Archive for the ‘Home Office’ Category

Tech Upgrade

Today I’m getting a much needed technology update. What a great way to be ready for 2011. I’ll be back with a new post tonight. Talk to you then ! ~A

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I can only keep track of one or two notebooks.  Right now, I have a cavalcade of legal pads with notes from all kinds of projects.  This does not work on many, many levels.

Miquelrius DCK Notebooks

Of course, you already know I can’t just go down to the local CVS and buy any old notebook to be my one and only.  It has to be good-looking!  After a long hunt and asking for lots of suggestions, I’ve got the vast field narrowed down to three choices.

Miquelrius – DCK Colours Notebook 4
Pros: Recommend by my team at Stitch Design Co, light, four-color section in each notebook, priced right
Cons:  Not in love with the colors

Mini Binders

Russell + Hazel – Mini Binder
$16 for the binder plus $10 for paper and $12 index dividers
Pros: Beautiful colors and design, a binder system would be easier to expand and achieve
Cons: Expensive but tempting, a binder could be too bulky to carry around

EcoSystem – Large Author

EcoSystem Notebook$18.95

Pros: COLOR!  (I love it), nice large size for tons of note taking and list making
Con: Does not easily divide so I may need to get more than two

***Aspirational Notebook***
This is the notebook I’m saving for when I make the big money.  It was recommended to me by Kristin Appenbrink, an editor at Real Simple, so you know its got to be good.

Graphic Image

Graphic Image – Leather Goatskin Notebook
Pros: Would be proud to pull it out of any Alesya Bag, beautiful and versatile metallic color, refillable
Con: Price

So, which one do you like the best?  Do you have a notebook you love?  I’ll let you know my final choice shortly.

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Office supplies can be sexy. Photo by Russell + Hazel

As I finish off my office, I needed to get a baseline of office supplies.  After a trip to Office Max it was clear I was missing something.  I needed something fashionable….something femeine…..alright, I’ll say it.  I needed something that was at least a little bit sexy.

Side note:  I can say “sexy” because my father doesn’t ready my blog.  He was asking me questions about the business the other day and I said jokingly, “Dad – don’t you read the blog?”  He replied seriously while waving his hand, “I don’t read that shit.”  By “shit” I will assume he means every blog.  My mother, on the other hand, reads this blog and comments frequently.  You’ll see her in the comments as Cindy.

So, this weekend I took to the internet to find some office accessories to fit the bill.  If you’re looking to add a little zip to your office, here are my suggestions:

Extremely modern with clean lines.

Container Store
Clearly this store has one of everything, but I was especially enamored with their selection of acrylic.

Kate’s Paperie
One of my favorites since the Internet began, they have a lot of interesting items including these vintage scissors which I’m going to find a way to justify soon.

Paper Source
A recent find, I love the way this site is laid out and really easy to navigate.  Adore the selection of labels and can’t wait to receive mine in “Gravel“.

Russell + Hazel
If I could afford to outfit all my shelves in R + H binders I would.  White patent please.

See Jane Work
The brainchild of entrepreneur Holly Bohn, this site is really the best if you only have time to shop one place.  They carry chic lines and have a great selection in stock.  I check their What’s New section frequently.  

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I have 14 pairs of brown pants.  1o of which are only suitable for fall, winter and the beginning of spring in Detroit.

Tomorrow I’m going to Nordstrom in Charlotte, North Carolina to meet with a personal shopper to find some “Southern Work Clothes for a Female Entrepreneur in the Fashion Industry.”  (I know, this poor woman has no idea idea what she’s in for.)

You may think clothes have nothing to do with whether or not I can get the job done.  But I would argue with you all day long.  For now – let’s just say this:  Like it or not, my chosen field is fashion.  I’d better look the part.

While I’m in town I’ll also be heading to IKEA (doesn’t everyone end up there sooner or later?) to get storage pieces for my office.  It’s slowly coming together.  Once it’s finished I’ll be sure to post a video tour on this site.

With all the non-fun business activities of the past few weeks, it will be great to have a Friday of fun.  Look for Twitpics of my escapades on Twitter over the weekend.  I plan on returning fashionable, organized and ready to meet with my (hopefully) new business attorney on Monday.

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We moved.  Sitting at my new desk I’m surrounded by a box of curtains needing to be hung, a mirror propped up against the wall and a stack of warranties.  But it’s easy to ignore the undone parts because the desk is here.

The Desk in my unfinished office

THE Desk

A desk symbolizes and inspires work.  Work being done…GETTING done.  Dragging my parents and husband to a dozen stores I was like Goldilocks of the Low Country.  One desk was too generic.  One was too big.  One was WAY too expensive!  This is a start-up for goodness sake.

In our first ePrize office a lot of people had folding tables as desks.  As we quickly expanded ordering “real” office furniture wasn’t a priority.  People didn’t care because the tables were a symptom of how fast we were growing.  They were a symbol of our success.

Then we moved into our new offices in Pleasant Ridge – a beautifully renovated old brewery. It was filled with new desks, chairs, business cards… the works.

We had another growth spurt and with it came more folding tables.  This time folks were NOT happy.  Having a folding table in such spanking new environment made you stick out.  It wasn’t just about the function of the desk.  It was about how the aesthetic made you feel.

After yielding no results on my retail desk hunt, I turned to Craigslist.  Bingo.  A man one exit up was “ending a relationship” and moving from his large home into an apartment.  His desk was an old library table from Florida.  Not pristine but perfectly functional.  Available for 150 bucks.

This one was just right.  Ahhhh.

As I sit and look over my kingdom (the aforementioned curtains and warranties) I can feel the pieces falling into place.  At this desk the work will get done.  The empire has begun.

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I’m worried about working from home.  Going to the office is my idea of fun.  I like the camaraderie, getting dressed up and leaving the distractions of the house.

But renting an office for one doesn’t make sense when that money could go towards something like say…zippers.  So, for now “going to the office” means walking down the stairs.  Here’s how the space looks now:

Inc. Magazine published a feature in their April issue about the entire staff working from home.  While the author, Max Chafkin, pointed to many positive things about working from home – zero commute time, saving money on lunch/gas, flexibility in schedule –  he ended his article by saying:

“As we finished the issue you are reading and started working on the one we hope you will read next month, it was a relief to settle into our old rhythms and to catch up with our old friends. It also was a relief to know that, if pressed, we could survive without our ridiculously nice offices and still make a magazine. But mostly, it was good to be back.”

Phooey – that’s what I was afraid of.

So, on to the good news.  I can make the office look however I want.  No adhering to the corporate colors or sitting at the standard issue desk.  My current inspiration from the May issue of  Martha Stewart Living:

To see more pictures of my office in construction check out the brand new Alesya Bags Facebook page.  If you have any tips or tricks from working from a home office, I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to post here or on Facebook.

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