On life with Finn and Cash: Life with those two is always interesting, to say the least. Ha! They're both very high energy and are always up to something. It's like having two crazy kids you constantly have to keep an eye on.
A life without dogs would be no life worth living. I know that's mushy, but they're our family and genuinely make me SO happy every single day. I'm always laughing at them, loving on them, or smiling at the stupid things they do. There is no other animal that never gets upset with you and is stoked to see you walk through the door every single day. That's pretty special!
On work: I suppose I have a couple different jobs... I'm a designer, but also a blogger. I tackle a variety of project everyday. Whether it's designing a client space, working on my own home, shooting content for the blog, or sharing on social media, it's a really busy profession. It's a type of busy I like and one that I've sort of become addicted to. I love creating something new everyday and it's certainly never boring. I never do the same thing twice and I pretty much have complete creative freedom. That's the absolute BEST part.
I also love making new friends along the way and blogging has allowed me to do that. It's a really rewarding industry! I'd say the cons are the amount of time I spend working. Again, it's probably just my personality... but I work every single day- 7 days a week, and that's sort of a drawback for some. Business owners are responsible for setting and meeting their own goals, and I think I'm constantly trying to push my creative boundaries and limits, so it drives me to work all the time. It's something I need to work on! In 2018, one of my goals is to stick to 'work hours', just like clocking in and out. It's tough when your studio / office is in your home. I'll let you know if I figure out the work / life balance. Haha!
On life before blogging: Before I got into interior design, I was the in-house designer for a high-end chocolate company. My formal training is actually a BFA in graphic design, so I was designing packaging, shooting products, and styling merchandise. Luckily the brand was pretty fashion forward and it involved some travel, NY Fashion Week, food shows, and chocolate tastings, so it was fun while it lasted. It wasn't until we renovated our first home that I decided interior design was my passion. I hopped on board with a local firm and tried to learn as much as I could. I also took some additional classes to broaden my interior knowledge.
The blog was sort of an accident. I never dreamed people would be interested in following our renovation journey. I started it for friends and family to keep tabs on our home progress. Since then, it's become a place to share creative and interior inspiration, as well as our personal projects. Things eventually got so busy with the blog and freelance, that I decided to get serious, start my own business, and devote more time to the blog and client projects full-time.
Here I am a couple years later and things are the best kind of busy. I love what I do and I think that helps me cross everything off the to-do list. When work is fun, it doesn't feel much like work and I want to get things accomplished. I think that's how I'm managing so many tasks on the day-to-day. That's the secret sauce!
"Most people think we are completely bonkers...
for having a giant schnauzer AND a wire fox terrier. They're quite the handful, but we wouldn't have it any other way."
On her daily routine: I wake up sort of late these days- around 6:30... I used to be a morning person who got up at 4:30 / 5 everyday to workout. Emmett wakes up before me and lets the dogs out (they prefer to sleep in their crates). Usually Finn is the first to come into the bedroom to greet me- Cash is more worried about being the first in line for breakfast.
I'll eat my own breakfast, hop on the computer and start tackling the to-do list right away. Usually that involves returning emails, then I'll either dive right into design or shooting- depending on the day. My daily tasks range from : emails, managing collaborations, shooting, styling, editing, boring stuff- like expenses and invoicing, working on the house, DIY projects, drafting posts, proofing, scheduling, social media, etc.
Since I work from home, the dogs are constantly with me. Sometimes I have to explain why there's barking in the background on conference calls. Ha! Cash stays in my office by my side all day long. Even if I have to pee (TMI?), he tags along. I'm serious... he has some crazy attachment issues. Finn prefers to hangout in the living room and look out the window, in his typical guard dog fashion.
Once Emmett gets home from work in the evening, we'll take the dogs skating. They pull us on longboards. If you follow along on Instagram, you've probably watched this. It's so fun and they absolutely LOVE it! We live in Utah, so during the wintertime we swap walking or hiking for skating.
