Create in the Time of COVID

See Three Studios has been percolating for over a decade – simmering on the back burner. But 2020 has been the scary, uncertain, heart-breaking jolt I needed to find clarity and purpose.

It started with gratitude. You see, I’m an outgoing introvert by nature and, at times, have been accused of being a homebody. My home is my sanctuary, my sacred space, the place where I replenish my energy. So as all of us around the world received stay-at-home mandates and took a collective breath, I leaned in without a problem. After securing the required Costco toilet paper (and wine) my husband and I hunkered down. Of course, we missed going out with friends and wanted to visit family and worried about everyone’s health, but the act of staying home wasn’t that big a sacrifice for either one of us.

Days turned into weeks and I became increasingly aware of how lucky we were to not just to have shelter and food, but a work-in-progress home that we adore – a space that inspires us with vibrant colors, magpie patterns, eclectic artwork, luscious plants, and personal mementos, all curated to reflect both of our personalities. Gardening, baking sourdough, and house projects took center stage.

One evening after a furniture rearranging session I realized that I want to create things that help people express themselves in their own personal space no matter its size, its location, or its perceived potential. I would pivot from years of an uninspiring freelance hustle to making actual products: See Three Studios will create patterns for the spaces people covet.

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As weeks turned into months, the daily streaming of cable news was banned in our house (for our own sanity and mental health) and replaced with music during the day until the evening news came on. One night a story rattled me: The rise of domestic violence amid pandemic stay-at-home orders.  A young woman, my daughter’s age, was the latest victim and I had an immediate and visceral response in the pit of my stomach. For days I kept coming back to the same questions – What is the point of designing products to create a unique home if that space isn’t safe? Or there is no space to be had?

And then the killing of George Floyd. The collective pain and intrepid voices demanding change (yet again) pushed my thinking. How might I effect change through design? How might I design with a more global perspective and honor the cultures that serve as inspiration? The butterfly effect of giving quickly became a guiding principle: See Three Studios will donate to causes for the world people covet.

Just like that, inspired by our time’s cultural shifts, See Three Studios launched into the world. We are four months into this pandemic and lifetimes into social and environmental reform movements – there is so much work to be done and a better world to be had. Yet in the midst of everything there is a common thread that encourages me: the human need to create because of and despite crisis. Art is and has been how humans wrestle with uncertainty. It is our collective way of saying, “We were here.” I continue to be inspired by what I can only call the COVID creative renaissance: initiatives like the Getty challenge or neighborhood windows-turned-canvases have inspired people not only to create but connect as well and are reminders of our humanity. When we all emerge on the other side, I challenge you to continue to grow intentional creativity. You can begin now right at home. I’m starting small but dreaming big and when it comes to creating the space you covet, I encourage you to do the same.

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