Chris BaleChris Bale

Chris@PaulKaplanGroup.com
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www.ChrisBale.com
323--632-1701


I Am:
An almost architect, almost city planner, almost interior designer, former professional photographer, former boutique clothing shop owner, author, good friend, coffee achiever

Proudest Moment:
The completion of my first book, "Guide for the Modern Bear" and I look forward to writing more.

Biggest Challenge:

Following the same schedule every day. I have done many different jobs and I love new adventures.

Alarm Clock:
iPhone 6:51am then 8:00am, watch a Chris Bale - Modern Bear"meditation" then lay there until the exact amount of time needed to shower and not be late.

Perfect Day:
Help some great clients. Go swim some laps. Buy some Puma sneakers at the outlet mall in colors that most people are scared of. Eat yummy food for dinner.

First Job:
My first job was making ice cream at Steve's Natural Ice Cream in Tempe, Arizona. The first job I loved was at an independent record/CD shop.

Favorite Palm Springs Neighborhood:
Little Venice Beach, so up and coming!

#1 Place to Dine Out in PS:

My favorite place is El Jefe at The Saguaro. Get a grilled pineapple margarita and esquites. Trust me.

Inspiration:
My late partner. Taught me to be adventurous, take risks, be entrepreneurial. 

Pie of Choice:
Pecan and Key Lime (in quick secession)

The Paul Kaplan Group is:
a merry band of clever, sharp, passionate REALTORS.
 
A budding renaissance wolf, Chris Bale grew up in the Phoenix area, got good grades in high school and was captain of the swim team junior and senior year! Earning a scholarship to ASU he decided ambitiously to double major in Architecture and Urban Planning. 
 Chris Bale
When he realized he liked color and shapes more than engineering safe stairways, he switched to photography, rounded out his fine Chris Balearts degree and learned to develop his own film.
 
Always a ravenous music fan, Chris jumped at the chance to move to the Los Angeles area after graduating from college in 1991, Long beach specifically, to help run a friend's record store called Ten Ton. Ten Ton built up a reputation of creating amazing in-store displays and Chris caught the eye of music industry sales reps with contest winning displays for bands like Bjork's band the Sugarcubes and Lush. (His in-store and "giant band logo on top of the store" display for that band won him a trip to see the band on the east coast and inspired their future album cover art.)
 
Chris was asked to work in the sales department at Virgin Record's label headquarters in Beverly Hills in 1993 and worked his way into the art department where he managed the department, budgeted the label artists photo-shoots and sometimes took pictures for album packages, and ad/merch pieces for the label.
 
In 1997 he ventured out on his own to work as a commercial photographer in the Music business. Despite helping create very memorable art for packages by forever unknown musical acts like Merlin, Earth To Andy and Zoo Story, he never got the big break heChris Bale should have so he reinvented himself with his partner at the time in the house flipping and Real Estate business. 
 
Chris (& Kurt) worked together on three houses in the LA and San Diego areas. Really, Chris saw his partner having way more creative fun, and ended up helping more on each house, adding the finishing staging/interior design touches to each house. 
 
The last of the three labors of love was a boring box in the desert town of Borrego Springs, where Chris and Kurt stayed in a vintage motor home for 5 months while they transformed the house into a desert modern paradise.
 
They loved the house so much they lived in it for a few months but then sold it for 3 times what they had bought it for and ended up in Phoenix looking for cheep housing to transform. 
 
Once in Phoenix they both realized that the flipping market was not the same as Southern California. Everyone just wanted new houses, so they started on a new dream, opening a cool modern clothing and gift boutique in the burgeoning downtown arts district in Phoenix. They bought a live work loft and transformed the first floor into their "micro-department store" Retail Laboratory. Chris met a friendly creative new pal, Travis Smith the night he and Kurt opened their first location. Over the next 3 years they gained many fans of their store and moved the store and Chris Bale Instagramrecreated it 2 more times. Chris designed and executed the 3rd and final location after Kurt's unfortunate untimely passing.
 
Despite the devastating life event of losing his partner of 13 years, Chris poured his energy into their business and reimagined the store for a third time and caught the attention of some shopping center developers who invited him to open a tiny shop in New York City's Shops at Columbus Circle. While flattering, the reality was he couldn't pull together enough product to go off to NYC...
 
The winds of economic change forced Chris to close the store at the end of 2007. He then briefly studied interior design before jumping back into Real Estate. He entered the trenches of the era of short sales and helped many people get out of their upside down homes in the Phoenix area. 
 
Working ridiculously long hours at the real estate office including getting up early on weekends to do a radio show with his business partner, Chris needed a fun creative outlet and in 2010 said yes to working with his friend Travis on the Modern Bear concept and book before Travis even got the  invitation out! Travis was already "Modern Bear" so Chris became "Design Wolf" based on his type in the gay bear world.
 
They worked nights and weekends when they could, setting up photoshoots and creating the characters for their book. Chris took September of 2011 off from his Real Estate business to escape to Palm Springs CA to write and research many of the chapters of their book "Guide for the Modern Bear". He realized he loved being back in CA, so he handed his real estate business over to his colleague and moved to Palm Springs to live with his Mother in his grandmother's 1968 home in Palm Springs. The Modern part of Modern bear had already re-awakened the interest in Mid-century architecture that was in his blood. Chris had been born in Palm Springs and had studied modern architecture in college.
 
Chris jumped at the chance to be a field manager for the boutique real estate office the Paul Kaplan Group which specialized in Mid Century properties. He spent a year familiarizing himself with the neighborhoods of Palm Springs while putting signs up and meeting inspectors at amazing architectural properties, (sneaking photographs of the architecture and furniture for some possible future project.) At the February 2012  Palm Springs Modernism Week Chris and Travis debuted their "Guide for the Modernbear" book in the festive setting of a pop-up store at the Ace Hotel. 
 
Chris got his CA real Estate licensed in early 2013 and has been selling amazing homes and his book he co-authored ever since! Looking for a way to connect with clients and be a part of Palm Springs' fantastic Modernism Week, Chris and Paul Kaplan masterminded the bi-annual Modernism Yard Sale which has been attracting 1000's of people to a fun flea market in the Paul Kaplan Group parking lot. It's a chance for collectors, local stores and mid-century modern fanatics to meet, share doughnuts and coffee while hunting for great deals on vintage furnishings for their Palm Springs pads.  Always envisioning his other business Modern Bear as a media company, Chris has been incorporating videos and more book ideas to that repertoire and the story will continue with bigger and better plot points!