Ideas, Design, Architecture, Building: Studio MK

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

One other major breakthrough in my life was the chance reconnection in 2016 with the love of my life, Andrew Kovacs. We first met on our first day of studying architecture at Deakin University Geelong Waterfront 16 years ago in 2003. I had gone back to work on major projects in Brisbane, QLD, as a corporate architect and had taken a break from my business as I had burned out from my first go. After we reconnected, I moved back to Victoria, we settled down in Lara, Victoria, and we had our first son Leto. It was in my first year of maternity leave that we started working together on some local Lara projects. Andy revitalized me and reminded me of design ambitions we held as young architecture students. It’s not so much my projects now, it’s our projects as everything is run through the family filter. We help each other each step of the way. Andy is my sounding board giving me balance that I have never had before. Every day is a beautiful challenge. With only 24 hours per day, we first prioritize our one year old son Leto, even though that sometimes means being away from him while he’s playing in childcare or with grandparents.

The Drive: What challenges have you overcome?

The biggest challenges have all included waiting what seems like an eternity to set up key parts of the business. Architecture and the construction industry are full of administrative requirements, insurances, and multiphase assignments. Waiting for the architects registration, for the building licence, for the clients and their projects, for the cashflow, for the significant decisions in life to be made or to demystify questions such as where is the best place to live with your family? Time, commuting, and health are all so precious, so burning out is no longer an option like it was when I was under 30 and a young bachelorette. Time to think critically about priorities comes in short bursts as a mama, and solitude is the holy grail as its essential in designing solutions for projects.

Today for me, its all about flow, not trying to control everything, but using my intuition more than ever to take small steps forward on all fronts… and of course making sure my iPhone is charged and the Dropbox account is running!

For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?

Cons include: feeling like you need to be in two places at once.

Pros mean you get to work from home which is where my family is and where we make home-cooked meals together.

Hopes and dreams: What next?

Growing the business as a hobby over the next 10 years is important for me. It’s a long term portfolio. Helping family and friends, and the community reach good lifestyle solutions are driving factors. We also need more rest while we work out what business means as a family. There’s no rush.

To learn more or to get in touch with Marina Kozul, visit the Studio MK website and follow her on Instagram.

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