Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Pogonitz.
Rebecca, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
GOGO’s story began when I was a tiny girl who accompanied her art historian mother on a regular basis to art museums and outdoor museums such as Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. During those excursions, she taught me how form truly follows function. She described how color, shape, composition and the people living in the spaces we viewed, both in paintings and in everyday life, were affected emotionally by these factors. On these excursions I absorbed a sense of empathy, which I am honing as an adult. HOW we experience the spaces in which we live, is the essence of creating our homes, not only on a physical level, but on an emotional level, as well.
By elementary school, I subconsciously shaped my immediate world to feel emotionally safe and joyful. Gratefully, I discovered creative outlets that nourished my spirit. I studied dance and music from a young age through my time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I loved creating shadow box interiors based on books I read in school and rearranging my dollhouse interiors, followed by frequently arranging my bedroom furniture and poster art on the walls. Always observing how the space felt and looked as it brought me joy was the driving force, as the varied furnishings and decor were the icing on the cake. To this day, one of my design loves is rearranging existing elements and breathing new life into them, simply by playing with their composition, shape, color and visual space.
Working at a boutique Bed and Bath shop after completing my Bachelor of Arts and subsequently a career development workshop, directed me to enroll in evening Interior Design classes in Boston. Then, after 10 years of working in marketing and public relations, the universe led me to complete my BFA in Interior Design in Chicago. I then worked for a few years for a beautiful soul and brilliant Interior Designer, who to this day I model my business after, with her sense of Grace and Integrity as my inspiration. In 2001, I embarked on my solo interior design career and founded Schema Interiors. Then, in 2012, as my emotional and physical life experienced a huge transformation, GOGO design group was naturally born. As I evolve and gain wisdom, so does GOGO, always on the cusp of cutting edge evolution.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
GOGO design group evolved from a journey of self-discovery and mind/body/soul work that continues to this day. When I started my business in 2001 as Schema Interiors, my life revolved around my identity as a religiously observant mother of 3 unique and amazing children, focusing mainly on family life and serving clients in our immediate community.
While I truly enjoyed the accolades of bringing great design to life for others, I was living with debilitating depression, which was preventing me from discovering my true self and voice, both as a woman and as an Entrepreneur.
With the Universe guiding me, I tapped into my personal power and true voice through a mind/body transformation and intensive Krav Maga training, a pivotal, life changing experience. Internalizing the concept of self-love, practicing the courage to shine my light, and embracing the power of vulnerability has been my greatest challenge. The beauty of this is as I evolve as a woman, GOGO design group evolves as a thriving business, serving clients in Illinois and Wisconsin and destinations beyond. I have learned along the way that the personal and professional life are truly entwined and as I embrace this concept, GOGO is carving our own unique niche in the Design, Build marketplace, a challenge for any growing interior design business.
GOGO Design Group – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
GOGO design group is a residential and light commercial interior design firm that specializes in creating Design Well Being for our clients. Our mission is to bring a love and light filled experience to our clients and empower them to create a world that nourishes their soul.
Coaching our clients through a design self-discovery process, we create beautiful interiors that fulfill both their personal design style and lifestyle needs. Our goal is to bring a sense of joy and peace to our clients’ spaces, so that they can live their best lives within their home and ultimately out in the world. We want to transform others’ lives and make an impact in their world and beyond, as a ripple effect and as a means for paying it forward. Our business practice approach is to instill as much grace, honor and integrity into our work, as we practice this mindset daily. GOGO is known for creating living spaces with a positive and warm energy that is contagious and heart-warming. We are also known for stepping into the lives of our clients, quickly empathizing with their mindset and ensuring that together we create a home that they love.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success occurs when the mind, body and spiritual self are balanced. It’s true that financial independence defines success for many. Earning money to support our emotional and physical life is necessary, but everyone has different needs financially. Do I want to travel more and spend extended time in Italy? Yes. Do I want to take my kids on more vacations and finance the education they want to pursue? Yes. Do I want to stay healthy, fit and strong, after veering off path with two previous back surgeries? Yes. Do I want to experience loving, soul nurturing relationships with people who inspire and support me? Yes. Do I want to grow GOGO design group into a legacy and empower my employees to achieve their professional and professional goals? I sure do.
Giving back and improving the world in any way I can is truly my MO. As such, I feel success in that I am blessed to offer my gifts as an interior designer and in my ability to share my personal story as a voice on behalf of mental health awareness. I am grateful to be on the board of the charity organization, No Shame on U, http://www.noshameonu.com, a Chicago based non-profit dedicated to spreading mental health awareness and banishing the stigma of mental illness.
Also, another charity organization that is dear to my heart is Designs4Dignity http://www.designsfordignity.org/. Designs4Dignity transforms lives by offering pro bono design, build services to organizations such as local YMCA’s, women’s shelters, special needs homes, etc. I am privileged to have been the lead designer on one of their grant projects, and am currently on the design team for another grantee.
Serving the world at large and making an impact is one of my life purposes and I love inspiring others to do the same, if only by sharing more kindness and compassion with the people they encounter each day.
These things are my markers of success. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve already achieved success on so many levels. The beauty is we are all capable of enjoying daily successes through mindful living, as we cultivate our best lives, observe miracles and learn something new every day about ourselves and the world around us. Personal success truly can be discovered and experienced during the journey, not at the destination.
- Address: 9020 Ewing Ave., 2nd Floor, Evanston, IL. 60203
- Website: www.gogodesigngroup.com
- Phone: 8476792073
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Buckner Photography, Mike Kaskel Photo, Jon Cancelino Photography, Stanley Kramer Photography