Day in the Life: Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow

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We’re back with the second installment of Day in the Life, a monthly series where we’re sitting down with some of the most inspiring women in business to get an inside look at their day-to-day life.

Today, we’re chatting with designer, blogger, and home design extraordinaire Justina Blakeney. Justina is the founder of Jungalow, the blog that convinced all of us that plants are not optional home decor, and author of the acclaimed home tour book The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes. Read on to hear Justina’s take on morning routines, what she’s working on now, and the dangers of comparison.

What’s your mantra/mission statement/work ethos?

“If you can walk, you can dance; if you can talk, you can sing.” ~ Nigerian proverb

Are you a night owl or a morning person? When do you do your most important work and why?

I’m probably more of a morning person, but I do enjoy staying up late when it’s really quiet to do my deep creative work. I usually wake up at first light.

What does your morning, pre-work routine look like?

I get my daughter dressed for school, throw on something comfy, walk to my local coffee spot to grab a latté, take said latté on a 30 minute walk along the L.A. river to get in some ‘steps’ before work. I listen to a podcast or the news at this time. I am at work by 8:30.

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What’s your commute like? Do you listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks? Any current faves?  

I walk or bike to work. My go-to podcast is “How I Built This” from NPR.

Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” What’s the first thing you do when you get into the studio?

Eeeuuuwww!! Haha. The first thing I do when I get into the studio is any work that I need silence for. My staff arrives at 9AM so I have 30 minutes of quiet time and usually use it for things like drawing or writing.

I’m pretty laser focused on my own stuff.
I don’t allow myself to compare and despair.

What are you working on this week?

This week I’m designing a new pillow collection, putting together a presentation for a talk I’m giving in a couple of weeks, doing a photoshoot for a social media campaign I’m working on for an appliance company, finishing to design the custom sofa we’re putting in our new ADU remodel project, meeting with financial folks to create our forecast for 2019 financials and finish up our tax planning and payments for 2018, and going through the strike-offs for our new wallpaper collection.

What do you wish you had more time for in your day?

I do enough in a day, LOL.

What are some work habits that help you stay healthy, productive, and on track to reach your goals?

I’m pretty laser focused on my own stuff. I don’t allow myself to compare and despair. I always do at least one creative thing per day that’s off the computer (drawing/painting/working with clay/crafting etc.) I go on walks outdoors frequently throughout my day. I take dance breaks.

What are you reading/watching right now?

I’m a magazine junkie and I go to the magazine stand at my local bookstore every month and buy about a dozen magazines, most of them international shelter mags or business magazines. I’m not reading any book-books at the moment but I am watching some fun shows. Current go-tos include Shark Tank, Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show, and the Outlanders—it’s my guilty pleasure.

When do you go to bed? What’s your “optimal” # of sleep hours?

I’m 11pm - 6:30am like clockwork.

What’s the most rewarding part of your day?

Hanging with my daughter is just the best. But honestly, I’m very lucky. I feel my work like and home life are both extremely rewarding.