The next edition of GRAY’s HOT NEW NEXT competition takes place Tuesday, July 30, at Seattle Design Center. This Shark Tank-style live event offers contestants the chance to present a rapid-fire pitch of a new design-related concept or product to an expert panel of industry veterans, who will select a winner in a final round in September during the Interior Design Show (IDS) Vancouver.
Leading up to the big night, we’re checking in with each of our judges to learn more about their work, background, and what makes them tick. This week, we caught up with Mehul Gandhi, the cofounder and former owner of Canadian wealth management company Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network. His familiarity within the financial sector will serve him well on the judging panel as he helps determine the winning product or concept.
RSVP to HOT NEW NEXT Seattle here.
What’s your most prized design possession?
My brown leather Barcelona chair and matching ottoman. It’s the perfect spot for me to enjoy a drink on a cold evening.
What’s the best part of your job?
Helping business owners by taking care of their financial needs so they can focus on what they do best: growing and developing their business.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on in the past year?
Renovating and refurnishing my condo. It was a first for me and I learned a lot. Now, the space really expresses my style.
What are you looking forward to most about being an HNN judge?
Learning about the creative ideas that the contestants will be presenting. I am always in awe of creative design because my day-to-day life is so removed from it.
What is the best—and worst—advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I received was early on: Life is not fair, but hard work creates opportunity and luck. The worst advice: If you do well in school, you will be successful.
Five Questions For is GRAY’s candid Q&A session with design industry luminaries that delves into all things personal, professional, and occasionally humorous.