A Space, A Brand, An Experience - Amy Jakubowski - Defining Hospitality - Episode #107

Dan Ryan: Today's guest is a talented and award-winning designer whose creativity defies the boundaries of the industry with more than 30 years of experience. She's managed projects with budgets ranging from 25 million to 500 million. She's a frequent contributor to hotel news now.

And a recurring speaker at industry events. She's previously been recognized as one of hotel management's top 30 influential women in hospitality. She's a principal and the managing director at Pierre Yves Rashon, or P Y R in Chicago. Ladies and gentlemen, Amy Jacobowsky. Welcome, Amy.

Amy Jakubowski: Thank you, Dan, for that lovely intro.

Dan Ryan: Well, you know, with such a, a storied career, there's a lot to get in there.

Amy Jakubowski: It, it's a mouthful. Yes.

Dan Ryan: It totally is. You know, one of the things I, uh, I appreciate about your career in many ways is you have gone from right coast to left coast and now to Heartland.

Amy Jakubowski: Indeed.

Dan Ryan: And so you've gotten to feel the vibe of like three very different areas, um, of. Of teams and I, I, I wouldn't necessarily say aesthetic cuz I think all good designers can really hit anything, but it's just, it's like a different um, way of interacting.

And like in LA it's really easy to just kind of roll into someone's office cuz you can just drive up there and park New York, you know, you got security at the bottom, you got the, the person at the front desk. And Chicago I think is like this really beautiful, um, Combination of the two. And with that in mind of Chicago being the beautiful combination of the two, um, how has that changed or what does that mean, or how has it impacted your definition of hospitality?

Amy Jakubowski: Y you know, it, it's, it's interesting because I don't know if it really fa, I don't know where I lived, if that per se factored into all of, um, my definition of hospitality. Because when I think of hospitality, I think of it as creating, defining. And enriching what I would call the human experience. And we do that through design and through service and, for every experience it's always gonna be unique, it's gonna be meaningful, inspiring, and it basically creates a human connection for people.

I really think of hospitality as creating a connection. Of people and place. And when we talk about place, every place is unique. And not only have I lived in these unique cities and um, learned a lot about them through living there, but I've also traveled the globe. And I think it's important as a hospitality designer to really factor in multiple cultures and places because although I live in Chicago, we we're defining to tourists as well.

We all go and visit different places, you know, so it's an open door.

Dan Ryan: I'd love that. So really just to hear what, hear what you said, just really it's creating that connection between people and place. So as you've gone through and like throughout your career, you've worked on countless projects, and if you were to think back to early in your design career, did you always know it would be hospitality design or.

Were you like, what, what, where were you when you were first starting?

Amy Jakubowski: I always knew it was gonna be design, but I didn't know it was gonna be hospitality design. So I actually started going and taking college courses for design when I was in high school. And I immediately carried on after that, um, into college. But during my college years, I had to pay for college and I didn't wanna work outside the industry.

I could have easily waitressed, which I did very early on in my, in a, as a teenager. But I wanted to work in the industry cuz I felt like it was a benefit. And I, uh, was hired at a job, a smaller firm, and we did retail and fashion chevron's. So the interesting transition to that is you're creating, um, bespoke experiences that define a, a designer.

You're creating a brand through design of a three-dimensional space. And when it was time to move on to another company, I found myself at B B G M, which did hotels again, the transition of defining. A space of brand and experience from retail to hospitality transitioned quite well for me. And then once you start actually playing in the hospitality bucket, it's, it's a bug that just bites you and you don't look back.

Like, I can't think of doing anything else.

Dan Ryan: I completely agree. Um, I didn't know you were a waitress. Actually, I don't know how I missed that. When you

Amy Jakubowski: Oh, because that was in my teenage years. I think every, all of us like waitress.

