This will read like a biography but in my world, details are everything. So, here are the details.
Literally everyday, someone walks into the studio sporting a genuinely confused look on their face and politely (more often than not) asks, "So what exactly do you do here?” I can't possibly be offended by the question because I still have a hard time answering it. Early into my career, I did a little bit of everything. Not because that was my longterm plan, but in search of what it is that really lights me on fire as a designer. I would be lying if I said that I am not still on that quest, BUT I have learned a lot about myself, not only as a professional- but as a mother, wife, daughter, and friend. Change is something that I have always craved. After years of thinking it was a personality flaw, a friend told me, “You know, that’s what I admire about you most- you don’t let the grass grow under your feet.” At that moment, I realized that it was something that could work in my favor if I gave it a little direction.
So what do I do? I am an Interior Designer. It is literally all that I have ever wanted to do. I remember being "grounded" as a child, ALOT. I'm a redhead with a quick-wit. One COULD say, it got me into trouble. One WOULD be correct. My mom, bless her heart, would quarantine me to my room to "be bored" (which doesn't exist anymore) and I would break open my dad's CD case (which also don't exist anymore) and start re-arranging my furniture, hanging posters on my walls, cleaning out my closet, etc. The place would be an absolute disaster when she would come to check on me and I would always have the same response, "You know I have to make a mess to clean up!" Words to live by, right?
After high school, I attended Georgia Military College in Milledgeville to get my Associates Degree in General Studies. I later went on to the University of Georgia to study Interior Design. About a year into the Interior Design program, I was blessed with the news that Cash was on the way (though, I probably worded that sentence a little differently at the time). I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason, but sometimes the road to determining that reason can, well.. suck. I left UGA feeling completely defeated and I moved back home (Eatonton). In my mind, Interior Design was LITERALLY the only career for me. I was completely lost. A few months after Cash was born, and by total accident, life handed me a career in graphics. That story is for another post, but through working with FTYF- I learned how to use my eye for design in a different way. I learned how to create logos and how to brand a company. I added so many tools to my arsenal throughout, what I thought to be, a detour in my life. That prepared me for what was ahead and I’ve used every single piece of that knowledge in building what I have today. It has taken me years to figure out that the most important part of design, talent, cannot be taught.. to realize that I possess it and to give it the credit that it is due. I have worked long days and late night to make up for the courses I missed and here I am, kickin’ brass and takin’ names.
In 2017, my husband, Ross, and I remodeled my first studio. It was an old fueling station in Downtown Milledgeville. It was perfect- SMALL place with BIG charm. I would be there forever, right? Wrong. After months of discussion, we decided that we were ready to move back to Eatonton, where we both grew up. We wanted to build something of our own, from start to finish. The designer and control freak in me was giddy. I would get to make every. single. decision. But the reality was that, as 30 somethings with two babies, building meant that we would have to sell my sweet little studio. My brother-in-law had recently moved out of this beautiful space in Downtown Greensboro so I took a day to go sit in the floor and see if it “felt right”. Boy did it.. It was filled with old brick walls and old hardwood floors. I could see it as it COULD be, not just what it was. It was an even more perfect place for my studio than I could have imagined with enough room to also fill the floor with beautiful furnishings and share it with the community. THIS is why I ALWAYS go where I am pulled and I would encourage us all to do so.
“When we get too married to our plan - we can miss God's purpose.“
I think that self discovery is the most important journey you will ever take.
This past year, I have made a point to listen to every podcast, audiobook, and sermon that I can get my hands on. I also made a point to overanalyze everything in search of clarity. I'll get there.. or maybe I won't, but this journey has forever changed me and has been so worth the investment. Moving the studio to Greensboro was terrifying at first, not to mention the thought of adding retail to the equation. Within a few months of opening my doors though, I knew I had made the right decision. The people were so responsive to the transformation of my space and cheered me on with every step I took. People were finding me and design jobs started coming. The plan was working.
I have been known to take on more than I can handle, but I do know when to ask for help. I remembered getting a message on Facebook when I first opened from a girl that had recently graduated from Athens Tech in the Interior Design program. She was curious about advice on “getting your name out there”. To be honest, I was still learning that myself. To be even more honest, the the little voice in my head was thinking “Figure it out like I did. I’m not giving you a road map.” Bitchy, I know. We all have a little bit in us. I caught myself though. Something about it felt right so I thought to myself, “Maybe this part of the plan. I mean, I DO need help.” I reached out to her and we decided she would come in one day and talk. Like everything else I do, I just needed to see if it “felt right”. Boy did it.. our styles were so similar but we still thought so differently. After a few weeks of teaming up on projects, I knew that this was part of the plan. His plan. My weaknesses are Kayla’s strengths and vice versa. We challenge each other to grow creatively and we are honest, no matter the comfort level. We are equally talented but together, we are stronger.
So, here we are. At 108 North Main Street in Greensboro, Georgia.
I am an Interior Designer by day. A wife and mom by night.
I can create some pretty sweet brands when the mood strikes.
I have a kick ass designer on my team and we are just that, a team.
I’ll be adding to this along the way so stay tuned!