Today, we’d like you to consider yourself an honorary member of team Ruby Slipper. A Ruby Slipper sista, no less. In our second Ruby Slipper x Little Projects blog, we’re sharing a ‘day in the life of’ Ruby Slipper’ from our lofty Central South Yarra residence.
Many people begin a business to be their own boss, to run their own show and work their own hours. Whilst that was certainly part of the motivation behind my beginning Ruby Slipper (both a commercial arts and culture blog and a digital strategy business) six years ago, it isn’t the whole story. Running your own business is an incredible opportunity for reinvention and collaboration – and depending on your structure, it can be physically mobile and as casual (or formal) as you like.
When the chance to locate Ruby Slipper at Central South Yarra appeared earlier this year, both Emma (my assistant) and I jumped at the chance to experience our workday writing and client strategy dreaming in a beautiful new environment. In today’s blog, we welcome to our Little Projects apartment to spend a day in our diary. So, join us on the balcony overlooking the city … and begin a day with Ruby Slipper at Central South Yarra.
9:00 – 9:30am: Each morning, we arrive for work at any time between 9:00 – and 9:30 am. How very civilized. As I mentioned, running your own business means making your own rules. This ‘arrival window’ means less fretting about being there ‘on the dot’, and allows time for Melbourne’s public transport system to get you to work on time – even if you stop for a coffee on the way. It took me around half an hour going against traffic to get to Central South Yarra, whilst Em caught the train to work. Luckily, South Yarra station is literally next to our building!
9:30 – 10:00 am This is a critical time in our business day: it’s when we look at the content we plan to deliver for our clients and across our own blog networks and plot out how that will be realised. Each client’s category and audience is quite different, so we’re wearing many different ‘hats’ in any one day. The content developed may be seasonally influenced (you know, the racing season, International Cat Day, interest rate announcements etc.) and we may also respond to news items which are trending. It’s pretty ‘free association’ stuff and involves a good period of time checking Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. At Central South Yarra, we had the luxury of doing this essential vision-boarding both on the wraparound balcony from the 26th floor overlooking the city (as you do!) – and in the cosy study. There might also have been just a BIT of preening in the two bathrooms before we got started – fully stocked with fragrant, nourishing products from ASPAR range.
ASPAR products: Botanical Handwash rich in Lotus Leaf and Lavendar was a daily favorite! The Zunzunaga Route towels from Meizai matched Central South Yarra’s bold monochromatic colorscheme, too.
10:00 am – 12:30 pm: It’s heavy lifting time in the brains department – made substantially easier by The Real Estate Stylist-curated home office, may I add! This is our first major work period of the day, where we ordinarily pop on Spotify (favorite playlists include Southern Gothic, Bluegrass Covers and Throwback Thursday in case you were wondering) and get down to business. Sometimes we’re quiet, sometimes we talk quite a lot. We work through ideas together one at a time – each artwork and posted item is carefully crafted using both graphic design tools and creative copywriting. Focus is intense, but hearts are happy – and there’s often a coffee run included in this work block, too. If we’ve got a photographic editorial to put together, we’ll also usually shoot this in the morning (while makeup is fresh and light is good!).
For all the fine details on the Ruby Slipper x Little Projects home office space, click here. Our favourite aspect (apart from the endless view north over the Yarra and Richmond towards Clifton Hill) of this room was the Custom Removable Grid Wallpaper – perfect for tenants and those lairy of feature walls, this is a fabric wallpaper with a self-adhesive backing which is applied easily, peels off without damaging the wall and is very landlord-friendly!
12:30 – 1:00 pm: It’s no secret – at Ruby Slipper, we like to eat. Quite a lot. This time in the day is usually when our bellies rumble and we venture out to grab lunch, or mosey to the fridge for our packed lunches (if we’ve been good). Throughout any day there’s the ‘What are you having for lunch?’ discussion, followed at some point by the ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ chat. Being professional punsters, we often have themed-food days. When we’re in the Brunswick East studio, we have Friday Pie-day, or even Friday Thai-day. Whilst at Central South Yarra, we were spoiled with a fully-stocked and fitted kitchen – ideal for our snacking and lunching purposes. Our favorite place for grab-and-go lunching whilst in South Yarra was tom dick & harry – the yumminess of their grain, veggie and protein-filled salads was real. Inset above: Coco & Creme Living Essential Key Bowl in White Marble.
