A woman must have money and a room of her own." - Virginia Woolf
Things are getting real over here in the world of Wander.
Logo? Almost there. Website & online shop? Under construction. Stacks of vintage furniture and assorted objects I secretly want to hoard to myself but will somehow find a way to part with? Check, check & double check.
Truth be told, most days this path to small business seems more like a never-ending treadmill than a neat and tidy to-do list. For every item I cross out, it feels like a dozen more crop up in its place. The branding I can handle – even enjoy. The bookkeeping? I'd hire that out in a heartbeart. You know, assuming I had any money to hire someone with.
Still, it's pretty incredible the amount of progress you can make when you actually sit down and do the work. Nothing like a little deadline to make things happen.
Another project I was actually looking forward to: creating a space of my own to do all of it in. I started out looking at studio space. I mean, how much could a cute little walkup with exposed brick in a decent neighborhood really run?
Lots. As in, piles of money. Like, who's renting these 500 sq. ft. studios for $800/month? Haven't they ever heard of student loans? And how do I get their financial situations?
Short of robbing Gringotts in the near future, external space was out of the question.
(Side note for a quick poll: We re-watched No. 3 of the Harry Potter series this past weekend and thanks to a little media coverage sparked by J.K. Rowling herself, the most pressing topic up for debate was which HP character would make the best boyfriend. Or in this case, the cutest. 'Cause really, short of Neville they all had their personality pitfalls – and even he spent his formative years crying in the dorms and hiding from Malfoy's goons. The decision? Somewhere between Victor Krum, books 6-7 Mr. Longbottom and whoever the heck played the dreamy Gryffindor quidditch captain Harry's first season. Thoughts?)
Anyway. Back to the space issue. My perfect artist's loft/studio was out. Our attic, previously a contender, had since been repurposed as a project holding bay. And our basement looks about as appealing as you'd expect a 100+year-old house's basement to look.
Which basically left the front bedroom formerly known as our master bedroom slash office slash a dozen other uses I'd put it to since moving in a little over 2 1/2 years ago. So with the boy off at man camp 2015 for the weekend and no one to interfere or protest, I moved all of our bedroom furniture out of the front bedroom, pulled in office furniture from the back bedroom and got to work creating a home office, photography studio (okay, wall) and prop closet all in one.
The result? A decent-sized space that houses all of my Wander business development tools and a standard wall turned photography space pulled together with a fresh coat (more like 3) of white paint, a sliding backdrop rail and vintage kitchen cart repurposed as a portable prop closet.
It's no dream studio (I still haven't figured out a way to magic in a little exposed brick) but for a weekend's worth of work, a quick trip to IKEA, a new paint job and a little furniture shifting, it'll do. And the best part? It's done. Which, as I'm coming to learn, is half the battle. Done meets best intentions any day.
I'm looking forward to snapping a few test photos and playing around with the photography wall (more on how I pulled that together in a later post), but for now I'm just grateful to have a space of my own that's a.) free, and b.) involves a 10-second commute from any room in the house. Bonus: my home office dress code is an assortment of pjs, yoga pants and whatever I throw on before or after work.
It's amazing how having – or better yet, creating – a space of your own can have such an instant and dramatic effect on how you feel about your work. It's also incredibly inspiring to be surrounded by (and seated at) the product you're working so hard to put out there. It's almost as if the physical space legitimizes all the behind-the-scenes mental and emotional work – the work that's so hard to quantify and yet so important to creating good work of any kind.
So place another check mark next to "a room of my own." Now, as Ms. Woolf would say, time to make a little money