Principal Designer/ Art Consultant
After spending 20 years as a wealth advisor mostly to young technology, publishing, and biotech founders/ executives, and serving as a contributing writer for Wired magazine in the 1990s, Jeff walked away from finance in early 2009.
Jeff started collecting urban inspired “street” and urban art in the late 90s. Watching these artists grow into international art stars and seeing their works in museums as well as in the street while traveling has been tremendously satisfying to be part of, and our collection is often on loan to various museums showing this exciting genre. Advising and building collections for new collectors or shaping an existing collection is immensely gratifying.
Jeff also saw the need for an additional venue to deaccession secondary market works, which explains his online art site Chester’s Blacksmith Shop, which enables collectors to sell works they have acquired but no longer work in their collections.
The bug he caught from designing two homes—a Park City Utah contemporary “mining shack” built from the ground up and a San Francisco warehouse conversion—solidified Claudia and his desire to pursue a new dream: designing a boutique hotel and artist’s residency in New Zealand. The research into this project has spanned the last three years, 25,000 kilometers on a motorcycle, touring more than 20 countries, and at least 200 hotels.
It also drove the launch of a specialty design firm: Wardell+Sagan Projekt. Partnering with a team of architects, builders, and museum exhibit designers as appropriate: the firm focuses on designing environments to make art collections work with living environments in new and exciting ways.
As former Vice President of Real Estate for William-Sonoma and now principal of her own retail strategy firm Claudia Sagan Inc, Claudia advises both domestic and international brands looking to expand to the US on the optimum strategy to be successful. Claudia also advises developers on design and merchandising to “feminize” very hard-edged shopping experiences.
She was instrumental in creating a livable and comfortable environment for the expansive former factory San Francisco loft project.