15 Questions with Women Lead Change: Lori Wiles

Women Lead Change (WLC): What is your name and title?
Lori: "Lori Wiles, Owner and Founder of Lori Wiles Design."

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Lori Wiles

WLC: What did your journey look like to get to where you are today?
Lori: "I grew up in a really artistic household but when I went to college no one really talked about interior design at all. I ended up getting that [interior design] degree. I’ve just loved the career, the industry, all of it because there’s such variety. You kind of start out at one level of learning and thinking and as you progress through your years you can go into much more complex parts of interior design. Right now, I have a whole staff so we do interior architecture so 90% or more of our projects involve construction."

WLC: Is this what you always wanted to do?
Lori: "I must have because when I was a kid I taped boxes to the attic walls and then furnished them like they were cutaways of apartment buildings. I probably started like that and just didn’t know it was a real career until I went to college."

WLC: What does your morning routine look like?
Lori: "I’m an early riser and I started meditating several years ago. I typically meditate, have a glass of hot water with lemon and then a healthy, light breakfast and just take off as soon as I can for the office."

WLC: What is something you do everyday that makes you successful?
Lori: "I think big, wild thoughts as probably most creative people do. So everyday I make a list and look at the possibilities and organize things and check off what’s been accomplished and then create a list of what’s next so I can see the little steps it takes to make the big picture complete."

WLC: Who is your role model?
Lori: "I probably have a role model for every 5 years of my life, but I would say the biggest one was probably my mother because she was educated, quick, funny, creative and she just hit everyday with love for life and energy."

WLC: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career?
Lori: "Lack of time to do all the things that I want to do, that I can think of doing, and that I think I would love to be doing."

WLC: What would you tell your 22 year old self? 
Lori: "Ask more questions and think that you can do more than you ever knew."

WLC: What gets you out of bed everyday?
Lori: "I wake up everyday thinking of what wonderful things that are going to happen. When I wake up, I’m very positive- I think about what I get to do rather than what I have to do."

WLC: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Lori: "People will come to us with a problem, like ‘my office doesn’t function well’ and we can come up with a solution but we can also propose many things that they have never thought of and then it opens up a world of ‘oh, well now let’s expand what we think of’ so it’s very rewarding to me to say we can meet your needs but we can also exceed your expectations. So when people feel good in a space, that is what is very satisfying to me and they feel like they’ve been heard."

WLC: What is one thing that you did in your career that you believe got you to where you are today?
Lori: "I think really being persistent about learning. So if I was on a construction project, I would try to learn why the plumbers are doing what they are doing or what makes the electrical system work. The attitude of constantly learning has served me really well."

WLC: How do you measure success?
Lori: "I’m big on autonomy. So for me, success is being able to do things that I think are important. So right now maybe my most important thing is to work out so if I can get that work out in and see my family and create something at work and mentor my staff then that feels really good."

WLC: What was your biggest failure?
Lori: "Not diving into expanding my business sooner. I should have done that earlier."

WLC: What was your biggest success?
Lori: "Having a great family- my husband, my children and my grandchildren."

WLC: What is your most important piece of advice that you would give to a young professional that aspires to be like you someday?
Lori: "Know your value as you and not just as a person that meets other people’s expectations."

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