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The first chapter of sky fish

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

In January, my husband (Michael) and I were approached by a local upstate publication called At Home, and asked if we would be interested in letting them feature our home for their Summer issue. We agreed that it would be something fun and interesting to do, as we are both creative people, and wanted to share all the hard work we had done on restoring and designing our historic, 1930s Willie Ward home with others. The article was a great success, and we loved participating in the feature, as well as the final editorial result. I’m starting here, because this was the moment that finally gave me the courage do to do what I’ve been thinking about for years: getting back to work and doing something I love.

I had grappled with this decision for the last couple of years.

Six years ago, my husband and I decided it would work best for our life if I stayed home and handled all the dealings with our domestic and social lives. His job is high volume, high stress, and long hours. It has suited us well; traditional yes, but perfect for us at the time. However, my creative bug and brain was starting to burst! My husband has always allowed me to be who I am to the fullest, and never held me back in anyway, so when I told him how I was feeling, he supported me 100% in any direction I chose to go. So then began the process of choosing which path to pursue!

My husband, Michael, me (Jeffrey), and our silver standard poodle, Genevieve (Vivi is her call name), photographed at a back door of our home by Rebecca Lehde for At Home magazine's Summer 2018 issue.

For many years, I considered the psychology route.

I myself have struggled with anxiety for years, and battled spouts of serious depression when I was younger. I have the utmost empathy and compassion for those who struggle with mental illness. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the most amazing team of psychologists and counselors by my side, all of whom helped to bring me back into the light. Through that process, some of my counselors encouraged me that I, myself would do great in the field. Many friends and family thought so as well.

On the other side of things, creativity has always been my saving grace when it came to healing in those dark times.

Those that know me also know that I am most comfortable in my skin when I am being creative! Fashion and design in any capacity have always been my strongest passions. In the weeks after the At Home team had finished our shoot and article, it finally clicked. Design and organization -- and being creative -- are directly linked with psychology, and how our brains work. How we live, love, play, travel, or just BE as a human are partly inherent to who we are, but are also always incredibly impacted by our environments. It was a "Eureka!"moment! I could combine my passions for psychology and design into one pursuit: how had I never thought of it before in this way?!

Photo by local portrait photographer (and now friend) Ian Curcio. Artwork by our dear friend and favorite local artist, Tim Speaker.

And so sky fish began.

With the help and support of my husband, family, friends, and our silver standard poodle Genevieve (the second love of my life) I have started this new (ad)venture! I can’t wait to share my journey with you all, and hopefully work with many of you on exciting projects with beautiful outcomes.

I would also like to thank the amazing design mentors that have been so kind and nurturing to me through this process.

As a designer with no formal design education, it has been a scary venture to start. Kerry Howard, Kim Jackson and former interior designer Rebecca Lehde (now architectural photographer who shot almost all of my portfolio shots) have all had the kindest of well wishes, and much wisdom they have passed on to me -- and continue to pass on to me -- to get my design career and company off the ground. They have opened up their hearts, and shared their incredible knowledge and skills in the field to me, and for that I am forever grateful.

As a designer without the formal education base in design that these folks have, I have the utmost respect for these designers and all designers who have put that level of work into the field and into their careers. I know my place -- and what I can and can’t do when it comes to the scope of a job -- being the small boutique design house that sky fish design, llc is now. I can assure you that I will pass you into the equally capable and talented hands of the appropriate person if I can’t personally help you on fulfilling your design needs to the utmost capacity.

Thank you to Ms. Emily Price, my branding guru, strategist and graphic/web designer: You brought out of me the spirit and life of sky fish, and put it to page and paper; and then brought it to the screen. I will forever be grateful for your guidance and creative genius every step of the way, and into the future. We made some magic, and no one can deny that, ever!

And thanks to Ian Curcio, the photographer extraordinaire who took my business portraits: Here’s to an amazing environmental shoot and experience that allowed me to bloom in every way. Can’t wait for our future collaborations, friend. Cheers!

(There will be a future blog post coming soon on the full creative process with these fellow local creative entrepreneurs, Emily Price and Ian Curcio. It's definitely worth a story or twelve!)

Lastly, another final thank you to my husband Michael.

You are my constant support and inspiration and the light and love of my life. Sky fish design would not be capable without your hard work and unwavering support. Here’s to many more years of us, babe.

Hope everyone is ready for to go on this crazy adventure with sky fish design, llc!!! It's time to reach for the stars, and BEYOND! Let's go!

With love and appreciation,

Jeffrey (and Michael + Genevieve!)


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