A Day In The Studio Making Custom Party Decoration
A lot of people ask us what it's like to work from home and how we make the custom party decorations in our home studio, so I thought I'd give you a peek into what a typical day looks like for us. To fully appreciate what it looks like now, you'd have to know how we started. In the beginning, we worked out of Shanti's kitchen, with a small paper cutter on her office desk, and our supplies tucked away on a couple of shelves in her bedroom closet. Usually, she was running the paper cutter and dropping pieces off on the kitchen table for me to assemble, and then she'd run back into her office to reload the machine, and repeat, repeat, repeat... With only one small cutter, we often couldn't even get close to finishing all of our outstanding orders in a work day, so we would meet up later in the week to hand off supplies and maybe let our kids play for a bit. It was fun, but hectic to say the least.
These days, thanks to a lot of hard work by Shanti's dad and husband, her garage has been converted into a beautiful studio with ample, and very well organized storage, a HUGE 8 foot table to craft banners of all sizes, and the mother of all paper cutting machines has been added to our arsenal. In a typical work day, we can easily complete double the number of custom orders that we could when we were working out of a kitchen with our supplies tucked away amongst shoe boxes and winter sweaters. And, maybe most importantly, I don't have to worry about getting hot glue or paint on my friend's dining room table anymore!
So, when I arrive in the morning, after our kids have all been dropped off at grandma's house, or preschool, I'm greeted by the rhythmic sound of the paper cutter humming away on the desk. Shanti is usually into her third cup of coffee, and the soundtrack in the studio is either the Spotify playlist of the day (we are big fans of the "Boy Bands and 90's Hits" list) , or more likely, it's Mutemath, or our newest swoon-worthy discovery, LANY singing through the speakers. There are stacks of colorful banner pieces of all kinds from dinosaurs to mermaids ready to be assembled, piles and piles of confetti, especially graduation confetti these days, to be sorted into bags, and the glue gun is smoking hot and ready to glue anything from cupcake toppers like these cute cats, to custom centerpieces like this adorable train set. We have found a rhythm now, where we can decipher what each pile of paper is for and which one needs attention first, so that we hit the ground running and buzz along pretty seamlessly. Of course, occasionally one of us is sleep deprived, or has just has one of those "What did I just do?!" moments and might make a goof, but in those cases we just try to laugh, reset, and keep on trucking. Somewhere in the midst of the organized chaos, we'll shovel in bites of last night's leftovers, or maybe a salad, but there was this one time that we got to go out for Thai food, which was pretty awesome.
Since we're in the same room working now, rather than yelling through walls and over the sound of the paper cutter or sewing machine, we get to swap stories about the kids, laugh about things our husbands may have said or done, and sometimes we even have one of our favorite maker mamas, Lauren from White Loft, stop over for a chat about things that only work-from-home crafters could understand. Besides making her growth chart height markers for her, it's alway nice to commiserate with a friend who knows exactly what you're going through as a small business owner who works from home with kiddos; it's an exclusive club! Sometimes, we do manage to work while the kids are there although we make many stops throughout those days for kissing booboos, finding a missing pacifier, making snacks, and refereeing disputes over toys, but we wouldn't change those days for anything. We feel so lucky to be able to do this and, even when we are swamped and feel like we may never to get to the end of the order queue, we both still love coming to work and love creating custom party decorations that make people's celebrations memorable.
PS-HUGE shout out to Shanti's mailman for carrying stacks upon stacks of packages from her driveway to his truck with a smile on his face. We love you!
- Heather Lindow