Ryleah Shae is a woman after our own hearts – an entrepreneurial spirit who runs her own creative event design business, Ryleah Shae Creative. She’s worked with brands such as Lululemon and Rolls Royce, creating unforgettable branded events, visual storytelling, and prop-styling. A DIY-er at heart, she’s often upcycling and inventing creative uses for unconventional materials along the way.
Photographed in her home with Lucia in Blush.
How did Ryleah Shae Creative come to life?
I began working for myself and freelancing as a way to test out different interests and skills I had when it came to the world of design. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself and I also knew that the typical interior design route wasn’t for me. I needed something that moved quickly, used bold design, and bridged my love for hospitality and social media. As I began to pick up more work it was event design and experiential marketing that won me over. I still work in that arena today but it has been so rewarding to see the different avenues it has since branched into. Ryleah Shae Creative is constantly evolving and it has been such a joy seeing where it will take me next!
What does a typical day in your week look like?
I am not a morning person! The benefits of working for yourself is letting go of the concept that you have to work from 9-5. My mornings are sacred and I try my absolute best to start the day with a coffee and a book first before reacting to what the day brings me.
From there, I’m typically starting my work day around 10am, 11am if I’m honest with myself. I like to get any laptop work out of the way first so I can spend the afternoon in the creative work! This can be anything from contracts, invoicing, e-mails. In the afternoons you can typically catch me with a coffee in hand running around the city sourcing for projects, creating social content either for myself or clients, or working on a design proposal for my next project.
My evenings are most likely spent making Fresh Prep for dinner, running out the door for a pottery class, meeting a friend for a glass of wine, or more often than not, working late on all the odds and ends I’ve missed from earlier in the day.
What are the top three tools you use in your creative business?
- Keychain Measuring Tape – Having a measuring tape that is small and compact on my key-chain has saved me more times than I can count. Perfect for impromptu home-goods purchases or seeing if the free furniture on the side of the road will fit (Yes that has actually happened to me)
- Notion – I feel Notion is hitting the internet by storm these days! I use Notion as a dashboard for my business, a project tracker for my clients, a place to organize my thoughts, the options are endless. The best part is it’s totally customizable, not to mention free!
- Command Strips – Talk about renter friendly, these velcro strips are the only thing I use to hang up my art. They can hold a lot of weight and don’t damage the wall. The best part is that you can switch up your art location often without hardly any added work. I love sharing this best kept secret.
What are some unconventional ways to think about using wallpaper in your home?
I love to embrace an ‘eye sore’ or an element in your home that sticks out or an area that could use a little emphasis. This could be anything from a pesky column you can’t move, a niche that doesn’t make sense, or perhaps the inside of a closet. Embrace the unexpected and it will turn your house into a home, I promise.
What are your top three recommendations for anyone to make their space feel more like home?
- Slow and intentional purchases – It’s a myth that your house has to match and be completed right away. The best spaces are ones that are curated overtime. So purchase intentionally and play the long game with big purchases. It will be worth it in the long run.
- Invest in local artists and makers – These are the purchases you will never regret. Not only are you supporting a small business owner but you are more likely to start collecting items that only you have. These are the pieces that give your home soul.
- Think about layers – Once you have a foundation set when it comes to furniture, continue to add different layers and textures to the space to give it a lived in, curated look. This can be anything from the plants on the shelves, to the layered rugs, to what you place on your coffee table. Each added layer will help bring your space to life!
What has influenced your creative growth and inspiration?
As much as I love to read I would say most of my creative influence comes from television! There is so much inspiration you can pull from the costumes down to the space the characters live in. My current faves are Succession, Euphoria, and say what you want about the reboot, but ‘And Just Like That’ is still very visually appealing.
In the past, I’ve looked towards early design bloggers from 2010 who were able to turn their content and ideas into businesses. A few personal faves I still follow today are Oh Joy, Design Love Fest, and Studio DIY.
What would be your one piece of advice for someone considering DIY wallpaper?
Don’t wait so long! There is nothing worse than thinking “Oh I’m just going to live here for a year or so, so what’s the point” and then 5 years end up flashing by. You deserve to live in a space that inspires you, or at the very least, one where you can decompress and wind-down.