Gerrick Numan, Director of Millé, began his career working in restaurants, cafes and bars through high school and university in his early 20s. While Numan was in Melbourne in his mid-20s, he designed, opened, and operated four venues in four years before realising I liked designing venues more than operating them.
“I retrained and worked my way up through another hospitality interior design company until opening Millé,” shared Numan.
Numan described that he would have approximately 25 hospitality interior and graphic design projects daily at one time. These projects can be in various completion stages, from initial concept stages to developed design, building consent, detailed design and construction.
The Director stated that each week begins with a team catch-up, where everyone is given transparency about where everyone is at, after which the team collaborates on solutions and sets deliverables together.
Numan shared that his love for hospitality drew him into the industry, coupled with the importance of restaurants, cafes, and bars to society.
“They are the heartbeat of our cities. They bring people together or give us time to recharge alone. I've always loved the atmosphere of a good venue, ever since I was a child.”
The design for the Numan begins as a close collaboration with the clients, with the Director stating that his and his team's role was bringing the client's dreams to life. Numan takes pride in transparency with his clients, whether it comes to fees or time spent on each stage, giving clients insights into how the company gets from an empty site to a finished venue.
This process starts with Numan uncovering the client's thoughts, dreams, values, inspiration, target market, and competition. From this process, the team creates a 3D model.
“Then we work quickly and closely with them to play around with layout ideas until we have the perfect layout that balances the customer experience with operational efficiency.”
Once the layout is locked in, the team develops the initial interior design and branding concepts based on the client's brief, inspiration and our depth of experience. Following this, the team applies these concepts to the 3D model, selecting colours, textures, materials, furniture, lighting, flooring, and everything, layered with branding, to create a whole 3D digital experience of what the final venue will look like.
“Once the client loves the final product, we move to the technical stages.”
This includes engagements with various engineers, including fire, mechanical, hydraulic, and structural, as required, after which a set of drawings for building consent are produced.
Numan stated that inspiration for each product is from the client's dreams and vision for their projects, with Numan and his team helping clients bring their ideas to life. However, the most challenging places to create and design were in the fit-out of malls or other large precincts as they require more people to review and sign off.
The director shared that the company’s point of difference compared to others in design for hospitality was to do with the team's proven in-depth knowledge and experience in hospitality operations. Numan revealed that all his staff had spent years working in hospitality. He stated that this helped the company and the team to connect with and understand its clients and design for its success instead of just designing for design's sake.
The director's proudest achievement within the industry was the team he as at Millé. The driving factor of which had to do with the team's care for clients and hospitality.
“I can go away for two weeks, and our clients will be looked after even better than when I am here is an absolute honour. We have a great work environment here.”
Numan hopes that one day he and his team at Millé will be the go-to operators to bring clients' dreams to life. Numan added that his wife, Rhea and the team at Millé were amazing and made everything in the business worthwhile.