“I’ve been collecting for as long as I can remember and I love being able to continue that journey.”
Please briefly introduce yourself.
Hi! I’m Avril, I’m the co-founder of Form Atelier. We deal in objects, furniture, and art which we source from around the world. We also work with brands and individuals on interiors and creating and concepting identities and images.
What is a typical day for you like?
I just had a baby a month ago so right now there’s no typical day! I’m constantly trying to stay on top of things so efficiency is everything. Some days it feels like a luxury just to brush my teeth before noon, others I somehow manage to steal the time to soak in a hot bath before bedtime. Even pre-baby my days were never typical - that’s what I love about my job. We could be on a buying trip one day, at our atelier shooting pieces for our website the next, knee-deep in research the following day, and the day after that, working with a client on their interior.
“Our culture’s ideals of beauty are so narrow and limited. There’s beauty in everything if you look outside of what we’re told is ‘beautiful’.”
How has your background and experience shaped the person you are today?
Before starting Form Atelier, I worked in fashion in London and New York (I’m originally from Dublin). It was such an amazing experience and one which has certainly stood with me throughout my work at Form but it was never my true passion. I started Form with my now-husband, Quy, based on a shared love of art, antiques, 20th-century furniture, and travel. It’s a complete departure but one which felt very natural. I’ve been collecting for as long as I can remember and I love being able to continue that journey.
Does balance play a role in your life?
Yes, but when you run your own business, you have to consciously make an effort to find that balance. Otherwise, it won’t happen. I believe so strongly in taking breaks - be it a walk around the block to clear your head, or a proper vacation - you work so much more efficiently and effectively when you’ve given yourself some space. Ploughing through and working constantly is false efficiency, it doesn’t lead to inspired or better work.
What are some tips on maintaining balance and taking care of your well-being?
For me, taking the time to exercise keeps me healthy and sane. I’m useless at meditation so I use movement as both my workout and my meditation. I’ve been doing pilates pretty religiously for almost a decade. I love taking classes with Natalia del Rivero, she’s a great teacher, as well as Lia Bartha. I discovered Lia’s method via Instagram in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown and it has completely transformed my form and my awareness of my body.
What does beauty mean to you?
It sounds cheesy but to me, beauty is happiness. It’s not perfect makeup or perfect hair, it’s an inner radiance that comes from being truly comfortable and content in your own skin.
How has your perception of beauty evolved over the years?
Our culture’s ideals of beauty are so narrow and limited. There’s beauty in everything if you look outside of what we’re told is ‘beautiful’.
Are there any beauty tips from your culture that you can share?
I don’t actually know of any traditionally Irish beauty rituals. Maybe I’m missing out! They’re really into fake tan there, which is such a pity as I think snow white Irish skin can be so beautiful.
What are your beauty and wellness rituals?
I’m pretty minimal in my beauty rituals. I don’t wear much makeup, just sunscreen, mascara, and some brow gel. I always cleanse my skin really well in the morning and evening, that’s something I’ll never skip no matter how tired I am. In terms of wellness, I try to eat healthily as much as possible without being too restrictive. Sometimes I’m too hard on myself so I’m making a conscious effort to listen to my body more and let that be my gauge. I’m such a sucker for wellness potions, powders, adaptogens, teas, tonics, etc. I spend way too much money on them, I’m probably a marketer’s dream!
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
Sunscreen! I’m so grateful my mum hammered home the importance of sunscreen from an early age. Not only on your face but also on the back of your hands. They’re often neglected but very susceptible to sunspots and signs of aging.
What are you reading or listening to that has made a lasting impression on you lately?
Right now I’m knee-deep in baby development books and books on how to achieve that elusive full night’s sleep! There’s a pretty steep learning curve when you have a newborn and unfortunately, there’s no manual!
What are some conscious decisions we can make to help the environment and our planet?
There are so many but avoiding single-use plastics is a big one. Not only are they full of phthalates and other harmful chemicals but they’re so detrimental to the environment. Being aware of our needless consumption and waste is a big step. We’re getting better but unfortunately, many of us still don’t even consider our environmental footprint. I’m far from perfect but I’m really trying to do what I can to minimize that footprint. Concern for the future of our environment is definitely something that keeps me up at night - especially now with baby Raven. I wonder what kind of world he’ll grow up in if we don’t collectively do something drastic, fast.
What is your personal or professional mission?
To continue to grow, evolve, and push myself. I never want to stop learning or stop being curious.
Make a wish for your future self.
It’s pretty simple. I hope that my family and I stay healthy and happy for many years to come. I really don’t need or long for much outside of that!
Follow Avril's journey at @avril_nolan_.