Dan Ryan: I actually never have. And I really regret that. I, I, I worked, um, I worked checkout at a farm, you know, but I never actually waitressed. I worked in factories. I never, I never did that. And I feel like that's like a missing component cuz I, I love that. Um, and in so much of what we do that's like that first human connection. did anything from that waitressing experience as a, as a teenager? Draw you or push you towards hospitality design.

Amy Jakubowski: Well, I, I think it was that human connection. You know, I'm a people person. I'm very much an extrovert, in case you didn't know that

Dan Ryan: I definitely know that.

Amy Jakubowski: Um, and I love hearing stories and connecting with people, and so it gave me that, that service right out of the gate. It gave me those connections, those stories.

It taught me obviously the functioning of, um, a restaurant which applied. In design as I move forward in my career, but it also taught me about the ability to move and function and do things quick, spur the moment. You know, you had a hustle. You had to like take care of people and you had to find a methodology in which to do that.

You know, fast forward now where I'm managing a team of people, I've gotta take care of people, I've got a design for people. And those are sort of subtle lessons that you learn through, you know, hustling tables.

Dan Ryan: Just out of curiosity, what restaurant and where were you waitressing?

Amy Jakubowski: Oh my gosh, is this really gonna make it? Okay, so

Dan Ryan: I didn't know this. This is amazing.

Amy Jakubowski: why not grassroots? Okay, so my very first job

Dan Ryan: Why not Grassroots. I love that.

Amy Jakubowski: was in, uh, Duncan Donuts,

Dan Ryan: Oh,

Amy Jakubowski: and this is back in the day when they had the coffee counter and, you know, you had all the regulars that came in for coffee. From there I went to Ho Jose's, good old Howard Johnson's.

Yep. And then I also did a stint at, uh, okay, you ready? Chichi Mexican restaurant,

Dan Ryan: Flaming uh, flaming fajitas. Be careful.

Amy Jakubowski: and I can rock out a, you know, orange fluffy skirt. I

Dan Ryan: Oh, good.

Amy Jakubowski: then too, so

Dan Ryan: And where was that?

Amy Jakubowski: that was all, uh, in New Jersey. I

Dan Ryan: New Jersey? Yeah. Okay. All in Jersey. Cool. Um, so, okay, so then you're doing this, these retail areas, you're in, in design, you're there and then you switch over to BB gm. Um, at from your journey there, like fir your first experiences of hospitality design, who would you consider mentors that kind of like took you under their wing and really showed you the way.

Forward that you learned the most from?

Amy Jakubowski: You, you know, I found mentors in many different people and in different aspects of my career. And, and, and I still give credit and I'm still friends with, uh, my friend Sherry, who hired me, who gave me my first design job. And she really mentored me in design and I. Helped me with school. So she was part of my first journey when I came onto BBB gm.

Obviously, Julie Monk was a huge mentor in terms of sort of teaching the business and aspirational, but I was also surrounded by many talented designers and architects. Cuz don't forget, we were part of B BG and bbb G M and I just asked a lot of questions. I had a lot of people that taught me different things through all the various, I mean, Hank Brennan was amazing.

Peter Gorman, David Beer. David Beer can design a hotel in two seconds. I've never seen anything like it, you know? So I was surrounded by some amazing talent and I didn't take that for granted. I really enjoyed being around him.

Dan Ryan: And then. And there's a reason for my asking these questions. Like when you think about how much you learned from them and how they kind of, they taught you, cause I know you love teaching others. Like I've just, I've just seen that from you over, over the years and just from talking to you, um, you love that impact.

Like what are the best elements of those three that you just mentioned, or four, if you go back to, to Sherry, Sherry, um, that you think that you've taken into yourself. That you help, you know, as you're building these teams and, and kind of coaching everyone to be the, the be the best that they can be.

Amy Jakubowski: You know, I think there was a consistent thread between all of my mentors, um, whether it was an architect that I asked questions of, of how to build something, or if it was Julie teaching me a proposal. It's the why. It's, it's not just do it this way. It's like, this is why, you know, I would get these assignments, I would do them, I would succeed or fail.

