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ANNIE LOWENGART

Annie Lowengart founded her eponymous firm in 2000. Located just a few miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Ann Lowengart Interiors enjoys Marin County's stunning terrain as its backdrop. While enjoying the inspirational beauty, Annie and her team balance their designs with practicality.

The company's office contains vision boards but also spreadsheets and core value statements. At Ann Lowengart Interiors, delivering projects "on time and on budget" is the most prominent ethos. Annie breaks down her process: "I listen to what my clients want, and then, after thorough research and running numbers, I tell them precisely what it's going to cost. It's about transparency, but the fact is, by removing the financial question, we can enjoy the creative aspect of the project."

Annie's path to design was circuitous. She credits her aunt, an interior designer in the '70s and '80s, for her design passion. "In college, I took a city planning class," notes the University of California at Berkeley graduate. "When I went home and told my father that I wanted to be an interior designer, he promptly responded, 'I can't support you for the rest of your life!'" Those words stuck and for the time being and Annie put an interior design career on hold.

After five years of working in the corporate world for Procter & Gamble, she found herself sketching wedding gowns in her spare time. In 1996, on a whim, she took her drawings into a San Francisco bridal boutique. The owner offered to make the dresses on the spot, resulting in a four-year fashion design business. At the same time, Annie remodeled a house in San Francisco, pushing her firmly into the design world. When she sold it for a profit, she already had a pipeline of clients, including colleagues, and friends eager for her consultation.