On Working From Home

Elsie + Emma : A Beautiful Mess*Photos by Sarah Rhodes

I’ve been working from home for more than seven years now. My career has taken quite a few twists and turns, but one consistency is that I’ve worked full time or part time from my home. I love it, but it’s definitely gotten easier (and much more productive) over the years! This morning I took reader questions (via Instagram) and I’ve picked out a few to answer here today.

Q: I have a hard time staying focused and motivated working from home. I often move to a coffee shop just because that atmosphere seems to help me focus a bit more. Any tips would be great!

A: I totally understand. This was a huge thing that I struggled with when I first started working from home. Homes are filled with distractions and responsibilities that can derail a perfectly productive work day. With that said, I now find my home to be the most productive place to work and struggle with the opposite problem while traveling. A few tips that have helped me are keeping strict working hours (I’ll talk more about this below), working in a small group, keeping a list by my side at all times (SO essential) and spacing conference calls and team meetings throughout the week. So I have larger blocks of “alone time” to blog and complete deadlines.

Q: Please share how you use an editorial schedule for your site.

A: We have touched on this subject in the past (here and here and here). We plan all of our posts for the week every Monday, through the following Monday or further out sometimes. For longer term posts (like this or this) we may have it on our running list for several months before we set a publish date for it. It really depends on the type of content whether it needs a few days day or a month of prep time, we try to give each idea whatever amount of time it needs to “bake”. We make our weekly schedule that’s super organized and specific, but we also know that small shuffles will need to happen, so we stay flexible.

Q: How do you find new inspiration sitting in the same place while working??

A: Honestly, Emma and I travel so much right now that we LOVE weeks that are slow and relaxed. If we are ever feeling a creative block, we take breaks—like going out for lunch or coffee, stopping by a flea market or taking a little bit of alone time to run errands. I think consistency is very important in a working environment, so I appreciate a routine and a schedule that we can stick with most of time time. I am most productive when my weekdays are routine and simple.

Q: Does working from home generate clutter (which for me can interfere with working!)? Do you have to clean/organize before you can really get to work?

A: Oh my goodness! This is a HUGE issue. We do our best. Eventually we plan to move to another office space, but until then we do we have to work extra hard to make our situation work for everyone. On any given weekday we have between 2 to 5 people stopping in and out of my home. They bring computers, food and project supplies—so, yes, it gets very messy! We try very hard to be considerate of others and clean up our spaces. With that said, I’ve never had a “perfect” home studio. And if someone else does I would love to hear how! We deal with the mess because it’s worth it. 🙂

Q: In about what time frame do you normally get an average post written?

A: As I said above, it really does depend on the type of post we are writing. Some posts seem to take an eternity between sourcing supplies, perfecting a DIY method, executing a finished project and then photography and copy writing. Others, like this one, are really just something we did for fun and then blogged about on a whim. I would say that from start to finish an average post takes a few hours. We always want to stay open to spending more time on projects we love. But it’s definitely important to have a system that’s functional and time efficient, since we are committed to publishing content a few times each day. Balance is good! 🙂

A Beautiful Mess : On Working From HomeQ: How do you avoid distractions?

A: We don’t work on personal projects or personal e-mails during work hours. We follow a list of tasks and goals each week. When somethings not working, we talk about it and try something new. I will say that working in a group does help a lot. We’ve found that everyone is far less likely to waste hours browsing online when there are other people around. It just helps everyone stay aware of what they are there for and on task!

Q: How do you separate work life from home? What are the boundaries you set/use?

A: Right now our small team works from my home. Some people only come over a few days per week, but there is someone here every weekday. When we made this choice my husband and I had a long conversation about how to keep our house feeling like a home, despite all the “work stuff” going on here. Here’s what works for us: Nobody comes into the home until 10 am every morning. This gives Jeremy and I a little more privacy during our morning routine. On an average day, everyone leaves at 5 pm. Even though we aren’t able to fit all our work for the day in that 7-hour slot, we’re really intentional about getting our work that needs to be done as a group during that time. But I talk about that more below. We also have a work zone and private zone in our house, meaning our team doesn’t go upstairs, where most of our living space is, without a reason. This distinction is important because we don’t have to stress about people entering our private space all the time (e.g., it’s not embarrassing if we don’t make the bed or have some clothes on the floor!) Emma and I also have a system for separating our personal time and money from the business’s time and money. These things all help us stay professional, balanced and reduce stress in a big way. I don’t think any business can be at its best without proper boundaries, especially when working from home.

