Get rid of negative vibes. Nobody should have items in their home that create negative energy. So I would suggest removing things from your home that you obviously dislike. If the item is something that for some reason you can’t remove, try to disguise it, transform it, or store it away out of sight. Remember what Marie Kondo says: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.”
As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Vivien Albrecht.
Vivien Albrecht was born in England, spent her childhood in Canada, and was educated in the arts in Italy. Since obtaining her bachelor of arts, she has lived both in Canada and the UK, and worked in the film industry before venturing out solo, into the world of blogging and video making. She is married to a Swede that she met while working on a film back in 2012. They’ve been together ever since!
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Before becoming a content creator, I worked for about a decade in the film industry: first on set, and then in post production in visual effects. But there came a point in my film career where I could sense that I needed a change. I knew I could work another 10 years in film, but I also knew that it wouldn’t make me happy. Having gone to art school in Italy, and then moving onto getting a degree in Multimedia Communications from an Italian Academy of Fine Arts, all forms of art and design have always been my passion.
I wanted more than anything to be free from the “traditional” job and I knew it was possible to make a great living online. I just needed to figure out how to marry my love of design with an online business. It took a few years of trial and error but once I figured it out, I threw myself into it 100%, and was determined to make it work. There was no plan B, this was it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
It has been interesting to witness how my online career has evolved during the pandemic. Amidst so much uncertainty and chaos, I was initially a little worried that everything would just suddenly collapse. But month after month, things not only held steady, but they grew rapidly! I think online entrepreneurs have been quite lucky during the pandemic, with a lot more people seeking comfort and entertainment online while being stuck at home. I’ve been fortunate enough to hit my long term goal, which was to earn enough from my online business in order to allow my husband to quit his day job. Now he is also able to focus on his own projects and is very quickly growing his own audience in the game development niche (check out his channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/Pontypants/)
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I wouldn’t say it’s funny, but definitely one of the most obvious mistakes I made in the beginning was to think that things would just work straight away. With a traditional job, we’re used to showing up, and getting paid at our full rate immediately no matter how much or how little work we get done. With online businesses, it takes time to start making money and you have to learn to put the hard work in, and just be patient and trust that it will pay off. That was really tough for me because I’m a really impatient person.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
At the moment I am excited to keep doing what I’m doing. My YouTube channel has grown fairly rapidly so I’m planning to keep releasing new videos that will hopefully reach and help the audience that is on that platform looking for that kind of content. I am also planning on starting up a second website in 2021. I can’t say much yet, but I am definitely planning on creating a fantastic online resource.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
One of my favorite life lesson quotes is from Farrah Gray: “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”. This quote really helped me at a time in my life where I felt frustrated being stuck in a job that I knew I didn’t want to pursue anymore. It made me realize that if I wanted to do anything on my own, I had to have an idea, or a dream to work towards. Without a clear goal, I knew I would be stuck working on someone else’s project for the rest of my life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are definitely a couple of people that come to mind — the first is my husband Pontus. Without his support, it would have been a lot harder to get to the place I am at today. He allowed me to quit my job when I still had no idea what I wanted to do, and supported us both while I figured things out. He gave me some tough love when I needed it. I will always be grateful to him for believing in me, and for pushing me forward when I didn’t believe in myself.
The other person is my ex-boss, Sara, who has become one of my closest friends. She was the same boss I gave notice to the day I quit my job in the film industry. Little did I know how much she understood me — she has also left the film industry and is now a hugely successful blogger (check out her blog here: https://gatheringdreams.com/). She was the one who suggested I start a blog in the first place, because she had already started that journey herself. She became somewhat of a mentor, and helped keep me on track when I needed it most. I owe much of my own success to her guidance.
Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Surround yourself with things you truly love. This philosophy applies to the smallest, day to day things like your coffee mug, to larger ticket items like your sofa.
If this feels overwhelming, you can start small, and introduce just one thing you love into each room in the house. So for example, start with your entryway. Can you place something you love in your entryway, so that it’s the first thing you see every time you come in the door? That is a great state of mind to enter your home in!
