Life update.

The state of Kelsey Davis Design: haha. Sounds so fancy.

I just finished my last two plush taxidermy pieces that I'll be making for awhile so I wanted to share what's going on behind the scenes. I announced a few months ago that I would be closing the shop for a bit to take some time and rework my designs, create new products, and work on an overall shop refresh. That's still the plan but the details are fuzzy.

I've hit a point where I feel like my business has slowed and the only way I'll be able to grow it is if I take a hard look at my shop and make some changes.. what's working, what's not? What do I love to do, and am I doing it?* I've enjoyed making all the little animals for you guys! I'm just getting the itch to switch things up, even though it's super scary to start something new.. because who knows if it'll work out? (*shoutout to my super supportive husband who inspires me on the daily and is constantly pushing me to just go for it; whatever that may be.)

Go for it

Will I still be offering custom plush taxidermy in the future?

As of right now, I will not be offering completely custom pieces. This was a main reason for closing the shop, because the way my custom orders were set up took too much time for one person (me, haha) to do by themselves, and 6 weeks was too long of a turn around time to make my customers happy. Which is understandable, that's a long time to wait!

Will I still be making plush taxidermy?

My main focus will be elsewhere, but my plan right now is to do small batch shop updates every few months where I release a few ready to ship pieces on a particular day. Keep an eye on my instagram for updates on this. I'm hoping to have some ready to go in the fall around thanksgiving.

What will I be doing in the meantime?

This is the part where it gets fuzzy! My background is in graphic design, so I'm planning to dive back in to my computer. I've been spending so much time sewing that I haven't had time to design as much as I've wanted to lately, so I'm excited about that. I've started a new side business with my husband where we're designing enamel pins, stickers, and other fun flair. You can follow along with us on instagram @dribblekiller if that sounds like something you'd enjoy :)

I'm reallyyyy trying to let myself go for a few months to experiment and create things just for fun without thinking too much about what will sell. And guys, it's not easy to flip that switch! But I'm trying. Maybe I'll make some pillows? Prints? Embroidery? What would you like to see more of in your feed? Let me know! Keep up with me here and on instagram if you want to see where all of this ends up. 

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This quote from Awesome with Alison has been sticking with me lately as I try to dig in and figure out what I really love to do. It feels like everything is SO oversaturated right now, doesn't it? Everyone is a photographer. Or blogger. Or hand-letterer. But guess what? You should do it anyways, because no one is YOU and if you truly love it you will bring something unique and different that no one else can. Plus, the bottom line is you need to do what makes you happy. Period. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because you are your best self when you're doing what you love.  

The Best Costa Rica Airbnb's (under $200!)

One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is spend hours on the internet looking at vacation rentals. (no, for real. I think it's actually a hobby of mine at this point.) I spent so much time browsing that I had a legit Airbnb nightmare last night.. we got there and the bed was missing, the sink was full of dishes, the pool had no water in it.. just a straight up nightmare, y'all. (Ha! I only wish I was kidding.)

I know that for some of you, vacation planning and rental searching is your own personal version of hell. Amirite? Don't worry, I'll happily share the fruits of my labor with you.

Costa Rica is a dream. Wild jungle animals meet miles of beaches, cute little towns, active volcanoes, and friendly people. It's not the place to go for an all inclusive vacation- it's the place to go for an adventure.

I've rounded up some of my favorites that meet most, if not all, of the things on my list. (and they're all backed up by excellent reviews- which I feel is super important when it comes to renting a house in a foreign country)

Costa Rican Airbnb wish list: 

  • Private house with a view
  • Swimming pool
  • Kitchen or kitchenette
  • less than $200 a night
  • Danny wants wifi.. not at the top of my list but I'll admit it definitely makes life easier

Of note: these first 3 options don't have AC, but the reviews all say there is enough of a breeze that this isn't a problem at all. This was our experience as well when we stayed at Mango Valley (pictured at the bottom).

Costa Rica airbnb

As if staying in a freaking awesome treehouse wasn't amazing enough, "guests enjoy free 24 hour access to the 12 natural hot and cool springs pools of various temperatures and rainforest trails." And um, hi.. it's only $129 a night. 

Costa Rica airbnb

Private two bedroom villa with everything a family needs on vacation and a shared pool with 3 other villas. Walking distance to Samara beach. $148

Costa Rica airbnb

"Spectacular volcano and lake views from every room" and a spacious balcony. Sold. $118

So I definitely think a tad rustic is the way to go in Costa Rica, but I couldn't resist including a few beautiful modern houses as well. 

Costa Rica airbnb

 "Serenity Beach House". $209, gorgeous private pool, AC, full house includes 5 beds.

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Fairly new so not many reviews yet, but so far no one has anything negative to say about this fully equipped, amazing house with open air in the common areas, AC in the 2 bedrooms. $129 and in a gated community close to the beach. 

