The Create Series: Jacquelyn Clark of Lark & Linen

The Founder of the Popular Lifestyle Blog & Interior Design Business Shares Her Journey and Advice
Filed Under > The Create Series

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To say the team is thrilled to be chatting with Ms. Jacquelyn Clark, the talented voice behind the popular lifestyle blog Lark & Linen today is an understatement; we’ve been such fangirls of the blog for years, as we’ve followed (and pinned) just about every gorgeous home tour and scrumptious recipe.  So when Jacquelyn took the leap to entrepreneurship to launch her own interior design business, we knew it had success written all over it. Read along as we chat with Jacquelyn below, to learn how it all began, how she landed a coveted editorial job with Style Me Pretty to then land her own design clients for Lark & Linen, all while maintaining a popular lifestyle blog!

JC: When I first started my career as an interior designer almost a decade ago, I was working for a wonderful architect downtown Toronto. The company was great, I mean to this day I think of those co-workers as family, but the work itself didn’t completely fulfill me (ie: a lot of schools, government offices and libraries). In order to fuel my creative spirit I began penning my blog, Lark & Linen, on the side. For the first little while, I kept it pretty under my hat – only my closest friends and family knew. But before long, people started catching wind. For me, the turning point was in 2012 – almost two years after I began. I was travelling through Scotland when I received a very exciting email from Abby Larson, the genius behind Style Me Pretty. She had somehow found my blog, had this idea for Style Me Pretty Living, and asked me if I’d be interested in helping her launch it. From there, things began moving pretty quickly.

I acted as editor for SMP Living for just under two years. During that time, my blog continued to grow, and I began receiving requests for interior design services. And while working for SMP Living was an absolute dream, designing spaces in the physical sense was something I missed tremendously so taking on small projects in the evening and on the weekends was a no brainer. After a year and a half of essentially working three full time jobs, I began to feel burnt out and knew that something needed to give. Launching my own business had always been a thought in the back of my mind, I had a little bit of a nest egg built up from almost two years of non-stop work, and knew in my gut that I just needed to go full tilt. I launched my own interior design studio in October of 2015 and haven’t looked back!

: What’s your favorite design project you’ve ever worked on?
JC: Oh you can’t make me choose! I’ve actually been INCREDIBLY lucky on the client front so far and have worked with some really amazing people. All of my clients have given me a lot of creative freedom, and have instilled a lot of trust in my abilities. And in my experience, those are always the projects that end up with the best results. I’ve done everything from tiny powder room refreshers to full guts, and I have invested so much of myself in each and every one. This question is like Sophie’s choice!

WOM: Ha! Fair enough! How about a work mantra? 
JC: “Nobody died”. Ha! No, but for real – I do tend to be of the anxious mindset, and I constantly have to remind myself to put things into perspective. While I fully believe that design is in the details, I do have to check myself and remember that the outlet that’s 1/8th of an inch off centre or the grout that came out slightly lighter than I’d like is really and truly not the end of the world. Nobody died, it could always be worse, and there’s nothing here that can’t be fixed.

WOM: What does your typical day look like?
JC: I’m the antithesis of a morning person, so I typically roll out of bed around 8. On a good day, I’ll lace up my runners as soon as my feet hit the ground, go for a quick run and grab a tea on my way home before getting ready for the day. On most days however, I groggily fill the kettle, turn on my computer and make a to-do list in my pyjamas. Once I’m actually awake, dressed and ready, my days are always a combination of client meetings, furniture sourcing, blog writing, recipe creating, delivery coordinating madness. It’s busy, and it’s hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I do try to shut everything down by 7 so Justin and I can make and enjoy dinner together, but often end up tackling a few more things into the wee hours of the morning. Now that I have a steady stream of clients and a better grasp of how much I can take on and when, my current goal is to work on the work-life balance thing, so we’ll see how that goes this year!

WOM: Tell us a bit about the creative process for you.
It really and truly depends on the client and their needs, but I always start with a q&a series to really hone in on what it is my client is after, both from a design standpoint and a lifestyle perspective. From there it’s all about the details: site documenting, budget planning and the not-so-fun essentials. Once everything has been worked out logistically, I really start brainstorming. This typically involves a serious Pinterest love affair, reconnecting with my stack of design magazines, and evolves from there!

: What do you love about your job?
JC: As an introvert, a business in interior design makes for the perfect balance between collaboration (with my clients, my contractors and the like) and sealing myself up in a yoga pant-clad bubble and getting all of those creative energies out on paper. It’s fantastic!

WOM: We’re always sharing the best ways to update a space here on WOM. What’s your favorite way to accessorize a room?
JC: Rugs and custom drapery. They really and truly make a space each and every time.

WOM: We’re sure you’re inundated with a whole lot of pretty every day. How often do you redecorate your own space?
JC: Ha! Constantly! We’re actually house hunting right now, which has tempered my big re-decorating ways, but it hasn’t stopped me from picking up new accessories, pillow covers and the like here and there.

WOM: As an interior designer, where do you find inspiration? 
JC: While Pinterest is a great source, of course, I do find I’m most inspired when travelling. I always seem to come up with my best ideas when out and about exploring!
WOM: We can totally see that.  And do you have a girl crush or style icon?
JC: I really admire Catherine Kwong. She is a master at interior design and her projects always bridge that gap between all out luxury and total livability. She’s a design genius, as far as I’m concerned.

WOM: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
JC: “Be humble and grateful, always.”

WOM: And what advice do you have for individuals hoping to follow your path?
JC: Start a blog! The connections you can make through blogging are invaluable, it allows you to really hone in on your personal style and, probably most importantly, you have full creative control. That last point is hugely beneficial for a designer and, unless you’re designing your own home for your own single self, rarely, if ever, happens.





Design & Styling, Lark & Linen in Photo 1 | Photo 2Photo 4 | Photo 5 // Photo 3 | Photo 6

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