My third favorite hobby (after organizing and cleaning, duh) is crafting pillows. I've got a whole collection of hand-crafted pillows that I sewed, knit, embroidered or wove. So landing a job with Rebecca Atwood, a fellow pillow creator whose pillows are beautiful, original and really cool, was super exciting for me. Rebecca runs her company out of her Brooklyn apartment and deals with washing, cutting, painting, and dying the fabric, stuffing the pillows, and shipping out orders. All while constantly thinking about her next line, collecting inspiration, and keeping a close eye on all aspects of the business. WOW! Rebecca called me into her work studio (aka apartment) to help get things in order and create systems that will allow her business to move efficiently and keep her head on straight. We chatted about how she works in her space, what she is having trouble with and then ordered furniture and storage containers accordingly. Once the new furniture was built, we spend the day getting tidy and whipping things into shape. Here are some pictures and a breakdown of what we did.
Rebecca was working on a desk that didn't provide any storage or the ability to utilize the underneath space. Easy fix! We replaced the old desk with Ikea's MALM desk. This gives her a drawer for some "active" papers or items she uses all of the time and two shelves for additional items that she wants immediate access to.
Rebecca's Work Table:
Here's where Rebecca paints and silk screens the fabric for her pillows. The area underneath the table houses countless dyes, paintbrushes and drop cloths. Only the dyes and brushes weren't organized or easily accessible. We decided that drawers would be the best way to store the dyes and labeling the lids would make them quick to access. So KULLEN drawers were our answer. We also repurposed the plastic drawers that she was previously using and filled them with other items that need to be accessed during the fabric-painting process. The brushes were reorganized and moved to an out-of-the-way but still accessible location. Rebecca and I made sure to create homes for the items that were inevitably ending up on the work surface, taking up valuable space.
Rebecca's Storage and Office Supplies:
Before we tidied, office supplies were disjointed, the bookshelf was taking up prime storage space and fabrics that Rebecca doesn't often refer to were strewn about the room. Wait for it...we fixed the problems! We relocated the bookshelf to the other side of the room (next to Rebecca's desk), shifted the shelving unit down and ordered Ikea's ALEX drawers which are a personal favorite of mine. We spoke about which fabrics she needs and placed them on an easy-to-reach shelf. The old samples and other fabrics were sent to the top of the shelving unit since they don't need to be reached often. We used the Alex drawers for office supplies and various art supplies. Since we had lots of drawers to work with, each drawer was used for a specific category (scissors in one drawer, tape variations in another, etc.). We set up her often-used printer on top of the unit and filled the underneath drawers with various paper and printer materials.
It was a busy day but we had a lot of fun getting Rebecca's space in order. We chatted about business, laughed, inspired each other and had even had a pillow fight! Good times.
Check out Rebecca's awesome pillows here.