Tiffany Thompson is going to design a space for Rihanna. We’ll leave the details of which space, and where, open — that’s the first principle of manifesting, to give the universe just enough material to work with before letting it take over.
In any case, Thompson has a track record of making big leaps, and making them good — like her transition from a career at Nike to head up her own interior design firm. In fewer than five years, her client list includes some of Portland, Oregon’s biggest names, including NBA players she met during her corporate days. Those relationships, cultivated while she was at Nike, she says, buoyed her nascent design career: “When I decided to leave, those were some of the first people who called me and really gave me my start, in working on homes of a certain magnitude and certain budgets,” she says. “They really just believed in me. I always tell people — you don’t necessarily know how you’re going to get to your next destination, so make sure, all along the way, that you’re treating people the way that you want to treat them.”
In this edition of Milkshake, Thompson talks us through her favorite room in her house, shares her pick for the best natural space in Portland (spoiler: it’s the Japanese garden), and explains why the concept of home is so resonant for her. “I’m adopted, and so what a home means is important to me — how peaceful and how safe it makes me feel,” says the Queens, NY, native. “It’s become this cornerstone of my personality, or my being.”
She also shares what she thinks most people get wrong about their homes: “Every home has a story, and you have to listen to it,” she says. “It’s not this inanimate object — it’s an extension of you. It has a previous story that it wants to tell, but it also has the ability to write a new story.” Speaking of new stories — and new clients — Thompson says she has one in particular in mind: Rihanna, whose name came up when we asked Thompson what she’s busy manifesting right now. Future success, she said — but the singer rated a mention as well. “I’m always manifesting Rihanna to be one of my clients,” she says. “I have to say that on every video, and I’m definitely going to say that with Design Milk, because you never know who’s watching, and the power of manifestation is speaking things into existence.” Universe, do your thing. To learn more about Tiffany’s story, catch her interview with Claima Stories.
Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.
Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.