>> Who: Andrew Gates
Wife: Erin of Elements of Style
>> When I met Erin...
Erin and I have been together for 7 years (married for 3 and a half). “Where” we met…on match.com. Just writing that sends a shiver. I know more and more people are meeting that way…but that was not that case 7 years ago! It took us a long time to admit that little tidbit to people other than immediate family. In fact, I am pretty sure that it would have been a secret from them if Erin didn’t want to give her mom the heads up about our first “brick and mortar” date…just in case I decided to chop her up and put her in the back of my Camaro (her mother’s words…not mine. I didn’t even have a Camaro…it was a Honda).
I still get emotional when Ross and Rachel break-up and/or get back together on Friends re-runs.
If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would design the interior of cars.
I was kicked out of boarding school after 3 months (although I still get alumni news from them).
I am coming around to Lucite furniture.
I am afraid of heights…because I fear I will jump off.
1. What would you say are the three most important things that you do to support Erin in her creative endeavors?
First thing would have to be to give her the push she needed to actually go and do it on her own. Despite what you may think, she was not this super confident, mega designer you see today. She definitely needed that push. Second was to try my best to provide a modicum of financial support so she could quit her day job. Finally, it was to continue to push. That first step for her was hard, but there are always bumps along the road. The role I play is to help her see that those bumps simply mean she is on her way! Every small business (and large for that matter) takes a hit now and then. I help her to see it as a positive.
2. Being with someone who works irregular hours can be tough... from missed dinners to not being able to do simple things like relaxing or watching your favorite shows together as often as you'd like... How do you stop the craziness from impacting your relationship? Can you please offer some survival tips for those in similar situations?
You don’t stop the craziness from impacting your relationship, you embrace it. You learn to take advantage of the dinners you have together, the movies you can watch together, and the weekends you spend with each other. They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Well the same can be said here. We are both passionate about our work, so it is easy to let passion go by the wayside (it happens to us). You just have to remember that when you do have a moment to spend with your loved one, you actually take the time to spend it with them. One last word of advice is for those couples who both lead crazy lives…remember that in those rare times where you do come up for air…sometimes you need to take that air for yourself. It is important to make time for you. Erin likes Yoga. I like Squash (both the game and legume). To each their own.
3. Could you give us a sense of what it's like living with a designer/blogger who works from home? Please describe what typically happens once you come home from work [door opens]...
I open the door and…the dogs greet me!!! I then walk over to Erin’s office, where she is entranced with some fashion/design blog/website and has not realized I have come home. I walk over, give a kiss hello and go get a glass of wine (she already has one). I then come back to her office and sit on her couch to rehash the day. It is actually quite nice. This is a change BTW…I used to go to the TV and turn on Family Guy. I think this is nicer and more interactive (another helpful hint for handling all the crazy).
4. What was the strangest thing you've done to support Erin in what she does?
Does going to see Twilight on opening weekend with her count? Not sure what the strangest thing is, but the hardest has been giving up some time and attention. I used to have 100% of her now I have to share. It is worth it though, because she was born to do this. She is growing as a person and while I can’t have her any time I want, the times that I do are that much better. When she is happy, nothing else in the world matters to me.
5. What is the easiest and hardest thing about being Erin other half?
The easiest is bragging about how awesome/hot/cool my wife is! I do it all the time…much to my co-workers dismay. The hardest part is putting up with a creative mind…one day I love this…the next I love that…this isn’t right…I don’t like that shirt on you anymore…what is wrong with your hair…and so on. We are in constant decoration mode (both me and home).
6. Please choose one of your personal favorite projects that Erin has been involved in and briefly explain why it's your favorite.
This is a tough one because there are so many. If I have to give an answer (and saying our home seems lame) it would be our previous condo. We sold it to a good friend of ours who promptly hired Erin. I was worried about this because I would think it next to impossible for her to come in with a fresh point of view. We had lived there for almost 3 years and I thought we had tried just about everything you could do with 700 SQFT. Needless to say I was wrong. I am continually impressed with not only her ability to come up with new and creative ideas, but to do so with the client’s needs and tastes in mind.