MEET THE STUDIO D TEAM
GAIL STEMPEL DUNNETT
FOUNDER + CEO
Studio D’s founder has over fifteen years experience in the home furnishings and design industry. With a business degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a Bain & Company management consulting background under her belt, she has been sourcing, developing, and merchandising products for industry leaders for longer than she likes to admit! She moved to Australia in the 90’s for five years, returning to the U.S. to meld her love of business with her passion for interiors. She became the VP of Merchandising for Exposures Homes start up catalog in Connecticut, and later recruited by Pottery Barn Kids in San Francisco, before following her entrepreneurial dreams founding studio D in 2003. Gail has built studio D to be a company where service, execution and visual appeal are paramount, providing unparalleled home staging, design, and retail home furnishings to the Bay Area for over fifteen years. In addition to California, studio D has been staging high-end properties in New York, having acquired the New York Staging Company in 2010. Studio D has appeared on HGTV’s “Selling NY”; BRAVO’s “Curb Appeal,” and has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, and Wall Street Journal’s “House of the Week.” Gail and her buyers travel locally and abroad for inspirational ideas to infuse within the company. This is one of the many ways studio D continues to develop fresh, daring looks while adding value for developers, retailers, homeowners, and commercial design clients alike. Originally from the East Coast herself, Gail has lived in New York, Boston, Connecticut, & Australia. Now settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, she is an avid runner, skier, & tennis junkie with interests in photography, art, and architecture.
HOLLY BRYCE RIZK
DESIGN DIRECTOR | NEW YORK
Growing up in North Carolina, Holly’s passion for spatial design was apparent at an early age. When she was seven, she discovered the wonder of floor plans and used graphing paper to draw her own. While attending Georgetown University, Holly studied art and set design, and was chosen as the designer for two on-campus productions. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a double minor in Theater and Studio Art, Holly spent six months as an assistant to an interior designer in Washington, D.C. She was then hired by National Geographic Television’s Story Development team, where she helped pitch ideas for new programming. For three years, Holly worked in T.V. production in a variety of creative capacities from assistant producing and casting a yoga show, to hosting a children’s ESL series. In 2012, Holly joined Cooking Channel’s digital team as an Associate Editor where she helped brainstorm and create new content for the site, including photo galleries, blogs, and newsletters. She is thrilled to lead the NYC faction of studio D’s creative team, where she’s able to marry her love of design, production and writing.
DESIGNER + STAGER | SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN
Florence came to the United States to finalize her art degree after receiving a master’s degree in Communication and Advertising in France. She followed her studies with work as a retail consultant and home furnishing product developer for a large chain retailer. Since opening her first interior design company in 2002, she has produced a number of residential projects for clients in Mill Valley, San Francisco, and vacation homes on the East Coast and in France. For Florence, good design is found in the graceful composition of antique and modern elements and wonderful color and texture – with a dash of daring. She followed her passion of architecture, antiques and art, which ultimately lead her to extensive work in home staging. Her work has been featured in the 2005 “San Francisco’s Junior League Homes Tour” and California Home and Design magazine. Florence is an amateur abstract acrylic and encaustic artist, a member of the Marin Charitable Association, a non-profit organization which plays a crucial role in enriching the lives of children at risk in our community, and a sustainer of San Francisco Bay Area Discovery Museum.
DESIGNER + STAGER | EAST BAY
Janci’s passion for design has been with her since a young age, alongside a desire to travel and learn about the world. A bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology afforded her the opportunity to study people and places all over the globe. She was inspired by basic structures to elaborately designed architecture throughout Europe. She later completed her bachelor’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design, with an emphasis in sustainability. Her design style is classic and modern with rustic elements that give a nod to the natural world around us. Janci has lived and worked in the Bay Area for over a decade, and though she has traveled to incredible places, this one rivals them all. Always excited to return, that is the same feeling we should all have when we return to our home – inspired and embraced. Prior to working with studio D, Janci spent several years restoring and renovating homes and commercial properties. Among other projects, she recently designed Locavore, a restaurant in San Francisco that sources local food with all local and sustainable fixtures.
