Hi there! I’m Rachel Shingleton, and I describe myself as a designer/blogger/shopgirl/stylist at Pencil Shavings Studio which I founded in 2008. I live in Oklahoma City with my husband Simon and two boys Jude and Archer. I was trained as a graphic designer at the University of Oklahoma and after the birth of my first son Jude, I created the blog at Pencil Shavings Studio as a way to build creative community and feature the creative projects (branding, custom invitations, etc.) that I was working on. After a few years, I started designing products and launched my shop. And things have kind of snowballed since then!
How do you take care of yourself so that you’re physically and mentally prepared to be your best self for others?
I have learned that in order to be the best me, I have to say no frequently so I don’t run myself into the ground. In the beginning I said yes to everything, and that’s the #1 way to burn out fast. Beyond that, I absolutely believe that to take care of me best, I must get enough rest, drink a big iced tea with lemons and oranges every day (my favorite), and eat regularly (or else I get hangry and everyone suffers – ha!).
But in a lot of ways, having Pencil Shavings has been the thing I do for me. I love design and so to have the kind of job where I can focus on that in a flexible manner is hugely important. Being a mom of both a school age kid and a baby forces me to be intentional and more organized with my time because it’s limited. But I really love the structure of my work day since I know I have to be done by the time I pick up my son at school. I thrive on that routine. Do those hours overlap sometimes in the evening? Sure – especially once the holiday season comes around and shop stuff gets crazy. But I’ve been better about creating boundaries in the past couple of years so it’s not too nutty.
What is one tradition or routine that’s really important to you / your family? And why?
Getting away from the daily grind is a big deal to both Simon and I. He’s a realtor and is constantly juggling clients and house showings, so we have to get pretty intentional about carving out time for just our family, not to mention just us. Dinner out alone or running errands where we can get away from the kids for a bit are vital to our marriage. Travel, whether it be just us as a couple or as a family is also one of our favorite things to do together. It’s inspiring, educational, and keeps us all curious. We frequently say that we’d much rather spend our money on experiences and memories that last forever rather than things that will break or get thrown away. That led us to purchasing our lake house at Carlton Landing last year. It’s a two hour drive from our home in OKC and it’s been such a great getaway for our entire family. We don’t get great cell phone reception there (!) which has turned out to be a major blessing in disguise. The memories we’re creating are priceless.
Your PICK SIX: What 6 things (products, services, etc) can you absolutely not live without?
1) My camera
– I’ve got a beat-up Canon t1i that’s going to need to be upgraded soon, but regardless, I love having a lens to look through.
2) Technology – the iPhone, iPad, laptop, Instagram, Dropbox, Evernote – all these things that make life a little bit more organized and easy.
5 & 6) Color & Pattern – I feed off of visual inspiration, and for me that shines best through color and pattern. I grew up in a technicolor house (bright emerald green and cobalt blue everywhere – my mom’s favorite colors) and I’m pretty sure that daily visual saturation created my love for both of these things. I love a bold statement no matter how it manifests (fabric, wallpaper, etc.)
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