The Alimond Show

Mina Lucks Founder/CEO of Synergy Design & Construction

February 13, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Mina Lucks Founder/CEO of Synergy Design & Construction
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

What if your interior design could be a transformative journey towards personal growth and spiritual enlightenment? Join us as we converse with our guest, an ardent interior designer and passionate advocate of women's empowerment, about the profound influence of a simple remodel on our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. Let's uncover how our homes can echo our inner selves and how authenticity and vulnerability in personal branding can deepen our connections.

In a world riddled with distractions, we'll explore the necessity of trusting our instincts and harmonizing our human and spiritual identities. Get ready to tackle the challenge of navigating the multitude of messages swirling around us daily, and learn the art of decluttering and simplifying. We'll discuss the universal applicability of these principles - from choosing hair products to deciphering marketing messages. Dive into our guest's spiritual expedition and her recent immersive experience at a silent meditation retreat. This episode promises to enlighten you on finding inner peace through your surroundings and fostering personal evolution.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I just love the rest of market. I love all you know, all the half-clients, our friends, everybody in Reston. It's just been a really great opportunity to build that business in that community. We just celebrate our 15th year.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that's so exciting. That's so exciting. Where do you see yourself in the next five, 10, 15 years?

Speaker 1:

Really continuing the foothold in Reston I absolutely love that and continuing to grow the business so we can offer more. So I think right now it's all been about efficiencies and just kind of like tweaking things and getting everything running super smooth. It's always been that way, but it's like always looking for that next level and then just really I might write a book one day, I might do a little bit more speaking and that type of thing. What would you be speaking around? Just women, empowerment, just Just.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And really I mean my passion, as you know, is the home and I think a lot of times when people go through a remodel they don't realize how much of a transformative process that is for them emotionally and like even spiritually, depending on what your faith is or whatever. So I love like having people understand how much their home really reflects their inner world and their own and they can use that home to help them transform their lives. So taking that to another level, not just remodeling, but how do we kind of remodel ourselves, our lives?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, can you touch on your spirituality? Do you mind that? Because I know that's been a big part of your journey.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, not at all. I've always been drawn to meditation, to yoga, that type of thing, just really going inward, really looking at the outer world. That we experience is really coming from within our own beliefs, our own thought patterns, our own connection to spirit, god, universe, whatever you wanna call her, him. I'm kind of more of a Buddhist type of philosophy where I just believe that all energies are the same and that spirit has come in many forms. So it's not like, okay, this one's right and this one's wrong. I don't believe that we should be warring over whose God is right, type of thing. So my spirituality has really been more of encompassing and really my own connection to spirit, whatever it may be, and so quieting the mind, going in, trying to find those messages and those little whispers, has always been a big part for me. I actually just went on my first week long meditation, silent retreat.

Speaker 2:

Wow wait tell me what's this?

Speaker 1:

I heard the word silent Silence, I know I was like either I get oh my God, I would love that to like what are you talking about? How can you possibly do that? You just don't speak. For five days and there was a group of like 25 of us and we would meditate several times throughout the day and there was a speaker that would kind of lead us through some meditations and that type of thing. But you just didn't have to connect with somebody and like hey, what do you do and where are you from? And you just all the personalities just I literally didn't know anybody's name like, but you could feel their spirit and you would see them and pass them. And so it was out at the Omega Institute in New York, which I'd always wanted to go to, so walk me through this.

Speaker 2:

So there's, you said 25 of you guys Going through different activities meditations and so you'd enter the space and you would just sit down. Listen, there's no exchange.

Speaker 1:

Nothing. You didn't meet anybody in the very beginning. Like literally, it was like okay, we started too and you went into and the woman started. She did like a little 40 minute talk or whatever what to expect. And then silence began and then you would like you had a schedule, so maybe you'd have two hours to walk around the campus and be with nature and just do whatever you want. You just didn't speak during that time and then you'd come back and be another meditation.

Speaker 2:

And there's no calls.

Speaker 1:

No, I didn't even have my phone on Like a fast from Technology words exactly Now. It's interesting, though, because there was other events going on at the campus, so there was noise and other people's words, but you didn't have to partake and there was just a settling in my soul. I absolutely fell in love with it.

