Expert Advice: Abbe Fenimore

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We all know that following your dream isn’t always easy. Fortunately many of us have great mentors to help along the way. Abbe Fenimore of  Shop Ten 25 is here to tell us about a great mentor she had  and how her experience and most importantly her perspective led to following her dream. Enjoy! xo, Tobi

Image Via: Bret Sano

 I don’t know about all of you, but I find myself obsessed with pinning those fabulous motivational images from Pinterest. I have even printed a few and put them up on my Studio’s cork board to remind me of why I do, what I do. It keeps things in perspective and always reminds me of where I started with my business (I was eager, full of ideas and bursting with energy). Not that I am not like that now, but as my business has grown and my personal time has become more limited, I find myself struggling to remember what really matters. This one is by far my favorite, it really does put everything in perspective for me and always makes me laugh when I see it.

mage Via: Trisha Brink Design

 When I started my design business over 4 years ago, I had no idea that I would be where I am today. I started Studio Ten 25 with big plans and a big list of goals. I was fortunate to have a great boss for my very first job out of college. He was big on making lists of goals for the year and adding or adjusting them as you accomplished one of those goals. So I made my list and got busy putting my plan into motion. My first year was tough but I loved the new addition and major changes it brought to my life. As I looked forward to what was next, I decided to dream big. My design business was going great, I started my blog and wanted the next step to be something that was fabulous!


Starting Shop Ten 25 was a HUGE step for me and a commitment I was ready to tackle. I really needed another way to communicate with my clients. Let them look through furniture, art and accessories that I loved and wanted to incorporate into their project. It was all me, down to the pink text and bold graphic background. I curated each piece and began to search for local artist and designers that would make The Shop spectacular. I started with a tiny template that gave me all kinds of trouble and didn’t allow me to expand the way I wanted to. I decided to run the idea of investing in a real e-commerce site by my husband and his advise was this. “99% of life is showing up, you have to look at this as an an opportunity to grow your business and to create your brand. So show up, be you and make it happen on your time.”

Image Via: Melanie Johnson Photography for Studio Ten 25. Office space designed for Dwell With Dignity’s Thrift Studio.

 And so that’s what I did! Growing and expanding can be overwhelming, especially when everything depends on you to accomplish those goals and get it right. I consider Studio Ten 25, Shop Ten 25 and The Studio Blog my three-legged table. Each brings out the best in me and the elements of design that I truly love to do everyday, and I need them all for this business to work. If starting a business or expanding your current one is something you desire to do, then go for it. I often look at strong women like Tobi and wonder how they get up each day…I admire her strength, drive and success. I’m pretty sure it did not happen overnight, it takes time, patience and learning from your mistakes. But just like that little bird with his french fry, know that there will be those days that take everything out of you. And then you find that fabulous french fry that makes you realize every step of the climb was worth it!


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3 Responses to Expert Advice: Abbe Fenimore

  1. Abbe-
    Thank you for such an inspiring post. This is a great perspective and you spoke to me right where I’m at. I may need to order that bird with a french fry print. 🙂

  2. Denise says:

    What great advice and your success is proof of how setting goals pays off. I love Abbe’s work and am so glad you shared her advice Tobi! Love this series….so motivational!!

  3. Tobi,
    Thank you so much for including me in this fabulous series! I have loved picking up tidbits from everyone over the past week or so!
    Have a wonderful weekend!