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Meet Clemente Jaquez and Mike MacGregor of MODUS Architecture in Downtown Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clemente Jaquez and Mike MacGregor.

Clemente and Mike, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Our story is as serious as it is comical.

Both Mike and myself were working at a well-established architecture firm. Our background and contributions positioned us to be Partners with the firm in a matter of a few years. The idea of crafting our own path, both professionally and personally, was a the driving force which led us to establish MODUS Architecture in early 2019.

Mike hads tremendous strengths and a unique character that compliments my design and creative background; a yin and yang of sorts.  Two weeks after our initial conversation we agreed and were convinced that we wanted to move forward.  At this point, we did not want to wait too long to let our firm know of our plans. We believed that it would have been disingenuous to prepare for our future departure while pretending to advance the firm’s interest. We wanted to put our cards on the table and simply share the message of our conviction.

So then, all the questions started flooding in: What projects are you taking? What clients are you working with? Who are you talking to? What financing do you have? How will you do it!?

So, with very few logistics in place, no financing and a back-of-napkin business plan, we founded MODUS architecture on February 2, 2019. Aside from this, there were a few things we did know:

PROFESSIONALLY, we knew that between Mike and myself we could take on any project from a blank piece of paper through construction.
ECONOMICALLY, we acknowledged the vibrancy of and robustness of our Dallas market with tremendous potential for economic growth.
SOCIALLY, We felt confident that our valuable friends, associates and connections would root for us on day one.
PERSONALLY, There had never been anything too small or too big for either Mike or myself to tackle.
PHILOSOPHICALLY, we were inspired to create something unique and true, where the consistency of our message and quality of work would permeate at every level of our process.
STRATEGICALLY, we knew what type of projects we wanted to target and felt that our propositions, our approach and work quality would be a compelling message for future clients.

Fast forward three months’ time, we were cash flow neutral, at four months, we hired a summer intern and a contract employee, at five months,  we were blessed to bring on our first full-time employee, and at seven months, we welcomed our second full-time employee. Now, eight months in the making, we have won two major design competitions against established design firms and we have projects in Hospitality, Commercial, Retail and Healthcare. Our brand is becoming more established, recognizable and unique… let’s keep it going!!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Establishing a culture that directly reflects our ambitions will be a challenge as we grow and expand – We want to do this successfully without becoming jaded by the corporate structure that often governs the business side of any organization.

A small, yet sometimes evident challenge will be to overcome the optics of being perceived as a new/young/un-experienced firm, specifically when it comes to substantial project opportunities.

While we have come a long way with limited resources, a challenge for our company will be to finding the right balance of time to dedicate towards Employee investment, Project management/development, Firm Brand, Business Pursuits and Community Engagement.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the MODUS Architecture story. Tell us more about the business.
Mike and I agree that we pursued architecture as a powerful avenue to have a direct impact on our quality of life and those around us. In a very unconventional sense, we do not pride ourselves in providing our clients with a product, because we know that projects are adaptive and iterative.  Rather,our focus lies in the richness of our process, which allows us the possibility to guide our clients and become their trusted advisers. This attitude results in projects that are unique to our clients, compelling to its dwellers and contextual to the communities they serve.

Above all We do architecture – we create spaces and buildings that have an impact on the way we work and experience life. We have significant experience in healthcare, commercial, hospitality and retail environments. This allows us to be multifaceted and flexible. Our ideal project? 100% retainer!

We are most proud that we have become a notable catalyst for change amongst our clients and the professional community. We are a fresh alternative for young professionals that are looking for a relevant and substantive experience in their career. We are a valuable partner for clients that expect a more immersive, insightful and engaging approach.

As a new firm, there is no loss in translation from vision to implementation because we see each project and every decision all the way through; This has become true departure from the status quo and of utmost benefit for our clients.

In our approach, the big difference is how we liberate ourselves from conventional thinking, where we often find extraordinary opportunities in ordinary situations. We listen to our clients without preconception and respectfully challenge each project because our client’s success becomes our story.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck can be so ambiguous, but if we’re being honest – we definitely believe that we’ve gotten lucky… Many times!

Often there is this taboo around saying that you’re lucky, as if though it diminishes your aptitude and capacity as a trained professional. We do however believe that opportunity coupled with preparation. Creates lots of good luck.

Bad Luck: When we started, we had a list of desired projects, most of which did not come to fruition.
Great Luck: Almost every single project that we have gone after or competed for, we have won!

It’s all about positive vibes!

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All MODUS Architecture Ownership/Creation

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