Q&A With Brooke Azumi

Brooke Azumi has recently joined the TLEE Spas + Wellness team as a Wellness Designer, quickly immersing herself in numerous projects. We completed a Q+A to go beyond the portfolio:

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer?

My dad is a mason so I grew up on construction sites. I’ve always enjoyed seeing spaces come together.

What drew your focus to wellness?

My first spa experience was nearly 20 years ago at the Dusit Thani in Bangkok. I can vividly remember how I felt after that first massage and the peace of the space. Since then I’ve always been drawn to spa and wellness design and experiences.

Can you share a memorable project or experience from your career?

Early on in my career, I worked on the Shangri-la Villingili in the Maldives. I was fortunate to be able to spend my honeymoon there years later and actually get to experience the spaces I had a part designing.

Are there any upcoming projects you’re excited about?

The Hard Rock projects (Athens and Las Vegas) are large and exciting and at the other end of the scale Lake Tahoe Proper is equally exciting.

How do you spend your downtime?

When I’m not working, I can be found wrangling my 5 year old son and 2.5 Doberman pup, equally challenging. We like to spend our time outdoors, hiking and camping or snowshoeing and skiing. In moments alone, I like to give myself manicures, read, do a puzzle and listen to true crime podcasts.

Fun fact about yourself?

I have visited 33 countries, and this summer will check off number 34 with a trip to Croatia.

What advice would you give to aspiring designers?

Try new things. When I graduated college I always thought I wanted to work at a small firm and work on smaller project types. I quickly got bored and tried the complete opposite, going to a large international firm doing large hospitality projects. Through that job I was able to move to Seattle and eventually Singapore. I later tried going to an even larger firm that was trying to change the construction industry. I realized that wasn’t the fit for me and found myself back doing hospitality design. If I hadn’t tried something different I wouldn’t have found the work I truly enjoy.