Mia Marshall’s career began on the East Coast after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in interior design. In the span of three years, she worked at two different architecture firms in New York and Maryland. In 1997, she made a big move to Seattle and found a prominent position as project manager and interior designer at HOK Architects. She went on to work at four other major companies, totaling up to 30 years of very diverse experience in leadership management, client development, and projects of all scales within local and global firms.
In the last few years, Marshall discovered she wanted to be the main driver of her work. In October of 2021, she launchedMarshall Design + Management and partners with commercial real estate developers, landlords, and tenants to help bring their business visions to life. Marshall said no matter the scale or budget, she’s always ready to support a client's goal and deliver quality service while building meaningful relationships. Hear more about what her business offers, Marshall’s favorite types of projects and her ideal spots in Downtown.
What services do you offer at Marshall Design + Management?
My team of partners and I are incredibly multi-faceted in what we do. Our work gears to all types of projects focusing on commercial office buildings and multifamily properties. We offer a full range of services in the field of interior design, architecture and project management. All projects we work on are customized to meet the clients’ needs. It’s about the constant balance of design, functionality, budget and schedule. We’re not just designers, we’re hands-on leaders and orchestrators in our field. It’s a part of our job to go beyond what’s expected – that’s how we succeed.
What has been your favorite project so far?
I love doing small boutique projects and big redevelopment projects. For example, the five-story 6100 Building in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle was a major redevelopment of a wholesale market center. I collaborated with the property owner to adapt the 1970s property to its future use as an office building. The renovation resulted in going from 180 tenants to four key office use tenants. These types of projects are fun because it's a massive transformation and discovery.
Any advice for someone just starting an interior design career?
When I went to college, they only focused on the fundamental of design. They don’t teach you the business aspect of design, so students graduate with a degree only understanding one facet of the job. There’s so much more you need to know to withstand the ups and downs of the business and economic changes. Those who are agile and multi-faceted, meaning they’re willing to take on business and management skills and are analytical, process-oriented, numbers driven, methodical, and relationship focused are more likely to succeed.
Being open to all types of projects is essential. As I grew into my career, it wasn’t about the high and luxurious projects that were publishable, it was about doing all project types, big and small. To the people who are thinking of a career in interior design, it’s about taking care of clients and building relationships, not always about the glitz and glam.
Where do you see Downtown Bellevue in 3-5 years?
There will be growth in every sector, especially the tech sector. I hope Bellevue continues to support small businesses. As a small minority women-owned business myself, I want to be able to grow here without worrying about whether or not I can survive. It’s exciting to continue seeing the growth and all future opportunities that will take place in this city.
What is your favorite part about working in Downtown Bellevue?
I love working in Downtown Bellevue because the city feels more organically grown with evolving vibrancy and energy. Yes, you have your Fortune 500 companies, but you also have small businesses. It’s incredible to see how Bellevue has developed and grown over the past 25 years since I’ve been here.
Where are your favorite places to dine in Downtown?
The Pumphouse Bar & Grill is one of my favorite hidden spots. It’s one of the older establishments in Bellevue and I love its authenticity as a landmark pub. They're authentic to who they have always been for the past 45 years. Meydenbauer Bay Park also makes it on my list because I am a water lover and soak it up. Lastly, the Bellevue Botanical Garden because it brings natural outdoor beauty to Downtown.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 3-5 years?
I see myself working with a larger team of skills and talent and still putting my clients first to support their business as a trusted partner. My values have always focused on relationships, service, effective design, growth and empowering authenticity. I will continue believing in these principles to help me continue producing successful results.
Person Behind The Place is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
SIGN UP FOR THE HEART OF BELLEVUE NEWSLETTER
Marshall Design + Management 12400 SE 38th #50766 Bellevue, WA 98015