Meet Female Powerhouse Ginna Christensen of GC Collaborative

Ginna Christensen of GC Collaborative - Design industry brand consultant

Sought after for her unique and creative solutions to the challenges of modern businesses in the realms of fashion, art, and interior design Ginna Christensen of GC Collaborative is a female powerhouse!

I first met Ginna Christensen in 2013 when our mutual friends Rafi and Josh of FORM Design Studio introduced us. At the time she was relaunching a custom and limited edition rug line which featured amazing artist collaborations (like the three biggest street artists in Los Angeles—RETNA, Shepard Fairey, and Kenny Scharf!) Ginna’s charisma, passion, and creativity instantly captivated me. And her story, numerous business ventures, and outlooks on life are full of inspiration. So when I had the opportunity to interview Ginna for Love Happens I jumped on the chance to share her!

Ginna Christensen & GC Collaborative

The Brooklyn born daughter of two entrepreneurs always knew innovation and the arts would play a role in her life. Ginna began her career in fashion merchandising and marketing. She then moved to the world of art and interiors taking on numerous roles in design, sales, marketing, branding, and PR. So when the bi-coastal creative decided to launch her boutique brand consulting firm GC Collaborative in 2017 it was as if her destiny was unfolding.

The decision to start GC Collaborative came to Ginna after being appointed chairwoman of the West Hollywood Design District. “The experience opened me up to working with a variety of brands both within and outside of the interior design industry,” explained Ginna. “I loved the diversity, and as a result, my creativity grew in ways that I had not expected.”

LCD Dinner by Ginna Christensen GC Collaborative - design industry brand consultancy

A brand consultant and connector, GC Collaborative specializes in helping brands identify their differentiating point in the marketplace and creating strategies that allow their clients to STAND OUT. Wondering what Ginna believes are the 3 keys to STANDING OUT in the design industry—we asked!

“I believe that in order to stand out in an authentic way, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, to stand for something, and to integrate who you are into the work you do,” says Ginna.

With clients in NYC, LA and beyond ranging from showrooms like Snyder Diamond and boutique wallpaper brand Black Crow Studios to design firms like Legaspi Courts Design and ASD Interiors, GC Collaborative can handle any design industry business challenges.

GC Collaborative in Milan

Ginna’s boundless creativity can clearly be seen in ventures such as the group tours to Salone del Mobile.Milano and Milan Design Week GC Collaborative arranged for the 2018 and 2019 events. The idea to curate these trips to make navigating Milan manageable came about while working with her client Snyder Diamond who shares Ginna’s desire to create and build a sense of community.

Welcome to Milan Party with Snyder Diamond during Milan Design Week 2019 at the Bulgari Hotel
Welcome to Milan Party with Snyder Diamond during Milan Design Week 2019 at the Bulgari Hotel
Source: @snyderdiamond

With just over fifty CA-based designers on the April 2019 tour, GC Collaborative and its industry partners Synder Diamond, Needler Fauchère and others joined forces to offer not only a curated Milan experience, but also the opportunity to form a sense of community while traveling together, and to provide memorable moments to serve as creative fuel for the year to come.

Women at Work

In addition to GC Collaborative, Ginna also has a women’s organization called Women at Work. A network which began in 2016, Women at Work speaks to female designers, artists, makers, and business developers. “The idea came up when I was having lunch one day with interior designer Krista Schrock and textile designer Brook Perdigon,” said Ginna. “We were having a great conversation about our work, our challenges and our successes, when Brook said, ‘I wish we had a place to go to talk about these things on the regular’. I responded, ‘Why don’t we just create it?’”

Women at Work Women event with Toni Purry - Ginna Christensen of GC Collaborative
Women at Work Women event with Toni Purry

What makes Women at Work different from other women’s networks is the kind of programming they offer. From topics like How to Create From Your Core, The Science of Color and Facing Bullies, Women at Work explores topics rarely, if ever, discussed on typical panels. The organization’s next talk Lifting the Veil will feature designer Shirry Dolgin. The talk will explore the biggest mistakes designers make and how to use these failures and platforms for educating themselves so they can reach higher levels of success. “It is my desire to create value for my members and address the challenges we are all facing,” says Ginna.

3 Keys to Being a Successful Leader in the Design Industry According to Ginna Christensen

“Integrate who you are into the work you do like Azadeh Shladovsky. Azadeh’s daughter passed at a very young age and Azadeh’s furniture is an homage to her memory,” Ginna began. “Stand for something that matters, like Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios. Tracy is a Rebel with a cause and is using her wallpaper to fundraise for a cause she believes in. And, act as a mirror to reflect the greatness of the people that work with you which is Ariel Johnson’s philosophy for managing her team.”

Be Inspired

be inspired neon sign behind ginna christensen of GC collaborative - brand consultant for the design industry

Ginna often posts inspiring quotes on her Instagram so I asked her to share her top 3 favorite mantras. “The first that comes to mind is ‘Be inspired’,” Ginna began. “I came up with this two-word mantra for my life when I was working with artists Cole Sternberg and Curtis Kulig. Cole, uses the words, ‘One day’ in his work, and Curtis ‘Love me’. They inspired me to come up with my own two words. I even had stickers made and started posting them around town like I was a secret street artist. Other mantras that are front of mind for me now are ‘Create from your core’, and ‘Know thyself’.”

What’s Next

So what’s next for this inspiring and innovative female force? “A dream of mine is to curate installations at shows like Salone del Mobile featuring makers that are talented but relativity unknown on a global or even national scale,” says Ginna. Without a doubt this would be amazing—can’t wait to see it come to fruition!

Words and Interview by Anna Beck Bimba

Looking to be inspired by more empowering women? Check out Love Happens page dedicated to amazing Women!

black and gold bar stool - chandra by koket