The Ruby Slipper x Little Projects kitchen had a bright, lofty sensibility and plenty of storage and benchspace – if you were preparing food or tidying up at the sink, you looked straight out over South Yarra, past the Botanical Gardens and towards the skyline. While cooking, the mirrored splashback gave an equally gorgeous view of the skyscrapers in the distance.
1:00 – 3:00 pm: This is our second most intense period of writing for the day – we’re both fuelled up, rested and ready to go. The afternoon sunlight that crept across Central South Yarra’s living room was very beautiful, so we would often choose to snuggle up on the Jardan Wilfred Sofa or the Norr11 Mammoth Chair.
This is also usually the time I’ll catch up with clients or collaborators – either by phone conferencing with a cup of tea handy or over coffee nearby. Afternoon tasks for me will also include prospecting: following up on clients who have contacted Ruby Slipper about content collaboration or social and community management services – and also on preparing proposals for businesses we’d love to work with. These are quieter, more thoughtful activities that perfectly suit the slower pace of an afternoon. Inset above: the Olbia Pamir Rug from Halcyon Lake.
This plum Round Top Ottoman from Arthur G Designs (made to order for our Central South Yarra apartment) not only made an excellent antidote to the traditional coffee table – it was also a good place to sit and consider new ideas.
Art to inspire the artist within: it was a pleasure to gaze upon ‘The Secret Life of Trees’ by Richard Claremont. An original abstract landscape inspired by the local Australian environment, this work features many of Claremont’s motifs – capturing passing moments of light and time in thick brushstrokes.
3:00 – 3:30pm: Cup of tea anyone? Team Ruby Slipper will take a brew or two, good and strong and PREFERABLY boiled in this very schmick Smeg kettle. When we start to tire, a spot of afternoon tea is just the ticket. Being at Central South Yarra, we were spoiled for choice when it came to selecting a little something sweet to accompany our T2 brews – at famous patisserie Zumbo, no less!
Emma readies flowers and teacups for afternoon tea, whilst the lit Top3 by Design x Gascoigne & King Apres soy candle scents the air with a vanilla-tabac fragrance.
A well-deserved afternoon break – and a bit of a giggle, too.
Macarons by Zumbo on the apartment’s Coco & Creme Living Flax Ceramic Platter – we had ‘Drunken Pear’, ‘Popcorn’ and ‘Salted Caramel and Coconut’ flavours. Let me say, they did not hang around very long after this photo was taken.
3:30 – 4:00pm: When we’re in our regular studio, we’ll often be feeling a bit ‘hunchy’ in the shoulders and potentially over-screentimed in the late afternoon. Sometimes we can get ‘writer’s block’ too – where no matter how long we look at Pinterest or play word association games, no concept seems strong enough or ‘right’ enough. Our antidote to these creative slumps? It’s either a bit of meditation, desk yoga with our favorite online yogi ‘Yoga with Adriene’ or a stroll outside. When at Central South Yarra, however – we took our afternoon re-energising session to another level courtesy of the extraordinary rooftop pool and pool deck. We did a little yoga while looking out over the city, and then took a quick dip. Ka-ching! Batteries recharged, muse reinstated.
Sunlounges? Check. Warm water? Views to forever? Check, check.
4:00 – 5:00 pm: The finish line for content is nigh – we’ll either be racing to deadline or (should the day’s social content be delivered) creating newsletters and blogs. Finishing time is 5:00 pm – although I occasionally write a little later into the evening. I’ve never been big on working late – I sometimes suspect it indicates a lack of workflow management or a ‘work warrior’ attitude which is hard to maintain long-term.
So that’s it: a day in the life of Ruby Slipper. As you can see, our days are a tapestry of brain-storming, graphic design, community strategy, social media content delivery, copywriting and conceptualizing new projects with collaboration partners. Without a doubt, the Ruby Slipper x Little Projects installation inspired us towards new ideas – ostensibly sprung from our time in such thoughtfully-curated surrounds.
For more details on the Central South Yarra residence Ruby Slipper were fortunate to call home for the week, read on and indulge in both a wealth Little Projects’ architecture and interiors beauty brought together by the best of Australian and international designers.