Woman on the Rise – Laura Schwartz-Muller
FOUR POINT DESIGN+CONSTRUCTION INC
LAURA D SCHWARTZ-MULLER
Allied ASID | FOUNDER+PRINCIPAL+CEO | DESIGNER
T 818.625.7226 / F 818.564.4161
E Laura@fourpoint-design-construction.com LIC B #982460
Four Point Design+Construction Inc. provide clients with a complete and comprehensive range of residential and commercial interior design-build services from concept to turnkey! We bring our teams combined skill set to every residential and commercial project delivering thoughtful and exciting solutions to every project challenge. We take meticulous care to listen, communicate, and inform our clients every step of the way. Our strong collaborative style encourages positive long lasting relationships with our clients, architects, engineers, specialists, and suppliers which allows us to bring you the most up-to-date, eco- conscious, and highest quality design-build project available, with a personal hands-on touch. We specialize not only in the interior design and construction of the visual aesthetics, but in generating, coordinating and maintaining documents, timelines, schedules, budgets and construction quality throughout the entire project to completion. It is with focused leadership, experience, knowledge, and high personal integrity, that FOUR POINT generates a unique team experience.
Elevateher Pitch: The FOUR POINT pillars no project can live without: DESIGN, CONSULTING, CONSTRUCTION and MANAGEMENT! These are the very pillars with which every successful design-build project is created…and completed. From the very first meeting our in-house team of experts will begin to utilize these pillars of expertise to strengthen your project structure, while working to improve, enhance, and ‘make beautiful’ your quality of life, health, work, and home by designing and building environments that provide order, inspire creativity and generate good health and productivity.
Region: Southern California
Featured Services: Residential and commercial interior design, design-build, remodeling, restoration, consulting, construction and project management from concept to turnkey, including image branding through design, space and project planning, CAD services and construction documents, architectural rendering, general contracting, new construction, tenant improvement, and custom interior architecture and design. Specialized consulting services also include color and textile coordination and application, construction management, conflict resolution and mediation, Home Owners Association board representation, expert witness, and plan check and review.
What do people think you do for a living? Most people think I am an Architect! Some think I’m a project manager and consultant. Most know I am a designer and owner of my own business.
What do you actually do for a living? I help people transform their dreams into a reality! I design, coordinate, transform, inspire, direct, encourage, lead, follow, build, listen, draft, sketch, fluff, select, edit, visualize, and collaborate. I advocate, educate, defend, promote, and protect.
I improve, enhance, and “make beautiful” my client’s quality of life, health, work, and home by designing and building environments that provide order, inspire creativity and generate good health and productivity! I am a designer!
Tell us about your passion? My family is my passion! Design! Making things work together…I have an insatiable drive to want to make things better in the world!
Who inspires what you do? My family inspires me…God inspires me!
What inspires what you do? A challenge inspires me, and when someone underestimates me. THAT inspires me!
Nature…Love…Faith…and NEED inspires me too!
Was there a turning point in your life that led you to your current career? [See narrative]
If money weren’t a factor, what would you be doing? Doing exactly what I’m doing…but with weekends off!
Was there a turning point in your life that led you to your career?
