Always one for adventure and change, he loves taking on new challenges and usually does so in industries he knows nothing about, mostly because he believes he can. James is a cancer survivor (leukemia in 2000) philanthropist, filmmaker and a former music industry executive who had been visiting Tulum for years. In May of 2015 he found a home that was in desperate need of some love and it spoke to him. It was the perfect size, location and within his budget, he did not hesitate. He flew home put his house in Austin on the market and the first buyer wanted it and wanted all the furniture as well. It was his sign that he was doing the right thing. He sold all his belongings, gave away most of his clothes and also negotiated to sell the company he spent 20 years building. From there, he was off on a completely new adventure, a new life.
James Chippendale is the Owner and Designer of NEST.
In the beginning he really had no final vision or destination of what this property would be, he has always loved designing and threw himself into designing and developing every part of it. It was a rough start, wrestling nearly everything, the bugs, the heat, authorities, and the day-to-day challenges of not speaking the language. Then over a casual conversation with the former head of food and beverage at Be Tulum, the nicest and most successful property on beach road, he landed a partner. Juan Carlos Gasca had recently sold a piece of property in Mexico City; he offered support and more importantly his help to get the property done. It was the exact thing needed to make it work. Again, James thought this was a sign, saying, “Whatever your faith, the powers that be put things in your path at just the time you need them, you just need to be aware enough to see them and take advantage.”
James and Juan were off and after many challenges and plenty of blood, sweat and tears, 6 months later the first guests were driving up beach road on Dec 10th, 2015 as the final pieces of furniture were being put into place. James said, “Everything that could have gone wrong with the first guests did; the generator blew up, the water did not work, staff did not show up, etc. etc. but I still knew that one day it would all work.” And it has, with the help of a great team our referral only guesthouse (though now some press has spread the word) NEST has been consistently growing since the day it opened. NEST aims to keep the ambiance relaxed, wanting guests to feel at home, different than most of the offerings on beach road. NEST is still growing and developing and we are always looking to make changes to continually up the offering, striving harder everyday to provide our guests with a welcoming and at home feel.
Regarding the Design: Mexico has some of the best craftsmen in the world so James was determined to buy as much as possible from local vendors. He spent 3 months traveling around Mexico looking for just the right pieces for the home. Working with woodworkers outside Coba they made most of the wood pieces, gathered lamps and textiles from Merida and after several trips digging through discarded items and warehouses of antique hacienda furniture in San Miguel, he landed many of the unique pieces he was looking for to complete NEST. James sourced all his bedding, plants, soaps and lotions from local vendors down to buying a custom, no label Mezcal, from his friend Guido who lives in Tulum Pueblo. He never stops and is continually looking for just those right pieces for the house to give it that modern at home feeling.