Making Rooms of One's Own

March 04, 2015

Before moving to Albuquerque over 16 years ago, I tried to pair down my belongings while still living in Atlanta, determined to make a "clean" start in my new home in the Southwest. I took bags and bags of things to local charities and disposed of tons of "stuff" collected over the years.

My husband, Jeff, and I purchased a three bedroom home with an upstairs area for Jeff's office and a three car garage. We enclosed part of the garage as an exercise room and storage area. And that was that. Or so I thought.

Five or so years after moving into our new home, I started to design jewelry. Since one of our bedrooms was designated for guests, I had a Murphy bed put in. When I began to use the guest room to make jewelry, I used tables and storage containers with wheels so I could easily move my things out when guests came. I installed track lighting and happily and gloriously went on to make and sell jewelry.

As anyone with a business knows, you need an area to manage the day-to-day activities beyond simply producing product. You need space to work on your website, develop marketing plans, keep inventory lists, etc. That's where our second bedroom came in with its sofa and desk area for my computer. The room that was supposed to be used for our personal household things became my jewelry office where I stored finished pieces, conducted all my business computer work, and housed part of my growing collection of books on jewelry making.

jewelry work room

Soon I decided to expand my jewelry making skills by adding soldering, enameling, surface treatments on metal, and other activities that were too messy and dangerous to do inside the house. I had a range hood installed in fitness area of the garage and vented it to the outside to do my soldering, then created a work area for hammering metal and conducting messy and noisy activities. Our treadmill stayed - I left just enough room for it - as well as a TV we could watch while exercising. The storage shelves remained, and I reconfigured them to store my jewelry-making supplies.

So now I was using three entire rooms of our modest house to make jewelry! I do my best to clean up my work areas at the end of each day, but that never seems to really happen. Luckily, my work rooms are in the rooms at the back of the house or in the garage so the front of our home still looks presentable when people visit.

Having to wheel out jewelry-making equipment and supplies when guests arrive seems like a small price to pay for living my passion, creating my art, and bringing joy and beauty to others.

How do you make room - or rooms - for living your passion?

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