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The Hustle

Name: Ava Mundy (Lagniappe Interiors)

Posted By Bill DeYoung

Lagniappe, according to Ava Mundy, is a Cajun French word meaning something given as a bonus or extra gift. Although this 19-year-old entrepreneur was born and raised in Pinellas County, her mother came from Louisiana, and her love of the architecture in New Orleans (along with the people, the hospitality ... and the food) imbues everything she puts into Lagniappe Interiors and Ava Mundy Furniture. Located at 1901 West Bay Drive in Largo, Lagniappe Interiors opened July 1.

Years in Tampa Bay

My whole life! 19 years

Hustle (job)

Owner and Founder

What do you do?  

I specialize in custom painted and refinished furniture. Along with the furniture, I have locally crafted and unique home decor items. From decorative signs and sayings, to vases, pillows and candles.

Why do you do it?

The obvious answer is because I love it, and I really do. Both of my business keep me so busy, but because of my businesses I have had the opportunity to go out into my community and meet so many amazing people that I would have never been able to meet. Most of all I want to show people my age and younger that they CAN start their own business, and their ideas should be brought to life. I want to carve a path for high school graduates and college students to show them they can do what they are great at, and make a huge impact on their community.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I painted a table and four chais for my mom and I fell in love with painting. I found a few free pieces on Facebook Marketplace a week later, and I haven't looked back since! I then started Ava Mundy Furniture and became a vendor for a store in Belleair Bluffs; now I have my own store, Lagniappe Interiors.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

That old furniture is junk. Furniture tells a story, from the natural lines of a piece to the color it is going to be painted. Just because it is old does not mean we cannot make it new again.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Customers that believe they can go to a big box store and get either a better deal, or the same thing. Furniture is truly not made as durable as it used to be, furniture used to be handed down generation to generation. You simply cannot do that with a lot of the newer stuff, because it is made from cheaper materials. I want clients to walk away with a great piece that will last lifetimes, something they can pass down.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

"The worst thing someone can tell you is no." I took an entrepreneurial leadership class when I was a high school student at Calvary Christian High School, and one of my teachers told us this one day, and it was a mind-blowing moment for me. Because Mr. Andy Park was so right! To this day I do not shy away from asking the awkward, not fun-to-ask questions, in fact I like to face them head on.


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