He’s a DROPOUT Who Designs Homes for BILLIONAIRES

He’s a DROPOUT Who Designs Homes for BILLIONAIRES


Thank you for, uh, coming in. You,
Bet. Thank you for inviting me, man. I’m honored. Are you kidding me? I’m
thrilled. I’m thrilled. It’s an honor. And you’re going to do the repeat for
me, right? Or the flip side on my part. Absolutely. Absolutely. I’ll
dress up nicer for yours. No, you don’t have to for this. I
stay my zombie theme. I like it. So today it’s eat locals. You guys like celebrate big
time on Halloween. Well, I
mean look at the office. No, I know. It’s cool.
It’s, you know, it’s, does I love the podcast with the gal. I
forget her name. Pamela. Yeah. Pamela. Yeah. What was her last name? Pamela
Hughes. Hughes? Yeah. Yeah. So she’s, she’s a host on KTAR. Okay.
Longtime friend. And she, um, you know, it was just a conversation
that occurred, you know, how our conversations know you just, you go from one thing to the next and
the next roles it just rolls. Yup. So one of the things that
I, I’ve been dying to, like I, I think we’ve talked
a lot about it, but it’s, it’s a question that’s been back
here for years. How do you go from being a student to designing homes for billionaires with, you don’t have the formal training
training that a typical architect does. That was a good thing, right? How
does that happen? Because like I, that resonates with me so deeply.
Yeah. That’s how I was telling you. I watched that episode or your
podcast, that podcast of what you, what you announced in
your towel. I didn’t, I should’ve just came in a towels that
I should’ve done that would’ve been very appropriate. Um, no. So, you know, I don’t think I knew any better if I, if I knew what I knew now and went into
that situation. Right. I probably have, I probably pee my pants,
you know, but I didn’t, I didn’t know what I was getting myself
into and so I just did what I was told to do and try to do the best I could
with what I knew at that point. I think ignorance was,
was a big benefit to me. What you don’t know can’t hurt
you. So take me back to that, to the start of your career. Like,
you know, to where you are today. Recording already. Oh yeah, we’re
rolling. Oh, we’re rolling. Come on. Where are we going to jump right into it? This thing was rolling from the moment
you walked on ride. Let’s do it. So, um, while it was really interesting how
I even got into that position, uh, I was working at the time for a billboard
company that if I told you this story, but no, so I got married, I had to get, I had paid bills, so I quit school.
Right. And this was in 1980, 79. 80. There was, there was no jobs.
I mean, there was nothing going on. It’s probably 81, actually.
Um, and so I saw an, uh, a recruiter got me a job at a billboard
company designing the steel members for the billboard company. Okay. So I did
that like, like the, the giant ones I did, I did the largest billboard in
the world in Anaheim stadium. And I was just the
drafter. I mean, I wasn’t, one of them made the deal and
all that stuff. I just, you know, I just do the steel angles
and the, and all that stuff. So I did that for about six, seven months and then they put a
moratorium on billboards and I had to find another job again. So my, my wife’s like, wondering what’s the deal with this
guy? She was nine years older than me. I was, I was 21. She was 30. Okay. So a little pressure, you know, you’re trying to prove that you’re
a man performance pressure here. So, so I saw an ad in the paper for a
draftsman at George Christianson’s office. George Christianson was my
professor at ASU when I went, when I was going to school
for architecture and,
uh, I recognize the name. I thought, God, if I can get this
job, this would be perfect. You know, I could work here, let me get back
to school. He’d been professor, he gave me some good lead-ins.
So I went and interviewed and um, I remember going in and I
remember preparing for it. I stayed up all night drawing
stuff out of architecture books. I didn’t even know what I was drawing.
You know, I’m just, this looks cool. I can, I could draw. And I
was, I took tons of [inaudible] draft. I’ve watched you draw. Yeah.
I could do some shit on a napkin. If I give you a napkin right now, I could draw it upside down for you and
you can draw and talk at the same time, which I don’t like because I can
only do one thing at a time. Yeah. I don’t know how the hell you
do that. That’s impressive. And I’ve watched you do it now multiple
times where you literally will draw on a napkin upside down, drawn to
you. And I’m like, how that, I learned a lot of that from
George. You’re like, rain man does. So anyway, so I went in,
I interviewed, I gave him this, this made up portfolio of drawings.
I didn’t know what they were, but they looked good. And uh, you
know, the interview went really well. I was really enthusiastic and I
remember closing with a, you know, they asked me a little what, what
would, what would you like to be paid, which you know, what are you looking
for? And I said, I’m looking for a job. And I said, I don’t care what
you guys pay me. I want this job. I’ll come work for you guys and you can
pay me whatever the hell you want to pay me and I’ll be happy. And I said, I
know you’ll be fair. I’ll be fair. I’ll work my butt off.