Q: Do you set office hours for yourself? Also, how do you deal with retirement funds, insurance, etc when you’re an entrepreneur?

A: Yes. I work set hours every week and then Emma and I also work “optional hours”. Monday through Friday we always work between 10-5 with our team. For the “optional hours”, as necessary, we’ll work in the early mornings, the evenings and the weekends to make sure we’re staying on top of everything. For example, we are shooting a book right now, and we do almost all of our shoots on Saturday mornings. We plan them in advance, and we are careful to give ourselves days off (usually Sundays) and free evenings (hello, date night!) on a regular basis. Because of all the projects we are working on right now, we can’t complete our work in 40 hours like a normal job. BUT we make sure to schedule days off, so we don’t go insane. It’s amazing what a difference a day and a few nights off every week do to reduce our stress levels… it’s so important!

As small business owners, we are responsible for our own insurance and retirement funds. I have an accountant who helps me stay organized for tax time. We use the same accountant for both business and personal tax needs, which helps to simplify the process.

Q: How do you divide your time to conquer multiple projects at once without burning out?

A:  This is a great question! For us, multiple projects actually helps make our job more fun and less monotonous. I love switching between projects! Our biggest commitments are our blog, which one or both of us work on daily, and our books, which are seasonal- 6 months on, 6 months off type work. We also do collaborations (SO fun!). But we are very careful with which ones we take on, because they only work well when they are a great fit. 🙂 I would never want to go back to doing strictly one thing. But with that said, it’s important not to over-commit, because I think that is one of the biggest sources of burn out!

Thanks so much for all the fun questions! If you are curious about more business/blogging type stuff, leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to comment back or answer your question in a future blog post! xo. Elsie

  • Thanks for the information! I have a small business myself, and always have trouble seperating work and play.



  • What a wonderful informative post! Though I don’t think I can quit my day job just yet, I am eventually hoping to be a published author and transition to working from home. It’s going to be quite the challenge, but I’m fairly confident that it will be happening for me. Your tips are pretty awesome and I’ll definitely keep this post in mind!

  • This is so great; I thought about doing a post like this on my own blog! I work from home (for about 9 months now) and struggle all over the place to find a good rhythm, balance, and productive hours. Thank you for the tips! 🙂

  • This is such a timely post for me, Elsie,as I also work from home and am currently dealing with the stresses of distractions, clutter, and time management! I admire the way you tackle these things, treating a business as it should be. Many say that working from home gives you so much time to hang, but the real thing is that it demands more out of you than, say, a regular 9-5 job. While it has its perks, I like that you’re giving sound advice and setting realistic expectations. 🙂

  • Thank you for all the great answers!
    I have a small business started 2 years ago and first worked just from home. Then opened a shop.
    But my home did not feel anymore my home.
    Cause I spend all my time at home, I could not feel comfortable in my personal time.
    But I have to say I work alone and not with a team as you.
    How do you do this? How can you save this?
    I am now thinking about working half time from home again and I am a bit afraid of feeling lonely and my home not as my lovely home…
    If you have any advice, I would love to know! Thank you! xx

  • I am actually thinking of going the work from home route… Thank you for the tips!

  • This post is exactly what I needed to read right now.. what with my guest bedroom to office transformation, project juggling, tax deadlines and a husband who rightfully needs personal time with his wife. Very reassuring that through all the struggles of starting a home-based business/blog from scratch I am on the right track. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • OMG..such an embarrassing question but…where did you 2 get your shoes…I love them 😉

    PS- I love your page/blog,ideas,recipes…life!

  • great insights. I am so applying these tips starting September when I’ll start working from home 😀 Thanks for sharing!

  • Super super useful, thank you! My goal is to, within the next two years, transition to working from home and it’s always great to hear/read how other people do that successfully. It’s so hard sometimes to keep everything separate, and when you work for yourself, it’s almost harder to STOP working as it is to stay on task.

  • Thanks, this is a really great and realistic approach! I love the part about having both business and personal time!

    Thank you!

  • I’d love to work from home, and this post made me even more inspired to do so, despite distractions and obstacles that might appear.

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  • You ladies are such an inspiration! Living the dream!! I know it’s alot of work but I lub lub your blog!!



