This summer, we’re partnering with several of our Shop the Show alumni from past seasons to discuss essential finds for today’s new, home-oriented lifestyles from brands you can shop at Atlanta Market. Over the coming weeks, join us for useful tips from fellow retailers and designers on how to adjust in these challenging times, inspirational creative projects, and strategies designed to move the home industry ahead to the future.
Brittany Watson Jepsen of The House That Lars Built has built a successful lifestyle blog, design studio, and shop based on her background in interior, textile and product design. A colorful childhood spent making “creative messes” led her to work with the likes of Jonathan Adler, Celerie Kemble and Tiffany & Co. before striking out on her own. Brittany’s work has been featured on The Today Show; in the New York Times, Uppercase Magazine, UK Vogue; and on CNN. Her most recent book is Craft the Rainbow: 40 Colorful Paper Projects from The House That Lars Built. Read on to hear more from Brittany on what she’s been up to since Shop the Show, how she’s been adjusting to recent challenges, and how she stays inspired!
Her Advice for Harnessing Your Inner Creativity “One of the most creative challenges is to figure out what you can make with items you already have in your home. I’ve been doing that for years and so when COVID hit, it was an easy transition! Even though you may not think you’re creative, everything in your house could potentially be a channel to something beautiful. Have you seen those recreations of famous paintings done with items in your home? Or here’s an idea of one I did with my toddler—we collected items in every shade of the rainbow. It was fun for both of us!”
Brittany has made crafting an art form, as we see in her book, Craft the Rainbow. What’s her favorite craft that’s perfect for beginners? “One that I recreated for quarantine life is a paper weavings. Instead of doing weavings with yarns or other fibers, this one is SO simple. I even tried it out with magazines and it produces a beautiful look. It’s also extremely therapeutic because of the repetition involved.”
Her Favorite DIY Project “Last week I shared this flower pounding idea, which has become an immediate fan favorite! It’s perfect for springtime too because we gathered flowers, taped them and then pounded out all our aggression with a hammer. Ha! Turns out it was therapy, too.”
Her Best Advice for a Functional Home Workspace “For a while I was working on my bed! We have a small apartment so I was making it work until I realized I needed a proper place to situate myself. I had a desk in storage that I brought out. I didn’t have enough space for it but it now sits in my closet! So, as I type this, I’m writing in my closet. Sometimes you just need a spot to sit down properly!”
How She Manages as a Work-at-Home Parent “Being quarantined with a toddler is both fun AND tricky, especially working full time! Jasper loves to read and we have been putting his books into baskets sprinkled throughout the house. We have baskets in lots of styles because I love the variety! We also find that everything has turned into a toy. One thing that he recently discovered is his Olli and Ella suitcase (through Karen Alweil) is perfect for transporting his toys and going on walks. We go on walks ALL the time so we don’t feel so cooped up.”
How She Tackles Home Organization Projects “We just wrote a whole post on this! Basically, it’s all about breaking up things into small projects every day. My house has been a disaster because we spend so much time inside, but I find that if I can tackle just one piece each day I don’t feel so overwhelmed.”
Her Advice to Fellow Creatives “My number one piece of advice is to identify the needs of your customers and serve them. We immediately pivoted our business to serve our customers more by offering them all the stay at home activities we’ve been designing and offering for years for free or at a discount. People joined our newsletter in order to receive the items so it was great for us and great for them!”
What Experiences Will We Crave As “Normal” Life Resumes? “We’ve seen such a resurgence of making things with hands and I hope it’s not just a #quarantinelife trend. I truly hope it continues because when you make things with your hands you experience an increase in the quality of your life. That’s our mission here at The House That Lars Built.”
Where is it Now? - A Past Favorite Item from Shop the Show “I bought the loveliest antique Swedish clock from Atlanta Market in 2018. It will be a treasure that I take with me wherever I go! However, my toddler is at the age where he’s not valuing the same things that I do, can you imagine?! He punched his hand through the glass piece. It didn’t break, thankfully, but I still haven’t put it back in. Turns out, the hole is the perfect size to put all his toy buses. I hadn’t realized he was adding in dozens and dozens of toy cars and buses until we moved the clock to clean it and there they all were at the bottom!”
Stay tuned for our upcoming Shop the Show Alumni at Home Q&As and be sure to register for our summer Atlanta Market, August 13-18.
Previous postShop the Show Q&A with Monika Hibbs
Shop the Show: Retail Revival
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