What I wish I knew in my 20s: Influential Miami women in the arts, design, fashion, and hospitality share their advice.

At some point, many of us will look back and reminisce about our early twenties. What were we doing back then? How were our careers forming and how were we growing as individuals no less? When I think about those times, I was already married with young children and trying to balance out my life as a wife, mother and professional.

Looking back, I would tell myself to “fall in love with yourself”. Really take the time to know yourself before you fall in love with a person or even jump into a career. Spend quality time learning who you are and what makes you happy. This will all reflect in your relationships and your passions later. Passions evolve as we are multifaceted people. Don’t get hung up on trying to travel down one path, as that path may lead you to other opportunities that open new doors for you.

As many young designers and professionals will be coming into the “real world” this coming month, I reached out to some of Miami’s most influential women in the arts, design, fashion, hospitality, lifestyle, and media to share their advice on what they wish they knew in their twenties. I am so honored to have these women who are leaders in their industries share their thoughts.

This is an article that I know you will want to share!

Sarah Harrelson, CULTURED Magazine Editor in Chief

“I wish I was more comfortable taking risks in my 20s and less concerned with following a certain path and trajectory in my career. The only way to learn is by pushing beyond what’s comfortable and being willing to fail. I was too afraid to do that in my 20’s and too concerned with the  perceived “rules” of the game.”

Elysze Held, Fashion/Personal Stylist

“In my (late) twenties, I was in the right place, at the right time—I was the Director of a Division in the fashion industry-the good news is I knew how fortunate I was to be “in the right place at the right time”– the bad news is, I wasted precious time trying to prove I was deserving of the position, losing sight of the fact I got the job because of my talent, drive, work ethic and especially my ability to work well with people. I’m grateful that I learned while I was still there that the true purpose is to “get the job done…and, as long as I was there, to enjoy it”. I did, giving credence to the adage “love what you do, all else will follow”. I moved on, raised a family , and years later, picked up where I left off , in the same field, older, wiser, but still grateful that I learned to appreciate where I was, and still…”get the job done, and have fun doing it.”

Fanny Haim, Fanny Haim & Associates, Principal

“Having been formed in the fine arts, I found myself organically growing and running an interior design practice based on passion and gumption. I wish I had had the foresight back then to train myself in business practices , rather than learn as you go. I certainly believe in talent and persistence, but have learned that things such as strategy, structure, metrics and key indicators matter as you scale your company.”

Sandra Santiago, Executive Director of Experiences, Miami Design District

“I’ve always subscribed to a linear career path. Looking back, I would have made a recommendation to my 20-year-old self to zigzag a bit and get out of my comfort zone. Apply my skills laterally and experiment more as I evolved in my career. Be more FREE! It would have maximized my creativity and created endless possibilities…

So, I guess my final message to my 50-year-old self is: I’ve gotten cozy with uncertainty, the future is exciting…I’m me, and I’ve got this”

Sarah Zohar, Sarah Z Designs Principal

“I wish I knew to start my business in my twenties as it is would have been a great way to start my entrepreneurial journey. The earlier you start, the better you equip yourself to become a successful entrepreneur later in life. One of the keys to success is connecting to the right people, which is why networking earlier on is so important. I can also tell you from personal experience that visiting different countries and being exposed to different cultures, work ethics, and values really does change your perspective on life and your career and that is something that I also wish I knew in my twenties.”

Anastasia Koutsioukis, Restaurateur | Retailer | Designer | Creative Director Co-Founder Mandolin Aegean Bistro & Mrs. Mandolin,

“My passion has always been design. I was setting decorative tables and moving furniture around my parents’ home for as long as I can remember but didn’t know then that I could create a career around that. I believe creating a beautiful environment or product is something that is universally appreciated. It’s what creates an emotional connection and is paramount to the success of a business. It’s part of the visual storytelling. I didn’t realize when I was younger that all experiences, specifically the ones unrelated to my profession would lead me to where I am today. It’s because of my diverse career background in fashion, beauty and marketing that makes me good at what I do in design and hospitality. It allows me to see things from different perspectives. What you learn on the job is more important than what you are trained for in school. Your references in life become key to your success, so read everything, research, travel, go to art galleries, eat out at restaurants, check out what’s happening in stores, experience different cultures, step outside your comfort zone. Stay curious and ask questions. All this helps you connect the dots. I did not go to school for interior design or hospitality, however, it was something I innately loved and was naturally good at but I held myself back because I felt I lacked the formal training, therefore I wasn’t confident in acknowledging my talents. I used my business and home as my testing ground. I allowed myself to experiment, to make mistakes, to learn how to be scrappy and build things out of nothing. Most of all, I realized that you never stop learning.”

