It was just so frustrating because you pour yourself into this work and then it's all gone. I would be jealous of architects because they would design buildings that will be there for decades.
I thought coffee would be easy and I was like, okay, I'll design it, market it, whatever. Get it going, and then go back to my career in tech.
When you decided design would be central, who all did you have to be accountable to? And how did you justify that to them?
The space probably looks more expensive than it actually was. To make a nice space, does it always mean more money? It just means you have to be creative. The floor in our first location is just the raw concrete that has been cut up, spray-painted and poorly patched over the decades.
Our tile is just a very simple white hexagon shape which is cheap, but at the time it was unusual to use that shape. Our mugs and cups are all from thrift stores. All the planters and decorations were all thrifted.
Were there times where you had to reconsider the aesthetic focus?
I always pushed really hard on it. I think my co-founders, David Baker and Will Shurtz, trusted me big time in the sense that when I would put my foot down and say we cannot compromise on something, they said okay.