And that was my closer, they called me two weeks
later and got, I got the job. So funny. So in all the years I’ve
known you, I never knew that story. And I’m going to share
something that’s similar, just slightly different
when before I got married. So Alison and I got married in 95 okay. And so it was probably
93 94 somewhere in there. I, we had an ownership change
in radio surprise. Yep. And I wound up out of
work. It was the one time, and I had never been fired, but
I was out of work because, well, ownership change. And that’s how
this was the billboard radio change. And so I had to find a job. And at that point I was supporting her
because she was going through some, some medical stuff. And yeah, this is
how I want her parents over. By the way, I supported the woman I wasn’t even
married to. That’s a great way to start, a good way to win. But I, I, there was a job opening at this little
production company in Phoenix called Timberline productions, which eventually was purchased by
production group international. And they, at the time were, they had a video editor that was
doing audio post production for video. I had never had any experience in
that space and, but I’m like, okay, I should be able to do this. So I went in there and interviewed
for the job and I said, Hey, can I take the manuals home just so I can
understand the equipment you’re using? So I did. Couple of days
later, I came back and I said, here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna work
for you guys for a week for nothing. Yeah. If after a week you like what I’m
doing and thinking I can handle the job, give me the job. Yep. If you
don’t, don’t. Yeah. Day two, they fired their audio
guy and hired me. Yeah. And that’s how like getting your foot in
the door. So the most important thing, most of the times you’ve gotta
be creative and I think sadly, a lot of younger people today, and now I’m going to sound
like a complete geezer, but a lot of younger
geezers do, but we’re not. While you’re at geezer moved more
of a geezer than IUI for sure. You’ve got a few more years in the
geezer department or department, but no, a lot of young people today don’t
want to put in the effort. Yeah. And I don’t know where that comes from
and I don’t think it’s a millennial mindset and a lot of people, I know a lot of people don’t want to
put it in there for it. Right. Troy? My camera guy, this kid is money
puts in the effort shows up, get right. We know where that,
where that will lead. Right. Right. And there are people out there that will
do that. But a lot of people just go, I don’t want to put it in the work. They went to the minimum or they want
to come out of school and start a a hundred thousand dollars back. I want to
be, how soon can I be CEO? Right. Yeah. And which takes awhile. Right.
So okay, so, so you start there. So I start there and I
remember the first day I, I get into the office and
some of the, um, you know, they have these drafting boards
with Mae lines on them. You know, the sliding rulers, I’ve never
seen one of those before. So mine was sitting in a box on the desk.
They had it to me and says, you know, go ahead and set up your station.
I’m just like looking at lot already. I don’t know. I have no idea what to
do. Never even seen one of these things. Oh crap. I’m kind of sitting
there and looking at it. And then the guy behind me who
ultimately became my partner, I ultimately became his
best man in his wedding. He kind of looked at me and he goes,
Neil help there, don’t you? And I said, yeah I don’t, I don’t, I don’t
know how this thing works. He goes, I’ll help you put it together. He
put it together as Brian Cassidy. We ultimately became partners in that
firm and we were the two low men on the totem pole at that time. He later taught
me how to tie a tie cause I, you know, we had to go to a
function one night and I, I never knew how to put on a tie is out
there. Taught me how to put on tight. Did you do the I do the real simple
one. You do that kind of the sloppy, what is it called? The, I don’t
know. But you know the one, I don’t do the double Windsor thing.
The double wizard. Mine’s real simple. However, I can only do a double Windsor because
I don’t know how to do the simple not cause I’ve only learned
we can keep learning. A couple of geezers can still learn
a anything. So I’ve learned only the, the double Windsor, so I have, I can
do a tie and it’s a perfect triangle, right? Not that kind of little
tilted over. Yeah. Yeah. I always look at that and go, God,
who taught him at a time? Not you. Brian taught me. So that’s how I learned. But I’ve
never seen, I don’t think I’m, I’ve only seen you in a bow tie
at like I wear ties a lot. Mm. I feel well do I love Botox? Maybe. I just don’t remember seeing
you in a T most of the time. I see you kind of getting
into Thai season right now. So start wearing ties again. I should
wear a bow tie with my tee shirts. There you go. That’d be look good.
Yeah. Um, so I mean that’s, that’s, that’s how rudimentary and
how basic I was at that point. [inaudible] beginning way
beginning. Okay. I mean, I remember then they’d hand
me some drawings and I’d
look at them and go, kinda, I’m not sure what this is. I’d go over and run to the bookstore
and buy books on, you know, building and construction. I’d sit there and read them
and go understand it and
next time you go like this and then I go, Oh, I think they take that to job sites
and I’d see it and I’d learn it. So I was on constant learn mode. I mean I would work all day and then all
night I would read books and study and just learn. This is pre Google books
or book, you know, you have to Walden, right. You know, they,
I don’t even think a, the big bookstores were even in
existence then. Okay. So I would just, I would just sit and learn. I know I
take sets of drawings from the office, old sets and study them, you know, and basically taught myself what these
guys are doing in the office every day and just absorbing it. And I’d work. I would work probably on average
12 hours a day. You know, I would stay late and just hung out
with the old guys and learn from them, you know? And, and it wasn’t,
cause it was work. I was so, I was so interested and I was so excited
that to me it wasn’t work at all. It’s like I could’ve stayed there all
night and I was having so much fun learning. And from 82 until 80s by 87
I was a partner in the firm
with Brian and two other guys and the old guy who started
the company, George Christianson, we became partners. I was there
for 18 years. And so fast forward, you’ve gone through 18 years building
your career and then when did care Candalaria design come to? So life, let
me back up a little bit on that one. So during that 18 years, I
wanted to go back to school. Remember I said I wanted to get back and
get my degree because I was had a chip on the shoulder. You know what
that’s all about. Yeah. You know, I just felt like, here’s
the, here’s, you know, the people that stayed in school started
working for me five years later and here I’m, you know, the
way he never graduated. How come I’m working for you now? So you’ve got your own judgment
about yourself. Oh yeah. Right. You don’t have the degree or
the degree. And so, right. And I had that same thing can
scare Crow without the paper. I have people working for me and I’m like, I don’t even have a high school diploma.
