State of the Studio: Random Updates

What’s next for PSS! New branding! Taking on clients! Random opportunities! All the news —

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a state of the studio post, and now that summer is winding down I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of work more fully. I’m itching to get my hands on things – to design again, to figure out what’s next in my creative career. I figure I’ve got one solid year left until Archer goes to preschool (AKA, OMG my baby is growing up but also OMG I’ll have time again to work!).


I’ve spent the past year and a half in a much-needed creative sabbatical since the closing of the shop, allowing myself to restore, refresh and find my footing outside the boundaries of the brand I’d worked so hard to build.   One area I needed a breather from was in the way my personal style was shifting. While I’ve always been a huge fan of COLOR! I find myself wanting to shift to a more grown-up aesthetic. I needed the break from Pencil Shavings as it was to look towards the future of what it will be. I still love color in all its many hues. That hasn’t changed. But I sense a shift in what I’m wanting to design and how I want to do it.


The timing of the shop closing was providential as it also allowed for me to get myself back on track. Sleep deprivation and a new baby had taken its toll, and it took MONTHS for me to recover from that. Then once I finally got my footing there, my mom died. Grief has been a job in itself and six months in, I feel like it’s a lighter load than it was, but it’s still one that I continue to carry. Life is so different on the other side, without her.   Grief ebbs and wanes. It’s exhausting – but there are welcome pockets of relief where I feel like I can breathe again. My birthday, Mother’s Day, her birthday — all those milestones were brutal — but this summer has been mercifully restful and for that I am thankful. I look forward to the rest of 2017 with the hope that


Number one most FAQ since I shut down my shop is related to what’s next. What are you doing now? Are you going to take on interior design clients? The short answer is … I don’t know.  Honestly, I’m probably a little afraid to take the leap. All my interior designer friends are like “Nooooooo … don’t do it! Clients! GAHHH!”  Which I get. Because I understand how difficult it is to deal with customers (hello, five years of online retail and complaints over phone cases).  But on the other side, I think I’d be really good at it.

I feel really overwhelmed by all the opportunities. By the potential. Part of me thinks “oh, it’d be so easy to just go back to what I did before” and design phone cases and paper goods again. But I don’t want to get stuck back in that whole rigamarole again. I want to find a way to license my designs so I can do what I’m best at: design. I’m not great at the business side (hello, accounting, I’m looking at YOU), even though I was profitable from the beginning.  I can’t wait to get back into product design and I’d love to be doing something similar to what Oh Joy does with her different product collaborations.

So I’m putting it out there in the universe. I want to Pencil Shavings Studio the world – rugs, bedding, the whole shebang. But … not just yet.


The truth is that with all the potential opportunities for new clients, etc.,  the timing simply is not yet. I need a little more margin to navigate the changes that grief brings. I need to love on my baby just a little bit longer. I need to allow myself to create without pressure and to rest, restore, rejuvenate.  I’m researching more about interiors and learning how to be a better designer by doing my own projects at the house and at the lake.   I want to keep writing here, exploring, designing, traveling, and sharing what we learn/see along the way  – I still love all these things that Pencil Shavings has allowed me to do.

So. All that to say – thank you. Thank you for continuing to follow along on my journey here, for hearing my words and taking part in it. Thanks for sharing my posts, chiming in with your advice, and being generally awesome.