CAITLIN WILSON INTERVIEW

 
Caitlin Wilson Design | Home Decor Entrepreneur | The School of Styling - A three-day, hands-on workshop for creative entrepreneurs. theschoolofstyling.com

Name: Caitlin Wilson / Age: 31 / Company: Caitlin Wilson Design / Title: Owner & Creative Director / Years in Business: 5 / Education: Brigham Young University & Parsons School of Design

What was your first job after college? I worked 2 jobs - one as an associate designer at a small interior design firm and the other as a buyer and display designer at a boutique & flower shop.

How did you get from your degree to the creation of Caitlin Wilson Designs?! I attended Parsons Design School after graduating, then worked for two years before taking the leap to start my own company. At the time, I was sharing my own apartment on my blog when I got an email from someone wanting to hire me! I started taking on design projects on the weekends and at night and quickly realized that I had enough work to employ myself! Years later while living abroad, I realized I wanted to create my own fabrics to use in my clients' homes so I gave it a shot! We've come a long way since then and I'll be forever grateful that I took the leap of self-employment early in my career.  

What inspired you to create the company? I kept using and seeing other designers use the same pillows over and over again. I felt that there was a void in the market for fresh, colorful pillows and especially those that were available online. I wanted to make it easy and accessible for people to get a cohesive, designer look in their homes.

What is some advice you can give to other aspiring entrepreneurs on how to attract attention and building a following? My business all started from my blog, so the best way to build a following is just by sharing what you feel you have to offer. Be authentic and original and an audience will come with time! Also, be friendly! Being kind, supportive and happy for other people's successes goes a long way. Comment on other people's posts and create friendships through social media. Being kind has taken me a lot of places. I truly believe what goes around comes around.

If a reader hasn’t heard of Caitlin Wilson Design, how would you explain it to them and what your mission is? My mission is to create beautiful, unique home decor products that transform spaces and homes. Many of my designs are colorful and make an impact in the rooms and homes of my clients. I believe that home should be a haven - where families and friends can feel comfortable and confident. Where memories can be made and cherished. Ultimately, I want the home to be beautiful and a happy place to be!

How do you balance work and play, being an entrepreneur? It was very hard in the early stages not to bring it home with me, or leave work at all since it was in a spare bedroom for the first few years. It's easy to feel like you should and could always be doing more but you have to take it one step at a time. If you bite off more than you can chew you'll end up exhausted and overwhelmed. I feel lucky that I started this venture before having kids and that I'm at a point now where I can work less and enjoy more of motherhood.

What is the hardest part and best part of working for yourself? The hardest part is that I am usually the one at fault because I have so many balls I'm juggling and I often drop one or a few.  I'm my own worst critic. The best part is that I can create the life I want. I believe that we can all create the life we want to have once we realize how powerful we are. I have such a great set-up with my wonderful team, office, and family life now that we are more established.

What are your goals or dreams for yourself and Caitlin Wilson Design? My current goal is to continue to add new product lines and partnerships to our current assortment so we sell nearly everything we put in our styled photo shoots. A dream of mine is to write a book!

We know you have a shop opening in San Francisco this summer - do you want to expand even more? Yes! Our San Francisco design shop is the Guinea pig but the plan is that we'll expand to 5 more cities over time.

Caitlin Wilson Design | Home Decor Entrepreneur | The School of Styling - A three-day, hands-on workshop for creative entrepreneurs. theschoolofstyling.com

 

For Fun: 

Currently craving: All things stripes or periwinkle blue. The combo is even better!

Currently shopping for: Lights for my San Francisco store, they make such a statement in a space so I'm holding out for the perfect piece!

 

Photography by Madeline Metcalf, Elijah Hoffman and Nicole Hill Gerulat

Website / Instagram / Pinterest / Blog

 

SOUTHERN WEDDINGS REMOTE OFFICE TOUR

 
Southern Weddings Office Tour | Home Office Inspiration | The School of Styling - A three-day, hands-on workshop for creative entrepreneurs. theschoolofstyling.com

On Wednesday, we shared the main office space where Southern Weddings makes things happen! We love that beyond the beautiful weddings, their mission is to remember what the most important part of your dream day is: the marriage. These women celebrate the South and every intentional detail of your special day. We are so excited to be featuring them on our blog today in the second part of their post series. Today, we will be showing you the office spaces of their two team members that work remotely!

Name: Amber Housley / SW Position: Marketing Director / Years with SW: 6 months / Age: 35 / City, State: Nashville, Tennessee

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for Southern Weddings! As Marketing Director, I work with every gal on our team to help spread our mission in the most impactful way. The best part of my job is pairing my love of marketing and analytics with a mission I truly believe in! I recently joined the team last January, but have been a friend of SW for many years. A former wedding planner and stationery designer, my clients have been featured in past issues along with two really fun editorial shoots I had the pleasure of designing and planning.

