Frank Merritt (Architecture 1999) and Teri Gardiner (Graphic Design 2001) are both CCA alumni. Merritt is a principal at Jensen Architects, based in San Francisco. Gardiner is the marketing and communications manager at Richmond Art Center; she also maintains an active freelance graphic design practice.
They met through mutual CCA friends and married in 2009. They live in the lower Nob Hill / upper Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco and run the alternative/experimental gallery Ramon’s Tailor, located at 628 Jones Street.
CCA: What was the inspiration for starting Ramon’s Tailor in 2011? You are already both very busy people!
Frank: Ironically, the inspiration came out of working really long days. I was overwhelmed. I love my job -- I get to be creative and work with great people -- but I wasn’t making time for myself.
Then I read about Ray Oldenburg’s concept of a “third place.” In addition to your workplace and your home, he says, to have a good life balance you need a third space: the barbershop, the gym, anything.