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Wendy Conklin

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Wendy Conklin

Mindfulness begins the moment you decide to really be yourself.

There’s nothing like working in a field where you feel passionate, and when you have a job that is not really what you are meant to do, there’s no question that you have to make a change. I faced this decision a couple of years ago when I was working as an educational consultant. I made the mindful decision that my “real self” was being an artist. So, I quit my day job and took on designing chairs full time.

My adventure with chairs began in 2012 after taking a couple of upholstery courses. I loved the way chairs presented easy opportunities to display beauty with paint and fabric to transform an interior space. I vigorously hunted for any treasures and snatched up any unique chair frame I could find. I then began joyfully transforming them for myself, and ultimately, my clients. More recently, in 2018, I expanded my business with antique-inspired chairs that I designed, crafted in Italy from European beech wood.

Wendy Conklin
Photo by Nicole Davidge

I experience great peace when I am immersed in the creative process of designing exciting chair collections that I will release throughout the year. This process begins with inspirations from my surroundings. Something in nature or my environment might ignite a spark, and my brain races to figure out how to imagine that look on a chair. I plop down in my studio and surround myself with gorgeous fabrics, interesting paints, and I play with the chair frames. And before I know it, I’ve discovered a new collection to release.

Wendy Conklin

Part of what invigorates me to think creatively and to be more mindful is the colorful fabrics that I use. Not only does bold color perk my senses, it brings me joy and makes me feel distinctly alive and aware of my surroundings. It reminds me to be in the moment. And, it also brings joy to my clients as I create for them.

Above everything, positive mindset frames my productivity, creativity, happiness, and ultimately, my success.

My best work only happens when I nurture a mood of positivity in my studio. To keep distractions at a minimum, I need a clean, well-organized workspace retreat. After working out of my garage for a couple of years, I had the first edition of my studio built in 2013. Two years ago I added on, doubling my space. Here, colorful fabrics and inspiring frames pop against a white background. In my studio, I happily brainstorm, design, build, and shoot pictures of my distinctive chairs.

Wendy Conklin
Photo by Aino Assmus

As I work, I continue to develop my positive energy through both music and silence. I rotate between several rituals, depending on what I’m working on. My day always starts with a five-minute meditation to clear my mind. This keeps me in the moment, appreciating the world and the work I’m about to do. To create the effortless-looking, whimsical outcome of mixing and matching fabrics for my chairs takes enormous focus and thought. I relish silence while I design and brainstorm possible fabrics for clients and my new collections.

Wendy Conklin

But, when I address the physical work of making the chairs (like stripping, sanding, finishing, and upholstering), I need to get energy so classic rock style music is on the agenda. Quite often you’ll hear Queen, The Eagles, Journey and others blaring from my studio. The beat puts a skip in my step and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Other days when I need some encouragement, I listen to inspiring podcasts about other entrepreneurs. My favorites include “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” by Cathy Heller, “How I Built This” by Guy Raz and “The Design You Podcast” by Tobi Fairley. The stories and tips provide excellent business strategy, so I’m literally learning on the job! Towards the end of the day, I need a good laugh, and the television turns on. While I can’t watch the television while working, I can definitely listen to old familiar shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Seinfeld. I record happy movies such as When Harry Met Sally, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and You’ve Got Mail.

Wendy Conklin

For me, it’s about a positive refreshing environment that energizes my mind to think and create joy for others and myself. The quote that most inspires me as I’ve moved into this new phase of my life is,

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself”

— Coco Chanel

And by being mindful of this, I’ve discovered the real me—creating my own beauty through chair artistry.

Wendy Conklin

Wendy Conklin

Mindfulness begins the moment you decide to really be yourself.

There’s nothing like working in a field where you feel passionate, and when you have a job that is not really what you are meant to do, there’s no question that you have to make a change. I faced this decision a couple of years ago when I was working as an educational consultant. I made the mindful decision that my “real self” was being an artist. So, I quit my day job and took on designing chairs full time.

My adventure with chairs began in 2012 after taking a couple of upholstery courses. I loved the way chairs presented easy opportunities to display beauty with paint and fabric to transform an interior space. I vigorously hunted for any treasures and snatched up any unique chair frame I could find. I then began joyfully transforming them for myself, and ultimately, my clients. More recently, in 2018, I expanded my business with antique-inspired chairs that I designed, crafted in Italy from European beech wood.

Wendy Conklin
Photo by Nicole Davidge

I experience great peace when I am immersed in the creative process of designing exciting chair collections that I will release throughout the year. This process begins with inspirations from my surroundings. Something in nature or my environment might ignite a spark, and my brain races to figure out how to imagine that look on a chair. I plop down in my studio and surround myself with gorgeous fabrics, interesting paints, and I play with the chair frames. And before I know it, I’ve discovered a new collection to release.

Wendy Conklin

Part of what invigorates me to think creatively and to be more mindful is the colorful fabrics that I use. Not only does bold color perk my senses, it brings me joy and makes me feel distinctly alive and aware of my surroundings. It reminds me to be in the moment. And, it also brings joy to my clients as I create for them.

Above everything, positive mindset frames my productivity, creativity, happiness, and ultimately, my success.

My best work only happens when I nurture a mood of positivity in my studio. To keep distractions at a minimum, I need a clean, well-organized workspace retreat. After working out of my garage for a couple of years, I had the first edition of my studio built in 2013. Two years ago I added on, doubling my space. Here, colorful fabrics and inspiring frames pop against a white background. In my studio, I happily brainstorm, design, build, and shoot pictures of my distinctive chairs.

Wendy Conklin
Photo by Aino Assmus

As I work, I continue to develop my positive energy through both music and silence. I rotate between several rituals, depending on what I’m working on. My day always starts with a five-minute meditation to clear my mind. This keeps me in the moment, appreciating the world and the work I’m about to do. To create the effortless-looking, whimsical outcome of mixing and matching fabrics for my chairs takes enormous focus and thought. I relish silence while I design and brainstorm possible fabrics for clients and my new collections.

Wendy Conklin

But, when I address the physical work of making the chairs (like stripping, sanding, finishing, and upholstering), I need to get energy so classic rock style music is on the agenda. Quite often you’ll hear Queen, The Eagles, Journey and others blaring from my studio. The beat puts a skip in my step and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Other days when I need some encouragement, I listen to inspiring podcasts about other entrepreneurs. My favorites include “Don’t Keep Your Day Job” by Cathy Heller, “How I Built This” by Guy Raz and “The Design You Podcast” by Tobi Fairley. The stories and tips provide excellent business strategy, so I’m literally learning on the job! Towards the end of the day, I need a good laugh, and the television turns on. While I can’t watch the television while working, I can definitely listen to old familiar shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Seinfeld. I record happy movies such as When Harry Met Sally, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and You’ve Got Mail.

Wendy Conklin

For me, it’s about a positive refreshing environment that energizes my mind to think and create joy for others and myself. The quote that most inspires me as I’ve moved into this new phase of my life is,

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself”

— Coco Chanel

And by being mindful of this, I’ve discovered the real me—creating my own beauty through chair artistry.

Wendy Conklin