I remember like it was yesterday…It was a very “still” mid-April day. I was standing in the foyer of my sweet little sanctuary we called home and I had exhausted every penny of savings. Several years prior we had been abandoned without child support or alimony. There I was, three little ones under the age of five looking to me for all the answers. By this time I had been working up to three jobs at one time, running my own company, scraping together enough to pay the bills and the house needed a new roof! I took a long and labored deep breath and thought to myself, “Oh my God…This is our HOME!” The place the kids and I had become a TEAM! Looking around I could see the height chart on the door jamb, the carousel mural in the girls room, the hallway where we’d hold bunny races…yes, this was the place we made “safe”! This was the place we made tents and camped out under the dining room table…This was the place we recovered, healed, loved, and laughed…and finally we were okay. I mean I had just released a successful book; I had launched a successful company; the kids were doing well in school; we were okay right!? But we weren’t. Big business also means big risk, big stress and sometimes, big disappointments! My company Koko OriginalsTM was sideswiped by deceit and theft by a large distributor which eventually led us to close our doors. How long I could go on working like this? The stress was suffocating. I could see the warning signs in the kid’s eyes of a pending reversal of what I had worked SO hard to repair. I thought to myself this is NOT enough! I was angry and exhausted! Was this it? Was it ever going to get easier? Would the test ever be over? How was I going to keep the kids safe, provide for them, build them up, encourage and lead them? It was in that very moment that I put MY “big girl panties on (…no…really, I did)” and made the toughest decision OF MY LIFE! If I was EVER going to provide a better life for us, I would HAVE to make some changes and take control. From that moment on I decided that I could never look back…never quit…never give up…and never stop believing that with God, ANYTHING is possible! I knew my decisions would mean more sacrifice, more drama, more pain…but this time, my decisions had a purpose; a focus and direction! I was no longer a victim of yesterday! From that moment on I looked UP and FORWARD and indeed, I never looked back!
What followed next were months and months of prayer and pain. I cried, and hurt…A LOT…and I was the recipient of unyielding rage and blame, and I confess bouts of overwhelming guilt. I liquidated EVERYTHING…If it wasn’t tied down, I sold it! (Selling the house was the worst part. It was devastating to me, but mostly to the kids). So we packed up and moved in with my Mom and I began researching schools immediately; a school that would provide a pathway to a certified professional trade skill; allow me the flexibility to work and be home with the kids; utilize my life experiences, talent, and passion; and give me an opportunity to provide for my kids and generate wealth. I had a bold and serious vision, and knew I had a lot of work to do! After an extensive and rigorous selection and admissions process I began the UCLA ARC_ID Extension Professional Designation Certification Program in Interior Architecture and Design. I completed the program within three years with Distinction (while working full time) and began working in the Interior Design and Construction industry immediately. Upon graduating in 2008 Koko Originals closed its doors and I began working full time for my soon-to-be husband’s large construction firm as project manager and Lead Designer. In 2010, I successfully launched my own Design-Build Firm and currently, with eight active projects, my firm is continuing to expand to fit its growing project needs. I always knew that my life had been designed for a very specific and creative purpose, and that every painful and blissful step along the way was for a reason. I was scared, tired, sick, but full of faith and determination. I knew that quitting and mediocrity wasn’t an option, and I wasn’t going down without a fight! Most importantly, I knew that God would never let me down. I am grateful for every moment of testing that has tempered my spirit and made me strong! I found love, life, peace…and myself!
What’s on your bucket list? Buy and restore an Italian villa with the love of my life and spend every summer with friends and family fixing it up; Perform at Madison Square Garden; Take an architectural tour around the world; and give away a million dollars a little at a time…to those in need!
Knowing all you know now, what would you tell your 20 year old self? NEVER be afraid to say NO…Always trust your gut…Stay away from those who cause you to shrink in any way…and always be patient enough to hold out for what you KNOW is right!
What’s your go-to stress reliever? Prayer, talking, music, and Disneyland! How do you perceive retirement? More time to GIVE MORE.
Do you have a personal philosophy you’d like to share?
Work hard…Listen well…Be kind…Give GENEROUSLY…and the rest will take care of itself!
What would you like your legacy to be? I would like to be remembered for being brave and inspiring to others; Honest, loyal, sincere, hard working and kind with unwavering faith, integrity, forgiveness, and generosity; an unselfish friend; a devoted, dedicated, and loving mom, wife, sister and daughter. I would like to be remembered for surviving life’s tragic and painful losses and challenges with grace and optimism; and for building a wildly successful firm founded on Christian principals, which promotes connected creative collaboration, and based on the simple idea that “together…we CAN ‘make beautiful’ the world”; and of course for never, never, NEVER giving up!