Can you start by telling us a little about yourself? Your background, what you do and what has led you to what you are doing now?
I grew up in High Point, NC and I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19. I’m an actor + interior designer. I’ve always been very interested in interiors and began taking small one-off jobs in 2015 in between acting gigs. My home-town is a very furniture and design driven place, hosting the International Furniture Market bi-annually. I guess it must have been in the water where I grew up cause I definitely got the bug.
How has your career adjusted or changed in the past year?
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, my family and I temporarily came out to the desert for what we thought was 2 weeks. At the time my son was 5 months old-- it’s insane to think he’s almost 2 now. Well, 2 weeks became 2 months, and a temporary reprieve from Los Angeles became a permanent move. When everything shut down in LA, all auditions and casting sessions became virtual, so for the first time in my career I finally felt like I wasn’t missing anything by not being in the city. Our LA apartment sold out from under us in the Fall of 2020, and I had a full-time design job offer in Joshua Tree. We’ve always loved it in the desert and considered it our home away from home, but it felt like for the first time in our life we could actually make the leap to full-time residents of the Hi-Dez (and it felt like the universe was blowing open a path for us to make it a reality!). This last year I’ve been working with a design company out here and as of August 1, I’m stepping out on my own! I just got the keys to my next property that I will be rehabbing over the next few months and I’ll be taking on my own private clients.
Tell us about doing a 180 work-wise. Was it a gut feeling or something you’d been interested in for a while?
I’ve always been a freelance artist, by nature of my career as an actor, so jumping into a full-time 9-5 was definitely an adjustment--but also a welcome change after so many years of not really knowing what comes next. It created a sense of structure in a year where it felt like the world around me was so untethered and unknown. But in this year of working full-time for someone else, I’ve missed the ability to take on my own private clients or my own passion projects, because the reality is that with a toddler, my time (and energy) outside of those working hours is extremely limited. I have learned SO much in this last year and I’m feeling really excited to bring these new skills and confidence to my own projects and private clients.
How does acting + flipping houses relate?
I feel like they’re both different versions of storytelling -- one is building out interior stories and character work and the other deals in physical stories that you’re helping to bring out of a space. When I’ve been on set, I’ve always been enamored with the level of detail that goes into bringing a set to life, so doing that in homes isn’t too much of a stretch for me.
Advice on starting your own business? Or something you’ve learned in the process?
Ask me this question again in 6 months! At this point, I feel like I should be asking YOU for advice.
What women in your life have inspired you?
I’m constantly inspired by nearly every woman in my life. It would be hard to pin it down to only a few.
Tell us something you’re learning about yourself now?
I used to really think of myself as a city girl, I couldn’t wait to leave my small town behind. But now I live in a town of 20,000 and I am so incredibly happy. Runs to the market don’t stress me out, traffic isn’t really a thing, it’s quiet, bedtime comes early, my son has space to run all over. 19-year old me would be dying inside to know this is where we ended up.
What’s your mantra?
“The only way out is through.” This became a phrase that I clung to when we lost our daughter when I was 28 weeks pregnant in 2018. Somedays I felt like the grief would swallow me until I wouldn’t exist anymore, but I knew that one day the waters of grief would retreat and I would be able to feel joy again. That mantra has really stuck with me in the last 3 years and I feel like it applies to so many moments in my life.
The desert...its textures, the quiet, its light and many forms.
When you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I soak up every spare moment with my son, Wilder. I feel like I have really missed out on so many moments this last year with him, but I’m so grateful my husband is able to be home with him and be our primary caregiver.
What’s your favorite word?
Favorite fashion moment?
Pajamas I can wear in public. I’m very into comfortable linen button downs, simple dresses, flowy pants and jumpsuits. My style has shifted so much over the years and I’m really into my current moment.
I think one of my gifts is connecting people that go on to make magic together--not in a romantic-matchmaker kind of way--but more in a creative way. In a way, this is a bit of why I like design, I get to sync up brands and products that I love with people and their homes.
I used to read a lot, but since having my son, the only time I really have to read these days is in bed at the end of the day...which means I read one page and fall asleep. I really miss books.
I’m not proud of this one, but during the pandemic my husband and I got really into fluffy tv. We needed something that allowed us to turn our brains all the way off. We fell into a reality TV hole, and I’m not sure if I can ever come back. I’m talking Love Island, the whole Bachelor franchise, etc. Please don’t judge me.
I can’t stop following @houseinhabit’s coverage of the #freebritney movement. I keep refreshing my feed, trying to find out more information. It’s wild.