From Our Founder

Growing up, I watched the people around me and saw so much pressure to pretend.  Most people were scripting their lives from the dictations of their parents and society…here is how you become a female or male adult…do these things, don’t do these things…this is the life you ‘should’ be leading…what your life should look like…this is the life you want; this is the only acceptable way.

In truth no one’s life around me actually looked like a life I wanted.  I saw women trying to make themselves smaller shoving themselves into control top panty hose, push up bra’s, tight clothes, not eating…judging each other’s eating, horrified by their own hunger…you’re not supposed to be hungry and you cannot take up space, you’re a woman…no you’re an object.

I watched men very nearly forced to give up their humanity.  You’re only a ‘real’ man if you are this height, shoe size, if your voice is deep, your body strong and women throw themselves at you…you make sure women and ‘others’ know their place, you yell, boom, belittle, be angry, be violent, be helpless at home, be inhumane, be the guy with the money.  Do not ever be real and absolutely never be emotionally connected to the world around you-not if you want to be a real man. 

I grew up in a domineering and abusive household.  Because our home was such a violent one, my imagination was where I lived.  Imaginary worlds were my only safe space. We didn’t have much money, we lived in a blue collar neighborhood full of good hard working people.  

Around the age of eight I became aware that we would get these massive catalogs, from a one stop shop store, in the mail.  The catalogs were almost two inches thick and I would go through, nearly, every page of it looking through each section and circling each item that was going to be part of my imagined life.  In those pages I could embrace everything I knew myself to be, and I didn’t need anyone’s permission.

I would bend down the corner all the pages I circled items on, at the end I could go back through and edit down to all the things that made sense together.  I was doing my own version of vision boarding and interior designing before I knew what either was.   

Every time something terrible would happen in the house I would retreat to my made-up world, spend hours by myself in my room writing, reading or creating, or in the woods, or climb a tree, and disappear into a world of my own making.  I would never be like ‘normal’ people, sometimes I tried to be normal but it never stuck and it always made me feel terrible about myself. 

As a teenager I decided I wanted to make what I was constructing in my head, the worlds I was creating for my perfectly imperfect life, I wanted to bring them into real life.  I wanted to give a voice to my fantasy, a place where I could be real and be loved for it-I wanted to create that space for others too.

It was right around that time that I realized being an interior designer was a thing and that’s what I wanted to do.  In college, in design school, I wrote my design ethos.  I create the space(s) that allow people to embrace their imperfection, connect with themselves and one another, break through the barriers created by categories, and create the foundation for a harmonious authentic and connected life.

 

It's been fifteen years since design school, five years since founding what is now CONCINNATE, I realize I have learned so much about what design is and is not.  For me, design is about intention, about realizing the power of our own voice in our own lives.  It’s about the realization that our lives are a series of choices and each one has a ripple affect into every other aspect of our lives (and everyone else's life).  The space we open our eyes to every morning, the body wash we use in the shower, the first thing we drink or eat each day, the clothing we put on our body, how we feel in our own skin, what we listen to, watch, see, walk past in our home or office or… it’s all a mirror to our beliefs about ourselves. 

My life doesn’t look at all like my childhood.  I spent the last fifteen years studying psychology as an amateur, building on my emotional intelligence and personal awareness with the help of therapy and coaching, moving through life and healing.  I have spent the last five years building the interior design firm I started imagining in design school.  Taking on clients slowly, part time at first and then, full time, in April 2019.

 

Through the process of building the firm and connecting with clients, I realized that our mission is larger than beautifying spaces.  I needed to let our ethos, our culture and the brand take up more space in the world, support and work with more people in a deeper and more expansive way.

We empower people to get back to the place where they listen to their knowing, not their wanting.  Wanting is influenced by all the marketing we interact with, all day long, telling us who we ‘should’ be and what box we have to fit ourselves in.  Knowing; that is connected to who we were born to be, who we were always meant to be, who we long to become, who we are becoming. 

What we create at CONCINNATE is unique, set apart, like the people we design for.  We design for the messy, beautiful, imperfect, round, and relentlessly divergent lives of our clients.  There is no way to live YOUR life, if you are only allowed to do so by someone else’s rules, standards, or principles.  Your life is a series of choices that lead you somewhere closer or further away from who you are at your core.

 

We work with clients around the country, and soon enough, around the world, to create a harmonious vision board for their lives and then bring that vision into reality through interior design, interior architecture, life design, organizing and move management.  We create harmony, by design.

Shana Francesca

Founder & Lead Designer

CONCINNATE, Harmony by Design