Home-Run Pursuits: Working at Home the Modern Way - Page 4

An ambitious breed of California creatives finds their modern residences ideal, natural workplaces

The house, a long-gable model, has an open-beamed ceiling with its high point in the living room, where McCormick teaches piano. It provides an ideal setting, and is one of the reasons he bought the house. The room is big enough for McCormick to give master classes with four or five students.

"I just love the feeling of the room and the glass, being able to look out at the yard," he says. Because it's a corner lot on a cul-de-sac, the yard is large. "It's not close to my neighbors. That was definitely a draw here. I can play any time of the night if I feel like." For more: 760-325-2389

mccormick at piano and his Alexander home

Photography: Larry Merkle

Heather Peterson
At-home kids clothing designer - Girl Charlee
Modern living, Long Beach


Heather Peterson's home-based business started as a byproduct of daily living. Peterson, a website designer and new mother, couldn't find clothes for her daughter, Charlotte. So she rummaged through her collection of vintage fabrics from the 1960s and '70s, began sewing—and attracting comments on the street. "People who saw Charlee stopped in their tracks," she says. "Where did you get that from?" they would ask.

The result was Girl Charlee, children's clothing made from vintage fabrics using vintage fabrics and patterns, updated for modern living. Peterson designs most of the clothes at home, and markets clothes from other designers as well. She does some of the sewing there, and develops the patterns. Most production takes place in Texas, where she used to live.

Today she has a son as well, Mason. "It's definitely hard running a business and being a mom at the same time," Peterson says. "It was more manageable before the baby came along. I don't have that extra pair of hands growing out of my side like I need to."

She turned one room into a workspace. "It's wall-to-wall fabrics," she says. "I try to keep everything about the business in one room, but it's hard."

Peterson understood e-commerce, so she started an online shop and connected with moms' blogs. It paid off. Now she hopes to get her collection into boutiques as well. The clothing appeals to young mothers who want clothes that are unique, and who enjoy retro modern, she says.

"I didn't expect that things would become so popular. The vintage-modern thing is so mainstream now compared to the way it was then," she says. "I did it because I loved it, not because I thought it was a trend coming."

"If I can picture my ideal client," Peterson says, "it would be someone who lives in a modern house." For more: girlcharlee.com

peterson girl charlee fabrics and home

Photography: John Eng

Additional photography: Ernie Braun, Jack Carrick; and courtesy Damon Lawrence


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