For some of you reading, you know that my previous creative job was that of a textile designer. Before that, a high school art teacher. Artists make career shifts, just like the rest of y'all -- but for some of us (me holding my hand up high), it's a real identity changer.
I miss the smell of my inks, the sound of my squeegee sliding along the screen, as I printed on home textiles that graced homes all over the US. I started Bonnie Kaye Studio as a hand printed home goods line, right on the curtails of The Great Recession, when creatives began to rule the land of Etsy with our handcrafted "fill-in-the-blanks." But over time, I could feel the shift of box stores taking over and the deluge of "stuff" to consume overwhelming -- and there was no way I could compete with a mass-printed table runner at Target. Granted, most of my customers knew the difference, but then Covid happened.
And the world as we knew it shifted in millions of ways, including my business. But I don't want to blame Covid, as I was already in my late 30s with a young child, knowing that the schelp of weekend markets and holiday prep wasn't sustainable for me. I didn't want to scale my business, even though I outsourced sewing and hired a printer for my line of wrapping paper -- that was just enough to keep production fluid. And then I paused the printing and lived in a vintage camper for 6 months with my family while we travelled the US. That's when things really changed.
When you live in a 28ft camper, every square foot of space has a purpose. And all hell will break loose if you don't put something back in its home, cause surely it will be in the way of something else. Not only did placement matter, but what we owned really mattered. What did we need? What brought us comfort + joy? Every inch felt intentional.
Upon return to our home in Johnson City, TN, to what felt like a mansion after life on the road, it all started clicking. My deep love of vintage. My appreciation of architecture. My constant need to rearrange furnishings, de-clutter, to plan out rooms in my home. My obsession with pattern and color. My desire to be a conscious consumer. With the help of my supportive husband and a best friend who was willing to let me take over a room in her house, I started this new creative adventure.
Three years in and I'm so thankful so have fallen into interior design. I love getting to work with clients, to hear their needs + wants and watch them invest in their home and way of living. It's a beautiful process, where my art gets to be lived in and experienced. Now I can sit back and have gratitude for creative growth, artistic movement, and the journey of it all.