charleston, i love you | 004: helen rice07/13/12
The world needs more people like Helen Rice. She started a design company (Fuzzco) with her boyfriend (now husband) when she was 23, has an orange tree in her sideyard, and is fearless when it comes to haircuts and insects. Helen is a sweet soul and it shows in everything she does.
Charleston, I love you | 003: Helen Rice
What brought you to Charleston?
I grew up here and my husband, Josh, and I had spent time here intermittently before we decided to come back and live here for good. We were coming from five years spent in Minnesota and Wisconsin and we were ready for some warm weather.
What do you love most about Charleston?
Charleston is a lot of things. What I really love about it is its quiet humbleness, which makes it an ideal place to live and focus on what I love to do. It's pretty easy living here compared to some other places which makes it easier to devote my energy to my business, my husband, family and our friends. Distractions are present and sometimes welcome but there is no constant drone of noise that surrounds us. It's really the kind of place that seeps into your skin. Every time you leave and come back the heavy salt air welcomes you as you drive to the peninsula in a singular, unforgettable kind of way.
What's your favorite spot in Charleston?
I love my yard. I like going outside in the morning and checking on all of the new buds on our cacti. I love the three weeks out of the year that the whole block smells like orange blossoms because of our orange tree. Working in the yard is so rewarding. It's especially nice when it feels a little overgrown, when the lizards and neighborhood cats, raccoons and opossums have places to hide.
How did you decide to start Fuzzco?
We'd both been building websites and designing things for ourselves for some time before we moved to Charleston. We loved it. We loved thinking about businesses as if they were our own and it seemed only natural that we start working for ourselves. Due to our perfectionist tendencies things just got more and more developed until we had a real life successful business.
What's a typical day like for you?
Wake up and put screen to squinty eyes, check email, twitter and instagram. I just downloaded the NPR App which is awesome because now we listen to the news while we're getting going in the morning. There is the occasional morning run but mostly it's just up and straight to work. We're at work by 8:30 and running fairly fast until about 7 or 8 (if we're lucky) at which point we head home or out for dinner or drinks to catch up with friends. We've got such a great gang of people at Fuzzco and we're working on some really fun projects. There is a lot happening for us in the next year - it's intimidating but also so satisfying to see everything come together.
How does Charleston influence your work?
Charleston keeps us connected to the real world. We have a lot of local clients whom we love. It's amazing to work on projects here that we experience on a daily basis. Our clients are incredible people and we've become good friends with a number of them.
A standout Charleston-related memory?
My favorite memories are the times when I've caught myself truly happy and a little nostalgic for the moment I'm in. I'm always a little sweaty, sometimes with a great gang of friends, and it's night.
Describe Charleston in three words.
Water. Sticky. Wild.