Right. That’s a real wheat. But, but when you, when you said, all right, I’m going to go back to school and
get this. What? Yeah. So, so you know, when you’re into this only five
years and you have that feeling, it’s pretty monumental. Sure. You
know, if it was to happen now, I don’t care about having not having a
degree now again, now it’s irrelevant. It’s irrelevant. But at that time, uh,
I talked to George and I said, you know, I’d really like to go back to architecture
school. And he says by asking me, really tough because it’s pretty much
all day, all night program, you know. And I said, yeah, I was wondering how I
was going to do that. He said, you know, what you should do is you
should go get a business degree, go get a finance degree or something that
these guys don’t have and you can take classes at night. It’s a lot
easier. And I, you know, I thought, and I loved business. I mean,
I’ve been a little businessman, serves as a little kid. So that’s what
I did. I took classic finance, business, law, marketing, loved marketing, and
if you can tell, uh, all those classes, I never finished. I’m like 15 hours
short of, of getting a finance degree. But I loved what I had learned,
I learned tons of about, and I took like three semesters
or four semesters of accounting. So I learned how to read balance sheets
and you know, run a business. Right. And that’s really what my role became in
at CCB G I was really part of the whole business operation, marketing. And then when George retired
in 99 I just, you know, they were going way more commercial
and I really loved the residential side cause it’s so more support personal. And so that’s when I decided to go
out on my own and give it a shot. I was 39 years old and
had nothing to lose. The economy was fairly decent and off
I went and you started and I started, my goal was, you know, I had been
working so hard for those 18 years. I just wanted to like maybe wanna
do one or two houses a year, hang out by the pool with my dog,
you know, work out of the house. I just felt good cigar. I just, I feel like I am idea of what life
would be like as my own soul architect. Right, right. You are
going to be the, you work. So you are mentally going down the path
of I’m going to be a solopreneur. Yep. Right. They don’t, they didn’t call
it back then. That was, you know, you were just working for yourself. Yup.
And living at home, working at home, enjoy. Pick a few clients have fun. Right. And I know that life
should keep my costs low, so it wouldn’t take a lot
to keep things running. So. So talk to me about the first job
you picked up at Candalaria design. Like what was the, who was the client
number one? Well, you know him, I think Patrick Murphy, of course
I know him. Yeah. So, okay. So Patrick was a, I had
designed his house at CC. BG has remodeled in purveys Valley and
in the fall of 99 or whenever it was, he said, Hey, I want to take
you up to Idaho. I said, I might have a project
for you. And I said, well, I’m kinda thinking of
going on my own. He says, you’re going on your own and seeing
your first project. So, uh, you know, we flew up there, we’ve got on the
boat, went out there in the Lake, he showed me the lot from the Lake
first. Okay. And you’ve been there, you know what that experience was
like on a wood boat. Okay. Yeah. So it was just amazing. I’m just like,
Oh my God. How you know, how can I, this is, of course, so of course
in Idaho, let’s paint a picture. It’s quarterly in Idaho. Majestic
mountains rising up out of the Lake. Yeah. It’s gorgeous trees
everywhere. Just beautiful. The air is fresh and crisp. It’s,
it’s gorgeous. It’s gorgeous. It was. And so for me it was like, this is
what I’m going to do. This is my dream. You know, I’ve got a client I
have a lot of fun with. And, and of course the first project
was a Lincoln log. You know, I’d played with those with kids as a kid for a year. So I
was like, okay, let’s do it. I didn’t know anything about
building with logs, but we learned. So a little Pat Murphy trivia. Yeah.
There’s a lot of Pat Murphy trivia. He taught me how to make a Caesar,
which you remember that story, which is different than, um, ah, I will, I will show you how to make the
best Caesar you’ve ever had. Whoa. I’m telling you, I love Caesar’s. They’re great friends and I still
have the recipe he gave me. Yeah. So, um, if you’ve never had a Caesar Google
search it because it’s a great drink. And I, in fact I’ll probably,
you know what I’m going to do, I’m going to dig up the recipe from Pat
Kay and I’ll put it in the show notes and love this episode. It’s
Pat’s special recipe. So, so the first project you got to do
on your own as Candalaria designs, right under your own brand? Yeah. Was
Pat’s or log house in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho? Yup. I mean 10,000
square foot house. Oh, it’s on a cliff overlooking
the Lake. It’s insane. My favorite room in that
house or my favorite spot in
that house is the bathtub. Yeah. The floats that floats
over the cantilevered edge
and you can see the Lake. That’s gorgeous. Pretty. Uh, and I’ll,
I’ll have pictures of that as well, so I’ll make sure I get them from
your office. That was my first job. And then another buddy called and he,
he, uh, bought a lot in corn Ville, which is kind of up by
Cottonwood near Sedona. And uh, the lot wasn’t basically in the
middle of the river. I mean, he was in the river bed. Right. And so we had to design a house there
and it turned out with the engineering, we had to build the house on stilts
that were embedded in the ground 10 feet down into the ground because of the flood
wash and the way to build the stilts 10 feet up out of the ground. So we had
this house basically on 20 foot stilts. Okay. So 10 feet exposed,
10 feet under ground. Okay. And people looked at him like you’re
crazy. And he kept looking at me, this is nuts. I said, no,
I’m telling you this is, this is what my engineer’s
saying we have to do. So the whole house was
basically levitating on the, on a series of stilts and sure enough he
moves in within a year they had one of these big floods right through the
Oak Oak Creek and every house in the neighborhood washed away but his,
so he was pretty happy about that. He lost his pool table cause
there’s pool table was down below. But that’s all he loved talking
about. He, you can live with that. Full tables are replacing Bakley um,
so how did you get, so obviously, so, so Pat Murphy job one came from your
old company where you did commercial projects. Yup. How we did
a lot of residential there. How did your reputation grow as
the guy who designs homes for, let’s call it Robin Leach’s lifestyles
of the rich and famous. I have met and, and spent a lot of time
with many of your clients. We’ve had great times together. We, we uh, I spent a lot of time with them in
Italy. We had an amazing time there. W how did you go from commercial to Pat
Murphy to where you’re designing now all over the country, right. And you’re
designing some of the most incredible, like these are homes that are insane. Give me the top build costs without
mentioning the name of the client while we’re doing a house right now that’s just, let’s just say it’s North of 50,000
square feet and it’s probably going to be over a thousand bucks a foot.
