We had the good fortune of connecting with Ariana LaRae Designs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ariana LaRae, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had a lot of people coming to me in need of assistance with projects when I was working in retail. I slowly started helping people design their rooms as kind of a side job. I eventually started to ask myself why isn’t this what I’m doing full time if it makes me happy? I was really unhappy working in retail and working for someone else. I knew that I was made to lead and not follow. I really wanted to make the rules. Working with people and helping them change their spaces really brought me joy. Eventually I went on my own and took on my first independent project as a designer.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business is probably the thing I am most proud of in this life. I’ve started this company four years ago and it has been rewarding to see it grow. A lot of hard work has gone into maintaining and growing my design company. The thing I love the most about being an interior designer is the people. I really enjoy interacting with clients and taking a simple idea or inkling and transforming their whole room. I enjoy building relationships and getting to know my clients and just simply bringing them joy. That in a sense is what brings me joy. I think what sets us apart is we are a small business. For me, it’s about the connection between me and the client. It’s all about listening and really understanding what it is the client needs. The design process requires a lot of patience and adaptation. I think it is important for the design process to be intimate and tailored to the needs of the client. Honestly, it hasn’t been easy at all. It’s been quite challenging. With any business, you have good days and bad days. But I think it’s important to know what you are working toward. It’s important to look at how far you have come and know that you can keep going. It’s okay to be down and know you are going to face challenges. I think it’s making sure you don’t stay down and you find a way to adapt to those challenges. Constantly ask yourself how can I be better? What can I change?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would probably start by taking them to Griffith Park, it’s one of my favorite places and one of the most beautiful spots. I think we would start with a hike and trip to the Observatory and then grab lunch at In n Out. I take everyone that visits to In n Out its just a California staple and some of the best fast food you’ll ever have. The following day would definitely be a road trip. I consider Joshua Tree National Park my happy place and think everyone should experience it. It just brings a sense of peace and it’s a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and slow down. I’d end the weekend in Venice Beach. I feel like there is so much life there and always something happening. I love the boardwalk and skate park and like to end the evening watching the sun go down.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A lot of my support comes from my family and friends. Running a business on your own is quite challenging. There are a lot of times when you want to quit and throw in the towel. The person I rely on and vent to the most would be my father. He has always encouraged me to chase my dreams and instilled in me that I can do it. He is a lot of the reason for my determination in life and ability not to give up. My friends are a great support source that keeps me grounded it is helpful to bounce ideas off of them or reach out to them for contacts.
Michael Cruze – Uprise Imaging Juwan Li – Juwan Li Photography