June 14, 2021
You might have stumbled upon my post about purging craft supplies a few weeks ago, and in that post, I mentioned I'd be sharing my updated studio in an upcoming post. Well, you can call me Tour Guide Barbie*- be sure to buckle up and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle on the tour!
*Yes, that was my nickname in college when I worked for the Office of Admissions and gave tours of the campus to parents and tried to convince them the binge drinking wasn't as bad as the school's reputation led on...
If you don't know, I invested in a standing desk earlier this year, which became a domino effect of a huge purge/rearranging phase. It was needed.
I've gone through phases with the standing desk, and sometimes I struggle to go back to standing, especially when I'm in one of my notorious hyperfocus sessions. If you have a good routine with your sit/stand efforts during the day, I'd love to hear about it!
I also splurged on a HUGE curved monitor this year, and it was seriously THE best investment ever (no, I don't have a photo of it, haha). I've been doing my work on a 13" Macbook screen for years, and as I age, I know my vision isn't as clear as it used to be. Bigger screens FTW!
Some days it seems I'm working at my desk a lot, and I've struggled with fitting in creative time once I sit down at my desk. One of the perks of my desk area is that I might see the random bald eagle fly past my window! But opting to have non-desk worktime is a constant struggle.
I have a dedicated cutting area with a nice thick cutting mat and a place for my tools. It's a flat surface, which means that with my ADHD brain, I'm constantly battling my tendency to put or pile things that don't belong onto it. Tidying my studio as I work is definitely a habit I am constantly working to improve. If I don't, my studio becomes incredibly messy really quick!
The shelf behind is where all my inventory is stored. I like storing goods in clear plastic bins because I can instantly have an idea of my inventory levels of a given product. The challenge is keeping it out of direct sunlight so it doesn't fade (I have the sunlight blocked on the window side now).
Fabric Storage/Pressing Area
Many folks ask where I get my fabric, and my honest answer is: everywhere! I'm constantly sourcing new prints and manufacturers to bring the most fun concepts and motifs to life. All the items I make are practical and useful, which usually conjures terms like boring and stuffy. I'm determined to change that mentality in that things that are fun/bright/colorful should be something in our lives every day, alongside products that we use daily.
You might be surprised at how much ironing/pressing takes up in my production workflow. It's a lot! Pressing is key to a good-looking sewn item, throughout the production process. Good thing I don't mind ironing. :)
I use a wide ironing board and managed to find an ironing board cover that not only fits, but it cute to boot (unicorns!!). So now that I have a much prettier ironing board cover than the blah tan and stained cover that came with the board, I'm much more apt to show it off. There's usually a pile of something on it, as I work on production of new and restocks of items in bits and chunks throughout the day and the week.
I sew on a Bernina B350 Tula Pink edition, and that little machine is quite the workhorse. Since one of my signature details on my sewn goods is a zigzag topstitch, that means I've got to have all the colors at hand, hence the lovely thread rack on the wall.
I'm a stickler for quality, and that's from the integrity of item itself, to the fabric quality, all the way down to the thread quality itself.
I package up each order myself and include a handwritten note, and opt for fun packaging with as little plastic as as possible (but sometimes plastic is inevitable to protect mailed packages from rain, rough package handlers, etc.).
This is also the corner where I like to get cozy in this chair and sketch, paint, or give myself time for creative/art projects. It's also the best spot to sit while my youngest is in remote learning, as his desk is currently in my studio and I am able to hear and help him when he's in class.
You probably know by now that my studio isn't always THAT tidy. It is a working studio, after all. I've had to work hard to develop habits like cleaning up as I go, or adding a "clean up" todo in my workflow for wholesale orders, etc. Even when I'm on top of cleaning up as I go, there are a few times a year where I need to spend an hour or four to put things away, make new homes for things, or part ways with other things.
I've had a few iterations of my studio in the ten years I've been running a business, but this space has been my favorite so far. My studio has been in the smallest room of our small house in Portland, to a rented studio space in a creepy ass building just down the hill from our small house in Portland, but I am so grateful for the space I have now.
Thanks for coming along on this updated Studio Tour of Marshmueller Secret Labs. You can exit through the gift shop here. 😜
Hey there, I'm Holly Marsh (Maker/Illustrator/Mama/Nerd), the force behind MarshMueller. I started the company in 2011 after getting frustrated with the ho-hum options in big box stores when creating my first son's woodland-animal-themed nursery. I hand-pick every fabric, thread color, and zipper, design my own sewing patterns, and moosh them all together to create rad products for parents and gift-givers in my Astoria, Oregon studio (aka MarshMueller Secret Labs).