As a small business owner in an era of constant trend changes, it is important to have a clear perception and understanding of what your customer wants. A small business's success depends a lot on the capacity of its owner to have a vision and understand these constantly evolving needs.
But just imagine being a businessman in the time of Covid-19 and face the harsh reality that you have to shut your doors for months because the business is not doing well.
This was what Awadh al Abri has to contend with. A self-educated interior designer, he was heartbroken when the business he fostered and built was threatened due to the pandemic.
"The peak of the pandemic was really harsh time for my business," He said.
The extra time at home during the Covid-19 pandemic made it clear to Awadh that it was time to pursue his true passion for Interior Design. Having the spare time at home to work on projects and explore design elements set a fire within him that he could no longer ignore. He knew that he would be living a life of happiness by pursuing this new career path, and he would finally be given a chance to unleash his creativity.
“When I was 18 years old, I got really sick. Doctors couldn’t tell what was my problem. I just felt that something forcing me to disconnect from the real world. That was a turning point in my life and where I got a lot of my drive. I built up grit and mental strength while I was in the hospital and seeing patients that were sicker than I was," he shared when asked how he got started in interior design.
"I remember the doctor saying, 'He’s so tough.' I think over time that became my mindset. Whatever I get involved in, I just use that mentality; I think there is always a way to keep going," he said.
“Luckily, I could complete my general education diploma but never was lucky enough to join any higher education institutions. I decided then not to look at the problem, rather look at the solution”, he shared.
Taking inspiration from what he sees
Awadh said that he learns from watching experts on how to do interior design.
"On Instagram, all I do is follow design accounts. I look at furniture pictures, houses, art, as well as every single design magazine. I just love beautiful places and the history behind houses and furniture. I always wanted to do something within that field and I kept thinking, ‘How do I get into that space?," he shared.
Interior design can create and change someone’s space in a way that makes them feel like they deserve that space. It’s important to make that space feel like home. I believe that designing with people who have a passion for community has the power to change our society.
What do you prefer? Modern or traditional designs?
This really depends on the customer's wish and view of their homes. Some prefer the modern designs while others ask us to add some modern touches to the traditional designs. I love how to become so in tune with my client. “You have to be able to connect with them to communicate the vision that’s in their head, and then translate it into their homes. When you walk into someone’s house and every room is put together, it’s powerful. It shows how much they care about their space.
For me, the thing I like about Heritage is the ability to have freedom and form within my learning. Heritage is a lived experience. It introduces real-life education. It makes you want to keep learning. There is a constant ability to keep growing in this space.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration, truthfully, from getting to know my client well before jumping into creating his or her space. It is so important that space reflects the individual who lives there. I am a “design guide” for that client. I am learning that the biggest compliment from a client is when they say “how did you know what I wanted? It’s amazing how you get me.”
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I ever received was to believe in myself and chase my dreams. Since beginning this journey, I am the happiest I have ever been.