In all honesty, I’ll never tire of learning more about strong, powerful women who are not afraid to knock down doors and go after what they want. Women like Arianna who, alongside her mother, is the brain child behind the stunning luxury pillow line Arianna Belle. We recently dished on what it’s really like to run your own business, and we’re here today to tell the tale.

SMP: So tell us a little about Arianna Belle!
Arianna Belle started out as a design blog and is now primarily an online pillow shop, which I opened in late 2011. We sell customizable luxury decorative pillows that we handmake using high quality fabrics.

SMP: What’s it like to start your own business?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong intuition, so for me it just felt right. I had learned from experience that working in the corporate world for someone else wasn’t for me, so I felt confident that I wanted to venture out on my own. It took me some time to figure out what type of business exactly (I originally started with a service-based business), but eventually I found my calling.

SMP: What gave you the final push to venture into the world of business ownership?
It was a combination of things, but a large part was knowing I had the support of my family and that I could start small, without a lot of money.

SMP: Do you have any regrets?
No. I’m of the belief that everything happens for a reason and that the universe nudges us in the direction we’re supposed to go. Life isn’t perfect, but I am happy with where I am and had I decided anything in the past differently, that likely would have changed my current path.

SMP: What advice would you give someone hoping to launch their own business?
Be aware that owning your own business is so much more than is apparent from the outside. Make sure you’re ready to work really hard and make sure you have passion and drive because that will make it all worth it. Also, as Oprah says, “surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” In other words, as much as possible, get rid of the negative people in your life that drain your energy and pull you down, and surround yourself with those who are positive and supportive.

SMP: What’s the most challenging aspect of business ownership?
For me, a big challenge is wearing so many hats at once: director, bookkeeper/accountant, customer care rep, designer, product developer, webmaster, supply manager, marketer, public relations, production supervisor, etc., etc., It can be overwhelming at times. As the business grows though, and I mature as a business owner, I’m learning to manage the various roles and delegate.

SMP And the most rewarding?
It makes my day and brings a big smile to my face when I hear back from happy customers and see the photos they excitedly share with me of their new pillows in their homes. I am so grateful that so many people (worldwide!) have chosen to make Arianna Belle pillows a part of their decor.

SMP: Arianna Belle has been hugely successful, do you have any secrets to success?
I’ve found that as a micro-entrepreneur it’s important to work on self-development. When I improve myself by doing things like learning to be more focused, efficient, organized, etc., as the main person “running the show,” I am better able to also improve my business and help it reach it’s potential.

SMP: What do you look for when sourcing fabrics for your pillows?
I look for high quality fabrics in eye-catching patterns, vibrant colors, and sumptuous textures. Basically, fabrics I would put in my own home.

SMP: Do you have any predictions in upcoming design trends?
More and more, I think people will opt for a versatile neutral base that will allow them to easily and more frequently change their decor with big impact accents like pillows, throws, and rugs.

SMP: 5 things every style savvy homeowner should have:
1) A piece of original art
2) A good looking yet comfortable sofa
3) A cozy luxurious throw
4) Fragrant candles
5) and beautiful pillows of course!

Photography: Esther Sun | Home: Arianna Belle | Living Room in Collage: Home of Alex Krasnoff of Tadpole and Lilly, Designed by Sadie and Stella