Gala Magriñá doesn’t mind admitting it: She wasn’t great at one of her first jobs. While working her way through film school, she was also a sales associate at Italian clothing brand Diesel—and she quickly found that working the floor wasn’t exactly her strong suit. It did, however, put her in an opportune position to notice another employee engaged in a different kind of activity.
“I saw somebody walking around with a bag of robots and fixing the display cases, and I said, ‘What are you doing?’ and he said he was a visual merchandiser,” Magriñá tells host Kaitlin Petersen on the latest episode of the Trade Tales podcast. “He said, ‘We make the store look pretty,’ and I was like, ‘That sounds a lot better and more aligned with me than being a sales associate.’”
Pretty soon, Magriñá was in her fellow employee’s shoes, working as a visual merchandiser for Diesel while finishing her degree. As she embarked on the tough road into film set design, she maintained her retail gig and ultimately climbed the corporate ladder at Diesel to land the role of creative manager. The position involved window, showroom, store and event design, an experience she found so fulfilling that in 2008, she decided to open her own design and production agency, M Crown Productions.
For nearly a decade, the agency cast a wide net by completing design projects on spaces of all kinds—from events and pop-ups to showrooms and offices—before pivoting to focus solely on interior design at the start of the pandemic, leading to the formal launch of Gala Magriñá Design. As it turned out, the repositioning intersected with a spiritual reckoning in Magriñá’s own life—a newfound passion for holistic wellness that would come to define the next phase of her career and her company.
On this episode of the podcast, Magriñá shares the story of how her firm came to be—including the business coach who helped structure her firm’s back end, how the pandemic forced her to button up her processes and why she filters her entire design practice through a holistic lens.
Homepage image: Gala Magriñá | Courtesy of Gala Magriñá