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Meet Ashley Miller of Ashley Miller Design in Montgomery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Miller.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ashley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I vividly remember when I was 12 years old wanting to be the CEO of a company. I didn’t know exactly what type of company, or even what being a CEO would specifically entail, I just knew early on that I wanted to lead. I like independence and I like to create and nurture which were the characteristics that I thought one needed to become a CEO.

I’m originally from the Tampa, Florida area. I attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production Management. I thought I wanted to work in the fashion industry and even though I was passionate about the interior design of spaces and how the design translated into how you felt, I didn’t understand how I could translate that passion into a fulfilling career.

On a whim, I went into an interior design showroom in Montgomery and before I knew it I was heavily engaged in conversation with the owner and principal designer discussing the possibility of employment. I’ll never forget her response when I said that I didn’t hold a degree in interior design, – “When it comes to designing spaces, either you’ve got what it takes or you don’t! The rest can be taught.”

Over the next several years I designed, managed, and implemented several residential and commercial design projects and loved every single minute. By 2009, I decided I wanted to carve out my own distinct path in this industry and I founded Ashley Miller Design. With my unique point of view, a focus on customer service, and attention to detail, I try to learn about my clients on a personal level first, to understand their lifestyle and daily needs before creating any design. My ultimate goal is not only to create a space that is authentic to each client’s taste but also one that positively influences how that space makes them feel.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
A huge challenge for me was overcoming the initial fear of going out on my own to start a new business – wondering and if I could actually succeed. I had always loved the idea of being an entrepreneur but realized, when faced with the realities of starting a new venture, there was a huge lack of support for female entrepreneurs. When I finally made the decision to start my own firm I heard from a lot of naysayers, telling me it was too risky to start a small business (remember, this was 2009, not long after the Great Recession) and I should continue to stay in a conventional, stable job. But I was determined to create a brand and design portfolio that I was not only proud of, but would allow me to express my creativity with designs that were refined, and full of contrast. I learned, from overcoming that initial risk of taking the first step that I’ll never escape fear. It’s impossible. It’s only through the decision to not let fear influence your actions you can truly succeed.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ashley Miller Design story. Tell us more about the business.
Ashley Miller Design is a full-service interior design boutique specializing in a diverse range of residential and commercial design projects. Through careful consideration of both architecture and interior decor, we create spaces that reflect a client’s authentic personality, and specialize in showcasing sophisticated contrast as well as a refined approach to living.

The American south has many interior designers. Even here in Montgomery there are at least three designers, including myself, with the first name Ashley – and we are all located within a 2 block radius of each other. For that reason, I understand the importance of honing in on my specific design point of view and communicating that though my brand. My clients hire me because they resonate visually and emotionally with my work and see the value of how my specific interpretation can impact their space, and consequently, their lives. My job is to interpret their personalities into living spaces, while bringing their tastes to life.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
It is important to be yourself. Someone once told me that being yourself is the only way to achieve timelessness.

I understand the value of a well-designed space and what it can do for a person’s emotional well-being. Other than transforming spaces into beautiful havens that are full of contrast and depth, I love getting to know my clients. The people I work with, and the happiness I can bring to their daily lives, are the main reason I love what I do. While there is an inherent challenge that comes with creating a space that is not only authentic to an individual client’s tastes, but also functional for their lifestyle, and how they live and interact with their family and friends, I love to solve each unique puzzle. When my clients are happy with what I’ve designed for them, it brings me immense joy.

Part of what makes me a good designer is that I constantly expose myself to different places and get out of my normal realm, fine tuning my eye to see and understand details I may not have been exposed to otherwise. I crave fresh and new perspectives to incorporate into my work, which help keeps my perspective ever-evolving.

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