Connect
To Top

Meet Yvonne Randolph of Yvonne Randolph Lifestyle in Topanga Canyon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yvonne Randolph.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Yvonne. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started decorating and styling as soon as I could! Growing up with very limited resources and means meant that I had to be really creative if I wanted to have a “cool” room or outfit. I remember splatter painting my lined notebook paper and wallpapering every surface of my room when I was 12, hanging stuffed animals from the ceiling and walls with bandanas, and wearing my turtlenecks upside down for a fitted off the shoulder look that was trending at the time. I love improvising and customizing and have been so damn blessed to make a career of it!

I started my career in the fashion industry in design and marketing when I teamed up with my father to create a whimsical sportswear company called Club Spud Sports Gear that focused on a character named the “Beach Potato”. I was the creative director at age 19, hiring an artist and collaborating to create funny and engaging characters that connected with the cartoon t-shirts that were popular in the early 90’s. I was also the company’s on-the-road sales rep – which is not my thing – at all. Our company ultimately had to shut down with cost and production issues, but, we had a blast, learned a lot, and I got to travel and make contacts all over the country and world.

Next, at around 21 I landed a job at a local interior design firm and retail design store where I totally fell in love with helping people to see the potential of their homes and experience what a big difference a little change can make when they felt connected to their space. The faux finishing craze was in full swing and I jumped in hard- spending weekends and evenings faux finishing everything that I could get my hands on- all of my bathrooms, my entry, a stenciled brick wall in my kitchen and every interesting vase or box or frame that I found at antique and thrift stores. This is how I got my first gigs- I had great success and referrals, faux painting whole rooms, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, stenciling and creating Trompe l’oeil all over Ventura County. God- I hope everyone has painted over my work by now!

Faux painting led to more decorating opportunities and design consulting- I’ve always felt that design and styling picked me. My business was built on a 100% referral basis. I worked hard, said yes to everything, even if I didn’t know how to do it (Barnes & Noble was my best friend and major resource). Within 2 years, I was working full time and officially opened my own full-service lifestyle design studio in Southern California in 1998. And, after almost 20 years, I still get to combine my love for fashion, interior design, art, culture and holistic personal development every day.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m often approached by people who (confidently) declare how wonderful it must be to work as interior designer, how fun it must be to “spend other people’s money”, to shop every day and to be creative. And, don’t get me wrong, it has so many rewarding and fulfilling aspects that I’m daily grateful for! The freedom, flexibility, creative expression and the lovely people that I work with are ongoing perks. But regardless of the fact that I truly enjoy much of what I do, there are many parts of my business that require patience, drudgery, tenacity, grunt work, tedious and long hours and head/heart aches- just like any business.

In being a small business owner, you have to wear all of the hats required to run a business, even if you’re not good at it or have no experience or even hate to do it. I’ve dealt with quite a few challenges along the journey- scheduling & coordinating contractors and vendors can often be similar to herding cats. Deliveries, returns, mistakes by contractors & vendors (not to mention, me!) all have to be faced pretty much every week. My clients, for the most part have been delightful, but there have been a few over the last 20 years that have been horrible- stolen money from me, taken advantage of me, or have just been difficult and indecisive. There have been miscommunications, unrealistic expectations and myriad of other issues that pop up on both sides. Being human is messy! In short, so many opportunities arise that open up the possibility to grow, learn, and change. Sometimes I’ve had to completely scrap the way that I’ve done things and reinvent what it means to be authentic and have integrity in my work. And then there’s the ever-tricky work/life balance…

I’m still learning every day that I have to focus on who I am, what my motives are, daily seeking opportunities to refine the way that I communicate, what my boundaries are, and how to connect with my clients and collaborators in inspiring and creative ways.

Please tell us about Yvonne Randolph Lifestyle.
Yvonne Randolph Lifestyle is really all about communicating through design, beauty and style; collaborating to create an inspiring quality of life and simple, conscious luxury. I’m constantly influenced and amazed by the people that I work with- how they live, what their priorities and interests are and how they navigate their daily lives to include beauty, art, design, style and culture. I like to think that I’m what I call a “conscious hedonist”- passionate about fully enjoying all that life has to offer in beauty, flavor and experience, but with an intentional eye on how it effects my body, my environment, others and our planet.

I’m completely convinced that our love for beauty is not at all the superficial thing that is often portrayed in the media, but is rather a part of the hardwiring of our brains and is an intrinsic part of how we relate to the world and to each other. We are finely tuned to notice symmetry, to appreciate grandeur, to notice 1000’s of hues and shades of color and to be emotionally and physiologically effected by things that we regard as beautiful. Art/Design/Style are very direct ways that we communicate who we are- without words. We can be intentional and learn how to communicate more effectively or we can be passive and miss out on a vibrant, fulfilling way to allow others to connect with and understand us.

Being a part of the transformative process that unfolds as my clients learn how to express themselves through their spaces and their personal style is what I consider my life’s work. It’s less about the specifics and more about the person and the process of uncovering creativity, beauty and a new way to be fully expressed that keeps me going every day. Collaboration is my secret weapon when creating a meaningful style language and my clients often find that their understanding of themselves is broadened and that they are more able to define and curate a life that they love.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could start all over again, I would take myself much less seriously! I was pretty young when I started out and felt that I needed to be extremely professional and business-like in my approach and relationships. I was very serious, very confident and decisive and had no problem expressing my opinions even when I wasn’t sure. I felt like I had a lot to prove and that I couldn’t just relax and be myself. Like a lot of people, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and had to work on having grace for mistakes that I made early on. Now, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I can just be myself, relax, connect and listen more. I give myself room for learning and have let down my guard a lot more, which then allows my clients to be more open as well!

Another thing that I’ve had to work on through the years is the feeling that I am responsible for everyone’s happiness and that I have to take care of everyone and everything on my own. I often felt overwhelmed, over stressed, over worked and underappreciated because of how much I chose to take on. I’ve made some very substantial changes in how I work now- what I take on and how I relate to my clients. I ask for help, I admit when I’m not comfortable with something and I understand that although I can certainly contribute to the joy and quality of life that my clients and collaborators have, we are all responsible for our own happiness.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.yvonnerandolph.com
  • Email: info@yvonnerandolph.com
  • Instagram: @Y2Design
  • Facebook: yvonnerandolph
  • Twitter: @Y2Design
  • Yelp: Yvonne Randolph Design

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in