We had the good fortune of connecting with A’Kaila Willis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi A’Kaila, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I tie all of my success, both personal and business-wise to my relationship with God. It’s so easy to compare, doubt, and overall lose sight of your purpose. What grounds me not only with my brand, but in life is my faith. It’s the reminder to give eagerly and lead with love.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Art has always been a part of my life; from poetry and dancing to costume design and theatre. So when I first heard of rug-making I was instantly up for the challenge. To be clear, calling it a challenge is selling it short. It’s funny, when I first started I didn’t even know I was capable of being so terrible at something. But that was part of what made it so exciting, the progress. I was constantly reminded of the beauty of patience and perseverance.

I remember the first time I tufted a straight line, I might as well had won a Grammy. I’d like to say it was a breeze from there, but it wasn’t. With each success equally came trials. But again, that was the beauty of it. Each rug was uniquely its own, it was art.

Currently I make rugs in all forms. They can be used traditionally on the floor or hung on walls, but I also make coasters I like to call “mug rugs” as well as mirror rugs. In addition to creating and selling my own designs I love bringing the concepts and artwork of others to life through commissioned pieces.

When I look back at Honeyrug and all we’ve done thus far, I’m really just grateful I went out on a limb and said yes. Yes to the challenge, the fear of “failure” and no to the constant pursuit of “perfection”. Every time I pick up my punch needle or tufting gun I learn, I grow.

I’m most looking forward to creating more mixed media art. I love combining textures and palettes. I want to continue to provide not only a rug but an experience. Like I always say, when they open a package from us I want it to feel like a mix between Christmas and their birthday.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
California is SO versatile. It’d be tough to pack all of the heavy-hitters in but I can think of some to name a few. 4th Street in Long Beach has a nice row of vintage, thrift and record stores that any artist would love. Depending on the beach we could throw a bonfire with s’mores of course, my favorite! We could take a drive down to LA and visit the Grand Central Market. There’s so many different cuisines, shops and vendors to try out. Palos Verdes would be a nice way to close the trip. There you can hike down from the mountains to the beach and enjoy the view.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My biggest shoutout would have to go to my mother, Sarah. From a young age she has always encouraged me to follow my heart and nurture my gifts. She’s always been such a clear example of what using your gifts to serve others looks like and I’m just glad to be able to do the same with mine.

Website: www.shophoneyrug.com

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/honeyrug

Image Credits
Forrest Leo

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