Maybe in your living room it’s just a single throw pillow that makes you smile every time you walk in the room. In your bathroom, it could be a plush bath mat that you love stepping onto every time you get out of the shower. In your kitchen, maybe you can create a small vignette with a beautiful dish brush and a lovely soap bottle filled with your favorite scented product.
2. Get rid of negative vibes. Nobody should have items in their home that create negative energy. So I would suggest removing things from your home that you obviously dislike. If the item is something that for some reason you can’t remove, try to disguise it, transform it, or store it away out of sight. Remember what Marie Kondo says: “Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.”.
3. Repurpose what you already have. Obviously only having things you really love is easier said than done — I know it’s not always possible (or sustainable) to just replace things just because you don’t like them! If replacing is not an option, then try to think of creative ways to upcycle what you already have. Could you reupholster that chair? Could you paint that dresser? Maybe replace the handles on those cabinets?
If you spend your time and energy creating something that brings you joy, it will ultimately give that item that much more meaning and you will appreciate it more.
4. Buy with intention. Now that you’re being mindful of the objects that are already in your home, try to take that mentality with you when you are shopping. Before I buy anything now, I ask myself “will i like looking at this item, if i leave it out on the counter?”. For me, it’s often the visual experience that drives purchases, because aesthetics and design are important to me. But for you it might be “does this item fulfill the exact needs and expectations that I have, and if it doesn’t, will that annoy me every time I use it in the future?”. For others it might be what impact buying a certain item might have on the environment. It’s deeply personal, so ask yourself the questions that are important to you before introducing new items into your home. This is what buying with intention is.
5. Keep everything clean and tidy. Our surroundings can greatly influence the way we feel, so try your best to live in an environment that is clean, tidy and organized. The easiest way to keep things neat and tidy is to make sure that every item you own has a place. If you use something, put it back when you’re done with it. Don’t procrastinate doing house chores; if you do, they can quickly start to feel overwhelming. And lastly, try to open the window every day and let some fresh air flow into your space.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My goal is always to help people create a home that they feel safe and happy in, a space where they feel their anxiety levels reducing rather than increasing. It might seem like a small thing, but in a world where pretty much everything is creating stress for people, I think having a home to return to that counters this is incredibly important. I think we can all relate to this need, especially in times like these!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
There are so many inspirational individuals out there, it’s impossible to choose just one! It’s truly amazing what humans can accomplish when they set their minds to it. I will try to name a few people that really stand out to me.
For folks that started out as bloggers and then turned into full-on brand and business owners, I would love to meet Justina Blakeney, the owner and founder of the wildly popular brand the “Jungalow”.
Shea McGee from Studio McGee is an interior designer who works with her husband. She not only creates breathtaking interiors and living spaces, and has her own brand, but she also nurtures a fantastic online community, while sharing tips and tricks with her audience. Oh and she also has her own Netflix show and on top of everything finds time to be a mom. Truly a super human that would be amazing to chat with!
Other interior designers I find wildy inspiring and who I’d love to meet are Sarah Sherman Samuel, Emily Henderson, Amber Lewis and Bonnie, Lana and Erin from Three Birds Renovations.
Beyond being a home decor and interior design blogger, I am also a YouTuber, so I have to talk a little bit about which videomakers I admire. If I wanted to sit down and have lunch with an inspirational YouTuber, it would 100% have to be PewdiePie (aka Felix Kjellberg).
Felix’s content may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but what he has managed to build (and maintain!) over the course of 10 years on YouTube simply boggles the mind.
And finally, as a lifelong gamer, I also enjoy watching gaming streams from time to time. I am even dabbling with the idea of streaming myself in the future 😉 If I could choose one streamer to have lunch with, it would have to be Dr Disrespect (aka Guy Beahm). He is the living example of someone who took a medium, and squeezed every drop of potential out of it, and then some!
With the recent difficulties Dr Disrespect has faced (being permanently banned from the platform that he built his career on) I think it’s inspiring to see how he was able to overcome almost seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Dr. Disrespect is also exactly my age (1982, baby!) so his journey feels particularly relatable to me.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!