Sorry for the radio silence lately. There have been a lot of crazy things happening around me and I have focused so much energy on preparing for/reacting to those things that this poor blog has fallen by the wayside. Add to that a week of being sick, a little bit of travel and one amazing Paul McCartney concert and the laptop has collected some dust...
I have debated how much to share about what is going on in my personal and professional life because this blog is supposed to be all about style and design and FUN. Some of these details are not fun but I hope you can understand my cathartic need to share some with you. For those of you who don't know, I have spent the last nine years working in the Art and Set Decorating Departments in North Carolina's film industry. While I have stayed busy in Wilmington, my work has also taken me to Louisiana (where I met my beau of SIX and a half years), South Carolina, Georgia and even New Mexico. I have made so many great friends and contacts as well as met and worked with (closely sometimes) Hollywood A-listers, cornerstone producers and writers, major movie directors, Oscar winning directors of photography, renowned production designers and even a MAAAAJOR rock star. I was lucky enough to be part of a team that won an Art Director's Guild Award. I've helped create everything from county fairs with only two weeks to complete from start to finish (TWICE!) to a 1920s brothel in New Orleans to a high end nail salon in Heaven, of which famed "Project Runway" mentor Tim Gunn played the role of a St. Peter-type character. (Sorry, had to name drop that one!) It's been a wild ride full of ups and downs.
But our film industry is now on shaky ground and that's putting it lightly. Production companies are attracted to states by film incentive programs and North Carolina has been successful by offering a 25% tax rebate. The state's economic incentives are passed by politicians and North Carolina's recently yanked the rug out from underneath the 25% rebate. I won't go into any more details but the result is a major screech in the number of shows that are coming to NC. What does that mean for me? Fewer and fewer opportunities for work. I could possibly make it here if I never wanted to advance in my career and maintain my own professional status quo. But that's not me. I'm a goal-oriented over achiever. I've sat still in one job for seven years and can hardly stand it. In order to advance, I have to compete with people who have 25 years of experience but I'm no slouch with my nine. I truly believe if we had a strong incentive that attracted more shows, then I would have ample opportunity to excel. But now I know that opportunity will be stifled and it already has been. The bottom line is I don't want to just work. I want to excel. And so I had to make a choice.
Meet my choice. For the last six months, I have been helping friends update and redecorate their homes. It started small with some of my assistance being offered through texts, phone calls and a few product suggestions. Then I started visiting the spaces, creating design schemes and shopping for them. It was an organic entry into the residential interior decorating world via the film industry. In September, I made the LLC official and so, out of necessity and interest, L. Suggs Interior Decorating was born. My goal with the LLC is to create beautiful but functional interior spaces. We all swoon over images on Pinterest and pictures in magazines but that isn't always real life. I aim to bring the charm into everyday living.
Wilmington is home to many extremely talented interior designers whom I truly respect and admire. I weighed heavily my decision to enter into the design world. It felt like the right thing to do so that I could still be working yet also be available to day play on films should someone need assistance here and there. Experience in one realm only adds to my knowledge of the other. It's just that I couldn't keep all of my eggs in one crumbling basket. Rather than sit back, wait and collect unemployment, I am pulling myself up by my boot straps and forging ahead. One thing I want to emphasize to everyone is that most of what is happening with the overall film biz is out of my control but having poor timing on trying to get a promotion is my own fault. Part of forging ahead also includes working part-time at Wilmington's high end gifts and linens shop, Protocol. I am so lucky to have that opportunity and spend time around beautiful things and nice people. Parts of this situation are truly terrifying to me, including sharing so much on the Internet, but if your dream doesn't scare you, it isn't big enough. I appreciate everyone's understanding and hopefully your support as well. In the meantime, please tune in here for project updates as well as follow me on Instagram @l_suggs and Twitter @lsuggsinteriors!
Thanks so much for reading and I promise to make this wordy post up to you soon with some good pictures!