Home Headquarters : Working From Home (And Getting Things Done)

Photographs by Emma McAlary

When a home and a work space are one and the same, sparks of distractions could either upset or ignite the creative process. Washington, DC- based designer Christine Young shares her experiences of staying the course and getting the job done.

What inspired you to start Young Frankk?­— I first started Young Frankk as a side project when I moved to Richmond, Virginia, a few years ago, named after my grandfather’s name (backwards). I became interested in jewelry making after looking for a new creative outlet upon graduating from college, and I really fell in love. I always knew I wanted to start my own business with my own designs and creations and so this was the perfect conversion of the two. 

Can you tell us more about the process of creating both a home and work environment? My studio space is just another extension of my home. I tried to create a space that is just as homey or comfy as the rest of my house bydecorating so that it would be a happy space to be in. Also, one of the things I did was apply some office Feng Shui ideas to the studio in order to fully utilize the space and to create a work space that physically and energetically made sense to me.

What are the challenges of working from home? The rewards?— I personally love working from a home studio and I thrive from it. To me, working from home allows for much more flexibility and accessibility. It’s so nice to get up in the morning, eat breakfast and go straight to the studio to start my day. No time is wasted getting ready or procrastinating getting to the studio or commuting. It also helps to keep me more focused and productive because to me being comfortable is key to a work environment. If I enjoy being in my studio, the more likely I am to stay there longer to get more work accomplished. Running your own business requires a lot of self discipline and motivation to be productive, so having a quiet and peaceful place to work and to be free from outside distraction is always a plus.The only downside is feeling cooped up or getting cabin fever once in a while, at which point I will do some computer work or sketching from a coffee shop to keep a good balance. 


Can you please walk us through your creative process?—The process starts off with research to gather inspiration, whether it comes from photography, architecture or graphic design. And then I start to sketch, which helps me to visually see if a design would work cohesively with the other pieces in the collection. I then start to play around with actual materials by hand, to see what pieces work and what doesn’t, to create a final piece. 

Does working in your home environment have an impact on your creative process? How and why? — When I am trying to find inspiration for a new collection, sometimes I like to sketch from home, but most of the time I like to sketch in coffee shops or book shops to feed off of the energy there. For me, being in a new or a different space allows for new ideas and inspiration to flow freely.However, to fuel my creativity from my home studio, I like to have the wall that my desk is facing to contain art work, images or pieces of decor that are beautiful and make me feel inspired. 

Any tips for those taking the plunge to combine home and studio? — Decorate or personalize your home studio just as you would the rest of your house. Create a space that you love to be in and love to look at so that you create positive associations with your work environment. This will help you tremendously to be more productive and excited to work. Even though it is a studio, it doesn’t mean it has to be a war zone. Keep your studio tidy and be organized; less clutter means less time wasted and less distractions. Keep your studio in a designated separate room from the rest of your home or if your space is open or limited, create a physical divider with a bookcase, curtain or room divider. This is important for when you are ready to leave your work “at the door.” By having your work out of sight and out of mind, you can fully relax at the end of the work day.Lastly, good lighting is key, especially if you don’t have a lot of natural light, like myself. Bring in some lamps or use brighter cool/white tone bulbs to brighten up your work space; this is beneficial to keeping you alert and also energized while working. 

Why do you create? — I create because it is what is in me. Since I was little I’ve always been drawing or crafting or taking pictures or whatever creative outlet I happen to be obsessed with at the moment. It gives me happiness, confidence and a purpose. And the fact that I get to share it with others is so incredible and exciting, for which I am so grateful. 

What is more gratifying, the process of creating or the finished product in hand? Both?— I think both are gratifying. The process of creating is exciting, the possibilities are endless and your head is jumping from one idea to another. Having the finished product in hand has a really nice sense of accomplishment but then it’s on to the next one. However, I would say having a finished product packed up and shipped off into the world is truly the most gratifying and one of my favorite parts of being a designer and having my own business. 

This editorial is part of Vol. 04: The Process Issue. Purchase a copy here.