January 11, 2017
Jeff Sheldon takes us behind the scenes of design-centric clothing and accessory brand Ugmonk.
What was your thinking behind the set-up of the Ugmonk studio?
I designed a space that fits my personal workflow and like to surround myself with things that inspire me. I spend the majority of my week working in this space, so it was important to create a space where I feel productive and comfortable to handle the various parts of running Ugmonk.
The large windows that surround my desk are my favourite aspect of the studio. The natural light is refreshing and creates an ever-changing view as the seasons come and go throughout the year. On nice days I’ll open all the windows, let the cool breeze blow in, and crank up my music. It’s a wonderful combination.
Did you have to do much work to make your studio functional as a workspace?
My office space was originally a bedroom, so it took a good bit of work to transform it into the current workspace that you see today. It continues to evolve and change over time as I tweak things, but for the most part I’m really happy with where my current setup. I have room to design, room to sketch and draw, room to shoot product photos, and room to relax and read.
Your office is in your home. What’s the rest of the building like?
When we bought our house a few years ago it was in pretty poor cosmetic shape. My wife and I have spent the past few years renovating it to better match our taste and aesthetic. We love clean lines, a neutral colour palette, and bright open areas. We’ve painted almost every wall and ceiling, installed new flooring, and completely remodelled several rooms including the kitchen. It’s still a work in progress but it’s been fun to see the transformation.
How often do you step away from the screen?
Not as often as I should! I tend to get in the zone sometimes when I’m designing and forget to step away. But one of the best things about working from home is being able to take breaks in the middle of the day to go on walks with my wife and son at the nearby wooded trails.
Is it important to you to break up the day by spending some time away from the screen?
Yes, though some days I get sucked into the screen more than I’d like. One of the great things about wearing so many hats of running a business is that I get to jump around to different tasks each day. Some days I work on product photography, other days I'm meeting with manufacturers, and other times checking in on our inventory and making sure things are running smoothly.
Do you have any personal remedies for when you’re having a moment of creative block or stresses with work?
My tendency is to try to power through those creative blocks, but over the years I’ve found that the best thing to do is just take a break and go for a walk. Sometimes the best remedies is just sleep on it and come back to what I was working on the next day with a fresh perspective.