“We needed a comprehensive solution that would let us grow as our project scales increased, while keeping our design work and client care at the center of our focus.”
The press for Noz Design speaks for itself. This San Francisco-based design firm and its founder, Noz Nozawa, have built an impressive portfolio of projects and industry accolades. Their work spans the country, with a focus on full-service interior design for a variety of residential and commercial spaces, as well as design concepting and project management.
Today, Noz Design carries around thirty projects at a time, many of them whole-home assignments. To serve this growing client base at the same high standard, they’ve turned to Gather to help scale their existing processes for project tracking.
In 2020, the team at Noz Design was at the outset of a sustained period of growth. Their reputation for excellence—both in terms of client experience and unique design acumen—was generating considerable buzz. As a result, client work began multiplying at a steady clip, a trend that continues today.
At the time, founder Noz Nozawa and her team had built an impressive track record of success. They’d fine tuned their internal processes for managing projects, tracking products, and communicating with clients. To replicate the same quality experience for a much broader client portfolio and a larger team, Nozawa concluded that her team needed a centralized, cloud-based tool.
“Our design process requires tracking so many details and moving parts,” says Nozawa. “It’s one thing to use cloud spreadsheets to track specifications with one purchaser, a team of two, and fewer whole-home projects. It’s another thing for a four-person team to manage twenty to thirty of those projects at once, which is the kind of volume we were starting to see.”
Gather has helped Nozawa’s team elevate its operations in a few notable ways. Processes that once required close attention to multiple spreadsheets now live in a centralized and synchronized place. This allows any team member to quickly see all projects and related specs when needed. For a remote team managing so many projects at once, this single source of truth helps ensure that all aspects of project management run smoothly.
During the design development process, for example, designers can easily source and manage selections for presentation to the client, all in one place (and with a visual aspect not possible with spreadsheets).
Come the approval phase, Gather affords the Noz Design team with the same flexibility that their clients have always enjoyed: should the client prefer to approve selections directly in Gather, they’re able to do so easily thanks to Gather’s intuitive, client-friendly interface; otherwise, the designers can take care of approvals and run a quick export to verify with clients that they’ve accurately captured every approved selection.
Finally, Gather streamlines a few key processes during the ordering, tracking, and installation phase. For example, when the team’s project manager opens Gather and sees that an item has been approved, he knows he’s clear to place the order. He and the rest of the team can also verify that everything that was supposed to arrive made it to the receiver prior to installation day.
In the rare event that a team member is unavailable, anyone on the team can jump into Gather to see the status of a project, or reference past communications within Gather to respond accurately to a client. Should a designer need to dig up a previous estimate or product selection, they can quickly do so on the fly.
Across all projects, there are many different baton passes happenning simultaneously—much more so given Noz Design’s tremendous growth over the past few years. Gather’s ability to handle it all so intuitively has only enhanced Noz Design’s capacity to consistently deliver quality for a large portfolio.
It requires considerable effort to orchestrate even a single interior design project, let alone dozens at the same time. On any given day, Noz Design is managing twenty or more projects dispersed throughout San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, and New York City.
Thanks in large part to the successful deployment of Gather, the Noz Design team has added two core members since first subscribing in 2020. They’ve added a number of accolades, too, in keeping with the firm’s reputation for excellence.
In 2020 alone, Noz Nozawa was named an Architectural Digest Rising Star, House Beautiful Next Wave Designer, and Sunset Magazine’s Best Designer of the West. Alongside these prestigious publications, her team’s work has been featured in Luxe, The Wall Street Journal, Rue Magazine, HGTV Magazine, and ELLE Decor.
That Noz Design has successfully scaled their approach to operations is clear. With respect to project management, Nozawa acknowledges the significant role that Gather has played.
“The team that I've hired is very ambitious,” concludes Nozawa, “and Gather has helped us make the leap into the next chapter of Noz Design. To be able to have one central place where all of our design details are captured—you can't really put a price on that.”