Step into my office #3: A peek into one freelancer’s workspace
Small business owners are bringing their ventures to the bottom of their gardens – where the humble shed is no longer a store for the lawnmower, tools and those compost bags you’ve never used.
In this regular feature, we meet a self-employed business owner and ask them to let us have a peek at their shed-based workspace.
And so, to our third instalment in this series, where we speak to Cath Janes from Pontypridd who works as a textile artist at Kraken Kreations.
So…how did you end up working from your garden?
The shed you see here used to be a rat-infested garden shed. I converted it while working from home as a freelance journalist. The back bedroom no longer cut the mustard, and the idea of having a completely independent workspace – separate from the house itself – really appealed to me.
However, not long after converting it I had post-natal depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a breakdown, and it went unused for a few years.
It was during my recovery (approximately five years ago) that I discovered my love of sewing, and when I felt ready to work again, I launched Kraken Kreations.
The shed immediately became the ‘headquarters’, and that’s where it’s stayed ever since. I bloody adore it!
Why do you love your converted shed so much?
It does wonders for my mindset. I can still leave the house to go to work and have a change of scenery – it’s only a five-metre commute!
Crossing the patio, turning on the lights, switching on the radio and lighting a scented candle is my daily ritual – during which, I gear up for the work ahead.
It also means that, like a mole, I’m made to leave the house and ‘sniff the air’. It anchors me to the weather and the seasons in a way that would never happen if I just shuffled off to work in a spare bedroom.
It’s a space that is all mine, away from my family, and stuffed with my favourite art and creative pieces. It’s a ‘cave’ of inspiration, so even on the days when I don’t feel creative, just going into the shed fires up my brain.
The front of the shed is entirely glass, with folding doors, which means it lets in a lot of light. In the summer, I can fling them open, and enjoy the fresh air.
During the winter months, it is snug and cosy – and I adore hearing the rain on the roof as I work.
How much did it cost to convert?
It cost me approximately £2,000 to convert the existing structure, which included: laying a floor, new ceiling, adding lighting, the plasterboard walls, painting, and fitting new carpet and doors.
Any drawbacks of working in this way?
Apart from the fact that I wear very uncool slippers with thick soles to get me through a wet commute? None.
I actually don’t have Wi-Fi in the shed, but that’s fine by me, because it means it’s a place where I can just create. I won’t get distracted by social media or the sound of any new orders ‘pinging’!
I’d recommend everyone working in this way if they have the chance. It’s brought great joy to my working life.
Discover more about Cath’s small business on the Kraken Kreations website.