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Day in the Life - Marceline Smith

Day in the LifeKate Marsden

It's day in the life time again! If you like all things Japanese and Kawaii, you'll love this one! Meet designer Marceline Smith...

I'm Marceline Smith and I design and sell cute character products as Asking For Trouble, run the kawaii blog Super Cute Kawaii and also work as a freelance web designer.

My alarm goes off at 8am every day except Sunday and today I actually get up straight away instead of spending an hour reading stuff on my phone as it’s bin day. It’s also raining as usual.

I always get dressed before breakfast and make my bed too. I may work from home but I have some standards. Breakfast involves a cup of (decaf) tea in my new 2016 calendar mug that I designed, plus some toast. I eat while checking social media on my phone - my current favourites are Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and The List App.

I’m at work by 9am, which for me is sitting on my bed with a laptop as I have RSI in my wrist and can’t do computer work at a desk. I always start with email, which I have a love/hate relationship with - I get so many exciting ones, and lovely ones from customers, but they build up so fast. I have a couple of things I need to act on - a wholesale enquiry that gets me quickly checking over my price list, and a reminder to file my tax form for a US company. Ugh. I also check my Google calendar, which tells me what blog posts I have planned for my own blog and Super Cute Kawaii, one of my ‘day jobs’ that has advertisers and staff writers. I’m up to date for the moment so no last-minute blogging required!

10am is my cut-off for shop orders so I head to my studio to print off all the outstanding orders. That sounds so exciting, but it's just the small spare room in my flat. I do love having a separate space to store all my work stuff and make a mess. I only ship orders on Tuesdays and Thursdays as it takes less time overall to do them in batches and helps me keep a routine. Tuesdays and Wednesdays I work all day for a freelance client, Sunday is for blogging, housework and cooking/baking experiments and Friday/Saturday are either days off or for freelance/shop work. 

I enjoy packing orders - picking out what people ordered, drawing things on their dispatch notes, using my new business cards and sticking on my amazing Do Not Bend stickers (they feature a happy banana).

I don't have that many to do today and I stop for elevenses once they’re packed up. I recently sorted through the epic piles of Japanese candy and snacks that I’d been sent to review recently and have a little stack of good stuff to finish up. Today’s are some really lovely orange biscuits.

My least favourite part of order shipping is doing all the postage labels online, but it doesn’t take too long and is preferable to any other option. My local Post Office was swallowed up by a terrible corner shop and I avoid going there at all costs. I also fill out that tax form through the magic of PDFs - I love being able to sign forms using my trackpad!

I dislike leaving the house before the postman has been so I write out a new to do list. Despite designing a Busy Bee Organiser for this very task, I’ve reverted back to using one of my spiral bound notebooks so I can have multiple lists on the go. I immediately tick off a task by updating my press page and then do some work on a freelance client’s site.

1pm is lunchtime. I used to be one of those people who are so busy they forget to eat meals but after an unexpected visit to the hospital a couple of years ago, I have learned the value of regular breaks and mealtimes. Being a workaholic isn’t cool - look after your health, people! I just make a sandwich as I haven’t been to the shops since Monday. I eat in the living room while reading blogs and then play some Animal Crossing on my Nintendo DS. It’s Genji the bunny’s birthday today so I don’t want to miss his party. I realise this all sounds ridiculous but it’s so relaxing to hang out in a town full of cute animals, plus I get to dress up as a snowman.

It’s 2pm so time to promote today’s Super Cute Kawaii blog post on social media. It also means the postman hasn't brought me any mail, which is a major disappointment. I live for the mail. Instead I get changed into my outdoor clothes and go out to post my orders. I discover the Hermes guy has dumped my Boden parcel in the porch and done a runner without even knocking. Inside are my adorable 70% off fox slippers and a glitter stripe t-shirt I couldn’t resist. Yay!

I go out in the pouring rain as usual. I love living on the West Coast but the rain really seems endless this time of year. Luckily the sorting office is only a couple of blocks away. I always make sure to peek though the postbox first as once I dumped in some mail, only to hear someone shout, “mind my heid!”. Oops. The weather is atrocious so I just pop into the Co-op for food supplies and head home.

Today is Free Swatch Day at Spoonflower to promote a new fabric base so I have a blog post ready to go as it starts and I try to decide which of my designs to order for myself. I end up choosing a new snowflake pattern. The next 24 hours bring me lots of sales notifications from Spoonflower and it’s always so amazing to see how many people pick my designs in these offers.

I work on more freelance projects and answer emails for the rest of the afternoon. I stop when it gets dark and cold around 6pm and put the heating on for a bit. I do the washing up and make some (steamed thai) fish and chips, which I eat while watching the news.

I don’t often work in the evenings but my mum has been busy today catching up on translating my product listings into Dutch, German and French for my DaWanda shop so I get those added. I’m also in the middle of the SCK Awards, an annual reader vote for most kawaii character, brand, maker etc. that we run on Super Cute Kawaii. Final voting started yesterday so I need to do some promotion.

After that I put the laptop away and settle down on the sofa for the evening. I watch some TV, read some blogs and flick through some of my Japan guides - I've booked another trip there in May and trying to decide where to go this time is both exciting and overwhelming. I try to stop using my phone after 10pm and head off to bed soon after so I can read for an hour or two. It’s so quiet around here that I always sleep really well. Hope you enjoyed following along with my day!

You can find out more about Marceline on her website and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.