Speaker 2:

I'm already going to another one. I know we're fascinated. I'm already going to another one. Can I create my own silent retreat within the confounds of my home?

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes. Well, I came back and I thought about that yeah, exactly, teach them, it's retreat time, it's okay, yeah. So yeah, I came back thinking you know what I could do, a silent retreat by myself, like every other Sunday or something, just one day, you know, where you just don't interact. Yeah, that's interesting.

Speaker 1:

I think everybody should give them that gift and that's where it started with me 15 years ago is really wanting people. You know, when I work with a woman, I'd be like, okay, where's your spot in your house? What do you mean? Your spot? Like where do you go? Like it could be a chair, it could be a little closet, it could be its own room, you don't have to meditate, it could just be where you read a book and connect with just yourself and not going and doing for everybody else. So I think it's kind of full circle. Now it's like oh, I'm finding my spot within.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, on a deeper level, and so you integrated that into empowering yourself, like you kind of wrap that up as empowering your client yes, usually women that you spoke with, yes, as well as part of your design process, because you guys really created that space and then you've also taken that personal as you've dived in to create your own space.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly Going through my own transformation. You know, over the last couple of years I've had a lot of change in my own personal life and so it's, you know, kind of practice what you preach, right. I've been helping so many other people do that and I've been doing it on my own level, but it's like just taking that to another space within myself.

Speaker 2:

And how do you feel like the personal transformation has really and you just touched on it by implementing some of those things with your clients and stuff but how has that changed the way that you viewed your business overall, whether it's with your team, the way you guys handle the clients that you attract?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think for me it was really stepping in. You hear these words so I don't even want to say it, but like stepping into your power.

Speaker 1:

But there was another level for me of doing that, of really saying, ok, I've got this, I'm stepping forward and OK, to be seen in that light, of really leading people saying this is it wasn't no longer. This is what I believe in. I hope you believe in it too. Or I'm scared of what you're going to think if I bring up this. You know, we create an intention painting where we have people write their intention on the walls before we paint it, you know.

Speaker 1:

So you kind of energetically stamp your intention in the space in a remodel. You know I didn't do that years ago because I was like what are they going to think of me if I do that? Now? I'm like here's your chalk, this is what you're going to do. Get the kids involved, they're going to love it and they just it's awesome, exactly Our space clearing. We do a, we go and burn sage and make noise and just kind of clear the space at the end of a project, saying, you know what? We've had a lot of people in your home, a lot of things have been happening. Now it's time to give it back over to you, and so I've been incorporating that a lot more in my business. But I realized, you know what? When's the last time I sage my own house, you know, and started looking at that balance of not only teaching but also bringing that leadership within.

Speaker 2:

Do you teach other? Since you do like women empowerment things, do you teach that to other business owners as well, do you like? How does this fall in? How does this carry over into that aspect of your life?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think women, well, business owners I shouldn't say women, but I hang out with a lot of them, but women business owners I think we can feed off of each other's energy so easily. So I love, like I just came back from a woman in construction conference in Nashville and I learned so much from these amazing women and also share, like what we were doing there, like I've never thought about that. So it's just. I think leadership and really expressing ourselves is where that energy exchange happens and where we really make the most effort or the most difference for other people.

Speaker 1:

So I think in the past I used to, you know, five, 10 years ago, I'd be like, okay, I'm gonna be a leader, I look like all my stuff's together and make sure that they know that I'm perfect, and then they will follow me. It's like, no, just be real, like this is what happened the other day and it was tough and this is what I did. And you know, just that exchange, that authenticity, that's what true leadership and true women empowerment is. And I think the more we are just ourselves and we're just okay with who we are, warts and all and just kind of you know, let that facade fall down. That's where that empowerment happens, and it can't happen any other way. I feel like 10 years ago I never would have known that.

