Today we’d like to introduce you to Abby Guild McGill.
Abby, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always associated memories with the space in which they occurred — the pattern of the wallpaper, the feeling of the natural light in the stairway, the scent and texture of the aging raw wood wainscoting. I am visual and my surroundings matter to me. In college I convinced my roommates to let me have the room in the apartment with the bay window and the faux fireplace because I had a vision for how I wanted to decorate it. I value beauty.
I grew up in the valley. After earning an undergraduate degree in public relations and Spanish at Boston University and a couple of stints living abroad, I returned to the states with a plan that actually excited me: studying interior design. I received my professional certification from FIDM and began working in the field, from small high-end residential studios to an international hospitality firm.
A couple years later, I got married and moved to a 300-year old dairy farm in New Jersey where I had two sons. Upon returning to LA, my husband and I had our third child, a girl. Three home births later, we were suddenly a party of five. For a decade, I dedicated all my energy to my family, finding outlets for my creativity by building furniture for the kids: tepees and reclaimed fence wood beds.
But I always knew I had more to share with the world. So when my youngest child started preschool full-time, I felt freer to make space for me again. Enter: Abby Guild, LLC. Starting from scratch building a business at this stage in my life was intimidating; a lot had changed in the ten years I was out of the industry. But as soon as I dove into my first project, it was obvious to me that designing interiors was the missing piece all along. There’s something to say for entering the working world as an older, wiser me – I am efficient, clear about my boundaries and appreciate my career more than ever.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The year leading up to the launch of my design firm, I felt paralyzed by the obstacles. Imposter syndrome had me in its clutches. I was focused on all the reasons not to embrace the change: Do I actually know what I’m doing? The profession evolves so fast – will I ever catch up? I still want to be there for my kids when they need me. How will I ever set up an LLC, design a website, hire an accountant and bookkeeper, acquire a sellers permit?
It all seemed overwhelming, but with lots of encouragement from my mompreneur sister and friends, I moved forward one baby step at a time. Once I got momentum, I was motivated to devote more and more energy to the business and it took shape before my eyes. Next thing I knew, I was up and running and all the worries holding me back from progress were suddenly behind me.
My biggest struggle has been finding time for everything I want to accomplish. Kids get sick. Life happens. I’m always juggling and often feel torn. The first few months my business was underway I was so eager and excited I would daydream about being a mogul. It didn’t take long for me to temper my expectations to better suit my reality. On smooth days, I dedicate my energy during school hours to clients and am present for my family in the evenings. On busier days, I rely more heavily on our babysitter and often jump back into work once the kids are in bed. Summertime is a whole other beautiful beast. Every week is different which keeps me on my toes and is one of the joys of working for myself.
Please tell us about Abby Guild.
Abby Guild is a small boutique interior design and decorating firm in the valley with clients in Los Angeles and out of state. I provide a professional process and timely execution while encouraging environmentally and health-conscious practices and products.
I believe a home should be a sanctuary, a space to relax, connect and feel inspired, where beauty and function meet one’s practical needs and lifestyle. With a thoughtful approach, I help my clients transform their homes into nurturing, comfortable spaces curated especially for their unique needs. There is no project too small for me to take on; I am always looking for non-profits that can use my services and I love showing clients how a few minor changes can make all the difference in a room.
I approach design from a holistic point of view, sourcing whenever possible from local LA vendors and environmentally aware manufacturers who care about the health of our planet and its inhabitants. I prioritize the well-being of my clients; I want them to feel at peace when they walk through their front door. This is especially true in LA where the stresses of traffic, work, mortgages and rent payments are real.
I specialize in unfussy, relaxed spaces. My aesthetic is laid-back earthy minimalist. I love natural elements like stone and wood, and find inspiration on my global travels. Older architecture with character – nooks, niches, ancient doors, archways, original flooring – brings me joy. The beauty is in the imperfections.
I always style a room with living elements, whether it’s an olive tree in a vintage planter or branches clipped from the client’s backyard overflowing from an urn on the mantle. Indoor plants clean our air! What Angeleno doesn’t crave a little fresh air?
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Galloping on horseback across my grandparents’ dude ranch in Wyoming. Free and fast, wind in my face, hooves thundering. And my mom’s reading to me at bedtime.
- Website: www.abbyguild.com
- Phone: 3236100322
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @abbyguild