But then we would always talk about why, why are we doing it this way? And I like to tell people, Do it. Ask questions, try. And I always like to explain the why, because you can't challenge the system unless you know why it was there to begin with or why we do certain things and the value to that, you know?

And I always say, you know, the next generation's gonna buck the system just like I buck the system. But you gotta understand why it was there to begin with.

Dan Ryan: Well, I think that's it. Super cool because if you think about the why may never change, but the how always changes, right?

Amy Jakubowski: changes. Mm-hmm.

Dan Ryan: the why we do what we do. Like that's our passion. That's our purpose. But the vehicle is the what, like how does it get done? Like our. That's, that's actually really interesting. And then if you were to think about when you're working with a junior person or someone's new, gone to your team on a project and you're, you're, do you have like an example of where you take the time to explain the why and then the a light bulb goes off?

Like what's your process on doing that? To get clarity on the why first?

Amy Jakubowski: I think it depends on the assignment. Um, you know, we do a lot of charettes, right? We do a lot of pin up in the, in the studio. So when we're working through a project, I always have the team start their project and then present it, present their ideas, present their thought process, and then we kind of go through it and I ask them, well, why did they do that?

Well, did you look at this? Because if you do it this way, this is why this works a little bit better. You know? So there's always a why in every underlying conversation and, and I think a lot of that comes out organically when you brainstorm and work with the design team hand on hand. But you always get them to present first and talk about their why.

Dan Ryan: Oh, I love that. And then how do you balance that explanation of the why? Like, cuz obviously like when you're doing these charettes or presentations, like there's obviously a deadline, right? So how do you like. I'm envisioning a duck swimming across, like where they're very calm, but the, the legs are going really fast underneath.

How, how do you, how do, how do you take that time to just get them to get clear on the why, but also like, Hey, this what also ha the what has to happen?

Amy Jakubowski: It's a juggling act. Um, and some days we're more successful than others, but you try to factor that into the schedule, right? So when we do a kickoff meeting, we talk about the goals, what we need to achieve. We have what I would call like the charette session, um, for lack of a better word, the ability to sit and talk about what our overarching schedule is, what we're gonna tackle first, what we're gonna do when we're gonna come together again and meet about it, walk through it.

So we always factor in those times to dialogue. And, and define the why and create that and, and talk about it. Um, and sometimes we say, okay, well we're not gonna get to that one, but we're gonna do this one. And, and you just. Planet, it's part of the project planning. You've gotta allow that time to incubate, to create, and to discuss, because I think far too much these days, we're going so quickly, everybody is, I have yet to meet somebody, and we were just at expo, right?

Everybody's moving at high speed, but I think you have to build it in, even if there's small moments in the day.

Dan Ryan: I find that just in my. Day to day, if I'm back to back, to back on everything, if I know that if I don't give myself 15 to 45 minutes between things to just catch up on all the other things that have happened, it's uh, I get this really, uh, overwhelming sense of just, ah, what am I missing? What am I doing?

So I, I love that, that you plan that in. That's, that's awesome.

Amy Jakubowski: And I try to say, cuz sometimes you look at my schedule and it's insane and people can't get ahold of me as much as they'd like. And I'm like, I have to focus on these things today because there's a deadline, but what does your tomorrow look like? So I'm always trying to be as um, expressive. As communicative as possible.

Dan Ryan: Mm. Um, I wanna switch over into speaking about a P Y R P R U. So obviously French and Origin. You guys have a, a really nice footprint in Chicago as well. Um, What are the types of projects that you guys and gals all of you are, are looking for, and like, what's, what's your real sweet spot? And, and, and, yeah, just answer that one first.

