Teri Slavik-Tsuyuki, the principal of tst ink LLC, has brought to life some of the most valued and recognized brands in resort and community development. Her company works with some of the most innovative community developers and entrepreneurs to identify deep customer insights, create places and brands that people connect with, and explore experiences that matter.
At the NAHB International Builders’ Show® (IBS), Teri will be one of the speakers at the session “Emotive Branding That Inspires Physical Design.” We caught up with her to get a sneak peek into her session.
NAHB: Without giving too much away, what will people learn at your sessions?
TERI: How a brand is a design catalyst that should drive all your thinking, not something to be developed after the fact.
NAHB: What is the most interesting industry trend for 2020?
TERI: It’s not one thing, but it’s a greater recognition that home is more than the house. People today are looking for ways to connect with others in more meaningful ways. I think we are beginning to see this influence in creative amenity design and overall land planning.
NAHB: How has the industry changed in the past five years? What do you predict will happen in the next five years?
TERI: Data and technology have forced us to accept that we can’t keep doing what we have always done. For some, this has transpired into new building technologies, smarter homes and more efficient materials. In the next five years, we will have to recommit to the fact that amidst all the technology and data-driven advances, the real value is in humanity and people. Our job is to make life better for people.
NAHB: What do you see as being the biggest challenge in the industry now?
TERI: Affordability. The cost of doing business keeps rising—from permit fees, to materials, to new technologies. When affordability becomes this big of a challenge, owning a home becomes a discretionary thing. Many people will choose to remain renters (of multifamily or single-family dwellings) and live a life of experiences, not things.
NAHB: What is the one piece of practical advice you would give someone starting out?
TERI: Be curious about everything! Define who your customers are and what they want. Know how your company makes money and who your competitors are. Always be asking why things are done the way they are and is there opportunity for change? Look, listen, keep all your senses open.
NAHB: Who inspires you?
TERI: David Barry, a former boss at Intrawest, who taught me to always ask “how might we?” and push harder—beneath the obvious answer.
NAHB: What was the best concert you ever attended?
TERI: Pink this year in San Diego, and Elton John last year in Boston
NAHB: Where’s your favorite place in the world?
TERI: On the top of a mountain in Whistler, BC Canada or the beach in Encinitas, CA
NAHB: What’s the last book you read?
TERI: “Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business and Life” by Rory Sutherland
NAHB: What is the coolest thing you are working on right now?
TERI: Ranch Camp. It is an entirely new take on community discovery with the inspiring team at Rancho Mission Viejo.
NAHB: Who would you like to swap places with for a day?
TERI: A homeless person who ended up there after a twist of bad luck, struggling to get by and facing huge obstacles that we could all work together to help improve or perhaps even remove altogether. I think we can all benefit from understanding someone else’s point of view.
NAHB: What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
TERI: Thanksgiving dinner this year, prepared by my chef friend, Lisa Rowson, or one of many amazing pasta dishes in the Tuscan region of Italy.
NAHB: Which four individuals, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most?
TERI: My dad (died when I was 4), Maya Angelou, Walt Disney and Jane Fulton Suri
NAHB: If you had to work but didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do?
TERI: Be a caregiver at a shelter for older dogs.
NAHB: What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
TERI: I would get really serious about road biking.
NAHB: Do you have a success quote?
TERI: Look at life from the outside in. You will gain perspective you never thought possible.
NAHB: What is your prediction for the building industry in 2020?
TERI: Creative. Customer-driven. Fast.
“Emotive Branding That Inspires Physical Design” is one session in the IBS Design & Community Planning Track. It will take place on Thursday, January 23, from 8:30 – 9:30 AM at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Learn more about 150+- education sessions, and register at BuildersShow.com.