The Inside Word with Abigail Ahearn


What does it take to become a successful interior designer, run a thriving retail store and become a world-renowned author? Abigail Ahern pulls back the curtain on all of the biggest lessons she’s learned over the past 20 years since she launched her eponymous brand after returning from America, where she worked as an interior designer. 

Come listen to Abigail’s interview on Imprint here about how to create a home that feels good, and the biggest lessons she’s learned in interiors and business. 

What words would you say best describe you?
Passionate, outgoing, driven, caring and also quite anxious. 

What’s the best life or career lesson you’ve learned?
To listen to my intuition and not other people, even though they’re hugely educated and think they know more than me. Every time I’ve done it, it’s really failed. Listening to my intuition is so key.

What's your proudest career achievement?
Having a store and still having a store. The brick and mortar aspect of it, and seeing how people come into that store and how they respond to it always gives me a buzz. 

What’s been your best decision?
Opening. Coming back from America having done styling, and having the faith to start a business. It’s been a very up and down journey, but I never get bored. Every day is different. 

Who inspires you?
My parents inspire me. My father is 87, my mother is 80. As kids — and even now — they’re so giving and so inspiring and so encouraging. Even when things are really bad, they’re so full of positivity and are such a grounding place for me. They always encourage any of us three kids to reach for the stars. 

What are you passionate about? 
Interiors — and also food, and gardening — but interiors always. 

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
I have a thousand dreams. I want to open stores in America, and live in Australia, which is sort of impossible logistically to be on the other side of the world, but dreams are dreams, right? And then I need my new house in the forest, near a coffee shop. 

What are you reading at the moment?
A Fortune-Teller Told Me: Earthbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani

What are you listening to? 
I listen to quite a lot of podcasts, because unfortunately, I have the kind of brain that won’t sleep unless I’m listening to a podcast: 

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
That really comes down to confidence. I had no confidence in the early days. I would always second guess myself and talk myself out of doing something because I was scared of failure. Now, I’m not scared of failure. If something fails, yes of course it’s not great, but I’ve learned from so many failures. So I would say to embrace failure and not be scared of fear. Fear is a good thing. 

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