Amy Jakubowski: Okay. Um, I think everybody who knows p yr knows us as, you know, luxury. That is definitely the market we, we dominate in a lot of ways. Um, we're also perceived, if you will, as classical designers because of all of the rooted work that we've done in Europe. Um, we do do a lot of heritage sites, but we've also done a lot of modernity and, and I think the takeaway I'd like everybody to know is, you know, we're just very, um, defined luxury designers, if you will.

Um, and we, we approach every project with passion and commitment and really understanding the function. There's a few things that I will say that I do appreciate about. The firm, and as you know, I obviously have 30 years, I've been here 18 months. There is a sensitivity and a complete understanding of from the moment that the guest arrives.

And walks through that hotel that we approach every design. It is not just about the pretty picture, it is really about the human experience. Where does the luggage go? How do you get through that door? Where does this go? You know? And we think about the function as we start to look at the design of a space.

Um, and I, and I found that very enlightening and it sounds so simple. It sounds like something we should all do, but it is such a fundamental, Conversation and everything that we do that it sometimes didn't exist before.

Dan Ryan: really? And and why is that? Is that because you think maybe people or different firms are more concerned with narrative rather than. Human experience within or like, or is it a balance between those?

Amy Jakubowski: I think it's a balance between those. I mean, there's always a narrative, right? Because that's where you get your design from and this whole narrative, we always. In school, it was a concept design. What was your concept? Right? And over the years it's turned into the word narrative and that's also been the foundation of how you tell stories and how you connect closer to humans and, and coming up with that hospitality.

But I do think it's a fine balance between both.

Dan Ryan: Hmm. I'm intrigued by when you, when you were talking about, uh, p y R's classical design, a classical design firm, um, you mentioned heritage sites. Like what are some of the, like the most classic heritage sites that, that, that are top of mind for you?

Amy Jakubowski: You know, I think one of the projects that we're well, well known for is the George sank in in Paris, and we're currently working on the Ritz in London. We're working on the AM and Amsterdam. We tend to. These grandam hotels that we do tend to work on, and we do some fantastic work with them. Four Seasons in Florence, St.

Regis, and Rome. I mean, these are some pretty, I mean, right now we're working on the, um, Denali in Venice. I mean, these are pretty amazing hotels that we get a chance to work on.

Dan Ryan: And are you guys getting to work on those out of Chicago as well or is it, do you, do you split it between, uh, France and Chicago?

Amy Jakubowski: That particular project is, um, out of our Paris studio. Uh, certain projects are outta Chicago and in a lot of cases we actually blend the two together. We do create teams that are the most effective for the project, and it's usually a balance of both, but we do work closely.

Dan Ryan: Okay. And then, On, I use, you used the word, uh, modernity. I, uh, modernity. What are some other ones that maybe are not so heritage, but are like, kind of really kind of pushing the limits on, on modernity?

Amy Jakubowski: So I would take a look at, I don't know if you know this, but we did the Jade signature, which is a high-end luxury residential project down in Florida and Sunny Isles. And that is extremely modern. It is quite beautiful, and I had the chance during, um, The art show, uh, to go and see that in person. And

Dan Ryan: Art Basel.

Amy Jakubowski: Art Basel, yes.

The pictures that we have of that project do not do it justice. The beauty in terms of the detailing and the wood veneering and how that all comes together was absolutely exquisite.

Dan Ryan: And then if you were to kind of walk us through that, like what was your favorite part walking through that, that really pulled it all together for you?

Amy Jakubowski: I think it was that I, you know, I can see certain things in the images. Obviously I took. A heat of all of our assets when I first got here. But to have seen them on that and to actually walk it and see how the forms of the walls, which look beautiful in photograph, but actually leads you through the entire space and it connects you to the visuals of the ocean and it connects you to the visuals of the adjacent gardens and how we took these rooms and connected them to nature.

It was really, it was really rooted in, in the architecture that spoke to the interiors on that project.