For the Love of Music: A Designer’s Passion

Giselle Loor Sugerman, the G in B+G Design sat down with her husband and design partner, Brett Sugerman to chat about his passion project.

Giselle is a big believer that outside of your career or chosen path, you should be open to embracing your personal passions, whatever those may be. Get to know a little bit about Brett’s love of music and his designer passion.

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Miami Real Estate Continues to Boom: Top 5 New Luxury Developments

2021 proved to be a hot year in the Miami real estate market. With rent and home sale prices soaring, Miami’s condo and single-family market was turning heads and will continue to do so in 2022. With demand reaching all time highs we started to investigate where the next best places to live will be in the 305.

We rounded out our top 5 favorite new Miami real estate developments on the horizon. With leading marquis brands and developers partnering to create the ultimate in luxury living in the Magic City, these developments stand out above the rest from overall floor plans to amenities and of course location.

Aston Martin Residences

Performance driven design at its finest. The Aston Martin residences developed G&G Business Developments are poised to translate Aston Martin’s legendary design into exclusive residences. We expect excellence in craftsmanship and innovation with sophisticated references to the automotive brand.

What we love about the Aston Martin Residences:

Panoramic views of Biscayne Bay paired with 10-12 ft ceiling heights. Offering full service concierge and hospitality services, with digital connection to the building amenities, the incorporation of technology makes condo living more efficient. Access to Super Yacht Marina facilities and not to mention, charging stations for electric cars, the Aston Martin residences are sure to outperfor

Baccarat Residences Miami

There is nothing better than sipping a mimosa from a Baccarat Vega Flutissimo flute. Now imagine living in Baccarat’s first Miami residential project?

The Related Group in partnership with a world-class team of Baccarat Hotels & Residences, SH Hotels & Resorts, Arquitectonica, Meyer Davis Studio and Enzo Enea are reimagining world class Miami living.

Where “life will forever sparkle”, we agree that this new development will shine bright in the eyes of their new residents. If you have ever visited the Baccarat Hotel in New York you know that service and details go hand-in-hand. The execution of style and the artful balance of luxury, comfort and function will meet at this exclusive tower.

What we love about the Baccarat Residences Miami:

As a designing couple who work and live together, we agree that his and hers sinks and dressing room are a must. We love the open floor plan in the main areas allowing for the great room and dining room to flow into the kitchen. If one sunrise terrace wasn’t enough, how about two? The flow through nature of these residences elongate the living spaces and allow you to fully experience the overall design.

Casa Bella by B&B Italia

To talk about Italian design in Miami, B&B Italia always comes to mind. Their first residential project, Casa Bella by B&B Italia designed by Arquitectonica and curated by Piero Lissoni, is sure to impress with their Italian aesthetic. At B+G, we love incorporating B&B Italia’s furnishings into our projects and we can imagine that this new residential project in Downtown Miami will feature their classic pieces. We secretly hope to see their Camaleonda sofas and Up 50 armchairs by Gaetano Pesce in the lobby. Located in the heart of the Arts & Entertainment district downtown, the location is perfect for those who want to catch a game at the FTX Arena or grab a bite to eat in Wynwood or the Miami Design District.

What we love about Casa Bella by B+B Italia:
Soaring 650 feet high, CasaBella’s private observatory—with a state-of-the-art telescope feature will let you gaze at Miami’s stunning skyline. Private elevator lobbies welcome you to your front door allowing you to create your own private entrance setting. A large terrace balcony connects from the master bedroom to the living room where we can already see Piero Lissoni’s newest outdoor collection perfectly displayed.

