It's Not Me, It's You

The story of scoring my first job instantly ages me. I applied to said job—an editorial assistant position at a regional parenting magazine—by faxing in my resume. My friend spotted an ad in the New York Times and we ran to a Chase bank and begged to borrow the fax machine. It was far from the dream gig I'd imagined for myself, but it helped pay the bills on a very expensive one-bedroom Upper West Side apartment I was splitting with my friend (two "adult" women sharing a king-sized bed). To make ends meet, I worked at night and on the weekends in a ritzy railroad-thin neighborhood shoe store selling Italian mules to old Jewish women.

I interviewed with HR departments at national magazines for the next 1.5 years, only to eventually land a job through a friend at InStyle. I spent the next five years climbing the corporate ladder, learning how to marry words and photos in story format and all about style and design. And while I studied and wrote about some of the most opulent homes in the world [interviewing Oprah about her personal library full of first editions, for example], it all felt so unattainable and out of touch.

Somewhere along the way—while transforming teeny tiny city apartments into my personal sanctuaries with little money to my name—I fell in love with vintage furniture, clothes, and shopping locally. I loved wearing clothes and decorating my home in pieces that were one-of-a-kind. So I couldn't live in expensive lofts or travel to exotic places. I had a sense of style nonetheless. 

I've schlepped those very pieces between apartments and to my first home hundreds of miles away. They tell the story of my life, my husband's life, and the life we're building together. My grandmother's paintings, his collection of fishing flies, a watercolor print we purchased of our old street in Brooklyn.

But this isn't a story about me. I'm not interested in creating spaces that are cookie cutters versions of my own home or my style. My goal with Spruce is to interview clients the way I would for a story, uncovering all the great details that make them unique.  And using what I uncover, design a stylish space that looks and feels like them at their best. No two stories—or spaces—will ever be the same.

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