Speaker 2:

Do you think more women are starting to share that message, so it feels almost permissible, yes, for other women to start leading that way.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I think so. I think you see it. You know, I remember seeing Brené Brown, a number of other women on the stage who are like wow, they're just so authentic, they just are themselves. And I think the whole social media of seeing people just being raw on a video, you know, sharing their thoughts in the moment, sharing what they're going through in their personal lives, I think that's really broken down those barriers. And so it's kind of cool to live in this time where we're seeing this shift, because I think, like it's almost expected, and I think that fake facade is just so repulsive now to a lot of women that it actually is turning the corner for our own kind of rising as we go through this process is transformation.

Speaker 2:

How do you wrap all of these transformations and this change in like how we lead into how you're growing your business on? Like an embarking point of view here.

Speaker 1:

It was a great question. So, as I've been transforming personally and then synergies changes in the last couple of years, so I really looked at, I'm like I'm going through a complete rebrand right now after 15 years, and part of it is to wear that heart on the sleeve a little bit more, like we've always had those pieces, but just to be like. This is who we are and right now we're women led. We literally have four women, just you know, running the show and you know, obviously we love our lead carpenters and our project managers and the people that are actually doing the work obviously, but it's just it's kind of leading by example and I'm seeing the guys and bolster that transition as well and that synergy between all of us and the women are out in the field more and the guys are coming back into the office more. So there's just this real nice collaboration that's happening because it's no longer like us or them type of thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I feel like have you put any of these hard on your sleeve type of? I know you're going through Rebrand now, but have you already started putting things like that on social media or in your marketing printed materials?

Speaker 1:

So it's funny. I had started when I was like building my personal brand a couple years ago. I was like, okay, I was really touchy-feely over there, but I couldn't do that to Synergy. And now I realize it's all. I'm just one person, like I'm done with the whole, trying to have two different worlds, so I realize how combined they are. So, to answer your question, I've done that in the past, but now it's like bringing it to Synergy and who I am now? Not that older person or person a few years ago who was just trying to really show that she was okay, putting yourself out there, it's like no, now I'm just this is just me. Like let's just get real here, yeah not trying so hard yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but even the rebrand of changing the logo like that was scary. I was like, oh my God, are people going to think I went out of business? And I was like, no, it's just, it's not me anymore, it's not us. And everybody got excited about the new logo. So we're launching it in a few weeks and it's just. It's exciting to be about the blog. It's going to be much more personal stories for me and my time on the road. I know, you know, I went across the country a few years ago, driving across country for a couple months, and it's just so transformative.

Speaker 2:

What did you discover during that? You're like, hang on, let me bring it to Andre.

Speaker 1:

last year, I was like how long is this podcast?

Speaker 2:

Maybe a couple.

Speaker 1:

I learned to trust my instinct, the fact that I even took the trip you know, it was a little bit out there to be. You know what, I just need to take a couple months and drive across the country. Now, obviously I don't have children, so I have that luxury where a lot of women and women business owners don't but to be able to be supported by my team at that time just to really ask for what I needed. And it was funny because I start I've given myself so much my personal energy, so much to my business over the years that I remember starting the trip going okay, I'm going to go around and interview other business women across the country. And I did like two of those visits. And then all of a sudden I'm like no, this trip is much more than this. And all the little outfits stayed in my back of my car. I never took my lighting and my camera stuff out and I realized this trip was for me.

Speaker 1:

And so going to the different places across the country and really, when I say different places, places that I had grown up at, grown up in, visiting the place where my mom passed away, some really heartfelt moments that changed me and did a lot of healing that I didn't even know was needed. I went out there to interview people and all of a sudden I'm like crying on a bridge, thinking of mom. So it was very cathartic and very empowering and I think a long-winded answer is I just trusted my instinct more than I ever have and I got really in touch with we were talking earlier about that silent retreat, touched with that voice inside. So those long eight-hour drives, I could hear so much of my own soul speaking to me, spirit speaking to me more, because there was just nothing else to interact with. There was just the open road, some music, beautiful sights, that type of thing.

Speaker 2:

So this is related, but not but on a different wavelength here. Do you think that with all of the social media news conversations, go, go, go, pressures, that kind of a leading question, do you feel like it makes us forget to listen to that voice or drowns out that voice in our head?

