Lynn Stone and Mandy Gregory initially met when their eldest boys were in kindergarten together. Lynn’s family moved to Manhattan Beach in the middle of the school year. When Mandy’s son came home and announced that a new family had recently moved to the area from India, she reached out to Lynn with a dinner invitation.
“I think it can be hard to acclimate in a small town,” says Mandy, who recognized that it can be even harder for a family to adjust when moving to a new country. Turns out Lynn and her family had actually moved from Florida, but the ladies got a kick out of the mix-up and have been friends ever since.
Mandy, originally from the San Francisco Bay area, came to Southern California for grad school, where she studied psychology. Lynn’s background was in journalism. Despite coming from different professions, Lynn and Mandy had a lot in common. They were both busy moms, philanthropic community members and shared a passion for design.
So after nearly a decade of working together on community service programs and developing a close friendship between their families, Lynn and Mandy decided to turn their creative interests into a business with the start of Hunter Carson Design.
Back when Lynn and her husband, Rob Stone, were searching for a house in Manhattan Beach, there was one home in particular that Rob didn’t even want to get out of the car to see. “When we drove by this house, my husband looked up and it was very Victorian, very gingerbread and had a lot of different colors,” Lynn notes. “He said, ‘I just don’t see myself here.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Oh we found the house’—just because he made that comment.”
The original exterior may not have made a good first impression on Rob, but once inside, the property revealed a stunning and unobstructed view of the ocean. “We looked out the window and said, ‘Oh, this we could do. We can make this work,’” Lynn says.
The project was extensive, with Lynn focused on highlighting the home’s prized feature: the view. As a mom, functionality was also a high priority. Maximizing space and finding storage solutions was a must, as well as creating an environment that Lynn describes as both bulletproof and beautiful.
“We design our clients’ homes the same way we live in ours,” she explains—with fabrics that don’t fade and hardwood floors that can withstand roller skates. “My daughter was skating up here yesterday before dinner,” she says with a smile.
With seven kids between them, life is busy—so creating balance is also a priority in their design process. “We have a very active lifestyle,” Mandy notes. “To balance life and work and family, your house has to be calm. When you walk into your home, it should be your sanctuary. It should be pretty and elevate your mood.”
Lynn tackled her home’s renovation before she and Mandy started Hunter Carson Design, but the two still bounced ideas off one another. “She did this on her own,” Mandy notes. “But she would talk to me a lot. Same when I was building our house in Park City. I feel like we were collaborating even then.”
“We have a very active lifestyle. To balance life and work and family, your house has to be calm. When you walk into your home, it should be your sanctuary. It should be pretty and elevate your mood.”
Over the years, the two families have traveled to Park City often. “We both love the mountains,” Mandy says. And that connection has resulted in the expansion of Hunter Carson Design.
“Our business is half in Park City and half here,” Lynn points out. “A lot of our clients in Park City started out as Manhattan Beach clients,” Mandy adds, which really speaks to the positive experiences their clients have had working with the two.
“We’re not pushy, and we’re not aggressive,” Mandy says. “Our point is to take away the stress, to bring calm and beauty and elevate their mood. Personality-wise, we like to bring fun to the situation.”
Of course, understanding the unique needs of their clients and their individual spaces is also paramount to Hunter Carson Design’s process. “We want to know how many kids you have. Are you entertaining? We want to understand our clients’ lifestyles and work within the framework of what they have and what they like,” Lynn adds.
Over the past two years, Lynn and Mandy have worked on dozens of projects together. “We have some amazing clients, so we’re pretty lucky,” Mandy says.
What began as a shared interest has since evolved into a passion project and now a thriving business. But it hasn’t slowed down the ladies’ philanthropic efforts. Lynn is a member of the School on Wheels board, an organization that pairs homeless youth with volunteer tutors. And Mandy is the cofounder of the Uncle Kory Foundation, an organization devoted to advancing cancer research.
The ladies are busy, and they’re making sure their families know the importance of serving their community. “We are constantly reminded of how incredibly generous this community is,” Lynn says. “It inspires us to give back even more.”