We had the good fortune of connecting with Giangtien Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Giangtien, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. I started working in the architectural field in 2010 while I was still in school. For the past 10 years, I have had the opportunity to work on both renovation and new construction projects for residential, K-12, higher education, and multifamily. For many years, the idea of starting my own business has been lingering in the back of my mind. I knew I wanted to start a business that is related to my field, but not necessarily an architectural firm. I’ve been playing with that idea for many years until 2019 when I formally set up the first phase of the company called Creative Collaborations. The company provided BIM and CADD services for the Architecture and Engineer community. Once I started the company, I learned very quickly where my passion lies. The realization came to me unexpectedly but I was not surprised. For 30 years of my life, I always thought my calling in life was in creating and designing. Hence, I pursued an architecture degree. As my experiences in my career expand and starting my own business helped me understand more about myself. I soon came to realize that my passion is not only limited to creating and designing. I noticed my love for business management and operations. I believe that a person never stops learning. Even after you graduated from college, if you still have desires to learn, you will always keep learning. My 6+ years as a project manager has taught me many valuable skills and knowledge, and I believe that here was the initial seed for my passion for business management. A person may have many passions and some may be turned into a career while others are your hobby. With that understanding, I soon realized that creating and designing is my personal outlet. Therefore, I understand very quickly for the company to be successful, I would need a business partner. I started my search and very fortunate to find Afreen Ali, a co-worker of mine at that time, and now is my business partner. In March of 2020, we renamed and rebranded the company to INVI. Finding a perfect business partner is like finding your perfect soulmate. She takes the lead in the vision of the company while I take the lead in the management. I was very fortunate that she was willing to join me on this journey with no destination. Sometimes in life, you have to take that leap of faith and be opened to new challenges.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Founded in March 2020, INVI is a Virtual Experience Design Studio that helps clients create virtual experiences through architecture, storytelling, and design. Our innovative visuals strengthen connectivity while effectively presenting information in an interactive and immersive way. Technology has encouraged us to experience virtual platforms beyond the physical boundaries. Therefore, INVI aims to create innovative virtual experiences that emphasize the client’s vision or content in the most effective and visually stunning way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have many friends who came to visit me often and one activity we all enjoy doing is food adventure. Houston has one of the most diverse food scenes and you can find food from all cultures in our city. I enjoy trying out different food from different cultures because it gives me a sense of connection to their culture and history. Also, food always tastes 10x better when you are with an awesome company! The next stop would be the art and museum district. We have amazing museums with beautiful architecture in Houston. Last but not least, if the weather permits, we can take a stroll or bike through Hermann Park. As long as Houston is not too hot, Hermann Park is a beautiful place to enjoy some sunshine and nature.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I am thankful to my family. They are always supportive of my decisions even though most of the time, they have no idea what I am trying to do. Regardless, they always believed in me, and even whenI failed, they are positive I will succeed the next time as long as I keep trying. My mother, who doesn’t even speak English, has been working all her life and she is still working. She taught me the values of hard work and dedication. I’ve learned from her life is not about what you don’t have, but it is about making the best of what you do have. At 4 feet – 11 inches, she is the strongest and most hard-working woman I have ever met. She taught me not to be afraid of failures and persistence will get you somewhere someday. My two sisters, who are younger than me, yet have taught me so much and always keep me on track. All three of us are so different, yet so similar at the same time. We are each other’s checks and balances. Also, my significant other has been there supporting me through every journey and decisions in my life. I’ve learned so much from her and she has taught me valuable lessons in life. I am always thankful to her and with her by my side, the journey is a whole lot easier. Last but not least, my business partner and also a good friend. I don’t believe INVI can grow as positively as it did without Afreen. She is a very talented designer and every time; she never fails to surprise me with something even more amazing. I am forever thankful that she joins this journey with me. I believed together, we can do amazing things in the future, and I look forward to what the future has in store for us!