Speaker 1:

100%. I think it's the biggest thing that we as a human species whatever as humans that we have lost touch with that. I think we think we're human being who's having a spiritual experience for once in a while, versus where a spiritual being who's having a human experience, and so we lose that connection to our own spiritual connection, whatever that is, because of all the distractions and all the demands on us. Then that's kind of why the world looks like it does right now. We've kind of forgotten who or, more importantly, what we are, which is much more of an energetic being who's here to experience this life, and so, yeah, I think that's the whole game is trying to come within and have a little bit less of those distractions, and I think that's why decluttering and simplifying….

Speaker 2:

I'm going to say you pull this all into how you run your business.

Speaker 1:

Right, everybody's starting. Just to say you know what I need to simplify. A good example is the other day I looked at how many hair products this is a funny side how many different hair products I had from different people that said, well, you need this Every time I get my hair done. Well, you need this now. And all of the… I said, no, I'm picking one brand and I got rid of all the old stuff and I'm like, I like Olaplex, I'm using their products, I love Olaplex.

Speaker 2:

Are you yeah?

Speaker 1:

it's like the best Plug for Olaplex, but something so simple like that. I realized I'm just looking at all of these products that I've purchased and I'm like, no, I just have these five things now and I feel better knowing that I don't have to think about it anymore.

Speaker 2:

Anything else. Didn't. Take that and think of it how it relates to all the messages that go into our brain about anything and everything. Oh my god, we're inundated with marketing messages, with just chatter, talk, news, all the stuff.

Speaker 1:

It never ends. I go to the grocery store and try to pick a thing of cereal.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there's like 200 types of cereal and you shouldn't be eating cereal because that stuff is sugar-free.

Speaker 1:

I know, I don't even eat cereal but it's like yeah, I stopped a long time. My girlfriend who's a nutritionist. She was like cereal is like dog food.

Speaker 2:

Going on a whole thing.

Speaker 1:

She's like you're just eating sugar. Yeah, it's pure sugar.

Speaker 2:

You have to give her a quick shout out.

Speaker 1:

We're talking about everything today on this podcast.

Speaker 2:

This is terrible. You have to give her a quick shout out.

Speaker 1:

Oh, Danielle Omar foodcominesscom, I just did her.

Speaker 2:

That is not too long ago. Oh, good good.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Danielle's amazing, as you know.

Speaker 2:

She hates being in the studio, though I will say that, oh yeah, she does.

Speaker 1:

She likes the product, which is not like the process at all.

Speaker 2:

I know I'm like you know there's going to be short news issues Like I don't care, let's just get this over with. I feel like an OBGYN right now.

Speaker 1:

She just closes her eyes and waits for her to be over.

Speaker 2:

That, in terms of so looking ahead, you said you're going to do more speaking. You're going to be talking specifically about the design process, mixed in with some of your personal transformation and journey, or what does that look like?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's really using. I think that I'm a huge fan of metaphors, so I feel like spirit talks to me in metaphors all the time right, I could just have a whole conversation with you in metaphors.

Speaker 2:

Okay, great yeah.

Speaker 1:

So it's like creating the foundation for your life. You know, create, I mean. So there's so many metaphors around the home and like, even for me personally right now I'm still you know, I'm always growing, there's always something I'm looking for. So my home's not pristine, so I'm, and I'm really into feng shui and energy and like the meaning behind where there is clutter in your home and what that represents, and so my closet it could be like a whole therapy session.

Speaker 2:

By the way, it's a huge thing. You could probably just go in and like Exactly, I helped you wash your closet, exactly.

Speaker 1:

And people you know you walk in there's like, please don't look, I'm more sorry. I'm like don't apologize. This is our outer world reflects our inner world.

Speaker 2:

You open up your book and you could be like well, according to.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. Oh, it's on the left side. So that means yeah, there's a whole other level that I try to hold back, unless there's somebody like give it to me, give it all. But yeah, really using that, not only homes, because I'm very focused on that, but also nature. You know, I'm really into how we are a part of nature again as our human experience, and that like living with the seasons and living our lives with the seasons, allowing things.

