Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Life Updates: New-ish Jobs

I cannot believe it's July and I haven't updated you all on some major life changes that came my way a few months ago. It's high time I let you all in on a blogger secret I've been keeping since March (yes, March). It wasn't that I didn't want to tell you, I just put off writing the post and then had to wrangle up some photos and before I knew it, it was July. Whoops.

But anyway, drum roll please....

I am no longer working as a government contractor! In March I started working part time as the Design Assistant for Arlington Home Interiors. The firm is a residential design firm owned by Suzanne Manlove (my new-ish boss). I knew that in a field like design, where everyone covets that precious unpaid internship or busts their butts to get a job at a big architecture and design firm, experience would be oh-so-important upon graduation from grad school. So when a position for a paid design assistant came across our student listserv, I jumped at the opportunity to apply. And I got it!

 We work out of Suzanne's home in Arlington and have our hands in projects throughout the Arlington community. I have been loving every minute of it. I am learning a TON about the inner workings of a design firm, which can only really happen through an experience like this. When I took the job a few people asked me if I was worried about working with only one other person all the time, but I'm learning that I really enjoy working in a small firm. The cool thing about working in a small firm is that I have so many opportunities to learn directly from the business owner, and I get to witness every project's challenges and successes first-hand. I think I'd like to own my own business someday, so watching Suzanne do it successfully while balancing family and maintaining a good work-life balance is an extremely valuable learning experience too.

Via Arlington Home Interiors
Via Arlington Home Interiors
Via Arlington Home Interiors
Side note: For those of you who are serial to-do list makers, this type of work is incredibly satisfying. It seems so minor and somewhat superficial, but I love spending a day ordering an entire living room's worth of decor and seeing it all crossed off my list when I'm leaving the office. Working in interior design provides a nice combination of working on something medium-long term to satisfy my desire to work towards something "big", while also requiring a host of discrete, quick tasks that give me some immediate gratification and help build momentum during the work day. 

So that's my first update. My second update is that when I left my government contractor job and started working at Arlington Home Interiors, I ended up with a second job too. Since March, I've also been working in the Stylish Patina vintage home decor shop in Falls Church on the weekends. I connected with Kelly, the owner, prior to snagging my position at Arlington Home Interiors. When I was presented with opportunities in both places, I knew I couldn't choose just one.  Kelly has built a successful business on her love for acquiring and refreshing antique and vintage furniture, which is where my love for design was born. I knew there was so much to learn from her, and since the shop is only a few blocks from my house, working there is a great fit. Plus, who am I kidding? I'm in grad school, I can use the extra moolah. 
The Stylish Patina shop is loaded with cool vintage furniture and treasures, and has a great assortment of new items like cards, candles, books, and other accessories. It also has an entire section dedicated to DIY, so you can come in and purchase Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint among other paints and materials. If you come by on a Saturday afternoon, chances are you'll find me there. I love to help people think through their projects and talk to them about the various paint products we sell, and I also love to help people imagine various uses for the furniture we have in the shop, so definitely come visit me if you're in the area. Stylish Patina is also doing a vintage "Rough Luxe" warehouse tag sale in Falls Church the third weekend of every month in our warehouse down the street from the shop. So you can hit up Sweet Clover and Rough Luxe all in the same weekend!

via Stylish Patina
I have more updates for you, but I think this is enough for today. Has anyone else made a major career move lately?


  1. Suzanne is adorable and I love the photos of her work! You are well on your way, my friend!

  2. Where in Arlington is your location/ do you work? I work in Arlington too! :)


    1. We work out of my boss's house in South Arlington, but we do houses all over Arlington. I live in Falls Church and it's so nice to work close to home!


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