  • This was a long read but definitely worth reading until the very last paragraph! Thanks for sharing this with us Elsie! 🙂 I’m planning to start some business while working from home as well. I think this will definitely help. 😉


  • You made some excellent points. My husband and I run a not for profit charity in Australia called Green Renters from our home office and we experience a lot of the issues you detailed. Like you, we also have staff coming in to work periodically and have the challenge of work vs housework vs down time. We also spend a lot of time working weekends running workshops for communities and local municipalities

    Things I’ve found that help:
    -structure in each day
    -meetings outside of the home where viable like coffee shops with wifi
    -If you work weekends, it’s ok to have a proper break during the week
    -do housework before the working day starts (I often put washing on at 8am)

    Insurance etc are all the reality of any small business. You have to pay for everything yourself folks including superannuation and insurance.

  • Great post and great tips, i´m starting to work from home and gonna use your wisdom, thanks!

    post idea: a day in the life (in a work day)

  • Hey guys, thanks for your blog and for posts like today. I live in Madrid (Spain), I have two small businesses and I work from home. I felt very identified with everything written here. I also think that I prefer to work on multiple projects and escape the monotony. Working at home has many advantages and now can not imagine working anywhere else.

  • This was really interesting, would love to see some more posts on this kind of thing 🙂

    Emily x – prettypleaseprettyplease.blogspot.com

  • Hi Elsie ! Big thanks for this, it really is a help reading about all this. I have a crafts blog over here in Europe (France/UK) and work from home. I started just a year ago and although it’s all going really well I still work from our small flat which can definitely be a little scary some times. You have answered a lot of question I had, inspired new routine decisions and showed me it can all work out 🙂 Thanks and keep up the fab work.

  • You’ve addressed the exact things I’ve struggled with Elsie! I’m taking a 6 months break from “corporate” life and working on my own projects at home. Sounds idyllic, but not so easy, as you’ve described.

    If anyone else is a Google calendar user, I highly recommend the “Tasks” function. I set tasks everyday to cross off as I progress. At the end of the day, I move any incomplete tasks to the next day. It’s definitely helped with my productivity, although it’s still a constant battle!

    Have a great Easter!


  • I hope this is not out of the topic but i love that sofa soo much!!

    check out my new post :))


  • I’m so jealous of you working from home! I’m not even old enough to work, but I actually want to. It’s my dream to have a job like you do, yes- it must take LOADS of time but it sounds like so much fun! Thanks for posting this, it really gave me an insight into what the blogging business world is like. Until I can earn money my for fun blog will keep me busy: prettylittlethingstodo.blogspot.com
    Flo Jo xx

  • what a lovely post, it will be especially useful in the coming years as more people work from home to promote ‘green measures’ by companies 🙂

    Lisette Loves x

    p.s. a very odd question but what company did you source the sofa from?

  • Thank you so much for these awesome tips! I recently went from being a fulltime employee to working for myself from home so your post came at such a good time 🙂

  • Great guide – I work from home, too, and having set hours and a to-do list are “definites” for me!


  • Aw, I’m sorry to hear about your decision on your local shop – truly an end to an era, especially when you worked so very hard to get it up and running 🙁 I’m just re-reading some of your Dream Job sessions: written at a time when your new shop and website were at the height of your passion. Will you be adding another chapter to that – a kind of ‘what next?’ to the entrepreneurial journey?

  • Hey guys, I love this post- has a really hard time working from home for a while, but this makes it seem exciting. I was wondering though, don’t you guys have a store as well? I haven’t heard/seen much about it in a while!

    Thanks for the tips!


  • That’s awesome, I’m hoping to be so lucky one day!!! Just started my blog last month

  • Such helpful and informative tips! I am curious how things are going with the store–do you have a designated person who helps with managing the day to day duties? Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • You guys are soo inspiring! Although I’m only 16, I’m working on setting up my business. It’s a lot of hard work; but it’s also crazy fun because I love it!
    Thanks for the great advice:)

    xo Melanie


  • Your organisational skills are enviable. It sounds like you totally have it sorted. But I’m really sad to hear you are letting Red Velvet go, the vintage shop was one of the main reasons I started following your blog. But I understand that being adaptable is proving successful for you.
    Will you do share some final photos of the shop before it goes. I just loved your styling in there.

  • Oooh! This was just the post I needed! I am starting to cut back my hours at my day job to spend more time working on my business and blog. I will keep your ideas in my head as I proceed!
    Thank you!

