Hello, and happy February! I’m excited to welcome a new month and continue sharing my Hazelmade journey with you. I heard from many of you after January’s newsletter about what’s in store for 2021, and I want to say thank you for the positive feedback and sweet messages.
I thought it would be neat to give you a peek into a typical day in the studio. My routine has changed in the last year, and life is quieter without the Hazelmade team inside my home studio. Things I did for my mental and physical health have altered, too; I used to go to the gym or yoga studio most afternoons, but now I start my mornings with a walk in the neighborhood or at a local park. On the upside, the walks are refreshing and start my day on a positive note. After that, I usually grab a smoothie and coffee and dive into work.
For the first hour, I filter through my inbox and pack any orders that need to ship urgently. If any creative work needs to happen, such as sketching new designs or laying out a catalog, I am most productive in the morning. This is when I get into the zone — quiet space and plenty of window light flooding in — and let my gears churn.
People ask if I listen to music or podcasts when I work, but I really love silence. It may sound funny, but generating new work is sort of like solving a math problem. There are a lot of moving pieces in my head, and noise distracts me. At the start of the pandemic, having my husband, Charlie, home drove me nuts because I was used to working virtually undisturbed for so long, but I have gotten used to him rattling around downstairs.
Then I move on to lunch with Charlie. One upside to pandemic life has been settling down for an afternoon meal with him; I love that we get that time together daily now. I meal prep healthy lunches on Sunday so it’s easy to grab on weekdays. I am vegetarian, so lots of salads, soups, lentils and rice patties. I also religiously make a cup of green, ginger or jasmine tea at 3 p.m., but I wander away and forget to drink it 50% of the time. Charlie pokes loving fun at me for this. When I settle back into work, my tasks vary: checking in with shops that purchased from me; setting up newsletters, social media posts and marketing; managing inventory; and ordering products along with labels and packaging materials (thrilling, I know).
Now for winding down. Around 4:30 p.m. I go for another walk, which helps create separation between work and home life because my work happens inside my house. While Charlie and I used to go out for dinner in downtown Kent a few times a week, we stay in now. We love making homemade pasta and pizza. Pretty much everything I cook doesn’t follow a recipe and is a blend of things I’ve tasted before, saw photos of on the internet and whipped up with my own creative twists. We end most evenings with dorky history documentaries and true-crime docuseries. Recently, we watched “The Crown,” “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Parks and Recreation” for a second time.
The last year has been full of adjustments. I miss mornings at local coffee shops, the packing assembly line and good conversations with my team (we catch up virtually now) and dropping off orders at the post office (I schedule home pick-up these days) where the postal workers pretty much became my coworkers. I’m grateful for slowing down and enjoying simple pleasures. And I look forward to the day when we can connect again in person. Thank you for supporting Hazelmade during such a strange time. It means the world, truly!
A very special thank you to Valerie Royzman