Now, tell us about your workspace! What is the aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve and how would you explain it to someone who’s never seen photos? My workspace is the room I spend the most time in - both day and night! With working on SW by day and pursuing my many creative passions or my business at night, this space definitely gets used. Colorful, creative and inspiring, my workspace features some of my favorite artwork as well as personal photographs and mementos. I love white furniture paired with color and patterns. My hope is that I feel refreshed and encouraged each time I work or play in here. I’m grateful that it has a large wall of windows that lets in a lot of natural light.

With your workspace, what are your must-haves? Coffee, a to-do list, the perfect planner or something else? I usually have two tumblers on my desk - one for water, one for iced coffee. Fresh flowers from my garden are a must, as well. My PowerSheets are open and within reach, along with my Simplified Planner and a dozen colorful Sharpie fine point pens.

How do you make sure you stay focused working as a remote part of the SW team? What are some tips that you can give others working remotely that will help them focus on the task at hand? Thank goodness for Google Hangout! The team doesn’t seem that far away since we video chat at least once or twice per day. As a team, we use our PowerSheets to stay focused on our common goals for the week or month -- when we are working in the same direction, it’s easier to stay focused.

Southern Weddings | Amber Housley Office Tour | The School of Styling - A three-day, hands-on workshop for creative entrepreneurs. theschoolofstyling.com

Are there any little things you do to enhance your space such as having your dog at your feet, the perfect playlist playing or even scheduling small breaks to keep you focused? My 12 years young yellow labrador is almost always snoozing nearby. His snores can sometimes be heard in the background of meetings - ha! I try my best to eat lunch on the back porch if the weather is nice. I can often get glued to my computer desk during the day, so I’m making more of an effort on this these days. My breaks really vary - sometimes I will play in my journaling Bible, host a Periscope broadcast on a creative topic, or even just walk around the garden outside to cut a few blooms.

Name: Kristin Winchester / SW Position: Client Relations Director / Years with SW: 4 years / Age: 33 / City, State: Orlando, Florida

Southern Weddings Magazine Office Tour | Kristin Winchester | The School of Styling - A three-day, hands-on workshop for creative entrepreneurs. theschoolofstyling.com

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for Southern Weddings! Growing up in North Carolina, I developed a strong love for BBQ, Sweet Tea, and the Carolina Tar Heels. My darling husband and his job are giving us the chance to explore different parts of the South, but North Carolina will always be home. As the Client Relations Director at SW, I spend my days loving on our darling vendor family and working with the rest of the SW team to spread our mission and love on our brides. Hands down, my favorite part of my every day is helping our brides plan and prepare for their weddings and life after their big days from introducing them to the perfect vendor to sharing a little marriage advice or my favorite newlywed recipe.

Now, tell us about your workspace! What is the aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve and how would you explain it to someone who’s never seen photos? Working from home means I spend a large chunk of each day sitting in my office by myself, so I have worked to create a space that is bright, cheerful and simultaneously cozy.  I tend to mix patterns and bright colors, and love incorporating family pictures and personal touches of encouragement. And it wouldn’t be a truly Southern space without a monogram or two, right?

With your workspace, what are your must-haves? Coffee, a to-do list, the perfect planner or something else? Without fail, you will always find a few different beverages (coffee, a water tumbler and perhaps some sweet tea/lemonade in the afternoon), a handful of pens (combination of plain ballpoint black ink + colorful PaperMate Flairs), my PowerSheets tending list, my weekly tackle list and a scratch pad to scribble random ideas or notes. I have my hands on a few different projects at any given time, so I survive by to do lists, iCal and keeping my Emily Ley Simplified Planner open. One goal I try to stick to is cleaning off my desk at the end of each day--removing the empty cups, putting my pens away and straightening up my papers. It makes a big difference when walking back into my office the next morning and can be the first thing that stops happening when you work from home, since your co-workers can’t see your mess.

How do you make sure you stay focused working as a remote part of the SW team? What are some tips that you can give others working remotely that will help them focus on the task at hand? Technology is my BFF. The SW team uses systems (e.g., GoogleDrive, Asana, DropBox, etc.) to keep on the same page when we are working on projects together and Google Hangout to do ‘face-to-face’ conversing and team meetings. Working remotely is a huge gift to my family, but it can get lonely and not be productive if you don’t have some structure in place (e.g., office hours, getting dressed, blocking of time to tackle a big project, etc.). It also gives me the ability to occasionally treat myself by running to pick up a coffee or drop things off fun mail at the post office after finishing up a big project or task which fires me up to get back to my office to dig into the next project.

Are there any little things you do to enhance your space such as having your dog at your feet, the perfect playlist playing or even scheduling small breaks to keep you focused? While I eat lunch at my desk most days, I try to schedule a fun lunch out with a girlfriend or my husband once or twice a month for a change of scenery. Working from home is still working, so I try to keep extra hydrated to force myself to take breaks, get up from my desk and stretch my legs. If I’m not careful, I can go days without breathing outside air (crazy but totally possible), so I make it a point to walk to the mailbox almost every afternoon! And you can count on a few power-ballad heavy playlists for motivation to tackle those not-as-fun items on my to do list.

Southern Weddings Magazine | Kristin Winchester Office Tour | The School of Styling - A three-day, hands-on workshop for creative entrepreneurs. theschoolofstyling.com