We had the good fortune of connecting with Frank & Megan Mataipule & Freckelton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Frank & Megan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We had been talking for many years about eventually starting a business together, “eventually” being the key word there. Entrepreneurship runs in our blood and it seemed like the natural next step for our careers. We have co-managed over 40 projects, work together really well, balance each other nicely, are great friends and always, always laugh along the way which is important. We are very much on the same page about project types and priorities, and together have created a process that we enjoy and is very collaborative with our clients and consultants.
The pandemic really pushed (catapulted may be more appropriate), this eventual goal to the forefront. We were Co-Design Directors at Punch Bowl Social and due to the pandemic, furloughed in March of 2020. We both have a hard time sitting still, so the next week we just got to it – registered the business, bought our website address, worked through a logo, pulled together our portfolio and made a spreadsheet of outreach contacts. And that was that. FAM Design was officially born. (FAM is the abbreviation of Frank And Megan or Freckelton And Mataipule) Our mission: To design creative spaces for people using inspired and strategic thinking.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
FAM Design is full-service design studio offering creative thinking and strategic solutions for commercial and hospitality spaces. We are Co-Founders Frank Mataipule, architect, and Megan Freckelton, interior designer, and bring more than 35 years of combined experience in creating successful, design forward, social spaces. As former Co-Design Directors at Punch Bowl Social we led the interior design and architecture with our team for 20 locations across the country through innovative and creative storytelling. Our body of work consists of concepts rooted in a holistic approach – the brand, personal or professional, fully incorporated into the physical space and the philosophy that a space should evoke a feeling.
We have worked on projects in 24 states and counting, been a part of many award-winning design teams and have received multiple IIDA Interior Design BESTawards, including one BEST in “Innovation & Creativity”. One project in Nashville made the 2018 Architectural Digest list of “The Most Beautifully Designed Bar in Each State in America” and our projects have been mentioned in numerous publications such as: Travel + Leisure, Hospitality Design, Food & Wine, Fast Company, Forbes and Restaurant Development and Design.
At FAM, we pride ourselves in helping our clients tell a story through design. Before we even begin a project, we take the time to sit and listen. It’s important to know who they are, what their goals are, and what they want to convey in their space. We then get to work, creating an end product that is uniquely theirs. We are a collaborative focused firm, and work closely with a great group of trusted industry partners, experts and consultants to ensure every detail in the project adds to the story.
Looking to the future we are thrilled that our project boards currently consist of work located throughout 5 states – a boutique hotel, several restaurants, a café, several home renovations and a distillery. Our specialty is design-forward social spaces and we can’t wait for the opportunity to all gather again.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Food and drink, so hard to narrow down. Some of our all-time favorites:
Safta: Literally everything on the menu is amazing. Whether you’re going for an all-out dinner experience and ordering nearly everything on the menu, or popping in for some hummus and wine at happy hour, it will never disappoint.
Dio Mio: The best pasta in town in a fun, casual atmosphere. Our personal favorite is the classic Cacio e Pepe. At one point had to consciously limit the pandemic take-out frequency, it was becoming kind of a problem.
Senor Bear: Inspired, fresh and so tasty. Another stop where you just can’t go wrong. Happy hour here drifts into a leisurely dinner so effortlessly. Don’t try and fight it.
Picnic at Botanical Gardens: Grab snacks, wine and friends and soak in the lushness of it all. Hit a concert here if you can.
MCA, DAM or Clifford Still: Denver is a stop for amazing exhibitions. For your modern side, there’s the MCA, and their roof top bar and deck is a great way to soak in some Denver sun. The DAM never disappoints, bringing high caliber art to our community. And, the Clifford Still museum is one of the best forms of architecture in the city.
Retail therapy, to shop for gifts and for ourselves:
Sacred Thistle, Meek Vintage, Matriarch and Winter Session
A stop at Base Coat is never a bad idea for a little clean pampering. And just a few steps out of town, a concert at Red Rocks is mandatory.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, our families and friends. We both grew up with parents that instilled in us the power of working hard (and smart), gave us the confidence to believe it was possible and were entrepreneurs themselves. They showed us through example the complexities, benefits (and challenges) of owning your own business. Our significant others have also both owned their own businesses and have been incredibly supportive and have encouraged us throughout this entire process. We also have an amazing group of friends, who have kept us sane during this adventure through endless laughter and thoughtful conversations.
Next, the design community at large – the mentorship and support we have received from Denver’s design community have helped make this possible. Throughout our careers we’ve been constantly surrounded by people that embody the entrepreneurial spirit.
Big shoutout to our clients – we are so appreciative that they have trusted us to be their creative partners. Letting us help create positive change in their personal spaces or be involved in their big plans and new adventures
Amber Boutwell Kelly Gavlick