Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. What a question – who am I? 32 years in, you’d think this would be relatively easy to answer – but aren’t we all still figuring this out? Well, this I know so far. I’m Amanda Marley – a wife, a mother, a child of God. I’m a designer, a carpenter, an entrepreneur, and a lover of all things creative.
I’ve known since a young age that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, specifically in interior design, but wasn’t really sure how to make that happen. I’ve never been that person who felt the need to have it all figured out to jump in with both feet, thankfully. So after graduating college, I worked in the corporate world for a year, and then made the big decision to quit my job and do what I knew I was called to do.
Q. What is your work?
A. Currently I own 2 companies – Real Fine Place, and Soul Space.
Real Fine Place is an interior design & custom furniture business. Making spaces beautiful and functional has always been one of my biggest passions, and I also love to build, so having the ability and opportunity to do both is something I’m so grateful for. Most of the projects I’ve been working on recently are residential, but I also do retail and corporate spaces.
Soul Space is a collaborative community of female entrepreneurs coming together to connect with other like-minded individuals in a place where all things coexist toward the common goal of Collaboration over Competition. We support and encourage each other, and build strong relationships in a community based on respect, trust, and honesty.
We also have a coworking studio & flexspace in Summerfield right off of 220. We have open coworking space, a few small offices/studios, and space to host events like creative workshops, meetings, seminars, photoshoots, etc.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I’m really excited to be working on building the Soul Space Community. It’s a passion of mine that I didn’t know I had in me until a couple years ago. The competition and comparison that exists in the world of entrepreneurship can be so toxic and detrimental to the growth of our businesses. The goal with this community is to create a safe space where creativity, empathy, and productivity all come together.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Started Soul Space.
On a more specific note, I started setting better boundaries, I started asking for help when I need help, and I started reaching out to people who intimidated me in order to seek wise council on how to make new strides in things I didn’t know how to do.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not, why not? What's stopping you?
A. I have pure confidence that I’m doing the work I know I’m supposed to be doing right now – of course sometimes my focus has to shift within my businesses as things change, but overall I know I’m right where I need to be.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Embrace being a little weird. Trust God’s plan over your own. Stand up for what you know is right. Read more, pray more, learn more, lay your worries down, and always be kind – even when you don’t want to.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. I have a lot of them; some are verses, some are quotes, some are jokes or silly memes my husband and I have sent each other. But I’ll tell you honestly the two that I go-to daily are these two quotes:
The first is the “quote” I have on my letterboard in my office:
“Be Still, I got this.” –God
And the second is: “Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God.”
The tension that exists between these 2 quotes is where I find unexplainable peace. While we are called to work as worship, we are also called to be still and to rest. These two quotes remind me that the work I’m doing is important, given to me by God for a purpose bigger than myself, but the work is not to take the place of the One from which it was given. These quotes also remind me to keep things in perspective, and remember that I don’t know the rest of the story yet, I don’t need to have all the answers, and I also don’t need to have it all together. There’s so much freedom in that.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. I’m relentless, and stubborn, and also a little bit of a perfectionist, so I just keep going.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Warrior 2
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I’m honored and humbled each day to be in community with people who inspire me, challenge me, and support me, while being able to use my skills, talents, and abilities to serve others. It can be so easy to get caught up in the small inconveniences of day-to-day busyness, but each day I’m reminded of the vastness of this world, and the things I have chosen to worry over are so small in comparison to the freedom that’s found in the vastness. My abundant life lies in my love and deep appreciation for all I’ve been given to steward.