  • Elsie – you and Emma are such inspirations! I love reading about how you function with your successful businesses, and learning how to adapt them to my own.
    What I would love to read is a general ‘day in the life’ post. Point form would be easy and great!!
    Kindest thoughts to all of you.

  • This is a great post. So many useful tips. Thanks.

    xo janika

  • Love this ladies! Its always so interesting to hear how you work.
    I remember years ago you touched on working from home and mentioned that if you really believe in something you can make it work, put in the extra hours instead of watching that TV show etc. It really stuck in my head! Now I am working freelance, we don’t have TV (ok my toddler son does take up a little of my time ha but still)
    You were a real inspiration then and continue to be now and Emma too of course 🙂 x
    Fritha Tigerlilly

  • I just need to say again how much I adore your blog! I am actually awful at DIY anything and am,at best, a lowly amateur when it comes to cooking and photography (as my blog below would illustrate), but I’m learning and I can’t help but be completely inspired every time I visit ABM. You ladies are sensational!

  • I’ll send you an email about this as well, but I thought I’d try the comments section first! 🙂 I’m a journalism student at the University of Cincinnati and started my blog (ohgollyholly.tumblr.com) as part of my capstone for my degree. I also currently work for Cincinnati CityBeat, a weekly magazine here in Cincinnati. My blog will be linked with their website very soon. Anyway, I’m currently working on a series called Interviews with (Super) Women. It’s about women who are living out their dreams and making a difference in the lives of others in unique ways. I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I think both of your voices could add something wonderful to the mix. If you would be willing/interested to do a Q&A with me, that would be fantastic. It could be done any way that works best for the two of you. Email, Facebook Chat, phone, skype — you name it. If you’re interested, let me know! Thanks and keep up the inspiring work! <3 Holly

  • This is a great post, it helps me give me ideas for earning some extra cash in the future 😀 I’ve just post up my first ever LAYERING post with step-by-step images of provoking layers! I credit the provocation to the Stella McCartney SS13 Perspex Sandals but still, do tell me what you think! 😉

    xx The Provoker

  • I used to telecommute in my previous job and asked for that option a few times a week in my new gig. I love working from home and I definitely feel more productive! Right now I do have issues of not unplugging at a normal time but i really do hope I manage my time well starting next week because it’s starting to get a little tiring. But I wish I could work from home all 5 days a week (especially because I get to have a little helper! my little dog!)

  • lots and lots to take note of here, thanks for being so transparent about what has worked and is working for you now 🙂

  • Thank you for that advice! It’s so helpful!


  • Organization definitely is the key!


  • Thank You for this post! It’s so interesting to read about this stuff.

  • Sure if you didn’t have a bit of mess in your work your blog would be called “A Beautiful”. That’s lovely but not half as interesting as the Mess. Happy Easter! Kerstin

  • I really enjoyed reading this post as I would like to start working on projects from home but have no idea how to organise myself. I was just wondering if I could suggest something for posts like these. Is there a way that you could group them under one section that is easily retrievable again? For example, this one is filed under Business, Elsie. The other articles you linked to this one about your editorial organisation are filed under Trade Secrets and Organise. Because you have spent the time writing these informative posts it would be handy to be able to see them in one place if someone wants to revisit them! Sorry if you already do this and I just haven’t seen it!

  • I loved reading this so fun and enjoyable I love your blog too I followed last week but just sifting through your recipes and their so good! love it xx

    www.krystelcouture.com ♥

  • thanks for the post and also for answering the questions in the comments! i especially appreciated your answer about the red velvet shop, I had been wondernig what was happening with it as there weren’t any new posts about it… One thing that is so inspiring to me about ABM about how you are so open to new types of work and adapt, evolve and change your interests… so essential. I hope you can find a good buyer soon. looking forward to following your new artistic passions!

  • Great advice, I had no idea, I just started this whole blogging thing so it’s really good to understand the process from your perspective. 🙂


  • Such a motivation for me, very helpful post.

    http://littlesteplittle.blogspot.com/ (beauty blogger, will give you many makeup idea)

  • Great blog and very informative information! Well done ladies! By the way, love your shoes – I also want them, in both colours 😉 the stripes and polka dots works well together too – it reflects in a positive way – great team work.

