Sd Voyager Interview with Cadie Brown Lee
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Today we’d like to introduce you to Cadie Browne Lee .
Thanks for sharing your story with us Cadie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my career in 2003 at the San Diego County Apartment Association lobbying for property owners and developers. While working there I met Stephanie Parisi, who was the founder of Parisi Portfolio, Inc. She recruited me to work for her and she became my mentor, as she showed me the ropes of the industry and becoming a California Certified Interior Designer.
I worked with Stephanie for about five years and held positions of increasing responsibility to include being in charge of marketing operations and design management. At that point in my life, I decided that perhaps it was time to buy the business from Stephanie and in 2008 I bought Parisi Portfolio from her. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Probably one of the biggest challenges of my career and with Parisi Portfolio was surviving the recession that hit the real estate industry in 2008, which was also right when I bought the company. It was extremely hard as there was a tremendous slowdown in our industry, and I had to be quick on my feet, be financially responsible and diversify my interior design company into different market segments ranging from multi-family housing, hospitality, retail and corporate renovations, model home merchandising, and senior living in order to survive.
I essentially had to become a one-stop shop for anything related to interior design and become multidimensional and offer multiple skill sets and capabilities. As a result of this reimagination of Parisi, we now provide services for a multitude of clients such as builders, developers and commercial owners for all aspects of interior design from interior architecture to merchandising.
Please tell us about Parisi Portfolio Interior Design.
As I stated before I began my career in 2003 in the building industry and bought Parisi Portfolio from Stephanie Parisi in 2008, and we are currently celebrating our 30th year in business, with my 10th year as the CEO. Parisi is an interior design firm that provides the most outstanding interior design services to our customers. What I believe distinguishes us is that not only are we amazing interior designers but we know how to execute all the steps necessary to make the design a reality from start to finish.
We are a diversified interior design firm with a team with the creativity to do all different styles of interior design, not just one type of design. Parisi has worked on La Costa Resort and Spa, and one of our projects, Hotel Parisi in La Jolla, was recognized as one of the top 10 boutique hotels in the world and featured in In Style Magazine. We have done numerous notable projects and have won over 300 different awards for our interior design services.
As for what I am most proud of, without question, it is my team at Parisi. Without my team Parisi, we would not be where we are today. Their dedication, passion, and enthusiasm are unparalleled and they serve as an inspiration to me every day. I adore every one of them and am deeply grateful to each and every member of our team.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
On Christmas morning when I was 7 years old, I received horse tack as a gift under the Christmas tree. I was so excited because I thought that meant I would take horseback riding lessons. But then my parents took me outside to introduce me to a beautiful bay mare named Misty, who was decorated in gold garlands.
It was better than any Christmas gift I could have ever imagined and was so special to me, and I rode horses competitively doing horse shows, dressage, and played polo for all the years of my life after that until recently. I always remember that every Christmas.