Dan Ryan: so you're in Chicago, you're at p y r, you have this global team. Um, as you're looking at what's in front of you and where you've come from, what's exciting you most about what you see, what lies ahead?

Amy Jakubowski: Oh gosh. I think this is such a great challenge to take such a distinguished firm and move it into the next century, if you will. Um, I mean, we have 40 years of legacy that we wanna continue on, and I love coming here. I love the fact that we're global. We have a global footprint. Um, I just spent time with clients in Asia a couple weeks ago.

We're doing work in the Middle East. We've got work in Europe in the us. I love that global aspect of what we do. I see that growing and continuing. I'm excited about opportunities to tap into other project types that we may not have tapped into yet. I see, you know, we've done quite a few resorts and here's a little trivia that I don't know that a lot of people, uh, know.

We have actually worked over 40 restaurants with. Michelin star chefs and I don't think anybody's really known how much restaurant work we have done. So I see a lot of ability. We've even done a yacht and a plane. I mean, we've tapped into multiple types of projects. We've done some significant retail stores for Busk and Chopard in Osman Dome in Paris, and so I think that's what I'm excited about, trying to like also tell people like, gosh, we do all of this incredible work.

And, and we we're, we think of ourselves as designers, true designers.

Dan Ryan: I'm curious. When, of those 40 restaurants, obviously you're newer to the firm, so you haven't worked on them all, but when you're work, when you're working on a a, a restaurant with a Michelin star chef, do you know that it's a Michelin star chef from the beginning? Or do, is it like a, if you, if you build it, they will come.

And if it is, if it is known, how collaborative is it with that chef? Uh, from the beginning.

Amy Jakubowski: Um, it, it's not when you're working with a Michelin star chef, you're working with them. It. It is a true collaboration. And because you're basically building their signature three dimensionally, right? So they're creating that experience of the food and you're creating the theater in which it's presented, and that is an extension of who they are and how they wanna be perceived.

So it's a very interesting collaboration and all of that. One of the projects that was still being built when I came on board was patios in In The Little Inn in Washington. In Virginia and that's

Dan Ryan: that place is awesome.

Amy Jakubowski: yeah, it's very significant of our chef.

Dan Ryan: Wow. And ha have you gotten to eat there?

Amy Jakubowski: I have not yet. I have not.

Dan Ryan: I've been, that little inn in Virginia has come up so many times in, um, just videos and, and as examples of excellent hospitality and. I've always wanted to go there and I actually forgot about it a little bit, so I need to put, put that back on the top of my list.

Amy Jakubowski: So now you have to, so the cafe that we created, the inn was created before the cafe that we created was an old, uh, gas station that was converted into a bakery and, and restaurant.

Dan Ryan: Oh really?


Amy Jakubowski: Mm-hmm.

Dan Ryan: Um, so everyone's having challenges right now, finding people to, to get the work done and really good people. Um, What challenges are you seeing and like, and how are you trying to get around them so that you can continue to build your teams and grow?

Amy Jakubowski: You know, I think we're met with the same challenges that others have. Um, I will say in the last several months we have made some very strategic and, and great hires, and I'm excited about the team that we have now. They're so talented and, uh, they're kind of, I have enough people that have been here that are training.

We have training through Paris so that we're bringing them up to that p y R style, but I also have a secret weapon.

Dan Ryan: Oh,

Amy Jakubowski: I love having secret weapons, so I don't know if everybody really knows this, but we're an affiliate to Perkins and Will.

Dan Ryan: oh, I did know that.

Amy Jakubowski: Okay.

Dan Ryan: tell us how that, tell us how that secret weapon works.

Amy Jakubowski: Well, it allows us to grow and expand. So for example, the project that we're doing in, um, Saudi Arabia right now, it requires a lot of documentation and architectural support.

Well, I've got five Perkinson will architects on the team right now. I have the ability to expand and contract through our sister company and get that support, and that's very, very helpful. So when somebody says, can you meet this schedule? I can. I can, I've got all of these Parkinson wall people to draw from.

