It takes a long time to become an overnight success, as one version of this popular saying goes. Meet Miriam Fanning, a living example. She’s been working as an interior designer for more than 20 years and has been slowing making her way up the ranks. But it was after she started a family in 2000, and launched Mim Design, that she started to make a mark on her own terms. As the demand for her expertise increased, so too did the practice. Today she employs 19 staff and works on a range of projects from residential to hospitality and retail.

Which five words best describe you? Curious, passionate, resourceful, creative and loyal.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My first design-based job was at the Buchan Group in Melbourne, where my interests in retail were partnered with working within such a stimulating and diversified practice. Starting as a junior and eventually growing into the position of associate director, I was inspired by the many facets of design I experienced while working across a variety of projects. Having a family led me to launch Mim Design in 2000. My main aim was, and is to be continually inspired; I love the ability to work on a diverse range of projects within the growing and ever-changing design industry. Mim Design has grown, too. It started out with just myself and has since blossomed into a busy studio of 19 talented staff with two other directors and two associates. Our projects now range in service from interior design to architecture as well as place-making, styling and brand direction.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Always give everything a go, and embrace the challenge. Show empathy as well as respect to all aspects of life from living through to creating.

What’s your proudest career achievement? To just sit back and appreciate the strong team and design ethos our firm has. As a designer having our studio projects recognised and published on the pages of our favourite magazines is always a rewarding moment for us too; most recently Belle, Houses, Artichoke and Inside magazine have all run features covering a range of our completed projects.

What’s been your best decision? I’ve never looked back on the leap of faith I took to go out on my own and launch Mim Design. It was a dream come true for me and one that has proudly grown from strength to strength over the past 14 years.

Who inspires you? Inspiration is everywhere from texture, spaces and colour for everyday living. Visualisation has always been a huge source of inspiration to me whether it’s through travel, film/cinematography or through someone else’s individual philosophy and interesting critique. I’m always seeking out new inspiration and have become addicted to some fantastic design blogs recently. I must admit a trip away clarifies design sense and detail for me.

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about achieving the best result possible, as well as immersing myself in every project, whether it’s from getting to know the client through to understanding their business. Oh, and a really good night’s sleep doesn’t go astray!

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Where do I start! Artist Brett Whiteley, architect Richard Neutra and visual artist Andy Warhol.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Next on my long list of dream projects is to create a capsule collection of our custom-designed products, collaborations with some of our fabulous suppliers and then one day soon a book to document the Mim Design journey. And, in-between, I’d love to keep travelling and keep exploring weird and wonderful places with my family and friends.

What are you reading? Empty mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

images courtesy of mim design

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