We had the good fortune of connecting with Suiki Sparks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suiki, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Eclectic Milieu /e•klec•tic/ /mil•yoo/
an inspired destination highlighting interior styling, concepts and ambiance from a broad range of sources. I launched EM as a creative outlet, escape from my corporate day job and also a platform to share my admiration of interiors. Quite simply, I LOVE interesting spaces and known to find inspiration in just about any type of venue or setting.
As an experienced HR professional, I am keenly aware of the importance of work-life balance. Having worked in the field for over 15 years, I suffered from burnout coupled with resentment because I did not take the time to focus on my own aspirations/dreams. This neglect is actually the premise behind my departure from corporate America in 2020. I decided to take a gap year and focus on my personal passion(s), dreams, and evolving self. I chose ME for the first time in my entire career. I can say with certainty it was the best decision for me and my brand: Eclectic Milieu. I finally realized the old cliche; “Take care of yourself first so you can be of service to others”.
I took a break from my corporate position and began a wholeness/wellness journey last year. Eclectic Milieu was always top of mind. Even though the intent behind the brand was highlighting different sources of milieus (hotels, restaurants, etc.), I was restricted to showcasing our home due to the pandemic. For a while, I didn’t even tell anyone about the launch/re-launch in fear of being judged for wanting to explore this creative side of myself. I would post little projects around the house and re-styling tips just to stay motivated/busy. I am NOT a formally trained interior designer. I just enjoy styling, experiencing ambiance of other milieus as well as helping others realize potential in their spaces through the selection of furniture/accent pieces. I believe atmosphere plays a huge part of mood/aura (surround yourself with beautiful things YOU LOVE). This practice is a form of self-love ~ a love letter to who you are and who you hope to become. As I reflect back on the metamorphose I have experienced over the last few months, I would not change my decision for the world. Suffering through countless meetings, calls, projects that had nothing to do with my calling had run its course. I was ready and able to give Eclectic Milieu my full attention. Sure there were anxieties associated with my exit. Finances were at the top of the list. But I knew it had to be done in order to be the best version of myself.
During this time, I’ve learned self love, balance and the reach of my own potential through stillness and creative process. My advice to any influencer, blogger, entrepreneur is to make time for your own ambitions. Do not allow the demands of your career to extinguish your dream. Find the time to center/channel your energy towards things that you are passionate about. Quantify a clear connection of who you are and who you are becoming is invaluable and required.
“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to build theirs” ~ Steve Jobs
Suiki Butler Sparks
Founder of Eclectic Milieu
Growing up in Louisiana I was exposed to a diverse array of homes, culture and community. This experience heavily influenced my approach to styling and serves as a source of inspiration to this day. I love a blend of high and low end, old and new! Eclectic milieu affords me an opportunity to not only share personal home aesthetic, but also lifestyle, travel and curated entertaining. A gentle nudge has always pulled me in the direction of interiors and lifestyle. Even as a child I can remember walking into a space and being transformed by it! I truly believe Electic Milieu is God’s gift to me and I am thankful for his grace/favor. I look forward to an abundant and successful future as an influencer and entrepreneur!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Growing up in Louisiana I was exposed to a diverse array of homes, culture and community. This experience heavily influenced my approach to styling and serves as a source of inspiration to this day. I love a blend of high and low-end, old and new! Eclectic milieu affords me an opportunity to not only share personal home aesthetic but also lifestyle, travel and curated entertaining. A gentle nudge has always pulled me in the direction of interiors and lifestyle. Even as a child I can remember walking into a space and being transformed by it! I am positive my upbringing has influenced my passion. My parents were both educators so money was tight. I learned early on about budget friendly aspect of home decor as well as the realization of eclectic approach to styling. By mixing various styles, price points and techniques makes for a space that is both functional and well styled. All influences mentioned makes Eclectic Milieu unique in the influencer arena. My style is personal to who I am as a person. I would like to say I work hard at styling interiors since I am not professionally trained. However, it comes quite simple to me. I choose things that speak to me ( that alone has served me well).
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I enjoy different types of milieus. Typically, I do not plan outings based on my personal taste since my idea of fun is thrifting, antique shopping and food truck parks. I try to consider what my guest might be interested in seeing/doing while visiting. I am sure I would suggest a pottery or barre class, cocktails at a boutique hotel, dinner at a pop-up, and visiting a popular winery.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shoutout God for the many blessings bestowed upon me. To my spouse who has been nothing but supportive as I grew my brand and evolved over the last year. I owe an enormous amount of gratitude to countless influencers, bloggers, YouTubers, entrepreneurs, family, and friends for encouragement, advice, and support. Finally, I would like to give myself a huge shout out for believing in ME and having the courage to take this journey.