We are SCB

Sheyla Conforte, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP

Principal and Executive Director of Interior Design | 16 years at SCB

Sheyla leads SCB’s interior design practice, setting the design strategy for corporate workplace, residential, and hospitality projects, and overseeing all aspects of the national studio. Under Sheyla’s leadership, SCB’s interior design revenues have tripled, the studio has grown to over 40 design professionals, and the portfolio of work has expanded to include award-winning projects for Fortune 100 and 500 companies and several of the nation’s top developers.

What initially attracted you to study design or pursue a career in design?

After graduating with a degree in literature and starting down a very different career path, I went back to school to study what was always a passion of mine, interior design. I have always loved the storytelling aspect of interior design and how we as designers can translate stories into spaces that can change people’s perspectives and daily experiences in meaningful ways.

How did you end up at SCB?

An interior designer who led my internship while at design school introduced me to SCB. She connected me with Chris Liu, who was my first contact from SCB’s interior design team. I love the fact that seventeen years later, Chris and I are still working together.

What is the best professional advice you have ever received?

Surround yourself with really smart people. If you do that, you’re bound to be challenged, inspired, and motivated to do and be your best every day.

As a woman, what unique perspectives do you bring to the design industry?

I believe I am a good listener. This trait underlies my leadership style as well as the work that comes out of our studio. The success of our design work is oftentimes due to our ability to understand how best to address a client’s concerns. That requires engaging in meaningful conversation and really listening to what they are asking for – really zeroing in on the challenge – and doing so with an openness to hear and not rush into a solution. From a leadership standpoint, empathy is critical, and that starts with listening. These past few years of the pandemic took a toll on our physical health, mental health, economy, social lives, and everything in between; the best thing I could do as a leader was to acknowledge that I may not have all of the right answers out of the gate, but that I was going to take time and really listen to my team’s concerns and try to understand what they were experiencing and how they were feeling.