I have always loved the creative arts – whether it be drawing, painting, or making something with my hands and soon learned had a great passion for Interior Design. Growing up I’d watch all those well known design shows on TV and just be drawn in to the different uses of colors, materials and finishes, as well as what it takes to get those final results. I’d rearrange my room and change the colors of the walls to make it fit more of my personal style and help family and friends with their spaces. I knew that when the time came to apply to schools I would be going in for an Interior Design degree.
As an east coast native, I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Kean University, in Union, NJ and since 2014 have been focused on residential design. My main goal as an Interior Designer is to make a house feel like a home, while bringing a sense of comfort as well as incorporate splashes of color throughout my design.
Since transitioning to the Central West Coast, I’ve enjoyed exploring all the great areas SLO county has to offer and learning more about eco-friendly design with my Green Goods team. I’m looking forward to making more memories as California slowly starts feeling more and more like home.
Zara Khan, Interior Designer
Custom Wine Cellar Specialist
Brian’s passion for his craft as a cabinet and furniture maker started at San Luis Obispo High School, during woodworking and ceramics courses. At the University of California at Santa Cruz, he became immersed in courses on social change theory, renewable energy and sustainable living. An internship at the Mid Western Renewable Energy Association, afforded him the opportunity to help adults and children learn about the benefits of sustainable living. Before graduating with a B.A. in Community Studies, Brian also ran one of the world’s largest sustainable living and renewable energy fairs.
Brian traveled to South America, where he gained a deeper appreciation of how some of our wasteful actions on the local level can have a global impact. In 2005, Brian and his brother started Green Goods to help preserve the earth’s resources and promote healthy, equitable communities.
Today, Brian is co-owner and manages Green Goods cabinet shop located in San Luis Obispo. Brian’s cabinets and woodwork are inspired by a variety of styles and materials. Working with reclaimed and FSC certified woods provide the challenge to preserve the original characteristics of the materials while still create something unique. From rustic to modern, reclaimed to new, Brian and the team at Green Goods have the style, the experience and the skills you are looking for to help you preserve the earth and promote the well being of your family.
Mikel began his career in 1991, where he worked on historic renovation projects in Portland, Oregon, learning to bring old flooring, windows, doors, and light fixtures back to life. The experience compelled him to consider the social and environmental benefits of working with affordable, environmentally low impact building materials. In no time, he found himself volunteering for the non-profit ReBuilding Center, the largest retail salvage shop in the nation.
A half dozen years later, Mikel wanted to learn how people in other parts of the world lived sustainably on the earth. In 1997, he traveled to Nueva Esparanza, El Salvador where he helped build houses made from local materials. The driving force of the community was women, many with husbands and sons who were killed during the country’s brutal civil war.
Mikel’s experience in El Salvador only intensified his desire to travel and learn about sustainable living. He worked in other intentional communities in southern Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala then made his way to Wales, where he studied grey water pond systems and other bio remediation strategies at the Center for Appropriate Technology. Moving on to France, Mikel put some of his new found skills to work at a large vineyard that practiced sustainable agriculture. For another year and a half, Mikel continued to travel across the Western Sahara, through Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso, then on to Nigeria where he learned how communities lived sustainably in African bioregions. These travels only confirmed his believe that the world is truly a global village, where the actions of one community have ripple affects across the planet our challenge is to try to try to make sure our impact is positive.
Back home in California’s Central Coast, Mikel and three university friends established Four Elements Farm, an intentional community where members and interns can work on an organic farm, practice permaculture technologies and learn natural building techniques.
In 2003 Mikel read an article that Cal Poly was planning to build new student housing, and was dismayed to learn the it would incorporate few green techniques. The environmental activist saw an opportunity and seized it. He organized a forum to show developers how to design campus buildings with an eye to conserving natural resources, cutting energy costs and ensuring healthy indoor air. The developers took Mikel’s words to heart; upon completion the university’s housing project was awarded a LEED certificate. In the process, Mikel discovered that his efforts had a ripple effect; people in the Central Coast began asking him where them could obtain green building materials. The questions sparked another idea from which Green Goods was born in 2005.
Mikel Robertson is the licensed general contractor for Green Goods and the manager of the Green Good’s retail showroom in San Luis Obispo. As a member of the Sustainable Builders Council, he has made numerous presentations regarding environmentally preferable materials, greywater and waste diversion techniques. He is also founder and executive committee member of SLO Green Build, a local non-profit whose mission is to provide architects, engineers, contractors, developers, and other building professionals with the proper tools to build sustainable projects.
I have long enjoyed the Central Coast, sustainable products, design and family-run local businesses. And all of these experiences came together when I joined the Green Goods team over three years ago.
As a child, I spent many summers and holidays in San Luis Obispo with my grandparents. This later influenced my decision to attend Cal Poly, where I focused my studies in Communication and Fine Art. After graduation, I moved to Hollywood, where I was a photographic assistant. I traveled throughout the United States and Europe for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Travel & Leisure, and Harper’s Bazaar.
It was during this time that I met my husband, Kevin Rucks, when he was the professional skateboarder in a Mello Yello soda commercial shooting next door to my house. We later moved to Sacramento, where we restored a dilapidated golf driving range and added a professional level vertical skateboard park. After a quick visit to my parents’ in Avila Beach with my six-month-old son, I returned north knowing that I wanted to raise him on the Central Coast.
One month later, we packed up and headed south. Shortly thereafter, Kevin, my parents and I started a small boutique winery, Salisbury Vineyards. We planted and sustainably-farmed 35 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, and Cool Weather Syrah in the Avila Valley and restored the Bellevue-Santa Fe historic Schoolhouse as our wine tasting room. Now at Green Goods, my interest in sustainable products and love of interacting continues on. It has been an amazing adventure so far and I am thrilled to continue my journey with this team of professionals at Green Goods, where it certainly feels good to be green! I look forward to the opportunity of working with you.
Sonia is our newest addition to the team! She graduated from California Polytechnic State University here in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s in financial management, but soon realized the rigid business world was not for her. Sonia is both rational and logical, while being creative and empathetic. Interior design is the perfect career to utilize all the skills that comes with such personality traits.
In her free time, two of Sonia’s highest passions are spending time outdoors and creating environments to bring people together.
Sonia is dedicated to creating open environments for people to enjoy, share, and accelerate change. She has been an integral player in creating events with two separate event production companies started by her friends. She strives to create an atmosphere of art, creativity, collaboration, and the exchange of innovative ideas.
She also strongly believes in protecting our beautiful Earth with every decision she makes. She was on a seven person team to put on 2017 SLO County’s Earth Day Fair and bring the community together, while promoting lifestyle changes for a sustainable future.
Contact Sonia for timely, dedicated work for any of your design needs.