We had the good fortune of connecting with Toni Dammicci and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Toni, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Going into business for yourself is nothing but a series of risks. Some are calculated, but some are not and have to be assessed as you go. As an avid mountain bike rider, I have always found a lot of parallels between biking and my career. I think of risk as something that you should be aware of and manage at all times. You have to be constantly choosing your course of action and make fast decisions based on the information available, whether it is the terrain in front of you literally, or an upcoming project with problems to solve. Sometimes you have to hit the brakes, other times you have to pedal hard to get over a rock, but you have to keep your balance the whole time and get to the end of the trail. My advice, always take the risk! After all staying in your lane doesn’t apply when you’ve built the road your traveling on.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The Experience Collective is a multi-disciplinary design and fabrication studio that creates one-of-a-kind artwork and experiential installations. We’re family run and Atlanta-proud with the mission to transform otherwise ordinary spaces into something extraordinary, all through art.
We’ve always believed in the power of experience and how art can enhance experience by being impactful, well-crafted and transformative. We’ve become known for our ambitious approach, larger-than-life scale, and use of unexpected materials. Something that really sets us apart is that we truly make everything here in house and all by hand.
Our team’s skillset, material selection and creative vision makes us unique and has allowed us to work with some of the most forward thinking businesses, creative entrepreneurs, and social causes here in Georgia and beyond. We’re more than just artists and designers; we’re a collaborative partner that thrives off creative problem solving to help you choose the right design and materials for the project. A few highlight projects we’ve been really excited about is a 30 ft. contemporary, mixed media piece for the Four Seasons Hotel, a series of 16 ft wooden “Geo-Domes” for Accent Décor, and of course, all of the public art pieces we’ve created for Art on the Atlanta Beltline.
There have been many long days, nights, weekends, sweat, tears, excitement, and so much happiness along the way. Pushing ourselves creatively is something we always strive for, and continually challenge ourselves with learning new crafts and exploring new materials.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is an exciting place to be in right now, it’s a city that’s contributing to making the South an undeniable creative capital of the U.S. A few stops we’d recommend. Swing by Evergreen, a local butcher shop and bakery in Kirkwood for fresh cut meats, sandwiches, pastries and bread. A few of our favorites are the chorizo, blue emmer bread, and their in-house hot sauce. Fun fact: We worked with them to create the custom, metal bread shelves you’ll see when you go in. Their menu is ever-changing based on seasonal and locally available ingredients so it’s always a great stop to check out. In the heart of Atlanta, take some time to walk the Atlanta Beltline and explore all the public art peppered along the trails. One of our favorite events, Art on the Atlanta Beltline, features an incredible array of temporary and performance art installations. There’s no shortage of local breweries, a few favorites to check out are Monday Night, Orpheus, and Wild Heaven.
Atlanta is known as the “city in the forest” so no trip would be complete without getting outside. We would recommend mountain biking at Blankets Creek if that’s your thing and/or paddle/hike one of the many trails along the Chattahoochee River or Sweetwater Creek State Park. Even though you’re in a city, we always make it a point to get outside and breathe some fresh air. We would also recommend checking out the High Museum of Art and Fernbank Natural Science Museum, two of our favorites. The list is really endless, it’s best to just come out and explore for yourself.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Sarah Bagle, Creative Director of Accent Décor here in Atlanta. (and the entire creative team!) I met Sarah about 2 years ago, when I was about to take on a new role collaboratively creating showroom displays and hand built environments with her and the team. Sarah possesses an incredibly sharp business mind with an innate ability to bring out the best in the people she leads. She is abundantly present and an incredibly giving leader. Beyond all the things Sarah has taught me so far about business and leadership, it’s been her approach to kindness, patience and equality that she gives to every person in her life that perhaps is most striking. She has shown me through example what it’s like to be a real leader; by putting people first, it makes all the difference. When you have people that are shown kindness and respect everyday, the results are unmistakable. You have people that are enthusiastic, passionate and creatively energized right back.