Today we’d like to introduce you to Andi Lawlor.
Andi, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The short version is that I spent much of my childhood running barefoot through the nearby woods and crafting at my mother’s drafting table (she was a graphic designer and photographer). I had a very creative upbringing and such a wild imagination, which set me on an early path to becoming a designer.
It all was for hobby until I went to university, and it wasn’t long before I became immersed in all things design and culture. I caught the travel bug and lived a summer abroad in Copenhagen studying interior architecture and environmental design. I traveled twice to Central America to build eco-stoves and water filtration systems to improve living conditions in rural communities. I went on to design and manage a volunteer rooftop garden atop a domestic violence shelter for four years and was highly involved in environmental projects in my community. I became intrigued by the idea that I could use my skills to solve world problems. Sure, maybe not on a large scale but I was changing people’s lives.
My first full-time job was designing for my alma mater, Indiana University, which gave me the unique opportunity to build relationships with our in-house trades. I learned so much from them and I came to believe that if you can design living and activity spaces for college students (let your mind wander and it probably happened), you can handle almost any design dilemma life throws at you. A few years later I became licensed and started my business, dabbled in residential design and loved the idea of transforming clients’ homes, which is why I decided to continue down a path of designing for both residential and commercial spaces.
And then, when my soul was ready for a change of scenery, I went to a Biomimicry design workshop amongst the saguaros of the Sonoran desert in Arizona. That is where I met my husband, and he just so happens to be a construction project manager and a very talented carpenter. Joining forces with him in Colorado and combining our skill sets has been very rewarding and I am excited to see where it takes us in the future.
My success rides on a passion for making the world a more beautiful, holistic place and connecting people to the great outdoors through design. I am inspired and influenced by my world travels and by nature’s magnificence, and it only makes sense that I align those things with what I do for a living.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Smooth? Not so much. I try not to harp on the past but it certainly shaped who I am today. My parents divorced when I was young, my mother’s health was failing due to symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), and I struggled with my self-esteem. I remember one night when I was about fifteen, looking up at the stars with tears in my eyes, begging the universe for a purpose in life. Eventually, the stars did align for me and once my passions were realized, I launched myself into my work and never looked back. I attribute my success to those early life challenges that gave me grit and empowered me to face my fears. It has also allowed me to connect with others who struggle, which is where I believe I can truly make a difference.
Also, running a business is hard (but so worth it!).
Interiors Aligned – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a residential and light commercial interior design firm specializing in environmental and socially responsible design. We try to do right by the planet while supporting our local artisans and craftspeople every chance we get. We know how to WOW! on a large budget and create magic on a smaller budget. We offer full-service interior design where we design and manage the project from start to finish, and also offer two-hour consultations with add-on packages for our fellow DIY’ers who need short-term visual and product selection assistance. Our philosophy is simple; we believe everyone deserves a beautiful, functional, and holistic interior and we would love to bring your space to life.
I am known for connecting people and asking a lot of questions. I was never the designer who instructed an electrician to install a light fixture and then walk away. I stayed and observed and got involved. This inquisitive nature lead to some pretty neat experiences, like initiating a fire drill in a high rise by pulling the alarm (with permission from the fire marshal, of course), or jackhammering away a concrete curb I needed to be removed to make space for café tables, and spending a day with furniture makers and re-upholstering a used office chair to give it a second life. It would have been a shame to miss out on so many experiences that have given me insight into every corner of this industry, which in turn makes me better at what I do.
What sets me apart from others? Aside from designing for both residential and commercial spaces and offering a variety of services to fit the needs of our clients, I suppose I don’t know many other designers who like to mountain bike, rock climb, or explore deep dark caves. I am an adventurer and that plays out in my design aesthetic. But if you asked my friends what sets me apart they would say my black Chacos. I have been known to wear them to meetings and design trade shows because they are comfortable and I often need to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Most recently in New York City, I covered fourteen miles and over 100 design showrooms on foot in less than 24 hours. Yes, I love those Chacos.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of success has drastically changed in recent times. Two years ago my answer would have been something like, “work hard and all the time and you’ll find success.” Now I feel much different about it. Success for me is about building a strong foundation that will support me through the ups and downs. It’s about building systems that make projects run smoother and more efficiently, providing a better experience for my clients and for myself. Big picture success looks like being a leader in environmental design, volunteering my time and expertise to nonprofits, and being a mentor for young adults who aspire to use their creativity to better the world.
- Website: www.interiorsaligned.com
- Phone: 765-749-2393
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/interiors_aligned
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/interiorsaligned
Headshot: Hillary Kaye Photography