So whatever that math adds up, I think it’s like 50 million. It’s
crazy. That’s, I won’t say where it is, who it is or what they, right. But
that’s kind of our extreme one. We’ve got one published right now and
fitting something garden that’s 64,000 square feet. That was probably five,
600 bucks a foot. That’s insane. It’s a big stuff. So how do you, how do you deal with the pressure
of the clientele that you work with? Like when I say the pressure, you can’t fuck up a $50
million house. Right. It’s really not a fun, not
fun. Right. So how do you deal, like that’s an intense amount
of pressure, by the way. How come I’m the only one drinking
whiskey. You said whiskey. I was water with spirit wine.
Okay. Just making sure. Um, how do you go? How do you
deal with that pressure of, of not wanting to make a mistake?
I mean, I, having been in, I don’t even know how many
houses you’ve designed, build. There’s a lot of detail
that goes into these houses. And this is a clientele
that they demand excellence. They don’t demand mediocrity. They’re
hiring you for a reason, right? They want the best. They,
they’re not buying a tract home. They’re designing a Candalaria home.
Right. And they’re not buying lots of, generally speaking that are flat, you
know, um, we have plenty of flat lots, but we have lots that are unclipped.
I just finished a house. We actually, we actually had to build a tunnel to
get to the house. Oh, I know that one. Yeah, there was a beehive.
You were zooming it few times. The mountain was bombed. Bomb.
Sorry. Well it wasn’t so dynamite. I used the wrong word. The mountain bombed is something that
happens in foreign countries blasted with dynamite. And we had to stop blasting cause one
Boulder got away and almost tore down the house below us. No, no, no. But the
beehive, do you remember the beehive? Remember that story about the
beehive? They, they blasted, they put the blast to mats on the side
of the mountain that I was there that day. And the blast, the
operator of the, of the, one of the machines was
highly allergic to bees. They had no idea that was
an underground beehive. And when they blasted
it just to expose it. Allison’s and thousands of bees took
to the air and everybody was running. And I’m like, what are they running from? I don’t hear the buzz because we’ve got
drones in that stress. Right, right. That’s stress. I just hear the
buzz of the drones. Meanwhile, everyone’s running and there’s, I see this black cloud of bees
coming out and I’m like, Holy crap. It’s like Moses, right? So I just, I let the drone control go because
they’ll hover and I ran. I, by the way, I’ve never run that fast in my
life. I could been a wide receiver. I ran so fast. Now we’ve had crazy stuff
happening and it is a lot of stress. I mean, you know, I think
the more you do it, you see more of the things that can go
wrong. So you’re just the constant. I’m constantly trying to think
what could go wrong here? What could go wrong here and help my
team be the old guy that’s got all the, the lash wounds, right. I was like, watch out for this because this could
happen. Like, what? Are you serious? I gotta do this because if you
don’t, this can happen. And they, they get tired of me a
lot doing that until, until they see that I saved a lot
of stress for them. They go, right. I’m glad you told me about that. You
know? That was, that was good. Thank you. You know, so over the years you’ve
designed how many homes? I think like 1,250 homes
or something like that, or 150 homes that you would
see in a regular community. These are 1,250 plus them. Gorgeous. We have probably 110 homes on the
boards right now. That’s insane. And they’re all over the U S all over the, we’re in 15 States right now
and we’re doing one in Canada. You do something very special. I
think it’s remarkable. And I love it. It actually speaks to me as a
creative and that is you love to cook. So it’s a lot faster
than architecture. It is. So at the end of every design build,
when you have a house warming, right, you do something special
for all of your clients. We just did it a Sunday
night actually. So tell, tell me a little bit about that and
what’s, how did that start? Well, it really started from our tours. The
Italy, which is a whole nother story is, you know, uh, we take people to Italy
every year and we’ve now added Spain. And in the course of the Italy trip
in the, at the mid point of that trip, we have a cooking class and it’s like a
four hour cooking class with our clients and our travelers and whoever
happens to be on the trip. And it’s what we have found. It is one of the most bonding moments
that it’s just hard to describe it. Everyone pulls together,
everyone’s having fun. And as we’ve been doing these over
the years, we finally started saying, why aren’t we doing this
back home? You know, why aren’t we doing this with our clients, with the team that put in all the
hard work to build this house? And we just did it. Like I said,
Sunday night at a, at a client’s house. And we had so much fun. It was
exactly how it is in Italy. We just all had fun.
