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Steve Hartzog Starts Almond Hartzog Gallery

May 3, 2012
Spotlight Category: Alumni
Steve Hartzog (’91 Fine Arts)
Almond Hartzog Gallery
Almond Hartzog Gallery is a dealer of collectible 20th century furniture and contemporary art. We deal mainly with internationally recognized designers and manufacturers of seating, lighting, tables and accessories from Scandinavia, France, Italy and the United States. We promote a contemporary, elegant and yet comfortable living mode for the home by offering unique, collectable furnishings and accessories.
Starting up 
I studied business and economics and worked on Wall Street before coming to Otis [when it was affiliated with Parsons]. I was in Paris for my first year with Parsons, and then in Los Angeles at Otis. I had an art gallery after I graduated, and then went to work for a technology company in San Francisco with a friend who sold the business in 2006. Then my friend and I decided to start a furniture gallery that also shows art.
Biggest reward
Being in control. Doing it the way you want to do it. The previous business I worked at went from 1 to 200 employees. Getting back to a small business is really more fun; you can do the things you want to do.
Biggest challenge 
You have to be involved in all aspects of decisions – some fun, some not. From day to day, you have to stay on top of all the moving parts.
Breakthrough moment
We wanted something different than just a furniture store. This idea came from being in art school and running a gallery. It took about a year to open the space and the economy was really bad. In the space, we wanted to show things people have never heard of. We show 20th century design, not just mid-century. People realized that what we were doing was different and new, and something they’ve never seen before. We saw that this was not a dead business idea which helped us push forward.
Thank you, Otis!
Because I had come from a business background, Otis opened my mind to thinking creatively. There are no set answers; you can think outside the box; there’s no formula. As I left Otis, I took this away with me.