Ashley Yeates, founder and principal of AYI & Associates, is an American lawyer-turned-designer whose love for design began in her formative years growing up in Eastland, Texas. Surrounded by two generations of strong women with unique interior design aesthetics–including four eccentric grandmothers who each had beautifully styled homes and eclectic fashion sense, and an artistic mother who welded larger-than-life metal sculptures –Ashley learned from an early age that diversity of style and creativity should always be celebrated and appreciated.
This deep-rooted love for design blossomed into a full-time career. While practicing law in Dallas, a well-known designer pointed out she was in the wrong profession. Those wise words prompted her to follow her instincts and switch careers in 2001, and she never looked back. A move to Carmel and its beautifully rugged landscapes, motherhood, and her deep love for community all played a part in her desire to create meaningful interiors, and on a more emotional level, homes that embrace comfort and family yet were elegant and sustainable enough to stand the test of time.
With those ideals in mind, she started the Ashley Yeates Collection in 2013, aspiring to create a healthier furniture line that is fully customizable, higher quality and uses sustainable and ethically sourced materials. Seeing a market space flooded with mass-produced furniture that wears out and negatively impacts the environment when taken to the landfill inspiring her to go the opposite direction. A focus on human connection, protecting the environment, selecting ethically harvested materials, employing American talent, and spotlighting the art of craftsmanship are just a few of the things that go into every piece of furniture she creates.
Her grandmother often said that when you buy right, you buy once! This is the mantra for her Bespoke, Modern Hepburn, and Sea to Sierra collections. Well-made furniture stands the test of time and becomes a cherished heirloom passed down through generations of family, and is the kind of mindful, indelible stamp Ashley wants to leave on this world.