Today I am delighted to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Arianna Vargas. Arianna, better known in the blogging world as Arianna Belle, has a distinctly refined and elegant style, which has helped to establish her as one of the premier tastemakers in organization and interior design. She shares with us her unique journey, what inspires her, the benefits of working from home, and her favorite piece of advice. Read on my sweets!
Your blog merges the world of organization with that of interior design. How do you feel that the two are related?
Many people think interior design is just about how a space looks, but it’s very much also about how a space functions and addresses the needs of those who use it. Truly well designed spaces stylishly integrate proper storage for everything, and have an organized flow that makes life a little easier and more enjoyable.
As a blog curator you are masterful; AriannaBelle.com is overflowing with exceptionally lovely images. What informs your design aesthetic? Are there certain details that you look for?
Wow, thank you! That’s very kind of you to say! It’s hard to pin point really, but I’m usually drawn to spaces that are bright, happy, comfortable, and effortlessly chic.
You also have a shop where you sell beautiful throw pillows. What made you decide to open an online shop, and how did you select pillows as your primary stock?
Good question! Well like many twenty-something-year-olds I’ve slowly been carving out and refining my path, figuring out what’s the best fit for me and what direction I want to go in. As I brainstormed what things I wanted try my hand at, I thought about how I always wanted to have my own product based business. As a little kid, I used to make little curiosities out of whatever I could find in the house, and then set up shop in the living room and sell them to family members. In elementary school I used to make and sell pen-necklaces to classmates, that is, before I got in trouble for selling at school -oops! In high school I had the idea of creating stylish laptop cases and made a few prototypes. Unfortunately at the time, however, I didn’t have the resources to fully follow through and make it a successful endeavor, but I was left with that entrepreneurial spirit.
In college I fully intended to major in entrepreneurship, however UCLA didn’t offer that as a major and so I went with what I thought was the next closest thing to that instead – Economics. I ended up realizing that the Economics major wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, and so I turned my focus in a different direction. I decided to major in Sociology and concurrently also study Real Estate Appraisal (property valuation) and Interior Design (I couldn’t pick just one!). After I graduated and had to get a job, I went the Appraisal route. After working a few years in that industry though, I decided that while I was good at it and liked some aspects of it, it wasn’t really my passion. So I turned to Interior Design, which is what has led me to where I am today.
As I’ve immersed myself in everything decor related, I’ve developed a love for beautiful designer fabrics and knew I just had to create a career for myself in which I would get to work with and be surrounded by them everyday. When I started to connect the dots, that’s when the a-ha happened. A product-based interior design related business involving beautiful fabrics….hmm…..pillows! Having a mother who had previously worked from home as a seamstress for many years, I actually already had access to all the right equipment, so it was a perfect fit! Funnily enough, the business has actually also allowed me to utilize a lot of the skills I’ve learned through working in property valuation, – how to research, analyze, organize data, create forecasts, etc.
What inspires you to be productive when all you want to do is stay in bed?
I don’t keep a regular Monday-Friday 9-5 work schedule. One of the things I love about being an entrepreneur is having the ability to work with my natural rhythms. There are definitely mornings when for whatever reason I just feel like taking it easy and being lazy. If there’s nothing pressing that absolutely needs to get done, I allow myself to do just that, keeping in mind of course, that tasks on my to-do list won’t magically complete themselves, they’ll just need to be moved over to a later time or date. Doing work I enjoy though, definitely minimizes those “oh-no-it’s-morning-I-have-to-work-but-I-don’t-wanna” days. There have been times in which I’ve woken up super early because I was so excited about getting started on a particular project or idea, or days in which I’m so immersed in my work that I happily keep going and going for hours on end….
What one thing or area are you most proud of how you organize?
Hmm… I really love how I’ve organized the dry goods in my kitchen. I have them in labeled clear containers lined up in a cabinet. It’s actually helped me eat healthier because it reminds me of all the different non-obvious grains/legumes I can cook with: quinoa, black rice, garbanzos, lentils, etc. I’ll share photos of it on the blog some time soon!
What one thing or area are you most embarrassed by/ would like to change?
My pillow “studio.” Right now it hasn’t reached its potential yet. The business is still very new so I haven’t invested too much on pieces for the space. I’ve just borrowed from other rooms, working with what I have. I’ll slowly transform it, little by little, as I figure out what I do and don’t need in there, where things should go, and how best to store everything.
Favorite piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to others?
I love this quote from Alexandra Stoddard: “Slow down, don’t worry, don’t hurry, trust the process.” I think this is a great reminder for all of us who are in a rush to have everything perfectly figured out, stressing out when things right now aren’t the way they’re “supposed to be”, and thinking “I’ll be happy when _______” – not appreciating the present moment. We have to trust that at any given moment we are likely exactly where we should be, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, learning the lessons we’re supposed to, gaining the skills that we need for our own unique life.
What is your definition of either beauty, organization or simplicity?
Simplicity, or living simply to me is removing all the clutter from our lives, both physical and mental, and having in it only the things that make it a little easier, happier, and healthier.