Most people fresh out of college are advised to wait before starting their own business, but Linnae Asiel and Jonathan Michael “just kind of jumped in,” when starting Asiel Design eight years ago. “We met in college and started this company right after graduating,” Asiel recalls of their booming event design business, which they built “one client at a time.”
Now happily married themselves, they are “both involved in the design process. We both have different points of view on style and design, which I think adds a unique element to the overall look,” explains Asiel. “I believe that the looks that we work on together appeal to both a masculine and feminine aesthetic because there are two points of view that are integrated together,” she adds.
With a passion for working as a team, Asiel and Michael have come to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. On days off they are known to talk inspiration and when they are on the road they discuss the future of their business, which they point out is wedding centric, “but we do it from an art installation point of view.” Asiel confesses: “We see the world differently, but have been able to share that point of view with each other day in and day out.” Although she admits that working together “has its challenges,” she also recognizes that “the volume of time that we dream together lays a foundation for each design that comes out of it.”
Working on the premise that “no two events should be the same,” every event starts with a client/design meeting where Asiel and Michael “spend a lot of time trying to get in their [clients’] head. Once we have a good idea of what they are looking for we usually feel confident in being able to create something that surpasses what they are asking for.” Asiel concedes that each event is about more than just their own design aesthetic and reveals that “starting with the client actually allows us to be creative.” This renders them to “start in a new place each time we design and those designs are as diverse as our clients.”
As innovators in their industry, Asiel and Michael do not consider themselves florists. Instead they create a lot of their own “signature pieces,”—so much so that they have a whole warehouse of custom items—and look to things like “metal, glass, mirrors, fabrics, trims, lace, stones, water, fire, wire,etc., as our elements to design with.” And without disclosing too much, Asiel and Michael are willing to share that they always opt to “add flowers last.” “When you add flowers to those elements, the flower becomes an adornment,” as opposed to the main design component, explains Asiel.
Asiel and Michael know that they would not be in the place they are without an incredible team of “wonderful people who enable” their success and equally wonderful and fashionable clients. We believe that “design is never enough—I think the main inspiration behind any of our work is emotion. Once we know what we want someone to feel, then it is the art of creating that emotion.”
Event: Wedding 360; Location: The St. Regis, San Francisco, CA; Floral and Event Design, Chandeliers and Plexiglass Pedestals and Tabletop: Asiel Design, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA; Table Setting, Chairs, Furniture, Drapes, Fireplace, Mirrors and Carpet: Hartmann Studios, Richmond, CA; Lighting: Enhanced Lighting & Sound, Brisbane, CA; Cake: Jen’s Cake, San Jose, CA; Photography: Michelle Walker Photography, Oakland, CA