In the proverbial man cave, one might find an array of masculine items — a large flat screen TV and a Lazy Boy recliner both seem to be pretty common. But where does a married woman make her nest, where her own style and flair can shine through? Is there such a thing as a "girl cave"?
This was the dilemma for Jessica Horton, who lives with her husband in Davidson. Her solution was to create her own office space for her photography business, JJ Horton Photography (www.jjhortonphotography.com).
"My house is very neutral, very gender-neutral. I try to please my husband and not make anything too girly," Horton says. "So this was my outlet, to pull in those girlier pieces and purchase things that normally wouldn't go into my house. Things that I still love and reflect my style. My husband is jealous because he doesn't have his own man cave."
The space she utilizes to meet clients is small, about 10 feet by 20 feet, and filled with hand-me-downs and do-it-yourself projects. In fact, the only piece of furniture in the whole space that's brand-new is her mirrored coffee table, which she got from Amazon.
A hand-painted white desk — that was once her sister's — sits near the door, suggesting the person you're about to meet is classy and crafty. On the opposite wall is a wooden mantle, which she also painted white, that she bought on Craigslist for less than $50. Through the website, she also found a wingback chair for $20; she recently reupholstered that. Two armchairs were purchased from an antique store near Durham.
The touches of candles, flowers and images of wedding gowns throughout the room create a hint of romance. That's no surprise, since she specializes in photographing weddings ("I probably love weddings more than anybody you ever met. I could have planned my wedding another two years," she says.) and engagements.
Horton says that she is "a firm believer that your business should be a reflection of you as a person." So for her, the final piece of the puzzle — and what ultimately led her to rebrand her business — was her pink couch. She stalked it on Craigslist for a month before she bought it.
"I love all things Southern, and I love being a Southern girl. Brands like Lilly Pulitzer, and Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren ... the pink just seemed to fit," she says. "I really wanted the space to reflect that. I wanted it to be fun, be young, but be Southern. I think that's why I love my new logo with the monogram; to me, that screams Southern. I was raised where everything was monogrammed and perfect and personable."
Horton has since decided that she will reupholster the pink couch, going for more of a neutral color, a light khaki with the legs painted black. "Even though the pink sofa didn't work, I thought pink was important to incorporate into the business," she says. "I hate that I am going to ruin some little girl's dream by getting rid of the pink, but that's OK."
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