Business growth
for architects.

A podcast for architects, designers, and AEC allies aiming to grow and scale their businesses.

Hi there, I'm Aya!

A creative at heart and an entrepreneur by DNA.

I put aside my dream of being an architect and pivoted to serve architects, and since then I've never looked back.

Here’s my story:

I pursued a traditional career in architecture after earning my Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master's degree in Urban Design from Columbia University. 

For six years, I worked on residential, commercial, and retail projects with various architecture firms in New York City and Connecticut while studying for my license.

Success, to me, meant becoming a licensed architect. I was determined to follow what I thought was the only right path:

Then, life happened.

I got married, had my first attempt at A.R.Es, had baby #1 then started freelancing while nursing my baby in my apartment in Queens, NY.

I landed a project with an American luxury retail brand, creating construction drawings for their shop-in-shop stores. This opportunity kickstarted my side hustle and inspired me to launch MGS Global.

And then, the 2008 economic recession hit.

We moved back to the Philippines and lived in my parent’s basement for three years with little savings. Baby number 2 arrived and then after that I started three more side hustles that all failed.

I continued to offer architecture support services and gained new clients over time. With more projects coming in, I started to build a team. 

I moved back to the US, made my second attempt at A.R.Es, while working nights with my staff in the PH, growing the business, and caring for the kids.

Today – MGS Global Group, now a thriving company with over 45 employees, has established itself as a trusted provider of architectural drafting and rendering services for busy firm owners and designers, serving small to large firms and publicly traded companies in retail and hospitality. Recently, we added new services such as bookkeeping and digital marketing.

The best part of doing all this?

I get to help architects maintain a better work-life balance so they can do more of what matters most.

My idea of success turned out differently than expected.

Now, success means living a balanced life and helping AEC professionals, especially women, find this balance too.

"Creatives are taught how to master their craft, but not how to run or grow their businesses."

Starting the Podcast

In 2020, during the pandemic, I spent time in Facebook groups for women in architecture. I wanted to know how other women, especially moms, were navigating life during the pandemic.

Simultaneously during this time, my business went down to 50% and projects started not coming. I had 10+ employees at the time, and didn’t want to layoff anyone. I was desperate to find a way to cope with work stress, as well as, make sure everyone in the family is safe and healthy.

I noticed that all the women in the group were struggling with the same thing. We were all trying to manage our work and personal lives at home.

Thankfully, despite the challenges of COVID, I managed to scale my business successfully, which allowed me to keep all my employees on board during the pandemic.

Initially, it seemed impossible to me, but after facing and overcoming many hurdles, I made it my mission to help other women achieve similar success. Drawing from the experiences of other women, I wanted to offer the same support to others.

This prompted me to start The Architect My Life (AML) Podcast. It was a passion project to help women business owners balance their professional and personal lives. I wanted to help women work from home, take care of their kids, and run their businesses during a very stressful time.

I interview women in the AEC field who have paved the way for us, sharing their stories to inspire other women that they can also succeed.

I'm eager to share insights on how I grew my business and to inspire fellow entrepreneurs, particularly women, to pursue their goals.

Over time, AML shifted its focus to spotlighting women leaders who inspire others to improve professionally and personally. Through interviews with female architects, we explored insights on business, design, and industry experiences.

However, the name "Architect My Life" often leads to confusion, as people mistake it for a life coaching podcast instead of one focused on entrepreneurship in the AEC field.

Hence, I’ve decided to rename the podcast to Architect My Business. The new name better reflects our mission of supporting architects in growing their businesses and brings clarity and specificity to our goal. Creatives learn how to master their craft, but not how to run or grow their business. This podcast fills that gap by providing valuable business resources to architects and the AEC industry.

Running a profitable architecture or design business is no easy task. It's easy to get caught up in tasks that may seem important but don't contribute much to keeping the business financially stable.

Growing up in an entrepreneurial background, having faced a recession, a career pivot, and a global pandemic; I’ve learned valuable lessons that shaped my approach to entrepreneurship. And from starting out solo to now leading a team of 45 and growing, I've learned a thing or two about making a business thrive.

I created Architect My Business to help architects, designers, and fellow entrepreneurs in the AEC grow their businesses through my experience and by highlighting the experiences of others.

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