Costa Rica airbnb

This amazing pool with an absolutely killer view pretty much seals the deal for me. (Open air shower, AC, and modern furnishings aren't so bad either.) $247 -more than we would pay on our own BUT it sleeps 4 people comfortably with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, so split between two couples this house is a sweet deal.

Costa Rica airbnb

Infinity pool with an ocean view. AC and comfortable amenities as well as 2 bedrooms. $172

Honorable mention. Very simple cottages overlook the gorgeous Mango Valley, this place is an underrated gem. We stayed here one night because it's 25 minutes from SJO and we had an early flight the next morning- although I wouldn't recommend staying here for your entire trip, you can't beat this gorgeous little pool for $67 near the airport.

Also note: most of these places are near the Province of Guanacaste or Arenal volcano area but we stayed here two years ago in Dominical and absolutely loved it. The view is amazing and we saw a wild sloth chilling right outside our window. One of my favorite moments ever.

Now for the hard part. Will you stay somewhere with views of the valley or steps from the beach? Maybe a little of both? Life is full of tough decisions, isn't it ;) Hope I made it a little easier for you, though. Pura Vida.

Feel Good Friday

Things I'm loving right now.

WATCHING: You guys have to check out Little Big World on youtube (or Amazon Prime!). I stumbled on it today and it's amazing. Basically it's a series of time-lapses taken all over the world and edited with a tilt shift lens, which makes everything look miniature and adorable! Each episode is less than 3 minutes, so it's super fun and easy to watch.

PLANNING: Our trip to the Bahamas! We're staying on Long Island in March. If you have any tips for the Out Islands send them my way ;) If you're interested, you can follow along with my planning on my pinterest board.

LOVING: Design Love Fest's interior.

Design Love Fest

EATING: I got a juicer for Christmas so I've been doing a lot of experimenting. I like to keep track of the combinations I've used so I might post them here from time to time. Because I mean, those COLORS. So gorgeous right? Y'all have any fave juice recipes? 

carrot, ginger, apple, lemon. juice recipes.

WEARING: It's been unusually warm in OK for February. I've basically been living in a tank top with a light sweater and it's been bliss.

light sweater + tshirt+ tennis shoes

INSPIRING: I just stumbled on Charlotte Love's instagram and OMG it's fantastic.

Charlotte Love

WANTING: This burrito ring from bando.

Burrito ring from Bando

LISTENING TO: Feel good indie pop girl, Frankie Cosmos. We're taking a quick trip to Chicago to see her and Real Estate in May. SO PUMPED. Check her out here.

frankie cosmos

What makes you feel like a boss?

I've always struggled with getting stuff done. I know I'm not alone in that, but a lot of times I feel like I am. I think it's because I let my to-do's pile up and then I just get so overwhelmed that it seems impossible to get anything done! That's why I've declared this year "the year of getting stuff done". I'm constantly trying to remind myself to just do the things AS THEY COME, instead of putting it off. I haven't been totally perfect so far, but I think I've been a little better :)

I am completely inspired by the Being Boss ladies and their weekly podcast. Thanks to them, I now know that it feels really awesome to refer to yourself as BOSS. Who knew that a little 4 letter word could change the entire way I look at myself and my business? (And also my shoes.. My favorite pair of boots that I wear when I want to look good/ feel good are now my "boss boots". Because they make me feel bossy and I like it. :)  But for real. They get it. They get what it's like to run a business and they know what it takes to succeed. It's so nice to hear other people confirming that there are days when working for yourself can be a major struggle, for all sorts of reasons! But on those days you just have to buck up and DO THE WORK. Nothing will make you feel better except doing the work. Period. 

A topic they frequently discuss (which is probably my favorite) is, "What can I do to make $100 today?". It's so easy to get lost in the bigger picture and to get so overwhelmed that you just sit and do nothing instead. This question breaks it down to the simplest form possible- what can you do TODAY? Whether that's writing a blog post, designing a new print, or offering a 24 hour coupon code on instagram: what is something you can do right now that will make your business better, and make some money while you're at it?

I designed this print to hang in my studio and remind me to just start somewhere and do the work. Every day. It's also available as a free download if you need some boss-yness in your life. 

Click here to get the printable!

Do the Work

Inspiring quotes round up left to right: 1 / 2 / 3/ 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I also made these little pins.. because you can never have too much inspiration, right?! 

Do the Work Pin. Kelsey Davis Design.
Do the Work pin. Kelsey Davis Design

 

Things that make me feel totally boss:

  • making a plan and sticking to it. (crossing things off my to do list)
  • working so hard that I crash into bed at night.
  • coffee. all day.
  • making a really great breakfast or lunch for myself.
  • answering emails right away. (it makes me feel productive and I know customer's really appreciate it!)
  • being able to schedule time to sit outside and soak up some sun in the middle of the work day ;)

What makes you feel like a boss??