i4design Magazine: Alison Victoria Spotlight


WHY WE LOVE HER:

With her tawny mane, high-watt smile and glam personal style, Gramenos looks like Carmen Electra. The similarities stop there. Talk to her for five minutes and it’s readily apparent that she’s all good girl and wants to please, making whoever she meets the center of attention. This may explain why she becomes so close with her clients that “I know what they want before they do,” she admits. And she matter-of-factly chalks her skill and grace at figuring out people to her education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she majored in interior architecture and minored in psychology. “I wanted to learn more about myself, but ended up learning how to read everyone else,” she teases. It may be the more valuable skill, since it has helped her create spaces that give her clients what they need….and a little something more. “You also have to bring innovations to each job, but can’t push past your client’s comfort level,” she explains.

WHAT SHE’S DONE:

Gramenos, who was raised in Chicago, knew she wanted to be a designer when she was a little girl. “I was rearranging my room before I went to kindergarten, and in second grade I helped my best friend rip up her peach pile carpet to get to the wood floor,” she confides. Other classmates’ bedrooms followed, and by the time she entered college she was itching to be an interior designer. So she got a job as a design assistant, and did both endeavors full time. By 25, after stints in Park City, Utah and Los Angeles, she started her own business, which included a healthy number of clients in her hometown of Chicago. She found she liked being ‘home’ so much that she relocated here six months ago–just in time to launch her own eponymous furniture line, complete with a signature piece aptly named Chi Town Rocker. The walnut, chrome and leather chair is inspired by the Picasso on the Daley Civic Center Plaza because “my father worked there for years, and my siblings and I would always play on it when we went to see him,” she says.

What do you think?