Adding another inspiring biz to the growing work-pad series! You know how much I love a nice, productive and efficient workspace. And Katrina has one. Assembling an efficient and organized workspace obviously goes hand-in-hand with her vision of everyone having an efficient and organized spice rack, so, no surprise here, but I’m excited to see her space myself. Her products are a big hit, and she gets loads of publicity between Etsy and Worthsy, not to mention that her growing blog is filled with great small business perspective for folks like myself.
Before I say too much, I’ll let her take over and tell you about her business and workpad. Enjoy!
Hi Merrypad readers! I’m Katrina, the owner of Salt City Spice on Etsy, specializing in unique magnetic spice racks and interesting vintage finds.
I’m originally from Rochester, NY but currently living in Syracuse (aka The Salt City) with my college-sweetheart husband, toddling daughter, and 2 naughty cats. I love cooking and eating, and also enjoy trying my hand at various home renovation projects around our house.
I also created The Salt City Spice Blog where I talk about some of the things I’m learning as a small business owner along with a few crafty DIY ideas along the way. I invite readers to learn and share along with me and the response has been really great so far! I’m currently wrapping up a series on Time Management and plan to continue offering more help in the future for readers looking to streamline their creative businesses. I should note that writing about these topics has everything to do with the fact that I come from an engineering and process & management consulting background and have a deep, nerdy love for doing things efficiently.
What’s your workpad like? How did you choose that particular space?
I use a couple different spots around the house – I originally started in the garage but outgrew that within a few months. Plus, let’s be serious, the garage was just way too cold this winter even with a couple space heaters on full blast. A few mishaps involving frozen fingers and quick-curing epoxy later and I moved the “small project” portion of my business to an upstairs spare bedroom-turned-office which I lovingly refer to as The HQ.
I still have a corner of the garage reserved for refinishing, curing, and drilling the bases for my spice racks, but consider the office my main workpad since it’s where I spend much of my workday.
You know how much I love custom made furniture. Do you have any customized/upcycled/DIY’ed in your space?
Nearly everything in my office was (pardon the terrible poetry) thrifted, gifted, or Craigslisted.
(Editor’s interjection: Love it.)
My absolute favorite piece of furniture though is a solid wood desk handmade by my grandpa, who was an amazingly skilled woodworker and printer. I’m also lucky to own a bentwood rocking chair, an elaborate dollhouse modeled after his & my grandma’s old place, and (appropriately) a grandfather clock he made, along with various other smaller items.
The main storage area for my office is an antique flame mahogany buffet that I found on Craigslist. It wasn’t custom-made for me (well, obviously) but it might as well have been! The height is exactly perfect for me to stand and work, then I can just put everything back into the many drawers once I’m done. Funnily enough, I bought it before I even started my business and had no idea how I would use it at the time, but there was just something about it that I really liked.
I always like to ask: Do you keep any specific items, books, tsotchkes in your space to inspire you?
Definitely! A perk of having vintage items available in my shop means I get to appreciate the little treasures I have for sale until they head to their new owners. To make good use of this, I installed some shelves in my office that are now reserved for my various finds – they’re things that caught my eye to begin with so I like having them on display as though I were selling from a regular brick & mortar shop.
I also keep one of my vinyl chalkboard trays (sans magnetic tins) on hand to note any supplies I need to buy, or to just play around with for new ideas. I have the world’s blackest thumb, but I found some awesome little upcycled cork succulent plant magnets that seem to be doing well under my care – I see that as a sign that anything is possible. Other than that, I love hand-printed and pressed artwork so I’m slowly building up a collection, including a “Viva La Vida” print from Happy Deliveries and a signed, numbered linocut print of one of NY’s Finger Lakes (a $2 thrifted find!). Just like the rest of my house, my space will forever be a work in progress – I like letting a design aesthetic evolve naturally as my tastes grow and change.
Do you ever see yourself outgrowing your current work area and expanding into commercial studio space or a brick-and-mortar shop? If you ever worked on outside of the home, have you ever thought of your dream workspace and what it would look like?
I would love to have some type of actual studio and storefront someday! It feels like a beyond-lofty goal at the moment, but I’m always open to new opportunities so I can’t rule anything out. Syracuse has a lot of awesome old buildings in the downtown area that are currently undergoing a bit of a Renaissance – the kind of old timey places with details like original tin ceilings, exposed beams, intricately carved woodwork… swoon. It’s exciting to watch the transformation for the city I now call home, and the downtown area is definitely where I would want to be. If we’re talking no-holds-barred, full-out dream world here, then my future space would somehow encompass my current business and a microbrewery specializing in spice-infused beers – is it too early to promise a round of free brewskies for your readers?
(Another editor’s interjection: Spice-infused microbrewery! I love that idea and can’t wait to see it realized. And no, I will speak for all of us in saying that we will accept a free round anytime of day.)