Nancy Wolfe grew up in a Greek family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and moved to Madison in her early 20s. She’s had a full career as an assistant professor in dental education, and is now pursuing her love of design and interiors. Through her business Eclectic Edge Interiors, she stages and redesigns homes.
Nancy is a live wire! We had so much fun during her photoshoot, and as a thank-you she gave me fresh eggs from her chickens (she calls them her “marketing department”) and fresh feta cheese that she had made herself. She was also game for the Proust Questionnaire, which always sparks some interesting conversations. I love this format both to discover an individual’s quirky idiosyncrasies, and also to remind myself of how much we human beings have in common.
Follow Nancy on Instagram @eclecticedgeinteriors
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I like to cook, clean and make things look pretty.
What is your greatest fear? That time will run out before I’ve done everything I want to do.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I rush to judgment.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? When people lack generosity with themselves and others.
Which living person do you most admire? It’s not one particular person but I admire strong, confident, self-assured women.
What is your greatest extravagance? Shoes!
What is your current state of mind? Chill and relaxed.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Beauty.
On what occasion do you lie? I don’t like to lie, but I will sugarcoat.
What do you most dislike about your appearance? I’d like to lose a little weight.
Which living person do you most despise? Dictators.
What is the quality you most like in a man? Strength, honesty, decency.
What is the quality you most like in a woman? Loving, understanding, kind.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? The f-word.
What or who is the greatest love of your life? I haven’t met the greatest love of my life yet.
When and where were you happiest? When I was in college and I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. I lived in a tiny efficiency eating ramen noodles, just totally broke, broke, broke. I wasn’t stressed where the money was coming from because I lived really simply.
That time in your life is special because it’s the first time you’re an adult and you’re calling the shots. You see what’s important and what isn’t because everything isn’t given to you anymore.
Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could sing. Or dance! I’m a terrible dancer.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? We women, we self-hate. I would like to be able to change my insecurities.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising two kids on my own.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A person who was young but had the wisdom of a 60-year-old.
Where would you most like to live? In the middle of nowhere.
What is your most treasured possession? My relationships with my kids.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Watching someone you love suffer and you can’t do anything to help them.
What is your favorite occupation? Designing.
What is your most marked characteristic? I’m a live wire!
What do you most value in your friends? Honesty and trust.
Who are your favorite writers? T. S. Eliot, Kahlil Gibran, Pablo Neruda.
Who is your hero of fiction? When I was little, Batman.
Which historical figure do you most identify with? Gloria Steinem.
Who are your heroes in real life? Everyday people who do good things.
What are your favorite names? I like Greek first names like Aristia, which is my mother’s name.
What is it that you most dislike? Two-faced people.
What is your greatest regret? I should have listened to my parents a little more. Mom was always right!
How would you like to die? Peacefully.
What is your motto? Everything that’s given to you in life is a blessing whether it’s something good that happens to you or something bad that happens to you. Everything happens for the best; you just don’t see it at the time.