New Member Spotlight - Megan Chwiecko

Monday, Jun 27, 2022

Megan Chwiecko

Megan Chwiecko is Principal of BLOCK Licensed Interior Design Inc. – an award winning, licensed commercial interior design firm focusing on workplace, healthcare, wellness, multi-family, and hospitality spaces in Western Canada. Megan and the BLOCK team provide thoughtful and innovative design solutions through inspired concepts, applied knowledge, and quality service. They approach design with a pragmatic, collaborative, and human centred perspective ensuring the form, function, and aesthetics of a space are all considered. Learn more about BLOCK here:

Welcome to CREW Calgary, Megan!

As a new member, what have you loved about CREW since joining in 2021?

It had always been on my to do list to join CREW and become a part of a committee.  When the pandemic hit and everything moved virtually it was the kick I needed. I joined CREW at the beginning of 2021 as a new member of the Calgary chapter as well as part of the Events Committee. Right away I felt welcomed into a group of like-minded individuals. We’re all from different sides of the industry, but all driven to collectively push forward our sectors along with our own career and personal paths. Once you’re part of CREW, you’re truly a part of CREW. Everyone opens their minds and networks to you, and it really is a group of members that stand behind the motto of “whatever you need, just ask”, which is spectacular.

Our team has grown additional exposure through CREW, been introduced to new relationships that have resulted in business, and we’ve even had the opportunity to showcase some of our firm’s projects at different events so the networking opportunities have been incredible. It’s really been amazing to meet new champions and have them in your corner and have the opportunities to meet others that you can be a champion for.

Can you share a bit about your career path? What originally drew you towards the commercial side of interior design and how did you get your start?

After growing up in a very small town in Saskatchewan, I moved to Calgary to pursue my interior design education at Mount Royal University. From there I worked at a number of the large architecture firms in Calgary for the first decade of my career. As I gained experience, I realized that my passions and strengths aligned well with the commercial side of interior design, specifically in the strategy behind creating a space and understanding how a business can be represented within a space.

In 2016 I took the leap to go out on my own to start BLOCK Licensed Interior Design Inc. and I was fortunate enough to be extremely supported by colleagues and clients. I was expecting my second son at the time and wanted to build a career that aligned just as much with who I was outside of the office as within. We’re now about to celebrate our 6th year as a firm this fall with a growing team, great projects on the go, and strong relationships within the city that mean a lot to us. I’m excited to see where we go from here!

If there is one piece of advice that has stuck with you throughout your career, what would it be?

The one thing I can say has led me to where I am today was building a strong web. It’s important to build a web full of connections of people that you do business with, people that support you, and people that you can support. Then try to give back more to that web than you take from it. Help build others’ webs more than you do for your own and I believe that it pays back more than kind, both personally and professionally.

What are your favourite aspects of your job and firm?

My favourite part of our work is the amount of people we deal with in a day – they’re from all walks of life and all sides of our industry which creates very rewarding and interesting work. The pace and speed in which we get to see things happen from the interior design side is also a favourite piece. In other sectors, you often work on projects for a few years before seeing it all physically come to life, but with interior design we typically get to see everything happen in a year or less. To have meaningful discovery and solution finding with a client, then see it come together in a physical space and be inhabited by their team is pretty amazing.

As a mom of two young boys, what future words of wisdom do you have for your kids when they are entering the workforce?

Finding your passion is a pretty typical answer, but I think it’s important to know that it’s okay that the path to finding the structure for your passion might not be direct. You may waiver and meander but if you stick to what you know is your passion and your principles behind it, those will never lead you astray. I never thought I’d own my own business, but then life took me a different way!

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations that you’d like to share with CREW members?

A podcast that I found when I was starting my own business and continue to love is called “How I Built This with Guy Raz”. He interviews well-known, successful brands that we all know and shares their stories on how they first started their companies. We don’t always hear about the struggles and challenges that these brands have dealt with by time they’ve become a well-known success story, so it’s interesting to hear the founders talk about their own stumbles or fluke moments of luck that led them to success.

Last but not least, what’s a little-known fact about yourself?

I have an irrational fear of birds – ironically, we have a beautiful Eames wooden sculpted bird in our office that sits right behind my desk every day. The only bird I’ll ever love!