November 13, 2020
Actually, I should say the Rebecca Haas Jewelry Studio 5.0, since this is my fifth, and absolutely my favorite, studio I've had since I launched my fledgeling business in Brooklyn, NY in the year 2000.
Previously I have had three different, cramped, windowless, leaky, alternatingly too hot or too cold, Brooklyn studios (let's call them bohemian, shall we?). And then one hastily thrown together one up here in Vermont so I could hit the ground running (or working, more like) when we relocated in 2009.
My husband, our two kids, and I live and work in what was the original dairy barn for the farmhouse in which I grew up. This building has had many lives since then, including being the home of my father's wine importing company, Vineyard Brands, when I was a kid. At that point it was a funky and bustling 1980's office full of desks, many, many phone lines, fax lines, copy machines, fluorescent box ceiling lights, miles of brown industrial carpeting, and about 15 employees.
So when we moved in we began converting each room one by one from sweet, 1980's office to how we wanted our eventual live/work space to be. A beautiful studio space was not the top priority when we moved, since I was pregnant, so a baby nursery and someplace to bathe said child was at the top of our list. Also somewhere to sleep ourselves, and someplace to cook. So boring and practical, I know. So it was a few years before I got to start working on this dream studio space.
It is split into two rooms, one I call my "clean room," for admin tasks, shipping, and photography. It is painted bright white to make it easier to take bright, clean photographs of my work. I have a giant desk made from the original door to this room, to hold my computer, and leave enough space to lay out collections of jewelry that I am assembling for galleries. There are also built in cabinets and shelves that house office supplies and my shipping department. Best part is, the whole building is equipped with the high speed internet connection I need to be able to efficiently run an online business.
The second room in my workshop, and looks like more of a traditional jewelry studio. It houses three separate workstations, a bench for metalwork and fabrication, a separate soldering station, and a desk for the final stringing or other assembly of each piece. Also a bluetooth speaker for my tunes, because I always have music or an audiobook playing while I'm working!
It has just the right amount of funky nooks and crannies, and simple, practical places to accomplish tasks. This is the first time I've been able to take my time, and design and organize a workspace from the ground up, so that it streamlines my workflow. So that the tools I need are right there when I need them, and that the overall function and form of the space are so seamless.
I have big bright windows overlooking our fields, forest, and distant hills.
I see birds and squirrels and flowers in my peripheral vision at all times.
And I'm just a short walk in my slippers with my coffee away from my kitchen.
I feel very fortunate to get to live and work in this beautiful spot, and if you are ever in Southern Vermont, I'd love to show you around. My studio is open to visitors by appointment, so if you'd like to come for a visit, to look around, and shop in person, please feel free to contact me. Covid-19 has complicated this at the moment, but feel free to reach out and we'll see what we can do.