This is somewhat of a long post but hey it is a recap of 30 some years!
When brainstorming about how to introduce myself here, one particular morning came to mind. Some years ago, a young girl walked into a classroom and took a seat. A few minutes later, the instructor said: I would like for us to get to know each other a bit. This will help break the ice so we can be open about learning together and from each other. Immediately after those words, the girl took a quick look around the room and thanked God for where she was sitting. Her nerves got the best of her so instead of listening to her classmates introduce themselves, she began thinking about what she would say and how she would say it. Boy was she nervous! When her turn came, she mumbled: Hi, I am Victoria, I am new here.
If you’ve ever found yourself dreading your turn to speak in front of a new crowd, we already have one thing in common because that, dear friends, was me, in my very first class after migrating to the US. Introducing myself in a language other than French to a group of strangers, who I was sure had an easier time, couldn’t have been more awkward. Today, I look back and chuckle because that was the beginning of many introductions. The nerves are never quite as high as that morning but they are there because like you, I want to make a good first impression. After all, wanting to put your best self out there is only natural.
By now, I hope you caught at least three facts about me:
- My name is Victoria
- English is not my first language- (it is the fourth☺)
- Clearly, I dislike that morning; who wouldn’t with such an ineloquent introduction?
I was born and raised in Togo, a small tropical country located in West Africa. Growing up, my favorite past time was hanging out in one of the many palm-lined beaches located in the city of Lome. The good ol’ days where you had no care in the world! Summer nights spent listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks was definitely taken for granted.
My mother took pride in providing us with the best life that she could. She redecorated our home whenever she could to keep it alive and exciting. Each Saturday, everything from walls to plant leaves was cleaned. I now recognize that it was her way of providing a safe and stylish refuge for her loved ones. Her love for interior decorating rubbed on me at a very young age. When I got my very own room, I got punished for “borrowing” spray paint more times than I can count. Among all the things I made over and moved around tirelessly, what stuck with me the most is a red metal vanity table I inherited from her. The seat was upholstered in a polka dot fabric and I felt like a real grown up owning such a fabulous piece.
My mother attempted to infuse the love of cooking rather than decorating in me but I just never really picked that up. Consequently, when that handsome man I was sitting across at the dinner table replied: “I love cooking; I don’t mind if you aren’t really into it “I knew he was a keeper. 11 years, 2 girls later I am grateful we can agree to disagree on cooking vs designing.
Anyone from West Africa can attest to parent’s aspirations for their children. If you weren’t studying to become a lawyer or a doctor you might as well not be studying. With most parents being entrepreneurs, accounting was at best tolerated and interior design was just non-existent. Predictably, I pursued a career in the corporate world and now work for one of the top financial companies in the U.S. I help families sustain a positive financial future; I mentor new grads and enjoy every bit of it. I do what is expected of me: my mother’s daughter, my kids ‘mom, and my husband’s wife.
I struggled with the idea of pursuing interior design until another morning, in front of a new crowd. As I sat through five days of a financial leadership seminar, I became flooded with emotions. Here I was, surrounded by brilliant leaders, meeting the CEO, receiving praise for my leadership yet all I long for is to create beautiful spaces. I felt proud of how far I’ve come but wanted more.
As a parent of two young children, it is not a simple yes or no question. Each day, I strive to face the self- placed limitations and challenge myself. At times, just like you, it is easier said than done. When times are hard, I try to remember two values I learned from my mother:
- Dress up and show up!
- Be independent and never lose sight of God’s light.
If you read this far, I thank you for sticking with me. It is important to share my past with you so we can have fun creating and celebrating the future together. Victoria Lambert Interiors (VLI) is certainly the future for me. Since launching my site, I’ve felt a sense of achievement that can’t be explained. I love interior design and wish I embraced this passion sooner. The self-placed limitations, I tell ya! They are suckers that pointlessly drain your energy and leave you unhappy. I no longer feel ashamed when I answer Interior Design when asked what’s next. Certainly, it comes as a surprise to most but not to the ones who’ve been there. On my blog, I intend on sharing my love for interiors, gardening and entertaining. There might be a few life events here and there but the focus will primarily be about interiors. I find beauty in many décor styles, however, I am more drawn towards the modern classic and understated elegance. Clean lines, minimal curves, velvet, a touch of metallics etc…
If you are into interiors that can sustain the test of time, join me each week as I share the journey of making over my own home as well as some clients’. I, once again, thank you for stopping over today. Please let know if you have any questions in the comment section below.
A bientot, Victoria.