Monkeys Always Look is the name of an opinionated and funny design blog and etsy shop run by designer Allison D. Cecil. She works from her San Diego home with her husband, tortoise, three great danes and “a really angry cat.”
What sort of work do you do and how does that impact the space you work in?
I am a housewares designer/maker, trapped inside a vintage treasure hunting horticulturist that fantasizes about paper and typeface I need LOTS and LOTS of room since I have so many different products that I make and sell. Each product seems to require a different tool, dedicated work space, oversized piece of large machinery or fun gadget I had to buy and to justify buying it I make something with it to sell. To my very patient husband’s horror it has taken over the entire house, backyard, garage, legal air rights and walls in our tiny little house.
How long have you been in your current work space and what size is it? I started my business almost two years ago in our 130 sq foot spare bedroom. I still use that bedroom to do computer design work related to my business and all the packing and shipping of my wares. In the last year my business has taken over the house and I consider my workspace to be 1200sq feet, which is the size of our little tiny house. In the living room I stamp silverware, photograph items, and nap on the couch. In the dining room I cut stationery, pile up outgoing orders and pig out, and in the kitchen I make candles, horde photo props, and make coffee (the most important meal of the day).
Do you have any tips on how to organize a work space? Well I *try* to stay organized by storing things in lots of antique tins, wooden boxes and other vintage booty I find along the way. I also find that piles and piles and piles of stuff where the most important stuff is hidden somewhere in the middle is helpful for me. Not because I can find anything, but reminds me that I have a lot of work to do and shouldn’t be goofing off.
What are some of the pitfalls of working from home? A triple soy cheese veggie burger and an entire bag of frozen french fries is only 3 minutes in the microwave and a bite away. I think the biggest pitfall is that work is never over. I will find myself checking email on the way to the bathroom at 3am.
What do you most enjoy about working from home? Probably what most people love about working from home…, Oprah marathons, the bon bons, 3 hour lunches, on-staff masseuse, emailing in the nude, you know the usual.
Do you have a desk accessory you can’t work without? I love a good tape dispenser.
How big a role does technology play in your work? While so much of what I do is handmade, my “shop” is on-line. So while producing the actual items requires more muscle than technology, I couldn’t live without my Mac to blog it, sell it, tweet it and communicate with clients and customers.