It’s that time of the year when I’m reflecting on my “why’s”: why I do what I do and who I do it for. Naturally, it raised the question of who Gal at Home really is.
Gal at Home: The First Version
When I thought of the phrase “gal at home” back in 2015, I had just left behind a really good career in magazine publishing. My first child was about to turn 2 years old, as was the first house my husband and I ever purchased. I had become a freelancer, accepting writing jobs here and there. But what really excited me about this new phase in my life was enrolling myself into design school. All I ever wanted to live and breathe (aside from the scent of my toddler’s pudgy skin) was design.
I put up a blog and an Instagram account just so I could chronicle my own little projects at home. What was my purpose? To blog about how this new mom and design student was creating her own little space for her own little family. I just wanted to share how much I loved our home and our life, and what I was doing to care for it and make it a place that our family could thrive in.
As is with many budding designers and decorators who start sharing their projects online, people got wind of the fact that I loved working on my home. They wanted help working on their homes too.
Becoming Gal at Home Design Studio
So in 2016, I accepted my very first design project. I didn’t know yet what I was doing, I certainly made a lot of mistakes. But I realized that this is what I’ve always wanted to do. Sprucing up a home felt so natural to me, so invigorating; it seemed so different from my previous careers where I had to exert so much effort just to create acceptable output.
Through the years, my services have evolved. In 2018, I hired an assistant. A short stint in a digital marketing agency introduced me to the world of websites and online business, and it intrigued me how many entrepreneurs outside the Philippines were going virtual.
So in 2019, I prepared to bring my design services to a virtual platform, despite my own doubts and apprehensions, as well as other designers I had shared my plans with. I wasn’t sure the market I was serving would accept online interior design services, but I felt strongly that this is where I wanted to take Gal at Home.
Then the pandemic happened in 2020. Everyone was forced to stay home—and to pivot. Thankfully, I was prepared to go online, and in just a month since the start of lockdown, I was offering online design consults. A couple months later, we launched our eDesign service.
When construction projects finally resumed later that year, our pipeline had almost always been full. But with this happy problem also came burnout. And nothing quite dashes one’s passion for work more than burnout. I was getting sick, becoming more miserable, and wondering why I was doing what I was doing.
So at the close of 2022, I started reflecting on why I started Gal at Home in the first place. While the essence of Gal at Home still rings true—creating homes people love is still our raison d’etre—I knew deep in my heart that there were some services I would like to pause for a while.
Namely, our Remodel service.
Pivoting Gal at Home a second time
When I pivoted our services to online design, I also knew that I wanted to have my own online shop selling digital products. I started with my first online homestyling course, and was planning to offer other guides, ebooks, worksheets, and even more courses on interior decoration and homestyling.
Obviously, work got in the way of plans, and that digital shop was shelved. I now want to go back to that direction once again. The desire to share what I know about homestyling and interior design is something that always crops up through the years. I know that this is something that I really want to do.
While I know so many people need help now with remodels and construction, Gal at Home Design Studio will be focusing on those who aren’t quite ready to remodel yet. Or those who would rather do things on their own instead of investing in the luxury service that is interior design. Or perhaps those who, like me at the start of my Gal at Home journey, just want to learn all there is to know about home and interior design, and want to work on their own homes.
Our online and eDesign services are still in our menu, and we plan to offer even more virtual design services tailored specifically to the needs of gals at home who need design direction, who want an expert they can turn to for advice—on demand. Or perhaps, a group or community program for the design-obsessed gals, so they can share their home wins and struggles, get support among peers like them, as well as a direct line to Gal at Home Design Studio’s team of designers and experts.
At this point, everything is still up in the air, but I’m feeling the excitement over creating something new again, and something that I know will align with what I’m really passionate about, and what I know so many people have been asking help for.
Watch this space for announcements in the coming weeks of new services and offers from the Gal at Home Studio!
Cheers to new beginnings in 2023!