A Little Inspiration August 20, 2015 08:00

A little inspiration... but first, a little background.  As you may or may not know, UPstudio is not our full time job.  We both work for the same company during the day, Becky as an architect, and Mary Beth as a structural engineer.  Did you know that out of all registered architects associated with the American Institute of Architects, only 17% are women, and out of all licensed Structural Engineers, once again, only 17% are women.  Not to get all 'Sheryl Sandberg' on you, but I think that's pretty significant and says something about the two of us.  We've worked hard to accomplish where we are in our careers, and that's on top of being wives and mothers, which are full time jobs in themselves.  It's easy to get bogged down in everything on our already full plates, so why would we ever want to start our own side business?

The answer to that is tough to define.  Here are a few reasons: we wanted a new challenge, we wanted to see what it would be like to work for ourselves, we wanted to create quality products that would be versatile enough to be great for us but also be fit for people in all walks of life, and finally, we've been inspired by others who make us believe that we can do it.

There are too many people in the design world to give credit to as inspiration, so for today we'll just mention a few.  Charles and Ray Eames broke the mold during their time by designing quality furniture that was affordable to the masses.  Not only did they manufacture furniture, but they designed graphic textiles, built houses, created films, developed company logos, etc.  We love their theory of 'the best for the most for the least', and as we develop products at UPstudio, that is in the forefront of our mind:  how can we create the best product that would be functional and pleasing to the most people, and sell if for the least amount.  Their influence and strong sense of design is still apparent in homes all over the world (including Becky's!) with their Herman Miller line of furniture.  You may see a nod toward them and mid century modern design in some of our products, including the sunburst everyday cards.  As for the best inspiration when we start to feel doubts about ourselves and our abilities, Charles is quoted, 'I don’t believe in this “gifted few” concept, just in people doing things they are really interested in doing. They have a way of getting good at whatever it is.' 

 image from amazon.com

Another inspiration is modern day designer Emily Henderson.  Emily is a stylist and TV host (you may have seen her on HGTV), with a love for shopping thrift stores and flea markets for vintage finds (also a love of Mary Beth's).  She's quirky and fun and isn't afraid to share how she balances her home life with her career.  She's a mom of a toddler with another on the way and she still is perfectly adorable for every instagram photo.  She is REAL.  She inspires us to know that there is a time for work and a time for play, and to enjoy both to their full extent.  We relate to her love of vintage flair, which you can see in our staging of product photos on our website.  

image from stylebyemilyhenderson.com

Now it's your turn - we would love to know who inspires you!  Share your thoughts and comments below.

-- Mary Beth and Becky

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