July 11, 2014

Pulling Back the Curtain: Our Studio & its Policies

Happy Friday!!! (wahoooo)  We’ve been receiving a few requests & questions lately about why our studio isn’t open on the weekends and why I’m not in the studio with customers, so I thought I’d bring it up today and reiterate our policies and explain the reasoning behind them.  (These requests & questions are from really supportive people who would love to be able to come shop and visit with us on the weekends so I really appreciate it!! 🙂  I know that a lot of people inquiring about our weekend hours are pretty disappointed that we’re not open on the weekends (many of them are working women & I get it)  or that they didn’t meet me so I hope this helps in understanding why we do what we do.

 

 

Our studio is basically open when we’re in it during our normal working weekday hours.  When we first opened the shop, we were open a few weekends before the holidays…  it was lots of fun being in the shop but it didn’t feel right taking that time away from my family.  Showing back up to work on Monday after only one day out of the studio didn’t feel right.  (Frankly, I wasn’t refreshed and I started to dread it.)

A typical day for me goes like this-

Dave & I arrive in the studio in the mornings and we have a quick meeting with our team before we all get to work.  After that, on any given day, I’m either A)Out on meetings with clients       B)presenting to clients the studio       C)Installing a project in a client’s home    or   D)Working on clients’ projects in my office at the studio/creative work  and now E)Writing the book & constant photoshoots!!

We arrange our calendar 3-4 months in advance and whenever a last-minute meeting or event is slipped into my calendar, it’s automatically taken from my creative design time.  By the time I get to any given week, it’s not uncommon for me to have less than 1-2 days/week to actually work on projects during work hours.  If I were not careful with my time (and said “yes” to everything) I would truly have ZERO time to actually design or write a thing.  

I attempt to work on textiles & my blog (and family projects!) during off-hours when my kids are still sleeping (like right now!!) or have gone to bed.  (And on client projects when my week has disappeared with meetings. 😉  I don’t really “do lunch” and typically eat while I’m working.  We need to be extremely efficient in order to get everything done.  Every single minute of my work day needs to go into meeting a deadline of some sort.   I’m by no means complaining right now- I thrive with it like this and truly love it!!  If we weren’t able to fit in all that we do, our business wouldn’t be profitable and I wouldn’t be able to afford staff or to even be in this field myself.  But I have learned my limits.  I say “no” more than I say “yes” now because I have to.  I have a responsibility to my clients, my staff, my family and myself to keep things doable and to not fry my (or anyone in my employ’s!!) brain.

 


{I took this photo a few weeks ago but it looks completely different now!}

 

When customers visit the studio to browse, a member of our staff is there to take care of them.  She’s genuinely excited to meet them and help them.  There have been times when visitors have mentioned how disappointed they are that I’m not the one there helping them or that I’m not in the studio or am “never there”  when they drop in or want to drop in.  I’m bringing this up because I want to be clear that while I’m so thrilled when people come and visit, it most likely won’t be me there in the studio with them.  (Even if I’m in my office, working- because I have to make sure I meet my ever-present deadlines.)  We opened our studio to the public because we love being able to provide some of the special things we’ve found to not only our clients but also others who are interested in our look, but it’s a single facet of our business.  I am needed on the design side of the business, so we have someone a-mazing in place to help studio visitors.  Every now and then, we have an event, a talk, an open house, etc. and I’m always at those to chat & hang, which are lots of fun. 🙂  (I don’t have the next one planned right now, but will be sure to announce it on the blog.)

 

{Our “new” collection of old ironstone – found in an estate in Belgium}

Anyway, I hope this explains why our policies are the way they are.  I’m always happy to hear suggestions and really appreciate the support from those of you who’ve visited, run into me in public, or called in asking for weekend hours.  (I wish I could have a little weekend clone of myself to work the studio for customers!!;)  Thank you so much for your patience!!

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