"My dad told me one day, 'just make a decision.' The limit I had placed on myself was finding the perfect name for my business. In the middle of the night, the name came to me, I bought the domain from my iPhone, and was finally free from the pressure of seeking perfection. It's now my favorite piece of advice, and I fall back on it all the time."
In 2014, Alexandra Sklar founded The Merchant Home, a boutique merchandising and creative services studio in the Bay Area. She works with brands, makers and businesses to create product collections, collaborations and consumer experiences, all designed to support "slow retail." A steadfast supporter of the artisan-made, handmade and Made-in-America movements, Alexandra also has a shop that showcases her favorite unexpected finds.
My husband finding his own path, which moved us across the country and forced me to reevaluate. After years where my career was the priority, we decided to flip the balance and follow our shared dream to live back in California: I became the primary caregiver, and he the primary earner. It was the first time in my life I had time to think/make/create, and four months later, on my 31st birthday and with an investment of about $100, I launched The Merchant Home.
My dad told me one day "just make a decision." The limit I had placed on myself was finding the perfect name for my business. In the middle of the night, the name came to me, I bought the domain from my iPhone, and was finally free of the pressure of seeking perfection. It's now my favorite piece of advice, and I fall back on it all the time.
I'm not really, but I would like to be. Mentorship is a fascinating relationship and I think I could benefit from it. I often turn to my brother as a sounding board; he is incredibly smart and reasonable, and can always help me get centered. I do a lot of reading about female architects and have always considered Ray Eames, Julia Morgan, and Zaha Hadid to be fascinating models, and women far ahead of their time.
My soul place is California, and I don't know if that can ever be replaced. My family has been here since the gold rush and I see the impact of their lives and work everyday. The creative spirit of California is unlike anywhere else.
Such a big question, but my answer is small....I think I would take a year to paint, plant my garden, spend time with my girls, and get life in order. Maybe learn to sew or work with clay and discover what it is I physically want to make. I'm an intense introvert and get a lot of value from small creative moments and spending time in spaces that comfort me.
All images used with permission of Alexandra Sklar.