Creators, today we are soooo excited to share an amazing story from someone in our community.
Recently, new member @Sew Artsy posted her studio space in the Creator's Studio Cribs activity. She also shared that Sew Artsy Studio got a little help from IKEA Home Tours and of course, we needed to know more 🪡 🧵 Eileen was happy to tell us about her experience - and on this weekend of giving thanks, and we are delighted to be sharing her story with everyone in the Creator's Studio community.
What exactly is the Ikea Home Tour?
"What’s IKEA Home Tour? We’ll tell you! We’re sending a team of IKEA experts on the road to help America solve real home furnishing challenges, big and small, and transform their living spaces. The Home Tour Squad is hitting the road to assist those who need help with home projects – from closet organization to living room style upgrades to bedroom makeovers – and to illustrate genuine solutions that make everyday life at home better. The Home Tour Squad will help plan and shop at the local IKEA store to find the best smart solutions for home challenges. The homeowners and the Squad members will then accomplish the transformation together! Plus, the Squad will film their journey along the way." - IKEA Home Tour Series
What got you thinking about applying to be part of this?
I was on an IKEA email list after buying a lot of things from them after hurricane Sandy. Our house was destroyed in the storm and we needed things to furnish our temporary apartment. Three years after the storm we had taken a buyout from the state and were settling into a new fixer-upper home. It had a very small one bedroom apartment attached that had been a dental office when it was first built. We hadn’t gotten up to renovating this space when I got an email from IKEA about the home tour with instructions on how to apply.
What was the application process like?
The theme was, how would it reimagine your life if we redid a room in your home. I was working as an art teacher, but had dreamt of opening a little sewing/art studio. To apply you had to send a video telling about what you hoped for, how it would impact you, and show a little of your style in the rest of your home. I couldn’t walk and talk and take video at the same time, but my teenage niece came to do it. We laughed our heads off and sent the video out, not for a minute thinking I would hear back.
How did you find out you had been chosen?
I was so surprised when one of the production team got in touch about the project saying that I made the finals. I was shopping in HomeDepot when I got the call. The producer that had originally interviewed me pretended that he called personally to let me down gently, I think he might have been even more excited than I was, but they had concerns about the amount of work that was needed. They did design and furnishings, but construction was up to us. I assured him that my husband was a retired carpenter and between him and his friends we were planning to work on that space anyway. It just didn’t make it to the top of the pile when the whole house needed so much. The same week that I heard back from IKEA that I was selected, the high school I worked for announced that they were closing.
What were the timelines?
We had about a month to get the work ready for the team. But first they put me in touch with the designer who would work on my project, Genna Riggins. As an artist and crafter herself she was the perfect person to make the most use of my space. She went over the design and helped us plan the placement for the electric and lights and everything. I never knew how wonderful it would be to work with an interior designer.
How did you participate in the process?
Once we had the room painted and ready the IKEA Home Tour Team (Genna, Rocky, Jesse, Stephanie, and Maria) came and delivered all the furniture, shelving, cabinets, peg boards, lights, organizational supplies, even coat hooks and electrical cords. Over the course of two days we all put everything together. Then we had a little celebration with salmon and meatballs while they finished filming the video. I can honestly tell you that they infused my studio with good vibes. Everyone that comes inside mentions how nice it feels.
What cool IKEA elements are in the project?
My cabinets in the little kitchenette are chalkboard. I can write out my schedule or decorate for the seasons. The pullout for the garbage has a draw that holds the extra bags. The tables fold and can be arranged in many configurations. There’s hooks on the wall to hold extra folding chairs out of the way and a step ladder so I can reach the high shelves.
[Check out the video below to see more of this amazing story - including cool features!]
This was an amazing experience. I have classes in my studio for all ages and lots of different interests, sewing, fashion art, fabric painting, art. It has really brought me a lot of joy. Being selected for the makeover was the push I needed to start my small business, Sew Artsy Inc. You can see my space in action on Instagram @SewArtsyInc or Facebook Sew Artsy Inc. While it’s certainly not as neat as in the IKEA video, it is well loved.
What else would you like to share with Creator’s Studio members about your experience?
Don’t ever give up on dreams. If you have a chance to try for something take it, you never know where it will lead.
Thanks for joining us in Creator's Studio and sharing this story of resilience, hope, and inspiration, @Sew Artsy.