VoyageATL interview with Jack Baldwin
Recently I was approached by VoyageATL about an interview highlighting Reynard Architectural Designs in their magazine.
The mission of VoyageATL is "... is to build a platform that fosters collaboration and support for small businesses, independent artists and entrepreneurs, local institutions and those that make our city interesting."
You can find the article here but I've posted the interview transcript here to share with you.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Baldwin.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started? James, Kalyn, and I are three friends who met while working together at an architecture firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. We worked on an assortment of commercial architectural jobs of all shapes and sizes for several years. One day, a client approached us with a request to design their “dream home.” We were thrilled at the opportunity to bring creativity, style, and fun to a project that would be deeply personal to the client. That’s when something clicked and we got to work on our dream of founding a unique architectural design firm that would focus solely on designing custom homes. We began searching for clients who wanted an innovative, collaborative and satisfying home design experience. Today, after holding several sales positions with varying levels of success throughout my career, I’ve found work that gives me joy and resonates with my passion. Providing architectural design experiences to homeowners is thrilling and uniquely rewarding. We have the opportunity to work creatively on projects that are deeply personal to our clients.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road? It has not been a smooth road, but we have had many things go our way also. The idea for Reynard Architectural Designs started in 2020 as all of our commercial architectural jobs at the firm I was at were suddenly put on hold due to the pandemic. There was a lot of uncertainty about our future success. Still, my partners and I believed that we could offer residential clients a unique architectural experience that was mutually fulfilling. In 2021, I was working full-time at a restaurant while going on as many sales visits as I could to get our new business off the ground. Getting the company started with no client base, no name recognition, and a small portfolio was daunting. I became stressed and overworked and had a mental/emotional breakdown that was personally very costly for me. Fortunately, I received a lot of support, and by the beginning of 2022, I was able to give all of my focus full time to Reynard Architectural Designs.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Reynard Architectural Designs? Reynard Architectural Designs exists to “Bring Home to Life.” Home is where life happens. Home is where we have the space to dream, create, and inspire. It’s where we gather, relax, play, work, cook, eat and sleep. It’s the same place we reconnect with our loved ones and disconnect from the world. Creating a dwelling place that accommodates each of our unique ways of living is an ongoing and, at times, daunting endeavor. We founded Reynard Architectural Designs so that our architectural and interior design team could embark on that endeavor with our clients and give life to their distinct version of “home.” In pursuit of our mission to “BRING HOME TO LIFE”, we listen to our client’s ideas. Then we gather images, walk around together, take pictures, draw sketch after sketch, ask questions, and continue to listen. Before long, something that was once just a dream becomes a place that is more than just a building. It’s a home that holds all the things our clients treasure the most. We are most proud of the opportunity to partner with our clients and work creatively to see their dream homes get built. It’s so gratifying to go from an idea sketched on a napkin to a “brick and mortar” home that will be a place for families to enjoy for many years to come.
Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice? If you want to be successful, you’ve got to be in touch with why you’re doing what you’re doing. Understanding your purpose and core values as an individual is the first thing—your “why” will be your compass in finding the right partners, clients, and support. Once I started to understand my “why” as a person, it became easier to focus on that to which I could give my heart, soul, time, and attention. It’s still hard to find motivation some days, but if you never forget why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll get up each day and put the work into it even when it feels pointless or takes a long time to see a payoff. Failures of all kinds, both moral and professional, have caused grief and heartache in my life. I’ve had to develop the skill of using those experiences to teach me what not to do. For better or worse, I’ve been the kind of person who had to learn many lessons “the hard way.” Knowing what you want to avoid is equally valuable because that knowledge can motivate you to learn from past unpleasantness and avoid the old pitfalls.