So you ask me about a typical day...... well I think my day would surprise most people. A lot of folks think all I do is design and nothing else. I wish!!!!! Like any other business it must be managed, thus much of my time while in my studio is spent dealing with the day to day minutia of running one. In fact I sometimes feel I design on the sly as my time is filled with so many have-tos, like answering emails and phone calls, paying bills, choosing insurance, working out the show schedules, sourcing, designing, replacing vintage pieces, setting up vignettes for shoots, making sure our customers are called and serviced, maintaining the website, facebook, and so many other things..
My studio is 6000 square feet and each day there are about 10 of us that work in the space. My production manager, Carolyn, is in charge of making my designs come to fruition. Once I have designed a piece it is Carolyn's job to order the parts and to dole them out to the folks who are making my designs and teach them what to do. She has kept the studio utterly organized and has been an essential part of my team. Then there's Patrick, my other right hand who assists me in all the areas of design. He too has been with me for many years.
I have learned so much more that I ever realized was possible. When one runs a business there are a plethora of areas that you are called on to attend to. In my many years of business I have intimately learned about the legal system, negotiating contracts, copyrights, trademarks, our health system and insurance, doing business abroad, sourcing, managing employees, building out a space. It's a juggling act.... but I kinda like having a lot of balls in the air.
If I am travelling and doing a trade show it is one of the few times that I only have one agenda during a day, otherwise my day can get crazy as I am pulled into so many places.
I love building the trade show booths; it is a very intuitive process for me. I do not plan the space but rather have an idea in my head about the look and feel that I want to portray. It's kind of hard to talk about because the first time I build a new booth I am not sure how it is really going to look. It is in the mix of textures and things that I bring with me and how I put them together that somehow make the booth come alive. It takes about 11 to 16 hours to set up, usually with one other person. The look of my booth is of utmost super importance to me as it is the stage that sets the mood and feel for my latest collection. I also love the people part, it is so much fun as you really get to play and interact with people all day long and at the same time sell your work. Many customers have become sort of like family, as you see the same people over the years and they sort of grow up with you.
Here are some of the booths I have created over the years:
I also adore the days I get to source materials for my line When I come across that special little part which happens oh so often , I sort of fall in love with it. My mind goes crazy imagining how I can use it. The process is so totally inspiring.