BUYER + DESIGNER | SAN FRANCISCO + NEW YORK
Jessie draws on her background in interior architecture to provide buying and interior design services in the San Francisco Bay Area. From home staging to furnishing, she understands how people interact with the structural boundaries of their spaces and creates an adaptable experience for residential and commercial clientele. A taste-maker who takes pleasure in bringing simplicity and style to everyday life, Jessie is passionate about pleasing her clients and consults on trend and design directions in a variety of categories. As a six-year studio D veteran, stagers, design assistants and upper-management alike all routinely look to Jessie for guidance and inspiration on the latest in product and inventory trends. She holds an MFA in Interior Architecture from Academy of Art University.
STAGER + DESIGNER | NEW YORK
After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago, which included a 6-month program of studying design and international business in Italy, Nedah moved to Manhattan to pursue a career in the fashion world. Her first gig, an internship at Versace in the buying office, soon granted her an acceptance into the highly competitive Executive Development Program at Macy’s, where she was instrumental in the development of the second largest private label brand in jewelry. Later, as an Associate, she was a key player in launching the Bar III men’s apparel brand. She then went on to work in production at American Eagle Outfitters, where she played a pivotal role in building their home goods collection. Nedah’s love for interiors brought her to Studio D in 2016, where she has since been able to merge her corporate retail experience with her passion for interiors, making her a great addition to the team. Her home staging and design services are currently on offer in Brooklyn and surrounding areas- a real estate market full of properties perfectly suited to her favorite design styles; mid-century modern and classic with fun pops of color!
SR. STYLIST + ASST. ACCESSORIES BUYER | NEW YORK
Growing up in Northern New Jersey, only 20 minutes from Manhattan, Samantha always found an interest in architecture and design. As a young girl, she drew floor plans for fun and dreamt of working in the design field. Samantha worked at a backyard furnishings company from high school throughout her college years where she was able to develop an eye for color, learn the importance of furniture orientation in a showroom and sprucing up the look of the furniture with accessories. After graduating from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Art in History, Sam knew she wanted to take the design route. She feels lucky to have found her way to studio D where she is able to accessorize her way through Manhattan real estate.
ACCOUNTING MANAGER | SAN FRANCISCO + NEW YORK
Reuben joined the team in the Summer of 2016. He is a former CPA who previously worked in the Business Risk Management Consulting division of Moss Adams LLP where he performed testing of internal controls for Sarbane’s Oxley compliance. Prior to that he worked in small business lending underwriting loans for the Small Business Administration and also worked as a credit analyst for Facebook. He enjoys reconciling bank accounts, balancing balance sheets, and helping to maintain a happy workplace with a good sense of humor and a positive attitude. Reuben is also the accounting manager for The Barn restaurant in Half Moon Bay, which has been serving the best burgers on the coast side since 2015.
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, OPERATIONS + TALENT | NEW YORK
Zoe is a native New Yorker with 20 years of bookkeeping, office management and customer service experience. Before joining studio D in 2017, she owned and operated her own successful photography business in New York City for ten years, where she headed both the creative and administrative aspects of the company. In addition to her strong bookkeeping background, she brings exceptional skills in marketing and design. Before running her own business, Zoe worked in sales and marketing at HBO. She has also held an accounting position at both a marketing communications firm and recording studio, where she worked directly with many high-profile clients and industry executives.
MARKETING LEAD + DESIGN ASSISTANT | SAN FRANCISCO + NEW YORK
Native San Franciscan Yael left the Bay Area behind for Emerson College in Boston to pursue a BFA in Creative Writing, with a concentration on Creative Non-Fiction. Soon after, she moved to New York, continuing her education in writing and film at the New School in Manhattan’s West Village, before hightailing it back to the Bay in 2012. With creative sensibilities inspired by childhood travels through the Middle East and Europe with her family, treks back and forth between coasts as a young adult, and the delightfully emotional, and sensory blend of past and present that so embodies her home city, Yael is driven by experience and authentic communication throughout the disciplines in which she works. She has a deep love for finding and telling unique stories, whether through writing, thoughtfully-designed interior spaces, original marketing ideas- or cheeky social media posts! Yael lives in SF’s Outer Sunset Neighborhood (the city’s best-kept secret 😉 ) and enjoys Beyonce, dogs and flea markets- where she is not afraid to haggle…
OPERATIONS MANAGER | SAN FRANCISCO
A native San Franciscan, Wayne was featured tailback at Sacred Heart Cathedral, then at San Francisco State University. After running the ball downfield, he later ran security for a number of Bay Area companies. More recently, Wayne headed the shipping department for Zocalo Inc., a home furnishings company, for over thirteen years. It was here that he experienced working at a company that grew from seven employees to 150 employees with sales of $48MM. Studio D was lucky enough to recruit Wayne in 2012 as Crew Manager. When not managing the ops at studio D, Wayne is busy keeping fit, and providing in-house nutritional advice to the team.
