I’m closing my shop. Here’s why.

melamine-platters-colorful-together-pencil-shavings-studioIt was earlier in the year that I wrote my State of the Studio address in which I analyzed the direction I’d been coming from, but maybe more importantly the direction I was more interested in heading.

I’ve spent the last 12 months in an anticipated and not unwelcome postpartum identity “crisis” (an overdramatic term by far) in which I’m re-examining what really matters. A huge element of my identity is my creative side that I strongly believe in nurturing and I’m lucky to have a super supportive husband and family.


The past 5 years of running my shop in addition to the almost 8 years of blogging and over 10 years of being a graphic designer has been an enormous learning curve. But my creative heart is restless for what’s next. I want to expand my aesthetic, look into experimenting more in interior design. And so after analyzing everything for the past few months that truly brings me joy, I came to the hard decision to close my shop. It boiled down to this: designing products brings me joy and blogging REALLY brings me joy. But surprisingly, the managing of the shop ranked at the absolute bottom. So when I analyzed what I could do to fix that, I started toying with the idea of shutting the shop down. But could I really do that? That felt so dramatic and so final.

But what I realized after meditating on this idea for the past few months was that I need the mental space cleared up that’s been devoted to the shop for the past five years. I feel my aesthetic shifting and this brand overall growing up into something new. So I’m giving myself the permission to explore that. Is it scary? Absolutely. I’m afraid of losing the income, to be honest (see this post on how bloggers make money). And I’m afraid of taking the step to try new things that I feel unqualified for (the whole imposter syndrome so many of us creatives feel). But I’m excited for the journey. I can do this on my own terms and still enjoy the time with my kiddos and beyond-supportive husband @simonshingleton.


What remains the same is this:  I will continue to blog as I love the voice and opportunities it gives me. I love my corner of the internet as it holds my heart. Stories about my family and memories made, trips taken. I record all these things not so much for you, Internet, although I love you readers. It’s for me – for us. For my family. For my children to remember the things we did together. It’s my place to have fun and create beauty.

And sometimes in all this creating, this may mean that there are a few more sponsored posts here and there to help pay for projects if it’s a good fit.  BUT hopefully also more time for more posting in general so it will all balance out. As always, I love partnering up with amazing brands who provide opportunities for me to flex my creative muscles – but I want it to be an authentic extension of who we are as a family and reflect our values. I work hard to filter out the pitches that don’t align – but that doesn’t mean I do it perfectly.

Pencil Shavings Studio for Koko's Nest Carnival stripe blanket - baby gift - colorful contemporary kids rooms - stripes - rainbow -

Moving forward: From a design perspective, I want to find other ways to continue to design without the loose strings of maintaining the shop as a solopreneur. Licensing is a great way to do this, and I’ve dabbled in it in the past (such as my collab with the Limited and Nordstrom). Currently, I’ve got the newly-launched gorgeous blankets with Koko’s Nest and I’m also finishing up the collab with Jill Rosenwald that will launch in 2016.

I’m looking forward to spending 2016 on a creative journey and giving myself the space to plan the next step of my creative career. I can’t say thank you enough to every person who’s ever purchased a #pencilshavingsstudio product. You guys are my people.

The shop will be officially closing December 31st, and quantities are limited on remaining inventory. Grab them while you can and use code CLOSINGSHOP for 25% off your purchase.