Dan Ryan: When you're, when, when you're expanding and contracting like that, um, how do you, again, going back to the why and the how, how do you get those new teammates that are coming in to help out understand the why?

And then that they can do the how.

Amy Jakubowski: Well, they're part of it from the beginning too, right? I mean, we, we do, we do master plans, so we understand when we're going to need people and when to start to integrate 'em. You don't just integrate somebody on the back end and hope that they can draw it. You foresee and you predict, I'm not gonna need you to hear, but you're part of the team from the beginning, so you're, you're ingrained in the design and the thought process

Dan Ryan: Got

Amy Jakubowski: and vice versa.

They're bringing things to the table that as interior designers, our team here in Chicago is fully up to speed on Revit. Not only did the team come in, they didn't just help us document it, they helped create our entire Revit system and train our entire team up on, on that software because that's where we're going.

Dan Ryan: Wow. Okay, cool. And then, pardon me. When you're looking at, you know, adding to your team and growing to, to fulfill all the work that you guys are getting, what are. What are you, what are the qualities you really look at in in new team, new in new team members that you're bringing on?

Amy Jakubowski: Honestly, I think it's really, um, I'm gonna call it a positive attitude. You know, I, I'm looking for people that have obviously graphic and design skills. I'm looking for a very solid portfolio. You know, I think everybody's looking for that, but I think to deal with today's market and today's, you know, hurry, pace, environment. I'm looking for people with a collaborative, um, spirit and a positive outlook. You know, we got hit with a unexpected deadline in the last week, and there isn't any person in this office that didn't come together to help each other, and that to me is the foundation of a very solid team and positive growth.

Dan Ryan: Wow. And then, yeah, and that kind of echoes other things I've always heard and I believe too, it's like you don't hire for skills. They can always be taught. It's really hire for culture, right.

Amy Jakubowski: You got it. And, and I'm really looking to culture. I'm looking to people that are supportive and helpful and encouraging, and it, it goes a long way. It really goes a long way.

Dan Ryan: Wow. Okay. That's awesome. And then like, just to, to get a flavor of some of the really exciting projects that you're working on right now that are either, um, open about to open or in production, like what's lighting you up the most when, when, when I ask you about that.

Amy Jakubowski: Oh gosh. There's so many things that light me up. And I'm gonna speak, um, I'm gonna speak from the Chicago office because Paris has got a ton of stuff going on as well. But if I'm speaking just for Chicago and what we're most intimately involved in, uh, the Waldorf historian New York is well under construction.

We're very excited to see that open again. They're targeting 2024. Um, The Waldorf Historia Doha in Lu Sal. We just launched. We're gonna, you're gonna see a lot of promotion on that in the next month or so. Um, they had a soft opening at the end of last year, but now it's going into more of a full-blown opening.

We're excited to share that. That'll be something that has a bit more modernity to it that you'll see. Uh, we're well under construction with a luxurious resident in China. We are well under construction for a high rise in hou. And one of the things that really excites me is this, um, dairy Gate project that we're working on in Saudi Arabia.

It is really pretty amazing. We've all heard about these giga projects and they're also uniquely different, but we're really dealing with the Nesco heritage site, and it's so fascinating to be part of this huge development, um, in, in this creation in Riyad. It's been very, very fascinating.

Dan Ryan: And, and just to walk us through that, it's a UNESCO Heritage site that they're building a master plan,

Amy Jakubowski: So, so this is truly the site that established Saudi Arabia as a country. So it is the very first state that established then, and they're creating a development around the original heritage site, and it's really rooted in this NA architecture that supports the heritage site and the founding. Of Saudi Arabia and it's really incredible how they're holding true to the heritage and infusing a new city and modern ways to this.

