The new studio!
I’m thirty-eight years old and I guess I finally feel like an Official Grown-Up because as of this past June, I’m the proud new co-occupant of a legit studio space. Located near Automobile Alley in midtown OKC, I partnered up with Lauren Corbyn Design to share a space in the newly renovated Make Ready building.
My entire design career has been based from wherever my home was at that time. In 2004, as a graphic/product designer for a small fashion brand, I worked from the kitchen table in my first apartment out of college. Then as a newlywed, subsequently followed by being a new mother, it was blogging and designing invitations and other paper goods in between the baby’s naps or after bedtime from the living room sofa.
Time went on, and I kept everything at home; why wouldn’t I? We shipped all the products I sold in the Pencil Shavings Studio shop from our upstairs middle bedroom. Rent was free, internet was free, and there was an entire kitchen full of snacks at my disposal. But as I’ve transitioned into interior design, I started to feel the four walls closing in on me. And the fabric, wallpaper, and surface samples were piling up around my ears.
I needed a shift.
The thing about working from home is that everybody thinks it sounds AMAZING. Lounge in your jammies all day! Do whatever you want! Be your own boss! And yes, all those things are great, to a point.
In May, I found out that Archer had been accepted into prekindergarten full time starting in the fall. It felt like the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, in all the best bittersweet ways. I’ve never regretted focusing on Archer, my miracle baby – my last baby – but it’s finally been time for him to branch out into school and for me to push myself to try something new too.
Lauren and I went to High Point together back in April; like me, she’s been home-based too, for her career. We both felt that there was this gap in the market – neither one of us wanted to commit to a 3 year lease, nor did we feel like we could afford the rent. It felt like a huge leap to suddenly be paying a significant amount of money when previously it was, well, free-ish.
Lauren caught wind of a new development in midtown called Make Ready. Previously a garage bay where new cars were “made ready” to go on the nearby showroom floor, it was being converted into small business offices for people who were wanting something short-term and inexpensive. It was the perfect solution.
We walked in and both of us began to dream big – really big.
What if we could do this, on our own terms? What if we could create our own space to share that offered us the opportunity to stretch our wings without overcommitting our wallets or our families? A place we could bring our kids, if we needed to, and still gave us the ability to both be flexible and pick up the kids from school, display some pretty wares on the showroom floor, and store all our exploding samples in a semi organized way?
I started brainstorming with Lauren and meeting up with her at the coworking space where she had been working from and I instantly felt this click. The vibe was so different, in the best possible way. It felt so good to go somewhere, be around people; I realized I was feeling really isolated and lonely at home.
And so we both made the leap and I haven’t looked back since. It feels so right – and I love having a place to spread out and get work done. Side bar: it also feels good to get dressed up every day to go to my job. It’s silly stuff like that, but the boundaries are real and they do make a difference. Work can stay at work and I’m better able to focus on my people at home because there’s no work looming literally upstairs over my head there (for the most part).
So. There you have it – I’ve hung out my proverbial shingle and available for hire (as ever, for the past few years) but in an even more official capacity. I’m loving the happy color-loving clients I’ve gotten to help thus far and can’t wait to meet some new ones soon.
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