You may recognize Willa Ford from her “past life” as a pop star. But today, that’s only a small facet of who she is. As the principle designer for WFord Interiors — her Los Angeles based design firm — she’s living her passion. Her career path thus far, which transitioned into acting before turning to design, gave her a perspective many designers might not have. She’s traveled the world, allowing her to discover and appreciate many cultures and styles. This is visually apparent in her work, and Willa brings versatile eye to each individual client. Today, the budding designer answers our “5 Minutes With” questionnaire — and we have a feeling this one will inspire you to follow your dreams. (Cheesy, but 100% true.) Take it away, Willa:

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
I think these are happening all the time lately for me! My first was the moment I realized I could turn my love for interior design into my own business. It just felt right. Little did I realize how fast it would expand and how fulfilled my clients would make my heart feel daily.

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
I read my devotional. It centers me. Then the next thing I do before even brushing my teeth is talk to Amy, my design assistant. She literally has to tell me what I’m doing everyday! Trying to balance so many projects can be done but organization is key and she is my secret weapon.

SUCCESS IS:
Loving what you do and changing people’s lives.

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
My camel leather Rebecca Minkoff backpack. You need your hands free for work in this business and sometimes construction leaves you nowhere clean to put a bag. This mini backpack is the perfect fix!

MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
I am such a Gwen Stefani fan. I know you don’t think interiors when you hear her name, but her understanding of mixing patterns and no fear attitude towards fashion and what she’s done with LAMB would easily cross over into home design.

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN LOS ANGELES:
I’d say Tampa, Florida because that’s where I’m from. The salt life was a big part of my childhood. Jumping on the boat every weekend and swimming, diving, and beaching it in perfectly warm water!!!! Nothing better to unwind from your week!

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I travel! Other cultures and countries have such rich, beautiful history. You can’t go to a market or walk a street without being inspired by your surroundings! Recently on a trip to Bali, I felt incredibly moved by the way of life, community, and old school ways of making textiles! Two years of dyeing fabrics didn’t seem ridiculous there. It seemed magical.

ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
Your past does not define you! Yesterday I could’ve been a pop star, but that’s only a piece of who I am. I’m constantly evolving and changing. We all have multiple gifts to tap into. I think the workplace is turning into a place where you can be more than one dimensional. Theres nothing wrong with the once frowned upon. For instance Singer/Actress/Interior Designer/Wife/Mom. Why not! They all make me who I am and as long as you can nurture them individually, why not!

IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
Running my brand, WFord Interiors, and using my design skills to change lives. This business can be very about YOU and your work but really it should be about using your design to improve others quality of life! We get that opportunity everyday in a clients home. Use it!

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Trust your talents and fail! Failing isn’t a bad thing. It means your pushing yourself out of your comfort zone which creates growth!

To learn more about WFord Interiors, click here.