So we're working on this hotel and we have to do these incredible interpretations of NA architecture. It's such a fascinating learning experience and to be part of such a development that's pretty

Dan Ryan: Yeah. And to, I, I don't wanna say that there's no budget, but every project has, does have the constraint of budget. But you know, I would assume, Without knowing the details of that project, that it's a pretty nice budget that you're working with to really execute around that heritage site.

Amy Jakubowski: You know, to say that everybody has a budget, but yes, I mean, I mean, they're doing a beautiful job. They're investing what's required. To make it beautiful. But of course there's a budget, you know, I mean, we go through each phase, it gets checked with cost control and um, you know, we course correct if necessary, but so far we've been on Target.

Dan Ryan: Wow, that's awesome. Um, well I can't wait to learn more about that and all of us can't wait to learn more about that. It sounds really fantastic. Um, so as you're looking forward also, like what are your biggest needs right now as p YR in Chicago?

Amy Jakubowski: Our biggest needs, I would say right now, um, obviously, you know, team, staff, um, I, I feel like we've had a lot of great hires. I'm probably in a position to handle a couple of more at this moment. Um, as far as proposals and potential projects, gosh, we're so busy right now with what we have and. I, I don't know what the floodgates opened after everybody got back from Covid and I, a proposal once a week.

It's been crazy, but it's been really exciting. So, as far as the projects, I mean, they're, they're coming and we have them. I think what would excite me or what I would want is more to expand on, on letting people know who we are, what we do, and, and doing other project types that we have done in the past, but people haven't really known it.

Dan Ryan: Okay. And, and what, what, what would those project types be?

Amy Jakubowski: Well, that would be, um, more resorts. We've had, we've dabbled in resorts. Um, I would love to see more resorts in our portfolio. I would love to see more of the, um, expensive retail. I would love to see more, more luxurious residential that we've done. And, you know, we've dabbled in, here's an interesting thing, and you wouldn't think of p yr for this, but what we're finding is, as you know, Perkinson Willis does a lot of hospitals along with other.

Project types. We're finding that clients are coming because they want a hospitality spin on hospitals. So we actually did the concepts for the v i P suites and lobby space and public spaces for a new build hospital in Saudi Arabia.

Dan Ryan: Oh,

Amy Jakubowski: And it was interesting and fascinating because, We're designers first and foremost, right?

And, and we do design with a hospitality eye. Why should a hospital be any different? Now, of course, they have more money to invest there to do more of a high level, but the difference between the v IP suites and the hospital, and what we would do in a hotel is the hospital bed.

Dan Ryan: That's the only

Amy Jakubowski: That's the difference. Oh, and a nurse is stationed, but that's the difference.

That's the level.

Dan Ryan: I'm always surprised that that hasn't happened more, and this has come up a lot in these conversations where so much of. Hospitality is how you make others feel. And that's there. I think that there's a healing and a regenerative effect in that, and I just, I don't know why I, that, that just hasn't come over to healthcare more.

It, it just, it's really mind boggling.

Amy Jakubowski: It. It's truly mind boggling. I mean, and I think we've dipped our toe in it for years. We've talked about it, kind of talked about it, but we're really doing it now. And I mean obviously there's certain monies that can occur in certain areas that allow that, but this client is so amazing.

I don't, he just, he truly believes in design and healing and making people feel, I mean, it is a true commitment on their part to make that happen. And it's been fascinating cuz we're not. Hospital designers who were hospitality designers.

Dan Ryan: Yeah. Well, and again, I, I, well, I think why this podcast keeps growing and, and there it resonates with so many people is I truly believe hospitality touches everything. And I think the more that we can get in, take what we've learned and apply it to healing world, I think it will only make healthcare better and, and just, Just the sense of wellbeing and wellness better.

Amy Jakubowski: Oh, absolutely. I mean, if we go back to what we were saying earlier, I mean, you're creating the human experience. Why does the human experience have to be something less than in a hospital? You do wanna create a healing environment, and we're all gonna get there. We're all gonna get there, Dan.

