to prove to myself I can be successful in something completely new to me.” – Carleigh Bettiol

Read the entire interview on Her Workplace here.

Artisan Mentored | Meet Jania

Passion for mentorship and community is a tenet of the Artisan mission and thus, Artisan Mentored was one of the first programs we launched, inviting one high school student into the office once a week to shadow various members of the team.

To say it’s been a pleasure getting to know Jania would be an understatement. The very first mentee of our Artisan Mentored program, she is a breath of fresh air, bringing excitement, enthusiasm, and a unique perspective to the office every Thursday. We will certainly miss her and want to share some invaluable insight from her experience at Artisan.

What grade are you in?

12th grade

What attracted you to the mentorship program at Artisan?

I was interested in the mentorship program at Artisan because I had no prior experience or exposure to the commercial real estate industry. I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about a new career field and broaden my horizons.

Do you have an interest in the field of commercial real estate? You can be honest!

I definitely have interest in the field of commercial real estate because of Artisan. In the past, I would’ve never thought that commercial real estate would be of interest to me but after being able to see what the different ‘subfields’ of real estate look like, I would be interested in exploring it further in the future. 

What’s your favorite subject?

In school, my favorite subjects are typically any foreign language or science classes. I enjoy foreign language classes a lot because I hope to one day become a polyglot. In the past I have studied Spanish and Turkish at school but am currently only fluent in English. Science is also a class that interests me a lot because I think it is the perfect combination of creative and logical thinking which is what I appreciate the most.

What’s your favorite project you’ve ever completed?

My favorite project that I’ve ever completed would be a community service initiative that I created called ‘Knot It!’ The purpose of this initiative was to create 100 knot tied blankets for homeless youth in the greater Harlem area. After pitching my idea to my school’s board, I was able to raise over four thousand dollars to fund the program. The program was fueled by student volunteers at my school and we would meet after school to tie the blankets and hang out. One unique thing about this program was that at the time most students were still attending school online (as a result of the pandemic) so this was an opportunity for scholars to participate in therapeutic crafts while meeting other students and socializing. This project started out in April of 2021 and by October we’d met our goal and donated the blankets to a shelter for adolescents and victims of domestic abuse.  

What do you do for fun?

For fun I like to read, participate in arts & crafts, and watch TV. Dystopian fiction is my favorite genre of books but right now I am reading a novel called The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. My 

all time favorite book series is The Hunger Games but I am also a big fan of the Twilight series. I love learning to do all types of crafts but some of my favorites are sewing, making jewelry & lip gloss, and making things out of clay. Lastly, like most other teens my age, I enjoy watching a wide variety of TV shows as well. I am currently watching a k-drama called Nevertheless, and an anime called Hunter x Hunter. My favorite movie of all time is A Walk To Remember. 

Where do you feel most inspired?

I feel the most inspired at home because I feel like I am in my most comfortable setting where I can allow myself to think creatively and try new things. On the other hand, I feel inspired whenever I am at Panera Bread because I don’t have the distractions that the comfort of my home provides and it is somewhat of a ritual for my mom and I to go there to get work done so I feel like it is a place where I am the most productive.

Biggest takeaway from your mentorship?

In being a mentee at Artisan my biggest takeaway would probably be to feel comfortable with stepping into the unknown. In working with everyone at Artisan, I felt I had a lot to learn but realized that in asking more questions, and being ready to receive help, I would find myself absorbing more and more information. In addition, I realized I had to take a new spin on what ‘creative confidence’ meant to me. In a lot of cases I realized that I needed to put myself out there and be slightly vulnerable to get the help that I needed which really helped promote the growth that I saw during my time here.

Thank you so much, Jania, and best of luck in your future endeavors! Please keep in touch.

Interested in reading more on our Artisan Mentored program or applying for a Mentorship with us?  Click here!

Officemates | Meet the Artisan Brokerage Team

When in Doubt, Choose Change!

The number of workers quitting their jobs hit record highs in November 2021, with 4.5 million people voluntarily resigning in the US, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The workplace is certainly changing and Artisan is excited to be a part of its next chapter.  Companies are scrambling to figure out how to not only attract talent, but retain and develop it in the wake of the pandemic fueled “Great Resignation”.   The solution according to Artisan’s experienced brokerage team? Flexibility and innovation.

WFH? Hybrid? More space, less space, no space? Help!! 

Don’t worry, Artisan’s experienced brokerage team is advising clients across various industries on their post-pandemic return to the office.  Based on your concerns and current space configuration, they will work with you on the ideal workplace strategy then help you find it and implement it.  What makes Artisan different from other advisors? The brokerage team works in collaboration with its in-house design, furniture and project management teams to transform both physical and virtual office spaces.  Artisan creates environments that employees want to go to and want to be in. The team is confident if companies embrace change, flexibility and innovation we will all be entering the “Great Return” soon.

Meet Artisan Brokerage

Leading Artisan’s brokerage team is Co-Founder and COO, Sarah Pontius. Sarah is a seasoned industry veteran with over 18 years experience of deal structuring and transacting across NYC’s commercial real estate industry. Georgina Cook is VP of Brokerage Services with over 7 years experience at the two largest brokerage firms worldwide and manages the client relationship through the brokerage process, overseeing the market research efforts, negotiations and deal closings. Brokerage Services Associate, Carleigh Bettiol, supports deals and client relationships, internal coordination across the business lines, as well as Artisan’s social media presence. They’re a dynamic group ready to find you the perfect space. Are you ready to work with the Artisan team? Click here to take our 5 minute quiz and get started today.