Rebecca West— Interior Designer

RWI-main picWhat is your creative mission?

To create spaces that help other people live their own creative mission. I want every home of every doctor to be a space of restoration and rejuvenation so they can do they best healing at work. I want every home of every artist to be a space of creativity and power so they can produce their best art. Every human has their own superpower, and I want to make sure that their superhero lair is just right for helping them be their best in the world every day. My work, my books, and my speaking presentations should be helping people to live happier, simpler, braver lives.

What do you love about what you do?

I love that I get to not only imagine and design inviting, comfortable, fun spaces, but I also get to empower my clients to take control of their environments and put them to work for them. At the same time I get to mentor my staff and help them not only realize their own professional dreams, but be better and more effective at communicating with clients and each other in friendly, professional ways that will make their lives better no matter what career, or relationship, they may be in.

What have you learned from your successes/ failures?

That I am, in fact, strong enough. That I have what it takes to come up with solutions to design or business problems. I have what it takes to build and run a successful company. I have what it takes to create spaces that people want to come home to, and to turn visual dreams into physical realities. I never imagined I would grow up to one day be not only an interior designer, but a businesswoman. It’s been a wonderful surprise!

How do you keep pushing ahead after a difficult challenge?

Well, first I have a little meltdown that might involve a nap, or a walk, or a plate of cookies and a glass of bourbon. I reach out to the people who love and support me – my husband, my mom, my best friends. These wonderful people let me whine for a minute, and then they help me remember that I am strong enough. Then I get over it and get back to work. What I have built is too cool to walk away from just because some days are tough.

Have you ever encountered resistance from family, friends, or the world in general? How did you overcome those kinds of blocks?

Mostly I have gotten a lot of well-meant, but ill-placed, advice. Whenever I found myself pushing back against a piece of advice (for example, that I should sell furniture, or should target only super-wealthy clients) I listened to that inner voice and did it my way instead. And it paid off! Not only do I have a thriving business, but I created one that fits me. Selling sofas would have sucked the soul out of me, and no amount of money can ever make up for doing something that deadens your soul. Ever.

How has your art and creativity healed you?

It has made me a whole person again. Doing this work challenges me to be stronger than I thought I could be, and makes me feel like my time on this earth is of service. That, combined with the fact that my creative work directly helps other people live their best life too, well, it means that I am happier, braver, and more alive than ever before in my life. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

What are your NFA Bullet points? What steps would you recommend for anyone who wants to kick some ass and get their creative dreams off the ground?

1) Do one thing. Take one step every day towards a goal. Too many people avoid action because they don’t feel like the steps they can take now are “big” enough or important enough. That’s a lame excuse. If raindrops can fill an ocean, then tiny steps can help you realize your dreams.
2) Surround yourself with cheerleaders. If the people around you can’t or won’t support your dreams, find people who will. That might mean an online community, or a local group, or extended family members. The voices in your own head will be hard enough on you without the voices of your friends or family nay-saying you.
3) Don’t spend too long on research or on experts. Preparation is powerful, but it can also be an excuse to not really dive in and get started. One more book, one more coaching session, one more cute notebook… these can be good tools, but at some point you can’t read about how to swim. You have to slip into your big-girl bikini, dive in to the deep end, and make friends with the water.


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About the Author:

Jeff Leisawitz burns with a mission—to inspire writers, artists, musicians and random creative types to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts and shine in the world. Author. Award winning musician/ producer. Internationally distributed filmmaker. College prof. Photographer. Speaker. Consultant. Not F*ing Around—The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground is Jeff’s first book.

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