  • I love this! It is so important to have boundaries, routines, and organization! I find it so much more helpful when entrepreneurs are willing to share the vulnerabilities in their success. It gives me hope and gumption to keep trying my own thing!! Thanks so much!~Audra

  • Thanks for this post. I’m wondering how you transitioned to working full-time on your blog. Right now I work from home about 3 days/week on my [new] blog and my recording business, but I want to eventually make it full time. Basically, what I want to know is when did you decide it was time to quit doing some work in order to pursue other work? When did you decide to take the plunge?

  • When you started your blog, did you do a lot of prep time before hand, or did you just jump into it and figure it out as you went? I really want to start a blog, but sometimes I don’t know where to start, so I’m looking for all the help I could get:)

  • I just love your blog and your sponsors are great! Right inline with your style. Keep up your good work!

  • It was really great hearing this! I’m having trouble working from home and your tips were great.

    Kindness is the best accessory,

  • This was a really great post. I particularly love hearing about how you guys are able to manage the boundaries between work and personal life, especially when your working with friends and family as you mentioned in one of the comments.
    Have you ever had a situation where you had to tactfully turn down a collaboration or let someone go from your business that was a friend or family member? How did you handle it?

  • Really great tips I find it so hard to concentrate at home, thanks for sharing!


  • Thanks for this post. I struggle working from home (or anywhere actually!). I get distracted so easily. I just have to set solid schedules for myself 🙂

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to put together your answers to these questions – they have been fascinating to read as I always love hearing about your behind-the-scenes activities… Have a lovely Holiday weekend!

  • Great tips – I would love to work at home but alas I haven’t worked out how to do this for myself yet!

  • What a helpful peek into your work/home balance. Thank you so much for sharing. Adding a little one to the mix can prove extra challenging, but these pointers are great for anyone trying to balance life while working from home.

  • Great timing! I work from home and have worked off and on for the past three years and have three daughters. The most time consuming thing for me would be photo editing. How do you handle that part of your job? I love to take the pictures but it takes time to put them through a process before they’re ready for my blog posts. Thanks!


  • Thank you so much Elsie for this post. I see this type of thing in my future, so it was really helpful to read. I think it would be interesting to hear more about how you find time to take such great care of each one of your sponsors on top of everything else and make sure you have the sponsors you need each month. Is that a top priority as much as blogging great content? Thanks a bunch:-)

  • Super helpful! Thanks for this 🙂

    xo Ashley

  • This is great advice. I am a graduate student so all of my studies not conducted in the library or archives, are usually conducted from home. I have always had a hard time staying productive while at home.

  • Great advice! I’m a teacher and get these random breaks ranging from 1-2 weeks then my summer (2 months) off. I love using that time to really focus on my blog. For the shorter weeks, I love sitting around the house working on it. The summer is another story, because it’s so long. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind!


  • Absolutely wonderful post! I wonder about all these things because your business and blog are so popular and great! It is always nice to have an inside scoop on things.

  • This is a really excellent post- thanks for sharing your insights into the work-from-home lifestyle. I, too, run my company from home and have often found that the separation of that personal + business life is tricky- especially running a (more than) full-time creative business (I love what I do + make and could go all night- which I have done many many many times.) I totally agree with all of your points, but the one new thing I pulled from this is to not respond to personal emails + personal interactions during my work hours. It’s a great suggestion and I look forward to finding a way to integrate that into the balance.

    Thanks for your always inspiring and motivating tips. Enjoy a lovely weekend!

  • Thanks for the insight. I always find posts like this one fascinating.

  • Loved this! I’m curious if you still own your shop there and have staff managing it among everything else amazing you are doing? We took a Midwest road trip this past April and ended up there while planning our modern handmade shop in ND and had an amazing cupcake:) and left very inspired!

  • thanks for another great post! it’s helpful to hear the different ideas and ways that other people stay focused and on task. i 100% agree about have a list and keeping right next to you! it really keeps me focused and it is there to get me back on track if i do get distracted. 🙂 xo


  • Thanks for this post ! So interesting & inspiring 🙂
    Love from Paris

  • Hi Elsie….brilliant post. You answered the question from Pamela that was my question….the sister thing. A few months ago my sister was ready to come and help with the blog (she’s a gourmet cook and a photographer) but lately she has backed out saying she needs her privacy!

    Blogging isn’t a big thing in Jamaica….yet. Soon it will be but for now I’m like one of the only people out there blogging so its still a territory many friends and family are scared of. Though when I do take pics of friends and family I get their utmost permission….then the comments that come in are still awkward as in the privacy thing.

