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All The Details

June 30
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A couple months ago, I shared about our new couch from Interior Define. We got two other small couches that I hope to share later this year. We have one in our actual working office (enclosed) and one we plan to use in the warehouse.

We finally worked on the last few details in the main area of our studio once we were done traveling but after we conquered our own sinus infections. We set a budget of $300 to get the rest of the outstanding items finished before we stopped to save for the big ticket items for our warehouse.

Here’s what we got from Home Goods and Lowes:

  • A lamp
  • Standing plant hanger
  • A LOT of succulents, hanging plants (this really adds up)
  • Soil, a few planters + pots, and a watering can
  • Glass containers for coffee and snacks
  • A few wire baskets for miscellaneous stuff
  • A paper towel holder and a bronze soap dispenser
  • Two huge mirrors (framed in bronze) for above the double sink in our bathroom

My favorite new additions are the plants. Those two plant boxes will soon hang over the edge and we’ll slowly keep adding some to make a “plant wall” just like this. Someday I want to create one like this, but we’ll probably order a bulk amount of succulents on Etsy vs buying them at a store nearby.

Besides our seating (couches and chairs), everything has been handmade by those we love. Our tables and shelves are all made with random pieces of wood we’ve had or have been given. We wanted to continue with that theme and made our coffee bar shelf with a pallet. It’s not perfect. It’s not exactly level. But we love it.   

Our next challenge is just getting our warehouse to where it can be used by our project manager and intern(s). We have a lot of space but it’s not designed in a way that lets us spread out and have our own workspaces. Technically we do…but it feels like a dungeon back there. We hope to get the warehouse painted completely white (walls, ceiling, and floors) with some frosted garage doors. Perhaps next year.

If you haven’t, I hope you can visit someday!

Recent Photo Work

June 24
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I was shooting non-stop last month for our Death to Stock trip. I got tired of lugging my DSLR around and haven’t really touched it in a few weeks besides full day client shoots. It makes me sad and am thinking about buying a smaller camera for everyday life with friends, family and at our studio. Something like this or this. Snapchat has made me realize I miss those “home videos” as documentation. PS my username is pallieaa (like paella but not).

Here’s a random assortment of shoots from the last month or so. Shoots for Allium, Earnest Home Co., The Cleaver Group, Core OhioEdna Valley and an impromptu morning shoot in San Diego with Vanessa!

A New Orleans Trip

June 4
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New Orleans was the second stop on our Death to Stock road trip. We arrived last Tuesday after a time with family over Memorial Day weekend and headed straight to Satsuma for some healthy food. I had been awake since 5am and when I feel grimy, I want eggs and juice!

We spent the rest of the day catching up emails and then somehow got hungry again. We snagged burgers (it seems to be a tradition when we all travel together) and then finally slept.

Conquering My Allergies

May 28
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I had really subtle allergies as a kid and into college. Nothing debilitating. But then I moved to Ohio. I don’t know if my body changed or if I’m allergic to every tree/plant in the midwest, but it’s been crazy. For the first few years here, I just didn’t have the money to invest into addressing my allergies so I never got tested or received shots.

As I got older, I didn’t want shots so I started to seek out alternate forms of treatment. Sure, you can avoid going outside, you can wear a face mask, keep the A/C running, eat local honey and take Zyrtec but it wasn’t working for me.

Studio Updates Pt. 1

May 26
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In between trips, we finally got our main couch delivered! When we first were planning to add a sitting area, we figured it’d be a regular couch against a different wall. When we saw this couch from Interior Define, we knew we had to have it. We just weren’t sure where. Our studio is sort of this weird “L” shape and we’re still working on updates to the warehouse so that it can be a space to work and create with natural light. After moving some stuff around, we realized we really loved it against this wall with the window.

Staycations Are For Everyone

May 22
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This summer I will have lived in Columbus, Ohio for SIX years. The last few years have flown by and the more we travel, the more I appreciate this fine city. We started off in the suburbs (blech), lived close to campus (oye) but finally settled in the Grandview area almost four years ago. We’ve experienced blizzards, negative temps, crazy OSU fans and the Doo Dah Parade. We’ve considered moving somewhere warmer (or with fewer allergens) a million times. And yet here we are. It’s home.

Upcoming Studio Updates

May 6
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We’ve been in our studio for over a year and I can honestly say it’s like a hybrid of having another business and another apartment. It’s this space that has quite an influence over your income and network while also being a relatively large investment that you don’t even own. It’s honestly incredible to see how our quarterly income increased after moving in. It works really well for us and our clients are constantly saying how they feel at peace when they visit.

Unfortunately, you can’t really take all the time in the world to make the space something special. You have to prioritize your list of wants and “must-haves.” For every day you take off to improve the space, it’s a day you aren’t working. We moved in and took about 4 days (and a bit over $1,000) to get it set up (biggest expenses were the floors + paint). About a month later, we had a working and neutral studio.

