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Finding Mindfulness Somewhere Unexpected: My Return to Town & Country

Longview Farm Park Town and Country, Missouri Amber Seagraves Studio Seagraves

It’s been awhile since I’ve Introduced myself… Hi! I’m Amber Seagraves, director of Studio Seagraves. Just like many other businesses, 2020 has been a huge period of change for us. As we’ve added names to our client list, we’ve also streamlined our internal operations and defined our mission: To support businesses by building beautiful brands and designing products that promote mindfulness.  

On a personal note, 2020 has encouraged me to put down roots in a place I never expected to call home again: Town & Country, Missouri. After growing up in this quaint part of the U.S. and dreaming of a future in the big city, I left for London in 1998. A year of adventure later, I moved to New York City, where I lived for 14 years working as a fashion designer.

A modern home in Town & Country, Missouri Amber Seagraves Studio SeagravesA modern home on my way to Longview Farm Park to visit the horses and hit the trail.

My last seven years in the Big Apple were spent designing menswear for Ralph Lauren, a demanding job that forced me to carve out “me time” so I wouldn’t get swallowed up by my work life. I would meditate each morning, then wander to a local cafe for a coffee and soak up the city streets on my way to the office. When I moved to Los Angeles to design for Guess Jeans in 2013, I maintained this daily ritual, knowing how much it boosted my productivity and inspired me creatively — It was the fuel I needed to thrive in my work.

Fast forward to 2019, I’m running Studio Seagraves and designing my own product line, and I have the freedom to define my own schedule and work remotely. It was this shift that brought me back to Town & Country, a move I considered a temporary stop on my way to my final destination: Nashville. 

Then, COVID-19 happened… so I stayed.

Longview Farm Park and Queeny Park in Missouri Studio Seagraves Amber Seagraves
Longview Farm Park and Queeny Park located with in walking distance from my home in Town & Country.

This time spent in Missouri has been incredibly influential on how Studio Seagraves has developed over the past year. With parks, hiking trails, and a horse farm within walking distance from my home, I spend every morning immersed in nature and disconnected from technology (aside from the occasional photo I snap on my phone). I’ve discovered that my most productive hours are in the early-mid afternoon, and even though most of my workdays don’t start until noon, I’m not accomplishing less. In fact, I’ve found that my output has increased.

With my corporate mindset still intact, I’ve optimized my schedule, boosted my output, and found more time to dedicate to myself and my family…. And I’ve encouraged this same approach within my team. Collectively, we work at a steady pace to meet all deadlines, but take the time we need to unplug and recharge so we can produce our best work.

A trip to Elephant Rocks State Park about 1 1/2 hours away south of St. Louis, Missouri.  A great place to unplug and connect with nature.  Amber Seagraves Studio SeagravesA trip to Elephant Rocks State Park about 1 1/2 hours away south of St. Louis, Missouri.  A great place to unplug and connect with nature.

While my heart is still set on an eventual move to Nashville, this extended stay in Missouri has been a pleasant surprise, and I hope to own a vacation cabin here someday. All in all, 2020 has helped me find the sweet spot in my work/life balance, and my goal is to inspire this within Studio Seagraves’ clients by helping them create high-functioning businesses that support a healthy relationship with technology.

Wishing you mindfulness, creativity, and success in the year ahead—

Amber Seagraves & Studio Seagraves Design Collective