Mary Alice Hatch is a wife and mother of two. Six years ago she actively pursued her dream of starting her own interior design studio. For the last two years she has served as her own client designing and decorating two homes in New Hampshire and Wellesley, MA. She is most happy when she is creating something beautiful.
After you read Mary Alice's post and view her images, will you leave a comment? When you do, you will give Mary Alice the gift of being heard and seen. And what finer gift is there?
Since I was a small child, I have always loved to create. I love to create something magnificent from something ordinary. I love entering a new space and coming up with new possibilities.
As a young girl I would constantly create new room layouts; when my parents would go on a trip I would repaint my furniture and add new hardware. In college, I started to build furniture; I also love to arrange flowers.
Because I have always enjoyed design, I went back to school 6 yrs ago to take a correspondence course in Interior Design from a school in NYC. Though I opened my own design studio in May of 2003, for the last three years, I've been my own client as I rebuilt an old boathouse and new guest house at our home in New Hampshire.
About 1 1/2 years ago, Architectural Digest had an Open Submission, the first time ever. One of my life-long goals has been to submit my work to a first rate Interior Design publication like Architectural Digest. I knew the chance to be picked for the single published spot was slim, but I nonetheless photographed and submitted my boathouse, went to New York, and stood in line outside the D&D Building.
When my time came to meet with one of the editors, I was so excited. As I showed her my “before” and “after” portfolio and listened to the editor's expressions of interest, I felt such a feeling of accomplishment.
Dock: Before and After
Master Bath: Before and After
Kitchen: Before and After
Family Room: Before and After
When I was finished showing her my portfolio she asked me if she could keep it to show Paige Reese, the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. Of course I said “YES”, and then floated out of the meeting. It was so validating to have someone at the top of my field like my project. Unfortunately, I didn't win, but I was competitive — and that felt good, really good.
Since finishing that project, and as my children continue to grow, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching as to what my dream really is. I haven't yet figured it all out — do we ever? — but here's what I know:
I love design.
I am glad that I went to Architectural Digest's Open Submission.
I love that because I work for myself, my children can be my number one client, and I have the flexibility to create anything I want.
I also know…
I am most happy when I am creating something beautiful.
Does Mary Alice's experience signal for us how we can know that we really want something? Including being willing to travel to another city, and stand in line all day, so that our work can be seen? And what kind of courage does it take to put our work in front of someone knowing that may like it, but they may not?
As I read this post, I thought of Christine Vick's post Simply Living, and her comment that “for a task to be valuable, it doesn't need to be weighty, solemn, or make history, it just needs to matter to me.”
I also couldn't help but think of how much time I spend visiting (and buying) Portabellopixie, Swallowfield, Sarah Jane Studios to name a few. Why? Because what I see there is beautiful to me.
As you think about your dreams, aren't they about creating? Something not ugly, but beautiful?
Can you think of something that you wanted to achieve, and once you did, you were ready to move on?
One final note: All images are copyright of Mary Alice Hatch.