CREW CAPTAIN | SAN FRANCISCO
Quick-thinking and well-versed in field operations, Edwin is one of studio D’s most trusted and esteemed employees after over seven years on the team! Originally hailing from El Salvador, Ed’s parents brought him to San Francisco in 1991, where he’s been going to school, living and working ever since. With a variety of experience in retail, and a longstanding position with UPS under his belt, Edwin knows the true value of impeccable customer service combined with good, old-fashioned hard work and hustle. Ask around, and members of the CA team will likely tell you that it is Ed’s consistency and unshakable calm that has pulled them through many a hectic day on the job! Outside of work, Edwin enjoys hiking, barbecuing, camping, dancing, and spending time with his kiddos.
WAREHOUSE ASSOCIATE/DRIVER | NEW YORK
Brooklyn-born and Manhattan-bred, Matt knows the streets of New York better than most; which makes him the perfect addition to studio D’s NYC team. His extensive background in warehousing includes a most recent stint as Production Manager for a NY-based company selling handcrafted artisan gifts and accessories, where he handled everything from shipping and receiving to trade shows and travel! Amidst all the lifting, moving and driving to and from stagings with precious cargo in tow, Matt values the close-knit communication he’s found while working among his team members at studio D. In his spare time, he favors sports (especially basketball), and travel- having made it to such exotic destinations as Australia and Venezuela… But where to next?! 😉
PROJECT MANAGER | NEW YORK
Rachel, hailing from Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, grew up in a creative household. From an early age she had a strong interest in the visual arts, eventually receiving a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Her years following graduation were spent in corporate fashion design and product development, with side work in high-end event planning in the New York metro area. Her sense of design and aesthetic has been refined from travel to Europe, North Africa, and Asia, embracing their cultures and ways of life. Outside the office, Rachel enjoys hitting the trail as an assistant adventure guide, cycling around Brooklyn, sewing, caring for her many plants, and stopping strangers to pet their dogs. She is happy to have found a home at studio D and to be part of a team dedicated to enhancing and beautifying interior spaces.
PROJECT MANAGER | SAN FRANCISCO + MARIN
Katie is truly a hands-on gal and thrifting aficionado! Born and raised in the Bay Area, she attended UC Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University, where she received degrees in Art History and Fine Art with an emphasis on Sculpture. Katie is an interdisciplinary bad-ass who enjoys every aspect of the creative process as a jewelry designer and artist who slings vintage clothing in addition to her full-time Project Manager role. She loves being a part of the studio D team, working in the stunning homes of Marin and San Francisco and learning the trade from such incredible designers. She has especially enjoyed the opportunity to create original works of art for various home staging projects. Katie currently resides in SF’s sunny Mission District with her boyfriend and her dog, Lady.
PROJECT MANAGER | EAST BAY
INVENTORY MANAGER | SAN FRANCISCO
Originally from Huntington Beach, CA, Paul has been a valuable member of our Bay Area team for the past 2 and a half years; where his background in E-commerce and merchandising lend him a skill set that is a natural fit for Studio D. Paul’s breadth of product knowledge and detailed eye frequently help him rise to the daunting tasks of protecting all the wonderful treasures that we acquire, and supporting our designers as they endeavor to create that perfect look for your space. Quick to solve issues (and “cool as a cucumber” under pressure!), Paul enjoys singing show tunes and exercising his sense of humor around the office… For which Yael and Jessie are especially fond of him. 😉