2020 was an interesting year… a lot of time was spent at home and there was no better time to freshen up your surrounds and it seems a lot of Australians had this same idea. One Gold Coast company that saw a huge surge in the home improvement space was ABI Bathrooms and Interiors. As one of the fastest growing bathroom suppliers, ABI’s aim is to bring Australia’s best prices on luxury tapware and bathroom products to you. We sat down with Co-Founder and Designer Luli Farrell on how ABI’s crazy year of growth and what’s in the works for this dynamic local company.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
Since forever! I’m GC born and bred.
What do you love most about living here?
I love all the amazing beaches and swimming spots there are. I also love the trendy cafes and restaurants that seem to be popping up everywhere. The Gold Coast has grown so much in the last few years, it’s an exciting time!
Tell us about your business ABI.
ABI is a family-owned business that was created with the mission to create high quality and beautiful bathroom and interior products that are accessible and affordable for everyone. We started out in the matte black tapware space, before introducing our rose gold finish, which was the real game changer for ABI. Since then, we have since grown our range to include seven different finishes in a wide range of products, including everything from mirrors to vanities and even baths. We have also begun expanding internationally into New Zealand and the UK which has been so exciting.
Tell us about your career thus far.
ABI was just starting out as I was just graduating from my Bachelor of Architecture. Being a family business, I got involved and it just so happened that I found a new love for product design. During the early days of ABI, I did everything from running the showroom to packing orders, designing new products, marketing and so much more. Although it felt like so much pressure at the time, I learned so much about running a business that I am so grateful for. Since then, I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with so many talented people like Shelley Craft. My team and I have also designed so many new products and we’ve built out our new office space (that we are already outgrowing). I now help manage a talented team of over 100 amazing people. It’s been a crazy ride!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I can find inspiration anywhere, especially when I’m not necessarily looking for it. Sometimes my inspiration comes from seeing a gap in the market or sometimes it’s finding a way to transform an everyday item into something beautiful. Other times it can be as simple as the shape of an earring I see. Customer and staff feedback also play a big part in shaping our product range.
Tell us about your new showroom.
Our new showroom was a huge project, but we are so proud of the result. Our main goal was to create a welcoming place where people can explore our range and feel inspired to create their dream space. We wanted people to feel completely at ease and confident during their ABI experience, that’s why we put so much thought into the space, from the working product displays to the smallest features and details.
What’s your proudest business moment?
I think the proudest moment for me would have to be at the end of last year, when I finally had the chance to stop and reflect on just how much we had accomplished since we started out! It’s amazing to think that this time last year we were less than half the size we are now. Also, the day we hit 100,000 followers on Instagram felt pretty surreal.
What else is in the works for ABI for 2021?
We have so many exciting things planned for 2021. ABI will be opening a showroom and launching online in the UK early this year. We also have so many new products in the works. We have a few other big announcements that we can’t reveal just yet – watch this space!
Any advice for someone wanting to start a business on the Gold Coast?
I’d have to say don’t let fear hold you back. If you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it work. I love the quote ‘one hour of doing is better than 10 hours of thinking’. You can’t plan for everything that might happen, you just need to go for it and learn from your mistakes.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast: Refinery Coffee in Currumbin
Coffee spot: Weekdays: Next Door Espresso, our local in Burleigh and Weekends: Rafiki in Mermaid Beach
Restaurant for dinner: Definitely Eddy & Wolff
Bar or pub for a drink: A wine at home with family over a bar any day
How does your weekend usually look? It normally starts with a long walk on the beach before stopping for coffee & an açai bowl. Then I usually head over to spend time with my family and friends. It’s definitely my favourite way to spend my downtime.