The client enjoyed it. And what a nice message for the client
to say back to the team. Right. You know, Hey, we appreciate what you guys did. We’re celebrating so well we’ve kind
of started doing now too is instead of waiting till the end of the job
we’ve been doing cooking, um, evenings during the job. Okay. So like we’ve got one this Friday I’ve
got a team or just about ready to break ground and we’re going to have the whole
team come over for dinner at our house. Okay. And what it does is, you
know, when you’re in a meeting, I’m the architect, you’re the
builder, you’re the engineer, you’re the lighting guy, you’re the
interior designer, you’re, you’re, you’re professionals. You’re, you’re,
you’re in those titles. You’re in that, your, your, your job, you’re in your
job. And once we get in the kitchen, we’re cooking, have a little wine or
whiskey and we’re having some fun. Everyone becomes people
again, you know. Yup. And what happens after that is
everyone treats everyone more like a P, like a people like family, like family. It changes and I’ve seen it a million
times. I experienced that in Italy, you know, it was interesting. So I was with you and I had one of
my film crews in 2016 2016 yeah. And we did the Italy tour
and I remembered that night, that dinner night. Yeah. That was
so special because you’re, you’re, your travelers never treated
the film crew any differently. But that night everybody became family.
Everyone lost the titles ever, right? Yeah. Everyone lost their titles.
There’s no priority. Right. There’s none. It was just we’re all in the kitchen
cooking together. Mainly pasta. Totally. And I think that was the
year you launched your pasta, the pasta maker with us and still
selling them by below where I, I hear Phoenix home garden and somebody
else is going to feature the next couple of months. So I know in the magazine, if I had the patience to make
pasta with five kids, I would, I couldn’t feed them real
fast. If you do make it, no, I can go to the store and buy it that
he made or go to an Italian restaurant. In fact, come over to my house, come
over to your house. Do you really? Do you really know what you’re inviting
over to your house when you invite the Moscowitz family? I would be an
adventure. I think it would be hell. You would, you would be.
You would be, um, you would, why the hell did we do I think
it’d be fun. We got to do that, but we can do that. Yeah.
I would love to do that. So we try to do is just make the
whole thing more fun. Right. You know, cause it is stressful. We’re doing these very complicated jobs
are super expensive. They’re, you know, they’re not, there’s nothing easy about
them. That’s why they hire us, you know? And so on the process of doing that, we want to make the experience of
designing and building a house, something that’s very memorable and it
has meaning to everybody. The whole team, you know, I remember a
house that you built and uh, it was a French inspired Chateau.
Spent a lot of time in that house. He spent a lot of time filming with
the fun, met the homeowners. Yeah. And I remember having a conversation
with the homeowners about that house and just how it felt like an
extension of their being. Right. And that’s what I think with all of your
clients that you design a home that is an extension of who they are. Right.
It’s not just a box, no walls. No, I mean we really try to figure out our
client, what’s motivating them. And I, what I try to do now is, is even take
it further. I really like to figure out, you know, where, where do they want to
go with their life personally? Right. And it’s not like I’m going to sit there
like a psychotherapist and you know, drill them for information, but I just observe and listen to them
and try to find out what their passions are and then help create, you know, a beautiful kitchen or a beautiful bedroom
or a beautiful office or a beautiful patio that I think will foster that next step for them.
You know, in some way, and I’ve heard it millions of times and
I, and super grateful that it happens. I’ve had so many clients come back and
go, I don’t know what you did here, but I can sit in this one
space for hours. And I go, I know exactly what we did. You know? So of all the houses you’ve
designed throughout your career, is there one house that you have like
a deep emotional connection to that you walk into and it, it’s just, it, it’s special for you? Well, I think the one we were just in on Sunday
is probably, definitely one of those. Uh, this was a project we started in 2006. We worked on the design
for Oh six, Oh six, we worked on the design for almost six
years because during the course of the design, Bernie Madoff Madoff
with all their money. Okay. And so then they downsized it, got some
of their money back, had some, you know, over six years is going to
change your mind on a few things, put it all together. Then we built the house or started the
construction and they had an issues with the builder, had to fire the builder and then hire
another builder to finish the house. The whole, that whole process
took five years because, you know, it wasn’t like you get rid of one building
and the other builder just walks up and starts working the next day.
Right. A lot of sorting out to do. Um, and we finished, it
took 11 years, you know, and, and I know the people
involved in this project. Oh, I’ve met them several times.
Yeah. Wonderful people.
And, uh, you know, that’s, that’s what’s fun for me is that I
know many of you’ve been to many of my projects, right? I’ve been to many
of your projects clients, right? We’ve had dinners together
and cocktails and you know, so I know exactly who this
is that you’re referring to. And the house is gorgeous. See it now. Now that it’s all finished and furnished
and she’s finishing up all the artwork on the walls and um, can we share some pictures of that
half finished house or is that, yeah, I’d love to do that. She’s gonna we’re
gonna we’re gonna shoot it and film it, uh, next month. So. Cool. Yeah. So fast forward a couple of years ago, you and I connected with you. Are you connected with me
in my other company? Right. And I think it was probably through
the Scottsdale Charros and some relationships and friendships and
social media, social media and, and so we started working with you
filming projects and other things. By the way, you, you were the best I’ve
probably ever had. Thank you. Yeah, we had a, I had a lot of fun.
