Auburn University interior design alumna on building great teams and a successful business by playing with the right people

The Joy of Home book cover

Ashley Gilbreath’s new book The Joy of Home. (Photo by Emily Followill)

You can see a few examples of that success in her spectacular new coffee table book The Joy of Home. Gilbreath is on tour this fall and winter signing the book and sharing a few of her styling and business secrets.

“We are very selective as to who we play with, be it employees, architects, contractors or clients. It’s taken me a long time to say this confidently out loud, because it’s difficult to say no to people,” Gilbreath said. “I have learned that if we don’t have a team of our standard along with us, then we look bad. As a business, we play and work with people that we admire. At the end of the day that makes us successful and we have a lot more fun.”

For students who are just starting with interior design, Gilbreath recommends getting out and exploring your limits.

“Get out of your comfort zone. Go to a city that you don’t know. Take an internship somewhere different. You need that experience. It is completely life-giving and completely priceless,” she said. “Expose yourself to the different areas of this wonderful design world and take all those experiences with you. Being in school, taking internships and short experiences is a luxury.  Push yourself and enjoy as much as you can, because it’s a very sweet little season of life that you don’t get back.”

As for Gilbreath, she’s taking this season as an interior designer, book author and mother of three to take it all in. She is proud of what she’s built and how her company impacts her clients.

“You remember your home. The feeling of it, how the kitchen smells, what the living room looked and felt like on Christmas morning. You’re going to remember every bit of life’s joy that happened in that house. I’m honored that I get to be a part of those memories that people make. And it’s a joy to get to do it.”

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