Liz Reitman

5 min | The reit Way

Meet the Team: Annie Schwarz, Reit’s Project Coordinator

Name, Title, Years at reitdesign: Annie Schwarz, Creative Creative Project Coordinator, 1

Favorite NYC Restaurant: Lupa

What do you do at reitdesign?

As reitdesign’s Creative Project Coordinator, I wear a lot of hats! Essentially the base of my position is to create successful, constructive relationships with our clients so our team can create great work that speaks to our clients’ personalities and reflects the projects’ goals.

How did you come across reitdesign and when did you sense it was the place you wanted to work? 

I was working for a tech startup before I started at reitdesign, which was a great place to learn the skills I needed to become a successful project manager, but it didn’t hit the creative boxes I was looking for in my career. To me, it’s so important to be in a culture where my artistic opinion is valued, and so I began to look at industries with a more creative tilt — I have my Masters in Fine Arts and I really wanted to put that thinking to work — which ultimately led to my decision to pivot industries. (Fun Fact: in undergrad I majored in Fine Arts (Printmaking) with a minor in Refugee Protection).

I was introduced to Liz Reitman through a friend, and we just clicked. I don’t think Liz even needed me when we first got in touch, but shortly after we met the timing fell into place and I made the move.

I knew reitdesign was the place for me during my interview when Liz was asking my opinion on some of the processes and programs -- I already felt like I was included and that my opinion mattered.

And after a year in, the culture lives up to its name (and then some)! I’m in every meeting and I am encouraged to voice my opinions on strategy, design, and more. I was super excited when she offered me the job, and I am still excited every day.

Share a noteworthy project you’ve had the opportunity to work on: 

We’re a close-knit, nimble studio and I’m lucky to touch everything that comes through reitdesign’s “doors”. So I have a hand in all projects — from organization and client experience to the creative side. I love putting my creative muscles to good use, so working with Liz directly on creative direction and strategy is one of my favorite aspects of the role.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with an aspiring project coordinator? 

Keeping track of all the projects can be stressful, but I find it’s important to preserve the peace within yourself and keep a positive attitude. I think this is one of the most important aspects of my job!  I always find a moment to crack a dad joke (not only because I love them but), because positive energy is contagious — and it shows within myself and across our team & our clients. I love my job at reitdesign and love the people I work with!

Give us a little background on yourself! What do you do for fun? 

I am obsessed with my dog, Vinny (pitbull/lab mix), who I adopted from The City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, and never have a bad day when he’s around.

I love to eat! I spend a lot of time cooking (I cook 5-6 days/week) & exploring restaurants throughout NYC. I’m mostly plant-based and there are so many great recipes to pull from and interesting restaurants to explore — I love a good cheese shop and French wine bars, which are very niche, but I recommend going for a night out!

During this challenging time, what keeps you going? 

Dog snuggles, wine, tasty snacks, taking walks, facetime-ing friends, cozy clothes — I love being a homebody, so I’m leaning into it!

I also love to watch the Bills — I’m from Buffalo, NY and Bills culture is so big there! What’s great about Bills culture is if you yell “Go Bills” anywhere you are, you’ll get like 6 people shouting it back to you.

You majored in Fine Arts & Printmaking in college and for your Masters! What ways are you able to tap into that side of you in your everyday life?

I have an office/art studio in my apartment, and I make sure to leave my little studio corner out so I see it and am inspired by it every day. I like to do printmaking — and because I don’t have a press I make woodcuts and press the designs by standing on the block with my feet! I also like to work with textiles — I’d like to do more of that, especially working plant-based dyes; but my favorite art project right now is painting murals. I’m also really passionate about interior decoration, so being home so often gives me the opportunity to constantly change up my space!