Interior Designer Ali Budd has been featured in House and Home, Style at Home, and Martha Stewart Living.
Beautifully functional, functionally beautiful,” is the way Ali Budd, founder, owner, President and Principal Designer of Ali Budd Interiors, describes her design studio. But, this punchy description is also a great way to think of the Liberal Arts foundation that helped Ali develop a formidable combination of talent, character and heart.
Ali Budd is one of Toronto’s most in-demand interior designers. Her boutique firm focusses on high-end luxury residential buildings. Known for its timeless yet edgy designs, bespoke furniture and white-glove service, Ali Budd Interiors – and Ali’s designs – have been featured in countless publications including House and Home, Style at Home, and Martha Stewart Living. Her firm’s designs have also graced television screens on HGTV and Global News. The 2018 winner of the Interior Designer of the Year award from The Notable Awards, Ali takes nothing for granted and knows she’s worked hard, learned well, and given herself the proper foundation for success. Confidence, too, also helps.
It was Huron University, Ali says, that helped her become the businessperson she is today: One that’s not afraid to take risks, stretch herself creatively, and push herself harder than she could ever have conceived of.Ali distinguishes herself as a businesswoman who sets her own rules, knows her value and never shies away from advocating for herself, her team members and what she knows is right.
Huron, she says, taught her everything and no one will ever tell her an undergraduate degree in the Liberal Arts – Ali majored in English – is useless. “Now, I’m an interior designer running a firm in Toronto. Is that directly correlated to what I did at Huron? Of course not, but my education formed the basis of my success as a human and educated person; I don’t think I actually could have done this in the way I have done it, without having Huron as my foundation to work off of,” she says.
Great teaching at Huron U and Ali’s strong drive equals success
Dr. Neil Brooks, one of Ali’s favourite English professors, says he’s flattered by her praise of his teaching, but asserts that all the success Ali is achieving is due solely to her initiative and drive. “Ali is the perfect illustration of how passionate commitment leads to success and satisfaction, regardless of where that passion is directed,” he says. “Our English graduates have found success in an incredibly wide range of endeavours because engaging with literature helps our students to more effectively tell their own stories and better empathize with and influence the stories of others.”
Not only did Huron help Ali develop the knowledge she needed to understand the world and the skills to shape it, but this unique university also encourages its students to recognize the importance of being good people – not just successful academics. Huron’s emphasis on Leadership with Heart rang true for Ali who had already begun to learn why heart matters in business. She explains, “Dad would always tell me, you talk to everyone the same.Whether you’re talking to someone cleaning garbage off the street or you’re talking to a CEO of a bank, it doesn’t matter: everyone is the same. And, I think that’s what a true Leader with Heart practices.”
While Ali may be focused on decorative appliances and functional elegance, she’s also well aware of the not-so-appealing glass ceilings that persist for women in business.This, alongside many other elements of her personal and professional life, make being a businesswoman exhilarating. Ali says she sees barriers being broken and new opportunities presenting themselves constantly. The people (and pet) focused designer was “floored” when she recently read an article that stated only 3% to 5% of female-run businesses get to $1 million in sales.While she’s proud to have secured such significant success, she also looks forward to a time when more women will be empowered to push their passions toward unprecedented success.
In addition to encouraging young people to,“Work their asses off,”Ali also wants them to recognize that the Huron experience is unmatched.“I can’t imagine someone would end up there and think they’d made a mistake,” she says. She encourages students to experience everything while receiving one of the most elite educations in the country. Because, even if they’re not sure what it is they wish to do with the rest of their lives,“Huron is an incredible foundation.”
To learn more about Ali Budd Interiors please click here.