a fix systems not women mug on a table in my new light-filled office

A Room of One's Own

The last few weeks have been an exciting whirlwind of negotiating and signing a lease, writing big cashier's checks, getting keys, hiring movers, setting up utilities, and finally moving into my new office! After a year of tucking the admin side of my business into every possible nook and cranny in my apartment, I'm beyond thrilled to have an office space that's separate from my home life.

I'm sharing this adventure with my illustrator friend Made By Chanamon. I personally own and love her Chicken Ceramicist Print and Boba Enamel Pin. We met when we both worked in tech and at the time I had no idea we'd later both hang out our shingles as artists, let alone end up coworking together.

We're renting a shopfront in the Mission that was previously occupied by Jessica Hische. Her You Are Not Your Work print hung just to the right of my desk as I wrote my last resignation letter. I've long admired how she helps designers navigate The Dark Art of Pricing, and her transparency opened my eyes to the fact that commercial space is often cheaper to rent per square foot than residential. It feels especially inspiring to follow her in this space.

My business isn't yet making enough money to pay for the rent by itself. But after three years of navigating the loss of my tech career, I need a place to think my thoughts, to as Virginia Woolf put it let my line down into the stream and not be told I have to move. So I'm spending savings to create the career I want to have.

I had previously squirreled this money away thinking that someday I would spend it on a kiln and all of the other expensive pottery equipment for my own private studio. But I started wondering whether isolating myself in a few years is really the end goal, and realized that no, it's not. I have access to all of the fancy equipment at my community studio now. What if the hard part isn't the equipment? What if the hard part is having a sense of purpose and place in the world? What if I spent the money on that?

This realization freed me up to spend the money now. I may never have my own future pottery studio, but I have my own quiet desk to sit at and write this newsletter in the present, and it gives me an incredible sense of wellbeing to be doing just that.

Now that I'm settled in here, I'm ready to release the mugs from my last work cycle. Fix Systems Not Women (16oz and 20oz) and Pay Her More (16oz) are back in stock. 

Have you ever had an epiphany about how you could use money in a different way than you had previously considered? Or a time when you invested in yourself? I'd love to hear about it!

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