    I’m sure one day they will all be begging me to be part of the Blog….lol.

    Thanks again….love how you have set the personal space vs the public working space, so important.


  • you guys are so inspiring. this is all great advice whether you work from home or not.

  • That was really insightful as I had no idea you guys had a team that you worked with! It’d be really nice to learn more about how you got to this stage in your careers/lives from normal desk jobs (if you ever did that) to being self-employed full-time bloggers, and how you make an income from that. Thanks a bunch!

  • Are you still working at your Red Velvet shop? Do you go in there for a certain hours a week or do you employ other people to work there? When do you find time to purchase clothing for the shop?
    Tessa Lynn

  • Such a great insight into your world! Really makes me want to work from home!

    Juliette Laura

  • Such great advice! I really enjoyed reading this.


  • as someone who is just figuring out how to most efficiently work from home these tips are spot on and much appreciated!


  • You ladies are so lucky to be doing what you love from home!!

    In the Mean

  • Great blog post, i find your blog so inspiring, and you make me want to create every day. Thank you for that! xo

  • Hi Elsie!

    I realize your business has grown and expanded a lot, but I’m curious to know how your store is doing and how you manage your local business as well as your business online (blogging) and writing! Do you stay involved at the store or do you have a (very) trusted manager?

    Interested to hear!

    Xo, Brittan

  • This is a really helpful post. Thank you! I am graduating with a fashion design degree this June and will immediately start on working for a local fashion designer while also working on my own clothing line to launch. Do you have any suggestions for having both a full time job and an entrepreneur job?

  • Thank you for doing this post! I struggled to do my blog posts daily at home and all the above questions have really helped!:) I will refer back to this as youve gave great answers and advice.

    Lulu xx


  • Thanks for sharing this post 🙂

    – Christa

  • Great tips and tricks, thanks for sharing! xx

  • Wow, how interesting! Thanks for sharing. I was actually just thinking about my mom the other day-she was a working stay at home mom. It must have been so hard for her to stay focused-her office didn’t even have doors!

  • I like the part about having some of your space private at your house. Great tip

  • I would love to work from home! Right now I blog, work 40 hours at my day job, and I’m in school full time. Craziness! Haha 🙂


  • I am just beginning on my blogging journey but hope for it to one day become my full time job. You and Emma and your whole team have been such a source of inspiration and guidance for me during this learning process. Thanks so much for taking them time to answer these questions!


  • This has been so interesting and insightful 🙂 Thank you for writing this awesome post, haha. Got this saved away now so I can come back to re-read it again and again!

  • Thank you for this! I’ve started working from home this year and have had a lot of trouble with staying undistracted. Always appreciate your advice Elsie!
    xx Allison


  • Vickie-
    We still own the store, but we are in the process of trying to sell it. It was an incredibly hard decision, but one that needed to be made. The first year of running the shop together (mostly just Emma and I every day in the shop) was amazing. After we got our book deal we had to hire more people and work there less and it became MUCH less fun. We eventually realized that we were just doing TOO much and that something had to go. So we are trying to sell the local shop to someone who will enjoy it and be able to use it to it’s full potential.
    We’re so thankful that we had the chance to own our boutique (in 2 locations) it was a HUGE learning experience and something we will never forget. 🙂
    Bittersweet, I guess… but mostly sweet because we are really excited about the direction we are going in now, even though it isn’t local retail.

    Thanks for asking! xo. Elsie

  • Wow – this is great to read! And amazing how you have successfully worked from home for so long i keep trying to justify the need for a studio away from the house! I struggle at times to stay focused but by setting boundaries it will make it much better! Love coming over to read ABM – big love from the UK, Amy x

  • I don’t know if I’ve missed this update or not, but do you guys still operate your Red Velvet boutique, or does your staff maintain it and you guys oversee it? I’m just curious because I don’t remember hearing about it since the 2 year anniversary and you guys seem so busy with the blog/books… It’s always so interesting to me to read about all your projects, you two are like super women! Keep up the amazing work 🙂


  • Q: Where do you actually make a profit from all you do?
    A: We make an income from advertising, our e-courses, collaborations and publishing. 🙂

    Q: What I’d like to know is how you guys aren’t HUGE.. with all of the recipe posts you must be eating a lot of tasty treats all day long.
    A: hehe… We try everything pictured on the blog, but that doesn’t mean we eat a whole plate of donuts. 🙂 I think that in food blogging you should always know that for every cheesecake you see pictured there are probably 10 boring salads that aren’t pictured. 🙂 Balance, ya know?