Fast forward another year and we finally turned our attention to some updates! Last month we painted the yellow kitchen and bathroom with a fresh coat of white paint and Adam’s parents helped us install baseboards. That weekend we spent another $400. Overall, we’ve kept our costs really low. That was important to us because it can quickly get out of hand. Our rent, which is our biggest expense besides our contractors, adds to our overhead (along with commercial wi-fi and utilities) so we can’t be constantly dropping cash on interior design. We plan!

Here’s what we have planned this month:

  1. Adding in a couch in our main meeting area. We work alongside clients for up to 8 hours at a time. Sometimes we have photoshoots that last even longer. You don’t know how much a soft, comfortable surface can feel rejuvenating and we need that. You can see in the photo below that there’s a perfect spot begging for a comfy couch! My desk used to be there, but we’ve moved it into the enclosed workspace so I can shut the door while working. I’ve been eyeing this one from Interior Define.
  2. A few rugs! I love the look of the bare wood floors but the enclosed office area is cozy and the spot in front of the couch could use a bright rug. I saw these rugs from Overstock in person and really loved them!
  3. Substantial floor + ceiling lighting. Our cool Ikea lamp is starting to sag quite a bit and we have a few other rooms that could use some light (we have ugly drop tile ceiling + fluorescent lights that we never turn on). Ikea, in general, has affordable lighting. We might head there on a random weeknight, but we’re car shopping now so it might prove to be difficult. Please let me know if you know of any great lamps that aren’t a million dollars!
  4. Mirrors for the bathroom. We have one large full-length mirror sitting in the bathroom, but we still need to find two oval or circular mirrors to hang over the sink. This shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.
  5. Complete our coffee bar! You can’t see it in the photo that I snapped of the kitchen, but Adam installed a large wooden bar opposite the kitchenette where we’ll set up a pour-over bar for coffee. Right now we have a random pegboard, extension cords + random coffee accessories sitting there.

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Our June/July studio plans will happen once we have time to save more money and recover from all our travels. But hint hint: they include glass garage doors, industrial-style shelving and upgrade the warehouse to feel more like a studio and less like a garage. Perhaps a couch? Wood laminate floors? A strobe? Well shit, I better get to work ($$$$)!

Later this month, I’ll share about these new additions! I’d love any fresh ideas, recs or tips in the meantime.

The Wonder Jam is 2!

May 5
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When I was freelancing by myself out of our “dining room-meets-living-room-meets-office,” I met Matt on a web design project. He was the developer and it was honestly one of the first websites I ever created. After collaborating a couple more times, he gradually came on as The Wonder Jam’s developer! We were so excited when we found out his band (The Local Strangers…I designed their logo!) would be embarking on a house tour this spring!

A few weeks ago, we hosted a studio concert and invited all of our favorite people. Pro tip: snag an amazing mixologist, provide free alcohol + get great music. Then your party will be complete.

Without realizing it, this was sort of our “Happy 2nd birthday to The Wonder Jam” party. We had one two years ago when we launched and another last May. Eventually, we’ll just be in the business of throwing parties. Next up…summer barbecue!

Let’s Get Coffee

May 1
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I do these posts every few months because after awhile I feel like I’m blogging (or lack thereof) to faceless ghosts. I like to share some random things and updates and then ask you to do the same. I have some fun content coming up this month including a series on doing a few upgrades around our studio, buying things like cars + computers when you work for yourself and lots of travel! The photo above is of me that Adam took. At first I hated it but then I was like, dude that’s me. We all have to love ourselves a bit more.

Answer any (or all) of the questions in the comment section! I respond to everyone so let’s be friends!

  1. What’s the weirdest thing(s) about you?
  2. Are you traveling at all this summer?
  3. Are you a nail polish-less person? Gels? Acrylics? Tell me your nail routine!
  4. Staple item in your life right now? Could be clothing, tech, paper, etc.
  5. Cats or dogs?

My answers below:

The weirdest thing about me is probably that I make up words 24/7. Not words that sound like real words but words that sound like babies or aliens made them up.

I am! Chicago, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Los Angeles and DC! Maybe we can meet up? Along with your travel plans + answers, share recs! OR your email if you want to meet up.

Lately I’ve been applying regular polish but hate the way it chips so quickly. I got gel manis consistently back in 2013 but stopped because they were making my nailbeds so weak. I get nail envy when I see a good acrylic manicure but 1) I would poke out my eye and 2) I would want to rip them off while I was on my computer or shooting photos.

I can’t get enough of this black vegan leather backpack that I picked up at Nordstrom Rack! I seriously will get home and wear it around the house because I forget it’s on. HA!

DOGS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Can’t wait to read your answers!