“Relentless in the pursuit of wonderment” is her mantra, and crafting one-of-a-kind visual stories is her game. As a former paralegal turned runway model turned interior designer, it’s no wonder that Ariel Fox’s design style is as wide-ranging and diverse as the Alliance properties she has worked on (Hollywood Tower, Broadstone Little Italy, The Hesby… the list goes on). We had the pleasure of speaking with Ariel on how her design business has grown, what fuels her inspiration, and the trick to finding success and happiness in whatever you do.
Were you always interested in design?
When I was about twelve my parents allowed me to redesign a ground floor area of our home into my bedroom. I put in walls, windows and a new floor. My father designed and built our home so there was very much a “can do” spirit in our family.
How did you get into it?
Interior Design was my third career choice. Initially I wanted to be a lawyer and worked as a litigation paralegal for a big law firm in NYC. I realized I needed to be in a more creative environment so I started modeling. I’m almost 5′ 11” so I started landing runway jobs. I did it for a little while but I knew it wasn’t a very sustainable career so I went back to school for design. I didn’t want to be in fashion anymore so Interior Design was the next step for me.
How would you describe your style?
Our design has to tie back to a story or narrative. I try to communicate a feeling in our spaces. We use an eclectic and layered approach and I’m not afraid of color or pattern. I enjoy making furniture so many of our pieces are unique and one of a kind.
Broadstone Little Italy
Has it changed over the years? Can you give any examples?
Our projects have become larger over the years but I still hold true to our design essence which is a lot of custom furniture and a narrative story.
What inspires you?
My one year old son! It’s true what they tell you, everything changes when you have a child. He is the center of my heart and he teaches me to let go of the small stuff. I love crawling around my yard with him admiring the smallest leaves and rocks.
Any musical inspiration that gets your creative juices flowing?
Silence is the most precious sound for me when I’m in the zone. My own personal symphony is going off in my head.
Do you ever hit road blocks? How do you overcome them?
I’ll go and play with my son and when I come back to the problem a solution is always waiting for me!
Do you have any rules?
I don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right to me. I’m an intuitive person and I follow that guidance. When it comes to design, one thing that worked in the past may not work again for the new program. The gut rules!
How has the economy affected your work?
I started my business in 2008 when the market was crashing. I’m like a cockroach, nothing can kill me!
Do clients comparison shop?
I think it is inherent as a human being to be curious. That is how I define comparison shopping, curiosity that leads to the client ultimately trusting me.
What is the best piece of advice you were given?
I have two! Be kind to everyone and don’t take on every project, some things are a better fit than others.
What is the best piece of advice you can give?
I’ll take two! Try things that make you feel uncomfortable, it’s in this space that real growth is possible. And love yourself, a lot!
If you were any Alliance property what one would you be and why?
This is a very difficult question! It’s like asking which child do you love the most? I just can’t answer that. I love them all!
Anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank the Alliance family for believing in me. I am blessed to have worked with, and befriended, some of the most innovative people in the industry. I continue to grow and learn from them.