Dan Ryan: We have we all, and you know what? I want them to figure it out now so that when I'm there,

Amy Jakubowski: It looks good. It feels good. Yeah, exactly. Me too.

Dan Ryan: Uh, hopefully my kids will come visit. maybe they'll wipe off that little piece of oatmeal.

Amy Jakubowski: There you go.

Dan Ryan: so, wow. That's awesome. Now, I, I just want, I want to go back in time to when you're waitressing, I'm gonna pick Ho Joe's just because That's amazing. Um, I want, I want the Amy that I'm speaking to right now to appear in front of that younger version of yourself.

And what advice would you have for your younger self?

Amy Jakubowski: Oh gosh. You know what? I, I was a hustler. I thought that hard work would get me to where I wanted to go, and I would say, you know what? Keep doing what you were doing. I mean, it, it really was about hard work. It was about commitment. It was about endurance, and it was about pushing through. Um, and I always had sort of that, I don't wanna say a hustle, but I always had that determination and that commitment, and I never gave up about, um, Doing that, but I, I would say, you know what, you were doing the right thing, you know, you were doing the right thing.

And I don't know if I could have seen, like I had this idea that all this hard work would pay off and would mean something. And you feel it, but you don't know it for sure. So as the older lady looking at the younger one, that was the right way to go.

Dan Ryan: Yeah.

I love that. I like, I don't know if it's just cuz we're from Jersey, but there's that hustle. There's that, it's, it's the push, it's the, it's, it's hashtag Jersey. Jersey Strong. Um, born, we're born to run, baby.

Amy Jakubowski: born to board to run is right. You know. Thank you, Bruce. But you know, I, I do think it was for me, you know, things weren't, you know, handed. If I needed it, I needed to go get it. I needed to work for it, and I worked hard for it, and I saw what I wanted to do. And if I wasn't sure how to get there, I'd ask somebody, well, what do I do?

How do I do this? What do I need to be doing if I wanna go here? And then I just kept putting myself in those positions.

Dan Ryan: And then Julie or, uh, Julia would be like, well, let's talk about the why, then we can get to the what.

Amy Jakubowski: She would say, do that. Okay, now why?

Dan Ryan: Yeah. Uh, I haven't seen her in forever. Hmm. Um, all right. That's awesome. I love it. Hustle, hustle, hustle. Um, well, I'm just super excited for your, your new home, Chicago. I'm excited for you and all these great projects and the team you're building at P yr.

And if people wanted to learn more about you or Pyr like. How can they find out, how can they connect with you?

Amy Jakubowski: Oh my goodness. Connect with me through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, um, our website. I hired a powerhouse marketing director last year, and she's got us all up to speed on social media. So you could find p y R on any any channel.

Dan Ryan: Awesome. And I guess you're hiring, so, uh, definitely reach out,

get your

Amy Jakubowski: That would be on our website. Yep.

Dan Ryan: Um, well, Amy, I know how busy you are and. I'm just so grateful that we got to connect here and thank you for your time. Uh, you know, it's an, it's an investment I know, but I just feel like you have such great stories to share and experience to share that I think it will only help shorten other people's journeys, so thank you.

Amy Jakubowski: Oh, thank you, Dan. I'm glad that after all these years of knowing you, I was able to give you a tidbit of information you did not know.

Dan Ryan: I, yes. And uh, and I'm all the better for it. Uh, and I think we're all the better for it. And also I thank you to our listeners because again, we wouldn't be here talking if it wasn't for you. So if this is change your idea on design, hospitality, design, hospitality. Please pass it along. We've been growing by word of mouth, by leaps of bounds, and I'm just eternally humbled that everyone keeps listening and more people keep listening.

So thank you and we'll catch you next time.

A Space, A Brand, An Experience - Amy Jakubowski - Defining Hospitality - Episode #107
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