I could drink whiskey with you. That’s true. That was fun. Uh,
if I, if I get bored with this, I’ll pick up a camera and go back to
that. Or at least running the cruise. I told you I wanted to get on the camera
and film you. I know that would be fun. That’d be a roll. Reverse arrow. Reverse. I’m going to be in Texas in a
few weeks. You should come out. We can talked about that. But if
you’re really up to that, I’ll put you, that would be actually, that
would be on social media. Amazing world renowned architect
and my camera man is right. I got Candalaria. This guy designs freaking homes and
he’s now my camera guy, by the way. He’s not even working for Eugene
scale. He’s volunteered. Yeah. So I just love doing different things.
That’s why I love to cook. I, it’s fun. It’s just fun to try different things.
You know is so few years ago you were, you and I were sitting in, I
think it was your conference room, maybe it was your office, and I started talking to you about
creating and producing content, right. And putting content out there
online and it, I remembered you, you gave me the same look most
people do at first, which is like, are you fucking kidding me? I’ve got
to do another thing. Yeah. Right. And I remember the resistance,
but I’m like, Mark, trust me, this is, I knew where you’re going with
it. And the effort it was going to take, it was going to be a Herculean
effort. And then I S I, I don’t remember how it came up, but I, I dropped or introduce you to Gary
Vaynerchuk’s content. Right. And I said, Mark, you gotta watch this guy. Like
this is the way you need to do this shit. Yeah, that’s cool. It was very inspiring.
Helped me. I still listen to him. I love watching him. His stuff is great. I was just in New York last week
with him and it was, it was, he is as genuine and as real as they get. Tell me how that transition has
gone from because you have so, so, so to paint a really clear picture, you have a lot of clients
that are very private, right? You work with high level
CEOs of big corporations, you work with athletes at the highest
level and they want their anonymity, right? But at the same time, you want to film and document the
process of what you do. I mean, there’s a lot of jobs we just cannot
film and short release period, you know. And I would say some of the best jobs
and houses I’ve ever done have never been photographed, have never been seen
other than by people at parties. And if the hurts me or magazines, no ma,
no magazines, it’s not even magazines. They don’t want anything. Even if they redact some jobs that
they are the owner, they’ve never, I don’t even know what that many people
that have ever been in these houses. That sounds fine, but some of them
are. But yeah, you just don’t know. And then I have other clients that
are complete opposite, you know, they want as much. Sure. Go for it. Go
for it. Have as much fun as you want. So. So what is that been like
over the last couple of years? Transitioning to a media company? Yeah, because that’s really what you’ve started
to do is you become a media company at that. But we’re getting there, but I’m
seeing more and more content out there. Right. Candalaria as a brand. Right.
So I look at it differently, right? We, there’s three levels of, of
three. Let me show you that here. That’s in this field, there’s three
levels of our relationship, right? We have the friendship, right? We
have the Candalaria architecture side, but we also have the content side. Right. And I know all three of
those pretty well. Yup. What, how difficult has that transition
been for you and what are the like, aha, light bulb moments that you’ve had
from it over the last couple of years as you’ve migrated into, you
know, it’s me. It’s still a big work in process. I mean, the part
about it that I love is, you know, if you shoot a house, maybe
six photographs get shown
or published or whatever. Well it’s six photographs. Don’t
do justice to these houses. But I love about video is you can show
so much more. You can capture the mood, the feel, you know, you can
talk, you can tell the story. And to me that’s what’s, that’s what I really find interesting
and fascinating and just, you know, getting the people that are involved
into the story also like we did with sketch. Yeah. So many people work and put their heart
and soul on these houses and no one knows about it. You know? And you know, the people that are out there in the
field working on the roof and doing the lumber and you know, I don’t think those people get
appreciated enough to be honest with you. And you know, I think those jobs, some of those jobs are amazing jobs that
I think a lot of the young people just don’t even, they don’t
want anything to do with. But I end up like my stucco guy, he
drives his Lamborghini guys. I mean, he’s making coin and he’s
a stucco guy, stucco guy. But he’s the best taco
guy I’ve ever worked with. And this guy makes a lot of money, you
know, he’s very fair and reasonable, but he does a great job. So there’s a lot of jobs out there that
I think people just don’t, you know, realize there are great and I
love showing the work that people will do, right? It’s, it’s,
it’s amazing when you can share, especially what you do is so unique.
Right. You know, I remember, uh, when we were redesigning our kitchen
and our floor and we have a tract home, right? Right. We have,
you know, basic right, or thousand square foot builder
home in a, in a master plans. And we love doing projects like that
though, right? But for, but for me, I’m like, Mark, we’ve got these ugly, remember when I messaged you
and like we’ve got these ugly a, what are they archways and
my wife wanted to eliminate, but there was no way for us to eliminate
them because the electricians were sloppy and the wires were
really tight. So it was, it would have been a really big project. And you made the simple recommendation
of switching the floor pattern at those points in the hallway and then
transition and transition, right? Which like we have people walk in and
they will look at our flooring and like, that’s brilliant. I’m
like, Oh man, that’s funny. That’s Candalaria design, right. That I
love is, is a big portion of our work. Actually almost two thirds of our work
is remodeled, believe it or not. Wow. And I love doing remodels. I mean, and you
know, and the other thing is, yeah, we do the mega mansions
and all those things, but we do a lot of just one
room remodels, kitchen remodels. And I love them cause
they’re fast, you know? And we can take all this knowledge from
the big mega houses and kind of pull them into these little small quick,
quick flipping turns, you know? And then great, I love doing them. Yeah, but you’re a quick flip and turns are
hundreds of thousands of dollar remodels. These aren’t like, you know,
my, my $40,000 remodel. No, these are 10 X. yeah, there’s some pretty
crazy, they’re amazing. But the media, you know, it’s interesting to see where this
is all going to go. And like I said, so it’s a learning process. We
just keep trying different things. And I think what you taught me is so
true, and I hear it from other people, is you’ve got to tell the story. You know, it’s the story that people
are interested in and what, what makes this house, you know, why
is it different? How did it get here? Like people behind it. Like there’s
this, there’s a house and a, and I’ll, I’ll give a little insight and then you
can take us there for allowed to talk about this house. There’s a house that I’ve been in that
you designed that has special little doors. Yeah. That have, that are very
small. Yup. Yeah, we can talk about that. Okay, so, so talk about
this house and, and, and so this is talking about the
uniqueness. Oh, great story too. I mean, it’s a co couple who met
at U of a, she was from, I forget where, back East
Ohio or something like that. And he was an Arizona boy that lived in
Yuma and they fell in love and he says, yeah, you know, we’re moving to Yuma.
