make way for my ambitions!!! introducing a new blog series
I’ll go ahead and address the elephant in the room- I haven’t posted since June. But I have reasons, y’all!! Legitimate ones. Don’t you worry your chic winter-trouser-and-boots-combo, everything will make sense by the end of this. My original inspiration for doing two new series was this article from Man Repeller which reveals the not-so-dreamy reality of both freelancing and working 9-5’s, in addition to admitting the oh-so-dreamy qualities of both, very different, career paths. I’ve also been trying to figure out a way to be creative and talk about elements of my career path that might be worth reading, instead of just making out filler content. After all, I’m just doing this for creative fun. So, with that said, I’m going to introduce these series with a little time-line of the last year. This is going to be a kind of long, so grab your fave IPA or whiskey cocktail before you cuddle up to read this one. (Or I guess a Lacroix if you’re a freaking millennial with self control - but let’s be honest, it’s still a Lacroix and you’re still a freaking millennial (; )
F E B R U A R Y 2018
I had just made the move back to Savannah from Philadelphia where I had been working for Anthropologie at their Home Office for the previous 6 months. I moved back, mind you without a job lined up or any idea of where I wanted to be next. I mean, I had ideas and dreams but the real world hit me like a sack of ‘taters. All I knew was that I wanted to be designing and making THAT MONEY doin it. But to be completely honest (which is what we’re doing here), I was in a bad place, y’all. I was second guessing my self-worth once again, the same path I took after my internship ended the previous summer without the lead I had hoped for. However, I told myself there was no time for this and the only pout that would be had was the one I got from wearing my new fave lip color (because sometimes buying yourself something extra DOES help you feel beautiful and confident). I quickly got a job in retail as a sales associate.
M A Y 2018
Savannah is not a place that is simply bursting with creative employment opportunities for an entry level furniture designer with my interests. I say “simply” because it takes a little bit of digging. There are lots of super talented and creative people, but they are working for themselves and most don’t really have it in their budget to hire. I was still working as a sales associate part time to make money, working on a small capsule collection of my own when I wasn’t selling jeans and credit cards. It was good. But dang y’all, I wanted better. And then a magic fairy sprinkled dust on my shoulders! My current employer reached out because she was drowning in business and couldn’t keep up. Um HELLO?! Yes - absolutely - I will be your intern for xx hours a week until I convince you that I’m nice and helpful and funny and talented and helpful and that you need me forever! (can you sense my anxiety at this point?)
A U G U S T 2018
I’m an assistant for Katy Skelton for about 3 months, working 12 hours a week, doing anything and everything I can to prove that I am an asset, and that she needs me to grow her business successfully. Oh wait, I haven’t laid out what Katy Skelton “is”. We are an UBER small furniture and lighting company based in Savannah. The company consists of Katy, the designer and visionary, and her husband, part owner and in-house lighting manufacturer (and now me!). She’s in little Savannah, her clients are everywhere else. I like to call businesses like hers “small business, big brand”. Yall, Emily Henderson freaking loves Katy. I need two hands to count how many products she’s featured of Katy’s. My job was to relieve her of everyday administrative duties so she could spend more time designing, doing the important stuff and running her dang business. Oh, and growing the business! That said, at this point in the story I’m not designing yet. (But don’t stop reading here! I’ll get to that part soon.) I am also able to quit my retail job now because I have been hired as a remote design intern for a furniture company on the west coast. Basically a contract designer, I’m finally living my best #girlboss life!! Not exactly. Now I’m working more than ever with 8+ hour days 6-7 days a week just to keep up with the workload.
D E C E M B E R 2018
So, let’s wrap around really quick. My hours for Katy increased from 12 to 24 per week. I was doing CAD and engineering 24-36 hours per week for the west coast brand. By December I began designing! And I can’t wait to mention the super cool company we are working with. It’s on the downlow until High Point Market in Spring2019, and might launch in a particularly funky store in Summer or Fall 2019. (Keep an eye out for a post on this when it happens). THIS is where things get interesting.
With the end of the year approaching, Katy had already made it clear she wanted to bring me on as a full time employee at the start of the new year. She gave me an offer and I accepted the position of Design Assistant! I’m beyond grateful for her taking a chance on me. I’m even more excited to be an essential part of the growth of her brand and can’t wait to see where we are next year. Funny thing though, I’m still freelancing at this point and hoping to continue to do so with the west coast brand. Yeah, the income is fantastic. More importantly, it’s FUN (if I get enough sleep).
J A N U A R Y 2019
This is where I want to begin this journey. Or maybe it’s a divided series- one highlighting my role as a freelance designer for a company on the other side of the country, and one focusing on my journey as a design assistant for a small, woman-owned business in the south.
I’ve been around the job block - corporate, small business, furniture retail, clothing retail, craigslist ads (wait, should I tell y’all about this?), high-end furniture brands and middle ground furniture brands. This is my unique experience. I’m talking about it here mainly to make sense of it myself, but I also want to shed light on a modern youngin/girlboss/designer’s story, starring a wylde furn.