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    Meet your Designer – Melinda

    Dispensary design is a unique animal, a crazy mix of tech, legal restrictions and taste. As your designers, we know exactly how you got where you are and where you want to be. How you work, what your business goals and dreams are, how you function and what your vibe is. And of course, your style. (If you’re not sure of your style, you can take our quiz HERE.) We know the ins and outs of the industry and why your space is not the same as a typical retail shop. This is the baseline of how we create the amazing spaces you’ve seen us do.

    So this week, we’re flipping the script and getting an inside peek at the process with our talented design director, Melinda.

    Melinda came to Sungrown Studio in 2019 from Chicago, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. As an ASID Senior Designer for a high end residential interior design firm in the northwest suburbs, she developed her love for not only design, but the problem solving process with amazing clients. In addition to being Sungrown Studio Design Director and Project Manager/ Interior Designer for Coddington Design, Melinda is mom to a big goofy dog and three wild kids who not only make her laugh everyday but remind her of the value of health, family and a sense of humor. She loves playing a good game of tennis and an even better glass of bourbon.

    Where do you start on a project?
    All of my projects start with a simple phone call. I ask a ton of questions and take loads of notes. I listen to what the client is stuck on, what their goal is for the space. I sort of map it out, how we are going to get there and what that will mean for both of us. I love this part. Every client is unique, every space is different, but many of the issues they have are similar. Listening is key. Everything I do revolves around our connected communication.

    What is the most challenging thing about designing dispensaries?
    Dispensary design is unique in that we are legally restricted in what we can do. Oddly, that’s also one of my favorite things about my work too- making the dispensaries feel unrestricted. I’m all about a fun space where the customer feels at home and the team can do what they do best.. Each state, city even, has unique laws so keeping on top of them can be challenging. I design everywhere, so staying current is crucial.

    What is something you do on a project that most people don’t know about?
    So much work and time goes behind everything I select for your space. I’m checking durability ratings, lumen outputs, calling vendors, double/triple checking each inch of everything. My designs are intentional, so not only does everything have a purpose but it has to meet my standards. I am a super (some may say overly) critical person and it lends itself very well to dispensary design.

    You work totally virtual, so how do you design a dispensary without seeing it?
    Technology really comes into play here. In some ways covid has opened peoples eyes to see how life can go on and function without people actually being there. I get all the pics, videos, measurements from my clients and I ask a million questions. And I listen to everything. Stuff people don’t think about really- even down to the building orientation. By the time I start I can close my eyes and walk through the space. Once I dig into sourcing I can walk though it in my head and see it complete, with a crazy amount of detail. I just finished a dispensary where I could see the lock style on the display cases. In my head there are no surprises. So the renderings I do are the tangible of both the actual space and the dream space. Clients really love them.

    What’s the most awesome thing you have in your home that brings you joy?
    Ooooh. Only one thing?? I really love my houseplants. A few I have brought back from the dead many many times. I was heartbroken when we moved to Texas and I had to give so many away- but I’m rebuilding the team! I also have an early 1900’s microscope that my grandfather was issued when he went to med school. It’s really spectacular.

    What do you want people to know about you?
    I’m human and I know you are too. It sounds simple and obvious but don’t apologize for the things that make us human. Dogs bark, kids interrupt. Even in a professional setting we can laugh through it, have fun and not take stuff too seriously. I deeply appreciate people being themselves and allowing me to do the same.