Meet Carrie, an interior designer and painter who has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens. She helped style our Piper Coat with pieces from her wardrobe, thrifted finds and our Savannah Jumpsuit. I highly recommend taking a read below, this women has some incredibly wise words and checking at her work at @thesimplesketchbook on Instagram or here.
In one or two sentences what do you do?
Hey! I am Carrie. I’m a wife and mother of four. Professionally, I am in the business of creation. That means interior design and art primarily. I love helping people create spaces for their own relationships to flourish.
What do you do for inspiration when you are in a creative rut.
Travel is the most fun way to get out of a creative rut. But the creativity of my children never ceases to amaze me. They are totally disinterested in what others are doing, and completely unafraid of originality. Old Popsicle sticks and paperclips glued to a balloon can be a new robot friend for an afternoon. Adults can never think these things up.
Best advice you ever received.
My mom says, "You can do anything for 15 minutes.” It’s gotten me though some of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Just keep repeating it every 15 minutes if you need to!
Who inspires you right now.
My mother always inspires me. She absolutely does not get caught up in games of comparison.
What are you learning right now.
I’m never not learning. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t, and I absolutely love people. I love understanding who they are, what makes them tick, and being inspired through each human encounter.
One clothing styling tip.
Experiment! The most compliments I ever received on wardrobe have been when I took the biggest risk. This also means sometimes you will fail. Life goes on.
One beauty product you love.
I got my first facial ever last week and I’m really loving the Koji Pads I bought from Karee Hayes (in Nashville)
1 styling/creative "rule" you like to break.
Innovation is inherently deviant. I’m not a deviant personality, but as it relates to style, all rules are up on the chopping block. Just don’t break them all at once.
What are you reading right now.
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry. His writing voice is inspirational.
What is one dream for this year.
To finish writing a book.
What tool, object, or ritual could you not live without in your workday.
I carry a notebook everywhere I go. It inspired the name of my business as well, @thesimplesketchbook. It helps me keep track of my to do list, interesting things people say, ideas and things I need to remember.
First thing you do in the morning.
What does success mean to you?
Finding a life of meaning and serving others well.
What piece of advice would you tell yourself ten years ago?
Don’t look to others as your template for success. The things that make you unique are the things that will make you thrive. Don’t be insecure about the ways you are different. Lean into it.
What are you most proud of?
My sweet children.
If you could design the perfect piece of clothing what would it be?
I love a simple sleeveless high necked a-line mini-dress, but they are hard to come by. I also love anything embroidered. So I’d combine the two and see what happened.
Describe your personal design style.
I picked up the habit of thrifting as soon as I could drive. That’s when I fell in love with vintage. I have to force myself to buy current pieces to offset my strong grandma vibes.
Where do you want to travel next?
My family of 6 is road tripping through all of America. I’m excited about our road trip through California, Washington and Oregon this summer. At that point, we’ll have visited 48 States together.
What is the most fulfilling thing about your work?
I love being part of the background of human relationships. To help people love the place where they foster connections brings me a lot of joy.
Hard challenge you have gone through and what it taught you.
Honestly, just being a mother is really hard. And being mother who felt compelled set aside some personal ambition for a while is a whole different kind of hard that people rarely talk about. Since becoming a mother 14 years ago, I’ve really struggled through some ideas of being a woman, work, calling, and the serious work of shaping another human.
What is the best way to empower young women?
I’ve been unsure how I feel about the idea of “women’s empowerment” that has become so popular these days. It can sometimes put off the idea that power is the goal. I think power is often found in acts of service. So I guess my advice to young women about this would be to search for the thing that you feel burning in your belly. That could be motherhood. That could be helping orphans of war in the Congo. That could be creating a multi-media conglomerate. I’d like to empower women to chose their unique path.
What does hope mean to you?
I cannot extract the idea of hope from my Christian faith. At the end of a lousy day, or a sick relative, or a rocky relationship, I remember that this life does not have the final word. There’s a new hope waiting on the horizon just ahead. I can feel it.
The scariest thing you have ever done or seen.
It feels really scary to start something new. More scary than the starting is the fear of public failure. There are so many people who don’t act on that dream they have had because they are just too scared to start. Every time someone opens a new shop, writes a new book, accomplish a big goal, I know it took much effort and courage to get there. That’s why I try as much as I can to be a cheerleader. Very few people actually stop to say to that person, “Wow. Look what you just did! You are doing the thing you wanted to do!"
Do you try to add sustainable products in your life? What are some of your favorites?
Well, I love small business owners, especially locally. So I love Live Fashionable, Ceri Hoover, and Emil Erwin. Honestly though, I buy a large number vintage items from estate sales, and you can’t be much more sustainable than that. Vintage keeps singing my siren song.