"Everything you have experienced (good and bad) and worked hard for accounts for something and you take that something with you. It has made YOU. No one really tells you how happy you are going to be!"
Mitzie Wong worked as the design director for Anthropologie before leaving to start her own venture with Wendy Wurtzburger, former head buyer and co-president of Anthropologie. Together, they founded Roar & Rabbit, a design firm specializing in furniture and decor. In 2015, they launched their first project with west elm, a complete home collection that balances soft colors and luxe details with clean-lined modern influences.
A couple of years ago I had foolishly burnt myself out. For the longest time work had been fun, I had experienced an incredible education learning about home design, building a business, working with talented people but work time was definitely overshadowing my personal life. I was flying back from a long-haul trip when I just decided to stop. I needed to put everything back into clear perspective and I really needed a good amount of time to do it properly. So, I handed in my two-weeks notice, then took a long sabbatical to rest, replenish, travel and most importantly, spend quality time with my loved ones. It only then became very clear what I loved and missed at work and what I didn't. What I did miss is all incorporated into this new venture....creative freedom, time to explore and appreciate people and experiences.
Photo: @Art Basel. Fitting right in!
I would say everything you have experienced (good and bad) and worked hard for accounts for something and you take that something with you. It has made YOU. No one really tells you how happy you are going to be!
Photo: My sketchbook.
I take my sketchbook with me. I've always got to have a place to get things out of my head...notes, doodles, mark making. Write it down before it goes!!
Photo: Nature! The Great Lakes, Michigan.
Now, I am guided by my heart and happiness. In the past, I have been incredibly fortunate to have had three strong mentors in my life.
Photo: A small paint sketch of a moody landscape.
I would happily continue to travel but with the luxury of time, to wander, to absorb, to learn and hopefully collaborate creatively with other like-minded people.
Photo: Working out rough 3D measurements in 2D. Sadly CAD is not my thing. Long live the pencil!
This question is difficult for me! I have been fortunate to have travelled a lot (40 plus countries). I nearly imploded trying to choose one place; each has given me something very special. (I learnt to crawl on a plane but that's another story). So, I narrowed it down to three that I hold dear.
1) Myanmar: overwhelmed by happiness, the kindness of strangers, the devotion to the thousands upon thousands of remaining Buddhist temples. 2) Laos: soaked up the serenity and the stillness. Humbled by the monks collecting their daily alms. 3) Yunnan: stunned by its natural beauty. I felt like I was traveling back in time and I loved that. I also dream of riding hoses across the planes of Mongolia :)
Photo: Floating above thousands of ancient Buddhist temples in a hot air ballon at sunrise. Bagan, Myanmar. I could cry thinking about it.
All images used with permission of Mitzie Wong.