Welcome to Dream Jobs, a new series where we ask some of the coolest, smartest and most creative people working in design today to tell us all about their jobs and just what they did to get there.
When I recently asked Ashley who I should interview next for our Dream Jobs series, she had an immediate answer: rug dealer/designer extraordinaire and all around awesome human Aelfie. And she definitely didn't disappoint. As she says, "Rugs not drugs, kids!" Read on for more (you won't be sorry).
What’s your official job title?
Founder/Designer at AELFIE.
When did you know what you wanted to do?
I didn't chose the rug life, the rug life chose me.
Where’d you go to school? What did you study?
I graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Religion. During my studies, I worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and sold carpets out of my student housing to help finance my education. Needless to say, being a rug dealer on a university campus led to a lot of misunderstandings. Rugs not drugs, kids!
How did you score your current job?
I created it.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The only constant is coffee in the morning. My days vary depending on what needs to get done. Sometimes it’s shipping, sometimes it’s design, sometimes it’s bookkeeping and sometimes, like today, it will be figuring out where in the city I can rent fake Greek pedestals on the cheap.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
Being able to provide income to others is deeply gratifying, as is collaborating with people I admire.
What’s the worst part of your job?
The worst part of my job is that I share my name with the company. I sound like Elmo when I’m discussing business. “Aelfie is fun and functional!”
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a business?
One of the first things I did when I launched AELFIE was set up a meeting with an accountant. I didn't really know what to ask at that point, but we talked through basic business accounting practices, tax obligations, and things to keep in mind as the company grew. There is a lot of fluffy advice for entrepreneurs out there, but I'm going to get real for a second. Learn Excel. Then learn to love Excel.