Sarah Dobbs has managed to successfully do what so many parents try and very quickly discover is a seemingly impossible task: to be a minimalist.
As founder of The Home Capsule, organization, styling and interior design is her job so when she invited us over to see how she approaches her own home and glean some tips and tricks for our own homes, we jumped. Before starting her company, Sarah was a fashion designer but after the birth of her sons, Grey (age 6) and Hollis (age 3), she reassessed her priorities. In fact, it was her boys who pushed her into taking the leap from employee to entrepreneur. But we’ll let her tell you about it…
How would you describe your personality?
I'd say I'm a free spirit who tends to be very anxious, living in a calm organized spaced has actually allowed me to be more creative because I'm no longer distracted or overwhelmed. My husband has always joked that I have a "mothering complex," and need to take care of everyone. I've actually only worked with moms so far, and it's a joy to see their tension lessening as we work through the organizational process. I strongly believe in meeting people where they are that, it's ultimately about them and I am there to guide them through their goals and teach them how to make changes. It's been incredibly rewarding for me.
Tell us about how you started your company! What gave you the courage?
My boys. I want them to see me learning new things, working hard at what I enjoy, and overcoming obstacles to find creative solutions. I also enjoy taking them along on sourcing trips and consultations. I want them to see me celebrate big wins and to understand how believing in yourself can pay off. As the main woman in their lives I want to show them how strong females are with real life experiences that they get to witness on a daily basis—that taking an idea and running with it is a risk and taking risks in part of life.
How have you mastered the art of minimalism? So many try and so many fail (hi!).
To be fair we had four people living in a 800 square foot apartment for several years, we simply didn't have space for anything non-essential. We learned to deal and be satisfied with less. When we bought our house we've let very little come in. I guess my trick would be living in the moment, and that I often say "Just be happy to be here." Whether it's playing outside or walking around a store, the event of going somewhere is the treat, and we spend a lot of time outside (rain or shine).
What are the essentials when raising kids?
1. Green space to run around and get dirty
2. Epsom salt baths
When it comes to interiors, how do you balance stylish with kid-friendly?
This really comes down to rituals and rules: Snacks and food at the table, lots of time outside so they don't want to tear up inside, and setting clear boundaries. Since my kids don't have a lot of stuff they generally really take care of their things and our home, they value their possessions.
What are your decor non-negotiables?
For me, it's not having a TV in the bedroom. My clients are all very different and I have zero hard lines when it comes to making their individual situation work.
Three affordable home essentials you love?
Glass jars from Ikea, an organizational dream that makes food look like art.
Wood wall pegs from Container Store, I have them above my dresser to hang my hats, they provide instant art and function.
Kitten candle from Catbird, I give them as gifts and it feels indulgent to light when we are gearing up to put the boys to bed.
Three things worth splurging on?
Eames Lounger. Save up and just do it.
Lighting. You don't have to go crazy but spending extra on great fixtures completely elevates a space.
Organization solutions. Bamboo drawer dividers may seem unnecessary but they look so great that you will more likely want to keep them tidy.
What are your personal family traditions and rituals?
We have a ton, but my current favorite is that my husband and I don't watch TV during the week anymore. We have been sitting on our deck every single night after the kids go to bed and take time to talk. We've gotten into tea and kombucha, which makes us sound old, but it's the absolute highlight of my day.
Noted! Thank you, Sarah!