Then, I'll work some more. I know, I know... bad habit. After that we have dinner, a drink, and then relax, watch TV, and snuggle the dogs in the living room.
On career advice: Even though it's a really saturated industry.... there's room for 'different'. I think that's the key to breaking into blogging, social media, and even design. We see so much of the same thing on social media every single day. It all starts to blend together. There's really something to be said about thinking outside the box and sharing things in a different way. You have to find a way to stand out amongst the noise.
I also think original content goes a long way. If you're passionate about what you're doing, share it! Instead of sharing what other people are already doing, create something yourself... it's so much more fulfilling and gives people an opportunity to see something brand new.
If you're not sure how to do something- ask. I wish I could go back four years and tell my younger self this. I met so many amazing people I look up to and was afraid to pick their brain. I've learned that most people are super duper nice and willing to offer helpful advice. It's the best way to make friends and in this industry there's a real sense of camaraderie.
Basic social media stuff... don't be like me and create more work for yourself. I manage two Instagram accounts: @sargibs (my personal account) and @roomfortuesday (the blog account). I doubled the amount of social work I have to do and that was a silly idea way back when. Find ways to streamline your process.
Above all- be authentic. Be authentic to yourself, your brand, and your interests. Like I mentioned previously, if you're passionate about what you're doing and producing, it won't feel like work and odds are- it's going to be amazing. People will love it! I see so many people hop on trends or focus on what's popular and lose sight of their phenomenal vision. You do you!
On both dogs: Finn is a difficult dog. He doesn't love all dogs, but he immediately liked Cash (thank God). They act like brothers. They wrestle every day, play chase in the yard, play a game that I like to call #biteyface (basically they bite each other's faces while being loud), and occasionally they cuddle. Finn actually protects Cash, which makes it difficult to discipline him. They're both loud, have strong personalities, and incredibly high energy (typical of their breeds). Most people think we are completely bonkers for have a giant schnauzer AND a wire fox terrier. They're quite the handful, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
I will say, every evening, they CLEAR out the living room. The two of them are always farting- the loud and stinky kind, too. Ugh. We've had guests blame Emmett and I, then we swear and try to convince them it's the dogs. We've talked to the vet, they're both on great diets, it's just what they do. Haha! Emmett and I have even been farted ON by the both of them. It's a good thing they're cute.
Finn lives for water bottles and packages. Anytime you finish a bottle of water, he steals the package. In some instances, he'll sneak one and snatch it away before it's empty, which results in water everywhere because he punctures the plastic with his teeth. Cash is all about BIG objects and toys. Basically if it's something giant, he'll try to steal it. We had a pile of firewood neatly stacked in our backyard and he dismantled the entire pile in under an hour. Mind you, most of the logs were bigger than he is. Anytime we buy Finn the big toy and Cash the little toy, you better believe Cash will claim the bigger of the two. Finn always ends up with tiny tiny toys because Cash has all of the giant ones stashed away. They're a funny pair!
On the best piece of advice gotten: 'You are responsible for your own happiness." That really resonated with me and I took it to heart. Don't rely on others to make you happy or expect anyone else to chase your dreams. Go do it!! Make time for things you love, people you love, and don't waste time on something that makes you unhappy. You can interpret that a bunch of different ways, but I apply it to so many things.
On a dream house: Emmett and I agree that instead of having a giant house, we'd rather have two modest homes in totally different locations. That's our dream! I suppose now, since we live in the mountains, the extra house should be a beach house! I'd love to decorate them in totally different ways, too. For a beach cottage, an outdoor shower is a must. Oh man, that'd be amazing to design!
I don't think we'll ever stay anywhere forever. We both like moving around. As of now, we stick around for around five years, and then find a new state to love. It's exciting and fuels our sense of adventure.
On one thing people should know about her: I'm ashamed to admit this, but... I have lepidopterophobia. It's the fear of butterflies. I've had it since I was a kid and I can promise- you'll never see me decorate with butterfly patterned fabric or drapery. I get the heebie jeebies from butterflies (putting it lightly). It's bad!