Today we’d like to introduce you to Malia Wofford.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My artistic ability became apparent as a toddler. I learned how to sneak into my parent’s bedroom and take my mom’s lipstick, blush, and foundation to paint my bedroom walls and bedspread! Even after being disciplined, I would do the same thing again after a while.
When I was 13, I took fashion design lessons from an older woman who was a fashion designer for Vogue back in the day. The following year with her, I decided to change my route and learn how to paint from her. Long story short, I stayed with her till I graduated from high school.
I had the opportunity to have my artwork in local auctions and Borders Bookstores. I taught art lessons and sold my handmade greeting cards at a local boutique in Southern California, all before I graduated from high school.
Then, you know how it goes. Many of us have to let go of what we love because it’s time for college and working to pay for college. Sometimes it seems there are MANY difficulties, distractions, and forces that keep you from doing the things that are a part of God’s calling on your life.
I will be 40 next week and have recently been able to get back to what I love by utilizing all the tools and platforms that make it so much easier to do what I do now.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
Honestly, I am still on my way to success. The challenges have been grueling and, at times, even life-threatening in some cases. Many extra challenges come your way when you are away from lanes meant for you. However, the proper elements are in place to cause abounding success to be inevitable.
Getting back to where you need to be can be a challenging process. It can take many years. Sometimes as very young adults, we get directed or pushed by well-meaning parents or other adults to do this or that, and sometimes it ends up being things that were never for us to do.
People often think getting off the right path for your life means you’re doing foolish or horrible things. Not at all; misdirection can potentially be just as bad long term. For some years, getting back on the right path seemed impossible, like giant waves thrusting themselves at me to keep me from getting back to shore.
When I have sought to go in the direction I felt wrong about leaving, the contention always flared up circumstantially, financially, health, and people being combative and difficult.
Ongoing, opposing waves were what I have always had to overcome. At times, just me being my own worst enemy.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I love to design prints for furniture and other home goods items. Rarely do I think in terms of competition. As brand development has changed over the years, more and more businesses are focused on building a community around their products, values, and other elements that their audience resonates around. I’m not there yet.
However, I portray thoughtfulness and communicate love in the way I write descriptions of my online stores. It takes me forever to choose design directions, to design prints or source designs. Sometimes, I collaborate with other artists for specific print designs, which takes time. There is research on trends, keywords, and marketing practices. A lot of thoughtfulness goes into what I do because I want people to know I have them in mind, and I am NOT creating junk in a rush to have something to sell to them.
So, as it relates to competition, I encourage people to go where the love is and what resonates with them in a brand overall.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Know the God who created you because with the creation of you came visions, purposes, and promises attached to your life. To get to the fullness of those things, you need the direction of your maker. As independent as we think we are at times, none of us made ourselves. We need help from a superior authority at times.
Be in peaceful and quiet environments where you can work on your life. Sometimes direction or redirection takes some downtime before you can move in the right direction.
If you constantly have to fight to explain your vision and decisions to the people around you, get away from them. Get around people who are successfully executing a dream. They will be more supportive and synergistic.
Be careful of taking advice from people whose lives are not where you want to be unless they tell you how to avoid pitfalls. Some people like to hear themselves speak, even when their lives are subpar.
Find the easiest ways to plan and maintain the progress of your goals. So many apps, platforms, technology, virtual assistants, and more make it much more manageable than in times gone by to execute a vision.
When you want to quit, remember what you’re called to do is much bigger than yourself. People need what God has given you to do. Or they need the lessons from your journey. You’re the vessel for it. Rest when you need to. Shift when necessary, but never quit.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success for success doesn’t mean anything to me. It is about impact and legacy. We were not born just to exist. There is a calling on our lives to make an impact and set up what we do so that this eternal impact keeps replicating itself after we are gone.
So, I am not successful yet. I’m on my way to making the impact I was born to execute. When that impact is made, I can claim success.
What’s next for you?
Oh, that could be a very long conversation. I plan to come out with a few small but beautiful collections shortly.
In the coming months, I will be able to share inspirational thoughts about what I do with LA Weekly, Haute Living, and more. Thought leadership is important to me in anything I do.
Ultimately, I want my print designs to become a household name and build a few other business models in different industries.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
I would love for you all to come to visit me at my shop:
You can also sign-up for my email list for inspirational messages,
new collections, and other home goods updates: