For WHLF Studio founder Cándida Wohlgemuth, life has been anything but linear. Join us as we chat with Cándida about growing into motherhood, riding the waves of career changes, and allowing God's purpose to prevail in our lives at the interior designer's beautiful home oasis in Venice, CA.
Photos by Jeffrey Wohlgemuth
Can you introduce yourself - tell us more about you and your family.
Hi! I’m Cándida and I live in Venice, CA with my husband Jeffrey and our 10 month old daughter Vélo. We also have a cat named Topo (yup, after Topo Chico). My husband and I met when a mutual friend set us up on a blind date! After a year and a half of dating we got married, moved to SF for three years and have been living in Venice the last four years. We tried for over a year to have a baby, then found out I was pregnant in February of 2020, right before the world changed.
How did you and Jeffrey come up with your daughter’s name, Vélo Aura?I love talking about her name! We had certain criteria that we wanted: you had to be able to pronounce it in Spanish, English, and German, and it had to have a meaning we loved (names are so prophetic). I also wanted it to be unique. My mother’s middle name is Violeta and Jeffrey’s mother’s maiden name is Loewen, so we put those two together to come up with Vélo. We looked it up, and it means beautiful, thoughtful and intelligent, so that was perfect! It far exceeded all our criteria and I am so thankful that her name honors both our moms. Aura was my grandmother’s first name as well as my mom’s first name, which means glowing light.
What is it like being a first-time mother? How has Vélo changed you?
I feel so much closer to my own mother in a way I haven’t before. My mother and I have always been very close, but now having a daughter of my own changes everything. I feel so bad for any time I ever got mad at her when I was younger (sorry, Mami!) now that I know all it takes to be a mom myself. Vélo is also really working on my selfishness. I’m a work in progress but I just want to live the life she will be proud of.
How do you juggle motherhood, being a wife, and your career?
It is a juggle for real. Now that Vélo is 10 months old, we have more of a rhythm with feeding and nap times, which makes life so much easier. My husband and I both work from home and share the load if I have a meeting or need to meet with a client and vice versa. I’m still trying to figure out how to manage it all, but it’s truly through God’s grace and guidance that it’s happening.
Can you tell us more about your creative studio and the story of how your career worked its way there?
Long story short, WHLF studio is the culmination of my creative passions. My career has not been linear at all with ups and downs, but it’s the way God has led my life and I am thankful for it. I doubled in Chemistry and Biology (PreMed) in college, and worked as an 8th grade science teacher when I graduated. From there I worked for my dream company, Airbnb in recruiting and social media. Then I ventured into self-employment working as a photographer, art and creative director with some of the best clients, and in that world found myself wanting to design spaces. Working for myself and deciding what projects to take on has allowed me the freedom and opportunity to work on several creative outlets, hone my skills in what I’m most passionate about, and build something alongside my husband.
Let's talk about your beautiful home— is it one of your personal projects? What was your inspiration when designing this space?
We bought our little slice of Venice, CA four years ago. The moment we stepped into the 1940's bungalow we felt so much peace. God did such a miracle with the purchase. When it came to renovating and designing the home, I wanted it to feel organic, minimal and open. I was inspired by different materials you find in Mediterranean homes like plaster and wood as well as the feeling you get when walking through an olive grove.
What influences your personal style?
When it comes to fashion it’s definitely other people! I get so much inspiration from different people I follow on IG or anyone I see walking on Abbot Kinney. I usually wear things that are more loose fitting, which is perfect now that I am breastfeeding. Button ups and loose shirts are my jam right now. My sister and I have always been into style with some pretty hilarious outfits through the ages, but I feel like the two of us helped each other to have more confidence in what we chose to wear.
We admire how open you are about your faith. Could you tell us more about your faith and how it's influenced you?
My relationship with Jesus is everything. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21). This is a constant theme in my life as I feel as though I am always looking for what’s next—striving for something I don’t have. I have so many plans and ideas, but I’ve learned time and time again that not only are God’s ways higher than mine but He truly gives immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. It’s not my way or in my timing but His way and His timing and it’s always so much better.
What piece of advice would you give new moms who are juggling motherhood and pursuing God’s purpose in life?
I haven’t figured out the juggle at all. I’m still in the thick of it and I pray for all the new moms that are in it now as well. I feel like Vélo even at 10 months has changed so much each day that I want to take time to pause and enjoy who she is in this moment, and take the desires of what I want to do in this world one day at a time. We’re in this together!
What creative projects have you worked on, or are currently working on that you'd like to share with us?
There are some exciting projects launching soon on WHLF studio (@whlfstudio) so keep an eye out...
What is your life verse or words you live by?
I have a few! Perhaps one that is a constant would be Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight. I have to remind myself of this daily. There are so many dreams I have, things I want to do, goals I want to accomplish but in the end I need to trust in what the Lord wants and has planned for my life because it is His purpose that actually prevails (meaning of prevail — prove more powerful than opposing forces; be victorious).