Redefining How We Live | Exclusive Interview w/ Common’s Sophie Wilkinson

Common is a coliving company in the residential real estate sector that builds communities around shared living. Sophie is the head of design and construction for Common leading the design, construction and fitout of all their homes.

How did you get started?

My dad is an architect and I grew up on building sites. I got started chasing my passion for design and architecture and early in my career I discovered a love for construction and project management.

What has been the most challenging moment in your career?

The most challenging moment in my career was a time I confronted a group of experienced professionals and challenged the very core of their plan. I knew I would have to defend my position hard, but it was the best thing for the project and I knew it was the right thing to do.

What was the most braggable moment?

The most braggable moment was my behind the scenes view of the opening of the Apple Upper East Side store. There was so much energy and excitement about the incredible new store, and I had that wonderful feeling of having a hand in every single step it took to create that.

Your greatest strength?

It really is the combination of two: creativity and determination. I see options and ideas that are outside of the box, and then I hunt them down with fierce perseverance and clear strong execution.

What was the greatest lesson you’ve learned from a mistake?

If something can be solved by time or money, we can work it out.

What do you love most about what you do?

At the very heart of it, I love that at Common we are re envisioning how a huge group of people can live, and making it better. That inspires me every single day. I love what I do.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Always be yourself. If I am judged as I truly am, then that is ok with me.

How do you define happiness?

I believe happiness is a gut feeling that everything is just right, whatever just right is for you. Feeling just right for me includes the buzz of a great challenge or a big plan, trust and love in the relationships in my life, and mental and physical well being for myself and my dearest.

What book are you currently reading?

The Road to Character – David Brooks

Have you collaborated with another business/artist in the past? 

Collaborating with talented people and teams has redefined what was possible for projects I have worked on, and at the same time, raised the bar tremendously on the personal pleasure and satisfaction I have been able to realize whilst working.