Even the most incredible and powerful women have someone they look up to, a role model they are inspired by and wanted to be when they grew up. In celebration of International Women’s Day and the upcoming Mother’s Day, we reached out to some of our own personal heroines to find out who — and what — makes them tick. They will be featured in the “WOW Woman” series throughout March and April. We hope you’ll be inspired by them, and find the wisdom and courage in their words you need to pursue your dream, to live the life you want. #GirlPower
WHO: Kelly Wearstler, The Great Multi-tasker
WHAT: Interior designer / Furniture designer / Jewellery and fashion designer / Mother
WHY SHE WOWS US: From waiting tables to designing tables (and the luxurious homes and hotels that showcase them), Kelly Wearstler has come a long way. Some of you may already know who she is (you buy her jewellery on Shopbop); some of you might have read about or heard of her. After all, she’s a celebrity in her own right.
The California-based designer has been featured on television (the CBS Morning Show) and in international publications including Vogue, InStyle, The New York Times,Women’s Wear Daily and The New Yorker which dubbed her the “presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design”. Her creations are often seen on popular blogs like The Coveteur (see her to-die-for wardrobe here!) and Apartment Therapy. Oh, and Wearstler was also a two-time judge on the TV series, Top Design.
Even if you haven’t heard of Kelly Wearstler until now, we think you might be familiar with at least three of her fans: Gwen Stefani, Cameron Diaz and Oprah.
And then there are the famous collaborators, namely Bergdorf Goodman (she’s the mastermind behind the interior decor of the BG restaurant and boutique in New York), The Rug Company, Paperless Post and Thierry Lasry.
So imagine my surprise and excitement when she agreed to this interview. Just as I though it couldn’t get better, her replies soon arrived in my inbox.
The 46-year-old’s (believe it) fancy and sometimes over-the-top designs and her impeccable fashion style belie her humility and down-to-earth take on success and life. The girl who once dreamt of being a Hollywood somebody by waiting tables may not have found the window of opportunity she needed then. But she did find her true calling not too far away — you know, just in some of the poshest boutique hotels and residences in LA and beyond — and it’s the Hollywood somebodies who are knocking on her door now.
But she works hard, stays focus and never rests on her laurels. Like many successful and inspiring women I’ve interviewed, Wearstler is not content to be just one thing. She’s a self-professed “great multi-tasker”.
Yes, there’s no doubt she’s established herself as the go-to designer for über-stylish and modern spaces with a touch of adventure, but that’s only the beginning. The mother-of-two has since expanded her repertoire to designing furniture, home accessories, wall coverings and fine china to go with the properties she’s been entrusted to spruce up, as if to give them the full signature KW treatment.
Still, not enough. Why stop at interior design when she can also put her Midas’ Touch on fashion, jewellery and … wedding stationary? So she did.
“Once I’ve designed something, I immediately move on to the next thing,” said the unstoppable one in an interview with Elle Decor.
Beautiful, stylish, talented and driven, we can’t wait to see — and be wowed — by what’s next on Kelly Wearstler’s Pickard plate.
Who is the woman you most look up to as a role model and inspiration in life?
Kelly Wearstler: My mother. She taught me to rely on myself and follow my passion. She took me to museums and antique shows, educating my eye from a young age.
What is the key to your success — in your career and in life?
KW: Dedication, focus, adaptability. I am a great multi-tasker. . When I design interiors, I enjoy every part of the process. It takes patience and time to land on just the right combination of elements. It’s about curating things that have meaning, experimenting with different ingredients until you find the perfect alchemy. Life can be like that. Finding the right balance is tough.
What is your advice for someone who is pursuing or wants to pursue her dream?
KW: Stay focused. Have clear goals. Surround yourself with people who support you but also challenge you. As an artist especially, or in any field that’s creative — finding the right person to push you can be everything. And be a good listener!
What, to you, has been the biggest challenge in doing what you do, and achieving the success you have as a woman? How do you overcome that on a daily basis?
KW: Achieving balance is always tough. I am a mother and wife first. I truly love what I do for a living and I want to instil that passion and work ethic in my boys. At times, everything feels like a juggling act. My studio houses many different disciplines under one roof — from furniture to jewellery to interior design. The common thread is passion and love. It fuels everything. Doing what you love every day and putting the people you love first is a recipe for gratitude and fulfilment.