After earning a degree in accounting in 1995, Sheridan High School graduate, Tobi Fairley, takes a leap of faith and decides to tap into her creativity and pursue a competitive career in interior design. She then earns a degree in interior design and an MBA from Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville.
Now a world-renowned interior designer and businesswoman, Fairley says she loves her job, doing interior design for high-end homes and some businesses like retail companies and hotels. Fairley’s award-winning designs for high-profile celebrity clients have been featured in top shelf publications, newspapers, websites and television around the globe.
Traditional Home Magazine once predicted, “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah, one of those women for whom one name says it all.”
In 2008, Fairley created one of the first design blogs, which is currently read in more than 125 countries worldwide.
And that's not all.
“I also do consulting work with many other small business owners and creatives, including interior designers and architects who want to build nationally recognized brands like mine through social media,” said Fairley. “I use my accounting background and MBA to help them improve their financial position to become more profitable … I get to do something very different every single day, and I love that I am never bored and almost always inspired,” she said.
Fairley says her family members and other designers have inspired her throughout her childhood and career. “I fell in love with the work of iconic designers like Dorothy Draper from New York and David Hicks from London. Their love of color and pattern totally inspired me, and then I was definitely hooked on this career,” said Fairley.
On May 4, 2017, Fairley, became Sheridan High School’s newest member of its Hall of Fame.
According to Sheridan High School Assistant Principal Terri Bone, Hall of Fame Inductees are Sheridan High School graduates who have excelled in their vocations and/or contributions to society. Inductees are chosen through a series of nominations and then filtered through a selection committee.
“I was so honored to be inducted,” Fairley said in an interview after the induction ceremony. “It's a huge compliment and very humbling to be considered one of the most accomplished to graduate from our school as I know there are many great alumni. And of course it made my parents [David and Beverly Wells of Sheridan] especially proud since they are both also graduates of Sheridan High,” said Fairley.
When asked if she had any advice for students who are considering their future career, Fairley said:
“I think that students need to listen to their hearts about what they really love and try a lot of different things before they decide what they want to do as a career. When graduating high school, we feel pressure to know our major and what we want to be. But I think figuring that out takes time. So listening to your heart and being open to ideas and opportunities that come along will eventually lead you to your career sweet spot. So don't be in such a hurry. There are so many options out there, and you have to live a little more and explore the world a bit more to know what they are. And don't be surprised if mid-life you want to switch careers or change things up a bit. I am always evolving my businesses to meet my current interests and passions, and it makes life a lot more fun!”
For more about Fairley, visit her website at http://tobifairley.com/.