Sarah Sherman Samuel: Designer, Art Director, Blogger

Chelsea Sonksen

Marisa Vitale

Before launching her own studio, Sarah Sherman Samuel was the Creative Director for a fashion paper company that designed notebooks and stationery for Target. Since she was the first full-time employee, she wore a lot of hats and had a lot of creative control. But then the owners discovered that one particular pattern was selling better than the rest, and they focused all their attention on producing more products with that one pattern. Sarah no longer felt that her job was enough of a creative outlet, so she began blogging.

At first, she wrote about the renovation of a Michigan cabin that she had undertaken with her husband. Soon, she branched out to cover other Style and Travel-related topics. Only six months later Sarah launched her first product line, complete with items like picnic baskets, cutting boards, tea towels, and rolling pins. As her studio grew, she began doing interior design in addition to product and surface design. Most recently she designed Light Lab, a creative warehouse space in Atwater Village, known for its pink marble wallpaper—one of Sarah’s custom creations.

In what way do you hope to impact the world through your work?

I hope to encourage people to incorporate design into their lives and demonstrate how our surroundings can influence our sense of well-being.  

What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way and how did you handle it?

The transition from working a traditional 9-6 to working for myself was a huge adjustment. Honestly, I left a toxic work environment, and it took time to find a healthy live/work balance. I learned not to beat myself up if I didn’t finish everything on my to-do list. There is only so much time in the day, and sometimes you won’t get to it all.

What is one thing about you that most people don’t know?

Even some of my close friends would probably be surprised to know that I used to be a competitive runner and that, when I ran my first marathon, I qualified for the Boston Marathon!

Do you have a daily routine? If so, what does it look like?

The best part about having a creative studio and writing a blog is that each day is completely different from the last. My only routine is my morning tea…PG tips with a lot of milk.

What do you think is the secret to success in our modern times?

Hard work and focus…and a damn good Instagram feed helps too.

What advice do you have for women who want to start their own business or pursue the same path as you?

Take small steps every day and just keep going. Success isn’t an overnight thing. The people you look up to have worked long and hard to get where they are. Also, if you want to start your own business but don’t have the funds, start doing what you want to be doing on the side, while still working a full-time job.

What is the next goal you have your sights set on?

I have some exciting things in the works: new products for the shop, interior projects, and hopefully the completion of our A-frame cabin renovation in Palm Springs.

What’s the best part of your day?

Most days, my husband, son, our two dogs, and I take an evening walk right before my son goes to bed. It’s our way of winding down and catching up on the day together.