And she goes, no, no, no. By the way, just for context, people who do not,
who are not, we’re humans, right? So your w we’re based in Arizona. Our
headquarters, you’re based in Scottsdale, Arizona, you might is, we joke the armpit of
the States in the lower, lower Southwest corner of the state, right on the California
border in California and very
close to Calexico. Right. So it’s not like the hustling, it’s not
like Scottsdale is that Scott stuff. Not even kind of the opposite.
It’s the exact opposite. So to go along with that, this particular
client is a lettuce farmer. Okay. And amongst other things, but
lettuces, they’re they’re big deal. And he has this huge lettuce farm,
I don’t know, hundreds of acres. And his pitch to her was, look, if you marry me and moved
to Yuma armpit of Arizona, I don’t want to be mean to people in
Yuma. But I met Alison in Yuma. Okay. See, but she’s from Ohio too.
While they’re how I run, they could probably be related.
So anyway, so he said, look, if you move to Yuma, I will build you your dream house
in the middle of my lettuce field. And must’ve been a good
pitch cause she said yes. So they eventually came
on my Italy trip. Yeah, they dreamed about the
house. We designed it. It’s this beautiful Villa in
the middle of the lettuce field. And she is an amazing lady. I mean she’s one of the most creative
clients I’ve ever worked with. A totally picture. You did paintings.
She did murals in the house. And then she has, she has, she has, she doesn’t like when I call
him my imaginary friend, she has friends that live
in the house, a little mice, a felonious and mr [inaudible],
uh, I better say this right crumb. Snatcher. Okay. Um, so these
little creatures live in the house, so she’s doors that have little mouse
houses that we designed and baseboards that have mouse houses and they’re
awesome little hotels and the whole, the whole house is full of him.
They’re hidden all over the house. But you just go look for them. Yeah, they’re like little secret gems
throughout the house in these little mouse stores and it’s, it’s really cool. And it’s in the middle of a lettuce
field field driving up and go, what? And all of a sudden this mansion appears
in the middle of the lettuce field. It’s phenomenal. Yeah. So it’s stuff
like that that I just think is neat, you know? And we’ve got to know those people are
still doing stuff over there and you were out there and we were making
pizzas on the patio and you know, that’s what it’s all about to me is
just the people you know, doing it. And so it’s hard when we get a project
where the people aren’t into it. And I’ve really tried to, you know, pick clients now that do want to have
that experience because I think the older you get, you just, you know, you want to, you want to make the rest of your
life meaningful I guess. And it’s fun. So much fun. At the end
of the day, what you, what you’re doing with your
clients is so much fun. You’re, you’re building an experiential
totally for them. Yeah. So the clients Sunday that we had
the team dinner, she just texted me, I have a phone call
with her today at seven. She wants me to come cook for her
for her birthday in, in December, December 6th or something like that. It’s either it’s spike or 70th
birthday or something like that. I’ll, I’ll bring the wine. Alright,
so or the whiskey. Yeah. I don’t know what I’m cooking yet, but
she’s already said you’re cooking for me. Like how I invited myself to
that. I didn’t have that. Well, if you’re cooking though, I’ve
been, it will be good. Yeah. I’ve experienced your cooking
so I know what it’s like. So tell me about the transition.
Now you’re producing, you’re documenting more, you’ve got cameras following you around
a little bit and you’re filming a ton more. I’m seeing a lot more of
the, of the design work shown up. How has that changed the, not only the business but the
acquisition of new business? You know, it is making a big impact because we
just got a job from a client who follows us. Uh, she lives in Minneapolis and they just
bought a lot in silver leaf [inaudible] she seen my work on social media, the
videos, and she goes, I love your work. I love your brand. I love your podcast.
