Ami McKay is the top Vancouver interior designer and creative director at PURE Design Inc., an award-winning, internationally published interior design firm.
What makes an opportunity exciting to you – in business or in life?
I love opportunities, personally and professionally. I love to test how far I can run with it. Test the waters, so to speak; if it’s successful, we implement it, and if it’s not, it was a great lesson learned. Opportunities are always an adventure.
What has been the greatest shift in your career or life, and how did you navigate through it?
There have been many great shifts in my career as I’ve now been in business for twenty years, I’ve had really big wins. I manufactured my own sustainable furniture line, partnered with Bed Bath and Beyond on a bedding line, was on HGTV for two seasons, I have a bustling design firm with a great team, and now we’re launching an ethical and artisanal shoppe. There have been many wins, and with those wins come a few failures. I learn more in some ways from my failures, and it helps my successes taste sweeter.
What has been your favourite experience you love to share?
I lived in a fire tower in the Rocky Mountains for five months of the year, for three years in a row. I had my own cabin, outhouse, and generator shed with a 100 ft fire tower that I climbed daily to look for forest fires. I had to collect my own rainwater, and I learned doing laundry by hand really stinks!
This incredible experience afforded me time to live slowly and savour every single daily ritual. I had time to think, learn, and grow. I read every interior design book in the library over the three years, sketched and painted, and built a greenhouse. It is so hard to put into words how full my life is because of the space I gave myself to personally grow and reflect on who I am and where I want to go. I used the remaining seven months of the year to travel, volunteer in India, and study design abroad.
What are you up to right now that people should know about?
I am THRILLED to announce that we’re launching our PURE shoppe this Spring. I’ve partnered with collectives and suppliers around the globe that support ethically and sustainably sourced products. This is a dream come true for me.
When I was twenty-three, I lived and volunteered in India. I lived in Bihar, which was one of the poorest states in India. I saw so much that tore my heart open. I promised myself one day I would work with global villagers and share their talents and wares with the world. By buying these products, we are supporting people’s livelihoods in places where it’s really hard to thrive without support. I feel I’m helping to shine a light on these beautiful and talented humans.