Dewit Design Camp!

I have been a mom for just a month over fourteen years. That's a long time.

I have been blessed, that since the day I became a mom {on September 1, 1998 - almost 4 weeks sooner than I expected}, I have not worked in a paying 'job'.  Oh, yes, we all remember that flirtation I had last year when I returned to the work I had done before I had my children - for exactly FOUR months……let's not count that, k?

However, as the mom of two daughters, I often feel a tinge of guilt that I am not an example of 'working woman' for my girls.  As much as I tell them about my successful career before they were born, when I had "lunch meetings" and expense accounts and wore pantyhose and business suits, I am SO not that same woman.  And how do I expect them to see me like that when I can no longer even imagine that girl myself?  

Don't get me wrong, I would not have had it any other way - every.minute.of.it. - and all that is to come!  So what do I do last Thursday to really show them what their momma is all about.....I head to CAMP, my kind of camp....

Since my girls have been in school full-time I have longed to define the next chapter of my life.  And like so many moms, I instead over-committed to PTA, room mom duties, chairing the school auction and numerous other volunteer commitments that while important, were essentially temporary assignments.  I guessed if I was busy, I didn't really have time to plan the next chapter of MY life.  Can you say "queen of procrastination"?

We have been in settled in Portland for a year, and my big girl will start high school next year.  I have a passion - I have dabbled in my passion, I have been told to pursue my passion, I have even been told I am "talented", a "natural" but yet I have wavered, I have been wrought with self-doubt and a lack of confidence.  So yucky, but so true……But all that changed last week…..

I attended AB Chao's Design Camp and when we were asked to introduce ourselves and tell the group what we did, I said confidently, "I am Jill Hinson and I am an interior decorator and stylist". I owned what I do, what I aspire to do more of, what I have done - heck, I styled photo shoots for Flea Market Style magazine, had my own home published and have helped countless friends and neighbors decorate their homes!  Not many people know that about me, because……heck, I don't know!  Perhaps I think it feels like 'bragging' when I tell people those things.  I need to get over that.  It feels good to own it, cause I am huge believer that when you put it out there in the universe it shall be.  Profound, huh?

I am late to the AB Chao party - I just recently discovered her blog and after I read about two posts, I signed up for Design Camp.  I thought about it THAT long.  Take a look at her blog - our styles are miles apart - although when I grow up, my house will look like hers!  But her zest for life, for design, her sass, her story had me at 'hello'. 

I was so excited last Thursday morning, first, it was just fun to put on some nice clothes and head down to Portland's Pearl District for the day.  Then it was just inspiring to hang out with a group of creative women who are interested in design and creating beautiful spaces! The mimosa's served upon our arrival weren't too bad either!

AB was the same in person as she is on her blog, phew!  Cause, let me tell you, I have met some bloggers who are definitely NOT the same in person as who they portray themselves on the internet - super yucky.  It was a huge relief and a great start to the day when this important fact was established.

AB Chao

The Portland Dewit Design Camp was a "mini-camp" just one day as opposed to the other 2-day camps AB is doing.  The presentation was well organized and focused on basic design elements sprinkled with AB's humor and southern charm.  AB chose to focus the Design Camp on decorating for 'regular' people - those with real budgets and gave lots of tips, tricks and resources for sourcing affordable elements for beautiful spaces.

The camp was hosted by Ellinee, a Portland based stationary company, in their hip and beautiful studio space. Gorgeous, huh?

The space itself was inspiring, colorful and filled with great light.

The day passed quickly - much of the design concepts and principles she discussed were not new to me.  Don't get me wrong, the information was not wasted……I needed to know, to confirm, that my design instincts were pointing me in the right direction, even though I am a HUGE believer that there is really no 'right' direction in design…..I think the fact that I have no formal design training and have relied solely on my gut gave way to doubt creeping into my mind.  The day, for me, turned out to be one big YES, YES, YES, you know what the hell you are talking about!  As Oprah would say, "this was my ah-ha moment"! {que happy tears!}

The final hour of camp was spent talking about floral arrangements, the simple, unfussy kind that can be arranged with inexpensive grocery store flowers in Ball jars or old jelly jars.  We split up into groups and worked on our arrangements and then talked a bit about photography.  As you can see, the light in the studio space was fantastic.  My images have minimal editing.  

My favorite images from the day.....

For more info on Dewit Design Camp go to Ab Chao's blog - there may even be one coming up near you!  

"It is never to late to become who you were meant to be"

3 comments on "Dewit Design Camp!"
  1. So exciting Jill! The camp looks fabulous and I'm so excited to hear about your new adventure!

  2. This looks like SO much fun! It's amazing the turns our lives can take...my "professional" life feels a world away.

  3. Hi Jill, I found you through Cottage and Vine, and have had fun perusing your blog. Wanted to tell you that I can identify with your feelings about owning the interior decorator thing. Some of my close friends don't even know I have a blog. It's hard to talk about, much less own, right?
    So cool that you've made it that far! Way to go!


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