When you think of a BossBabe building an empire, what comes to mind? A woman who is unapologetically ambitious, not afraid to chase her dreams, starts and scales her own business from the ground up, and values collaboration over competition? Well, Farah Merhi, CEO and founder of Inspire Me! Home Decor, is all those things and more!
With the largest following in home decor on Instagram (over 5.5 Million and still growing!), she has created her very own empire from nothing. Everything Farah touches turns to gold. And, it’s no accident either. She’s dedicated, hard working, inspirational, and genuinely cares about what her followers and customers want to see in their homes. She puts a lot of thought into every single one of her items, whether it’s a pillow from her collection found at Home Goods or a rug from her QVC Collection or home decor from her Wayfair Shop to her new furniture line with Tov.
And, it almost never happened. Farah started her journey on a completely different path: studying to become a lawyer. When she was just three semesters short of graduating, certain circumstances in her life guided her to her true passion: home decor. She did one of the hardest, yet easiest things, and followed her heart by deciding to stop pursuing a career path that she wasn’t passionate about just because it was the logical, safe way to go. She had the difficult discussion with her support team, her husband and parents, and decided to pursue home decor full time. That was the moment Inspire Me! Home Decor was born.
While talking with Farah, I was curious as to what was the final push for her to leave the “safe route” and go after her dreams. A lot of women struggle with leaving their comfort zones to make the jump into the unknown. It’s intimidating and slightly terrifying to dive into a new career path, one that isn’t guaranteed and doesn’t have a road map laid out. The answer she gave me was unexpected, yet very inspirational.
“It really opened my eyes that we only have one life to live and our lives are not guaranteed, so that no matter what I do in my life I need to make the most of it.”
“The desire to do something other than law was built over a long period of time, but the actual turning point for me was when a young 16-year old family member was diagnosed with a brain tumor and only given a year to live. It really opened my eyes that we only have one life to live and our lives are not guaranteed, so that no matter what I do in my life I need to make the most of it. I wanted to do something that was my calling, that I had a passion for, and that no matter what it was it would leave me feeling fulfilled. I decided not to waste my time with anything else in life that wasn’t making me happy.”
I’ve seen firsthand just how humble and kind she really is. Her struggles that took her from starting a simple Instagram looking to inspire and be inspired really paid off in growing to the MOST followed account in the Home Decor area. She was able to build her empire starting from an a simple account to collaborating with various brands starting with pillows all the way up to creating her very own home decor collection for QVC. Recently, she launched her own furniture line as well with Tov Furniture. And for Farah, the success only continues with the announcement of her very own book deal.
It’s so easy to look at someone’s success and assume they got there without any real struggles or roadblocks. Farah easily admits that it was never easy, and her brand took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get to where she is today. When asked how she dealt with the discouragement that came after leaving law school and branching out on her own, she says it all boils down to believing in yourself.
“Believe in yourself and your gut feeling and you can easily ignore your naysayers and really push forward.”
“Once you have gone through and reached your tipping point, you really have to believe in yourself first before anyone else believes in you. If you wait for someone else to believe in you, you could be waiting forever. It’s not a guarantee. Believe in yourself and your gut feeling and you can easily ignore your naysayers and really push forward. If anything, the naysayers can be used as fuel and the push to move you forward. Let it be motivation to prove yourself and prove that what you know is going to happen is going to happen. Stay focused on your goal and dreams, and believe in yourself and love yourself enough and trust in the process. This is for you, not for anyone else so listen to yourself. And when you do encounter the naysayers, remember that sometimes it’s often a reflection of their own insecurities that they are putting back on you to bring you down.”
So with all of her amazing achievements, what was Farah’s proudest moment as an entrepreneur?
“My ultimate goal was always to develop my own home décor line and furniture line. The proudest moment was when I received the first pillows with my tags on it that with ‘Inspire Me! Home Décor by Farah Merhi’ name it. For me, that’s when it really all came home and was such a surreal moment. That’s when I knew that I had made it.”
Farah Merhi may have built and run her own empire from scratch, but she wears many hats. Anyone who follows her on instagram (her personal or business) knows that she’s also a mom and a wife, and very family oriented. With all her travels and business meetings, life can get pretty hectic. But as she does with every other aspect of her life, she finds the best of both worlds and always makes it work.
“Juggling motherhood and building an empire, it’s not easy balancing it all. There is no secret or formula to it. I take it one day at a time, sometimes my family needs me more than work and sometimes vice versa. I know for a fact that without my support system that I have in place none of this would be possible. I’m a working mom traveling a lot for work and I’m able to do that because I have an understanding and supportive husband who helps with the kids when I’m gone. My parents are also a big help and they take care of the kids and the house and make sure that everything goes smoothly in my absence. Kids get to go where they need to be and they still get dinner.
At work, I also have a support system in terms of my employees so they take care of business while I’m traveling. It also helps on snow days when I can stay at home and have my employees at the office who know what’s going on and business can continue as usual while I take care of my kids. Mommy guilt is always there, 100% apart of my life. I was a stay at a home mom for a couple of years, and even when I was a stay at home mom there was still mommy guilt. Am I doing everything I can for them, are they getting enough love and energy from me? So either way it’s a part of life we’re going to feel guilty no matter what. But now at work I can at least feel like I can be a role model to my daughters especially, that hard work and passion can get you anywhere in life and the sky is the limit.”
One of the biggest takeaways from my conversations with Farah is that she believes you have to figure out your passion on your own. Going through that inner struggle is lonely but you have to figure it out on your own and finding that missing piece of the puzzle. When it comes to building an empire, Farah is without a doubt a true inspiration. Even more so, she’s a motivation to women everywhere to follow their passions and that anything is possible with hard work and a vision for success. Farah really shows us that when you feel fulfilled, you’re a better mom, partner and entrepreneur, and lead a better life in general.