Speaker 1:

Right now, we're in beautiful fall. You know what are we allowing to fall away, not only in our homes, and you know people like decorate for fall, like adding all these things so it looks like fall. But what else can you let go in your home, what time and what are things that you can let go in your life, because every season is meant for us to be a part of it, just like every other creature out there. So, you know, looking at the seasons, how do we live our lives in the seasons, not just from a decor standpoint, but you know where we journal, or you know really just looking at that deeper level within. So talking about that more is just a huge passion of mine, for sure.

Speaker 2:

What is your book going to look like? Can you give us any teasers?

Speaker 1:

Oh, my gosh. It's so funny because I turned I'm 53, which is shocking in my head because I'm still 18 months.

Speaker 2:

And so you're still like, yeah, I'm like what, what happened?

Speaker 1:

So I do believe it's going to be a memoir that's going to, you know, use life lessons that I've gone through. I've had a very, very crazy and interesting life from my childhood on up, and so I'm like nobody goes through this without needing to tell that story. So I think there's going to be a lot of life lessons. I kind of seen like more of an e-pray love or a wild type of memoir.

Speaker 2:

So it's going to make a good movie is what I'm hearing.

Speaker 1:

Yes, exactly, it will make a great movie. No, any producers.

Speaker 2:

Go through my role.

Speaker 1:

Okay, please do.

Speaker 2:

In terms of like. Are you actively starting to brainstorm through the chapters or is this kind of like on the vision board for like five years out?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I wouldn't say five years, I would say more like two. I'm really focused on just getting the synergy messaging really in a line with where I want to take it. So I think I'm just kind of putting that a little bit of maybe fall of next year to start to be thinking about it. I feel like it's one of those things that I work with this amazing therapist and I want to put a plug for that, because I never hear mental health, mental health and as I've gone through this transformation over the last year, it's like, oh, mental health is like real, that's not something for somebody else.

Speaker 1:

I really started working with an amazing therapist and he's also a practicing Buddhist. Over the last 20 years he's got the spirituality and the psychotherapy and it's just been incredible. And so really, looking at, how do I share what I've been through, what I've, that transformation really going in and cleaning up kind of those old closets, those old things that I didn't think was affecting me, because oh, that's in the past it's really been a part of my journey. So I think it's sharing that as well. I forgot your question. I went in the whole direction.

Speaker 2:

I did too honestly. I was trying to pull us back and I was like, where did I? I was asking about the book and about the yeah.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, I think it would be more really looking at how to pull those life lessons in.

Speaker 2:

That sounds exciting, yeah, okay, so if you were to give one, just to kind of wrap it up here, if you have one message to the world, from everything that you've learned. You've gone through without giving it too much thought, because I'm just asking you on the slide here. What would that message be?

Speaker 1:

I really don't mean this to be self-serving because of my business, but it's really looking at how to use our exterior environments to help us transform our interior environments, because they're both very, very linked. So I really feel like people don't understand. When you walk into your home or you see this little pile or this clutter or whatever that A it's helping to show you in your life which needs to be addressed or at least looked at, and just cleaning up that little pile, all of a sudden you feel better. It's this weird energetic connection that I still don't understand to this day and I'll never understand how it works. But I cannot tell you. I just feel like that people really utilizing their space in a different way that really helps them take their transformation to the next level I think is just something that's not talked about enough. So I want to have a blow horn or bull horn, bull horn on that one, yes, one of the horns.

Speaker 2:

Before we wrap it up, you're not an interior decorator. You're not an organizer. Give us a quick rundown.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Synergy is a design build firm, so we do homeware modeling. We're usually like taking down a wall and combining two rooms or moving the kitchen from one side of the house to the other so kind of HGTV type of stuff. So we have designers on staff as well as a carpenter. So we're doing that's. The synergy between design and construction is where it all comes together. So that's why we named it that years ago. Are you going to keep the same slogan Renovate, happy, Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Renovate happy. I always like that one. Thank you so much for being on the podcast. Thank you, thank you.

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Personal Transformation and Simplifying Life