St. Regis Brickell

Get ready for one the most expensive condo projects in Miami’s history, according to The Next Miami.
The St. Regis Brickell, developed by Related Group and Integra Projects, will have two waterfront towers. Starting at $2,000 per square foot, the 354 residences will range in size with the prices starting at $2 million.

What we love about the St. Regis Brickell:

If you are moving from New York, Washington, DC, or Chicago and are used to the walkability of your city, then Brickell is a perfect place to ease the transition from city living. With access to restaurants, grocery stores and nightlife close by, St. Regis Brickell will keep you connected.

With two-bedroom units offering over 2,000 SF of living space, imagine the possibilities of custom layouts to enhance the flow throughout the units. There is an abundance of amenities that will keep you entertained and pampered.

Did you know that B+G designed model units at the St. Regis Bal Harbour? Take a look at some of our past projects.

The Waldorf Astoria Miami

From New York City to Miami, this luxury residence is set to be the tallest building in Florida. With 100 floors of nothing but luxury, this hotel and residential building is already almost 70% sold. Designed by legendary architect Carlos Ott in collaboration with Sieger Suarez the building will resemble a pile of unevenly stacked glass cubes. This will be Miami’s first super tall skyscraper. 

Just just minutes away from the new Miami World Center, several cultural attractions, arts, tourism, and fashion, the Waldorf Astoria Miami will compete with other similarly centrally located luxury towers.

What we love about the Waldorf Astoria Residences:

The clean, contemporary, and cosmopolitan feel of the proposed interiors fall in line with B+G’s signature aesthetic. With some residences reaching close to 4,000 SF, these villas in the sky feature private foyers, expansive living spaces and oversized wardrobes. Luxurious amenities, marquis restaurants and resort-like pools will make you want to stay and experience all that this new iconic tower will have to offer.

In the Kitchen with B+G: Cooking with Giselle Bonetti

For our first, In the Kitchen with B+G, Giselle had the opportunity to collaborate with Giselle Bonetti of @cookingwithGiselle. With two multifaceted and talented Giselle’s in the kitchen, we knew something delicious was in the making.

With our beautiful Snaidero Hollywood kitchen serving as the backdrop, these two power houses created a sexy and easy, but nonetheless tasty recipe, which you can make at home.

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B+G’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Curated by a husband-and-wife, we rounded up our favorite his-and-hers gifts, that we know are sure to spark a little love.

Brett and I gifted each other the Cartier Love Bracelets and they are a beautiful reminder to each other of our marriage, friendship and commitment.

“A love child of ’70s New York, the LOVE collection is a symbol of free-spirited love. Its binding closure and screw motif give it true permanence, while diverse interpretations allow for a unique expression of feelings. Lock in your love, forever.”

We love a good pair of sunnies and illesteva has contemporary styles that we simply adore. Giselle loves the Barbara style in Havana, while I really like the vintage feel of the Melrose in Mercury.

“Taking cues from downtown New York and inspiration from around the world, our styles are a direct product of our endlessly fascinating surroundings. We take passion for modern design and translate it into fundamentally wearable pieces.”

In ultramatte black, the DIOR Saddle bag is the perfect handbag that goes from day to night. I’m always on the go and this style looks put together, effortless and let’s me carry only what I need.

“The iconic Saddle bag is reinvented once more by Maria Grazia Chiuri. Featuring a Saddle flap with a magnetic ‘D’ stirrup clasp, it boasts a ‘CD’ signature on each side of the handle. The black ultramatte calfskin style is embellished with tonal metal hardware. The Saddle bag may be carried by hand or worn over the shoulder and can be customized with different shoulder straps.”

From day to night, these belts are part of my closet staples. The Tom Ford grained leather mixed with the iconic T buckle is subtle yet makes a statement.

In addition, the Hermes Royal Buckle belt is one of my favorite options when going for a more day time traditional route. Finish off the look with your favorite brown dress shoes or loafers for a less casual put together look.

We love to place our Hermes blanket over our Knoll Womb Chairs in our living room. They keep us cozy on cool Miami nights and are perfect for cuddling into after a long day.

“Made of wool and cashmere, the Hermès Avalon blanket adds such a classy touch to our living room setting with its famous “H” elegantly placed on every corner. Ranging in a variety of colors, it truly does cater to your unique style.”