I’m most inspired by my uncle Ghassan Saab who came to the US in ’66 to work for a construction company. He bought the company 5 years later and has been running it ever since. Along the way he has invested in numerous companies and more importantly has become a major philanthropist in the city and the state. He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was the first immigrant to receive the Philanthropist of the Year in the state of Michigan. He is also the reason our family was able to come to the US. He is my dad’s older brother and helped him get started in Flint, escaping the war in Lebanon. He has had a major influence on my life and continues to inspire me.
Why interiors? Tell me about your passion for the industry.
I definitely have a passion for the industry but this company was started because we found a need in the market. We were inspired to create our own piece of furniture, realized it was extremely difficult to do so, and then found a number of talented designers, right here in Chicago. These designers though don’t have opportunities to showcase that talent or really take turn their ideas into major-market items. That’s when we decided to start Unbranded Designs. We wanted to bring opportunities for design, production, and marketing to the independent design community and unleash their amazing designs to the market.
Chicago is a midwestern city which is most evident in the people you interact with daily. For the most part people are polite, welcoming, and willing to help. This was a major factor in helping us get Unbranded Designs off the ground. When we began we were new to both the design industry and the tech industry. It took a lot of effort to get fully ingrained in each but that was expedited thanks to all of the people that were willing to help out or talk to us as we got going. Additionally, it was big to be in a city that is a major design hub and a rapidly expanding tech community.
Where do you see Unbranded going?