Mitch Brean, founder and lead designer of Stone Yard Inc, has been creating customized furniture and furnishings for 30 years. He’s collaborated with top interior designers, like Barry Dixon and Amy Meier, as well as Restoration Hardware’s on their outdoor collections.Whether he’s creating a piece for a personal residence, or for high end hotels & resorts around the world (like Four Seasons, Wynn Resorts and Ritz Carlton), he brings his high-level artistry and commitment to craftsmanship every step of the way. We’re excited to welcome Mitch to our #5MinutesWith series:

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
My dad had always taught me to do the very best I can, no matter the job. I lost sight of that teaching in my early twenties when I was at what I thought was a boring, go-nowhere job. And suddenly his words came back to me, and everything started looking up from that point. Shortly afterwards, I started Stone Yard Inc.

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
A good strong triple latte! And I love getting up very early, while it’s still dark, and just relaxing with my beloved Clicquot (my 15-year old Standard Poodle) before starting the day.

SUCCESS IS:
Being able to pursue your passions, and get paid for it.

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
Some form of facial hair.

MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
Past: John Dickinson, Michael Taylor, Louis Cataffo, James Northcutt, and Kalef Alaton. Present: Roger Thomas. I love his fun approach to design—he is fearless when it comes to color. I would love to do more collaborations!

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN SAN DIEGO:
As much as I love San Diego (and I do love San Diego!), I would love the opportunity to live in San Francisco, at least part time. Whenever I visit San Francisco, I get a lot of design inspiration.

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I get in my Jeep, put a large Peet’s coffee in the drink holder, and drive—with no destination in mind.

ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
Don’t discount yourself or what you do. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and go after what you want.

IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
Designing and traveling, my two favorite things. Hopefully combining the two.

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Enjoy life and be kind to one another, and to animals too!