I love everything you’re doing. I want to hire, I feel like I
already know you. Right. You know, and I want to do a house with someone
that that’s how they want to do house. The relationship started before they
even sign the paperwork. Totally. So by chance, uh, I said, well, I’m going to be in high
point North Carolina next
week, so, so am I. So we met, we had a great meeting and there’ll be
here over Thanksgiving and we’ll get the process started. So that’s one example. I heard we just got another call from
one in Texas yesterday. And so, you know, I think it just gives you the opportunity
to reach way beyond the Scottsdale Phoenix borders and right. You know, we’re fortunate to be working in a
field that we can really work anywhere. You know, we don’t have to go
there and do the stucco work. You just need a piece
of land. I just, yeah. To build and I can draw anywhere so it
doesn’t matter where I’m at, you know? Yeah. In fact, you can draw anywhere. You can even draw on a cocktail napkin
upside down to the log house in the, in Coeur d’Alene. Yep. Pat and I got stuck in an airport in
Portland one day on the way up there and you know, four or five
hours of Pat Murphy, you’re going to be in a bar
drinking whiskey. So the nap, the cocktail napkins were coming out
at eight 30 in the morning. Oh my God. So he says he goes federally, there
was no judgment in that sketch. Sketch me some rooms. I started sketching
on the napkins. He saved them all. He’s got them framed, right. They ended
up in the wall street journal last year, almost exactly to this time last
year. So they published the, the napkin sketches and it was
an article about, you know, architects still doing stuff. Old
school. How did I not know about that? That’s pretty cool. I, I would’ve shared that had I known
because knowing you and knowing him. Yup. And um, and I remember
like, like it was yesterday, the day we were filming there. So there were two things that were
very memorable about that trip. And I wonder if your memory and my
memory of the same, first of all, having Pat make drinks at eight
30 in the morning because, well, it’s noon somewhere, right?
We, so we, and I’m like, we’ve got filming going on,
but if you remember our, our one of our camera guys was ill
that day. Yeah. And we wound up, he was very sick, Phil. And we
wound up taking him back. In fact, I wrote about fill in the book.
We wound up taking him back. We were going to go back and drop him
off and give him the rest of the day to just recover. And on the way
back, Phil was hungry, right? We had to mud pizza. We went and got
pizza. My daughters remember this. Right? And that’s right, because he almost
puked on her. Oh my God, I feel so bad. And, but we went and stopped at mod pizza
and that was, and he stopped shaking. He wasn’t nauseous anymore. And that was the Genesis of a commercial
series that I did for another client. That’s funny. That was, was that
trip in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho? Yeah. You just never know. That’s what I say. Just creative inspiration comes
from everywhere. Yep. Uh, anything, anything that I can, can share with my followers, my fan base that they ought to
know about what you do and what? No, I, I think just like you do. I mean, I think the key is to find something
that, that you love and, and, and you can have fun with. And you
know, it’s always tough cause you, you always measure yourself against other
people, you know? Right. And you know, obviously I’m don’t billionaires,
so I’m always feeling like, how come I didn’t become
a billionaire? You know, but you don’t do it for
the money. I will. I will. I probably should do it for
the money, but I don’t, I mean, your company makes money. We’ve
got to do great. I mean, trust me, we do really do it for the money. You do
it because of the love of what you do. Yeah. I want to pay the bills. I
treat my employees really well. I don’t fly around in jets and you
know, my own jet and car crazy cars. That’s not me. I live in a Mott 3,700
square foot house. It’s a patio home, you know, but my employees, I
try to treat them really well. I’ve got three new partners, all
women, which is just by chance. It just happened to be women. Right. And
they’re all exceptional, exceptional, very different from each
other. Extreme remarkably so. And so to me it’s just, I love
kind of what George did for me. I love mentoring and watching
the grow and watching people learn and you know, I love that. I love seeing the legacy
kind of continue on. So let’s talk about legacy
and that’ll, that’ll be our, are icing on the cake when, when Mark Candalaria is no
longer of this earth. Yeah. How do you want people to remember
you? Fun guy. Guy had a lot of fun guy, always had fun, worked hard, had fun. Um, I dunno, I guess that,
that’d be it. You know, and I love the fact that your name lives
in as rooms in some of your children’s homes. Yeah. I’ve got clients that named
the whole suites after me. You know, we just had some like with that
client, same thing. We’ve got over, stayed the night, partied, play the piano till like two in the
morning and then I got my inkling to make pasta at two in the morning. So we
got, we got those. Why wouldn’t you? We got the pasta maker
out. Wait, we ate pasta, 4:00 AM and then we all slept
until noon at, we had so much fun. They’re going to be here in
a few weeks to come visit me. Well when they do let me know. Yeah.
I want to come up to your office. I love coming up to your office
and with the people up there, I know that we’re expanding our office.
We’re adding a kitchen in the office. Nice. So we’ll be able to have meetings
and go right into the kitchen. Do you, are you going to put a
pizza oven in now? We don’t. We don’t have the ventilation two. I
just got a pizza oven from my house. I love that. I want to come over
and make pizzas with you. Yeah. Fun. I’m just learning. I’m getting there.
Do you flip the dough in the air? Nope. Can’t do that. I can teach you. All
right. So did you from New York, they can teach you how to write guys.
That’d be awesome. See you. Awesome. I’ve got you there. Yep. Um, I’m
glad you came in today. This was fun. Lot of fun. I’m a big fan of
yours. I’m a big fan of yours. It’s a mutual admiration
society. No, I, I’ve uh, I’ve been a big fan of yours for years. You and I have become great
friends over the years and uh, I’m just thrilled that you, uh, gave me the time to come in today and
sit with me and, and share some great, uh, terrible look at that. I
didn’t even brand it some whisky. So if you had picked wine, do you know
what? I would have been really excited. Do you know why? Cause I got that
wine from wine library. Nice. Gary Vaynerchuk and Gary Maynard
will come back and do another one. I feel like I need to sponsor every
bottle of wine that’s in here has to be a Gary V wine. Well I did. I definitely
didn’t go this route. No, no, that’s too Dessie tame for me. Water,
wine or whiskey. Yeah. There you go. Right. Depends on Ray the top right.
Yeah. Start at the heavy stuff. Go this way. Oh, thank you for coming.
All right, brother. Appreciate you, man. Awesome. Thank you.

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