Creative Genius Podcast

Season 8 Episode 7

Take a Chance on Yourself (Nina Magon)

Take a Chance on Yourself (Nina Magon)

What’s driving your interior design business? Is it your vision? Or is it what clients—any clients—tell you they want? It takes courage and confidence to show the world who you are and let them decide if it’s what they want. Yet, the rewards can be great. You won’t know unless you try.

In this episode, Gail talks with Nina Magon, founder and principal, Nina Magon Studio, based in Houston, Texas, with offices in San Francisco, California and (soon) Austin, Texas. Along with her design practice, which includes residential, commercial and hospitality, Nina also has developed a number of award-winning lifestyle product collections for famous manufacturers and retailers. Her business skills earned her recognition as “Entrepreneur of the Year” from the Asian Chamber of Commerce. Recently, she published her first book, Evoke, exhibiting her unique style of design and fashion.

Nina had a background in business, finance and fashion before becoming an interior designer. They have had a profound impact on her practice and how she operates her firm. “If you don’t apply business to your artistic talent, you never really go anywhere with it,” she said.

Like many designers, Nina started out doing projects for friends, which led to her starting her firm. She recalled that she began as a traditionalist, because that was the style that prospective clients in the Houston area were looking for. But she had another vision for herself. She eventually gravitated toward minimalism and modernism. Later, she incorporated more luxury and glamour into her designs, evolving the style that she now is famous for.

“I learned a lot from doing it, more than anything else,” she explained. Trying new things and taking risks, she said, forced her to learn. She gradually made peace with the fact that not everyone is going to like what you do, and some will even criticize you for it. She chose to focus on her successes instead. “Every little win you have builds confidence to take that extra step or to move ahead.”

Gail asked Nina what advice she had for listeners who may be inspired by her story. She offered these pointers:

  • Do what you like and what you believe in.
  • You have to work on yourself. Self-awareness and self-reflection are critical for improving your interactions with others.
  • You have to learn to let go if you want to grow.

During their conversation, Nina recounted how she started designing products, her vision for the future of her firm, and how she strives to provide excellent service to her clients. For all this and more, listen to the entire podcast.

If you’re listening on your favorite podcast platform, read the full shownotes here:

Mentioned in This Podcast

To learn more about Nina and her firm, and to view her portfolio and product collections, visit the firm’s website at

Nina’s book, Evoke: Nina Magon, is available through online booksellers. For a look inside, visit the publisher’s website.

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