We had the good fortune of connecting with Taylor Oyebadejo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Taylor, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
If I trace back the steps, I find myself chuckling because Soul Key Studio was ultimately borne from my own wedding and my educational training. It feels random to say that my interior design business resulted from two experiences that have absolutely nothing to do with interior design, but that seems to be the way life goes; it is almost never a straight path.

For most of my life I have been in school, taking only a year off between my undergraduate degree and my master’s and then another between my master’s and doctorate. As you might imagine pursuing a PhD in research leaves little room for exploring any semblance of creativity within yourself. Given my academic background is in homelessness and housing, in Los Angeles, specifically, there has been no shortage of work to be done. So, when planning my wedding the researcher in me and my familiarity with Excel spreadsheets made that aspect of planning smooth -however there was also this rare opportunity to exercise the creative part of my brain in designing my wedding. If I think of my creativity as a tin can that had been sealed shut, my wedding is what pulled the tab and cracked it open. Once I started designing weddings for other people my right brain sort of exploded – the pressure from the can blew the lid off, if you will. I saw what I was capable of.

I have always loved interior design. That part of me feels innate; it has simply always been there. I can remember being in middle school and being very serious about my wall color and how it tied into my bedding. I was bursting at the seams to exercise this passion and meanwhile I am working on a degree to understand the impact of housing for people with experiences of homelessness. This felt very symbiotic and was the inception of Soul Key, which offers affordable and accessible interior design services, with a significant portion of our profits used to provide free design services and materials to formerly homeless individuals and families.

What should our readers know about your business?
Soul Key provides HD renderings that look identical to an interior space, which allows for visualization of design changes to your space. Creating renderings and sharing them with clients is mostly fun and rewarding, while also being a tinge terrifying in that I want to ensure the client loves the design. At the same time there is a level of safety to e-design because there is still the opportunity to make design tweaks and changes. Using the finalized design as a guide for making changes and purchases provides a lot of direction and comfort for clients – they can make these changes on their own or use our services to do so – either way, they have the reassurance that they can envision and approve any and all design decisions before any changes are made.

Another feature that sets Soul Key apart is the diversity of aesthetics we work with. We are big believers that your space is a representation of you and your needs. From farmhouse to glam to minimalist, we do it all! We love blending styles and creating a space that suits those who occupy it. We find ways to ensure your space is an expression of your personality – we want guests to walk into each client’s home and say “this is so you.” This approach stems from the understanding that there is no one size fits all solution for solving homelessness and that housing for people with experiences of homelessness needs to be a place they are proud of and want to be in to prevent returns to homelessness.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d start by recommending they visit in the summer because LA summers are THE BEST. Even though it may be 100 degrees outside, you’ll be having so much fun you won’t notice that you are melting. I would cover all the quintessential outdoor LA activities – hiking Griffith, rollerblading the boardwalk, people watching in Venice Beach, and paddle boating at Echo Park Lake. I’d cover as much of LA’s food scene as possible; Grand Central Market, Gracias Madre, and late-night burrito trucks are musts. Cinespia at Hollywood Cemetery, a show at the Wiltern or Hollywood Bowl, galleries in Downtown would also be on the list. I’d work in some architectural tours too which are always so interesting, even if you call Los Angeles home. They highlight how rich with personality LA is– all the history and fascinating people who have put their touch on this place and shaped it into what we know of it today. It helps you forget about all the traffic and parking challenges and appreciate the city and all the opportunities it offers…at least for a few hours.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The phrase “it takes a village” feels like an understatement. I would not be where I am without the supports in my life; a privilege I don’t take lightly. Starting with my family, especially my mother and grandmother, who have been examples of strong, resilient women throughout my life and have undoubtedly had an impact on my career trajectory. My husband for not only tolerating my newfound creativity but encouraging my creative exploration and growth. He is an endless support as well as a source of inspiration. He has a critical eye that I respect deeply and call upon regularly. I have been very lucky to work alongside outstanding mentors throughout my academic training and certainly wouldn’t have the knowledge of homelessness and housing I do without the education I received. I am so appreciative of anyone and everyone who believes in Soul Key – it can be quite terrifying to expose yourself and your artistic work to the world – even the little pieces of encouragement can make a big impact. Last, but certainly not least, the city of Los Angeles for all its beauty and its flaws.

Website: www.soulkeystudio.com

Instagram: @soulkeystudio

Image Credits
All images are credited to Soul Key Studio.

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