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She Shed: The Ultimate Double Standard



It’s time to address the elephant in the room or rather the room itself. A few weeks ago in a zoom happy hour someone brought up my "shoe room." My friend Nicole, picked up her laptop and carried it down into her husband's "man cave" which features a thousand sports memorabilia objects, a bar, and three tvs. Any man would call his cool. As master of the house he should have a retreat where he can pursue his passions and escape his wife, kids and housework. A place where he can take his friends to escape those things too. I am talking about the extreme here and not so much my friend’s husband. That said, the man cave is a thing and I’d like you to tell me how that’s different from my shoe room. Did I mention that my shoe room is about 200 sq ft and his basement is about 1000 sq ft.


Raise your hand if your husband has some set up in your house. Whether it be a basement or an office, as is usually the case with men who play video games. How many women do you know who have a dedicated space for themselves? Maybe a craft room, possibly a separate office, or a "she shed." I shudder saying that. The original idea was your oasis was next to your garden. I suppose some people like or even love gardening and so their space being relegated to the back yard made some sense. But the very notion that a woman has to leave the house to get away and a man walks down a flight of stairs is the epitome of a double standard.


I have a friend with a few kids who often says “I need to go to happy hour.” The men in our group always say it’s so unfair she always gets to go out and leaves her husband with the kids. Well guess what, he has a huge basement with all his boy toys and a beer fridge. If I go to her house to have a cocktail, and yes she needs them because her job is wicked difficult, any one of her kids, at any given moment will come up demanding something. That’s not escaping, it's just drinking while working, because a mom of little kids never stops working.


I don’t like gardening or crafting. I like shoes. They overflowed from my closet into a spare bedroom we have and it jokingly came to be called the shoe room. I remember the first time my mom came up to what's now known as the Salon des Chaussures (shoe lounge in French). Initially, like everyone, she says this is ridiculous but then looks around and says "wow some of these shoes are works of art." (She was drawn to the peacock painted Sophia Websters). Yes, yes they are. Why can my friend’s husband collect signed baseballs but I can't collect Carrie Bradshaw's favorite Manolo Blanhiks? (Arguably the May Janes or pick any cage). And yes, Marie Kondo, all of these shoes do bring me joy.


It's such a double standard. My friend Pat has a sign leading to his basement that says "The Pat Cave,” Batman style. It's full of comic books and figurines. Yeah, sometimes he sells them on eBay. I sell lots of shoes on Poshmark. But ultimately it’s a display of collectible art in his eyes, like my shoes. He has 50 X-men’s Cyclops on display. So why is his room cool and acceptable and mine ridiculous?


My husband green lit turning our spare room that was a spillover closet into a sitting room, when the pandemic hit and everyone was home all the time. I needed my own space to get away. I needed a place where I wasn't a mom, teacher, daughter, wife, cooker, cleaner, grocery shopper, taxi driver, etc etc etc. A place where I am just a girl with shoes and champagne. We bought Christopher Knight chairs and a bench and a matching rug. The shoe racks multiplied and I have added lots of little touches that make it feel like a boutique. It is my oasis. Mon Salon de Chaussures. Links to all my special touches in the room are at the end of the post


For Christmas my cousin Sarah gave me Paris themed decorations and my sister a bar cart that I have filled with Moet, Bordeaux, and French Cognac. Hung on the walls are pictures of me and Pat in Paris. My favorite bags and sunglasses rotate. It's a gallery and a boutique and a sitting room. But definitely not a shed or cave. It's become the favorite retreat for Sarah and me. We even designed a sign that says Salon des Chaussure, to be painted and decorated with peacock feathers.


But why do I work in here? Why are you always seeing me sit at my fabulous moveable work tray from Tablemate. Because it's my inspiration. It's a character in my story. It's where my creativity blossoms. It’s my happy place.


I was convinced I needed to take photographs elsewhere. I decorated my bedroom differently and upgraded my mirror so I could have more of a variety of shooting locations. But I’m leaning in the other direction because my room may be ridiculous but it’s a reflection of me and I must fully embrace it. If you're on board with my brand it includes my Salon. The purple is everywhere on my feed. It's not even my favorite color but it has become my identifier.


I have an office. Well, we have an office. But at night, all I can hear is Pat screaming "I need back up I found an enemy nest!" and the like. But during the day it's much worse. It's an office, with office furniture. It has a printer and bookshelves. It’s so quiet. I know, I used to record instructional videos and there's little ambient noise that needs editing out. When I wrote contracts or designed digital courses, an office is what I needed. But now I write about me and I like to look at shoes. I draw my inspiration from the beauty and excessiveness.


I write about the inner workings of my mind. What better place to do that then surrounded by my favorite artwork. I also contemplate how best to style the clothes sent to me to style and photograph. That hardly seems like something I should do in an office. For better or worse my job is now fashion and the Salon de Chaussure is where the magic happens.


Inspiration can come from anywhere. For me it's shoes. A few weeks ago Nicole and Sarah were sipping on Cava and chatting . At the time I only had the two chairs so I was moving around. I started on the floor but then I started rearranging the shoes, then the purses, then the Minnie ears. It was borderline excessive. But hey, I'm borderline excessive. I doubt that they hung everything on the walls of the Louvre and said "there, it's perfect let's never move anything." My salon is my canvas, it's my character and it's definitely not a shed in the backyard. It's loud and it’s proud, just like me.


P.S.

I'm just excessive. There's no borderline about it.





Lounge Chairs | Rug | Bench | Side Table | Bar Cart | Jewelry Mirror


Short Bookshelf | Tall Bookshelf | Grey 50 Pair Shoe Rack | Short Shoe Rack | Storage Organizer | Garment Rack


Acrylic Organizer | Acrylic Tray | Large Acrylic Tray | Sunglass Display | Two Tiered Tray | Headband Organizer


Paris Map | Miles to Paris Poster | Fashion Artwork | Large Vogue Poster




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