    Q: I’ve followed the blog for a few months now, and I’ve often wondered how you two work so well together being sisters. I’ve been in business with my sister for 4 years and we’re about to dissolve the partnership. =( We made an amazing team in the beginning and somehow things fell apart. What challenges do you face being family and how do you overcome them?
    A: Hi Pamela, I’m so sorry to hear that!
    Emma and I do have tension over certain parts of our business. I think that what makes it work for us is that we have completely different strengths, weaknesses and responsibilities within the business. So MOST of the time we don’t step on each other’s toes because we know our roles and respect the other person’s roles.
    With that said, working with family & friends is incredibly scary. We work with a lot of family and friends, but it hasn’t always worked out perfectly. Anytime you mix business and existing relationships there is a chance that it can hurt that relationship. It’s always a calculated risk. Some things that have helped us…. trial periods, lots of meetings and clearly defined roles in the business. 🙂

  • I love these kinds of posts, it’s awesome hearing about how you guys work behind the scenes! This definitely has me daydreaming about leaving my 9-5 office job, -sigh- one day 🙂

  • Thanks for this! My biggest challenge (and also my biggest joy) is juggling parenting and blogging/etsy/social media. Happy Weekend!

  • I work in an technical office, but art, design and crafts are my passions, love your blog so much!
    I would love to work with my sister in something we love, but by now, it is only a dream

  • We work from home so much! Thank you for these awesome tips. Happy Easter! http://www.hiddenbaby.com/blogs/baby-blog

  • Amanda- you’re right! I just added that in. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know.

  • I’ve followed the blog for a few months now, and I’ve often wondered how you two work so well together being sisters. I’ve been in business with my sister for 4 years and we’re about to dissolve the partnership. =( We made an amazing team in the beginning and somehow things fell apart. What challenges do you face being family and how do you overcome them?

  • I take most of my classes online, so I would consider it working from home. I have such a hard time staying on task! With people, home, and internet distractions sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of time to do very little. Your tips were very helpful though!

  • Hi Elsie! This is exactly what I needed to read just now. Half a year ago I left my job working in higher education to pursue a career in fashion. While I don’t work full time from home, I do spend quite a bit of time working from home on my blog. It’s been tough trying to find that balance between how much time I want to commit to it. Thanks for the tips on how to stay focused at home and how NOT to burn out!

    You ladies have a wonderful weekend!

  • You never answered how you deal with insurance and what not as an entrepenuer!

  • This is a really helpful post. I battle with ALL of these things working from home. Your post has inspired me (once again) to set some mandatory work hours for myself.

  • What I’d like to know is how you guys aren’t HUGE.. with all of the recipe posts you must be eating a lot of tasty treats all day long (yes, I’m a bit jealous) xx

  • I love all the information in this post. I work from home, too, but it’s always helpful to hear how other people do it.

  • This is a really wonderfully informative post! I work at home and my job is the blog! (www.chasingthere.com) So it’s cool to see what other people do in the same situations!

  • Thanks for the Q&A. This really helped to inspired and motivate me. Not only as a blogger but for my “real” job of being a Pilates instructor!

  • Such an interesting post. I am actually organising a room in my house as a studio and even though I have a day job, these tips will help me plan the time I’ll spend in the studio to make it count as I’d love to one day make it my day job! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing so much about yourselves, yours is really the only blog I follow every day!

  • and thank you for answering 😀 is nice to read this advices , because I want to work from home someday, is my biggest dream (between others lol) now I am studying and continuing with my blog.

    I can´t wait to see your book


  • Great, fantastic info! I love the questions that were asked. It’s nice to know more about working from home and how you set up specific work hours where you strictly focus on your job. I’m really fascinated by the concept of working from home. Thanks again for sharing and giving all of us a little bit of insight into your daily work routine!

  • Great advice! I don’t currently work from home but hopefully one day I’ll have to worry about these issues! 🙂

  • So much good advice here, Elsie. I work from home too and it is so easy to get distracted. Like you, I have to keep lists and schedules in order to stay on track.

  • This is such a WONDERFUL post!!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

    blog: www.aandfphotos.blogspot.com

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